Yuengling President Upset White House Isn't Gulping U.S. Brews at Their 'Beer Summit'

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," July 30, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, well, Bud buddies set to meet at the White House.

My next guest unhappy about this so-called happy hour, which, by the way, we have patented at FBN. Anyway, he's asking why they won't be drinking beers from American-owned companies.

On the phone right now is Dick Yuengling, the fifth-generation owner and president of Yuengling, America's oldest brewery.

Dick, good to have you.

I had forgotten, you know, Budweiser, the president's beer of choice, is now owned by a foreign company, InBev. And it is weird. All foreign beers are represented at the White House.

What do you make of that?

Video: Watch Neil's interview

RICHARD L. YUENGLING JR., PRESIDENT AND CEO, D.G. YUENGLING & SON, INC.: Well, Neil, we have received an awful lot of e-mails — a ton of e- mails, actually — today about this whole thing.

And most of them, they were wondering why they are not using an American product. And with the — the economy being the way it is, and us trying to create jobs in this country, I find it kind of strange that he doesn't choose an American product.

But, you know, we're — our company is kind of used to getting drummed on the last couple of years. So...

CAVUTO: But maybe he doesn't know. I mean, he is the leader of the free world, and most people look at Budweiser and think, oh, well, it's — it's American.


YUENGLING: Well, they have 13 breweries throughout the United States.

CAVUTO: Right.

YUENGLING: And they employ an awful lot of people, so I credit them with that.

But, again, it is not an American-owned company. And neither is MillerCoors, and...


YUENGLING: You know, it's — it's OK. At least he chose beer for the — for the product to try today.

CAVUTO: Yes. It would have weird if it had been maybe something a little stiffer, right?

What — you know, for a beer guy like yourself, how has been business been going? I mean, a lot of beer-makers I talk to have been encouraged by maybe a pick-me-up that this gets just, you know, as far as energy is concerned.

YUENGLING: Well, I don't know about energy. But I know our business has been absolutely terrific.

The beer business in general in the United States is probably down 1 percent or 2 percent, but our — we're up probably 10 to 11 percent. Our - - our — we have a very small company in a select market in the United States, basically the East Coast. And we have been very, very busy, as a family-owned company, and we are very proud of it.

CAVUTO: But it's — you could argue it is going up maybe because the economy is going down, and people are bummed out. You know, they — they - - they either eat or they drink. In my case, I do both, in excess.

But — but what do you make of that, that that is what is helping you?

YUENGLING: Well, I don't really agree with that, because, in general, the beer business is down 1 percent or 2 percent.

Ours is up, and we are — we're not — we're not a low-cost product. We are basically domestic premium priced.


YUENGLING: And we are doing very, very well.

CAVUTO: Yes. But I tell you, when you marry your beer with chicken wings, man, you're — you're off to the races.


CAVUTO: You know, I was just thinking when you were coming on, though, here we have got this plan for higher liquor taxes in states and federally, and maybe part of an omnibus health care fix is to zap it to guys like you.

What do you think of that?

YUENGLING: Well, they're not zapping it to us. They're zapping it to the consumer, the beer — the — the person that drinks a couple beers a day.

And — and I know — I think that is very unfair, at a — at a particular point in time like this. In 1992, they doubled the excise tax on beer, and the volume of beer sales has never increased...


YUENGLING: ... never gotten back to the — the point it was in 1991.


YUENGLING: So, taxation hurts — hurts everybody. It hurts the jobs in the beer business...


YUENGLING: ... which, traditionally, have been very good-paying jobs.

CAVUTO: All right, Dick, we will see how it works out. Good luck to you. We will watch the summit closely.

Dick Yuengling Jr.

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