2 of the 4 sisters behind Yuengling, America’s largest independent brewery, explain how they’re making the 190-year-old family beer business their own

yuengling sisters

Yuengling is the oldest brewery in America and the largest independent craft brewer, producing more than 2 million barrels of beer annually.
Jen and Wendy Yuengling are responsible for the operations and marketing, respectively, of the family beer business, D.G. Yuengling & Son.
Their father, Dick, began passing on responsibilities to his four daughters over the last couple decades.
Jen and Wendy explained that their main challenge is determining how to push the brand forward without compromising a legacy business with millions of lifelong fans.

Four sisters are behind Yuengling, the oldest brewery in America.

For an episode of Business Insider’s podcast “This Is Success,” we spoke with Jen Yuengling, in charge of operations, and Wendy Yuengling, chief administrative officer.

Their father, Dick, took over the family business back in 1985. He was the one who turned it from a local brewery into America’s largest independent craft brewery — last year it produced more than 2 million barrels of beer.

Now it’s his daughters’ turn to take the business in new directions. This year, they released a new pilsner beer, and while that’s a far cry from some trendy IPA, it’s the first new Yuengling product in 17 years.

Jen and Wendy told me what it was like when their dad sat them down and asked if they wanted to run the company that carried their last name.

Listen to the full episode here:

Subscribe to “This Is Success” on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or your favorite podcast app. Check out previous episodes with:

Designer Pnina Tornai
Harry’s cofounder Jeff Raider
Drybar founder Alli Webb
Comedy icon Caroline Hirsch

Transcript edited for clarity.

Wendy Yuengling: It was probably mid to late ’90s, where we had a sort of come-to-Jesus discussion with our dad. At that point, we had the one brewery and we were probably producing twice as much as the plant was capable of producing and he had some tough decisions to make. So, you know, he brought us together. We were away in Florida. It was spring break or something. And —

Richard Feloni: And how old were you guys at this point?

Wendy Yuengling: We were in college and Jen was grad school.

Jen Yuengling: I was in grad school, so I think between the four of us, it was late teens, early 20s.

Wendy Yuengling: And I think our youngest sister was just finishing high school at the time. And he basically said, “Hey, this is a family business. I can invest and keep it going if you guys are interested.” But he really didn’t pressure us at all. There was never any pressure along the way to join, but he just wanted to gauge our interest and see if it was worth investing and continuing to keep the business growing and keep it alive for the next generation. And, fortunately, Jennifer committed to it and Debbie committed to it right there.

Jen Yuengling: And I think that’s an important comment, too, is he never put any pressure on us to become involved in the family business, but …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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