After D.G. Yuengling and Son became the biggest American-owned brewery, the Pottsville company celebrated last year with a “Here’s to you, Philly,” promotion during which it offered a free serving of its signature lager to bar patrons around Philadelphia.
The company said beer drinkers in the City of Brotherly Love helped revive the popularity of its historic brand, which has become one of the fastest-growing brews in the country.
So it seems fitting that the company’s fifth-generation owner, Dick Yuengling, said he was “the happiest guy in the beer business” until he found out the city he chose to celebrate his company’s success with has slapped the brewery with a lawsuit seeking more than $6 million.
The lawsuit stems from a disagreement between the city and Yuengling about whether the company has to pay Philadelphia’s business income and receipts tax, which is assessed on companies doing business in the city.
View of Pottsville, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Following a one-hour, closed-door meeting Thursday night, members of Pottsville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 44 and the city council have come up with a few concepts that might save jobs, according to FOP President Brian Kotzmoyer.
“It was a very positive meeting,” Kotzmoyer said.
“Both sides realized we’re doing our best to try to avoid layoffs. The officers put forth some ideas about cost-savings initiatives and some things they can do to generate more revenue on our end,” said Councilman Mark Atkinson, who chairs the council’s public safety committee.
When asked for his thoughts after the meeting, Councilman Michael P. Halcovage, who chairs the finance committee, said: “We’re just throwing around ideas. I can’t give you any specifics.”
D.G. Yuengling and Son, which proudly bills itself as America’s oldest brewery, has something new to brag about.
The Pottsville company, whose sales surged last year when it entered Ohio, has become the largest American beer-maker by surpassing Boston Beer in 2011 sales.
That’s right. A beer launched by a German immigrant in 1829 to quench the thirst of Pennsylvania coal miners can claim a distinction once held by Anheuser-Busch, maker of the iconic Budweiser brand, which got gobbled up by a Belgian company a few years ago.
It’s a surprising story about how an underdog prevailed while much larger American brewers fell under foreign ownership. Even beer market experts could not have foreseen such rapid changes.
America’s oldest brewery, D. G. Yuengling & Son, will hold the first annual Oktoberfest at the SteelStacks performing arts venue in South Side Bethlehem beginning in 2011. I can think of another former Bethlehem Steel site that could use an awesome brownfield transformation like the one in Bethlehem. Hint, hint!
The Pottsville based brewery plans to hold the annual event the last week of September and the first week of October each year in a 130 x 160 foot tent which will be christened the Yuengling Festehalle. Yuengling will make a new seasonal Oktoberfest beer for the occasion.
Yuengling also plans to sponsor 200 concerts in the Musikfest Cafe which is currently under construction at the former site of Bethlehem Steel. The cafe will be completed this time next year. Cream of the crop guitar manufacturer, C. F. Martin will sponsor a lobby in the cafe that will feature photographs of famous musicians playing Martin guitars.
Martin’s global headquarters and primary factory are located in Nazareth which is located 4 miles north of Bethlehem.