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Hook & Ladder Golden Ale - Hook & Ladder Brewing Company (No. 2)

Not Rated.
Hook & Ladder Golden AleHook & Ladder Golden Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

151 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 151
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 3.14
pDev: 16.24%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hook & Ladder Brewing Company (No. 2) visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: cichief on 04-28-2007)
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Ratings: 151 | Reviews: 119 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429


3.95/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a tulip glass. The pour is a slightly-hazed golden color with a really tall white head that persists for quite some time and leaves oodles of lacing down the side of the glass. The nose isn't too much, but is much better than the majority of blonde ales that I've had. Some light grain and bread plus a touch of fruit. The taste is a bit more plain with a bread-like character. The feel is really nice with a good body and carbonation level. Nice and sessionable. For what this is and against its competition, I really enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 00:09:25 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.03/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Honeycomb gold with a tincture of tangerine. Three fingers of yellowed ivory foam follow the pour. The crown looks fluffy, but still manages to hang around for a spell. What lace manages to stick looks just okay.

The nose lacks a hook and is nothing special as a result. Golden grain and a slight whiff of musky hops (Willamette) is about it. Although Cascade hops were used for bittering, their distinctive citrusiness isn't appreciated.

For starters, Golden Ale is an amber ale, not an APWA. It uses wheat, but doesn't taste the least bit wheaty. Pale malt gives the beer a bland sort of untoasted graininess and a hint of underlying sweetness. Hop flavor and bitterness are at a low ebb. It's as if the brewers did everything they could to wring all traces of personality out of this brew.

Please don't drink this offering 'ice-cold', as the label suggests. Only when it gains a few degrees does the beer develop any sort of flavor: cereal grains and earthy hops. Still no hint of Cascade. If American macro ale was a recognized style, then Golden Ale would be its poster child; never mind the size of the brewery.

The mouthfeel is acceptable for the style and the ABV. It's light without being watery and the carbonation adds some excitement without being annoying about it.

Hook & Ladder Golden Ale is only slightly better than Hook & Ladder Backdraft Brown. The labels and the cap are well-done, and I have a soft spot for any brewery that contributes proceeds to worthy causes, but the beer itself leaves quite a bit to be desired. Average.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2009 12:17:19 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of nmann08

District of Columbia

3/5  rDev -4.5%

12-04-2011 22:30:23 | More by nmann08
Photo of BEERchitect


3.15/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The second of the three beers that are now offered in Lexington from the brewery. BeerAdvocate have five beers listed from this brewery. I just finished the Lighter and now drinking the Golden. You'd think that they would go out on that limb a bit.

This beer does fare better than the Lighter. It begins with a stronger straw color with some golden highlights. The same formitable head, retainage, and lacing gives the beer a lot of promise, as they did in the Lighter.

Aromas start with a caramel, butterscotch character that fades as the session continues. A part-malt, part-grain blend gives good balance to the nose. A little corn-like later, but no fruitiness to mention in the nose.

Flavors of caramel-corn candies sets the tone for the beer. Malt flavors are light and allows grain flavors to persist too much. Again, no fruitiness or hop flavor. Honey-like flavors come thorough at mid-palate and helps to move the beer along.

Slick textures throughout, which compromises the would-be crisp, dry, malt character-- too bad. Still a light grain-like bite over-rides the hop bitterness and causes yet more distractions.

This beer has some of the same off-flavors as the Lighter, but also delivers a diacetyl character that dominates the beer-- sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. It's worth a try...once or twice. But not a drain-pour by any means.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2008 03:42:30 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of zeff80


3.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden-yellow color with a good deal of carbonation. It had little to no head and left no lace.

S - It smelled of grains, caramel and mild floral notes.

T - It had a sweet caramel flavor with a toasty malt flavor. It had a very, very mild spicy hop bite to balance it out.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a slightly dry finish. A light bodied ale that is very sessionable.

D - This is a nice blonde ale. It is refreshing and easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2010 02:20:42 | More by zeff80
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

2.55/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On-tap at East Ave Café in Pawtucket, RI on 9/13/07, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color with a medium white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of wheat, light malts, a touch of hops and some fruit.

T: The taste is light and decently balanced, with flavors of wheat, pale hops and some tart fruit (apricot & raspberries maybe?). The malt character has some substance but is on the thin side. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-heavy carbonation, very clean finish.

D: Not too tasty, goes down ok, not filling at all, not the best representation of style, it's a decent beer but I really didn't like it too much and would not pick it again.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2007 00:39:14 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of drabmuh


3.15/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Never had anything from these blokes so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Served in a shaker pint because I had one handy.

Beer is amber, light, mild haze, lazy thin head of small white bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation. Looks fine to good.

Aroma is grainy and sweet, pretty floral, smells fine.

Beer is medium in body, a little bitter, sweet up front, grainy finish. Eh, it is probably too sweet, heavier than expected, too grainy, too much of an aftertaste, not a drain pour but an average ale for sure.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 01:13:37 | More by drabmuh
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.6/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Comparing this one to the Backdraft Brown, this one is stellar. Overall a very solid golden ale, more interesting than your typical version. Appears a slightly hazed pale yellow golden body with a bright white foamy head, after dwindling minimal lace is left behind. Aroma has tart apples with a slightly grassy hop presnce with a mild refreshing citrus note. Pale malts provided a biscuit malt sweetness but those esters from the yeast are very nice. Flavor has a delicate yet flavorful approach that I really enjoyed with a slight green apple tartness with notes of herbal and citrus light but hoppy appeal, nice semi sweet balance acheived with the pale malt profile. Mouthfeel is light bodied even stream of carbonation very easy going and refreshing. Drinkability always good to get more outta of a beer than you were expecting especially out of a Blonde Ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2009 06:37:23 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.25/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry, pale malt scent along with some light esters. The taste is average. It has a very dry, malty flavor that boasts of pale malts and not much else. It does have a bit of sweetness, but little complexity to speak of. The mouthfeel is average. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a decent beer, but nothing to get excited about. It's very dry and light on the malt palate.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2008 23:34:44 | More by WesWes
Photo of smcolw


3.58/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer overflowed the bottle when opened--lost about an ounce. Relatively tame head after that, but it did last. Good lace. Very attractive light amber color. Crystal clear.

Mostly light malt aroma. Some hop (and cream) in the background.

Ah, some wheat shows up here although it is in the background. I'm reminded of a cream ale--lots of malt with some lactose sweetness. A good dose of hop that shows up in the swallow, but dies quickly. Probably the biggest negative is the over-carbonation, particularly for the style. The body is okay.

This is definitely a mixed bag. Worthy of trying, if you're not looking for a wheat-ish offering.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2008 21:38:43 | More by smcolw
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

2.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at McCormick & Schmick's in Baltimore.

Appearance: only a thin surface foam for a head. Pale yellow in color with a load of fast rising carbonation bubbles. No lacing developed during the session.

Smell: little to no aroma, as only some very faint grain tones were detectable as your nose hits the surface of the beer.

Taste: mild graininess here with some very soft hop bitterness. Some pear and golden apple sweetenss lingers softly in the background. Very mild flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start and a bit smoother towards the finish. Light in body. Clean aftertaste.

Drinkability: figured I give this a try since the restaurant had it and I wanted something mild with my appetizer. The beer was so-so at best as I didn't finish my pint. Not worth a try unless there are only macros on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2007 11:14:08 | More by Gavage
Photo of tempest


1.98/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The beer looks good enough with a light gold body with a little white head, but this beer reeks of plastic and cholorphenols. The flavor at least has some pale malted barley and wheat in the aftertaste, but plastic and cleaning chemical notes are way too strong. The mouthfeel is crisp and light, but the drinkability suffers from the flaws. If this beer was contract brewed for me, I'd be pissed. I haven't come across a beer flawed this badly in a long time. Avoid.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2008 02:10:22 | More by tempest
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a three finger white head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Almost cloudy pale amber color. The nose is slight hoppiness. Medium carbonation and light-medium body. Flavor is mellow some hoppiness, some sweetness. Clean finish. $1.50 for 12oz bottle from Capitol Convenience, Concord, NH. Label is Hook & Ladder Brewing - contract brewed by Mercury.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2007 23:33:37 | More by jdhilt
Photo of ejimhof


3/5  rDev -4.5%

09-19-2013 18:57:20 | More by ejimhof
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.03/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hook & Ladder Golden Ale

Crystal clear golden yellow with a small white head and some lace down the side of the glass. Aroma is biscuity malt and light euro hops. In the taste, lightly malty and creamy. Pretty drinkable blonde. easy simple but a bit plain. Light bodied feel, low carbonation, clean finish. Overall, a nice simple summer beer here, nothing more nothing less.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2011 01:11:00 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of brandoman63


3.25/5  rDev +3.5%

11-29-2011 20:23:39 | More by brandoman63
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

2.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a clear pumpkin orange with a 1 finger frothy egg shell white head that settled to a thin, whispy covering after the first 2 minutes. No visible lacing was observed while the visible carbontion was moderatly strong and fairly rapid.

S: fresh oranges with perhaps some dried pears. Honestly there really wasn't a lot of complexity or scent to this and came off rather mundane, light in strength and rather boring. Yawn.

T: The flavor was fresh sweet oranges, dried pears with a decent spicy hopping. Some lemon and orange citrus with some sweet ripe fruit skins were detected. The oranges tasted more artificial like those sugar coated orange candies you buy at the store which only cheapened the flavor for me a bit. Some fruitiness of honey dews with a touch of muskiness and a honey suckle flowery hopping. Overall was light , sweety and fruity.

M: a light viscosity with a slick buttery texture and a good deal of tingly carbonation. Leaves a sweet orange honey malting behind on the swallow. Ok but doesn't get any better the longer you hold it so there really is no incentive here to savor. Average at best.

D: While the flavor was average it certainly doesn't warrant a repeat and falls short per style when compared to other staples of this style. shoulder shrug here.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2009 00:33:32 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of smakawhat


2.28/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Are you drinking a Blonde Ale? Yeah you are.. at least you didn't buy it, ok what's this all about, into a nonic pint glass to go.

A slightly hazy pale amber yellow, lots of carbonation. Head is shocking white, foamy, seems to fall slowly. Pour makes a lot of noise and snapping. Cap manages to keep for a short while.

Bouquet is rank. Smells like bile and vomit, not pleasant at all. Gross. I am trying to find something at least worthy, and I get nearly nothing.

Taste is very lacking. No malt presence, hop, chewiness, density, horrific aftertaste highlighting the nose nicely. Slightly numbing in the aftertaste and even grainy sour. Borderline wet, but with a little bit of seltzery feel.

There is nothing to enjoy here for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2012 02:57:00 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Latarnik

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -4.5%

05-27-2014 00:28:01 | More by Latarnik
Photo of Bighuge


3.15/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark golden body with moderate amounts of carbonation streaming up to the thin ivory white cap. Aroma is lemongrass, hay and something just a little funky. No funkiness on the palate though. But there is a distinct earthy feel to it. Malt base is substantial enough for a golden ale and the hops are here only in a ghostly way. Little bit of an apple flavor. This is not bad, just not that good either.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2010 04:06:39 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Brad007


3.1/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've never seen this brand before so decided to try it.

Pours a very nice pale yellow color with a head that recedes to one-finger. Aroma is mostly malt and wheat on the nose with a bit of fruitiness. Taste is strong upfront with the wheat dominating and leaving some sort of clove flavor in the aftertaste. Somewhat biscuity as well...bready aftertaste as a whole. The wheat flavor is just too strong for my liking. Drinkable but I wouldn't buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2007 03:18:07 | More by Brad007
Photo of harpus


3/5  rDev -4.5%

09-16-2013 20:56:26 | More by harpus
Photo of scruffwhor


2.98/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a six pack from Paradise bar on my vacation to Galena,IL. First time I've ever seen this beer.

Pours a clear pale amberish yellow. Not a bad head after the pour that lesens to a ring of foam. The aroma gives off hints of banana and sme soft, fuity malts, and some unsavory adjuncts. I don' like saying this, but this beer tastes better when its cold. Don't let this beer warm up. The taste starts with some wheat banana read and some funky hops and corn husks. Very easy tasting and smooth with some ccheap tasting bitterness, but still pretty refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2008 05:50:26 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of BeerFMAndy


3.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into an American Tumbler pint. No visible date on the bottle.

A - Clear gold that pours out highly effervescent with a one-finger loosely packed off-white head. The action goes down quickly as the fizz and head recede to a ring with no lacing.

S - Sweet honey overlaps crystal malts and a grainy aroma. There is a kiss of hops on the nose but nothing impressive. Faded into the background is a dry straw huskiness.

T - The lack of hops on the aroma is immediately made up for in the flavor. It's subtle noble hop flavor rounds out the sweet honey and maltiness with background grains. Not bad in flavor, a bit above average.

M - Smooth and slick on the mouthfeel, it has a crisp finish to it but it's not outstanding in any way.

D - I wouldn't have been too disappointed had I purchased a six pack of this beer. It really is a daily drinker much like a Miller Lite but a bit more flavorful. Not shabby but don't expect to get hooked.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2009 14:46:20 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of DrDemento456


3.4/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden yep for sure. Head was kind of a half to quarter inch, small but with some creamy lacing.

S - Smells of a typical blonde, I get some lemon grass, little hops, and sweet malts.

T - Not too bad actually but it might be too sweet for some. Slight bit of grains followed by honey sweetness and a finish with some watery hops.

M - Light to medium, kind of watery.

Overall I thought this one was good better than Boulders "Sweaty Betty" but I can't seem to think of a reason to get it again. Kind of refreshing though.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2011 06:20:00 | More by DrDemento456
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Hook & Ladder Golden Ale from Hook & Ladder Brewing Company (No. 2)
73 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.