1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

104 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 104
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.91%
Wants: 6
Gots: 6 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 55 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pettis
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
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 TokyoCO
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can, poured into a goblet.

A: Golden color, slightly hazy. Relatively small head, only the lacing stuck around.

S: Citrus! Hops are present but not overwhelming. Grapefruit, orange, smells really stand out.

T: Grapefruit/citrus hits right away, Hops become more prominent, but are well balanced by the malts. Finish is dominated by malty/bready flavors.

M: Slightly creamy, malty mouthfeel.

O: Interesting pale ale. Smell seems to be hop/citrus dominated but the malts really stand out in the taste. I like it, different than your standard APA.

TokyoCO, May 14, 2013
Photo of fipoceilz7
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%

The aroma has a nice citrus and pine hop character; there is some underlying caramel sweetness. The frothy, off-white head is long lasting; the copper/deep amber body is brilliantly clear. The upfront flavor is caramel-like sweetness; the bitterness is moderate; there is some orange and grapefruit from the citrusy hops. The body is medium-light with crisp carbonation.

Pleasantly balanced and drinkable, though not the best example of an American-style pale ale. The malt sweetness is especially prominent in the flavor, while the hop flavors are rather subdued. It really is quite tasty though.

fipoceilz7, Sep 16, 2014
Photo of JayQue
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another new brewery featured at Grape and Gourmet in Virginia Beach. This is the first of the three beers I bought there. Pours an nice amber color with a small white head that fades quickly. Leaves light lacing on the glass.

Aroma is great. A nice blast of citrus hops. Almost IPA like.

Taste backs off a bit from the aroma. Ther is some good citrus hops balanced by caramel and bready hops. The taste is more what you would expect from a Pale Ale than the aroma.

Mouthfeel is crisp, not too weak.

Overall this would be a solid everyday Pale Ale except for the price...$5.00 a can

JayQue, May 25, 2011
Photo of dar482
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer pours out in an amber color with a thin head.

The aroma has sweet citrus of orange, tangerine, melon, and sweet bready malts. Not aggressively pure citrus, but hints of floral notes and underlying hop aroma that is quite Japanese hopping.

The flavor follows with hoppy pale ale notes of citrus, then some middling sweet malt. Lots of grapefruit peel bitterness on the end.

A very competent hoppy pale ale. A good Japanese take on the style.

dar482, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
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 doktorhops
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After the expected shocker that is the macro-brewed Sapporo I thought it best to reset my buds with the micro-brewed Yona Yona Ale, courtesy of Yo-Ho. Japan is a creature like any other in the Beerosphere - the great is hard to find and the crap is exported... if only it could be the other way round. As I contemplate this state of brewffairs the can makes a pleasing *TETCHOK* sound.

Poured from a 350ml can into a nonic pint.

A: Body is an interesting mix of cloudy pink grapefruit and rockmelon, with a firm 0.5cm chalk head.

S: Sweet citrus mandarins mixed with melon hop aromas - a very Japanese spin on a pale ale, and most appreciated after many, many American Pale Ales that have the typical pine/citrus hop aromas.

T: Caramel malts mingle with that sweet mandarin flavour before leading to mild melon, honeysuckle nectar and a light hop bitter finish. Easy drinking APA right here.

M: Mid to light body, light carbonation, nothing challenging with this brew (in a good way!), like slipping into a nice warm bathtub.

D: Well, quite the drinkable APA we have here - hands down one of the easiest I've ever had. Everything is balanced and nothing tries to bowl you over. Some people might call it "too restrained", I call it "harmonically balanced". The biggest negative is of course the price in Australia: prohibitive, if of course you can find it, mine was purchased from The Archive cellars however it would be difficult to find anywhere else in Australia.

Food match: Truly worthy of the Edamame sitting on a plate next to me. Otherwise the subtle characters of this brew are quite suited to the subtle characters of Japanese cuisine, such as Hiyashi soba.

doktorhops, Jun 27, 2013
Photo of THEBEERBAR0N
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this tasty beer out of a small (8oz) glass.

Appearance: Slightly amber-hued gold hue topped with a quickly dissipating white head. Purty.

Smell: Immediate notes of sweet/sour citrus- sugary grapefruit and lemon rinds come to mind. Not overpowering, but certainly present. I'm impressed.

Taste: Ooh that's nice. Much richer honey flavor malts come through than I initially would have expected. That sweet grapefruit in the smell really comes through in the middle. It has a light pine flavored hop finish that fades back into a very dainty malt flavor. This is surprisingly good.

Mouthfeel: It's a little thinner than I would like, but the malts stick with you for awhile. I think that the thin character may be a good thing though because it definitely places this in the 'session beer' category.

Drinkability: All day. No problem. I think this is the best Japanese beer I've had yet.

THEBEERBAR0N, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of mrskin
4/5  rDev +3.9%

mrskin, Dec 11, 2012
Photo of intoxabroad
4/5  rDev +3.9%

intoxabroad, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of MisterFuzz
4/5  rDev +3.9%

MisterFuzz, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of 007Tokyo
4/5  rDev +3.9%

007Tokyo, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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 DaftBrew
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked a can up in Aobadai, Tokyo, Japan tonight just to give it a try. I was impressed by Tokyo Black, so here it goes.

Pours as a surprising, bright peachy-amber colour. Immediately some white heads springs up, and stays for about a whole two minutes. Nice lacing too, so far so good.

A quick sniff brings to mind a fruity malt, although not overpowering. St. Ambroise Pale or Apricot comes to mind.

First taste was a little disappointing in terms of impact. A little bitter to begin with, but finishes clean and fruity on the after taste. Actually, I do find that this would be a beer you could drink a few of in one sitting. Therefore, I rated it mostly high for mouthfeel and overall drinkability. A bonus is the price (here in Tokyo about 215 Yen), which leads me to believe I'll be enjoying another Karuizawa Nagano brand beer in the near future.

Also FYI, this brewery is miles ahead of any Asahi or Suntory brand. Give it a try if you stumble into Japan at anypoint (no pun intended).

DaftBrew, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of Gadun76
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Gadun76, Aug 04, 2014
Photo of avaldivia
4/5  rDev +3.9%

avaldivia, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of JackieKu
4/5  rDev +3.9%

JackieKu, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of weerezboy
4/5  rDev +3.9%

weerezboy, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of OsakaRedbeard
4/5  rDev +3.9%

OsakaRedbeard, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of goblet
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pour this from a 350 ml can into a glass .

A.it looks copper tone very clear with a moderate amount of carbonation .i did get a forth head after the pour but it disappeared in a few minutes.

s, the aroma is interesting and sharp , alittle woodsy ,citrus and some sweet fresh malt in there as well,it`s pleasing and clean .

T,i slight fruit flavor ,perhap tangerine and some honey the malt and hops have a great balance ,the water is soft and smooth in this beer .

M,this pale ale is crisp and not harsh or bitter on the palate with nice hops, malt feel almost creamy ,a bit of a dry after taste .

D, i like this ale ,very drinkable,it`s original. it inspires me to search for more beer from japan.

goblet, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of kofukasho
4/5  rDev +3.9%

kofukasho, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of Poupae
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Poupae, Apr 08, 2013
Photo of Stuckey_Stuckey
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Stuckey_Stuckey, Aug 12, 2014
Photo of YamagamiTravis
4/5  rDev +3.9%

YamagamiTravis, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of woodychandler
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Interviews with Joe Namath (another fine PA fellow) often have him reminiscing about coming off of the field at the end of SB III with "a feeling of joy and elation". Such is what I felt when opening an unsolicited BM from JayQue, asking if I would be interested in some CANned beers from Japan in return for some Kvass. Would I be interested?!? Does a hobby horse have a hickory d**k? CAN you believe my incredible good fortune? I love the madness that The CANQuest (TM) has become.

I CAN't tell you much about it other than it comes from Nagano, Japan and it employs a lot of Kanji lettering on its label. I speak just a little and I CANnot read any, nor do I have a Japanese wife, despite many deployments and liberty port visits while a USN sailor. Oh well. I do know, however, that it marks my arrival in Japan as a sumo wrestler, under a waning Gibbous moon.

The Crack & Glug came off without a hitch and I was soon looking at two thick fingers of tawny head with great retention. Color was a coppery-amber with NE-quality clarity. BUPGOO! Nose was perhaps a bit big on hops for the style, but who would I be to CANplain about too much hops? Very minty/grassy on the nose, underlain by a light caramel sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium with a very pleasant admixture of hops and malt on the tongue. Finish had a mellow tea-like quality, not too bitter, not too sweet, but Baby Bear/Goldilocks-approved style.

This from Japan!?! Wow. Color me impressed. At $5.00/CAN, I might not fill my cooler anywhere but in Japan with it, but it is certainly worth a try in the interim.

woodychandler, May 22, 2011
Yona Yona Ale from Yo-Ho Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.