Brawler Pugilist Style Ale - Yards Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Brawler Pugilist Style AleBrawler Pugilist Style Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

275 Reviews

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Reviews: 275
Hads: 1,010
Avg: 3.66
pDev: 27.32%
Wants: 39
Gots: 226 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Yards Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
English Dark Mild Ale |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: garcia2a on 12-10-2008

The most approachable of our ales, Brawler is malt forward and delicately hopped for a knockout flavor. Its smooth character, hints of caramel and toast, and remarkable drinkability define this ruby colored brew as a true session ale. Perfect when you want to go more than a few rounds.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 275 | Hads: 1,010
Photo of Jacobob10
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap @ Zack's Oak Bar & Restaurant in Hoboken, NJ.

Brown colored with ruby along the edges. One-finger off white head that dissipates fairly quickly but leaves a small amount of head on top of the beer. Bready malts in the aroma with a bit of roasted malt and a touch of sweetness. Very smooth tasting, just the right amount of carbonation, and light-to-medium bodied. An enjoyable ale that is easily quaffable. I'd have no problem drinking several of these.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark red color with a bit of haziness to the body. The head is a one finger offwhite color. Retention could be better for 4.2%, though the texture is about on par for the style.

S: Earthy malts and hops come through fairly well. Touches of fruitiness, hazelnut, and chocolate give it a decent depth also.

T: Again, earthy flavors and nuttiness abounds. The finish has a light hint of generic fruit esters. Seemingly simple at first, however further sips reveals layers of hazelnut, chocolate, bright fruits, and even some hops. Not a huge amount of flavor here, however it features good complexity.

M: A bit too heavy and overcarbonated for what I want the style to accomplish. The finish is very slick and wet, which makes it a little less drinkable, but allows its depth to shine through. It's a wash, really.

O: This lives or dies by one fact: would I want multiple servings of this in a single sitting? At first, I didn't think so, but this grows on me the more I drink it. It does drink like a bigger beer at times, but at the same token, doesn't have a strong enough flavor profile that would allow it to fully get away with it. So I'll hesitantly say yes, I would drink multiple pints of this at a bar. I probably wouldn't buy a 6 pack of it, but I'd love to see what cask conditioning transforms it into.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a glass mug.

A: Clear dark amber with two-finger, off-white, fizzy head that lasted a minute or two. Not much lacing.

S: Strong caramel malt aroma. Hint of earthy spice.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Bready malt with subtle notes of chocolate.

M: Light to medium bodied with soft carbonation. Kind of watery.

O: I was mostly disappointed by the look and feel of this beer. It felt like it had potential.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.
4.2% ABV, "Pugilist style ale" code on bottom is warn off.
(Reviewed 06-08-11 - from notes)

Thanks for the bottle Thorpe!

A - Faintly hazy rusted brown in color, Brawler packs a punch of an off-white head. Big but effervescent and quickly fleeting, nothing but a skim of foam is left over.

S - Heavy yeast esters of earth and dust appear before the strong biscuity toffee malts. Very low hop appearance throughout the aroma, the beer is somewhat unbalanced but decidedly English in aroma.

T - Low English hops underline the strong, flavorful malt profile rich with biscuity, toffee notes and a bit of graininess. A homebrew-like yeast finish of earthy esters pulls through.

M - Smooth and medium-bodied in feel, my only concern for it's drinkability is with it's over-carbonation. It makes it feel quite hard to put back.

O - Other than the carbonation, it's a pretty solid brew with a nice flavor profile for the low alcohol percent. A sessionable dark beer!

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Photo of barczar
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark brown with amber highlights and a quarter inch cream head that quickly dissipates.

Roasted and toasted bitter malt dominates the aroma, with notes if chocolate and breadcrust and a touch of floral hop adding intrigue.

Flavor is...mild. Definitely malt dominant, featuring deeply toasted, nutty dark malt, and finishing lightly bitter and dry. There's a fair amount of an acrid character beneath.

Body is on the light side, with moderate carbonation accentuated by the acrid flavor.

Not much experience with this style, but that off flavor is not pleasant.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark chestnut with a nice tan head

S-Carmel malts and sweet grains. Really just smells like a mild run of the mill amber ale.

T-comes in with caramel malts and sweet grains with just a slight roasted toastyness. Tastes pretty much like an amber ale with some roasted grains flavor to it. It's a very crisp flavor. No off flavors. Creamy matching after-taste.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a crisp finish. Semi-dry. Pretty nice.

O-nice crisp beer. I'd put it in the Yuengling/Flat Tire category. It's an easy drinking beer. Unfortunately, this is usually found near other craft beer which puts it at a disadvantage.

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Photo of Uniobrew31
4.53/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer! good mouthfeel and flavor. No aftertase to speak of and it has a nice crisp finish. Malt is king with this one. Very subtle hops, no bitterness. Just a nice crisp almost sweet session ale Yards ESA is also a good product if you are looking for a bit more hops in your brew.

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Photo of noel2977
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i just don't think people understand session brews... or, are too focused on the hop bombs and high alcohol projects to appreciate this style.
Yards Puglist, at 4.2% clocks in at an appreciably low ABV yet takes on the English style well. Malty aromas highlight the amber brew. Its taste profile starts off malty, has some slight fruity sweetness to it that mingles nicely with the bready maltiness, a hint of yeast, leading to a nice profile finish. Not overly complex, but accomplishes exactly what its brewed for. Kills any macro-brew.
I'd love to try this on cask.

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Photo of TheAmericanBeerProject
3.89/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There is not a session beer as diverse as this. The connoisseur will be happy with the color and drinkability for sure. The is a great gateway beer if you want to transition your friends over to ales from lagers, or from macros in to micros. Clearly not the best beer ever, but a reliable pour no doubt.

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

A dark mild, I'm fairly psyched. Not a usual style for an American brewery.

A: Light ruby body with a thin white finger of head that quickly dissipates.

S: Nose is grainy malt with not a lot of hop character.

T: Flavor is rich malt for such a light body and low ABV. Dark, slightly bitter, clean finish. It's very good, but almost a little too clean for an English style, where's the yeast?

M: Slick, smooth and a hint of astringency on the finish.

O: A good brew. I love the variation from the standard styles and am pleased to say that the result is tasty and very sessionable.

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Photo of brystmar
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, Ethan.

A really nice looking Mild: semi-transparent brown body, plenty of manila-colored head & lace, good retention.

Herbs and a mixture of grains in the malty aroma. Taste is pretty bland & watery, which is style-appropriate but not what I'm looking for in a beer.

Highly sessionable. Would much rather play beer pong with this than any of the BMC alternatives. That said, I can't see myself ever buying this beer for myself.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Honeyed brown/caramel color. Overpour caused a fizzy head to dwindle. Translucent. 2.5

Lightly roasted grains, walnut, earthy hops. 3.0

Tangy as hell. Citrus hops peel back layers of orange rind and lime. Kilned grain offers some crisp toffee and crabapple esters around nutty and earthy flavors. A tad too rigid and sweet. Finishes tart and bitter. 3.5

Burpy and brushing. Medium body is cruising. A little mouth-drying. Acidic feel. 3.0

Overall, it's not too bad. Malt flavors are almost there, but the hops are a little confusing. Still a recognizable dark mild. 3.5

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Photo of djbst73
3.32/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass. Fresh.

A- deep brown color with some lacing that doesn't last. Definitely darker than I expected.

S- A little nutty and toasty, but not much to smell here.

T- Nice malty, and toasted up front with a hint of the nuttiness. Subtle hops fades quickly, but is very nice. I am getting the distinctive taste of British pales, suggesting significant mineral treatment in the water. I like it as a brit-style session beer.

M- Good body, a bit buttery.

O- I could drink these all day, but it is nothing too crazy. Just a solid, well-rounded ale.

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Photo of wxduff
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Served in a Goblet from a bottle. Pours very dark amber with a decent head that quickly disappears without leaving much lacing.

Smell - Almost overpowering sweetness at first, but then some of the roasted aromas sneak through. The sweet smell could be described as molasses like.

Taste- As expected by the smell, the beer is rather sweet, with a decent amount of residual sugar. After a short while, like with the nose, the malt and hops sneak through, however the sweetness is almost overpowering, until the aftertaste which comes through a little nutty and dry.

Mouthfeel - My sample, even for a session ale felt rather thin, and would be improved if it felt a bit thicker.

Overall – This beer, while suffering from a little to much sweetness, is not terrible and could go over well as a session beer for those times you want to have a few and not loose your head. Those with a sweet tooth will like it more than others.

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Photo of jifigz
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass

The appearance is a clean and clear dark caramel brown. The head disappeared almost instantly and left no real lacing. The aroma is candy sweet and that is about all. The flavor is mild with hints of roasted grain and a lot of sweetness. There is just a touch of hops to balance the sweetness of this brew. The MF is light and crisp as it should be.

Overall, this is a pretty decent session beer and an alright mild brown ale. Nothing spectacular but nothing amazing either.

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

This is a nice treat and a little different style offering for a PA brewery.

Lovely aromas of roasted grains, caramel, and a little nutty. All present in the taste. Just a little fruitiness as well. But with all that aroma and flavor, this beer has a nice even finish. Very balanced, which makes this beer big on flavor but easy on the pallet.

Very drinkable and a change up from the normal offering of a PA brewer. Very good.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a deep red-brownish color with a lighter just off white head. The head faded rather fast leaving only a very light amount of lacing.

Smell – Roasted and more nutty aromas are heaviest. The darker/nutty smells are accompanied by some sweeter aromas of molasses and brown sugar.

Taste – The taste follows the nose quite well. It starts out quite roasty with some good sweetness. A brown bread flavor with hints of nuts mixed within. The sweetness in the flavor at the start is largely of brown sugar. As the taste advances however the brown sugar transitions to a more bitter chocolate flavor. This overall bitters the flavor a bit, and at the end leaves a more dry/bitter roasted flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – While at only 4.8 % abv it has a rather creamy body, which complements the roasty flavors well. The carbonation of the brew is on the normal side.

Overall – A light abv beer with a roasty flavor. Not the greatest darker brew, but lighter and good for a session beer. One to try.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a bottle at Cork City in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a clear garnet red to brown in color with very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall beige creamy head that slowly reduces to a thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: This beer has a very light and almost subtle aroma, dark malts with some light sweetness are present.

T: The beer has some dark malts and some caramel malts with light sweetness. There are also some toffee sweet notes as well along with a light amount of nuttiness.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Very easy to drink and very sessionable (though I suppose that is the goal for the style). This is definitely a light flavored but enjoyable beer that could be drank all night long.

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Photo of metter98
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Cork City, Hoboken, NJ

A: The beer is clear and very dark amber in color with a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense foamy off white head that died down but left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of dark malts in the nose. Some sweetness becomes noticeable as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has flavors of nuts with a bit of sweetness and notes of toffee.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and very sessionable; I would have no problem drinking this all night long.

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Photo of wac9
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

well im so happy i found yards in willimasport heard alot about their beers and this style of beer works i drank this beer too cold tonight the other night i drank it warmer and i like it sitting in a english pub this would hit the spot great color so i will drank more dark mild ale nice dark red in color and i taste so fruit so enjoy this beer and other dark mild ales

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Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliantly clear bright tawny brown color with a 1 finger bright white head. Big malty nose of caramel and toffee with touches of chocolate. On the heavier side of a light body with incredible briskness. Body holds together all the way through with good carbonation a punch of caramel malt character. Some toffee on the sides of the mouth, generally sweet but a bit of charcoal on the back along with the right amount of hop character gives this beer impeccable balance. This beer holds true to its name, definitely one you can go a few rounds with and one I wouldn't mind doing it with either. The perfect balance of flavor and drinkability.

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Photo of tylerprince
2.68/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from memory from yesterday.

A: Dark copper with off-white head. Not much in the way of lacing.

S: Weak apricot and toasted dark malts. Slight stale odor.

T: Oh my. Fruit sugars and burned malt; apricot. Complex, but not in a good way. I like hops in all my beers, and this one is practically a malt liquor.

M: Syrupy yet thin. Undercarbonated MO, but finishes with some foam.

O: Not very good. Other reviews speak highly of it, but I found it to be dull and unsatisfying.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very aggressive light caramel/tan head is made, very styrofoamy looking and settling quite quickly.

Nose is mostly just yeast, a bit estery smelling and sticky almost sour malt. After sometime some sweetness comes out which makes it a bit more enjoyable, kind of a fruity marmalade a bit and apricot.

A nice slightly made for the course palate feel, light rolling malts, but a nice pectin and apricot fruit behind this. Light bodied fruit tasting and almost apricot peach mixing with a good malt backbone.

Overall for a mild, pretty pleasant. Lacking a little bit in flavor and feel, but drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - a nice clear amber pour with a good amount of head

S - got a fruit whiff of cherries, grapes and pear, smells like a light barley wine, cinammon, and other spices i can't put a thumb on

T - a little smokey, taste of rye, malty sweet, a hint of chocolate. not getting any of the tastes of fruits in the aroma.. kind of weird but still delicious

M - creamy but watery like a cheap stout (guiness haha) makes it nice and easy to go down, a rich creamy fizzy head finds its way down your throat and makes it all that much more pleasant to drink!

O - this is a pretty awesome beer from a very awesome brewery. really hoping to get to do the bbq cook off there again this summer! hopefully i'll go in with more knowledge of their brews and get to taste this stuff on tap!

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Photo of eeverwine
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This review goes out to all the people who have never properly experienced a Brawler. This beer is a gem, and I will tell you why.

First things first, this is a session beer. It isn't meant to get you wasted.

This is a very important quality in a micro, because for the most part you get "extreme" brewers (a term I find offensive but which most seem to adhere to), and you're generally stuck with beers that are over 5% ABV. Brawler is 4.2% and we're lucky to have such a flavorful beer that clocks in so low. I know there are several others out there and blah blah blah Stone Levitation blah blah blah. Brawler is made to showcase the malt character that is so lacking in American beers, and does so in a subtle and beautiful manner. It's a beer that allows you to sit back and take punch after punch without sacrificing your sophisticated palate.

BEFORE I GO ANY FURTHER. Hopheads, please stop hating on this beer. I get it, you like more hops. I love a variety of different hops in a ton of different beers, but this is NOT A HOPPY BEER. So if you're going to discard it because it lacks in the Cascade department, well, please drink something else. Don't rate it super low because it's not for you.

Now for the ASTMO review.

It pours a bright (bright means crystal clear for you novices), deep ruby. I can't say much more about how pretty the glass I have sitting in front of me is. I'm halfway through, and because I washed this glass myself I have significant lacing. Brawler doesn't do much by way of head retention, but that ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT be a factor in reviewing this beer. It is crafted in the style of the real ales of old, and I challenge you, oh beer advocate, to find many malty old English mild browns that impart serious heads. Nonetheless I'm lacing like crazy. The beer is so bright I could read through this glass if I so chose, and not only that, the color is reminiscent of certain slippers that if I click three times will take me back home. No need for a cab. Actually if you drink Brawler all night you probably won't need a cab anyway.

When I dip my nose in to a Brawler I get Biscuit type malts, maybe Victory, a nutty/bready character. It isn't intensely aromatic, because there isn't much of a hop character. It's a MALT FORWARD beer folks. Ultimately very pleasant though.

The Brawler, taste-wise, imparts the same nut/bread/biscuit character from the aroma profile. It is balanced by a very small amount of English noble hops, which are earthy and maybe a bit woody. For a malt forward beer, thankfully, the Brawler doesn't impart any bitterness from protein tannins, which can taste like cardboard at their most subtle, and like chlorine at their most intense. There isn't any seriously perceivable sweetness to it, it's just all malt. There are slight roasted bits that come through in the middle, but for the most part you can expect intense biscuit flavors.

This beer ebbs just light of creaminess. It isn't very carbonated, but it does have a lightness to it that passes very freely from tongue to throat to belly. I gave the mouthfeel that extra .5 only because on the back of my tongue, right before the aftertaste it finally gives up what most people (including non craft beer fans re:millerlite) are looking for, that carbonated alcohol feeling.

Overall this is one of my favorite six pack purchases. You can drink all six and feel just fine and dandy. It's an excellent primer for craft beer palate development, especially for people who aren't quite ready for serious brown ales, porters and stouts. It breaks down the barrier between light (re:massproduced) american lagers, and more complex craft beer offerings. When you start to allow your taste buds to wrap themselves around the malt character of this beer, you will start to notice that when you drink darker and heavier beers that you can pick out the roasted, biscuit, and pale malt flavors much more readily. Top 10 for me, and especially because you can buy and kill a case with two friends and still have enough of your wits about you to beat their asses at texas hold'em.

So gorgeous in my glass, and only 1/4 left. Sigh.

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Brawler Pugilist Style Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 275 ratings.