The sisters behind Yuengling, America's largest independent brewery, didn't realise strangers knew their name until they left their hometown for college

D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc./YouTubeJen and Wendy Yuengling.
  • D.G. Yuengling & Son started producing beer in 1829 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, making it the oldest family-run ;brewery in America.
  • The four Yuengling sisters who run the brewery today did not realise the significance of their last name until they went to college.
  • Working with family can be difficult at times, but family is a core value at Yuengling, which has been passed down within the family for six generations.

Growing up in a small town with a family brewery made the Yuengling sisters unaware of the significance of their last name.

“I don’t think I realised the power of the brand until I went away to college and people recognised it,” Wendy Yuengling, who now runs the brewery with her three sisters, said on an episode of Business Insider’s podcast “This Is Success.”

“And, you know, you grow up in a small town in Pennsylvania and we were just another family business in town,” she continued. “And I don’t think we thought twice about, you know – we made beer.”

The oldest family-run brewery in America, D.G. Yuengling & Son started producing beer in 1829 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Dick Yuengling bought the brewery in 1985, which made 137,000 barrels at the time.

Today, Yuengling has several breweries producing 2 million barrels annually. With other family businesses in the small town, Yuengling sisters Wendy, Jen, Debbie, and Sheryl didn’t stand out in the community.

“When I got into college, the brands were growing. My dad had done a lot to turn around the company and he had introduced some new flavours that really put us on the map, so it was a much different company then. And then, as you get into the 2000s, our brands just took off,” Wendy said.

The sisters were asked by their father if they were interested in helping run the brewery in the late 1990s, to which they all said yes. Each sister plays a different role within the company. Wendy handles marketing and Jen, who also sat down with “This Is Success,” handles operations.


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“We each made commitments to the family business because there’s a tremendous sense of pride in keeping it going. That’s a big part of our identity in my mind, and I think it’s important to our employees, who are also heavily invested in the company with their own families,” Wendy said.

Working with family can be difficult at times, but family is a core value at Yuengling – which has been passed down within the family for six generations.

“It feels really good to know you have that support. And I think we’re very lucky – to be a six-generation family business is unbelievable, but we’re four women in the sixth generation and, for our company, this is the first time the business will go from father to daughters,” Wendy said. “I think when you look around and you see, I get to work every day with my three sisters, that is very satisfying.”

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