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Yona Yona Ale - Yo-Ho Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yona Yona AleYona Yona Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

62 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 62
Hads: 130
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 14.81%
Wants: 6
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Yo-Ho Brewing Company visit their website

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

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 06-16-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 62 | Hads: 130
Photo of PatandDavid
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is pretty good, out of a can. Color is a clear apricot, mini-head didn't last long, no lace at all. Aroma is of syrupy hops. Taste is almost all flowery hops, very pleasant and surprising. Mouthfeel is medium, slightly syrupy. I notice a bust of citrus in the finish. Unexpectedly pretty tasty. Thanks to Uncle Jimbo for this one!

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Photo of shivtim
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found a can at the Buford Highway Farmer's Market.

Poured into a pint.
Golden orange. Slight ring of white head.

Nose is decent. Sweet grains, slight alcohol. More sweetness in the malts, and a slight hoppy hint.

Taste is similar to the nose, but milder. Tinge of metal and alcohol on the end.

Decent overall.

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Photo of John_Henry
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

A. Slightly orange tint, clear, with good head.

S. Not bad, slight citrusy hop note, I would say Cascade.

T. Pretty good, fairly balanced, but plenty of citrusy hop character.

M. Fine, nothing of note, slightly over carbonated for my taste, but that's being very picky to be fair.

O. One of the better Japanese craft brews readily available that I keep returning to, though not a patch on their Barley wine, and real ale. My personal favourite Japanese craft brewer, but not their best offering, still good though.

A little edit as of the 5th of March. Got another can in front of me and am surprised at how different this is to the one I had the other day. Still noticeable citrus/orange peel notes in the taste, but overall a lot smoother and more mellow on the hops. A bit more like their real ale, which is a plus for me. This now being closer to an English Ale, with American hop, Japanese touch twist.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an attractive clear dark amber. I couldn’t get much of a head, though. Crisp aroma is malty with a fruity note that seems to be equal parts pear and plum. Flavor is mainly malty and has a fruity undertone - I caught a hint of plum and a touch of pear. Texture is smooth with average body and fizz, but still enjoyable. Had at a good sushi bar in Atlanta - not world class, but still worthy if you happen to spot it.

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Photo of Shakujin
3.21/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden, completely clear, weak quickly dissipating head.

Aroma: Ive had this before and it had a better nose, but this time very little aroma at all, slight hints of toastiness and hops

Taste: Bigger than the nose, dominating flavor is caramel malty type sweeness/ toastiness, along with a minor bitterness for balance. Clean aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Med-Light, the caramel taste makes it a bit heavier and there is little carbonation to lighted it up

Drinkability: Quite drinkable although the sweetness might build up a bit after a pint or so. Seems to be designed as a bit of a bridge beer with its price range and wide availability. Decent special bitter interpretation.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.22/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep amber with a large, lasting head.
Nose shows soft piny hops and a bit of grapefruit. Also some soft caramel.
Flavours are somewhat similar but include some bready malt and less hops.
A bit over-carbed really.
Fine but nothing too impressive.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Found the can at Max Value, Yomitan, Okinawa.

A - Pours a nice light orange, light shining clear and through, one finger of white head.
S - Light hops aroma. I have nothing creative to say here.
T - Sweet malts dance with light hop bitterness portraying a scene of light pine sap and vanilla.
M - Mouthfeel showcases a medium bodied ale punctuated by a gentle carbonation and slight stickiness.

Overall a very enjoyable APA. I'd say this is a good beer for most people. Recommend.

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Photo of emerge077
3.32/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Golden orange, sticky collar of lacing. Feeble island of floating skim in the middle. Bright clarity, saturated reddish-orange color.

Woody cedar, caramel sweetness, tea like.

Old oxidized caramel malt, orange peel, something vaguely medicinal. Dry aftertaste, malty. Medium bodied, a pretty average pale ale, regardless of origin. Not sure of the age of this can, it could be old, who knows... for $6 i'm not going to try it again. A novelty buy...

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Photo of hreb
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

350mL heavyweight aluminum can served cold in pint glass. Beer pours an alarmingly hazy pale orange amber. I was expecting a pale ale (not that I can read any of the Japanese on the can) but this thing is seriously cloudy. Tiny white head. Intense citrus hop aroma. Aroma could be worthy of an IPA, actually.

Although the aroma is beta-acid hop forward, the flavor is much more mellow. Slightly sweet, and hopped like a non-India pale ale. Hops are more than balanced out by some non-descript malt flavors more, leaving a result somewhat short of dry.

Enjoyable, especially given it's less than pleasant (to me) appearance in the glass. I picked this up today at uwajimaya in Seattle today because I noticed that when I picked up the same brewery's porter ("Tokyo Black") I had really enjoyed it, at least according to my BA review. This is decent but unlike the porter it doesn't justify the $4.39 / not-even-12oz sticker price.

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Photo of snogglethorpe
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Decent, but overrated -- it's good, but I don't think think it deserves the superlatives that many seem to heap on it.

A nice rich color. The taste, while it's very fresh with a nice fruitiness, is just too bland, it doesn't really stick its neck out in any direction, and doesn't seem to have any sort of interesting complexity that might make up for this. Certainly not offensive though, and something nice to sip; you could drink a lot of it without noticing.

It does have the distinction of being one of the few beers you can find on cask in Japan though.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz. can. Has a pretty caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, a bit of hops. Taste is good, hops, citrus, lots of flavor, the most hops in a beer since I left the states on vacation. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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Photo of davepuchta
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I figured I would review a beer on St. Patrick's Day that couldn't be any less Irish. So, I picked the Yona Yona Ale. I came across this beer while browsing the coolers at Top Hops in NYC. I was drawn in by the drawn in by the simple and somewhat rudimentary design of the can. It resembled what I would think beer cans of 1950's America would look like. If this can design is reflective of the stage in which Japanese craft brewing is; then Japan has had a quite auspicious beginning.
I poured the Yona Yona from it's can into a deep glass snifter. It flowed out a deep and rich bronze, with glimpses of bright orange.
On the nose, I smelled a full aroma of balanced toasty malt and crisp hopping. The malt had a bit of the upper hand here and that would be appropriate to the style.
Upon sipping, the texture comes out as being only slightly viscous. The fine carbonation did it's job in gracefully cutting any cloying feel.
The flavor was about what I would expect in a beer of this style. It was a touch on the sticky sweet side. There were notes of toffee, earthy hops, and a metallic edge.
The Yona Yona is a nice beer. It does not have the fortitude of it's currently made American counterparts or refinement of it's legendary English models, but it does have promise. It succeeds in making me want to try more of their portfolio. Well done Yona Yona, well done.

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Photo of travelingrant
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

What Yona-Yona Ale lacks in flavor it makes up for in ubiquity. Craft beer can be hard to come by in Japan, and having a brew like this show up regularly in grocery stores is a ray of hoppy sunshine in a swamp of Asahi Super Dry and Kirin Lager.

Yona-Yona has a nice floral hop nose, with a well balanced malt backbone. It is not the most flavorful Pale Ale, and to judge it by the standards of American Pale Ales and IPAs it is only a fair effort. But it is the hoppiest Japanese craft beer sold in my area, and that sort of thing is worth rewarding.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can pour at the 2013 Firestone Walker Invitational held at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours a murky orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that smells a bit better than it tastes in my opinion.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yona Yona pours a nice peachy golden color which is slightly opaque with a nice half inch of perfectly white head. Nice and clean.

The aroma is hard to place, its sort of earthy and fruity at the same time. There is some definite citrus and a good amount of sweetness as well, almost like raw sugar. Finally I can't help but get a bit of a lemonade smell from this beer.

The taste is maltier than I expected, I think I was expecting a lot more hop flavor. That being said, there is some subtle underlying citrus. I taste a lot of biscuity flavors. It also has a bit of dry finish which is refreshing but I am missing the piney/grapefruity flavors that go along with a beer that's dry hopped with cascade hops.

Not a bad beer, especially when compared to so many of the bland lagers available in Japan. Glad I got try this one.

Another big thank you goes out to EinWeizenbitte for sending this beer along with the Sparkling Hop and asking nothing in return. Lots of beer karma coming your way my friend.

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Photo of crwills
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Beer Club Popeye in Ryogoku, Tokyo.

American-style pale ale, although the colour is much darker than most Western examples. Being on cask, it was quite warm and had little carbonation, which muted some of the flavours. Nice hoppy presence in the flavour. Something unique in the aroma that I couldn't identify, almost like some Asian spice.

Another nice session beer.

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Photo of tjd25
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Head was short, almost non existent. Beautiful orange copper color, but only slightly hazy. Smell is very fruity and sweet. I'd say red fruits, but I tend to always say that. Apples too, maybe some caramel. Taste is lemony, very sweet, with maybe some strawberries and blueberries, but it is taken over by the quite thick and chewy grassy hoppiness. Mouthfeel is a bit more enjoyable than for the sansan made by the same brewery, less watery. The beer's low carbonation reinforces its drinkability, but the strong hoppiness tends to weaken it.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a shaker pint, the beer is a hazed, almost opaque, orange-copper coloring with a low profile, foamy, off-white head. Plenty of sediment suspended in this one. Aromas of pineapple, mango, lemon, rich caramel, and subtle piney notes. Flavors are smooth and sweet forward, with the tropical fruit notes leading the way, heavy on the pineapple. Roasted caramel backbone, with only subtle bitterness to clean up the fruity sweet overall character. Very smooth and light in mouth, with a pineapple and melon aftertaste. Extremely drinkable, with a smooth, slightly cloying linger in the finish. Decent brew.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Rustic caramel, cloudy, lots of carbonation, 4 fingers of beige head, honeycomb lacing.

S: Citrus, orange, caramel, spruce, grapefruit.

T: Pink bubblegum as in the kind that used to come with a cartoon not like hefeweizens, bitter on the finish with a sort of milky lactic quality. Some evergreen in the middle, mild sweetness.

M: Thick juice like body with little carbonation.

O: Interesting taste and amazing mouth feel, got this on Wishbeer, and drank it Jan 17th, 2015 in Kunming, China.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Amber body, choppy white head.

S: Floral hops.

T: Not brilliant, but not half bad. Bitter and snappy with some orange peel, floral hops, honey and tea leaves. Honey prominent in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium and about on point.

O: It's faux craft beer but great for something you can pick up at a convenience store in Japan so extra marks.

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Photo of kflorence
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orange, copper in color with a good bit of head. Plenty of lacing on the glass as you drink. Carbonation is moderate. Smells sweet and tangy with lemon and floral notes and a toasty backbone. Taste follows the nose pretty well; sweet up front with a sharp, spicy middle, finishing balanced with buttery malts and citrus hops. Mouthfeel is a little thin and watery, but there is some creaminess. Overall I was quite surprised by this beer. It certainly doesn't have overwhelming flavor or complexity like other APA's, but it makes up for it with a solid, tasty profile that is dangerously drinkable. I'd love to have another.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on cask at Popeye in Tokyo.

This pale ale poured an amber (on the brown side of amber) color with white foam that settled. The smell was mainly floral hops with some malt. The taste was a bit thin, but was mostly sweet malt and floral hops. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with low carbonation. It was smooth and clean with a bit of hop bitterness in the finish. This was a good ale and easy to drink.

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Photo of SargeC
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper-gold colored brew with a thick, off-white head. Low carbonation.

Smell: Minor malt with a touch of citrus. Minor hop profile.

Taste: Solid malt flavor. Citrus hop flavor gives character to this tasty pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body. Slippery smooth with a satisfying, dry finish.

Drinkablity: Good brew. One of my favorite styles. I am glad to find a serviceable example here in Japan.

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Photo of Offa
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper, big off-white head steadily shrinks to thin foamy top & some weak lace.

Aroma is grapefruit, pine, juicy orange/pineapple, hint of “cat pee.” It’s full-bodied bu fairly sublte and light.

Taste is light mineral, herbal citrus, yeasty juiciness with faint raisin, bark,dry bread. It has light bitterness. Overall, it is lightly juicy, minerally, yeasty, with a rather light character but with some hints of complexity and nice balance, with nice lingering aftertaste.

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Photo of D-Rock
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer is now widely available in Japan, poured from a can into a tall flute glass.

Look: The beer pours a crystal clear deep coppery butter gold color. A thick white head of fine bubbles foams up to the top and very slowly settles down to a sheen across the beer surface and clings there. Mild lacing adorns the rim of the glass. A pretty inviting look.

Smell: Opens up fruity and buttery with overtones of banana, butterscotch, copper and bitter hop aroma. Oddly enough the scent seems to fade sharply after the initial pour.

Taste: Alternating between copper and buttery with a hoppy finish and mild bitterness.

Feel: The beer has a crisp feel with a slightly silky character. The mild bitterness causes some astringency on the tongue followed by low carbonation refreshment.

Overall: This beer is pretty easy to drink and is overall inoffensive. A good example of the style and a classic example of the Japanese skill at reproducing an ideal. Nothing out of place but not risky either.

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Yona Yona Ale from Yo-Ho Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.