Brewer Richard "Dick" Yuengling's embrace of Republican Donald Trump for president upset some beer drinkers in the Pottsville company's front yard, Philadelphia, where rival Hillary Clinton expects to poll a fat Democratic majority next week.
The billionaire fifth- generation owner of the fourth-largest U.S. beermaker last week lent a brewhouse to one of Trump's sons as a platform to complain that high taxes and "overregulation" are "killing" and "destroying" American business.
Trump can fix that, said Yuengling, 73. "Our guys are behind your father. We need him in there. The government is just in our face all the time."
Next day, State Rep. Brian Sims (D., Phila.) posted a social-media appeal condemning the payment of beer money to an owner who backs Trump's "agenda that is anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, anti-racial minority and anti-equality."
Sims called on 15 bars in his Center City district by name to undraft Yuengling. At least some from that list, plus others in Washington and Baltimore, promptly pledged to replace "Vitamin Y" with Trumpless brews.
The Yuenglings didn't return calls asking whether the patriarch's daughters and heirs, two of whom are senior company managers, are also pro-Trump.
It's no surprise Yuengling votes Republican. He was a Bush delegate at the 2000 convention in Philadelphia. He or his managers have loyally contributed to a number of Republicans, from Tom Corbett to State Sens. David Argall and John Rafferty (now running for attorney general) and state reps.
Yuengling has backed antiunion "Right to Work" efforts since employees at his flagship brewery quit the Teamsters in 2008. Gov. Wolf, a Democrat with union support, wouldn't serve Yuengling beer at inaugural parties.
Yuengling sees Trump as a Republican with a familiar pro-business federal agenda. "OSHA, EPA, there's nothing wrong with those organizations, but they love to fine you," Yuengling told a Family Business and Entrepreneurship forum at St. Joseph's University on Oct. 9. "Trump wonders why people are leaving the country - it's one of the reasons."
He knows federal fines: Earlier this year, the EPA ordered Yuengling to pay $2.8 million for repeatedly dumping sugar and yeast into Pottsville's city wastewater treatment system and failing to report it. The company said it also spent $7 million on upgrades.
OSHA fined Yuengling for a 2011 incident exposing 10 workers to "highly hazardous chemicals."
Clinton wants higher taxes on profitable corporations and rich people who built and own them. Democrats also favor tighter enforcement of pollution and labor laws.
Trump says he'll work with Republicans in Congress to cut business taxes and ease environmental enforcement.
If you're Yuengling, which do you vote for?
But there are a lot more drinkers than brewers. For many, social factors are more important than the boss' profits.
Yuengling might review the political observations of another Pottsville native, blockbuster author John O'Hara.
In his novel Ten North Frederick, smart, inclusive Republican leaders, who knew business owners were a permanent minority, recruited both "Union men and Company men" to county office. The Irish Catholic GOP boss mourns at African American funerals. He seeks clemency for a Polish convicted killer to win immigrant votes.
Yuengling understands business, his financial interests, and which side he's on. It's the social factors in this combative national election that may kink his taplines.