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Philadelphia Pale Ale - Yards Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Philadelphia Pale AlePhiladelphia Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

311 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 311
Hads: 923
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 24.73%
Wants: 14
Gots: 183 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Yards Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-17-2002

Not to be boastful, but we honestly believe all others pale in comparison to this one. Crisp and hoppy, Philadelphia Pale Ale is brewed with Pilsner malt and American hops, which impart a surprising citrus aroma.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 311 | Hads: 923
Photo of virtualbeggar
4.92/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale is an exceptional entry in the pale ale style. Perfectly hopped for a pale ale with some simple citrus notes, possibly even approaching into IPA territory, but with a light crisp mouthfeel that clearly establishes this product as a more "drinkable" beer that can be enjoyed sip by sip or by someone who's digging in their heels for a long night.

I can see why some people are giving this beer lower marks, but its subtlety is part of its charm. Spend some time enjoying its balance instead of looking to get your tastebuds blown away, and you'll be very surprised.

This one of my favorite beers ever. Period.

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Photo of kpw1000
4.85/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was surprised to see the other reviewers giving this beer such low marks.

I picked up this brew via a Yard's Variety Pack case (12 oz bottles) and found it absolutely delicious. I've kept it cool, perhaps a little too cool for this style (I'm guessing I'm keeping it around 40-50°).

I usually drink this in an Elizabethan beer glass (funnel-shaped). It keeps the head to a minimum but affords a wonderful view of color.

It's bit hoppier than I expected for this style---felt almost like an IPA---but I may be influenced by English-style Pale Ales. (I note that Troeg's entry in this style was also pretty hoppy.) That's not a complaint; I like hoppy. Just didn't expect as much of it. (It's been a while since I've had a Three Floyd's Alpha King, but I don't recall that as quite as hoppy.) And, despite the hops, it's not bitter.

Mouthfeel is delightful, a clean, crisp feel.

I expect to continue stocking this beer.

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Photo of ajfalcone13
4.63/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've been keeping this in my kegerator for the last year. Hands down one of my favorite all-around beers and always a crowd pleaser. The pilsner nose can be strong so I usually serve it in a pilsner glass. A great crisp pale ale with a touch of grapefruit/citrus.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.58/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I am surprised that there are not more "Cask" reviews for this beer. Not only is it Yards' flagship beer, it also was routinely avalable on cask at Dawson Street Pub in the Manayunk area of PHL. That may still be the case, it is just that I have not visited for some time.

It was handed to me from the hand-pump with a finger of dense, bone-white head with excellent retention that would have made a A&W root beer (thick-headed) weep. Zounds! The color was liquid gold with NE-quality clarity. Mr. Pendyck is always talking about his casks "falling bright" and this was it. Yoi! Nose had a definite hops presence (OK, I'll cop to cheating up at this point and looking at the description which had been sent along) - "pilsner malt, crisp and hoppy, bursting with citrus flavors and aromas". Agreed. It had a very grapefruit nose with the same intense grapefruit flavor on the tongue. Mouthfeel had a really creamy quality, almost like an N2 pour. Finish had a more orange taste than grapefruit. Man, was this good!

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Photo of WissBrauSean
4.58/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I poured this beer from bottle at around 55 degrees F into a 16oz pint glass and it poured a very clear gold with a white one finger head that lasts as a ring and center cap. The lacing is lightly sticky with an unorganized pattern. Nice.

Honey, malts and hops all approach my nose equally to form an overall sweet citrus aroma that is exquisite! Let the beer warm a bit, you will see exactly what I mean. There definitely a hint of the pilsner malt in there. It's really a nice aroma.

The flavor is just as exquisite. Semi-sweet pilsner malts entwine with honey, very mild grapefruit, and a mild piney hop that really comes out in the end rendering the experience as mildly sweet, then mildly dry and overall very well balanced.

The mouthfeel is mildly sweet and finishing dry almost like a champagne and light bodied. The carbonation is moderate and if it were higher this beer would be champagne like in yet another way. Mild pepper finish.

Overall, this beer was a pure pleasure to try! I would totally recommend this beer to anyone really. This would be a great sessionable summer beer and I think a good candidate for being canned as I would love to take this camping with me!

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Photo of StaEva
4.57/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a clinic on grapefruit. Aroma and taste are just sopping with grapefruit. It's beautiful and refreshing with incredible carbonation that leaves a good creamy head until the fifth sip or so.

Forced to choose, I would happily give up every other APA I've ever had for the rest of my life.

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Photo of Seanibus
4.52/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am so happy the new brewery is up and the real Pale Ale is back. In fact, it may well be better than it was before.

Pours a la sparkly yellow with a light fluffy head. The aroma is sharp and strong, with a sting of floral hops. The flavor has a strong sharpness with lovely floral hops. The mouthfeel is thin and completely refreshing.

This beer is simply Philly's best on-tap session beer.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

*New version*. Bright pale golden orange with the fluffiest white head of foam. Consistently good carbonation creates nice lacing. Aromas are all amarillo and simcoe hop goodness, with a bready, biscuity malt base to back up the show. The taste is a fresh hop explosion laced with the flavor of fresh baked rolls. The mouthfeel is creamy, and almost cask-like from the tap, and the drinkability is very very good. An awesome pale ale!

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Photo of NardiByNature
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Note: realized I put this review under the wrong category (Yards IPA) a few months ago. Just moving the review to the proper place...

Reviewed on: 01-05-2012 05:31:27

Got to say it: I loved this beer.

Had this on tap at Irish Pub on Walnut during a trip to Philadelphia yesterday.

A fingers worth of head sits on top of a light, slightly hazy, honey colored body. The lacing on this brew is wonderful - I love it when the circular residue follows your sips all the way down like the notches on a tree. It smells great - grassy, candied citrus. Taste follows the nose with a little hop but not that much. It's fruity and even kind of creamy. Leaves a great taste behind.

I've never heard of this beer and it was delicious. I'm sure it was a fresh batch on tap, but maybe this beer is also underrated.

Give it a shot!

Serving type: on-tap

Reviewed on: 01-05-2012 05:31:27

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Photo of ambiguator
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer.

Well balanced hops and malts. Depending on what I'm eating, or my mood, I find myself noticing one or the other more prominently at different times. I think this speaks to beer's balance.

Hands down the most reliable, best valued beer in Philadelphia. Yards always works with quality ingredients to produce fine quality products like this original PPA.

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Photo of Greenst82
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a light golden color with decent head. Aromas of citrus and pine, really nice. Tastes much like it smells. Crisp and refreshing with a pleasant bitter finish, nice balance. Nice carbonation and light on the mouthfeel. Honestly this is my go to beer any time of the year. I could probably live on this stuff. Not overly complex, but definitely interesting and I like that. I'm still surprised every time I drink this beer how much I love it.

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Photo of gatorbreath
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed yard's Pale Ale from the Tap and then a case the next day!

Man PA is wonderful for the out-of-towner!

The Appearance is lovely on this IPA nice light colored tan/brown look on this summer looking ale. The smell is golden heaven, hoppiness taking over with floral, tropical citrus notes, my favorite...Taste is nice, not too carbonated, just right, feels great on the palate. Overall i pushed this on everyone i interacted with up in PA, it was my favorite..

Had a few other brews from Yards, and we stormed through a mixed case as well so i must hype this brewery. Enjoy!

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not your typical pale ale. First off, the color is "off". Expecting your average or traditional coppery amber color, you're instead presented with a solid gold, sort of sunny yellow hue. Looks like an overly carbonated adjunct lager, and I'm sure this effects the taste perception for some. I happen to like it for what it is and the head is almost always very thick and cottony from the pour with ample, sparkly lacing. Aside from some specks of yeast floating around, it has a clean, filtered appearance.

I've seen some people describe the aroma and subsequently the flavor as "cat pissy". On rare occasions, I sense something like that, too, but I find, by and large, it offers a firm, uniformly appealing hop character - nothing offensive. I'd describe the hop aroma as floral/perfumy, herbal, grapefruity (to a small degree), and piney more than anything else. Little bit of a zesty yeast thing wafting around as well.

This is brewed with pilsner malt and, knowing that, the beer does look and drink like a spicier, hoppier Pilsner Urquell. It's a mindfuck - calling this a pale ale when it's very pilsner/export like. It has some grainy attributes in flavor and feel to go along with a quite herby, almost rosemary, hop essence. Hardly thin and watery either, which I think would turn me off. Enough substance to satisfy, quench, and accompany/wash down summer grill foods and salads very nicely.

Hey, it's probably the weaning - or purely regional - but this is a fantastic beer, preferably on tap. Worth a shot if you come across it and it's reasonably fresh. Most assuredly sessionable. Brush aside expectations, close your eyes and drink it. You'll love it or hate it. I don't care, I'll drink it all the same.

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Photo of SuncrestBeerMen
4.44/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Absolutely the best smelling beer on the planet. The citrus and evergreen smell is incredible. The flavor is very balanced, not overly bitter which makes it an incredible session beer. Always have to have a case on hand. I have found that many people who don't care for hoppy beers still like this beer. But then again, I have talked to many people who don't care for the beer at all. I guess its one of those love'em or hate'em beers and I definitely love it. My favorite every day beer.

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Photo of ithacabaron
4.44/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear fluffy-headed ginger color, plenty up top, and active carbonation down low. Sparkling and remarkably pale.

Aroma is an epiphany of what Pale Ale should smell like -- this beer's smell is the closest thing I know to sticking your head inside a bag of hop leaves and freshly cracked grain right before a brew day, a perfect communication of hop and malt, pure and simple.

Taste is a bit less clear, but retains the note of graininess that makes me like this beer so much. There is a refreshing element of untouched water, clear broth, inside the swallow. Never overly bitter, nor overly floral, nor gloppy and muddy, there is a delightful balance in this glass.

Mouthfeel is quite active and frothy, which reminds me of Sparkling Ales of old. It's never sharp, however, which is nice. One of those beers that profits from an active mouthfeel and being served juuussst a little cold, the bottle is better than the tap, which is better than the cask. Odd, but true.

Drinkability is nice -- you could have a few, but I rarely do anymore, with any beer. Still, an easy sessioner, and perfect for a baseball game. A no-brainer choice when you go to see the World Champion Phillies play in person.

All in all, a great, idiosyncratic beer -- why don't more breweries make their pale ale like this?

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Photo of socon67
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Citizens Bank Park.

A - Pours yellow/orange. A thick head of foam on top.

S - Smells strong of grapefruit. Perhaps the strongest I can recall.

T - Incredible taste of citrus. About the most refreshing pale ale I can recall.

M - Enjoyable, and perfect for a hot day.

O - Glad to have tried this one. For those who like citrus flavored ales, this is a must.

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Photo of drtth
4.4/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into lightly chilled mug.

Appearance: Light gold clear color with thick fluffy white head that persists and leaves light lacing on sides of glass.

Smell: Nice bright Simcoe hop smell with pleasant citrus balanced by light sweet malt.

Taste: The flavor is well balanced and complex with mild citrus hop bite with no real harshness at all. The hop is followed by pale sweet malt flavor. The overall flavor sneaks up on you rather than clubs you over the head.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light bodied feel with medium length crisp finish and no trace of harshness.

Drinkability: Each one of these leaves you disappointed that it is finished and wanting more. A beer that is too drinkable for my own good. Clearly moving the brewery to its new location has done this beer no harm.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yards- Philly Pale Ale

On tap at Isaac Newton's- Newtown, PA

Appearance- Light orange/ yellow with very little head. Heavy carbonation.
Smell- Light grapefruit not much else.
Taste- Big sweet grapefruit with a touch of apricot?! Nice malt balance as well. Hops are big and bold!!
Mouthfeel- Sweet up front but finishing off with a big flavor and a mild bitterness.

Overall- A delicious Pale Ale! Fresh tasting, and it must be cause I was here a few days ago and they didn't have it!!

***edited on 3/5/09***

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A slightly hazy golden body reveals streams of fine, fast-rising bubbles beneath a frothy white head that holds remarkably well and leaves wide swatches of craggy lace about the glass. The nose is bright and fresh with citrusy and floral Simcoe hops over a delicate malt base. The body is medium and its very fine, natural carbonation lends a gentle zest to the tongue before it fades smoothly away. The flavor bristles with bright, fresh hops (fruity, citrusy, subtly pine-like) wrapped in a supple, straightforward malt. It's exceptionally well-balanced with a firm bitterness that leads to a clean and dry finish. A satisfying and refreshing pale ale that offers excellent drinkability.

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Photo of shbobdb
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Whew! At first, the yeastiness of this beer was a big turn off. But as it warms, the hops and malt come out and mingle with the yeast to produce a fine tasting brew.

Overall, it is a pretty nice brew. There are some earthy hops, with the faintest whiff of lemon, complimented by a nice sulfurous pilsner note that I enjoy and a nice, light, bready sweetness. All brought together by a very floral yeast strain. The nose is quite sharp, I'm not quite sure how to describe it -- it smells like almond flowers.

A nice combination of flavors, and it drinks well above its very low abv, which is a bonus.

The more I drink this beer, the more I warm to it. I notice something new every sip. Sometimes a hint of grape, or tangarine, good french bread, ect. So the beer is very engaging. At the same time, the beer is pleasantly simple, you can just drink it and forget about it. Hey, look, a nice mineral element I hadn't noticed before.


Certainly distinct, but that is what separates this beer from the pack, and I dig that. A good brew. A very good brew, actually.

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Photo of dondeez21
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.
A: Golden Straw colored beer with a thin head and nice amount of lacing left on the glass.
S: Smell is like your average pale ale. Mostly earthy malt with a very light yeast aroma.
T: Very crisp and citrusy. American hops dominate the palate.
M: Crisp light body. Excellent for a warm summer day or a cool fall evening
D: Very easy drinking beer. Low in alcohol but high in flavor. The beer is very refreshing and seems to get better with every sip.

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Photo of letsgopens
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I experienced this local favorite during a recent trip to Philly. My girlfriend and I wandered in to a small bar in the Old City called Skinner's. We'd been walking around site seeing all day and I, despite the cold, had a hankerin' for something nice and hoppy. After seeing a lack of hops on-tap I gambled on a local APA I hadn't heard of. Let me tell ya, it delivered.

This guy poured an mostly translucent, clear gold with some attractive orange highlights. The head was of average capacity and glowed a nice frothy white. There were really no rising bubbled but the suds retained well. They eventually faded and left little lace.

The aroma was high quality but somewhat average for an APA. Clean with a solid malt backbone and sweet, tangy citrus. The hops are there, spicy and floral, but the nose doesn't let on how great the flavor is.

This is really where the bee shines brighter than most pale ales I can remember. Initially the flavor is full and malty with a distinct toasty character and lots of bit zesty hops. The light caramel malt is not too sweet and the semidry finish is somewhat masked but the big hops. Orange peel further accentuated the bitterness along with some more caramel and honey sweetness in the finish. A nice hint of spice floats aroound as well. So tasty. There is a lot there flavor-wise, everything I look for in the style meshed together; so well balanced.

The mouthfeel is clean and bright with moderate to high carbonation. The finish is semidry but still refreshing (not watery). Just enough to make you want a couple more. Full flavored and complete. This was such a great surprise, especially being that I've never even heard of the beer before. If you're in the area, make it a point to try this one on-tap; possibly accompanied by a cheese steak if you're feeling froggy.

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Photo of emsroth
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle. Brewed in late march.

App: Slightly chunky 1.5 finger head. True gold with a slight haze. Loads of bubbles.

Smell: Fruity/floral hops with a noticeable bitterness. I'm not a fan of smelling the bitterness beforehand.

Taste: Light malt taste upfront followed by a strong citrus flavor. Low bitterness and a slight mineral taste. The best APA I've had in terms of flavor. This is what I think an APA should be, not the hop-bomb stuff the west coast puts out. Could perhaps use a bit more in the malt zone, but at 4.6% a low malt profile is to be expected.

Wonderfully light in body with a slight film that is rather pleasant. I could have another, and that's saying alot since APA's are not my usual brew.

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Photo of PsychedelicQuaker
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: a pale golden yellowish orange Smell: citrus, pine and grapefruit
Taste: slightly bitter yet extremely smooth and easy to drink. good session ale
Feel: light crisp and refreshing
Overall: a great go to beer for Philly locals, hands down probably the best APA in Philadelphia. Yard's Pale Ale and Philadelphia Brewing Company's Kenzinger are my go-to local brews.

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Photo of devinoconnor
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yards Philly Pale Ale is a really special ale. It pours a rich brown color, yet a tad lighter than an ale you'd find brewed in England.

It's taste is exceptional. Just the right amount of hops, with a slight citrus smell and taste. If you like IPA's but find there often a bit too much, give this ale a try.

Washes down very smooth and you'll be begging for more. Its relatively low ABV allows for a few... Enjoy.

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Philadelphia Pale Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 311 ratings.