Yuengling may be brewed in Pottsville, but the company’s presence is growing in the Lehigh Valley thanks, in part, to a partnership forged with an Allentown firm.
The Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling at ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem opened in 2011 and not only bears the name of America’s oldest brewer, but helps build business for the nonprofit.
“Every one of Yuengling’s beers is in our building,” said Curt Mosel, vice president of marketing and public relations at ArtsQuest. “There’s a lot of local corporate interest at ArtsQuest. When you look at a brand like Yuengling, we felt it was a natural fit. We’re always trying to get the Yuengling name out there.”
Yuengling has been a supporter of ArtsQuest for years and decided to enter into a five-year sponsorship of the site through a partnership with Cornerstone Advisors, an investment advisory services firm in Allentown. In 1989, Yuengling formed a partnership with Cornerstone for advice on other business matters and this relationship grew to include a presence at the ArtsQuest Center.
Jack Yaissle, president and CEO of Cornerstone, has been a big proponent of ArtsQuest, and he’s also one of Dick Yuengling’s closest advisers, Mosel said.
Yaissle said his friendship with Dick Yuengling goes back more than 20 years, and the friendship led to Yuengling’s involvement with ArtsQuest once Yuengling saw the plans taking shape.
After an initial meeting about the project, Yaissle brought Yuengling back to the ArtsQuest site for a second meeting when steel for the center started rising. Dick Yuengling decided to be a part of the project after seeing Bethlehem Steel being reused for the project.
“He’s made a substantial pledge to SteelStacks and to ArtsQuest,” Yaissle said.
Yuengling is the title sponsor of ArtsQuest’s Oktoberfest celebration, and the Yuengling brand name is prominently displayed inside the Musikfest Café. The café includes two floors inside the ArtsQuest Center and hosts concerts and events (about 175 shows) throughout the year, Mosel said.
Since it opened, the venue has been used to host everything from business events to intimate concerts with major pop and rock musicians, raising the profile of the Yuengling brand.
“I think he saw what we all saw a long time ago,” Yaissle said. “This was an opportunity to turn something that was fading away and make it something more important, not only for Bethlehem, but for the Lehigh Valley and beyond. Certainly, it was not a hard sell.”