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Brawler Pugilist Style Ale | Yards Brewing Co.

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299 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: 299 | Ratings: 1,090
Photo of cosmicevan
2.12/5  rDev -42.4%
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 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 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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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.14/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy amber to brown in color, with an off white head. In the aroma, a small roast and hint of coffee. In the taste, a hint of coffee and roast, a caramel sweetness, and a bit watery. A small bite and lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry caramle in the aftertaste. Good flavors, just a mild though, hence it being thin.

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Photo of Dope
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2/29/16 bottling date

A: A very dark brown pour, almost completely opaque. Good-sized frothy tan head. Quite good retention and fluffy tendrils of lacing to boot.

S: Bready for sure - lightly toasted. Even a little bit nutty. Smells like a weak brown ale pretty much.

T: Oh yeah, very bready now. Toasted bread crusts and a bit of a nutty flavor in the middle. A hint of caramel sweetness here and there.

M: Light-medium bodied. Smooth.

O: Yum. It's basically a session ale for people who don't want something bitter, belgian or sour. Not far from a light english brown or even an english bitter (without the bitter). This is definitely my kind of brew, I'm not a fan of lighter hoppy ales so the whole "sesssionable IPA" movement does nothing for me.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Mix a six pick up. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours dark reddish maroon with a dallop of foam on the top. Deep malty smell, caramel. Taste is a sweet chewy malt. Light flavored. Bready. Very mild ale, quite sessionable. Has that historic British feel to it.

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Photo of argock
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. No freshness date. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $1.70.

A: Slightly murky chestnut with 1-finger tightly bubbled head that dissipates quickly but leaves a few random streamers of lace.

S: Very nutty with a light roasted malt note and light spiced note -- similar to ginger or anise -- with herbal hoppiness. Spice is not at all overbearing and adds a unique touch.

T: Flavor is very full with caramel nuttiness on a bready background, a bit tea-like, finished with herbal somewhat leafy hops. It reminds me of a lighter less plodding version of Old Peculier.

M: For a 4.2% ABV brew this has a very good feel and body, light-to-medium, with an herbal hops aftertaste.

D: A surprisingly full-flavored, nice drinking ale which is pretty well-built for sessioning. However, this is a good beer for those who don't really like beer because it is relatively light-bodied and drinkable. A really great effort from Yards on this one.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A-red brown color with an off-white head and decent lacing

S-toasted malt, brown sugar, earthy

T-toasted malt, caramel, earthy,nutty, slight bitterness in the finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-a decent session beer, easy drinking

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
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 woosterbill
2.33/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

On-tap at a bar in the Philadelphia airport. Served, despite my protests, in a frosted pint glass.

A: Clear chestnut body with a finger of creamy off-white head. Ok retention, light lace. Not bad.

S: Muted nutty and chocolatey malt. Slightly earthy. Weak, even for the style.

T: Bland, bland, bland. Faint husky malt and fainter earthy hops. Slightly bittersweet finish. So weak.

M: Slick light body with moderate, fine carbonation. Good.

O: This was my first beer in the states after a week in England, and what a poor choice it was. I enjoyed some truly stunning Milds on cask, and there really couldn't be better proof of that serving method's superiority for this style. Served close to freezing into a frosted glass, this beer had less flavor than some glasses of water I've had. If I get a chance to revisit this beer from a bottle, I will.


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Photo of Boto
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle: This one pours a clear, amber color. There was a small off-white head that didn’t linger long or leave much lacing. Lighter but good aroma. Some malts, perhaps a touch of biscuit. The taste is a bit lighter, but pretty good. Caramel malts, but almost no sweetness. A touch of biscuit. A faint bitterness in the finish. A nice session beer!

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Photo of justintcoons
3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap poured into a tulip pint.

Brownish red with a short, fluffy head. Excellent clarity and moderate-heavy carbonation.

Bready and nutty. Touches of cocoa with fruity, melon-like esters.

Bready and nutty with drizzles of caramel. Brown sugar and powdered cocoa. A touch of honeydew and perhaps the slightest inkling of grapefruit.

Medium bodied, smooth and refreshing.

Easy drinking and flavorful. It's been a long time since I've had this and it's a lot better than I remember. It's nice to see an American brewery tackle an English Mild and do a nice job of it.

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Photo of david18
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the ubiquitous beer on the Jersey Shore where I spent the last week in august. In general this beer packs a lot of interesting flavor especially for something as low in alcohol as this, much like a british mild.

Appearance is a dark brown, with a brown head. Not very frothy but enough carbonation throughout.

Smell is very malty. Sweet with carmel hints and dark fruit.

Flavor is also very malty and full. Carmel in the flavor as well with a lot of body.

Overall a very easy to drink beer with a lot going on.

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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 57md
2.78/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours brown with a dark orange hue. There is less than a finger of head and there is no retention. The nose is a bit tangy and sour. There is some light malty sweetness upfront, but the flavor is thin throughout. There is a dry aftertaste that is also sort of sour, but frankly hard to place exactly. Let's just say that it is not very pleasant.

If you are looking for a low-alcohol craft beer, this ain't it. Try Stone Levitation, as it is far superior.

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Photo of socon67
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark amber with thin foam that disappates quickly. Some carbonation

S - Scents of english malt is very noticeable.

T - Flavor of caramel, with some hearty malt flavor. Very bold taste, that is consistent throughout.

M - Rich tasting, smooth, and feels light enough to be enjoyed with a meal.

O - I'd try this again. Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked up this bottle to work on reviewing every style on BA. I normally don't go toward any style with "mild" in the name due to coming up in the Stone legacy. But, this was a pretty good mild beer.

I used a pint glass for the Brawler. The beer is dark brown with a light head.

It smells like a clean english ale. There is even a decent amount f malt.

The flavor has more of the malt and some pretty decent nuttiness.

The Brawler is nice & light; very easy to drink.

I would say that this is a good example of a sessionable beer.

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Photo of Deuane
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Slightly hazed copper with a medium off-white head that reduced to a thin cap and left spotty lacing.

S-A bit limited, but light caramel and grainy malt mix with a hint of citrus fruitiness.

T-Solid chewy biscuit malt with a light touch of with light caramel. Light fruity notes of apple, pear and subtle orange comes through. earthy and grassy hop notes are found in the background.

M-Medium light bodied and rather smooth with a touch of drying astringency.

D-Not a classic English dark mild but tasty, smooth and very poundable. Contains enough character to keep things interesting for a multi pint session. I like this from the bottle---and even more so on cask!

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried one of these in Philly on the Yards tour two weeks ago, brought another back (purchased at the brewery); this is a 12 oz. bottle poured to a pint.

'Historic' label of a late-19th century bare-knuckle boxer about to throw with the devil; 'Pugilist Style Ale' has a funny ring to it, as if sweat and blood and the stray incisor might be expected adjuncts.


A: Ding! A spectacle of lovely copper-tinged auburn, clear and crowded with carbonation when held to light. Topped by only a half-knuckle of ivory cream that wobbles well beyond a 10-count before finally falling to a canvas of gauze and a goopy ring. Lace hangs like sagging ropes...

S: Sweet grain and nuts and cocoa - a pleasant smell but one that fails to pack much punch.

T: Chewy chocolate and candied grain, caramel to match. Dances deftly around a latent bitterness, singed nutshells and a dry spice launch the occasional uppercut. Sure it's 'mild', but this ain't some scrawny weakling, flavor-wise...

M: A butterfly's lightness without a bee's sting, Brawler's a lighter-bodied jawful that glides down smooth as silk, a slight stickiness jabbing at the finish. No alcohol presence whatsoever.

D: Quite the awesome drinker; tiny ABV and and sizable flavor would mark this as a favorite at the corner pub. A contender? Yeah, for lightweight champion, at least of the handful of EDMAs I've sparred with. Not sure I could go a full 10 rounds with this one, but I'd like a shot...


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Photo of srandycarter
3.17/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Like a clear, reddish tea. Nice head, reduces to disk. Lots of sticky lacing.

S - Barnyard, base smells. Maybe a little ashtray too.

T - Sweet malt, not much else to back it up.

M - OK... Medium body, yada yada.

D - Glad to try, just so many beers out there. I would session if it was all I had.

Just kinda dull, and the barny smell a bit of a put off.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Beautiful amber red when poured. Decent lacing. Poured a nice head before quickly dissipating. A nice ring on top is left afterwards.

Smell: The smell was slightly altered by the smell of the glass, which tainted it with a buttery smell. Otherwise, I recognized yeasty smell with a little bit of spice. The smell seems to remind me of cold chamomile tea.

Taste: Likewise, the taste reminded me of cold chamomile tea but with a malty and a cold chamomile finish. I also detected some yeast flavor but very light. Addendum: Apparently the yeast flavor is stronger when colder with a chamomile background.

Mouthfeel:Light carbonation, which made it fairly crisp on the tongue.

Drinkability: Totally drinkable especially for lunch. I paired it with a burger and fries from Elevation burger. While the beer did nothing for the fries, the burger and the Ale were wonderful together.

Notes: The burger had two slices of real cheddar cheese and two organically grown patties with pickles, tomatoes, and lettuce with their special sauce.

The first glass contaminated the entire beer by adding a disgustingly buttery smell and taste. The beer was poured into a separate tumbler for review.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.27/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Honeyed brown/caramel color. Overpour caused a fizzy head to dwindle. Translucent. 2.5

Lightly roasted grains, walnut, earthy hops. 3.0

Tangy as hell. Citrus hops peel back layers of orange rind and lime. Kilned grain offers some crisp toffee and crabapple esters around nutty and earthy flavors. A tad too rigid and sweet. Finishes tart and bitter. 3.5

Burpy and brushing. Medium body is cruising. A little mouth-drying. Acidic feel. 3.0

Overall, it's not too bad. Malt flavors are almost there, but the hops are a little confusing. Still a recognizable dark mild. 3.5

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the green parrot in newton.
A good looking amber hued beer. It was lightly carbonated, clear and with minimal head formation.

Aroma was lite and had a nice malt backbone slightly toasted. Hop aroma was very sutle and almost non existent.

A smooth malty brew sweet and clean. Some nuttiness and or bread notes. Not much in way of hops which is typical for this style.
A good, easy drinking beer in my opinion.

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Photo of ckollias
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Brown almost brandy in color with mild amber highlights and a white one-finger head that quickly dissipates into a white wispy lace.

S: Toasted malt aromas fill the nostrils. Hints of caramel and fruitiness in the background.

T: Taste is a little sweet with caramel, toffee, and lighter milk chocolate. Easy on the palate – nice and blended and not too strong.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. I love a English dark that is put together right. This is a nice session beer @ 4.20%

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Photo of BeerLover99
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: copper/amber shiny,

S: nutty, caramel, malt, mild fig/raisin, earthy

T: nutty, caramel, malt, dry raisin/fig crisp finish

M: light body, dry crisp

O: Never tried this style before,
but I really like it. Very nice
session style. Great gateway


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Brawler Pugilist Style Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 1,090 ratings.
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