10/2/18: Platform Beer Co.'s Yammy Yam

4:19 PM

We've made it to Spooky Finger Puppet Ghost Month! It's October 2nd or, depending on the circles you frequent, the second day of Halloween. Regardless of how you view it, we are now firmly seated in pumpkin ale season, which is one of the great things about fall (actually, all fall seasonals--pumpkin or not--hold special places in my heart) and, in my eyes, is second only to Christmas ale season.


So, what better way to kick off pumpkin ale season on the blog than by drinking a yam beer! Up today, we have Platform Beer Co.'s Yammy Yam, a sweet potato ale that seems to be a pumpkin beer alternative.

Platform (that link'll take you to their website) has been in headquartered in Cleveland for the last four years. In 2016 they had two major expansions: opening at tasting room in Columbus as well as a full-scale, 60 barrel brewhouse in Cleveland's old Leisy Brewing Company's facility. They also have Phunkenship, a sour beer operation, in CLE and a new tasting room here in Cincinnati.

Unfortunately, I can't find Yammy Yam on Platform's website. Actually, that's not so unfortunate--my can has all the information I need. The ale's brewed with sweet potato, spice, barley, molasses, and five different malts. Its AVB is a hearty 7.7% and it's smooth with caramel notes.

The ale's bouquet can be succinctly described as such: sweet. Chalk that up to the molasses and, you know, the sweet potato. If I'm looking deeper, there's a vegetabliness laying under the sweetness. Chalk that up to, you know, the sweet potato. And that's really about it for the nose. It's not bad, but it's also not anything special. Purrl, however, loves it. She gave it a full fourteen whiffs.


Yammy Yam tastes like a boozy, sweet brown ale without the hoppiness of the best of that style. It's a little bland at first, but that's quickly overtaken by a sticky sweetness that's almost immediately drowned out by the booze that warrants the ABV. There's a swell of spice in the finish that lingers in my throat. It's not unlike some pumpkin ales, but far removed from the best ones. The vegetabliness from the nose is gone, which is a bummer because it'd be a welcome addition here.

The mouthfeel is probably my favorite part of the beer. It's full--you feel the weight of the ABV and it makes me eager for other fall/winter seasonals that carry that same effect.

As I'm sitting here drinking Yammy Yam, there's something on my mind. I've talked about The Ridges a few times before on the blog. The place, now owned by Ohio University and part of its campus, was originally the Athens Lunatic Asylum. There are a slew of ghost stories surrounding the place (Google it and you'll see what I mean) but I've never believed in them. I'd regularly run on the trails behind the buildings and loved getting out of Athens proper for a while.

There was one time, though, when I was running those trails at night. It was in October and around 9 p.m. I couldn't get all those ghost stories out of my head. I was on a backtrail and rounding a corner marked by an old, rusted water tank when I came upon a pair of spectres that seemed to glow in the dull moonlight. I stopped (it would've been a screeching halt if my shoes had been capable of screeching) and instantly decided to turn around in run back to my dorm.

Before that could happen, one of the spectres looked up in shrieked while the one next to it started at me. I quickly realized that I'd come across a couple, clad in white, on a spooky date behind The Ridges on a late October evening. They were just as spooked to find me on the trails and I was to find them! I apologized before passing them to continue my run.

So, what do I think about Yammy Yam? Not much. If you were tasked with finding a pumpkiny/autumnal beer for an event, you could certainly do worse (for instance, I had Elysian's Punkuccino last night and hated it--it's too sickly sweet and had no coffee flavor), but it wouldn't be a challenge to find much, much better (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for some examples). Platform's offering isn't bad, but it's mediocre and two years ago an oversaturation of mediocre pumpkiny beers like this caused the market for them to collapse. If it wasn't for the mouthfeel or the ABV, I'd rate it lower than the score it's getting. But, since those are both part of the beer, I'll toss it a 6.0/10. Try it if you're inclined to do so, but know that I can't give it my recommendation.

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