Yuengling Traditional Lager is an American Amber Lager, a style brewed with more malt backbone than lighter, similar beers. In one of the company’s now ubiquitous television advertisements, several light beers are poured into pint glasses, and viewers are prompted to notice Yuengling’s caramel color in comparison to the lineup of big light beers showcased.
Owing to its independent status as a family-owned brewery, Yuengling qualifies as a craft brewery with the Brewer’s Association. Most of the beers the company brews, however, are closer in style to those made by Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors, in that they’re less flavorful and lower in alcohol.
The company’s flagship Traditional Lager checks in at 4.4 percent alcohol by volume. In color, it’s somewhere between that of bourbon whiskey and root beer. Its aroma is mild and slightly sweet. Inhale too deeply, though, and you get the scent of walking into a recently soaped-down bar room at 11 a.m.
The first sip produces caramel (from the amber malt) and just a touch of grassy bitterness. If you’re a fan of India Pale Ales — or even the much hoppier Samuel Adams Boston Lager — you might not even notice the hop bitterness here, but there’s just enough here to balance out the beer and make it enjoyable.
Despite the official classification, it would be hard to mistake Yuengling for your favorite craft beer. Yuengling is designed to go down easy without filling you up or tiring your palate. Its lack of depth and overall sweet flavor profile make it difficult to pair with food. But, if you’re looking for a beer to drink a few of with your friends, Yuengling fits the bill.