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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 007Tokyo
4/5  rDev +4.2%

007Tokyo, Nov 08, 2012
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 hreb
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

hreb, Oct 08, 2012
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

CrazyDavros, Sep 18, 2012
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pleasant drinker. The spice tones of the hops are there, but a citrus and sweet kind of thing really speaks loudest. There is a subdued and smooth fruity edge that really dominates this beer, but it doesn't really get obnoxious or silly. Again from this brewery, a very easy drinker. Too easy. This beer is almost done and I'm nearly unhappy. I wish I had more and will probably have to do something about it. Price be damned.

RblWthACoz, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of bsuedekum
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

bsuedekum, May 30, 2012
Photo of shivtim
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

shivtim, May 23, 2012
Photo of Offa
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Offa, May 10, 2012
Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden orange in color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall off-white head that quickly reduces to an extremely thin layer over a majority of the surface of the beer, a thicker patch, and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant lacing is observed.

S: This beer has the aroma of pale malts with a light presence of a fruity yeast. There is also a pretty solid aroma of citrus hops.

T: The flavor really follows the aroma with a nice malty body made up of both pale and bready malts. There is a pleasant amount of bitterness that is contributed by the citrus hops. There is a very light hint of pine hops as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and slightly creamy.

O: Very easy to drink and enjoyable. The beer has a low enough ABV and pleasant enough flavor to easily be a session beer. It is very well balanced with enough complexity to be interesting. Definitely one to have again.

dbrauneis, Apr 13, 2012
Photo of ggourde
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

ggourde, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of GuidedByVoices
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

GuidedByVoices, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can - $4.49 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a clouded, medium-dark amber body with a sudsy, ivory-hued head. Light lacing as it goes.

Smell: Lightly sweet-scented biscuity-toned malts with a glaze of amber honey and chiefly orangey hops.

Taste: Bready, biscuity malts with a fair amount of honeyed sweetness, though it joins some floral accents for a taste of honeysuckle. Sweet orange, slight lemon from the hops, but a bit of herb pushed into the background. Modestly bitter, leaving it to finish out faintly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Refreshing, pleasant, though rather cost-prohibitive for regular consumption at nearly five bucks a can (but still pleasant to try).

ChainGangGuy, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of davepuchta
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

davepuchta, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

Cyberkedi, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of snaotheus
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a pint glass

Pours slightly cloudy yellow with a medium pale head. Smell is mild, but mostly sweet honey and slight hops.

Taste is honeysuckle with a moderate hops kicker. It's been a long time since I had it on cask so I definitely can't compare, but I remember liking it then, and I like it now.

Mouthfeel is thick but not sticky or heavy.

Overall, I like it. It's a solid beer.

snaotheus, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of OsakaRedbeard
4/5  rDev +4.2%

OsakaRedbeard, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of shigg85
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

shigg85, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of mrip
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

mrip, Jan 30, 2012
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 avaldivia
4/5  rDev +4.2%

avaldivia, Nov 14, 2011
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 emerge077
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
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...

emerge077, Oct 08, 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
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 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
Yona Yona Ale from Yo-Ho Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.