While browsing Yelp yesterday I read that there is a Yuengling Brewery near USF that offers free parking, tours, and free beer at the end of the tour of the brewery. One Yelper said “FREE BEER…I could end the review there” and I was already starting to think that I have to go to this place and try this out. The Yuengling Brewery is located on 30th Street (aka Bruce B. Downs) right between Fowler Avenue and Busch Boulevard and tours are given daily at 9am and 1pm. My friend and I decided to visit the 1pm tour today and constructively spend some of our copious amounts of winter vacation free time at the Yuengling Brewery.
We arrived and found ample parking. There was more people than usual today because of the holiday season and inside there were people from all over. Some people were from Ohio or states even farther than that. The crowd was mixed with some families and couples and then groups of friends. They split us off into two tour groups because of the high number of people. Unfortunately most of the workers were on vacation because of the holidays so we didn’t get to see everything in action, but the tour guides did a good job of explaining things without the busy workers around.
A bike rack with Yuengling pimped out on it. There is a store here where you can buy all kinds of Yuengling merchandise from rugs and t-shirts to backpacks and toys. Prices were average though there were some cool items that I don’t think I have seen anywhere else being sold here.
Our tour guide was very informative and humorous. You could tell she really did her homework and knew vast amounts of things about beer and Yuengling. I took down a few facts I learned today via my personal twitter:
- Yuengling first opened in 1829.
- Yuengling is in 13 states behind Samuel Adams which is in 50.
- Yuengling used to make dairy and ice cream during Prohibition.
- 1 brew is 500 barrels.
- Yuengling’s Hops come from Minnesota. Barley from Washington State.
- Light is the biggest contaminent of beer. That’s why kegs are the best.
- Only brown bottles protect the beer. Green bottles don’t protect it…they only use them for marketing.
One interesting thing I learned is that Yuengling family members do not automatically inherit the company. They have to invest in it, this ensures that the people who are involved in the company really care about the company’s future and put themselves into the business. It’s the first time I have heard of this and actually makes lots of sense to me (they didn’t want to just hand things to their kids, they want their kids to work for things and appreciate what they have worked hard on).
We were taken to the back where there are railroad tracks below and a train directly enters the brewery to drop off goods and pick them up.
Our next stop was in the Quality Assurance room where I learned that there are about 2000 attributes to tasting beer (Wow that’s a big number). Their main chemist Randy was not in, but the tour guide did a good job of explaining to us what he does and that it is very difficult to be on a beer tasting panel because it requires a special kind of palette. I have heard great things about Randy via Yelp reviews and the tour guide informed us that he has been working there for 38 years. Quite a long time.
We then entered where you can see the beer bottles actually being made and see it all in action. Pretty cool to see in person, a photo simply cannot do it justice.
Our last stop was these huge tanks of beer. Apparently one of these has enough beer to last you over 50 years if you drink a six pack of beer every single day! I think they look kind of eerie like alien space pods or something.
A showcase of different Yuengling beers.
Once the tour was complete (took about an hour) and we had learned all kinds of new things about beer and Yuengling we headed back to the place where we started and were given free Yuengling beer. It doesn’t get much better than this.
The Yuengling Brewery Tour was well worth our time and was completely free. There really is no reason not to check it out and it was entertaining, informative, free, and something fun to do during our free time. I’d recommend it to any of my friends and even if you’re not 21 you can still get some free soda at the end. I have probably driven past this brewery a thousand times and never know what a cool place I was passing by.
Yuengling Brewing Company of Tampa
Address: 11111 N 30th St. Tampa, FL 33612
Phone Number: (813) 972-8500