Some beer collaborations make no damn sense.
Earlier this year, Oskar Blue and French’s Mustard made an inexplicable Frankenstien, typifying the kind of off-the-wall partnerships brands are resorting to for headlines. Then there are the team-ups that feel totally natural. This is the latter.
Yuengling and Hershey’s are both legends in central Pennsylvania, but more than that, they’re spiritual siblings. No one likes Hershey’s Milk Chocolate because it’s the finest chocolate on the planet. They like it because it’s familiar. It’s accessible. It’s universal. Same goes for Yuengling beer. As such, their co-branded Hershey’s Chocolate Porter feels like the natural outcome. The moment the beer hit taplines in 2019, it felt totally overdue. Now that it’s out in bottles, even more so.
From the first sniff, it’s clear that Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup was the muse for this brew, not the chocolate bar. Kids who snuck pulls from the big plastic bottles sitting in the door of their parents’ fridge will recognize the scent immediately. Which is probably why the label reads “21+ to enjoy” in two separate locations. That’s good, because if a fifth grader got their paws on an open bottle, there’s no way they’d think it was beer.
There is a delightful porter at the core of this beer, but it only appears for a brief moment between the sundae-like first sip and the final note of Ovaltine. The only moment of simple, beer enjoyment is stuck in the middle of a chocolate and chocolate s’more.
Not a bad place to be if you’re trying to have a good time. And that’s ultimately what’s going on. Hershey’s Chocolate Porter is right out of Keystone State fan fiction. That’s enough to justify its existence. Just don’t expect any more than you would from the two unremarkable legends that came together to make it.