Tough Broad Release

Curiosity + Collaboration=One Tough Broad

A joint project from Yards Brewery and Philadelphia Distilling

The idea

Yards: Because we use very flavorful malt in our beers, we’ve always wondered what would happen if we tried to distill from that base. To help us in our experiment, we called on our friends at Philadelphia Distilling, leaders in the local craft spirit movement who share the same commitment to quality and community as we do. Plus, it gave us a chance to hang out together and sample some beers and whiskeys during “business hours.”

Philadelphia Distilling: We want to move towards making whiskey down the line, and so were excited to do this project. It is good practice for us to create a spirit without having a dedicated mash tun and fermenters. And best of all, we like the Yards team, their beer, and their values. We have an equal passion for our work, and doing this together just made the process better.

The process

Yards: After a few meetings, we settled on a recipe loosely based on the Thomas Jefferson Tavern Ale and sent it to our Philadelphia Distilling friends to work their magic. When they brought over a sample, we tasted it, and were sold. The complexity inspired the name. It reveals a very sophisticated side — but one that’s under the surface — just like the people of Philly and the town itself.

Philadelphia Distilling: We used the Yards recipe as the backbone for the collaboration, and once we had started distilling, we knew it would be great. We initially distilled in a small still to fine tune the recipe. After perfecting it, we ran the final product through our Forsyth’s 1500L copper pot still twice before aging the whiskey in a high charred 53-gallon new American oak barrel. The end result is a 90-proof spirit with beer-like flavors and aromas.

The name

Yards: We looked at a lot of whiskey bottles and saw a whole bunch of guys’ names — Jack, John, Pappy, Jim— and said, “Let’s shake things up and call it something different.”

Most of the Yards crew grew up around here, so when we started collaborating with other Philadelphians, we knew the whiskey needed a name that captured that unique spirit of our city and its people.

Our hometown is full of tough guys, underdogs, wise old souls, and Broad Street is where it all intersects; Great parades, big moments in sports history, road races, the Arts – it all goes down on Broad Street. While the word “Broad” obviously refers to Philly’s iconic street, it also pays homage to the strong talented women of this great city. They are our family members, friends, neighbors and some of Philadelphia’s greatest historical figures.

Even though this is a high-quality product and we’re dedicated to our craft, we’re also having fun and not taking things too seriously. So, although some people might not “get” it, Tough Broad is a name that roots us where we live. It’s a tribute to our city’s underdog spirit, its history and character, and the women we know and love: Bold, smart and witty—and proud to be from Philly.

How does it taste?

Nose: Hints of caramel, toffee, and vanilla, warm spices like cinnamon, and a little bit of wood. The malt character from the beer comes through the most on the nose.

Taste/flavor: Sweet with round malty flavors; spiciness up front and wood dryness at end.


Although there will be a limit of two bottles per customer, once we sell out, Tough Broad won’t be gone forever. We will release these barrels annually. You can also find it at select accounts in Philadelphia- check out Olde Bar, Village Whiskey, TIME, Urban Farmer, Charlie Was a Sinner, Whetstone, and Wm. Mulherin’s.