Beer drinkers across America are calling for a boycott of Yuengling after owner Richard ‘Dick’ Yuengling endorsed Donald Trump for president. Their brewery, based in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, is America’s oldest. Dick owns 100 percent of the company, he bought out his father in 1985. Pennsyvlania state representative Brian Sims is leading a boycott of the beer saying, “D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. believes that an agenda that is anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, anti-racial minority and anti-equality is best for them and that tells me all I need to know about what they think is best for their own customers.” Sims signed his Facebook post, “a former customer of 17 years.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Dick Yuengling Says ‘Our Guys Are Behind Your Father, We Need Him in There’
Donald Trump’s son, Eric, visited the Yuengling brewery on October 25. The Reading Eagle reports that Dick told gathered reporters there, “Our guys are behind your father. We need him in there.”
Speaking to the New York Times, Pennsylvania’s first openly gay legislator, Brian Sims, said, “Everybody understands that the dollars that we now put into the marketplace have the potential to come back at us. I want my dollars spent in a way that at the very least doesn’t hurt me, and hopefully supports me.” The Times report notes that there has been no official response from Yuengling regarding the boycott. Though when contacted by a Forbes reporter, Dick said that he would “welcome” Hillary Clinton for a tour but added, “I’ve said enough.”
In a rousing Facebook post, Sims called for gay bars in Philadelphia to stop serving the beer. One pub, JR’s Bar, in Washington D.C. posted a video on their Facebook page of the beer being removed. The bar’s owner says in the clip, “When people support things that don’t support us, then we don’t support them.”
2. Dick Has a Net Worth of Around 2 Billion Dollars
According to Forbes, Dick has a net worth of just under two billion dollars. The magazine’s report notes that the beer is famed in Pennsylvania and can be found in 18 other states along the East Coast. Forbes reports that the beer has revenues of $550 million. He bought out his father for 100 percent of the company in 1985. That same report adds that Dick “drives a dirty Toyota Camry to work every morning and wears Wrangler jeans.”
Dick told LehighValleyBusiness.com in 2013 that he dropped out of high school to join the family business. It was started by his great-grandfather, Frederick, in 1829. He left the company in the 1970s because his father refused to expand. Dick rejoined in 1985 to buy his father out.
3. His Daughters Work for Him at Yunegling
In May 2016, told Forbes about his plans to have his four daughters inherit Yuengling from him. On his official profile, it mentions that all four of Dick’s daughters work at Yuengling. According to Lehigh University’s website, two of Dick’s daughters, Jennifer Yuengling-Franquet and Wendy Yuengling-Baker, graduated from the school before going into the family business.
He mentioned his conservative leanings in the Forbes interview saying, “The rules and the regulations and the paperwork — it’s horrible. We don’t need the government to tell us everything.” He adds, “I’m the owner of the oldest brewery in the country. I’m trying to compete with Anheuser-Busch, which is owned by Belgians, and I’m sure the tax they pay is far less than the percentage we pay in the United States. How do you compete?”
Dick has a history with the Republican party, in 2000 he was a delegate for George W. Bush.
4. In 2015, Pennsylvania’s Governor Banned the Serving of Yuengling at His Swearing-in Party
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported in January 2015 that Yuengling was banned from the inauguration party for Democratic Governor Tom Wolfe.
5. Yuengling Isn’t the First Beer to Venture Into the World of Conservative Politics
Yuengling and Coors share similar politics. In 1975, Coors made news after they gave a $250,000 grant to the conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation. While in 2004, Coors’ chairman Pete Coors ran for the United States Senate in Colorado as a Republican.