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Yona Yona Ale - Yo-Ho Brewing Company

Yona Yona AleYona Yona Ale

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

84 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.17%


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)
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 52 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: can

05-22-2011 13:33:37 | More by woodychandler
Photo of goblet
goblet

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: can

03-25-2009 14:12:48 | More by goblet
Photo of DaftBrew
DaftBrew

Ontario (Canada)

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).

Serving type: can

10-14-2009 14:32:23 | More by DaftBrew
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: can

04-13-2012 00:51:14 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of THEBEERBAR0N
THEBEERBAR0N

California

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.

Serving type: can

02-23-2011 15:55:09 | More by THEBEERBAR0N
Photo of JayQue
JayQue

Virginia

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

Serving type: can

05-24-2011 23:53:39 | More by JayQue
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: can

08-05-2012 23:10:55 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of doktorhops
doktorhops

Australia

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.

Serving type: can

06-27-2013 11:03:02 | More by doktorhops
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

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.

Serving type: can

08-18-2013 14:25:12 | More by dar482
Photo of TokyoCO
TokyoCO

Colorado

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.

Serving type: can

05-14-2013 03:29:46 | More by TokyoCO
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho

Washington

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Serving type: can

09-01-2011 01:50:49 | More by flagmantho
Photo of pettis
pettis

Japan

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.

Serving type: can

09-10-2011 08:12:14 | More by pettis
Photo of Oakenator
Oakenator

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-20-2012 14:28:48 | More by Oakenator
Photo of Naerhu
Naerhu

Japan

4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Serving type: cask

02-04-2004 13:17:29 | More by Naerhu
Photo of bobsy
bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Serving type: cask

10-21-2008 13:52:59 | More by bobsy
Photo of thesilverhand
thesilverhand

British Columbia (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Serving type: cask

01-15-2005 15:43:28 | More by thesilverhand
Photo of Weizenmensch
Weizenmensch

Japan

4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Serving type: can

09-14-2009 11:59:54 | More by Weizenmensch
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Serving type: can

12-16-2011 03:59:06 | More by metter98
Photo of juju7
juju7

Australia

4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Serving type: can

03-18-2010 00:11:15 | More by juju7
Photo of zeio
zeio

California

4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

Serving type: can

11-07-2011 04:02:44 | More by zeio
Photo of davidchollar
davidchollar

Washington

4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

Serving type: can

10-09-2005 15:46:12 | More by davidchollar
Photo of soulgrowl
soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

Serving type: cask

06-01-2007 01:50:48 | More by soulgrowl
Photo of Tsuriman
Tsuriman

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

Serving type: can

12-30-2008 09:28:32 | More by Tsuriman
Photo of kansaiclikker
kansaiclikker

Japan

4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Serving type: can

07-02-2011 12:59:57 | More by kansaiclikker
Photo of toweringpoo
toweringpoo

Japan

4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
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

Serving type: can

05-19-2008 08:04:31 | More by toweringpoo
Yona Yona Ale from Yo-Ho Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.