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October 26, 2016

Beer drinkers disavow Yuengling after owner shows support for Trump

2016 Presidential Race
040916_Yuenglinglager Matt Rourke, File/AP

Bottles of Yuengling beer are displayed in Philadelphia, Wednesday, May 16, 2007.

The owner of America's oldest brewery has come out in support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, and the company's faithful drinkers aren't too happy about it.

Eric Trump, the nominee's son, stopped at D. G. Yuengling & Son's in Pottsville on Monday while campaigning on behalf of his father.

His message to the company? Hard-working family businesses like Yuengling, a fixture in Schuylkill County since the 1800s, would thrive under a President Trump, the Reading Eagle reported Tuesday

RELATED: Yards crossing the Delaware on trek to new brewery site

Yuengling's response?

"Our guys are behind your father," 73-year-old owner Richard "Dick" Yuengling Jr. said, according to the newspaper. "We need him in there."

Some fans of the beer were quick to retaliate Wednesday, declaring they plan to stop drinking Yuengling altogether.

State Rep. Brian Sims who represents much of Philadelphia, including Center City, now calls himself a "former customer." 

Brian Sims/Facebook

Communications Director for Philadelphia's City Council Jane Roh, who said she hasn't been drinking the beer for years because the company's anti-union history, joined in the conversation, too.

Even competitor Narragansett had something to say:

Though, not all the feedback was bad. Some were boastful of Eric Trumps's message.

The adverse reaction sounds similar to Chick-fil-A's 2012 controversy. Many announced their refusal to eat at the fast-food chain after its openly religious president, Dan Cathy, defended its anti-gay views. Chick-fil-A is closed Sundays because of founder Truett Cathy's beliefs.

"Restaurant employees should have an opportunity to rest, spend time with family and friends, and worship if they choose to do so," the restaurant's website says.

They're certainly not the only company to take a hard stance on a social issue. More recently, Ben Cohen, co-founder of Vermont-based company Ben & Jerry's, created a new ice cream flavor to pledge support for former Democratic primary candidate and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.

"Well, you know, he's our guy 'cause we've been his constituents for over 30 years, you know?" Cohen said in an NPR interview in March. "We've never campaigned for another presidential candidate before because there's never been a presidential candidate worth campaigning for before." 

With just weeks until the general election, both candidates have been hitting the campaign trail hard in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine was in Bucks County on Wednesday afternoon, while Trump wrapped up a visit to Johnstown over the weekend. 

Both Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence and former president Bill Clinton are slated to visit Philadelphia suburbs Friday.