10 Best Craft Beer Vacation Destinations
The rathskeller where visitors taste beer today is the same bar the brewery built back in 1936. Brewery President Richard L. Yuengling Jr. is not only still keeping the name alive, but Chief Operating Officer Dave Casinelli says he still roams the grounds in jeans and work boots and takes pictures with tourists.
"You're not going to go to Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis and find a Busch family member walking around," Casinelli says. "We're still nothing more than a big regional brewery, but Dick Yuengling is a throwback to the old regional brewers and the brewing families who cares about the little guys."
The little guys tend to benefit quite a bit from the brewery's pull. The tours draw about 50,000 people to Pottsville each year, giving them access to local restaurants, museums such as the Schuykill County Historical Society, Jewish Museum of Eastern Pennsylvania and the various coal mine and railroad museums throughout the county. That 50,000 may not sound like much, but it's roughly quadruple Pottsville's entire population.
Not to be outdone by the Portland to the west, Portland, Maine, packs a handful of breweries into one convenient, funky waterfront city. Much of the city's modern brewing history dates only to the microbrewing boom of the late 1990s, but there's one notable exception: D.L. Geary Brewing.
Founded in 1983 when American microbreweries numbered little more than a dozen and most were on the West Coast, Geary's benefited from co-founder David Geary's experience working at nearly a dozen breweries in England and Scotland and still uses an English-style pale ale as its flagship beer. The brewery isn't much to see, and brewery tours are still by appointment only, but a London Porter that The New York Times named best in the world five years ago is a great introduction to the old portside town.