In September 2020, Yuengling and Moulson Coors announced an agreement to begin distributing Yuengling beer in Wisconsin by the end of 2021. Nearly three years later, those of us who don’t travel to the East Coast without bringing back a few cases of Yuengling are still waiting.
I don’t know if Yuengling is one of my favorite beers because I can’t have it every day or if the appeal is mainly the mystique of having to drive hundreds of miles to get one.
No such doubts are connected to my love of Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest. Every year during the last week in July, I start making side trips in the grocery store to see if they have Oktoberfest yet. It’s officially available August through October, but sometimes it arrives a few days early, like this year when I went into Kwik Trip on July 25 and danced out with a couple of six packs.
I have been in love with Leinie’s Märzen-style beer for more than a decade, and as my wallet allows I have been known to stockpile it so I don’t have to give it up when the rest of the world does. Last year I had my last Oktoberfest of the year just before Christmas.
I’m not a heavy beer drinker — I rarely have more than two bottles a night — but I do love the crisp taste of Oktoberfest. In fact, I had a third tonight in order to properly prepare to describe my admiration for this brew.
You have to wonder why the beverage with a German name that literally translates to “March beer” is not available in March or eight other months of the year. My search engine tells me that in 1553 Bavaria forbade brewers from making it except between Sept. 29 and April 23 because high summertime temperatures would make it go bad. But surely in the last 570 years we may have developed refrigeration techniques to preserve the beer’s flavor.
As I said, every so often I will have a Yuengling and wonder if the appeal is in its scarcity. Not so with Leinenkugel Oktoberfest. If I could have two (or three) every night year-round, I know I would be one happy camper. And it wouldn’t matter if Yuengling ever makes it to Wisconsin — although I hear they make a pretty good Märzen, too.