Yards Brewing Company | Brawler
In the heart of the City of Brotherly Love lies Yards Brewing Company. A purveyor of fine ales since 1994, Yards as a knack for extraordinarily balanced beers ranging from a classic IPA, to an amber ale brewed with spruce tips. One example is Brawler, “the pugilist-style ale.” The 4.2% ABV English dark mild is brewed with roasted barley, Amber and Crystal Malts, a pesky English specialty yeast and rocks a smooth 12 IBUs.
One of the earlier beers brewed by Yards, “Brawler” is named for “being able to go a few rounds.” With England’s history of underground bare knuckle boxing, it is a fitting name for the fact that this brew packs a proverbial punch amongst die-hard fans and newcomers alike, drawn to the low alcohol, yet extremely flavorful style. A conversation with a bartender at Yards also reveals the owner was a wrestler in his high school days and the name just seemed right.
“Brawler is a beer drinker’s beer,” says Ron Johnson, Yards’ sales representative. The fact that it is so clean with no off-flavors is a huge feat, which the brewers at Yards should (and do) feel proud of accomplishing, because English yeast is so delicate and can be hard to work with.
ABV: 4.2% | IBU: 12
A pour reveals a deep ruby color that borders mahogany, with a half-inch tawny head. Bakers chocolate hits the nose, along with toffee and nuts akin to pecan and walnut. Through the first sip, flavors of caramel, toffee approach without becoming cloying. Brawler is malt forward without becoming heavy, and its flavors of walnut and tea-biscuit keep it balanced along with earthy hops. Carbonation stays constant and the beer is moderately dry, therefore enticing you to take sip after sip until you’re reaching for another.
This is full-bodied. Yards’ Brawler is easy-drinking for fans of dark and light alike; light enough to take pale fans to the dark side, with enough substance to keep fans of darker styles content. Beer fans who are looking to dive into the world of craft beer may find that Brawler suits them. It has a subtle yet flavorful nature, akin to Amber ales but unique to itself. It is best paired with braised and roasted meats, which compliment its robust flavors, and its low ABV will cool your palate with foods that are heavily spiced. It is a beer for the fire-pit in the summer and the fireplace in the winter; a beer that could and should be drank every day.
Cheers to Yards for brewing this magnificent beer that I will forever continue to share with all fans of beer.