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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
Photo of Foxman
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a slightly hazy golden yellow, like fresh honey. Three fingers of tightly foamed head grow rapidly, then settle gradually to a bumpy froth terrain. Cirrus wisps of lacing suspend on the sides of the glass.

The aroma delivers a slow progression of light malt sweetness followed by a vague hops aura, and is capped by a tart yeasty fruitiness. A distant bitterness drifts through at the close.

First sip brings a gentle malt swirl matched by rounded spicy fruit notes of apple and berry. A mildly puckering sourness lays on the sides of the tongue as a grassy presence pops up,then down. A dry flatness, almost reminiscent of wheat, folds in toward the end, then a measure of dry bitterness closes slowly at the finish. It's not quite what I expected, but the flavor has more identity than it used to, and it's briskly refreshing.

Light bodied, it leaves just enough behind to render up some memory of itself on the palate.

The flavor surprised me. I was expecting something more conventional, more pale ale-ish, and I got something a bit off-beat. But once past the surprise, I realized it's crisp and refreshing, if not chock full of tasty elements. Very drinkable, it's a veritable session beer if you find it to your liking, holding up well to the heat of a Jersey Shore afternoon. So even if it's not what I expected, it works well enough for what it is. Short of stellar but more than average, I'll finish this sixer with no regrets. But I'm not real sure about another.

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

Apparently, Yards re-did the recipe with Simcoe hops, or so I'm told. It has a straight bitter taste up-front which then goes into the aftertaste. The aftertaste has apple overtones. The hops are very much dominant but not overwhelming. It came with a nice head which dissipated. Your views on this tasty redesign probably will depend on your feelings about the hop variety used.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma presents as slightly sweet with an almost like phenol quality-it includes an off sourness that seems yeasty in nature. No hops to speak of.
Pours with a large head, but may be the result of being bumped around in being shipped (as the bottle had a shook appearance to it) that gets a rocky appearance to it. Cloudy gold-yellow. Yeasty setiment on the bottom.
Not particularly robust, but an interesting mix of flavors. Pale malt presence, hoppy bitterness presents mid to finish. Finish has a long dry sourness.
The feel is non-descript. Fully carbonated, if not excessive. The label notes itself as being refreshing. I suppose the sourness has a refreshing quality to it, but I wouldn't categorize it as classic in this area.
Interesting and different. Has a wit-like quality to it.

Thanks to goindownsouth for this sample.

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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 PSUDREW
3.17/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very big citrus smell. smell also comes with hints of amalt, as it where

Pours a darker golden, very fizzy, some white head, not much, but some. The citrus hop taste is very very prevelent in this beer, which could be good. Honestly, this tastes less then a beer, and, IMO almost like VO whiskey. I dunno, but for some reason, that is how it feels. Nice, rather drinkable, but I am not overly impressed, nor am I dissapointed

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Photo of frank4sail
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The new and improved formula released 4/04. They tried to tweak this recipe a little. Very flowery citrus hop nose. Murkey bigbubbled off white (slightly tan) head. Initial hop presence on the tongue but this leaves you quickly with a slightly gritty flat malt base taste. The pilsner malt (that I hear has been added to the brew) seems to clean the brew up a bit in the mouth. Decent medium coating mouth. An upgrade to the brew but it is still not all that. this beer will appeal to the masses more now with decent drinkabilkity and nothing offensive to the tongue.

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Photo of 99bottles
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a slightly dark yellow color with a huge fluffy white head. There are copious amounts of yeast/sediment in the bottom; I had to leave about an inch left in the bottle to keep my pint clean. It smells of light hops and oddly (for a PA) of yeast. I think they could have left off with the bottle conditioning, and the CO2 level is too high anyway with the large and annoying head. Taste is very dissapointing. Thin and smooth with a strange phenolic bite and minimal hopping. Even the malt seems to be missing. Thin mouth, not tasty enough to have a high drinkability. Very uncharacteristic beer from this otherwise good brewery.

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Photo of WesWes
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy dark gold color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is decent. It has a sweet malty smell that seems to come from the use of pale and light crystal or carapils malts. It has a grainy scent and a dry yeast aroma. The taste is average. It has a smooth, grainy pale malt flaavor that seems a bit watery and weak. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low/medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a decent pale ale, but nothing special. Where's the hops? It's one and done for me.

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Photo of ark57
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the City Tavern in Philadelphia. It seems to be an English style Pale Ale. The copper color has some grassy and caramel aromas. It is well balanced, but does not stand out as an exceptional brew. It was good to start the evening with, but there were better beers to come.

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Photo of jtfest
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew looks kind of like a pale orange soda -- yellow-tinged orange in color with a small white head, somewhat cloudy in the glass. The aroma was lightly malted with grassy hints. The mouthfeel was full, but thin -- nicely coating the palate but then fading into the air. The taste is very light, slightly floral, with just a suggestion of hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Not a bad brew, but it didn't "wow" me either. It would make a nice session beer.

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Photo of stewart124
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

With a rigorous pour this beer yielded a thick foamy head to add to the lush hazy orange color. The smell was of tart hops and a floral note. Taste was a bit lacking. The hops aren't overpowering and the malts didn't add as much flavor as I was expecting. There is a floral taste to go along with a citrus flavor to leave a tangy dry taste. By no means a bad taste but for this style I was anticipating more of a punch to the tastebuds. I'll have to try this again when summer rolls along.

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Photo of Boto
2.68/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark yellow color. The head was minimal, and was gone almost immediately. There was Zero lacing. Minimal aroma. What was there was a faint maltiness and citrus hops. The taste was OK, if a bit bland. Some bitterness, with even less malts. Boring!

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Photo of nomad
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

aka Yards Queen's Head Ale...

Poured a light tawny orange, with a tiny bubbly head, little lace or stain, and showing little carbonation. Smelled of florals and bitter fruit scents, a small nuttiness, and a malt that was soft in texture and strength. Taste was of a greeny, grassy, oily hop flavor, with a very light malt in the background. Very thin and drinkable, I'd pay no attention to the numbers, as this a good session beer or a watching-football-beer to choose in Philly.

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

This is not my favorite Yards brew. I like the ESA on tap a whole lot more. This is an average pale ale. It pours a nice amber with a small off-white head. It has a little lacing, nothing great.

Its aroma is a little sour and not nearly as floral as other pale ales that I've tried. It has a hoppy flavor with a hint of fruitiness. Nothing special. It has a really nice feel in the mouth, but all-in-all, the drinkability is average. The beer was served very cold, which may have caused some of the smell and flavor to suffer, but I think it is probably still rather average.

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Photo of beernut7
2.28/5  rDev -38%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Another bottle-conditioned nightmare. I don't know whether to hold the brewery or the liquor store at fault, but common sense points to improper warm-storage at the package store. This one was a gusher with a hazy golden pour once the head settles off. The aroma is yeasty with notes of ginger-ale and lightly sweet. The flavors of licorice and ginger poke through a heavy bitterness. The body is fairly smooth for such a gushing head. The yeast comes through in a bisuity finish. I'll have to travel down to the brewery to get some fresh brew and give it another try.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.61/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appears slightly hazed copper with a mountainous frothy head, all I can say is welcom to Starbucks sir. Broad rings of thick lacing line the pint glass throughout the pour. Aroma has delicate floral hops with some mild fruit tones gracing my senses all under a mellow malt sweetness. Taste is a bit mild all of the flavors are tame except for the hops they came through creating unbalanced harshness there is some residual caramel tones in the malt profile. Mouthfeel has some syrup like textures but still a bit thin especially for a cask. Low carbonation very smooth making drinkability effortless not bad just not as good as I was hoping.

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Photo of aaronh
2.26/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Slightly hazy amber liquid is topped by a moderate but rather long-lasting head of off white foam. The aroma is nothing special, with just a typical "beer" smell. No hops at all in the nose. The taste is rather bitter up front with basically nothing behind it at all. Very clean finish, but there is no malt body to speak of, no sweetness, just strong piney bitterness. I actually find it hard to drink because it's just not that enjoyable. This beer is like drining a macro with a bunch of hops dumped in early in the boil and a slightly restrained carbonation. I'd take a Rolling Rock over this any day. Yard's is sort of hit or miss in my experience. This one's like bombing your own troops.

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Photo of beergeek279
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a 12 oz. bottle. The color was golden, with only a bit of head retention. The smell was mostly of malt, with a hint of hops. The taste was mostly yeasty, with a flat aftertaste. The mouthfeel was smooth. Drinkability-wise, not great, but if it was all there was........

Another disappointment from Yards, I'm sorry to say. Maybe their beers are better on cask, but this offering in the bottle is average at best.

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Photo of bditty187
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, tawny-gold hue, thick white head, excellent retention. No lace. Very mediocre nose, rather yeasty, bready with notes of malt… no hops. The invitation is apathetic. More flavorful than expected, sweet and yeasty… bready, lemony… minimal hops influence. Pretty decent palate. Well-balanced. Exceedingly drinkable. Very little carbonation. Medium-light body… pleasant mouthfeel but a tad thin. Overall this is a unique beer with enough subtle attributes to make it enjoyable. Session beer material.

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Photo of Shiredave
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Alcohol by volume: 4.3% according to the sheet that came in the case. Lable states it is "Cask Conditioned".
Bright golden color with slow , steady carbonation. Frothy white heads dies quickly to a ring of tiny bubbles around the glass.
Aroma is clean , bready malt with a sharp twang of hops and a stray touch of sourness; maybe this bottle is a tad old- no dates.
Flavor is all hops with a light bodied splash of malt sweetness for balance. Finish is dry and grassy, clean and not harsh or bitter.
A solid session Pale Ale.

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Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice deeper straw color with medium head left some nice lacing,a little fruity in the aroma with a ever slight malt smell.Iwas gonna give it a lower taste rating when a nice malt smack came in at the end of my first sip.This brew is a little rough around the edges it maybe a work in progress,I like more than alot who have reviewed it looks like.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.09/5  rDev -16%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this yards brew is, in a word, average. nothing more. nothing less. pours a light amber/orange colour with a bit of a haze and a mild head. fruity and floral smells are apparent. surprisingly, not much taste here. seems more watered down than i would hope for from a yards beer. what you've got here is essentially a basic, a non-daring pale ale. would i drink it again? yes. would i go out of my way to find this brew? no.

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Photo of Maestro
1.91/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer was not impressive to me. I enjoy other beers from Yards but am left in the dark as to why this beer continues to be propagated. This straw colored pale ale has an aroma that reminds me of the most horrible lagers served in plastic cups during my freshmen year of college. The head is thin and the overall appearance is cloudy. The taste is quite sour with a lot of yeast presence. There is also a faint cidery taste as you make your way through the beer. The carbonation is light and the taste is that of a bitter lager. I bought this in an otherwise great variety case with three other great beers. Now I have a six pack of this crap to deal with. Not again.

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Photo of bmills1608
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours softly from the bottle, very, very little carbonation. Minimal head, less then 1/2 inch that vanishes fast. Pretty gold color, slight chill haze. Nose is low key. A bit of sweet grain and a touch of lemon.

Taste is on the light side, soft, a bit sour with some yeast and a touch of earthy hops. Malt profile of this beer seems a tad watered down. The low carbonation reinforces this. The sour taste comes through in the end with some yeast notes.

Overall a clean, light easy drinking beer. Real complexity is lacking in this beer. It's well made, a nice beer, but pretty forgetable.

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Photo of pezoids
1.9/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I have had this beer before and enjoyed it, but there must have been something wrong with the cask this time. It must not have conditioned properly. There was hardly any carbonation or head and it tasted stale and bitter. It could have been old. I know casks don't last long once they're tapped.
Yards is one of my favorite brewers, but something went wrong here. I will have to give this one a second chance.

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