After nearly three decades, Yuengling's Ice Cream could be back on store shelves by early next year.
David Yuengling, president of Yuengling's Ice Cream, made the announcement this week. He is the great-grandson of Frank D. Yuengling, who started the original ice cream company in 1920.
"I've gotten to a point in my life where I can do something different," Yuengling, 51, said, "so I thought continuing a family tradition is a good thing to do."
Frank D. Yuengling started Yuengling's Ice Cream to supplement the family's beer-making business in Pottsville during Prohibition. In 1929, the company expanded with branches in Allentown and York. It changed its name the following year to Yuengling Dairy Products.
Ownership was transferred to Frederick Yuengling Sr. in 1935. David Yuengling's father, Frederick G. "Fritz" Yuengling Jr., became company president in 1963.
In 1985, Yuengling's Dairy ceased production.
Officially, the new Yuengling's Ice Cream is unaffiliated with the famous D.G. Yuengling and Son brewery. Family ties, however, have not been forgotten. David Yuengling, of Orwigsburg, is second-cousin to Richard L. "Dick" Yuengling, the president and owner of the brewery.
David Yuengling said one of his first steps before relaunching the ice-cream business was to speak with Dick Yuengling, a billionaire who last week made it onto Forbes magazine's list of 400 richest Americans.
"If he had said to us, I don't think it's a good idea, we wouldn't have done it," David said. "He said his only concern was that we come out with a quality product, and that's what we've done."
The ice cream will be produced at Leiby's Premium Ice Cream in Tamaqua. Leiby's — which is co-owned by David Yuengling's neighbor, Bill Parks — makes ice cream under more than a dozen brand names in addition to its own.
"It will be a distinctly Yuengling ice cream. We manufacture to spec [specification]," Parks said. "They sign off on what their recipes will be and what they want for ingredients."
Yuengling said some of his recipes will be loosely based on his father's, and some will new. Either way, the new product will be all natural even though in his father's day artificial ingredients were common, he said.
The ice cream will be distinguished by its high butterfat content and low "over run," or air content, he explained. "Those are the two most important things when you think about the quality of ice cream."
"Consumer tastes have changed, so we had to change," he said.
Yuengling said he still fondly remembers working for the ice-cream business during summers as a high school and college student.
Despite ceasing production, Yuengling Dairy never really dissolved, he said. It just changed its name to Yuengling Corp. and was involved in outside investments. Yuengling, meanwhile, had a career in the computer software industry, working for the likes of IBM and running his own business.
Rob Bohorad will serve as chief operating officer of Yuengling's Ice Cream. Yuengling said Bohorad is a longtime family friend who suggested bringing back the ice cream.
So far, Yuengling and Bohorad are the only people working for Yuengling's Ice Cream, whose office in Orwigsburg is under construction.
Yuengling's Ice Cream is expected to be available in March, costing up to $6 a quart. There are no plans to sell a beer flavored ice cream, Yuengling said, though one offering — a mix of chocolate and caramel — will be called "black and tan."
Mark Gilger Jr. of The Pottsville Republican & Herald contributed to this report.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun