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Beer #67 – March 11, 2010: Yards ESA

March 16, 2010

Beer: Yards ESA (Extra Special Ale)

Brewery: Yards Brewing Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Style: ESB (Extra Special Bitter)

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle

Price: $8.99 / six-pack

Availability: Year-round

Glassware: Glass Mug

Strength: 6.3% ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: Initially malty, with a surprisingly solid bitterness; definitely for hop heads!

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Pours a clear, pretty deep ruby-brown with a big, frothy, off-white head

Aroma: Sweet, a little nutty.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tiny bubbles of carbonation.

Taste: This one starts with a slightly nutty sweetness with a hint of maple and a note of roasted malts.  It develops into a somewhat abrasive middle of pine cone, thistle and tannic coffee grinds.  A little orange-butterscotch comes through, followed by a lingering lemon rind bitterness in the relatively dry finish.  Maybe these flavors sound a bit strange from my description, but it all works together.

Pairing: The bitterness would be a nice counterpoint to juicy sausages.  Top them off with carmelized onions to play off the sweet and roasted malt flavors.

Trivia: Philadelphia has become a craft beer mecca for the East Coast.  A couple of dozen brewpubs and breweries call Philly or its suburbs home.  Great craft beer can be found on-tap at Citizens Bank Park (home of the Phillies).  And Philly Craft Beer Week (taking place June 4-13, 2010) with literally hundreds of events, tastings, dinners and festivals, promotes Philly with the motto “America’s Best Beer-Drinking City”.

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