Brawler Pugilist Style Ale | Yards Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 299 | Ratings: 1,088
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)

 554 characters

Photo of fitzy84
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had in tap over at Molly Malloy's. The beer had a dark brown, cloudy appearance with some limited lacing on the sides and a small head. The beer had generally sweet aromas with some hints of mocha and caramel mixed with bready yeasts. The beer was bittersweet with a toffee, biscuit flavor with some sweet malts. Decent body; the drink had a solid mix of carbonation with a creamy texture. Overall, quite a good, sweet beer.

 424 characters

Photo of Cottontown201
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

 456 characters

Photo of dd43
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Wonderfully malty. Such a treat to finally try this while on vacation on the Jersey shore. Malts are the star of this show with hop bitterness far in the background. Pours lovely, forms a nice two finger head, and the bready aroma is just great.

 245 characters

Photo of cambabeer
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very drinkable, that's for sure. I like the malt character, though that's about all this beer has to offer. Bready, but simple, though that's not necessarily a bad thing here. Nice session ale, definitely quality over complexity here.

 234 characters

Photo of Gajo74
4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A nice mild and refreshing brew. Brown with little head and lace . Softly carbonated.Toasted malts, tea, tofee and caramel aroma. Similar taste; dark toasted malts flavor, sweet from malts and some fruit, slightly stale tea, and mild hops. Light body overall but medium mouthfeel.

 280 characters

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

Look: A nice dark brown with a short tan head

Smell: Caramel and biscuity malts

Taste: Caramel and biscuity malts, light hops

Feel: Light body, good carb

Overall: A very good brew, something I would like to get more of as it is quite drinkable. I could have easily gotten a few more if the keg hadn't kicked

 311 characters

4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

 310 characters

Photo of leantom
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

First Yards beer, and it was surprisingly good. Here goes:

A: Massive head and lacing. Superb. The beer pours a dark brown color that looks rather splendid under dim lighting. It reminds me of traditional English ESB's.

S: Very good. Toasted grains, caramel malt, brown sugar, and bready English baker's yeast. Some mild English hops as well. Very well-balanced.

T: Follows the nose, which is splendid. Lots of toasted malt, caramel and brown sugar against a bready yeast backdrop. Hops are very mild, but this is OK.

F: Somewhat watery - the only drawback of the beer. Surprisingly the beer tastes very well for something so low in ABV.

O: Very good beer - could drink this again and again.

 711 characters

Photo of AlpacaAlpaca
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The taste was even parts toasty malt and brown sugar water. Light enough to session, but too watery to savor. Sweet, but not excessively so. I feel like this would be most enjoyable in a pub setting, out of a big mug. Tasty, but there wasn't much to keep me going back.

 269 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 02092015 at 50 degrees into imperial pint
Aroma of malt
Head enormous (>8 cm, aggressive pour), light tan, frothy/creamy, sloooowly diminishing to irregular 4 mm ring and layer
Lacing average – rare tiny island of tiny bubbles, some drag lacing from the lowering ring
Body medium amber, clear
Flavor distinctly malty; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 3.25, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.75

 462 characters

Photo of Premo88
4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into nonic
(bottled on 12/9/2014)
(courtesy of @TongoRad via the NBS BIF)

L: amber-brown ... shows real red with burnt-orange highlights up to light, and has a cool brown look as it sits on the table; crystal clear ... brilliant; minimal tan head of foam off a pretty hard pour, maybe 1/3- to almost 1/2-inch that doesn't stick; no lacing but does have a bit of skin and a cool toffee/tan collar

S: corn, toasted corn, caramel, toasted barley ... there might be some earthy hops in there, but this is a sweet grain and malt show

T: grain and malt big time ... corn, rice, maybe some maize -- lots of good grain and it's got a kind of caramelized sweetness from the barley malt; very little bitterness, just a hint of earthy/dirt hops; the caramel sweet flavor here is fantastic, not cloying or overdone; over time the bitterness picks up just a hair, but it's still malty sweet

F: light but good carbonation to fill it out; honestly, I don't see how it could be better for the ABV and flavor ... just perfect

O: relatively tame overall with everything in its place, Brawler might be the ultimate session beer ... it's full of good grain and malt flavor without getting too sweet, and it's crisp and so very easy to drink. the malt presence does, in fact, have a good English ale feel. several American-made amber ales come close to hitting these notes, but they don't hit as well as this one -- we need more beers like this! 4.2% ABV, loads of flavor, beautiful clarity, crisp and clean ... a brew Philadelphia and PA is lucky to have.

 1,570 characters

Photo of Roser
2.85/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A- moderate light mocha tan head. Some lacing (not a lot). Crystal clear mahogany brown.

S- clean. Spicy, sweet malts, light ginger notes, clove.

T- light biscuits and malt up front, feint sweet spices on the back end. Not too much going on here.

M- very light body. Creamy. Little/light carbonation.

O- a nice easy drinker. Decent session ale. Would prefer it with food.


 388 characters

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.

 522 characters

Photo of StonewallSipper
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The best of the Yards lot. I live a stones throw away so I taste all their beers, a great product but Yards variety is lacking, as everything is good but nothing is great.

 171 characters

Photo of Antc2382
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Highly drinkable, but no sacrifice on the flavor. If you enjoy malt forward flavors this is the light beer for you..4.2 ABV means you can go a few rounds with the Pugilist!

 173 characters

Photo of bmeehan
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Definitely a beer to sip and not to drink in gulps. I love Yards. It has a very dry profile and you can taste how hoppy it is right away, but it isn't off-putting.

 163 characters

Photo of jadpsu
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up day of PSU Ohiio State in 2014.
Had on draft at a stop after PSU game VS. Buffalo on 9/13/15 at Station 101 Pub and Kitchen in DuBois, Pa.

Appearance: 3/4 inch off white to tan head, light to medium brown in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: molasses and caramel malt—a lot of malts

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

Mouth feel: Not getting the high carbonation comments? Thin, light bodied, sweet start with a light bitter end/aftertaste.

Overall: Decent, especially for a low ABV. Good but not outstanding.

Draft, arrived at my table in a 22 oz. glass, ruby dark color with little or no head.
Smell: Toasted, burnt malts dominated, taste was creamy smooth with some caramel and toasted breads.

 754 characters

Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%

A fine tasting mild, and perfect for mild days because it doesn't sacrifice a full flavor. Caramel malts and significant roasted almond quality. Nice floral bitterness, strawberry on a biscuit toast. No buttery flavor, and on the dry side. It's a tight feeling beer, lingering astringency. Robust and gassy crispness cover the sweetness making the beer very approachable.

 371 characters

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!

 355 characters

Photo of Avool1960
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%

I am definitely no expert in the tasting of beer. But, this is a fine tasting ale. Good taste, no bitterness. Pretty smooth for an ale. No head to speak of, but I think that's overrated in the beer world. After all, you don't drink foam. Good color, not too dark, not too light. Very drinkable. I like it.

 305 characters

Photo of timmos1
4.48/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

on tap at yards. new style? pugilist stlye mild. a mild pugilist, wont win many fights but this beer does. anexcellent session beer perfect for easy tasty drinking. copper brown color with slightmalt and goldings flavor. finishes sweetly and a pint doesnt last long. dont expect your taste buds to jump for joy, its not that kind of beer. i want more. bring it to california.

 375 characters

Photo of sommersb
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tasted On: 06-27-2014
Freshness: Bottled 10-21-2013
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Nonic pint
Purchased: Received in a trade

Appearance is clear; dark amber in color. The head is a frothy 2 fingers high, with good lacing and retention.

Smells of brown bread and toasted malts.

The taste is at first very cola-like, with a light malt sweetness. It's then countered by some earthy bitterness and well as roasted grain notes. There is also a bit of a stale note that may come from the age on this sample.

Mouthfeel is medium in body with an average amount of carbonation. The finish is semi-dry and has lingering flavors of toasted malts.

Overall a good session beer, low in alcohol and easy to approach, it would go well with any meal an would also be a good gateway brew.

 795 characters

Photo of dbl_delta
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Undated bottle into pint glass. Pours a crystalline deep amber with a modest off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Initial impression is slightly sweet roasted malts and almost no bitterness. Medium mouthfeel. Surprising amount of flavor and substance in a low ABV beer. Finish is dry and roasted. Quite enjoyable.

 328 characters

Photo of delta490
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, clear mahogany. It has a creamy tan head that mostly dissipates but lingers around the circumference. Nice lacing. The aroma is light and malty despite the dark color with mild malt notes. The taste is rich and malty and the body is just light enough to hold up the flavor. A great session ale.

 309 characters

Brawler Pugilist Style Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 1,088 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!