Mmmmm…., Black & Tan Ice Cream

I have lived most of my life in PA but didn’t know Yuengling made ice cream; makes sense for them to have diversified during prohibition.

I’ll give it a try when it is available, sometimes its the small pleasures that keep us all sane.

yuengling ice cream

Here comes Yuengling’s Ice Cream

Made near Tamaqua, it’ll hit grocery store shelves by mid-February.

The iconic Pennsylvania-made Yuengling’s Ice Cream rolls back  into production in Tamaqua.

By Dan Sullivan, Of The Morning  Call9:33 p.m. EST, January 16, 2014
Life doesn’t offer many do-overs, but David Yuengling  was granted one this week when, after a 28-year hiatus, Yuengling’s Ice Cream  went back into production.

The premium all-natural ice cream is being made at Leiby’s Dairy Inc. near  Tamaqua and will be available in 10 flavors by mid-February.

Initially the ice cream will be sold at Acme, Weis and select independent  grocery stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and  West Virginia. It will retail for between $5.49 and $5.99 per quart. A launch  into other major grocery stores is anticipated for later this year.

VIDEO: Yuengling's Ice Cream back in business

PICTURES: Yuengling's Ice Cream back in production

Yuengling’s Ice Cream was first sold in 1920 when David Yuengling’s  great-grandfather, Frank Yuengling, by then already the third generation to run  the D.G. Yuengling & Son brewery, had to figure out a way to diversify  during Prohibition.

David Yuengling’s grandfather took over the ice cream business, then called  Yuengling Dairy Products, in 1935. David’s father became president of the  Pottsville dairy business in 1963. In 1985, Yuengling’s Dairy ceased  production.

The new incarnation of Yuengling’s Ice Cream will be unaffiliated with the  Pottsville brewery, owned by David Yuengling’s second cousin and Forbes  billionaire Dick Yuengling.

“I graduated college in 1984 and had decided to go into computer science,”  David Yuengling, the company’s president, recalled on the fourth day of  production at the Leiby’s Dairy plant in Walker Township. “My brother, who was  four years older, was already a banker. Neither one of us wanted to get into the  ice cream business, so my father decided to shut it down and get into other  things.”

When David Yuengling was approached by Pottsville native Rob Bohorad, a  family friend and startup veteran, with the idea of relaunching the business, he  seized the opportunity to turn back time on a decision for which he’d held a  tinge of regret.

“When you get out of college, you know everything,” Yuengling quipped just  before leading a tour of the ice cream plant that churns out upward of 72,000  gallons of ice cream for 15 other labels and its own Leiby’s Premium Ice Cream  brand, a third-generation family business.

As fate would have it, Leiby’s co-owner, Bill Parks, is David Yuengling’s  neighbor and has become a mentor of sorts.

“I had the opportunity to change a decision I made 30 years ago, and I  thought it would be fun,” Yuengling said.

Despite all the nostalgia, some aspects of the new operation are decidedly  different.

This time around, the ice cream contains no artificial ingredients.  Due  largely to changing consumer preferences, the 10 new recipes — five based  loosely on old Yuengling standbys and five based on “current trends in ice cream  flavors” — will contain milk, sugar and cream as well as mostly plant-based and  vegetable-based flavorings, Yuengling said.

Among the flavors are old standbys such as chocolate and vanilla, but also  black and tan and espresso chocolate chip.

The manufacturing plant, which employs 37 and has been operating since 2000,  can automatically pack, label and shrink-wrap 40 quarts of the rich-and-creamy  ice cream per minute. Before, one person packed individual half-gallons by  hand.

“When we made ice cream before, all this machinery didn’t exist,” Yuengling  said with a Willie Wonka wave of his hand. “We had one guy with a single  container filling one half-gallon at a time. When we ceased production, the  machinery was just coming out and the larger companies used it, but we  didn’t.”

Back in the day, Yuengling’s Dairy also maintained its own fleet of trucks  and offered direct-to-store delivery. Now the flash-frozen ice cream will go to  a central storage facility for distribution to grocery store warehouses.

But the individual touch will continue, said Bohorad, the company’s chief  operating officer. Bohorad said he will handle the financial end and meet with  retail customers south of Harrisburg, while Yuengling will oversee operations  and production and personally serve customers north of Harrisburg.

“We plan to focus first on areas Yuengling has been in before,” Bohorad said.  “Our plan is for long-term slow growth to build up a good business. We didn’t  want to expand too quickly.”

Ingredients also will be sourced as locally as possible.

“About 85 percent of the ingredients come from Pennsylvania,” Yuengling said,  adding that he recently toured one of the local dairies.

Bohorad said the first thing his business partner did was to seek the  blessing of Dick Yuengling.

“Dick said, ‘David, that’s what your side of the family did for many, many  years, so all I ask is that you make a quality product,’ and so that’s our goal — and he wanted some samples.”

At the end of a whirlwind plant tour that included a sampling of chocolate  marshmallow scooped out by David Yuengling himself, he recalled doing the same  thing as a teenager at the family ice cream shop on 22nd Street in  Pottsville.

“I’m a prime example that you can get into one industry and at any time you  can change and wind up doing something totally different.”

dsullivan@mcall.com

Original HERE.