Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern Ale [Review]

After I put up this post, a reader* was kind enough buy me a six pack (thanks!), so I decided on a new rule: you buy ‘em, I’ll review ‘em.

I’d been wanting to try the Ales of the Revolution series from Yards Brewing Company, a local brewer from Philadelphia. They make Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern Ale, allegedly a recreation of TJ’s own recipe, and although the website is lean on details, I’ll take them at their word. Jefferson’s recipe called for “wheat, honey, and rye,” and Yards delivers.

The first thing you’ll notice is that Jefferson liked a strong one: at 8% alcohol by volume, this one packs more buzz in a bottle than most brews. (By comparison, Miller Genuine Draft [spit] has 2.8%. That’s not beer. That’s muddy seltzer that’s gone off a bit.)

It’s an English Ale with a lot of bite to it, with the hops front and center, lingering with a pleasant bitterness throughout. It pours with a thick, firm head that lasts to the final drop, and has a medium reddish-copper color. The scent is malty and yeasty, with a floral hint. The flavor of wheat and honey is prominent, but there are fruity notes (if I may use the lingua booza) at the back.

It’s a strong beer. The lingering bitterness may not be for everyone, but I liked it. A solid B+! Chalk up another great achievement for Tommy J.

*Please note that all reader information is private, and I will not reveal it or share it here.


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About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • Mary E.

    It’s a fine ale, one of my favorites. It’s widely available here in the mid-Atlantic but probably less known outside of this area so I’m glad that you have brought it to a wider audience.

  • Belinda A

    That sounds like it may be my cup of tea…er, mug of beer. I’ll have to try to find it next time I get up that way – not too many of the mid-Atlantic beers make their way down to Florida :(


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