by Travis Edwards
(Beer Delegate, DC, USA)
Yuengling beer: available
Visit the UNOB's Pennsylvania Beer Guide
As with most people, I have had my smatterings of truly depressing moments in life. Sure, they're part of life and whatnot, but it's really not too bad until it hits you over the head and you realize you're smack in the middle of one of those life moments.
As a kid, flying was always the most popular superhero choice, but when you're standing at the register in a grocery store at 11:50 on a Friday night with nothing but potato chips, an air freshener and a six-pack of Yuengling beer, that invisible thing sounds really appealing.
The night wasn't a total bust, I suppose, because the potato chips were good and the air freshener worked. The Yuengling beer, however, didn't live up to its part of the unsaid bargain to please my taste buds. When the main selling point of a beer is to advertise that they are "America's oldest brewery" and nothing else, something has to be wrong.
Being the oldest at something is really only worth bragging about if you did something interesting, or were able to move your product out of a ten-state boundary in almost a hundred years of existence. Yuengling failed at these two tasks, but still enjoy boasting about their dreary existence in providing relatively cheap beer that, as far as I can tell, didn't kill me.
Perhaps Yuengling beer's strongest point is its name and logo, which trump the contents of the bottle. On every bottle, an eagle, for some reason, is lifting a keg over some rocks behind the bold and confusing name presented to us in italics.
I suppose eagles are American, beer comes in kegs and rocks could possibly be present when drinking beer, so the bird's cocked head and slightly-open beak (Is it communicating? Is it out of breath?) may put some bizarre individuals in the mood for finding out what lies beneath the instantaneous bad sign of a twist-off cap, but I was forced to pause and ruminate over the name.
Their website claims that it's German, and because I don't speak German and really don't have any strong plans to learn it anytime soon, I'll have to assume it connotes something as strong and as powerful as that eagle on their logo, which looks like it's eating gnats out of the air.
The beer itself should never be seen outside of college refrigerators which lack the ability to have standards, or for those who don't feel quite depressed enough to buy a 24-pack of Keystone Light
, but depressed enough to buy beer which would probably work as anti-freeze in a car engine.
The more adventurous route in life would be to buy some apple juice and yeast, stick it next to your radiator for six months and drink it with a group of people who find the concept amusing enough to buy you real beer out of sympathy.