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Yona Yona Ale - Yo-Ho Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yona Yona AleYona Yona Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

101 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 10.94%
Wants: 5
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Yo-Ho Brewing Company visit their website
Japan

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 06-16-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 55 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gnikola
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

gnikola, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of ggourde
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

ggourde, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of roblowther
4.58/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Clear copper in color, with minimal head and almost no lace. Very clear. The smell is rose hips with a coriander and pepper note. The taste is a fantastic blend of malt & hops, with a very mild hops note and a sweet finish that really brings it all together nicely. The mouthfeel has a nice body with a bit of carbonation. The drinkability is fantastic. Probably the most drinkable pale ale I've had.

roblowther, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of Jrbinchiba
4.56/5  rDev +18.8%

Jrbinchiba, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of DasBoot2112
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

DasBoot2112, Sep 04, 2013
Photo of shigg85
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

shigg85, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of Amalak
4.48/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I had at d.b.a. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

A. It has a dark orange color, and it's opaque. It has a big foamy off-white head with some lacing.

S. Nice citrus and hop scent.

T/M. It has a sensational orange taste. Some mild bitter hops. It's fruity and more on the dark fruit side. A hefty rye like taste in the finish. Smooth with a mild bite.

O. A unique, beautifully fruity blend.

Amalak, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of toweringpoo
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chimay chalice (hey, its all I got :P)

appearance: golden amber color, very inviting. about one finger of creamy white head which slowly disappeared in a minute or two

smell: oh yeah, this is a real beer. no super dry for me today :D

taste: nice hop/malt balance. citrus-piney hops. great finish that begs for another sip.

mouthfeel: very good but i think i'd like a little more carbonation, could be a result of my poor glass selection though

drinkability: if it was just a bit easier to find and priced like all the shitty japanese macros, i'd drink it all the time

recommended

toweringpoo, May 19, 2008
Photo of kansaiclikker
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For a Japanese microbrew--(jee-bee-ru, as its known in Japanese) Yona Yona is one of the most widely available and affordable--at least here in Japan.

Appearance is good upon pour but head dissipates rather quickly. The color is a nice light brown--not cloudy at all.

Tastes slightly sweet but the hops balance it out just enough.

Good mouthfeel--crisp but on the light side as is a bit expected.

Love this one. Only a few others in my area I can get this easily and enjoy.

kansaiclikker, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of davidchollar
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

this is the first good japanese beer I've found in japan. i've been living here for 2 years! that says a lot
looks a very transparent orange, the same color as the can. nice looking head, creamy white, sticks around for a minute.
smells good, citrus and fresh, vastly different from the J macros, much more inviting.
tastes even better, wow! nicely balanced with a satisfyingly bitter finish. a good example of a pale ale. this is as drinkable as beer gets, each one just calls for the next. addictive yona yona, as tomoko pointed out, means drink all night.

davidchollar, Oct 09, 2005
Photo of soulgrowl
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: This beer started off a solid cloudy peach color, full of milky hand-pumped CO2 that gently wafts upward like a lifting fog to reveal a crystal-clear amber beer with an oh-so-creamy whitish buff-blush head. Great retention with solid, sticky lace.

Smell: I liked this beer out of the can, but one whiff and I could tell I was going to LOVE it out of the cask. Unexpected buttery notes came to me first, a surprise since the canned version didn't have any diacetyl presence. The malts and yeast offer loads of sweet fruit aromas - coconut, apple, white grape, palm nut - along with a burnt sugar/toffee tone. Hops are subdued, but still nice and Cascadey.

Taste: Complex yet mild, with everything from the nose, especially toffee and an ever-present grapefruity hop presence. Finish is clean, dry, with a lip-smacking lingering hop bitterness. Mmm.

Mouthfeel: Ridiculously smooth, medium-to-light-bodied and sticky yet crisp.

Drinkability: Yay. I could drink this all night, and possibly every night.

soulgrowl, Jun 01, 2007
Photo of Tsuriman
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very drinkable beer with a solid body and very nice mouthfeel. Citrusy hops with worthy and sweet malt backbone. Smell is that of lovely C hops and the thick head out of the can and beautiful burnt orange in very inviting.

Overall, I really like this beer, I will seek it out on draft and in cask.

Tsuriman, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of zeio
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I just got this at whole foods. This is a really great brew. I never thought Japanese craft beer was this good. Canned, no doubt.

A: Golden orange with a thing head, fine bubbles.

S: Smell is actually rather boring.Thin whisps of orange/citrus malt.

T: Its like light liquid bread with a light hops and a ultra light bitter. Very good balance of malt and hops. Utterly pleasant.

M: Really good. Its creamy, light, smooth, slight carbonation. Veery good.

M: Creamy, smooth, nice amount of carbonation--excellent.

I need to find a way to buy cases of this stuff.

zeio, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of juju7
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright copper in colour with a smallish head but nice lacing. A really fresh, fruity, hop driven nose. Soft malt notes in the background. Plainly a perfectly balanced pale ale. Really smooth, spot on bitterness and mild carbonation. A bit of a surprise, I wasn`t expecting it to be this good. Great beer.

juju7, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of ironchefkook
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

ironchefkook, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of knot
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

knot, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of pkenkman
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

pkenkman, Sep 10, 2013
Photo of Weizenmensch
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

350mL can as pictured, freshness date 0912上 (before December 2009, if I'm reading it right). Braille beside the ring-pull, don't know Braille.

A: Dark amber brew with an off-white head, low carbonation yet admirable head retention (good head retention for the style), and sticky lacing. Looks appealing. 4.0

S: Might have been served too cold, not getting a whole lot of volatile aromas coming off. Some generic hoppiness and dark dried fruit aromas, but it's not giving enough away. Pleasant but indistinct. 3.5

T: Taste is rich, sweet, satisfyingly full, malty and ale-hoppy on the tongue, and especially bitter on the palate. True to style, the expected flavours such as raisins, raw sugar, even pineapple are all there. Nice and fruity, but tastes like a beer, not like tropical punch, like some ales like this (Badger Champion especially has the tropical punch aroma for example). A sweetness can be detected even on the lips. This is a well-made brew, and the depth of flavour is difficult to fault. I haven't sat down and contemplated a beer like this in quite a while. 5.0

M: In the mouth it's a good blend of astringency and stickiness. Could afford to be a little more carbonation, but otherwise goes down nicely. 4.0

D: I wouldn't crave half a dozen of these, they're better enjoyed sipping one and moving onto something more cleansing. The stickiness is nice but would be cloying after the third beer. A nice beer to sit and contemplate, but you'd feel a little bloated if you had too many of them. 3.0

Overall: Refreshing, but not the kind of beer you want at noon on a humid midsummer's day in southern Japan. But thankfully the relentless heat happened a month ago, and I can enjoy this beer on a cool September eve.

This is better than I remember it, I needed a friend to remind me to try it again. A solid ale from a land where true beer is found in less than trace amounts.

Weizenmensch, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellowish orange in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter-finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a thick ring of creamy bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of fruity yeast and pale malts in the nose along with some hints of citrusy hops.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has flavors of bready malts and both citrus and pine resin hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth and somewhat creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very well balanced and has a good amount of hops to keep the taste interesting compared to other beers in the style. It’s very easy to drink yet also complex enough to sip and savor.

metter98, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of thesilverhand
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours quite turbulent, sampled cask-conditioned at Beer Belly in Osaka. It settled to a beautiful dark red-gold, with a perfect creamy off-white head. It is a beauty to look at - but enough with looking. I want to drink!
There's a really gorgeous floral hop aroma, tempting me to sip.
The body is creamy and smooth. The flavour is excellent. If anything, the noble hops come out more here even than in the aroma, but are balanced nicely by sweet malts which carry well into the finish.
This is an extremely drinkable ale. If you get the chance to try it cask-conditioned, don't pass it up.

thesilverhand, Jan 15, 2005
Photo of Naerhu
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Was quite surprised to find this on cask.

Amber ruby color with a super fine 3 cm head. Thick shield of lace.
Explosive aroma. I could smell the amazing hops from a meter away.
Long mild malt flavor ending on a light and delicious caramel finish. I mean long, as in 15 minutes after finishing my glass I had a wonderful warming, caramel aftertaste. However, the hops are amazing throughout the glass. The flavor was disarmingly light (though by no means a lite beer) dispite the amazing aroma and long lasting finish.
Enjoyable and quite an experience.

Naerhu, Feb 04, 2004
Photo of bobsy
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice clear amber body with a creamy white head that leaves sheets of lace - a very nice appearance. Lots of fruit in the aroma - apple some beery, perhaps even some grapfruit, along with a pleasing caramel tone. The flavour is very soid and the lead contributors are the caramel and grapefruit aspects, although the general fruitiness observed in the aroma is still present in the background. The whole package is very well-balanced. The body is as good as you can hope for on cask. Nice and smooth, with minimal carbonation and a pleasing depth.

I could see this being a go to beer for me if I lived in Japan. I don't know how it compared to the canned version, but this was a very well crafted real ale and something the brewers should be very proud of.

bobsy, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of Oakenator
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is golden amber and crisp clean. Decent head at pour and lingers to a pencil eraser thickness around the rim of the glass. Smell is very balanced - some mid based hops leaning to grassy with malts leaning towards brown sugar and candy. Flavor is also nicely balanced but oddly milder than the nose. Still a nice beer.

Oakenator, Oct 20, 2012
Photo of flagmantho
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 350mL can into a pint glass.

Appearance: pale orange hue with a touch of haze and two fingers of frothy ivory foam. Attractive.

Smell: rich malt aroma with a good helping of earthy, noble hops. It is well-composed and balanced -- I like it.

Taste: rich, sweetish malt with a little bit of grain and biscuit sitting at the end. Hops are not as intense in the flavor as in the aroma, and here they have a more floral character; bitterness is balanced and extremely smooth. Some of the specific flavors are not my cup of tea but there's a nice dynamism to the flavor which I really appreciate.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big, big dose of carbonation which yields a supremely creamy beer for the style. This part *is* my cup of tea.

Overall: this is a very enjoyable beer; it is well-executed and it has a lot of variety to offer in the flavor department.

flagmantho, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of pettis
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful dark golden-orange with a thin, white head of medium-fine bubbles.

S: Malty, with some citrus notes from the aroma hops.

T: Each sip starts out malty--though not too malty--and is followed by a delicate, but pleasantly noticeable, hoppy bitterness that lingers on the tongue. Excellent balance should please malt and hops lovers alike.

M: Creamy, smooth, nice amount of carbonation--excellent.

Yona Yona Ale is by far the best value in Japanese craft beer, costing just around 25% more than the mainstream lagers (260 yen vs. 210 yen) but offering double or triple the flavor. It's also increasingly available at convenience stores and supermarkets around the country. While its cost likely makes it impractical as a go-to beer outside of Japan, it nevertheless is an excellent example of an English pale ale and a godsend for those in Japan seeking good beer on a budget or outside of the major metropolitan areas. Yona Yona is also available on cask in pubs throughout the Tokyo area.

pettis, Sep 10, 2011
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Yona Yona Ale from Yo-Ho Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.