Tampa's Yuengling Brewery draws fire for supporting Trump

Yuengling's decision to support Donald Trump could have consequences for the brewing giant.

Tampa, FL -- Yuengling Brewery is by no means the only business to back a particular politician or social issue.

But as the nation’s oldest brewery is rapidly finding out, backing a cause or candidate can come at a cost.

On Monday, Donald Trump’s son Eric was visiting Yuengling’s headquarters in Pennsylvania, when the brewery’s owner, Richard Yuengling Jr., announced the company was backing Trump.

Within hours, hundreds of loyal beer drinkers were taking to social media.

Many of them, like Heather Cling from Tampa, quickly vowed to find a new favorite. 

“I was really disappointed. I drink Yuengling as my sort of go to beer for a really long time, and hearing that made me not order it,” said Cling.

The brewery brouhaha hits close to home, since Yuengling has a big presence and brewery in Tampa Bay.

The controversy underscores the risk businesses take by taking a political stand. 

“I tend to not support businesses that don't align with my beliefs,” said Aaron Dignan outside the new World of Beer location in Tampa.

The owner of Tampa's White and Healthy Dental, Dr. Nicholas Kavouklis, doesn't have a problem with it.

That's his huge “Trump” flag thousands of commuters pass every day along I-275 in Tampa. 

Office workers admit some angry patients have threatened to take their business elsewhere. But others customers, they say, have come in - specifically because of the flag. 

“I guess I see them as two totally separate things,” said World of Beer customer Brent Vonhorn. “If I like a product or service I'll use it.”

“I don't think they're putting politics into the beer, are they?” added Dan Holm.

Yuengling is by no means alone.

Hobby Lobby, Target and Chick-Fil-A were just some of the more recent corporate targets when they took a stand on social issues.

“I don’t think it’s a thing that everybody does, right? I think there are a few of us that are stuck to certain things [and] certain beliefs,” said Cristina, uncertain about boycotting to get her message out.

Businesses weigh the risk. Consumers are weighing product against principle.

And for each customer like Cling who says, “It's really disappointing and I hope they change their minds.”

There’s another like Jeromy Houser who doesn’t let politics interfere with his preferences.

“I'm going to eat it or I'm gonna drink it. Doesn't matter what anybody else says" said Houser.

A world of opinions. Even in the world of beer.


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment