Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Yona Yona Ale | Yo-Ho Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
61 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Yona Yona AleYona Yona Ale

Brewed by:
Yo-Ho Brewing Company

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UncleJimbo on 06-16-2003

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 145
Photo of CaptainThunderPants
4/5  rDev +4.2%

The label recommends drinking at 13 degrees. Screw that pretentious nonense, I like my beer cold. Has a pleasant aroma of pencil shavings and when I dirnk it I feel like a real hawaiian party animal. Women flock to me and hair grows where there was no hair. A good beer. Drink it.

 285 characters

Photo of dar482
3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

 452 characters

Photo of DaftBrew
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
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).

 997 characters

Photo of Shemmy
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Agree to most of what others have posted already on this one. Another very nice Japanese ale along with the Hitachinos.

It is complex and heavy, yet the floral, citrus pick things up to make it refreshing enough for hotter climates and seasons.

This is the second time I have been drawn to picking it up over several other import beers available in Northeast Thailand, so something has to be going on for this beer.

 417 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

 1,581 characters

Photo of donnebaby
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pretty still, not too active, oolong oorange color body over a small white head, which left substantial cobwebby lacing. The fruity hop nose was light and refreshing. If there was a hop air freshener, I would want it modeled after this scent I think.

The taste, as well, was big on fruity raw hops. A bit sweet perhaps, but bursting with flavor. The hops left a dry, dry dryness in my mouth, which left me wanting to reach for another sip. Medium body and soft bubbles.

This beer struck me as similar to many hoppy American style pale ales and some IPAs I've had. A solid, very drinkable pale ale.

 606 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can purchased at Paseo depato in Utsunomiya, about 250 yen, and brought it home to the US where I'm now drinking it on my deck. Perfect deck beer, flavorful and refreshing. The beer is golden color, slightly hazed, with a thick foam. The aroma is hoppier than I'd feared, maybe cascade hops? Some pine and citrus but not enough to call this an IPA, just a well done APA-style beer. The undercurrent is sweet toasty malts, really well done. Well worth buying if you're in Japan, this is much better than the Sapporo, Kirin, or Asahi you're likely to find everywhere.

 565 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a hazy, medium golden amber with a thin white head that still has good retention and light lacing. Mild aroma of stone fruit and light bready malt. Flavor follows, with pleasant stone fruit and lemon, light citrus hops and bready malt. Light to medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. A quite pleasant pale ale; light on hops, but makes up for it with a nice fruity, bready malt. Well balanced.

 440 characters

Photo of 3frog
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2 month old example purchased in Shinjuku.

A-poured a small slightly off-white head, which disappeared fairly quickly. Lovely orange color.

S-citrusy (grapefruit) hops, though I get a hint of cedar for some reason. A little malt in the mix.

T-the grapefruit continues, though it's not like a west-coast pale ale. Nice malt framework underlies everything. And as noted elsewhere, a fairly dry and nicely bitter finish.

M-a medium-level mouthfeel seems to be increased by the relatively low level of carbonation.

D-I like this, but I don't know that I would want to drink several of these. It's a nice, complex beer, but I think I'd like this as part of a variety of beers to drink.

 695 characters

Photo of snaotheus
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a pint glass

Pours slightly cloudy yellow with a medium pale head. Smell is mild, but mostly sweet honey and slight hops.

Taste is honeysuckle with a moderate hops kicker. It's been a long time since I had it on cask so I definitely can't compare, but I remember liking it then, and I like it now.

Mouthfeel is thick but not sticky or heavy.

Overall, I like it. It's a solid beer.

 405 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can - $4.49 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a clouded, medium-dark amber body with a sudsy, ivory-hued head. Light lacing as it goes.

Smell: Lightly sweet-scented biscuity-toned malts with a glaze of amber honey and chiefly orangey hops.

Taste: Bready, biscuity malts with a fair amount of honeyed sweetness, though it joins some floral accents for a taste of honeysuckle. Sweet orange, slight lemon from the hops, but a bit of herb pushed into the background. Modestly bitter, leaving it to finish out faintly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Refreshing, pleasant, though rather cost-prohibitive for regular consumption at nearly five bucks a can (but still pleasant to try).

 746 characters

Photo of D-Rock
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer is now widely available in Japan, poured from a can into a tall flute glass.

Look: The beer pours a crystal clear deep coppery butter gold color. A thick white head of fine bubbles foams up to the top and very slowly settles down to a sheen across the beer surface and clings there. Mild lacing adorns the rim of the glass. A pretty inviting look.

Smell: Opens up fruity and buttery with overtones of banana, butterscotch, copper and bitter hop aroma. Oddly enough the scent seems to fade sharply after the initial pour.

Taste: Alternating between copper and buttery with a hoppy finish and mild bitterness.

Feel: The beer has a crisp feel with a slightly silky character. The mild bitterness causes some astringency on the tongue followed by low carbonation refreshment.

Overall: This beer is pretty easy to drink and is overall inoffensive. A good example of the style and a classic example of the Japanese skill at reproducing an ideal. Nothing out of place but not risky either.

 1,000 characters

Photo of SargeC
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper-gold colored brew with a thick, off-white head. Low carbonation.

Smell: Minor malt with a touch of citrus. Minor hop profile.

Taste: Solid malt flavor. Citrus hop flavor gives character to this tasty pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body. Slippery smooth with a satisfying, dry finish.

Drinkablity: Good brew. One of my favorite styles. I am glad to find a serviceable example here in Japan.

 418 characters

Photo of Offa
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper, big off-white head steadily shrinks to thin foamy top & some weak lace.

Aroma is grapefruit, pine, juicy orange/pineapple, hint of “cat pee.” It’s full-bodied bu fairly sublte and light.

Taste is light mineral, herbal citrus, yeasty juiciness with faint raisin, bark,dry bread. It has light bitterness. Overall, it is lightly juicy, minerally, yeasty, with a rather light character but with some hints of complexity and nice balance, with nice lingering aftertaste.

 481 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on cask at Popeye in Tokyo.

This pale ale poured an amber (on the brown side of amber) color with white foam that settled. The smell was mainly floral hops with some malt. The taste was a bit thin, but was mostly sweet malt and floral hops. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with low carbonation. It was smooth and clean with a bit of hop bitterness in the finish. This was a good ale and easy to drink.

 412 characters

Photo of kflorence
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orange, copper in color with a good bit of head. Plenty of lacing on the glass as you drink. Carbonation is moderate. Smells sweet and tangy with lemon and floral notes and a toasty backbone. Taste follows the nose pretty well; sweet up front with a sharp, spicy middle, finishing balanced with buttery malts and citrus hops. Mouthfeel is a little thin and watery, but there is some creaminess. Overall I was quite surprised by this beer. It certainly doesn't have overwhelming flavor or complexity like other APA's, but it makes up for it with a solid, tasty profile that is dangerously drinkable. I'd love to have another.

 633 characters

Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Amber body, choppy white head.

S: Floral hops.

T: Not brilliant, but not half bad. Bitter and snappy with some orange peel, floral hops, honey and tea leaves. Honey prominent in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium and about on point.

O: It's faux craft beer but great for something you can pick up at a convenience store in Japan so extra marks.

 351 characters

Photo of patre_tim
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Rustic caramel, cloudy, lots of carbonation, 4 fingers of beige head, honeycomb lacing.

S: Citrus, orange, caramel, spruce, grapefruit.

T: Pink bubblegum as in the kind that used to come with a cartoon not like hefeweizens, bitter on the finish with a sort of milky lactic quality. Some evergreen in the middle, mild sweetness.

M: Thick juice like body with little carbonation.

O: Interesting taste and amazing mouth feel, got this on Wishbeer, and drank it Jan 17th, 2015 in Kunming, China.

 503 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a shaker pint, the beer is a hazed, almost opaque, orange-copper coloring with a low profile, foamy, off-white head. Plenty of sediment suspended in this one. Aromas of pineapple, mango, lemon, rich caramel, and subtle piney notes. Flavors are smooth and sweet forward, with the tropical fruit notes leading the way, heavy on the pineapple. Roasted caramel backbone, with only subtle bitterness to clean up the fruity sweet overall character. Very smooth and light in mouth, with a pineapple and melon aftertaste. Extremely drinkable, with a smooth, slightly cloying linger in the finish. Decent brew.

 624 characters

Photo of tjd25
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Head was short, almost non existent. Beautiful orange copper color, but only slightly hazy. Smell is very fruity and sweet. I'd say red fruits, but I tend to always say that. Apples too, maybe some caramel. Taste is lemony, very sweet, with maybe some strawberries and blueberries, but it is taken over by the quite thick and chewy grassy hoppiness. Mouthfeel is a bit more enjoyable than for the sansan made by the same brewery, less watery. The beer's low carbonation reinforces its drinkability, but the strong hoppiness tends to weaken it.

 543 characters

Photo of crwills
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Beer Club Popeye in Ryogoku, Tokyo.

American-style pale ale, although the colour is much darker than most Western examples. Being on cask, it was quite warm and had little carbonation, which muted some of the flavours. Nice hoppy presence in the flavour. Something unique in the aroma that I couldn't identify, almost like some Asian spice.

Another nice session beer.

 385 characters

Photo of indiapaleale
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yona Yona pours a nice peachy golden color which is slightly opaque with a nice half inch of perfectly white head. Nice and clean.

The aroma is hard to place, its sort of earthy and fruity at the same time. There is some definite citrus and a good amount of sweetness as well, almost like raw sugar. Finally I can't help but get a bit of a lemonade smell from this beer.

The taste is maltier than I expected, I think I was expecting a lot more hop flavor. That being said, there is some subtle underlying citrus. I taste a lot of biscuity flavors. It also has a bit of dry finish which is refreshing but I am missing the piney/grapefruity flavors that go along with a beer that's dry hopped with cascade hops.

Not a bad beer, especially when compared to so many of the bland lagers available in Japan. Glad I got try this one.

Another big thank you goes out to EinWeizenbitte for sending this beer along with the Sparkling Hop and asking nothing in return. Lots of beer karma coming your way my friend.

 1,006 characters

Photo of travelingrant
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

What Yona-Yona Ale lacks in flavor it makes up for in ubiquity. Craft beer can be hard to come by in Japan, and having a brew like this show up regularly in grocery stores is a ray of hoppy sunshine in a swamp of Asahi Super Dry and Kirin Lager.

Yona-Yona has a nice floral hop nose, with a well balanced malt backbone. It is not the most flavorful Pale Ale, and to judge it by the standards of American Pale Ales and IPAs it is only a fair effort. But it is the hoppiest Japanese craft beer sold in my area, and that sort of thing is worth rewarding.

 552 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can pour at the 2013 Firestone Walker Invitational held at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours a murky orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that smells a bit better than it tastes in my opinion.

 614 characters

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz. can. Has a pretty caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, a bit of hops. Taste is good, hops, citrus, lots of flavor, the most hops in a beer since I left the states on vacation. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

 275 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Yona Yona Ale from Yo-Ho Brewing Company
3.84 out of 5 based on 145 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!