Brawler Pugilist Style Ale | Yards Brewing Co.

304 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: 304 | Ratings: 1,105
Photo of TheFightfan1
3.36/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a hazy cherry-amberish color.With an offwhite colored heading that disapates quickly. Very little lacing throughout.

Smell is malty upfront with a kind of skunky hop smell.Also a kind of burnt woody type smell.

Taste is again is malty kind of dank.A smooth and sweet caramel flavor that leaves a funky aftertaste.

Mouth is smooth,medium bodied, with decent carbonation.

Drink is good nothing spectacular but could enjoy a few more.

I love the name especially that it belongs to a Philadelphia company. Fits in perfectly Brawler Pugilist style ale. Awesome.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.36/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle into shaker pint glass on 2/5/09. Thanks to sholland119 for sharing.

A - Poured a clear reddish copper color with loads of carbonation and a finger's width of thick, bubbly beige foam that retained well and left a bit of lace.

S - Initial aroma is very macro-esque with hints of toasted grains, corn, maple syrup, earth and bark. Nose is quite gritty, if you will. There's also a good bit of caramel malt sweetness present.

T - Toasted grains and sweet caramel dominate the flavor of this ale. Hop bitterness is scant, though there are distinct gritty, earthy undertones, which are in sharp contrast to the sweetness.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy texture and quite a carbonated mouthfeel overall. Finishes with a mild bitterness across the palate.

D - Brawler isn't bad per se, but it's also not too terribly exciting. This could benefit from a cleaner hop profile to balance its malt-forward flavor. If you like grainy, malty brews, give it a shot.

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Photo of Act25
3.37/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I'm a big fan of Philly (went to Swarthmore, shot films there).
But not yet a fan of this brewer. Is it the water?

A: No better or worse than any session English Ale - flattish, strong tea or cola colored, not much going on, not sticky.
S: Sweet, almost cola like. Along with same frat floor stink.
T: I find it way too sweet for sessions. (I dont add sugar to my coffee and I never ever drink soda)

Maybe I'm just attuned to the bright hop or the might yeast?
F: Sweet, never really bracing, not much of a food beer.

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

Had a bottle at Liberty St. Tavern for $3.50. I'd been looking forward to this beer as I'm a big fan of milds and other session beers, but I found this one fell prey to most common problem of lower-alcohol beers - it's boring. Even when I really let my glass warm up, the caramel flavor was flat and not all that interesting, like a watered-down brown ale. Not bad beer, but reminds me more of the "specialty beer" big brewers put out, like Yuengling Black and Tan, that looks good, but doesn't taste like much of anything.

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

Pours clear reddish brown with a small slightly rocky tan head. Head slowly fades, but leaves a small amount of lace. On the nose, aromas of dark fruit, apple, wood, and burnt notes. The flavour is malt-forward, moderately sweet throughout with a slight sour component. There is a hint of hops, but they're definitely secondary. Burnt coffee notes enter towards the finish, along with sour apple. On the palate, it is light-medium in body with a smooth, watery texture and slight carbonation. Overall, this is a decent, sweetish mild. It is quite flavourful with a nice complement of fruity and roasty notes.

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

Dark brown colored beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is toasted malts.Taste is bread,butter and various malts.Overall a decent beer that is thin and relatively smooth.Seems like a beer best for the warmer months.I would recommend to try at least once.I'd probably buy again.

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

Got a bottle of this as an extra from a recent trade!

A: The beer displayed a deep amber core with slighter lighter edges and was topped with a small, but fluffy off white head. No lacing to speak of here.

S: Sweet nose of carmel malts and to my surprise I was able to detect some bitterness from the hops.

T: Overall, a fairly subtle beer comprised of semi sweet malts, and grains with the slightest hint of a bitter aftertaste.

M: Heavier than one would think, strong carbonation that tingles the tongue and throat.

O: An enjoyable experience and a pretty solid session beer from Yards Brewing.

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Photo of treehugger02010
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this bottle in the Yards Brewing Company variety case. I poured it into a pint glass.
Appearance: The body is a clear dark brown color. The head is two fingers tall, light tan, ok retention, little thin lacing and tiny lacing.
Smell: The aromas are muted coffee, earthy hops and hints of caramel.
Taste: The flavors are earthy hops, malt balls and caramel.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is thin and edgy.
Drinkabily: This beer is good.
Don't drink and review.

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

The English mild flavor. A touch of mud and a hint of burnt malt. Pleasant quaff, with a bit of a woody edge. Dark amber in the pint glass. Some subtle flavors with a touch on the astringent side. Seems to have an acidic note. Good for a gulp and to be commended for at least decent flavor in a low-alcohol style. But overall, very simple.

Had a pint at Raven Hill Bluegrass in Manyunk, PA. From notes written up in June on Philadelphia Beer Week trip.

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

Ap. Not much head and gone quickly. That said, the color is a beautiful clear ruby red...almost like a light wine.
Sm. I get a little spice, a little lemon zest? and something else that is pungent. Others have said strong malt, even the brewer, but either I don't smell it or I don't recognize it.
Ta. Light tart, mild spice over hops and a faint caramel hidden in there. A lightly bitter and brief finish.
Dr. Not my favorite flavor, but good and very easy to drink.

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Photo of metter98
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
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 ThisWangsChung
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
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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3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: dark Amber, medium light carbonation, little head, head white, head fine, head dissipates quickly, quite clear

Aroma: light in aroma, hoppy, slightly wheaty, mostly light and non-descript due to coldness, slight citrus

Taste: nice hoppiness to start, slight malt backbone, citrus comes through but is light, nice lightness, maltiness increases as the beer warms up yet the beer as a whole still remains balanced, slight tang in the finish

Mouthfeel: medium light, crisp, dry finish, nice carbonation to match the flavor, well balanced

Comments: a beer that I would likely drink again on a frequent basis, would share with friends, maltiness comes a little too far forward as it warms up and the pineyness could be stronger but that's is just me being picky. In the end it is a good beer that I definitely intend to enjoy again.

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Photo of mynie
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really wish brewers would put the actual style of their beer somewhere on the bottle, instead of trying to be cute.

Aside from that, this is totally solid. A little bland, maybe, but that's kinda intentional.

Nice, deep brown pour. Smells of biscuits, caramel, and fruit esters. Tastes exactly the same, but you get a tiny hit of British hops near the end. The hops combine with an earthy finish to make the beer quite well balanced.

This is a very well brewed example of a style I never much cared for, which makes it sort of hard to review. On the one hand, it's bland. On the other hand, that blandess is not only intentional but expertly crafted.

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Photo of berpwillie
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a brown ruby color mostly transparent but a bit cloudy. Spare off white head, spare lacing and lively carb. strong bread malty flavor with burnt toasted nutty hints. light body and slick oily texture. goes down very smooth with a slight chalky finish.

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Photo of wordsampersand
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A buddy brought this over for a board game session, and I was impressed.

The Pugilist had a ruddy brown tint and smelled a little like beans roasting from the coffee shop down the street. The taste was interesting -- my mouth registered almost no taste initially, but some malty, almost chocolately goodness swept in and stayed there for a bit. I made little exclamatory remarks like "huh!" and "hmmm" as I drank. I think that's good?

Not my favorite beer, but I'd definitely drink it again. And it's another good one from Yards.

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Photo of tjd112
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this into my Sam Smith's pint glass. The appearance is ruby/dark brown with white head that dissipates fast w/o lacing, the smell is that of dark chocolate, but it leads to a roasty, bready taste. The mouthfeel is light and somewhat dry. Drinkability is fairly good.

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Photo of ThePaintedGrey
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into standard bar pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a deep brown, almost mahogany when held up to the light. A small, tan head doesn't stick around too long, eventually fading down to a thin, bubbly cap with a few holes in it. There's not a whole lot of lacing left behind, but a few streaks here and there can be seen.

S: Malty, semi-sweet, hints of chocolate, lightly-roasted grain, and some caramelized sugar. Not as complex or forward as I had hoped, but still solid.

T: This one is kind of light on the palette, offering some nice milky-chocolate flavors, caramelized sugar, a nice light touch of roasted grains and malts. Small instances of mild hop bitterness peek through it all in the finish. Low ABV on this one means the alcohol is pretty non-existent on the tongue.

M: The body on this one is on the lighter side with a very mild carbonation. An overall silky feeling makes this a very drinkable ale.

O: Seeing how Yards is about as local as local gets for me, I've been making my rounds sampling their brews whenever I can. Yards hit the nail on the head with this one, making a very solid, sessionable pub brew. If you're ever looking for something flavorful while remaining light enough to knock a few pints back, give this one a second look—it's, if nothing else, worth the try.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
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 BARFLYB
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single poured into a regular kitchen glass. I believe this is new in their lineup.

A- A stealth pour yielded an inch of bubbling off-white, slighty tan foam, kind of loose looking. It was gone in no time only leaving a ring around the glass, no lacing. The liquid was light brown with some hints of orange. Tiny bubbles seen rising.

S- This is English inspired for sure, you can smell it. A lot of sweet malt up front with some caramel, also nutty with some grain in that order.

T- While not a malt bomb, malts are the focus and gives it a sweet and full taste. Caramel as well. Some hops in here but they are only keping this beer together, not stepping out. I get a bunch of fresh nuts from this andgive it a pass for an English ale.

M- Absolutely no bitterness from this as the hops are not felt. Brawler is a small step below medium bodied with low carbonation, just enough to keep things interesting. Goes down smooth while the taste doesent last forever after consuming. Light enough to be sessionable.

D- 4.2% is low for a session but I think I could only do three bottles at the most. This is pretty drinkable although it's not my style.

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

Pours a clear medium orange- brown with a thin light tan ring and light lacing.

Aroma of sweet malts and bread.

Taste of grain, malt, barley with a slight caramel sweetness.

Mouthfeel is light leaning medium body with moderate carbonation and crisp.

Overall it is a drinkable dark ale, properly titled a mild dark ale.

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Photo of Boggdogg
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slightly transparent dark amber color with a cream colored head and small amount of lacing.
Smell is malty, malty and malty.
Taste is malty with slight bitterness. Lacks complexity. Very ordinary.
Light bodied.
Overall not very impressive. Drinkable but ordinary.

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Photo of klkatz
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

smell is not impressive.... lager like... corn smell.

appearance is a lot clearer than the feel... it feels heavy almost syrupy like an american lager - feels thick... looks thin... good brownish, almost red color...

the taste is good... malty... sweet...

sits well in your mouth.. tasty enough to go few rounds.... thus the name.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber colored and clear, small amount of short lived head left decent lacing.

Smelled and tasted quite caramel malty, with light coffee and chocolate undertones, and a bit of toffee too. There's a bit of fruitiness, with a little bit of dark but mostly light fruits coming to mind.

The body is very light and pretty well carbonated, and leaves a slightly slick feel, along with a caramel malty aftertaste.

Overall it's a nice light, easy to drink beer creation. I'd like this one along with dinner or as a session beer.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a 3 Floyds pint glass.

A- Dark brown, burnt orange color, 3 finger frothy head that dissipates to a nice ring around the glass, nice lacing and retention.
S- Dark malts, slight roasted aroma, slight toffee, earthy notes, some spice.
T- Interesting taste, rather bland subtle beer, dark malts, breadiness, slight roasted flavor, some spice, it’s definitely easy drinking but not a lot going on.
M- Light mouth feel, decent carbonation, thin body, clean finish.
O- It’s definitely a session beer at 4% abv, not a lot going on, pretty bland taste, for a mild it does have a decent amount of flavor though, it does what it’s meant to do.

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Brawler Pugilist Style Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 1,105 ratings.
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