1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Hooky Bitter - Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.

Not Rated.
Hooky  BitterHooky  Bitter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

50 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 50
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 8.25%
Wants: 5
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  3.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bark on 02-07-2007

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (16) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 50 | Reviews: 42
Reviews by marcobrau:
Photo of marcobrau
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A hazy, golden ale that pours with plenty of foam that settles slowly leaving some lace behind. Slight whiff of fruit in the nose; predominantly apple.Gentle carbonation, which is good. Tastes a bit fruity (apples, pears) along some juicy caramel maltiness and decent peppery bitterness. Rather full-bodied without being too malt forward. I think this is an ale that Reminds me a bit of one of my home-brewed bitters served from a Party Pig. This beer really needs to be experienced a bit warmed up and not right out of the fridge to be enjoyed and I would guess that it really needs to be served from the cask to be fully appreciated. Like the fact that it's low in alcohol.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Its been awhile since I had a traditional bitter and bottled bitters may not be anything close to a cask or even a draught bitter but this is more traditional than what I might find in my neck of the woods.Poured into an English pint glass a brilliant medium golden with a copper tinger a well formed 1/2 finger white head atop.Notes of biscuit and a very light mineral element as well hops are not really detectable,toasty flavors with light caramel biscuit malt flavors as well as some mineral,flavors are light and not bitter but appetizing and its off the charts on drinkability no doubt.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.29/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A 500ml bottle with a BB of May 2013. ABV stated as 3.5%. Picked up a while back from a supermarket in Oxford.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A clear sunset-amber colour with good carbonation and faint sediment. Forms a small head of white foam that lasts for a minute or two before subsiding. Aroma of mild caramel malt with hints of fruity ale yeast, stewed leaves, faint grain and a touch of solvent.

Tastes of mild caramel malt with a dry finish. Notes of grain, faint caramel, fruity ale yeast, stewed leaves and a delicate earthiness. A subtle bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, dry and tingly, with pleasant carbonation and good body for the style. Somewhat astringent, followed by an aftertaste of dry stewed leaves and weak caramel malt.

A pretty average bitter. Not bad but it doesn't really grab your attention. Flavour and aroma are balanced yet dull and uncharismatic. Drinkable but quite forgettable - I know Hook Norton can do better. Worth sampling but no need to seek it out.

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, 3.5% ABV. Anything resembling an English pub bitter in these parts, done well, has my vote - let us see. Another new offering in Alberta that is only available in the large, soulless chain liquor store(s).

This beer pours a crystal clear medium bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of tightly foamy, somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves a low undulating berm of painted lace around the glass as it quickly dissolves.

It smells of biscuity, somewhat metallic pale grain, an aged lemony fruitiness, and musty, floral, mildly bitter earthy hops. The taste is grainy, bready malt, a waning bready biscuit character, some soft indistinct orchard fruit notes, and nicely offsetting floral, bitter leafy hops.

The carbonation is decently reserved - not absent, not interfering, the body medium light in weight, and everyman smooth. It finishes fairly dry, the mostly crisp, grainy malt seeing fit to share quality time with still prevalent, and softly bitter hops.

Well, I can't really bitch and moan at all about anything here, other that the weird hegemony that brought this beer to me, which is not the brewer's fault (I hope), so I will say that this is an easy drinking bitter, definitely not too acerbic, and worthy of many another round, were that the situation.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes, from a cask at The Brazen Head in Brooklyn via Alex Hall...

Appearance: Clear, golden, very limited white head that dissolves immediately to a whispy surface covering.

Aroma: Malt and hop blend. Basic. Straightforward grain and minor floral/grassy hops. Delicate fruitiness.

Taste: Malt opens up in the flavor with a nice, gently biscuity and grainy/straw-like character. Minor apple-like fruitiness. Followed by floral and spicy hops with an edge of grassiness. Mild undertones of buttery diacetyl. Firm bitterness appears across the middle and lingers into the finish, gaining momentum as it goes. It finishes quick and dry with just a suggestion of malt and some spinning, swirling hints of spicy and floral hops left behind.

Mouthfeel: Obviously smooth with a medium body and natural, soft carbonation.

Drinkability: Impressively tasty for a low gravity brew of 3.6%. A great session ale. Well worth trying.

Photo of rmolledo
3.3/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: hazy copper, low head.
S: caramel malts. Fruity esters. Grassy
T: good toasted and caramel malt flavors. slightly turned. Slight vinegar. Caramels, toasted malts.
MF: medium carbonation. Medium body.
O: good light bitters/mild. Refreshing. Slightly turned but fr the ABV and considering shipment it was expected.

Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle at Tap and Table in Emmaus. I was never a big believer in bottled English session beers, but this was full-flavored session ale. There was a smooth biscuity malt character throughout with mild spice and fruity esters. There was a herbal citrus peel tast upfront and then the beer finished with a peppery hop kick and had the body of a roughly 5% pale ale. It didn't feel light or watery and it was rich in subtle English character despite the low alcohol. Very drinkable, check it out if you like the style.

Photo of Seaba
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of Gmann
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear golden copper color with a nice dense white head that dissipated into a cap. The aroma is a little bready, buttery, and musty. The taste is of a light bready malt followed by white grape and green apple, some butter/nut flavors, a bit of hard water and finishes with a hop bitterness. The feel is moderate, with semi-soft carbonation leading to a fairly silky feel. Again, finishes slightly bitter. A very nice brew with some good subtle flavors with a perfect amount of hop bitterness for the style. Recommended.

Photo of jsh420
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours golden yellow with a 1_ finger head that covers the glass with lacing

smell is faint pale malts and some earthy hops

taste is solid - good amount of pale malts and earthy hop with some slight bitterness

mouthfeel is light kinda watery thin - it has a nice creamy finish

drinkability is great - a beer with this kind of flavor and only 3.6% abv - i just wish it was cheaper

Photo of Beejay
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy medium amber in color. Nice white head on top, though is fades a good deal fairly quickly.

S: Lovely malt presence, with fresh baked bread following. Not a lot of hop scent, but what is there is mildly earthy.

T: Malty with a nice bitterness. Caramel and bread notes present as well as a mild fruitiness. There is not a lot of hop flavor, but there is a nice solid bitterness to the finish.

M: Fairly light in body with active carbonation. Finish is crisp with a slightly slick feel.

D: Yeah I could basically drink this all day. I bet this would be mega awesome dry hopped.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of date (by 4 months) brown 500ml bottle, cost me 10 Pence because it was past its best before date.

Poured into a straight pint glass, the beer is a clear, bright, terracotta red colour. The head was an off-white blanket of tightly knitted foam. A constant flow of bubbles burst up towards the head throughout the tasting.

The aroma was fairly sweet, hoppy and it had a very English Bitter type smell, as you would expect.

Crisp, sharp and bitter in flavour, a very good example of an English Bitter.

A good feel to it considering the ABV is only 3.6%, sure it is a little watery, but it has a body and the flavours stay in the mouth well after the fluid has been swallowed.

Very drinkable and well worth the 10 Pence I paid for it!

Photo of pknyc
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of fx20736
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a British Imperial Pint Glass.

Hazy copper amber, actively carbonated with a 1 finger tan head. The ale leaves a magnificient shawl of lacing.

Aroma of malt and fruitiness with a hint of diacetyl.

mouthfeel: that soft but solid English Ale feel

Taste: Biscuity malt gives way to a musty, earthy English hoppiness followed by a glaze of buttery toffee and a touch of fruitiness like dried plums or apricots. Hooky leaves just a hint of herbal bitterness in the aftertaste.

Notes: pretty to look at, nice bouquet, supple in the mouth and a complex taste that lies in layer upon layer of the soil of England. My God this is a beer.

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the Brazen Head, Brooklyn.

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a soft doughy malt and a light grassy hop.

The taste consisted of a balanced doughiness and grassiness.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty and very quaffable bitter.

Photo of vinicole
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle

Pours a clear, copper color with a creamy white head that thins. Decent lacing on the glass.

Malty aroma with a light fruitiness and a noticable amount of diacetyl. A bit of herbal hops also sneaks in.

Caramel malty upfront with a nice buttery diacetyl flavor. Mild fruitiness and herbal hop flavor pair with a medium bitterness midway through. Finishes crisp and dry.

Medium-light body, creamy texture.

Great example of the style, and really showcases the great flavors that can be achieved in a low ABV beer.

Photo of crossovert
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle.

Poured into a English pint, it is a medium orangeish gold with a nice foamy white head. It recedes with some nice lacing.

The smell is very nice, it has a lot of lemon and orange zest, it is very zesty.

The taste is surprisingly similar, though more subdued. It has some zesty lemon/lime, a bit of grain, and some mineral water. It has a lot of flavor, though it is a bit blunt.

It is supremely drinkable.

Photo of jdhilt
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a white, three-finger head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Very light floral nose. Flavor is light, slightly sweet and not at all bitter but hints of bitterness at finish. $6.50 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

Photo of TMoney2591
2.78/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Playin' hooky tonight. ...Wow...sorry... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear soft gold topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises biscuit, mild cocoa, earthy greens, light oak, and dried tobacco (like a nice Connecticut wrapper). The taste brings in more of the same, with a blast of firm earth, oak, and tobacco really taking control, junta-style. Things just don't sit right with me, honestly, especially considering how much I prefer democracy. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a generally smooth feel. Overall, this bitter just didn't do it for me. The hops came through far too tobacco-y to be enjoyable, and this is coming from someone who enjoys a nice cigar. Don't know what went wrong, but something clearly did.

Photo of cvstrickland
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

1 pint .9 ounce bottle poured into a pint willi glass yields a clear copper-amber body capped with a thick off-white head that retains well and leaves ringed swatches of lacing on the glass.

The smell is fruity and semi-sweetly malty with a dose of citrusy hops.

The taste of the drink is mild, mellow, and toasty with a fine palate of sweetish and dry malts with just a zing of citrusy, earthy hops that bring a soft bitterness to the finish.

The feel is on the medium side of light-bodied with mild carbonation that fits the drink perfectly. A quaffable, sessionable beer I'd love to try from cask or keg.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hooky Bitter

Pours a light orange color, inch of head and little in the way of lace. Aroma is yeasty, sweet, floral, and somewhat malt driven. In the taste, ale yeast, mellow noble bittering hop, and a light malt character. Just a bit of toffee, herbal hop, and a very clean finish. Mild, yet with a good malt bill and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, a nice mild English session ale, easy and unobtrusive.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy deep amber with a rocky white head that sticks to everything it touches. Smell is malty sweet with hints of toffee and caramel. There are some floral/earthy hops in here but every time I think I smell them they are gone to quickly. Taste is again malty bready and sweet with caramel and toffee. Some hops do come out in the flavor earthy floral cut through the malt quite nicely. There is a slight mineral element in the taste as well as a hint of butter. Medium to low level of carbonation, sweet sticky mineral mouthfeel with a medium body. This beer flew through my glass on this 98 degree day. This is an easy drinking light ale with enough flavor to keep my attention, to bad it takes a bit of work to get one of these to enjoy at home.

Photo of WesWes
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a light, pale malt scent along with an equally light noble hop aroma. The taste is good as well. It's thin with decent malt flavor and a mildy bitter finish. It goes down really smooth and doesn't seem watery even at 3.6% abv.. The mouthfeel fine perfect. It is a low/medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a near perfect English bitter. It's flavorful with just the right amount of malts and hops; a great session beer.

Photo of bark
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The colour is red-copper, the liquid a bit cloudy. The head is large and off white, leaving some lacing.

The smell is spicy and creamy with a somewhat chemical (but still pleasant) note of wax and matured cheese.

Herb-like sour-bitter flavours dominates the taste. Basil, coriander, oregano, cloves… There is a subtle malty sweetness that balances all the spicy notes. The long aftertaste got those herbs too, but also some honey-like sweetness and a pleasant bitterness.

The carbonation is a bit stronger than expected, small bubbles. The liquid is very… liquid.
A well crafted session beer. Who says you must have lots of alcohol to make a great tasting beer?

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Hooky Bitter from Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
87 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.