American businesses often have a storied past and few have experienced the endless ups and downs as the brewing industry. Forced to deal with prohibition and countless legal and social challenges, American breweries have been shaped and reshaped in more ways than one can count. One brewery that has been through its share of good times and bad is Yuengling and in this book, Images of America: D.G. Yuengling & Son, author Robert Musson takes the reader on a pictorial journey through history, showing how this brewing business met its challenges and emerged larger and stronger than ever before.
A Look at the Past
D.G. Yuengling & Son is a historical/pictorial narrative about the oldest brewery in America, Yuengling Brewery, a business founded in Pottsville, Pennsylvania in 1829. The book begins with a foreword from Dick Yuengling, the latest generation of leadership to run the company, followed by a brief introduction. The book then launches into the chapters, with pictures on every page and short narratives describing each photograph and its significance to the company.
This book walks the reader through Yuengling’s past, starting with a photograph of David Gottlieb Yuengling, the German immigrant who founded his namesake business back in 1829. The book then moves forward through the decades and through each of the six generations who have run the company. The book includes pictures on every page and they allow a glimpse into the important people, the colorful advertisements, the changes in packaging, and other significant events that have helped shape the company we know today.
Images of America: D.G. Yuengling & Son is an interesting walk through American brewing history. With pictures on every page and brief narrations, it is a quick read and a mostly visual book that allows readers a chance to actually see the different people, places, and things that have come together to form one of the nation’s most enduring business operations. With each turn of the pages, readers will discover something new about Yuengling and gain a better understanding of its colorful past, ever- changing present, and ambitious plans for the future as it moves closer to its 200 year anniversary.
Each person who reads Images of America: D.G. Yuengling & Son will come away with his/her own intriguing moment, but what I like best about the book is the way it helps the reader connect with the company. Reading lengthy chapters is one way to get to know a business and its people, but the experience is entirely different and, in many ways, more memorable when a photograph is tied to an event or individual. As you read through this book, you get to know people and events on a more intimate level. It could be a picture of one of the Yuengling family members, a snapshot of the brewing equipment, or a picture of an old advertisement for the brand. Whatever the moment, it is brought to life via the hundreds of historic photographs included within.
Because this book focuses on the pictures, the narrations are limited and that means the reader may not be able to soak up as much information about Yuengling as he/she might prefer. I noticed this myself as I read. On more than one occasion, I wished the narratives would have told me a little more. But with so many historic photographs, there isn’t as much need for additional detail as you might think. The pictures themselves tell a story of their own and they keep the reader intrigued from beginning to end.
Forward to the Future
Yuengling Brewing has been around for a long time and its interesting past is illustrated well in the pages of Images of America: D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. It is a nice little piece of brewing history that walks the reader through almost 200 years of Yuengling and introduces the many people who have helped make the company the success it is today. It’s an educational and intriguing read and author Robert Musson does an effective job presenting the important events that have shaped the company and the influential people who have worked tirelessly to bring Yuengling beer to the masses.
Here is some more information on this book:
D.G Yuengling & Son, Inc., $21.99, Arcadia Publishing. Available at local retailers, online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or (888) 313-2665.
Note: I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading the book