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Yuengling releases first new flagship beer in 17 years

D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc., one of the largest U.S. craft-beer producers, is releasing a new year-round beer for the first time in 17 years and ending production of some seasonal beers.

The Schuylkill County-based company said this week it is adding Yuengling Golden Pilsner to its lineup of flagship styles.

Golden Pilsner is an all-malt beer that combines pale and specialty malts, according to Yuengling.

“We spent over 18 months developing this beer and believe it is a great choice for outdoor, social and active occasions,” said Jen Yuengling, the company’s vice president of operations and a sixth-generation family brewer.

Golden Pilsner is designed to complement Yuengling’s seven other flagship styles: Yuengling Lager, Light Lager, Black & Tan, Lord Chesterfield Ale, Porter, Premium and Premium Light.

The new beer will be available April 1 in cans and bottles in several markets, including the Harrisburg area, Schuylkill County, Cleveland, Ohio, Atlanta, Ga., the Virginia Beach area and Rhode Island.

In Florida, the pilsner will be available in the Tampa and Fort Myers areas as well as Orlando. From there, the product will be distributed throughout Florida and Georgia. It will be available across Yuengling’s entire 22-state footprint by the end of the year.

Along with the new beer, Yuengling also has decided that it will focus more this year on its core brands, so it is ending production of two seasonal beers, the Summer Wheat and IPL. However, Yuengling Oktoberfest will continue to be available each fall, officials said.

The decision, the company said, was based on a changing consumer and retail environment. There are now more than 6,000 breweries in the country, including a growing number of craft-beer companies that are distributing a larger mix of beer styles.

Pennsylvania’s recent loosening of longstanding restrictions on alcohol sales has also made it easier for consumers to discover new beer brands.

Among other changes, the Act 39 liquor law reform in 2016 allowed supermarkets and convenience-store chains to sell wine in addition to beer. Act 39 also gave Pennsylvania beer, wine and spirit makers the ability to sell other alcoholic products for on-site consumption, which has helped spur more craft producers, including cider makers and spirit makers.

Lawmakers chased Act 39 with Act 166, which granted beer distributors flexibility to sell six-packs, four-packs, singles for mix-a-six and larger bottles of rare or unusual beers. Distributors had been limited to selling cases and 12-packs.

The Act 166 changes took effect in early 2017.

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