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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 306 | Ratings: 1,109
Photo of wac9
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

well im so happy i found yards in willimasport heard alot about their beers and this style of beer works i drank this beer too cold tonight the other night i drank it warmer and i like it sitting in a english pub this would hit the spot great color so i will drank more dark mild ale nice dark red in color and i taste so fruit so enjoy this beer and other dark mild ales

 371 characters

Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliantly clear bright tawny brown color with a 1 finger bright white head. Big malty nose of caramel and toffee with touches of chocolate. On the heavier side of a light body with incredible briskness. Body holds together all the way through with good carbonation a punch of caramel malt character. Some toffee on the sides of the mouth, generally sweet but a bit of charcoal on the back along with the right amount of hop character gives this beer impeccable balance. This beer holds true to its name, definitely one you can go a few rounds with and one I wouldn't mind doing it with either. The perfect balance of flavor and drinkability.

 651 characters

Photo of tylerprince
2.68/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from memory from yesterday.

A: Dark copper with off-white head. Not much in the way of lacing.

S: Weak apricot and toasted dark malts. Slight stale odor.

T: Oh my. Fruit sugars and burned malt; apricot. Complex, but not in a good way. I like hops in all my beers, and this one is practically a malt liquor.

M: Syrupy yet thin. Undercarbonated MO, but finishes with some foam.

O: Not very good. Other reviews speak highly of it, but I found it to be dull and unsatisfying.

 487 characters

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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very aggressive light caramel/tan head is made, very styrofoamy looking and settling quite quickly.

Nose is mostly just yeast, a bit estery smelling and sticky almost sour malt. After sometime some sweetness comes out which makes it a bit more enjoyable, kind of a fruity marmalade a bit and apricot.

A nice slightly made for the course palate feel, light rolling malts, but a nice pectin and apricot fruit behind this. Light bodied fruit tasting and almost apricot peach mixing with a good malt backbone.

Overall for a mild, pretty pleasant. Lacking a little bit in flavor and feel, but drinkable and enjoyable.

 667 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - a nice clear amber pour with a good amount of head

S - got a fruit whiff of cherries, grapes and pear, smells like a light barley wine, cinammon, and other spices i can't put a thumb on

T - a little smokey, taste of rye, malty sweet, a hint of chocolate. not getting any of the tastes of fruits in the aroma.. kind of weird but still delicious

M - creamy but watery like a cheap stout (guiness haha) makes it nice and easy to go down, a rich creamy fizzy head finds its way down your throat and makes it all that much more pleasant to drink!

O - this is a pretty awesome beer from a very awesome brewery. really hoping to get to do the bbq cook off there again this summer! hopefully i'll go in with more knowledge of their brews and get to taste this stuff on tap!

 773 characters

Photo of eeverwine
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This review goes out to all the people who have never properly experienced a Brawler. This beer is a gem, and I will tell you why.

First things first, this is a session beer. It isn't meant to get you wasted.

This is a very important quality in a micro, because for the most part you get "extreme" brewers (a term I find offensive but which most seem to adhere to), and you're generally stuck with beers that are over 5% ABV. Brawler is 4.2% and we're lucky to have such a flavorful beer that clocks in so low. I know there are several others out there and blah blah blah Stone Levitation blah blah blah. Brawler is made to showcase the malt character that is so lacking in American beers, and does so in a subtle and beautiful manner. It's a beer that allows you to sit back and take punch after punch without sacrificing your sophisticated palate.

BEFORE I GO ANY FURTHER. Hopheads, please stop hating on this beer. I get it, you like more hops. I love a variety of different hops in a ton of different beers, but this is NOT A HOPPY BEER. So if you're going to discard it because it lacks in the Cascade department, well, please drink something else. Don't rate it super low because it's not for you.

Now for the ASTMO review.

It pours a bright (bright means crystal clear for you novices), deep ruby. I can't say much more about how pretty the glass I have sitting in front of me is. I'm halfway through, and because I washed this glass myself I have significant lacing. Brawler doesn't do much by way of head retention, but that ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT be a factor in reviewing this beer. It is crafted in the style of the real ales of old, and I challenge you, oh beer advocate, to find many malty old English mild browns that impart serious heads. Nonetheless I'm lacing like crazy. The beer is so bright I could read through this glass if I so chose, and not only that, the color is reminiscent of certain slippers that if I click three times will take me back home. No need for a cab. Actually if you drink Brawler all night you probably won't need a cab anyway.

When I dip my nose in to a Brawler I get Biscuit type malts, maybe Victory, a nutty/bready character. It isn't intensely aromatic, because there isn't much of a hop character. It's a MALT FORWARD beer folks. Ultimately very pleasant though.

The Brawler, taste-wise, imparts the same nut/bread/biscuit character from the aroma profile. It is balanced by a very small amount of English noble hops, which are earthy and maybe a bit woody. For a malt forward beer, thankfully, the Brawler doesn't impart any bitterness from protein tannins, which can taste like cardboard at their most subtle, and like chlorine at their most intense. There isn't any seriously perceivable sweetness to it, it's just all malt. There are slight roasted bits that come through in the middle, but for the most part you can expect intense biscuit flavors.

This beer ebbs just light of creaminess. It isn't very carbonated, but it does have a lightness to it that passes very freely from tongue to throat to belly. I gave the mouthfeel that extra .5 only because on the back of my tongue, right before the aftertaste it finally gives up what most people (including non craft beer fans re:millerlite) are looking for, that carbonated alcohol feeling.

Overall this is one of my favorite six pack purchases. You can drink all six and feel just fine and dandy. It's an excellent primer for craft beer palate development, especially for people who aren't quite ready for serious brown ales, porters and stouts. It breaks down the barrier between light (re:massproduced) american lagers, and more complex craft beer offerings. When you start to allow your taste buds to wrap themselves around the malt character of this beer, you will start to notice that when you drink darker and heavier beers that you can pick out the roasted, biscuit, and pale malt flavors much more readily. Top 10 for me, and especially because you can buy and kill a case with two friends and still have enough of your wits about you to beat their asses at texas hold'em.

So gorgeous in my glass, and only 1/4 left. Sigh.

 4,162 characters

Photo of 57md
2.78/5  rDev -24.7%
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.

 455 characters

Photo of Jayli
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 12/31 at Philly Intl Airport
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a deep copper color with some reddish hues to it. A one finger of off white, khaki head that recedes quickly. Minimal lacing left on the glass.

S: Nose is big caramel malts, roast and toast notes, and a hint of nuttiness.

T: Taste starts with a predominant sweet caramel malt flavoring. Bready, yeast notes come through and fill out the middle. Finish has a nutty, toasty note and the sweet caramel and candied notes come in.

M: Lighter bodied, medium carbonation, light and crisp feel.

O: Goes down ok, somewhat tasty, not filling, not much of a kick, ok representation of style. Not a beer that I would seek out, however a decent beer to sit with for a while.

 749 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

 537 characters

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.

 656 characters

Photo of microbrewlover
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours with a copper color and a large head which takes several minuets to dissapate. Lacing remains in the glass even when the beer is gone.

This beer hits the nose with what can best be described as a very fruity smell however I can not determine which fruits are in there; (apples and pears, maybe)?

The brew tastes very fruity with a hint of bitterness. There is also a malt taste. It goes down smoothly with a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste and a tiny bit of alchohol.

All in all a good beer for a late spring or summer night. A little too fruity for winter.

 583 characters

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

Great beer all around. Had it on tap at Stanley's Tavern in Delaware and then grabbed some bottles to take home. Can't beat this beer - just make sure you drink it while its cold!
Not a complex taste that jumps out at you but some good sweet malt flavor, almost no hoppy taste (although i am a bit of a hop head). Smell is of sweet hops, something else is in the smell...just can't put my finger on it.
If its on tap or in a bottle, do yourself a favor, get some!

 463 characters

Photo of JohnFatAss
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really like this beer.

Pretty to look at, good flavor, easy to drink, and a fairly low ABV.

It has a nice roasted malt flavor that is not too over powering with low bitterness.

This beer will go great with most meals, or you can easily pound down a few while watching the game.

This one will find a regular spot in my fridge.

 335 characters

Photo of Dodo2step
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Barley's hop stop

A- a dark bronze color with red hihglites. A decent lacing with minimal head that disspiates rather quickly.

S- toasted malts and raisin/fig tones.

T- the figs/raisin really comes out in the taste. more caramel malts as well.

M- a carbonated prune juice type of feel. Medium bodied which isnt too surprising.

O- not a bad brew. The smell was a lil hard to figure out at first. The flavor was light but the mouthfeel was decent.

 454 characters

Photo of bsgcjg
3.86/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap last week , thought it was very good, refreshing and did not have the traditional micro brew after taste at all.

I only want to know were to find this brew in a store in Delaware.?

I highly recommend trying this on tap if you can find it

 255 characters

Photo of tone77
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a bronze color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of malts, some nuts. Taste is malts up front, some breadiness, very lightly hopped, a bit on the mild side. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

 250 characters

Photo of CowsCanBark
4.42/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear cherry-brown with a one-finger tan head. Nice lacing left on the glass as I drink.

Smell: Very malty, toasty, with a nice spicy smell.

Taste: Nice sweet malts, very roasty tasting, almost a coffee flavor. A tiny bit of bitterness in the finish, as well as a taste that kind of reminds me of prunes, which is a good thing.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and medium bodied, light carbonation. Not crisp but certainly refreshing and certainly not a sipper!

Overall: Probably one of my favorite's from Yards, roasty and delicious.

 589 characters

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.

 648 characters

Photo of BeerLover99
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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


 282 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

medium brown color, with a small tannish head that fades quickly and leaves a light, dark tea color in the glass.

aroma is as earthy as it can get. deep malty nose, hints of leather, oak, nice touches of roasty malts and earthy grains. really just wonderfully balanced and smooth, nothing heavy here at all and this carries over perfectly into the flavor which was nothing short of stellar. smooth, creamy and tea like flavors dominate with hints of oak, earthy and muted hops and a deep resonated earthy grain

 511 characters

Photo of output01x
3.69/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. capped bottle (No Date) into a pint glass.

A moderate pour yields a 1/2-finger off-white head that fades within a minute to a nearly nonexistant dusting and thin foam ring. The body is a perfectly clear reddish copper brown with very few carbonation bubbles.

The sugary sweet caramelized malts give off notes of baked bread, buttery rolls, and toffee. The nose also has an earthy, spicy quality. It isn't the most aromatic, but it certainly is enjoyable.

Dark, sweet, yet gentle malts have notes of caramel, toffee, and iced tea. As the beer is swallowed, the peppery, earthy qualities come out. Like the nose, the flavors are not the most powerful, but subtle and just right.

Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation, this is one sessionable beer at only 4.2%. The body is just full enough to allow the flavors to come out without losing drinkability or becoming syrupy. The carbonation is not overly noticeable, which is good as too much carbonation would certainly detract from the subtle flavors.

 1,033 characters

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

Recently, I have been getting tired of tasting alcohol in my beers. I am a maltmaven, so going to hopbombs wasn't going to work. When I saw the description of this at a Total Wine, it sounded like it might be just what I was looking for.

A: Nice copper body with an ample, three-finger dirty white head that dissipates after two or three minutes, not leaving much lacing.

S: Light biscuit notes, a touch of dark fruit.

T: The same, but I get a bit of the yeast used as well, which compliments the other flavors. Not particularly sweet or bitter, and not much of an aftertaste.

M: Light but creamy.

O: I don't know this style too well, as I generally gravitate to beers that kick you in the face with flavor, but I enjoyed this brew. Had plenty of flavor, nothing offensive, and I could definitely have three or four in a night. Well done.

 845 characters

Photo of socon67
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

 347 characters

Photo of icoffey
4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Never had this beer before I bought a Varity Pack while in the Philadelphia Area. I have had the IPA and the Philadelphia Pale Ale, which I really like. The Brawler has a dark color with a great smell. The taste is smooth and very flavorful. Good after taste. When I am back in the Philadelphia Area, I will get more of this Ale.

 329 characters

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.

 504 characters

Brawler Pugilist Style Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
3.69 out of 5 based on 1,109 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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