PW's Year of Beer: Yard’s Poor Richard’s Tavern Spruce

By Eric San Juan
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Mar. 10, 2014

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We love beer. That's why we're devoting an entire year to discovering (and drinking) cold ones from near and far. Know of a beer worth shouting out? Send us a note at

You won’t find spruce ales all too often, though they have a fairly long history in the United States. Philly’s own Benjamin Franklin was known to brew one, using spruce and molasses in place of (or in addition to) hops and barley. Philadelphia’s Yard’s Brewing Company recreates that recipe here, and the resulting beer is one that will challenge your notions of what beer should taste like. If you’ve never smelled a Christmas tree in a glass, just order a pint of this. Evergreen and mint dominate the flavor and aroma, with mild hints of spice floating in the mix. Sweet molasses provides the backbone, with hints of dark cherries and figs hiding behind all that pine. It’s not hard to imagine Ben being a bit of an eccentric if this was his beer of choice. Try it at Irish Pol.

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