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Yard's Brewing Company - Philadelphia Pale Ale

Yard's Brewing Company - Philadelphia Pale Ale

Beer Club featured in U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club


United States

Alcohol by Volume:


Yard's Brewing Company - Philadelphia Pale Ale

  • ABV:

  • Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):

  • Serving Temperature:

    40-45° F
  • Suggested Glassware:

    Pint Glass
  • Malts:

    English Pale, Pilsner
  • Hops:

    Amarillo & Simcoe
Philadelphia’s own pale ale pours a medium straw color topped by an off white colored head that is a bit oily looking—that would be the hop oils! Expect a big hoppy aroma with a focus on non-traditional fruits—plumes of peach notes leap from the glass, along with citrus tones and hugely resinous pine sap, with wafts of baked bread as it warms. This east-coaster is giving the west coast hoppy brews a run for their money in terms of aroma; an awesome hop nose in a responsibly ABV’d brew. Look for a light, even crisp impression on the palate, with a nice, bready, almost neutral malt profile. The massive hoppy nose does not give way to the bitterness you might expect for a beer so mightily hopped in its aroma, which makes it a great example of the brewer’s craft and versatility in use of hops. We refer to this as a very hoppy beer, but it’s hoppiness is aroma-focused, with some hop flavor as well, but less hoppy in terms of bitterness. It’s got the nose of an IPA with the profile of a pale ale. The clean malt grain profile lets leafy, resinous hop notes and crystallized fruit (peach, nectarines) take center stage. As it warms, hop flavors swell in a piney, grapefruit-like, resiny crescendo. The beer finishes with rindy, citrusy, piney notes and a moderate bitterness. A great hop fix without the surge in ABV often present in massive hop bombs. Pair with spicy chipotle chicken or Jamaican jerk pork tenderloin.
For a city like Philadelphia, whose rich brewing heritage was virtually wiped out, it’s difficult to overstate the importance of Yards Brewing Company. Before their founding in 1994, Philly had been without her own brewery since the last of the great old breweries, Schmidt’s, went under in 1987. While a seven year dry spell might not sound like much, 1987 dealt a major blow to beer lovers who were shocked to find out they were suddenly left without a hometown brewery for the first time in over 300 years! What was left? Bud. Miller. Coors… Were it not for the availability of another Pennsylvania brew, Yuengling, it’s likely riots would have ensued. In 1988, collegiate wrestlers Tom Kehoe and Jon Bovit realized they could sustain their thirst for quality beer by brewing beer themselves. As they made their way through college they continued to experiment with homebrewing and shared with friends. Demand for their homebrew surged, leading them to take the leap into professional brewing. In 1994 they founded Yards Brewing Company, emptying their savings to get started and making beer in a small, garage-sized brewery in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia. Their beers caused quite a stir—these guys were crafting cask-conditioned ales on a tiny, homemade, three-barrel brewing system, and insisting that they be served by local pubs and taverns via traditional beer engines (hand-driven pumps that pull the beer from the keg.) Upon unveiling their Extra Special Ale at the Philadelphia Craft Beer Festival in April of 1995, beer drinkers in Philadelphia were flabbergasted—even the beers that were formerly available from Philly’s last breweries in the 60s, 70s and 80s, were nothing like this. Yards quickly became the forerunners in the regional craft-brewed beer scene. We’ve run out of space to continue the story, so check out http://www.blip.tv/file/603458/ for a short film by Stephen Metzger about Philadelphia’s brewing history and more about the important role of Yards Brewing Company—it is a great tale, full of ups and downs and punctuated by what is quickly becoming a final round triumph. For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, call (215) 634-2600 or check out their web site at www.yardsbrewing.com.
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