Walker Township, Schuylkill County -- Quarts of chocolate marshmallow ice cream passed through the assembly line Thursday at Leiby's Dairy in Walker Township. This isn't just any brand of ice cream. The name on the containers is Yuengling -- the same surname behind America's oldest brewery. "We started making ice cream in 1920 and made it all the way up until 1985," said David Yuengling who is now Yuengling's Ice Cream president.
Mr. Yuengling's great grandfather, Frank Yuengling, initially launched into the ice cream industry as a way to offset losses during America's prohibition period of the 20th century. Despite a thriving business, Yuengling's Ice Cream ceased production three decades ago. David Yuengling decided it was time for a sweet comeback. "People have always asked me why we stopped making it and they suggested that we should start making it again so I'm just kind of following up on people's demands."
Mr. Yuengling teamed up with fellow Schuylkill County native Rob Bohorad to relaunch the Yuengling Ice Cream brand and capitalize on a well-known name. "People may buy it once because of the name but we hope they continue buying it because of the quality," said Mr. Bohorad who now serves as the company's chief operating officer.
Now before you ask, Yuengling's Ice Cream does not make a beer flavor ice cream. However, it does offer up something called Black & Tan which is a combination dark chocolate and sea salt caramel. It's one of ten initial flavors that Yuengling's is launching during its ice cream business reboot. "We wanted to come out with some really good flavors to start with and it was just more manageable," said Mr. Yuengling who added that he's looking at adding new flavors either later this year or next year.
Yuengling's Ice Cream will be available by mid-February in Pennsylvania and six other states at supermarkets and independently owned grocery stores. Before that, the company is donating the first six quarts of each flavor to be auctioned off for charity.