Honker's Ale
Goose Island Beer Co.

Honker's AleHonker's Ale
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
English Bitter
Ranked #61
Ranked #25,812
3.65 | pDev: 11.78%
Jan 30, 2023
Aug 08, 2001
Honker's AleHonker's Ale
Notes: Golden sunset color, fruity hop aroma, biscuity malt flavor, soft body.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of bristol2120
Reviewed by bristol2120 from Illinois

3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Deep copper orange in color. Head fades quickly leaving a bit of lacing. There is not much to be found in the nose, very subdued. Taste approximates what you would expect of the style, but there was a very slight hint of smokiness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth, with understated carbonation. This is a fairly inoffensive take on a style that is overlooked by many brewers. Not bad, but not really anything to go out of your way for.
Jan 30, 2023
Rated: 3.5 by carolinabeerguy from North Carolina

Jan 04, 2023
Photo of Rug
Reviewed by Rug from Massachusetts

3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
The first beer of my trip to Chicago for Riot Fest! Honkers is one of those beers always spoken fondly of by old school BAs, and I figure there’s no better way to start off the trip than with this beer I don’t see in Massachusetts. Let’s dive in

Pours a cloudy deep orange amber with 2 fingers of light tan head that slowly fades to a cap and leaves decent lacing

It doesn’t have all that much presence in the nose, but what’s there is pretty good. I’m picking up on aromas of biscuity malt, floral hops, lemon zest, honey, and light pepper

It’s a bit more expressive in taste, but still not a punch in the face or anything. On the front end of the sip I’m tasting herbal hops, crackery malt, honey, orange zest, and green tea. The swallow brings notes of black tea, floral hops, biscuity malt, honey, toasted grain, and light orange

A light medium body pairs with moderate carbonation, resulting in a crisp beer. Finishes mostly dry but a bit watery

This is nothing amazing, but I wasn’t expecting anything amazing. This is a mediocre example of an old school style from a bygone era. That being said, it’s still a really enjoyable beer to drink despite its flaws
Sep 15, 2022
Photo of Krazytt
Rated by Krazytt

3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Liked it wouldn't b my go to
But I can drink
Sep 08, 2022
Photo of PatDrinks
Rated by PatDrinks

4.16/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Smooth drink
Sep 08, 2022
Photo of NCSapiens
Reviewed by NCSapiens from Indiana

3.59/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
The first ESB I ever tried, and I thought I hated the style until I tried Fuller’s ESB, which is really great. Turns out the problem isn’t the style, it is that this is a mediocre tasting ale at best.
Aug 11, 2022
Rated: 3.75 by xdtfx from Illinois

Jul 17, 2022
Rated: 3.94 by not2quick from Missouri

Jul 13, 2022
Rated: 3.75 by Chris7482 from Illinois

Jun 16, 2022
Photo of illtexzona
Reviewed by illtexzona from Illinois

3.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
On draft at Goose Island Clybourn 1/15/21

Reddish amber hues with thin white head. Dark malt and and some dark fruits on the nose. Sweet malt, breadiness, hint of fruits, and mildy bitter taste. It's fairly light and easy on the palate. This was my first Goose Island beer and I will always come back to it. It's a great sessionable ESB.
Jan 17, 2022
Rated: 3.62 by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota

Nov 21, 2021
Rated: 3.56 by tottel from Netherlands

Jul 30, 2021
Rated: 4.1 by BrewsOverHoes from Georgia

Jun 10, 2021
Rated: 4 by jeschaefer from Texas

Apr 18, 2021
Photo of StanleysCup
Reviewed by StanleysCup from Maryland

3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Was once one of my "go-to" options in the days of independent Goose Island; this was my standard bearer for ESBs for some time. The post AB-InBev offering isn't as appealing; the most recent offerings seem to lack the maltiness and body I enjoyed previously. The scores above reflect an average of pre/post acquisition.
Feb 23, 2021
Rated: 3.58 by TwilightBeerCareer from Illinois

Feb 15, 2021
Rated: 3.5 by Chipwells from Georgia

Feb 02, 2021
Rated: 3.62 by GaryM6 from New York

Jan 28, 2021
Rated: 3.82 by uncleotis from Illinois

Dec 29, 2020
Rated: 3 by JohnG190 from New York

Dec 08, 2020
Rated: 3.73 by Insomniac from Canada (ON)

Nov 16, 2020
Rated: 3.04 by Jaasoares from Virginia

Nov 11, 2020
Photo of gatornation
Reviewed by gatornation from Florida

3.69/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Pours a red copper color with a khaki head , Smell and taste was dark fruits,toffee and caramel,baked bread malts . Had medium carbonation with a thickness coating and bitterness..
Jul 26, 2020
Rated: 3.5 by 4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

Jun 03, 2020
Rated: 2.5 by RiceOwls27 from Texas

May 04, 2020
Rated: 3.5 by GRG1313 from California

Apr 19, 2020
Rated: 4 by doctorgary from New York

Mar 11, 2020
Rated: 3.5 by MJSFS from Florida

Dec 07, 2019
Rated: 2.88 by emerge077 from Illinois

Nov 10, 2019
Photo of EMH73
Reviewed by EMH73 from New York

3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Pours amber with a half inch white head that left nice lacing. Smells of roasted malts, caramel, yeast and hops. Tastes of bready malts, caramel, burnt sugar, yeast and a nice balancing hop presence. Light bodied, well carbonated, watery mouth feel.
Nov 01, 2019
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
Reviewed by JonnoWillsteed from England

2.64/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5
L- Seems to be a slightly reddish amber, clear. Pours with 3mm white head, clears quite swiftly.
S- Light roast smell, and there could be a hint of fruit in it too.
T- Somewhat dry on the front, though more of that comes over as rather dryly carbonic, ie from high carbonation, instead of notable hopping. Otherwise the flavour is say like a lager + a bit more sweetness + a touch more body.
F- There's something rather synthetic about it, and I can't put my finger on it...
O- ... I can finish it but I shan't put this on my list to buy again.
p.s. The lable states that the brew is styled on English Bitter, really!
330ml bottle
Oct 29, 2019
Rated: 4 by Wheels2532 from Pennsylvania

Aug 22, 2019
Rated: 3.52 by bird_soul from Netherlands

Aug 12, 2019
Rated: 3.75 by ian_graf from Minnesota

Jun 09, 2019
Rated: 3.78 by DarrellK from Florida

Jun 01, 2019
Rated: 3.28 by lastmango from Pennsylvania

Apr 04, 2019
Rated: 3.63 by digitalflood from New York

Feb 14, 2019
Rated: 3.52 by btbcolo from Colorado

Feb 03, 2019
Rated: 2.75 by TheOutlet from Missouri

Jan 16, 2019
Photo of mothmanscott
Reviewed by mothmanscott from Georgia

3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
From notes 3/31/13: Pours clear medium amber producing 2+ fingers of frothy, off-white, somewhat lasting head that leaves abundant webs of lace. Aroma is toasted malt, sugary caramel, yeast and a burnt hint with a thin hop character. Taste is malty toast with a hint of char, caramel, toffee, some chocolate, cream and yeast backed by a hoppy bitterness. Average at best, To tell the truth I'm a little disappointed based on what I have come to expect from this brewery. Taste more like a bitter Amber Ale than an English Bitter.
Jan 04, 2019
Honker's Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 4000 ratings