America’s oldest brewery may be losing more than a few drinkers after Eric Trump, son of presidential candidate and firebrand Donald Trump, posted a photo on Twitter of Eric Trump and Dick Yuengling, CEO of D.G. Yuengling & Son in Pottsville
While it’s been no secret that Yuengling is a conservative, endorsing the controversial Trump may have been a step too far for some of Yuengling’s longtime drinkers.
That is – if Facebook is any indication.
A search of Yuengling on the social media site shows many angry beer drinkers swearing to never again buy Yuengling.
The comments have come from registered Democrats and Republicans and even independents.
Despite Trump’s Republican Party affiliation, comments the candidate has made about minorities and women have angered many across political lines and made him a touchy subject.
Frankly, either candidate is probably a touchy subject to talk about these days, as Hillary Clinton has her haters, too.
So, why endorse Trump?
It’s not surprising Yuengling is a Trump fan. They’re both billionaire businessmen and probably have a lot in common, and the brewer certainly has a right to an opinion and a candidate of choice.
But he has to know that Trump comes with controversy. Perhaps the support could have been a bit less Twitter-y.
While it’s too early to tell if the Trump endorsement will hurt sales, the talk on social media does have a boycott vibe to it.
He’s not the first CEO to lose business because of controversial conservative stances.
Chick-fil-A was the object of a large-scale boycott in 2012 after its CEO, Dan Cathy, publicly declared his stance against same-sex marriage, angering the LGBT community.
And it’s not just the liberal-leaning who show their political clout with their spending habits.
Target Corp. faced major backlash and boycotts this year when it put out a policy saying customers could use the restroom based on their gender identity rather than their physical appearance.
The policy change no doubt cost the retailer thousands of customers and millions of dollars – again, if social media are to be believed.
With Yuengling, it could certainly be just a bunch of people miffed that the CEO of the company that brews their favorite beer just came out in support of someone who represents things they really don’t like.
A promised “never again” could only hold until the next craving for a fresh, cold lager.
But if I were CEO of a major company – and Yuengling is the top microbrewer in the country – I’d probably be more careful about the public stances I take. It’s just good business sense. Don’t anger your customer base.
Because, while Yuengling may be the biggest microbrewer, it’s not the only one.
As one area blogger put it – there are a lot of good microbrews out there beside Yuengling, and she even recommended some.
This might have been one photo op that Yuengling should have skipped.