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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 311 | Hads: 923
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle to pint glass. No date on bottle but it was indicated on the outside of the case package. I can't remember the exact date, but this review is within a month and a half of the bottling.

A: A bright white foamy head rises to 2 fingers and deflates over a respectable amount of time. The film is thin but the collar is chunky and still clinging half-way up to the top of my pint glass. The body is a golden straw color with 80% trasnparency. Lacing begins to lay down with proficiency but does not continue throughout the remainder of the beer.

S: Fantastically aromatic but defintely not intense way. More of in 'the right balance with the right conglomeration of flavors' type of way. Plenty of malt and hop aromas for the nose to appreciate. Caramel, cookie and bread, all toasted. The hops are mildly citrusy with oranges and lemons leading the way.

T: Wonderfully flavorful, especially for a pale ale, and ESPECIALLY for a beer weighing in at a mere 4.6%. (BA currently states 4.3%). Lightly sweet.

M: Medium body with a creamy texture and average carbonation level. No bitterness. This beer could and should appeal to a wide range of beer drinkers.

D: This is the definition of drinkability. The flavor is pretty remarkable at sub-5% ABV and is highly accessible in my opinion (and certainlywell priced). The Philadelphia Pale Ale isn't the most hop-forward or flavorfu; pale ale, but it's delicate balance rivals the best. When rated to style, this beer should score well. And despite my high rDEV, I stand by my score.

Yards does low-ABV beers as good as anyone I have access to. For what it's worth, their website is gorgeous too, although lacking depth of information.

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Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear yellow with a big fluffy white head. The head really likes to stick around on this one, and leaves a lot of beautiful, sticky lacing down the entire glass.

S - It mostly smells of piney hops with some pale malts.

T - The taste is reversed from the smell: good amount of malts with some hops. A lot more malts than I expected. Afterall, they do say it's a "non-traditional style." It's quite crisp, still. It reminds me of a pilsner, probably because it's brewed with pilsner malt. Lots more pale malts and grassy taste as it warms.

M - Very light and crisp. Lots of small bubbles in the carbonation. Feels refreshing.

D - At first, the malts throw me off, but the more I drink it, the better it gets - even in one bottle.

The more of these I drink, the more I really like the balance of malt and hops, as opposed to the overwhelming hops of an IPA or some other pales.

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Photo of Jesstyr
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ended up with a bottle of this at Continental in Atlantic City, not exactly what I expected. Never really enjoyed the pale ales, but this was alright - which is probably because it doesn't really suit the style.

Golden tan, quite light, with bright white head that disappears almost immediately. Nose is strongly citrus, with a tiny bit of pine hops.

Taste is almost like a hefeweizen, heavy on lemon and lime citrus, and actually fairly smooth. No real hop bitterness, which I enjoy, but is odd for the style. Body is light, and while the beer goes down easily, it really isnt that enticing.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from RutgersBeerGuy so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of grassy hops, fruity citrus and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out sweet with a strong citrus flavor and some caramel. Then a decently strong hops presence comes in and takes dominance. The malt character is lighter than most beers in the style but is hearty enough to bring a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly fruity and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, very mild kick, good representation of style, this beer is certainly lighter than most pale ales but is still a solid beer that is worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of berpwillie
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours a cloudy copper yellowish color with good fluffy white head and good lacing. lively carbonation. strong citrus fruity hop smell, taste is much the same but the citrus is even more potent. some grapefruit hints. thin slick texture and light bodied. short flavor duration. all around decent beer.

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Photo of magine
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an oversized pint glass.

Pours a hazy yellow, has creamy near white head. The head settles to a lace chunk island. Good looking brew with nice sticky lace.

The brew smells of slight citrus hops and a herb/grassy smell. Bready malts as well.

This is crisp and refreshing. Crisp taste of citrus hops peppers the tongue initially, and a nice bready, malty backbone smooths out to a dry finish.

This is a very good sessionable brew. This brew looks great for the style and has a very drinkable taste and mouthfeel. This will not scare away a none hop head, but will also please any pale ale hop fan.

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Photo of lionking
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Nice two finger head. Golden color in the glass. The nose is a sweet mix of hops and citrus. It smells and tastes like a pilsner to me. Mouthfeel is crisp and smooth. The beer is lightly carbonated. This was an excellent beer. A hybrid of sorts as this is an ale brewed with pilsner malts. I would definitely drink this again.

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Photo of stakem
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with no indication of freshness poured into a pint glass. Pours a light yellow color that is for the most part clear due to a careful pour that left quite a bit of sediment still in the bottle. Regardless there are some faint particles stuck in suspension. More than 2 fingers of white frothy head appear with decent retension and an abundant amount of lace clings in a sticky coating about the glass. Aroma is full of hops smelling like citrus, more particularly lemon and a touch of grass with some spice that tingles the back of the nose. Little bit of malt sweetness and grain comes through in the back of the aroma as well. Taste is minorly bitter upfront with a hop bitterness that tastes like a mixture of lemon and grass, somewhat herbal. Minimal amount of malt backing but the malt character that is present is a bit bready. Somewhat of a crisp finish, the hop bitterness still lingers with herbal tastes of lemon and grass. Light feel with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very easy drinking and quite sessionable at 4%.

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Photo of klkatz
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

the aroma is malty and hoppy...
color is a light copper/gold... small white head, with small carbonation bubbles.

taste is a smooth smokey, malty pilsner. some bitterness.... mostly smokey pilsner type.
it's a summer beer in my book.

drinkability is very good...
mouthfeel is average

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hard to believe i have not reviewed this beer yet, but finally set one a side from the Yards variety case...

Pours from the bottle a very nice (in this case) pale translucent gold with light efferevecence and decent finger thick head that dissipates quickly.

Smell is light, very feint aromas of citrusy, somewhat piney hops, but not overpowering.

Taste is pretty well balanced, a nice mix of citrusy hops with a solid malty background and finish. I had noticed that sometimes this beer does taste off, but as of late it seems to be coming back around.

Mouthfeel is well produced from the good carbonation with clinging flavors along the sides of the tongue and cheeks.

Extremely drinkable, especially for those sessions and warm days.

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Photo of jwhancher
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have had this numerous times over the years. Recently stopped in a local bar and had a pint:

A: Bright yellow, straw in color. Nice white head. Good carbonation.

S: Reeks of citrus hops. Grapefruit & orange peel aromas. Pleasant.

T: Nice bittering flavor from hops. Light malt background. Something appear to be a bit off these days. Can't quite put my finger on it. I get the feeling Yards changed the recipe from a few years ago. Perhaps when the owners went their own separate ways?

M: Light & refreshing.

D: Nice beer for the warmer months, but good anytime. Compliments food well. Have made this my session beer on a few occasions, but not as much recently (due to possible recipe change?).

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Photo of ujsplace
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an oversized pub glass.

Thick, foamy white head that chunks up nicely as it begins to fade. Nice clingy
lacing. The color is a hazy pale golden with visible yeast particles suspended
throughout - always a good thing...

Smells of citrus and buttery yeast.

Tastes of mild grapefruit from the hops and is mildly bitter.

The mouthfeel is light and crisp, very easy going down and pleasing on the tongue.

High drinkability. Very crisp and clean. Could easily down several of these.

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Photo of kshankar
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden with a puffy white foam with good lacing. I can see carbonation racing up the glass as well.

Aroma is of citrus, pine, hops. Very good

Taste is mildly hoppy with a very strong malt backing.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side, somewhat creamy, and well carbonated. Refreshing. A very drinkable beer, overall.

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Photo of MikeRa
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer is a light copper/straw color with a good head.

S: It has a nice caramel like smell, with some fruity floral smell as well

T: It has a nice caramel taste, with a hint of the hops in there as well

M: This beer goes down really smooth, and it has a nice carbonization level in there as well

D: This is a beer that I will most definitely will drink again

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Photo of Philabeerphia
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Billowing, pillowing head. Up top it rises slowly, but it expands downward quickly, filling the glass with a bosom of cream colored carbonation. The head settles, revealing a lightish golden honey of a beer. It has a slight haze that visually adds some body. A soapy lace follows the beer down the glass. Hell, what else can you ask for when you look at an APA?

Well on the nose I am left asking for more. A bit of lemon zest resting below a blanket of copper malt and light floral hops.

The beer opens on the tongue with a twinge of that same lemony zest. Along with the light body, this creates a refreshing opening that sets the stage for a fuller middle. The most interesting aspect of PPA is the yeast, and it blossoms right in the middle. The beer becomes heavier, slightly bready but also distinctly floral. Honey and some light grass show up towards the back. It's back to the citrus again, this time it is sweeter, oranges and tangerines. Meanwhile the yeast is still in play. The finish is yeasty, soft, bready, milky, with a floral hop note. Gorgeous finish.

The mouthfeel seems to jump around. Inherently it is light - too light really, but the yeasty maltiness adds enough body to confirm the style. This beer is highly drinkable, interesting enough. It is subtle, but with distinguishing strengths - that harmonious marriage of the hops and the yeast - that have me enamored. Certainly this beer pays tribute to British beer history/lore. Well done. A beer that is delivery without the hype.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with no freshness information and drank out of my sierra nevada hop tulip glass. bottle says 4.6% ABV.

A- this one pours out a light copper colored body with a large eggshell colored head. the head lasts a while and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- it starts out with caramel like malt which quickly leads to fruity hops. lots of grapefruit and pine. a bit of pineapple in here also.

T- the taste is much like the way it smells. caramel malt leads the way with a lot of hops behind it. plenty of the pineapple that i could smell, along with the grapefruit and a bit of orange. the pine is much less present in the taste.

M- light to medium bodied with an average level of carbonation.

D- easy to drink and sessionable. i could see myself having several of these in an evening. id pick this one up again if it was sold in my area.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice pale amber with bright white head and decent lacing. Aroma was dominated by lemony hops, with grainy pine notes as well. The taste was bracingly bitter with tons of hops. Very lemony with a touch of grassy hops and some graininess in the finish. Pretty aggressive bitterness makes it kind of hard to pick many other elements. It really seems like it could benefit from more of a malt backbone. That being said, it has good hop taste and the bitterness gives it a very dry finish that would work well for cooling off on hot day, or drinking at a BBQ. Fairly light bodied and quite drinkable if you dig all the hops and bitterness.

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Photo of BrewerB
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to twinsdaddy for the hookup on this!

I'm a little rusty with my reviews but here goes:

A - Slightly hazy, pale golden color with an airy two finger head that collapsed down but retained itself while leaving a lacing around the glass.

S - Initially a moderately-intense grainy aroma, followed quickly with hints floral, lemon-rind hops. Persistent citrusy-hop aroma.

T - Citrusy hops up front. Moderate intensity, lemony in flavor. Bitterness is moderate. Fairly crisp finish.

M - Medium bodied with a moderate/high carbonation. Slightly spritzy but not overly done.

D - Highly drinkable. This pale ale has a great hop bite and a pleasing finish. Not too heavy with a low abv certainly make me think I could knock back 3 or 4 without much trouble. Simple flavors mean I might switch my beer after the second round but I'd have no qualms plowing through a six pack on a warm day.

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Photo of gford217
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Secret Santa thecarster1 poured into a pint glass.

This one pours a hazy straw yellow with a big effervescent head that recedes very quickly to a small cap fed by a steady stream of bubbles. Sparse lacing.

The aroma is very light with lemon zest and toasted bread as the main aromas. There is also a grassy character to the nose as well.

The taste wasn't as good as the aroma for me as there is very little hop presence that I can gather, maybe some faint lemon grass. Unfortunately, there is also a metallic bitterness in the finish which is a little offputting.

The mouthfeel is overcarbonated and very effervescent. It's very light overall, thin in fact.

This is a fairly unimpressive pale, especially in the flavor which leaves a nasty metallic bitterness on the palate after each sip. It's still very refreshing and light-bodied - not bad as a lawnmower beer.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Hazy golden brew with a sizable bubbly head. Intense carbonation fuels that. Small unappetizing black flecks are visible (not from my glass), no bottle conditioning either. It doesn't seem infected either. Weird...

S - Grasses, faint fir trees, not much here, it isn't strong in any way.

T - A very floral flavor. A bit of light malt backbone, but overall the flavor isn't terribly full. Nothing at all unpleasant, it just kind of cuts off - almost as if it had been diluted. Aftertaste is barely present, but a hint of bitterness from hops closes it out.

M - Smooth, thin, very, very refreshing.

D - Top notch. This is low abv and completely pleasant. Really the kind of beer one can drink for hours and hours. Since I am from PA originally, it is not terribly unlikely that I will find my self drinking this again.

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Photo of PeterLemonjello
2.12/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Pours a a pale yellow or straw color. Thin head, decent lacing, lots of carbonation. Tons of suspended sediment. I'm guessing it's yeast. I would like to think that I roused up some yeast from the bottom of a bottle conditioned bottle, but I have serious doubts.

S - Slightest bit of lemon but otherwise not much aroma.

T - Very watery and bitter. I wouldn't label it a hoppy beer, but the lack of hop flavor and/or malt flavor just leaves it bitter. Bitterness leads to a very astringent flavor.

M - Thin

D - This isn't my favorite nor would I seek again. Possibly a bad bottle and the significant number of "floaties" leads me to believe this is so.

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Photo of number1bum
3.09/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very pale golden color, almost more like a straw yellow, with about a finger and a half of white foam. It's hazy, as well, which strikes me as odd for a pale ale. Keeps a thin but full lace and leaves a ring or two of stick.

Smell has a zesty citrus aroma, more like lemons and grapefruit rind than juicy orange. Also a bit of grain and a modest sweetness.

Taste also has some zesty citrus flavor but it quickly turns south as a sharp, metallic astringency takes over the palate. This is at least my 4th Pale Ale from this variety pack so it's not just one bottle, but it's quite bothersome. There is a subtle sweetness, as well, and a grainy bite, plus some bitterness in the finish, but I can't get past the metallic flavor.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side to begin with, and the metallic astringency kills it. It dries out in the finish as well, with the hop bitterness.

I first tried this beer about 2 years ago, right before the whole ownership shakeup or whatever it was, and didn't care for it but wrote it off as QC issues before everything settled down. This is fresh and new, though, and I still don't much care for it. I like the 3 other brews in their variety pack, and who knows, maybe this is better on tap, but this is not a pale ale I'd come back to a 3rd time.

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Photo of scottg
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

from thecarster1 as part of the Review This! BIF
12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours a hazy straw yellow with a one finger off white head made up of large bubbles, light retention with no lacing. Very citrusy aromas of lemon and grapefrutit with some apricot. Citrusy flavors up front lead to some biscuity malt with a dry herbal finish almost like wheat. Highly carbonated, medium body with a cleansing, dry mouthfeel.
The hops tend to dominate and overshadow the malts in this one but it is a refreshing beer, best for a hot summer day.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Recent arrival of BOTMC so let's give it a whirl. Bottle smell is delicious, fruity, citrusy, some grapefruit and grapes, zesty. Pours to a pale golden color with a whispy multi-size bubble head. Taste is slightly metallic, malty up front, bitter but not overly so in the middle with a metallic dry bitter finish. This hopping is very different. The aromas are citrusy but the flavor is more like a Fuggles, or english ale, and the bitterness is very dry. Hard to believe the AC on this brew is only 4.3. It is a full flavored ale with good body, mouthfeel and very drinkable. I up the appearance for great head, it held up for the whole pint!

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Photo of theWrkncacnter
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in Philly. A: good head, lot of sticky lacing. Nice color somewhere between amber and copper. S: Not much to smell, there's a tiny note of some citirusy hops. T: sort of a starter IPA. As a pale ale this is pretty spot on. There's a small hop profile but what is there is very good. Slight earthy malt undertones with slight sweet hop dryness. M/D: Nicely carbonated. Goes down easy, great beer to drink if you want to throw back a bunch but don't want to drink crap beer.

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