Honker's Ale | Goose Island Beer Co.

3,914 Ratings
Honker's AleHonker's Ale

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Golden sunset color, fruity hop aroma, biscuity malt flavor, soft body.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-08-2001

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,914 |  Reviews: 1,123
Photo of bubseymour
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - copper with nice 1 finger head

Smell - some malt some slight breadiness and some slight pine hop notes but very subtle. Also some slight metallic scent.

Taste - Very New England / British Ale style. Easy to drink and nicely flavored. Well balanced and well crafted. Slight hop / crisp finish that is only a tad bitter but nearly perfect offset to malt. Tastes like a beer I'd drink on a cold night in a chowder house in Rhode Island or Maine coast.

Mouthfeel - nice

Overall - A nice british style ale. Well done.

 529 characters

Photo of shigg85
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of salinasa
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of EvanWilliams
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of PhineasGage
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of scratch69
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Clear amber color with a fingers worth of light blonde head. Nice amount of lacing.

Smell- Strong hop aroma with bread undertones.

Taste- Hop bitterness that is balanced nicely by the malt.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Very crisp with a slightly dry finish.

Overall- This is my first English Bitter and I am pleasantly surprised.
I really enjoyed this beer and would be happy to do so again.

 476 characters

Photo of sgttibbs
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled this on-tap at the Goose Island Clybourn brewpub a few weeks ago. Following review based on notes taken at that time.

Served in a 20oz. imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Arrived with a crystal clear body and fine, white cap. Head showed superb retention and impressive lacing.

Smell: Layers of caramelized bread crust, lemon zest, leafy hops, and freshly milled grain. No discernable off-notes. Simple, straightforward, and very pleasant.

Taste: Sweet bread, lemon, herbal bitterness, and nuts. Well-balanced and mellow; right in line with the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp, refreshing, and malty. Finds a way to richness, even though it's only 4.2% ABV. Probably better on cask - the carbonation was a bit higher than I'd prefer - but certainly good on-tap as well.

Overall: Enjoyable, smooth, and very flavorful (esp. for the style) to boot! A great starting beer.

 880 characters

Photo of Auror
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of GossageBrewery
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this English Bitter from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. It poured a hazy amber color, produced a thick white head, nice retention and nice lacing left behind on the glass. The aroma is pleasant, with citrus grapefruit standing out as well as a malted grain base. The taste is medium in body, it has a base of malted grain/fresh baked bread that gives way to a hoppy citrus finish. Somewhat dry finish. Overall, decent example of the style. Prost!

 456 characters

Photo of bauermj
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of jharkins07
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of postnothing
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of Hoppaholic
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of bhawks1706
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of bdoggboston
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of micromaniac129
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Honkes ale pours a bright and clear amber color. It has a good size head and is off white in color. Light carbonation. Aroma is malty with pale and crystal malts and light hop aroma. Flavor seems alittle weak. There is thin malts toast and some faint fruity esters at the end.
Medium feel with a bit of a harsh bitter finish.
Drinks pretty nice aside from the harsh finish.

 373 characters

Photo of TrojanWheels
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of schopenhauerale
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Slimpo
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of EinWeizenbitte
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of sean05luvb
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of Pugsly
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of DrDemento456
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - A hazy dark amber brown with a nice tint of Orange. Head is about a 1/2 inch that turns to a thick lace ring. Sticky lacing.

S - Smells slightly herbal tea bag along side of grapefruit hops.

T - Taste is pretty balanced herbal tea flavor is there but only slightly drying. Flavors of malt and hops are very balanced delivering a smooth finish on this one.

M - Light to medium but dry.

Overall I don't seem to like English bitters all that much due to the dry tea bag like flavor but this one isn't so bad. One and done in a sitting along side of this not being distributed to my area makes this a forgettable beer.

 622 characters

Honker's Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
3.74 out of 5 based on 3,914 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.