Brawler Pugilist Style Ale | Yards Brewing Co.

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294 Reviews
Brawler Pugilist Style AleBrawler Pugilist Style Ale

Brewed by:
Yards Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States | website

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: 294 | Ratings: 1,079
Photo of Uniobrew31
4.53/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer! good mouthfeel and flavor. No aftertase to speak of and it has a nice crisp finish. Malt is king with this one. Very subtle hops, no bitterness. Just a nice crisp almost sweet session ale Yards ESA is also a good product if you are looking for a bit more hops in your brew.

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Photo of noel2977
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i just don't think people understand session brews... or, are too focused on the hop bombs and high alcohol projects to appreciate this style.
Yards Puglist, at 4.2% clocks in at an appreciably low ABV yet takes on the English style well. Malty aromas highlight the amber brew. Its taste profile starts off malty, has some slight fruity sweetness to it that mingles nicely with the bready maltiness, a hint of yeast, leading to a nice profile finish. Not overly complex, but accomplishes exactly what its brewed for. Kills any macro-brew.
I'd love to try this on cask.

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Photo of TheAmericanBeerProject
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There is not a session beer as diverse as this. The connoisseur will be happy with the color and drinkability for sure. The is a great gateway beer if you want to transition your friends over to ales from lagers, or from macros in to micros. Clearly not the best beer ever, but a reliable pour no doubt.

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Photo of ghostwalker
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark mild, I'm fairly psyched. Not a usual style for an American brewery.

A: Light ruby body with a thin white finger of head that quickly dissipates.

S: Nose is grainy malt with not a lot of hop character.

T: Flavor is rich malt for such a light body and low ABV. Dark, slightly bitter, clean finish. It's very good, but almost a little too clean for an English style, where's the yeast?

M: Slick, smooth and a hint of astringency on the finish.

O: A good brew. I love the variation from the standard styles and am pleased to say that the result is tasty and very sessionable.

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Photo of brystmar
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, Ethan.

A really nice looking Mild: semi-transparent brown body, plenty of manila-colored head & lace, good retention.

Herbs and a mixture of grains in the malty aroma. Taste is pretty bland & watery, which is style-appropriate but not what I'm looking for in a beer.

Highly sessionable. Would much rather play beer pong with this than any of the BMC alternatives. That said, I can't see myself ever buying this beer for myself.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
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 djbst73
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass. Fresh.

A- deep brown color with some lacing that doesn't last. Definitely darker than I expected.

S- A little nutty and toasty, but not much to smell here.

T- Nice malty, and toasted up front with a hint of the nuttiness. Subtle hops fades quickly, but is very nice. I am getting the distinctive taste of British pales, suggesting significant mineral treatment in the water. I like it as a brit-style session beer.

M- Good body, a bit buttery.

O- I could drink these all day, but it is nothing too crazy. Just a solid, well-rounded ale.

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Photo of wxduff
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Served in a Goblet from a bottle. Pours very dark amber with a decent head that quickly disappears without leaving much lacing.

Smell - Almost overpowering sweetness at first, but then some of the roasted aromas sneak through. The sweet smell could be described as molasses like.

Taste- As expected by the smell, the beer is rather sweet, with a decent amount of residual sugar. After a short while, like with the nose, the malt and hops sneak through, however the sweetness is almost overpowering, until the aftertaste which comes through a little nutty and dry.

Mouthfeel - My sample, even for a session ale felt rather thin, and would be improved if it felt a bit thicker.

Overall – This beer, while suffering from a little to much sweetness, is not terrible and could go over well as a session beer for those times you want to have a few and not loose your head. Those with a sweet tooth will like it more than others.

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Photo of jifigz
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass

The appearance is a clean and clear dark caramel brown. The head disappeared almost instantly and left no real lacing. The aroma is candy sweet and that is about all. The flavor is mild with hints of roasted grain and a lot of sweetness. There is just a touch of hops to balance the sweetness of this brew. The MF is light and crisp as it should be.

Overall, this is a pretty decent session beer and an alright mild brown ale. Nothing spectacular but nothing amazing either.

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Photo of Buggies
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a nice treat and a little different style offering for a PA brewery.

Lovely aromas of roasted grains, caramel, and a little nutty. All present in the taste. Just a little fruitiness as well. But with all that aroma and flavor, this beer has a nice even finish. Very balanced, which makes this beer big on flavor but easy on the pallet.

Very drinkable and a change up from the normal offering of a PA brewer. Very good.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
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 dbrauneis
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a bottle at Cork City in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a clear garnet red to brown in color with very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall beige creamy head that slowly reduces to a thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: This beer has a very light and almost subtle aroma, dark malts with some light sweetness are present.

T: The beer has some dark malts and some caramel malts with light sweetness. There are also some toffee sweet notes as well along with a light amount of nuttiness.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Very easy to drink and very sessionable (though I suppose that is the goal for the style). This is definitely a light flavored but enjoyable beer that could be drank all night long.

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Photo of metter98
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
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 wac9
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
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

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Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of tylerprince
2.68/5  rDev -27%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
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!

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Photo of eeverwine
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of 57md
2.78/5  rDev -24.3%
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 Jayli
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
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 mynie
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
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 microbrewlover
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

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Photo of
4/5  rDev +9%
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!

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Brawler Pugilist Style Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 294 ratings.
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