By Thomas Leskin

POTTSVILLE - Starting next month, America's Oldest Brewery will be shipping to Boston.

D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc. announced Friday that it will expand distribution of its "highly sought after brands" to Massachusetts in early March, making it the 15th state in the brewery's footprint.

This initial rollout includes its flagship beer, Yuengling Lager, as well as Light Lager and Black & Tan brands.

Jen Holtzman, marketing manager, said Friday the brewery will eventually distribute its entire portfolio in Massachusetts, but believes that focusing initially on those three is best.

"Porter and (Lord Chesterfield) Ale will likely follow, and then seasonals," she said.

According to Holtzman, the expansion isn't the first time Yuengling has been sold in Massachusetts. Instead, it marks a return after it scaled back in the 1990s due to supply limitations.

"They had to pull back when they first introduced Lager and couldn't make enough," Holtzman said. "They had to pull back the footprint. Many people didn't even realize that we were there."

All seven wholesalers assigned to distribute in Massachusetts were invited to Yuengling's new offices at the Mill Creek brewery in Port Carbon, on the east side of Route 61 from Pottsville. The wholesalers attended a forum where they could ask questions, then got to visit each department.

"This is something totally different that we've done this year," she said. "We didn't have the opportunity to do that in Ohio," she said, referencing Yuengling's spread west in October 2011.

Yuengling has been expanding its facilities in earnest since 1999.

In 2010, it ranked fourth in the top 50 overall U.S. brewing companies by beer sales volume.

In April 2012, Yuengling announced that the brew house it had been running its operations out of in Florida was about 60 years old and a larger facility was badly needed, so they began work on a new brew house. The new brewery started running in early 2013.

Also in April 2013, the Port Carbon Zoning Hearing Board unanimously approved a variance for Yuengling to add six storage silos and a liquid adjunct tank to its operation at Mill Creek and the work was completed shortly thereafter.

Holtzman also said that other improvements include a new pasteurizer and packer at Mill Creek that allows Yuengling to run 1,800 bottles per minute when running 24 packs.

"The efficiency that we are running at now is not only unprecedented for the brewery, but for the industry," she said.