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: 1,109
Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a 1/2" off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a sweet crystal malt scent with a faint roasted aroma and English yeast esters. There is a nice bot of fruitiness that compliments the sweet malt aroma. The taste is decent. It has a caramel sweetness up front with a dry fruity finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an easy drinking session ale, but it's not the most interesting beer around.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An English Dark Mild Ale! Alright!

Appearance: Pours with a bit of head, dark brown in color.

Smell: Bready malt goodness.

Taste: Much like the smell, a nice ale with a flavors of malt, nuts, brown sugar and faint molasses. Hop character is minimal, just a slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth yet prickly at the same time. Good amount of carbonation, medium bodied.

Drinkability: I love this style of beer. I could easily drink quite a few with no poor consequence.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
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 biegaman
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brawler looks far better in the light than it does away from it; what is actually a moderately attractive pecan colour just looks plain muddy and lusterless without proper exposure. Although the bubbles are showing a sense of drive, its head remains completely threadbare and even where it continues to persist along the trim it's riddled with holes.

The smells of this aroma seem to have no campaign for cause. Swirling will arouse momentary scents of toasted malt but no real flavours develop and, seemingly content, the bouquet falls back to a state of starkness and self-effacement. It's not that I smell nothing, but that I don't smell much of anything. At best, it smells like an old, empty coffee can.

Both figuratively and literally, bottle-conditioning a beer can be like travel insurance: you don't always need it but it's never a bad idea and it's especially smart if you have 'special' conditions. The fact that Yards Brawler is only 4.2% and, really, not even all that malty suggests to me that bottle-conditioning this sucker would have been beneficial.

The beer tastes tired and weak; the malts seem so exhausted they can breath little more than an ounce of sweetness or flavour. Their toast seems faded and, if I didn't know any better, oxidized even. The flavour is lightly nutty at best and bears little to no fruity, caramelly or chocolaty flavours - you can't underestimate just how mild it is.

It looks like something knocked out the Brawler Pugilist. Whether it was the right jab of pasteurization, the left hook of larger scale production or some other factor, I can't say. But what I do know is that it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog... and this dog has neither size nor fight. Next contender please.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very clear, ruby-tinted amber color. Long lasting fluffy head and strong lacing.

Mild aroma of lightly toast bread, biscuity malt, and a very English kind of hoppiness. Kent, goldings, or both, perhaps.

Smells and tastes very traditional. Balanced but falls a bit further on the malty side. Bitterness is low and mostly felt in the finish and pleasantly lingering aftertaste. Dark toasted bread flavors most noticed; body is lightly creamy with medium to low carbonation.

Very easy to drink but not particularly crisp or refreshing. Still, enjoyable if unspectacular. Clearly fashioned after the old-school British pub style ales. Worth a shot.

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

Pours a two finger off-white head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Nice deep amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Sweet grass nose and flavor is same plus some sweet malt. $7.00 for a 12oz bottle at Sheraton Society Hill Hotel Philadelphia, PA.

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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 jzeilinger
3.72/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Dark chestnut colored pour with minimal bright white lacing , mild carbonation.

S - Toasted caramel malt, nutty, and some smokiness.

T - Follows the nose: Nutty, smoky, roasted toffee malt, and a mild pine bitter finish.

M - Medium body, gentle carbonation.

O - Really solid. Not my style of beer, but very solid.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a medium burgundy-apple with a frothy dull bone white head approximately 1 finger high. Retention was good lasting 2 full minutes before leveling to a thin pancake covering. Most of the co2 appeared stuck along the glass walls, with a vast showing of macro bubbles littering the sides. Afterwards nearly a whisper could be detected with the co2 quickly dying out. A nice coloring and good start here.

S: apple skins with a nice semi-sweet and dry malting. Moderate in strength, crisp, not a lot of complexity but fairs well none the less.

T: The flavor opens up with a bright zing and spiciness, and apples with a rich deep malting that was crisp, dry with a fruity tartness of apples skins and toasted bread. A soft floral citrusy flowery hopping appears midway through the palate. Hints of dried caramelized apples, toffee, and dried brown sugar add some sweetness on the finish. Overall found the flavor to be smooth, creamy with a nice maltiness and nuttiness. Semi-sweet, dry toasted malting, with a nice nuttiness gives this a flavor similar to an alt.

M: full and creamy with a smooth texture. Soft carbonation with a nice soft floral citrus hop fade gives this some complexity and subtleness.

D: A nice downer that was easy and enjoyable to consume. All the rich nuttiness and maltiness of an Alt with the smooth drinkability of a mild ale. Fairly big on flavor without being a burden to consume. Worthy of a six pack and definitely one of their better brews that Ive had by them.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a nonic)
A- This beer has a slightly dense brown body with a fizzy head that soon disappears before the first sip.
S- The soft brown malt note is otherwise a very clean aroma with a finish of watery coffee that grows a tad in the finish.
T- This beer has a light tartness with a faint brown malt note and a stronger taste of tap water. The finish is thin with a faint sweetness.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a soft fizzy finish.
D- This beer is very light and has no real flavor. The tart note and fizz are all that really stand out.

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Photo of barczar
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
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 tigg924
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 3/4 inch head, dark brown in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: meadow, bark, and caramel malt—a very outdoorsy smell

Taste: pale malt, toffee, meadow, and a small touch of tea and chocolate

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, sweet start with a light bitter end/aftertaste, light bodied

Overall: A wonderful, sessionable beer that is very English in character. Nice and malty but the hops do just enough to balance this one out. I will look for this one again when I am in the Philly area.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark amber with an inch of head. Hard to believe its darker than Yuengling and less ABV. Frothy head with mild lace.

S - Gains, hops, and malts with slight bitters.

T - Well it wasn't really mild but had a nice body. Was more bitter than expected but was rounded out with a slight sweetness. Pretty good.

M - Light, could drink a few

D - Well I actually wanted more sweetness in this beer which was a type of a mild, but overall enjoyed this succession able beer. Will not seeks out again though.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Darker chestnut tones with picture perfect fluffy head

S - smells like fresh grain, malt and cereal

T - Nutty and woody, slight carmel tastes... big taste for the ABVs

M - Very well bodied yet smooth and crisp for a beer of its complexion and make-up.

D - Excellent session beer, glad to see a beer with body and charachter in a session category dominated by much lighter beers.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.96/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a pint

A rather clean, clear brown body with slight auburn highlights. A 1 finger off-white cap rose, subsided to a thin layer and hung around for the duration. Scattered lacing.

Cleanest malts in town. Lightly sweet caramel, bready, cereal-like. Toasted grains.

Sweet caramel and toasted grains dominate. Very clean malt profile with a mild earth hop balance that hangs real low and adds a low end musky element. Faint maple syrup in the finish.

Medium bodied. This beer is gritty up front, but finished smooth and creamy.

Coming from a hophead, this beer is almost devoid of any hops, and I would still drink this all night long. Highly sessionable. I am glad that Yards is back up and brewing again.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

poured into pint glass

A- a nice clear dark ruby brown color. thin white head, some lacing
S- malt-heavy in the smell, caramel
T- mild, but malt forward. bread, a little nutty
M- lower carbonation, medium body
D- definitely agree with the label that this would be an excellent session beer

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Photo of cbutova
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

3rd or 4th time trying this beer.

A- Bottle to pint glass pour with a dark brown body, some crimson hints around the very edge of the glass. A light tan head builds up to about a finger in size and retains decently. The frothy cap falls to a small ring and leaves small patches of lace.

S- Malty right off the bat. Big nutty notes as well as caramel, roast grains, toast and general cereal hints. Yeast bread, dark fruit and a slight buttery aspect to it as well.

T- I notice some big differences here from the nose as soon as I take the first sip. The dark fruit, yeast bread and general English Ale yeast feel kicks in more here. It adds a nice balancing effect to the toasted, roasty, nutty and caramel malts. Really not much in the way of hops for me, a tiny bit herbal and earthy.

MF- Lighter end body which could be expected in an English Mild Ale. A bit of a foamy carbonation feel and slightly on the watery side of things, which also shouldn't be unexpected. Virtually no bitterness.

I ended up buying a mixed-case of Yards beers just before Christmas. They were really fresh and seemed like a good choice to bring home and share some Philly beer. I am really happy with my choice and would not hesitate to buy the same case at the price I got it for in the future. A good mix of different styles and most importantly interesting beer.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to edbeer for the opportunity to try this one. Served in a standard pint. Poured a translucent chestnut with ruby red highlights when backlit. Quarter inch tan-colored skim dissipates into a thin skim; no lacing on this one. Pleasant nose - dark malts and some caramel notes; fairly subdued. Taste consistent with nose, but also reveals and earthy, coffee ground character. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a carbonation level that approaches prickly. Simple and easy drinking session beer; however, carbonation is a little too aggressive.

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Photo of Suds
3.79/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Beautiful, brown in color, with a faint amber hue. The head is tan, and lasting. It's a clean-smelling, malty brew. Light malt, alight toast. The hop smell is herbal, but distant. Mild. Solid flavor...malt and a little bitterness. Earthy and satisfying. It would go well with a burger. Medium body. Good, and drinkable beer.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
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 glid02
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at Local 44 in Philadelphia.

Pours a hazy chestnut brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of toasted malts with good amounts of caramel malt sweetness. As the beer warms slight amounts of diacetyl aromas waft out as well.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Moderately grainy toasted malt flavors kick things off and sweeten about midway through the sip. Mild amounts of earthy hop flavors make a brief appearance before fading out into a moderately bitter ending. As with the aroma, hints of diacetyl work their way into things as the beer warms along with indistinct medium fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I always enjoy having traditional versions of English styles on cask and this was no exception. A good example of the style and well worth a shot.

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Photo of cosmicevan
2.12/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

poured from 12oz bottle

A - Dark rich amber with soft bubbly head and loose lacing.

S - Interesting. Can't really put my finger on it...earthy.

T - Watery and bitter. Very bread-like.

M - Very carbonated with a musty aftertaste.

D - eh. relatively bland for my tastes and not really what I like in a beer.

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Photo of ZAP
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice sessionable mild....good roasty character to this....earthy feel...nutty as well...body is as expected light to medium....

It is nice to see a flavorful ale like this with just 4.2% ABV.

A-Mahogany colored...light head

S-I'm impressed...Aroma is actually quite interesting...a big roasted malt component..also some toasted caramel and nuts similar to hazelnuts but not quite...woody notes...also toffee...even a little molasses.

T-Roasted malts...toffee, light molasses, nuts, oak...but all in mild quantity.

M-Low to medium carbonation....lighter bodied

D-A nice lower ABV beer with some very nice qualities. Would be a great beer for a business lunch.

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Photo of mynie
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
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 ThisWangsChung
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
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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Brawler Pugilist Style Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
3.69 out of 5 based on 1,109 ratings.
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