Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce Ale | Yards Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce AlePoor Richard's Tavern Spruce Ale
BA SCORE
3.58/5
Good
589 Ratings
Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce AlePoor Richard's Tavern Spruce Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Yards Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
yardsbrewing.com

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Based on Franklin’s original recipe, which called for barley, molasses, and essence of spruce, our Tavern Spruce is as approachable and engaging as was the man himself. We source blue spruce clippings from a local organic farmer, steeping them in the kettle to create this one-of-a-kind deep amber ale.

Added by NeroFiddled on 01-05-2003

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#39,139
Reviews:
211
Ratings:
589
pDev:
16.2%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
23
Gots:
108
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 589 |  Reviews: 211
Photo of Stinkypuss
2.88/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce Ale

"Pours" a deep copper in color. A white foam cap, decent retention, some lace.

Aroma of spruce tips, suggestions of maple syrup, slightly minty and medicinal.

In the taste, spruce is dominant, with some molasses and well toned sweetness. Sweet pine. There is almost a menthol kick with the spruce, and it is kind of soothing.

Medium bodied, crisp level of carbonation yet somewhat syrupy. Perhaps because it was an aged bottle.

Overall, interesting brew that really does highlight the spruce tip flavor. Something I could definitely drink in simpler times when much better craft beer was not available.

 641 characters

Photo of dreichus
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of st9647v3
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of tobelerone
2.9/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I’d been curious about this beer for some time and found myself at the brewery one recent afternoon so I gave it a shot. It’s not terrible but it’s also not terribly interesting or something I’d go back to. That said, I’m glad I tried it.

Pour is copper to amber colored and a little cloudy. A decent sized head sinks to a thin band quickly. Lacing is pretty solid. Aroma is led by the spruce but it’s not overbearing and combines well with a general maltiness and some sweet caramel, maple syrup notes. The taste isn’t quite as appealing; the spruce is a little stronger than I’d like, the sweetness doesn’t cover up the “drinking a tree’ flavor, what seemed like an appealing maple syrup note in the nose instead feels more like a heavy handed dose of molasses. It’s still not quite sweet enough to cover the assertive and bitter spruce taste. Even a generic kind of bready malt flavor is pretty well hidden. It’s not that the spruce is totally overwhelming, it’s just that everything seems muddled and unfortunately, not all that tasty.

The body of this beer is medium, carbonation is right down the middle, feel is fine overall. Someone else said it was “like drinking your Christmas tree water” and that’s pretty apt. Not a ton of fun.

 1,276 characters

Photo of CliffBrake
3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal bright reddish copper color with a good off white head that maintains a slick of bubbles and leaves good lacing on the glass.

Very light aroma. If I use my imagination, I think I can smell a whiff of malt and spruce, but I am not too sure. The spruce is definitely present in the flavor, offset by a bit of molasses and leading to a herbal bitter finish. Balanced and tasty.

Medium light mouthfeel with good carbonation. Overall this is a beer that one would really want to be a spruce aficionado to try. The spruce is not subtle, but is well done. I am sure this one is good for whatever ales (ails) you. Give it a try!

 631 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Odd beer I wasn't sure I'd like as it could be hit or miss but was more of a hit. Poured a light brownish hue with solid one-finger head that left bubbles and lace so no complaints. On first sniff I get a mild sticky malt aroma, with some sweetness, then patches of piney, floral hops and some spice (guess that's the spruce). Light to medium bosy, smooth and chewey, some breadiness and touch of sweet malts in this beer, odd balance with minor floral hops and the spices for a weird sweet/heavy bitter and light mix. Crisp finish, and while not perfectly balanced this could've been a lot worse and I enjoyed relaxing with this beer.

 635 characters

Photo of ChrisPratz
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of hopsolutely
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Although I believe this to be a very well brewed beer, it's a distinct taste that I personally wouldn’t consider sessionable...

Pours a hazy darkish amber with a decent cream-coloured head. Aroma is pure "spruce", with an underlying wood spiciness. Malts are more noticeable in the taste, sweetly caramelized, but the overwhelming flavour is that of the spruce tips. The finish is sweet but spruce-prevalent and lingers for an impressive length of time.

A unique beer that I definitely recommend trying!

 508 characters

Photo of andrewborstein
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of DSlim71
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of DanielBrett
3.87/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just through a sixtel in the kegerator.

A: Brown /orange in color, poured about 3 fingers of white foamy head (likely because this was the first pour). It settled relatively quick. Have some lacing but not extremely sticky.

S: Like shoving your face into your Christmas tree, this brew has a big time spruce nose. Definitely one of my favorite aspects of this beer.

T: Very piney with some mildly sweet molasses flavors, not much bitterness. This brew tastes exactly like it smells.

M: Light bodied, smooth, easy drinking beer.

O: The first time I had this was at Yards Taproom, I really enjoyed it. I'm usually a fan of high hops, and higher alcohol content than this. However, this is a great, easy to drink session beer for the colder months.

 750 characters

Photo of tone77
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a pretty auburn color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of spruce and pine. Taste is also spruce, pine, a menthol like flavor, different and unusual. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall I would not want a steady diet of it, but worth a try.

 285 characters

Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep garnet color with a thin off white head. Big time spruce tips on the nose with touches of molasses and maple. Caramel malt comes through a bit as well. Surprisingly crisp with a light to moderate body which thins a bit on the swallow. Finishes clean yet boring. Flavor up front on the other hand is pretty interesting. Flavorful spruce tips with balanced by molasses and caramel with buttered toast landing someone on the middle palette. The finish is hard to pin point but it does cleanse the palette well leaving an overall dry taste in the mouth. Better than expected and unique as well.

 609 characters

Photo of testch09
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of cynical1027
4.5/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of sneth019
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of lpotter
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of turdadactyl
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of zonalax
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of slimntubbs
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of JeffTheJuice
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of mquinn919
5/5  rDev +39.7%

Photo of stinkboy13
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of microbrewlover
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours dark with a medium head and a little bit of lacing.
This brew is malty and like its name says is loaded with the smell and taste of spruce. The smell and taste make me believe that I could really be drinking something similar to what Old Ben Franklin drank. The taste lingers on the pallet after swallowing.

All in all this beer is very enjoyable and I believe it is good for any time of the year.

 416 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 589 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.