Beer Background
Sep 2018

Yardbird Pale Ale, Greene King

Added: Saturday, September 1st 2018

Style Pale Ale ABV 4.0%

Greene King Yardbird Pale Ale, 4%

The beer has been reformulated and is now brewed with pale, amber and carapils grains and hopped with Centennial, Citra and Simcoe varieties. It has 42 units of bitterness.

The beer commemorates the legendary American jazz musician Charlie Parker who was nicknamed Yardbird or Bird as a result of his love for fried chicken: Americans call chickens yard birds.

Parker, along with fellow iconoclasts Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Kenny Clarke and Max Roach, revolutionised jazz in the 1940s with a new style known as bebop, so called because they emphasised the second and fourth notes in a bar rather than the first and third. They played at a frenetic pace, used minor keys and improvised with complex chord structures rather than simple harmonies.

They influenced young, aspiring musicians such as Miles Davis and created what became known as modern jazz, as opposed to simpler traditional styles. Some of Parker’s albums played on his nickname with such titles as Yardbird Suite and Ornithology.

The beer brewed in his honour has a pale copper colour and has fresh pine wood and tropical fruits on the nose, with honeyed malt and a touch of butterscotch from the darker grains.

Rich juicy malt vies with bitter, piny hops in the mouth with fruit notes and a continuing hint of butterscotch. The finish is long, dry and bitter but with a good balance of juicy malt and butterscotch.

Tesco £1.70, four for £6. Other main supermarkets.


Yardbird Pale Ale, Greene King