Brawler Pugilist Style Ale | Yards Brewing Co.

306 Reviews
Brawler Pugilist Style AleBrawler Pugilist Style Ale

Brewed by:
Yards Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: English Dark Mild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by garcia2a on 12-10-2008

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Reviews: 306 | Ratings: 1,116
Photo of TTen
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Yards Brawler

L: Brown with deep copper on the edges of the standard pint glass. light beige head with moderate retention. Good clarity. Good looking beer. 4.5
S: Cocoa, caramel, mineral. Definite bread and biscuit notes. 4
T: Mild bitterness and a good malt presence. Sourdough bread, caramel and some mineral. English\British yeast? I'm getting fruity, tart, mineral flavors. 4.25
F: Light to medium body (more light than medium) with mild carbonation. Finishes dry. 4
O: This is very good. Lots of interesting nuances for a low gravity ale. It starts mild with the bready, caramelly flavors and mid taste it starts to develop a fruity, minerally tartness and finishes dry and quenching. I can drink a lot of this, in fact it might be the beer I buy most consistently. 4.25

Bottled 2/15/2016

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Photo of woodychandler
4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was presented with a soapy, foamy finger of light-tan head with low retention. Color was a reddish-amber with ruby highlights and a slight haze. Nose had a caramel/toffee quality. Mouthfeel was smooth with a mild bitterness on the tongue. Finish was likewise mild with only a hint of bitterness. This would be a truly eminently drinkable session beer. If you disagree, put up your dukes and we'll settle this with Queensbury Rules!

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Photo of larryi86
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- A nice light clear brown with a two finger off white head.

S- Toasted bread, caramel malts, slight nuttiness, faint earth hoppiness.

T- Toasted bread, nice light fruitiness, caramel malts, faint hops, balanced.

M- Smooth, light body, slightly creamy.

O- A well balance sessionable beer. Very easy to drink. The flavor is not over the top, but it tasty.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured a dark brown with tan head that fades quickly.

The smell is faint but of a slight roast and a very little scent of hops.

The taste is subtle but on the on the roasty malty side of things. There is a nice little hop kick but nothing over the top.

There's not much special about this beer but that's what makes it so damn great. There are not enough solid session beers here in the U.S. so a brew like this is a true gem!

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Photo of strictly4DK
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz Brown bottle poured into a pint glass

A - Light brown with ruby hues, moderate head when poured vigorously, no retention or lacing

S - Light sweet grains, small hints of toasted grains and ground coffee

T - The sweet grains are much pronounced followed by mild fruit esters, possibly a hint of pear. Finishes strong toasty malt, hint of chocolate and ground coffee.

M - Light to medium body, great carbonation

D - A very noteworthy session brew, great beer to kick back and relax and drink quite a few without busting your wallet, good rendition of a style seemingly forgotten by American craft breweries.

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Photo of edskirk3
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought a case over the weekend. The brewery is about 12 miles away so I know its fresh.

The neck label could easily be mistaken for Sam Adams Boston Lager. I wonder if that's on purpose.

Pours amberish copper with an off-white head, about 2 fingers. The head eventually wears down to a thin layer, with some minor lacing on the sides of the glass.

The aroma is bready and biscuity.The taste is very soft. Toasted biscuit with caramel. There's a fruity note reminiscent of apple cider and just a whisper of hops if you taste carefully.

Smooth and most importantly, drinkable, which is what I imagine Yards is going for here. I could easily go more than "a few rounds" with this.

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Photo of ForkAndSpoonOp
4.12/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A co-worker suggested this one to me recently. It was a slow day in the office, and one can only check Facebook so many times every hour, so we began chatting. I mentioned that I was taking my first tentative steps into the dark catacombs of the beer world, and I wasn't really enjoying the outrageously hoppy beers my girlfriend kept foisting on me. Being the decent person he is, he only busted my balls for about ten minutes, then rattled off a few bottles that he thought I might enjoy. He was exactly right about this Yards Brawler.

We began with a 12 oz. bottle, poured into the only proper glassware I had on hand, a 20 oz. mug. Not as imposing looking as I'd hoped, but 'tis enough,'twill serve. Poured a stunning ruby red color. I was careful to pour gently, as I tend to have the SPED kid strength from time to time; resulted in a half-finger head that dissipated fairly quickly, leaving a rather tenacious if light lacing.

The huge headspace meant plenty of room to jam my beak into the glass, at least. My palate's not terribly trained, but I got a wonderful smell of honey, apricots, and freshly-baked bread, with a touch of pear in there, too. My brother walked into the kitchen at this point and insulted me for a couple minutes, saying I looked like a retarded dog trying to drink out of a vase. I love my life sometimes.

First sip was caramel and those apricots again. Sweet without being cloying, with just a hint of bitterness attempting to balance things out. Carbonation was fairly high, which I'm usually not crazy about, but I think it works here. This beer is definitely on the thinner side. A small burp came up, tasting faintly of Bazooka bubble gum. I have no idea. Must be some kind of cross-contamination.

After I finished my notes, I took another Brawler out to the hammock, and then looked at how filthy the hammock was and decided to sit on the back porch instead. Highly sessionable, great for a cookout, a poker game, or watching the Flyers or Eagles dash your hopes against the pavement once again. Overall, a refreshing and insanely drinkable beer, accessible to newbies, but with enough flavor to keep veterans interested. I have no idea how typical this beer is of its style, but it's fast becoming a favorite of mine on its own merits.

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Photo of dedrinker
4.12/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber/ brown color.

Smells faintly toasty, roasty, and nutty.

Tastes the same plus a little fruity - tree fruit.

Nice mellow light-medium body; soft

Finishes with faint hop bitterness - not hop flavor - and a little more toast and fruit.

A solid and rewarding effort in the true session ale spirit. Obviously best drank fresh as can be, most likely better on draft, and probably pretty killer on cask.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yards- Brawler

A- Clear golden brown with a frothy, good lacing, head.
S- Brown sugar, molasses, and a light touch of sweet fruity raisins.
T- Thick sweet malt. Brown sugar, molasses, and a dusting of cocoa powder make up the body of this 1.
M- Thick sweet malt up front and throughout with malty, somewhat dry earthy hop finish.

Overall- Sweet and malty, not bad for a mild.

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Photo of Cottontown201
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Waited until I was spending the afternoon at a friend's lake house to try this one. Hot day, frequent plunges off the dock to cool off.Perfect setting.
Drank straight from the bottle so can't' comment on the appearance.
Super carbonated. Head spilling out of the bottle after a little jostling on the way out to the pier.
Lovely malty, bready taste. Went down very smoothly.
Great for social setting, I' d enjoy this year round. If I had access to it.

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Photo of eldondre
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't have a ton to add to the previous posts but I did want to agree that this is not the Brawler I remember. Additionally, the flavor varied considerable from the one I had on cask to the one I had from teh regular draft system. I found it a malty, caramel accented smooth ale when drinking from the cask but the regular draft was entirely too sweet for my taste. I would rate the cask version a B+ and the carbonated version C+.

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Photo of garcia2a
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep ruby-amber tone and clear. Everso slight carbonation with a fine lacey head that was retained.

The bouquet has nice earthy roasted grains, a sllight hint of toffee and chocolate and then at the end, a hint of malt. This translated well to the body where those roassted grains leave a nice warm biscuit taste on the tone with a smooth, clear crisp finish of slightly sweet malt.

Mouthfeel is what you would expect for a beer of this type. The body is slightly lighter than I would have expected for the style, but this is a fine pub beer that one can enjoy with some banger's and mash or spotted dick.

Welcome back Tom, its been far too long. I can stop hoarding the old stuff!! Met you back in '99 at a charity event at Reading Market through Adrian and George of the Foodery. What a beer night, you, the Troeger's and Jim from Old Lehigh (defunct). Enough soppy stuff, get back to the kettles, I'm running out of Saison!

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Photo of sholland119
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a clear copper with hints of chestnut brown. A nice frothy tan head has great retention.

S-Nutty with sweet malt, some floral hops and a wisp of brown sugar.

T-Dark malt, some roastiness, nicely sweet caramel and a mildly bitter hop finish.

M-Light side of medium, crisp.

O-A great session beer. Always popular at our parties with non-beer geek friends, it's a well made beer that I am happy to drink this anytime.


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Photo of pwoody11
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Brauhaus Schmitz on South Street in Philly.

Poured a dark amber color with an off-white head.

Aroma is a little earthy and nutty. The malt dominates, but some hop notes do poke through.

As in the aroma malt dominates and not much hops. I picked up some dried fruit type flavors along with some brown sugar.

This beer went down quick. Which is great with the low abv. This makes a great session beer. Hope to see it on a shelf near me soon.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.09/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer in the Philly airport after flying back from Madrid. After a week of beer in Spain, American beer in the Philadelphia airport was a breath of fresh air. Actual hops, and actual flavor!

Brawler pours a clear, reddish brown, and is topped by an off-white head that fades to a film. The aroma was nice and malty. There were notes of toffee, caramel, and dark fruit. The aroma is very inviting.

There's a moderately sweet malt backbone throughout this beer. Caramel upfront quickly moves into notes of toffee and dark fruit in the center. The finish is mildly hoppy. Despite the mildly bitter finish, this beer sees very balanced. This mild is medium-bodied, and moderately carbonated with a mild dryness in the finish.

I really liked this beer. It's sweet, but seems to magically pull balance from somewhere.

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4.09/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

First I've had of the style and I was very impressed. This is a very flavorful and satisfying brew. A little light bodied but nothing off putting. Sweet and roasted caramel backbone with a clean finish. I don't usually go for lower abv beers as they tend to lack substance but I'd definitely drink this again.

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Photo of weeare138
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appears a transparent light brown with a small off white head that slowly fades into a mild cap. Streaky bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of brown sugar, caramel, toastd grain, and a bready, English yeast.
Taste is mild yet flavorful with gentle notes of bread, sugar, ripe fruit, and caramel pulling through.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, clean, and gently carbonated.

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Photo of JunkYardJake
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle to pint glass.
This is my first english mild so I cannot really judge this brew against it's peers. I can, however, say that this is a very tasty and enjoyable beer. It's quite malty and flavorful, yet only 4.2%. An ideal session beer. There is a good amount of visual appeal, too. Dark brown body that is highlighted with crimson hues. Full fluffy head with mild lacing. And the mouthfeel is probably it's best aspect. Full bodied and silky feel on the tongue with just enough carbonation to give it a little life. This is a great effort from Yards and one I look forward to having again.

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Photo of smooth_aleing
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

A= Deep mahogany. Half-finger head with decent lacing.

S= Smells slightly of scotch, yeast, with raisin and caramel undertones.

T= Rich and bready. Strong dark ale taste, with raisin and caramel notes, and musty, woodsy finish.

M= Decent, with a fair amount of carbonation. Taste lingers on the tongue, which can turn slightly sour, but overall a good mouthfeel.

O= A unique beer. Haven't had one exactly like it, though it reminds me some of a Belgian quad. Very nice beer from a local (for me, anyway) brewery.

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Photo of thain709
4.07/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a deep amber that's not quite considered brown...some maroon highlights are around the edges...a tan head falls as it forms and leaves little lacing to speak of

S - A very heavy malt nose...caramel and toffee notes coming through

T - The malts continue right into the flavor...the roastiness of the malts really contributes to this beer...they are caramel and toffee in flavor with that hint of roasted bitterness...I'm really picking up some chocolate in this beer...maybe chocolate malts?...but it's a pleasant flavor...some graininess shows up at the end...but is then taken away by the roasted malts that finish this beer

M - Medium bodied...not heavy at all as the color would suggest...rather smooth

D - I feel this was great beer...I'm not too familiar with the style...but the flavors that this beer presented were very tasty and it's worth a try

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.07/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz bottle into snifter glass. 4.2% abv

Appearance- Pours a dark burnt brown, with a slight red tint. Two finger white head. Good clarity for such a dark beer.

Smell- Roasted dark malt, caramel, toffee.

Taste- A caramel malt that has been generously toasted. Roasted barley. Some toffee flavors, the slightest hints of chocolate. Some earthy grains. Finish still ends malty with faint hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Light-medium, lively carbonation.

Overall- A light beer full of taste. Not a common style apparently, but this beer is very agreeable and smooth. Would make an excellent beer to get a macro brew friend into craft beer. Light body paired with flavor makes this happen. Have a few rounds of the Brawler.

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Photo of LaeliaPumila
4.06/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Appearance: clear tawny brown (not ruby as the label implies) with a small beige head that fades quickly

Smell: malts and caramel, not strong but pleasant enough

Taste: exceptional balance in such a light beer. There's a nice crispness that fills your mouth and a good strong malt backbone without any cloying sweetness. Not a strong aftertaste, but a pleasant lingering maltiness that goes great with pizza or grilled chicken

Mouthfeel: somewhat thin and acerbic on the tongue

Drinkability: exceptional, this is one of my favorite session beers.

Overall, a great take on the style from Yards. I always have some of this in the house for when I'm craving a lunch beer without an afternoon nap afterwards.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Toast, Grassy, Quaffable, Balance

One of the only brewers in the US to successfully have a Mild Ale as a core beer in their portfolio and an excellent one at that. Malt forward with a bit of body, smooth with just enough crispness to bring this brew to a lofty height of drinkability. Maltiness drives forward throughout, sip to sip this ale opens up with suggestions of toast, biscuits, & faint caramel. Such a beautiful beer.

STYLE: English Dark Mild Ale | ABV: 4.2% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #94 (NOV 2014)

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Photo of drtth
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled and poured into Duvel glass and allowed to warm some over the course of the tasting. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: Pours clear dark amber or copper with ΒΌ" light tan head which fades to a thin film with a rim of foam around the edge of the liquid. Sipping leaves behind nice strands of lacing.

Smell: Light, sweet, bready malt smell, caramel with hints of brown sugar and fruit.

Taste: Sweet malt with nothing particularly strong or dominant. The sweetness does not cloy and just disappears in a dry finish without the hops ever having made a serious showing beyond a touch of earthy bitterness that begins to emerge mid-way through the sip.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin with light creamy carbonation and a medium length malt finish.

Drinkability: This is explicitly brewed to be a session beer, which means you should be happy to have 5 or 6 of an evening and not be falling off your seat. I think it succeeds admirably. Another characteristic of a good session beer is you find it just as or even more interesting in the 3rd of 4th pint. I haven't tested this beer that way but I suspect it would pass.

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Photo of Boppar
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Back in the good ole days when there was a drinkability category, this would have gotten a 5.

A: Deep reddish brown with two fingers of foamy off-white head.

S: Sweet malts, toffee, fresh bread. Rich earth and moss.

T: It tastes the way it smells, which is a very good thing.

M: The mouthfeel is slick, foamy, and medium-bodied.

O: This is a very good session beer.

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Brawler Pugilist Style Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
3.69 out of 5 based on 1,116 ratings.
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