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Yuengling Wants in on Bud Light Fallout

Only its "fair share."

Bud Light's marketing missteps and the subsequent backlash led to a cavernous void in the market. According to the AP, from April to June, Anheuser-Busch InBev's revenue fell some 10.5%, mostly due to the drop in Bud Light sales volume β€” that's a lot of beers.

But consumers haven't stopped drinking, and while Anheuser-Busch is selling off brands to cannabis companies, other beer makers are stepping up to fill the void.

Though Modelo jumped into the top spot as America's best-selling beer, other brands are also seeing explosive growth. The beer rush has caused DG Yuengling & Son to continue selling out, and it's now America's fourth fastest-growing beer brand. 

According to a new report from the New York Post, sales have spiked 22% for the company through early last month, and that's with distribution in only half of the country β€” Yuengling is only sold in 26 states, though it is certainly craved by more. 

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Sales for the company's top beer, Yuengling Lager, increased by 80% year-over-year from Aug. 12 to Sept. 9, 2023. During the same time frame, Bud Light dropped another 27%. 

The explosive growth has led to logistical problems for the nearly 200-year-old Pottsville, Pennsylvania-based beer maker, which is having issues keeping shelves stocked. According to the Post, larger brands are trying to poach Yuengling's shelf space, prompting the company's fifth-generation president, Dick Yuengling, to tell the paper that he just wants his "fair share of the Bud Light debacle."

The company is struggling with distributors who aren't restocking shelves fast enough and trying to force price increases, and stores that haven't ceded shelf space. While Anheuser-Busch may be down, they are not out, and the giant is using the full weight of the company's resources to offer deep discounts and rebates in an effort to maintain market position.

Yuengling makes beer in two breweries in Pottsville and another in Tampa, Florida. A recent joint venture with Molson Coors, The Yuengling Company, was also established to expand production and distribution west. The company most recently expanded into the Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma markets.

Yuengling has the potential to grow. For example, the company, which has been family-owned and operated since 1829, made 2.2 million barrels of beer last year, and it could bump it to 2.7 million β€” as long as retailers and distributors give them a chance.

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