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

Hook & Ladder Golden AleHook & Ladder Golden Ale
Liked This Beer
3.15 w/ 154 ratings
Hook & Ladder Golden AleHook & Ladder Golden Ale

Brewed by:
Hook & Ladder Brewing Company (No. 2)
Maryland, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cichief on 04-28-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 154 |  Reviews: 119
Photo of CrellMoset
3.01/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of dkachur - thanks! Poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a filtered, crisp yellow with a mild, soft-looking one-finger head with below-average retention that fades fairly quickly to a snowy slick and leaves no lacing. Carbonation is plentiful, fast, fairly large-bubbled. Not a terrible start.

Aroma: Sweet, simple grains and a fair amount of skunkiness are pretty much all I get out of the nose. A disappointment.

Taste: Sweet, with plenty of pale, simple cereal grain notes - perhaps wheatlike in some places, but mostly just a little artificial tasting - and a few spicy hop notes that are accompanied by a faint hop bitterness. Not a lot going on here really, and though what is here is in balance, what is here also doesn't taste very high quality.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp, very large-bubbled, and therefore very uneven. The body itself is thin, but though the carbonation and body do make for a very light, refreshing beer, it's almost distractingly carbonated. Tone it down a notch here.

Drinkability: As a volunteer firefighter, I kinda wanted to like this one a little more than I did. It's not a terrible beer if you excuse the skunkiness in the nose, but it is terribly simplistic, which of course doesn't hurt the drinkability. I can't say I'd see myself buying this one again, though.

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Photo of krisandajt
2.93/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Saw this beer sitting all by its lonesome in a beer cooler at my local watering hole...thought I would give it a try.

Appearance: Nice golden color, slight head, moderate lacing.

Smell: Nothing really stood out. Had some malty sweetness to it.

Taste: Again, nothing really stood out. Very average, not offensive at all. Did have a slight sweetness to it from the malt, good clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, mild carbonation. Par for an ale I suppose.

Drinkability: Not a bad brew. Average seems to be the best way to describe it. I had been drinking a nice porter for most of the night, so this ale was a good change of pace. That being said, I probably won't be going out to buy a case any time soon.

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Photo of sraimondi
3.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a 12 oz. glass. Deep golden color with a 1" white head which quickly withdraws. Some moderate lacing and a nice film head persists.

S- Definite malt presence which is a bit on the sweet side.

T- Fairly well-balanced with malt dominating early and some minor hops bite in the finish, which makes it somewhat drying.

MF- MF is ok, with moderate carbonation, pretty full for the style.

D- Overall not a bad beer. Nothing special, but no significant flaws are present. Not a bad session beer if you are not looking for anything special. This is a good transition beer for the macro drinker who wants to embark into the "real" beer world. All of the H&L beers I have sampled fall into this category, IMO.


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Photo of Drew966
2.68/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hook & Ladder Golden Ale pours a golden yellow with a white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. There isn't much to the aroma, a little bit of malt. There isn't much to the flavor either, a little bit of malt and that's it. Easy enough to drink, but not especially compelling.

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Photo of Procrastinator
3.56/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown bottle with Aug 05 2008 stamped on bottle neck (barely visible). Poured into a Nonic pint glass. This is the first I've seen of this beer in Florida.

Appearance: deep golden colored body with a creamy small-bubbled white head with a multitude of lines of carbonation . The surface is constantly covered with a fine layer of foam. Very refreshing looking beer.

Smell: soft subtle scents of lightly toasted grains and faint smell of grassy hops in the background. I didn't get anything that resembles a pale wheat ale, according to the style given by BA.

Taste: flavors are sweet cereal grains and corn followed by a dry crisp hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: generally on the lighter side of medium in body and well-balanced. There's a dry crisp finish with very complimentary carbonation.

Drinkability: all around easy drinking golden ale. Alcohol is barely detectable. I enjoyed this and will drink it again, but at about $8 a sixer, it's not that great a deal.

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Photo of jettjon
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz bottle with no ABV listing or freshness date into my Sam Adams glass (thanks, guys!). This one's a clear golden color with a fluffy, two-finger head of off-white cream that fades at a moderate pace leaving a decent cap and some clingy lace. Mild precipitating carbonation. Not much on the nose, just a general bready scent with some malty-honey sweetness. In the mouth, the semi-sweet honey bread flavor carries through, neither overly sweet nor bitter. No real hops in evidence. Finishes clean and slightly sticky-sweet. On the tongue, a bit bubbly yet crisp, and definitely wet and thirst-quenching. Drinkability is good overall; it's a good all-purpose beer and certainly a step up from any macro.

Overall: Nothing special, but not bad, either. Definitely improves as it warms beyond fridge temp. I'd probably pass on this one again, but it's OK.

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Photo of cjgator3
2.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Pours a golden yellow color with a thin white head that leaves a decent amount of lace.

S- The aroma is pale malt, wheat with some fruits and just a hint of hops.

T- The taste features some wheat malt and is a bit fruity with a very mild hop presence in the finish. Not overly complex by any means, but an easy drinker for sure.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This one is pretty damn drinkable. Not much flavor in this beer, but I could see myself easily consuming a few bottles in a sitting.

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Photo of becktone
2.82/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes 10-28-08

Eye: Golden coin in color and the beer is nice and clear. Head formation and retention are super poor. It looks worse than algae growning over a pool of shit water. After pouring the Lighter from Hook and Ladder I'd expect a much better eye appeal from a beer that has less adjunct and more flavor.

Nose: Huge buttery notes, over the top in my opinion. In addition to that there are fruity esters floating round in there. Coupled with a caramel malt sweetness the previous two aromas combine to create a cloyingly sweet aroma. Not quite what I'm looking for in any beer. The aroma is potent, however, its just too much.

Tongue: Big caramel notes, fruity esters, and buttery. If it weren't for the hops here to give some balance it'd be pretty much undrinkable. Hop flavor is just about non-existent. Pretty uncomplicated in flavor, and really nothing outstanding about it. Nothing that really makes me want to drink another one. Nothing that damns it and nothing that makes me want to celebrate it.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Medium-light body and fizzy. Finish is pretty dry. Average nothing more. Easy enough to drink, though I don't think that I'd want to drink more of it. Just nothing worth coming back to.

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Photo of deereless
2.21/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: As the name would lead you to believe this is golden in color, the thinnest of layer of foam, crystal clear - 3.75, Aroma barely discernible, the faint smells that I get involve grain husks and wet corn stalks = 2.50, T: Tastes like a grain infused tea, reminds me of some of the less than enticing Asian ales, really lacks much in terms of flavor - 2.00, M: Watery - 2.00, D: My second beer from Hook & Ladder and another utter failure, tastes like a very sub-par beer - 2.25

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.23/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear golden color with a small white head that maintains. Mild lacing on the glass.

Very light and fresh aroma. Very mild fruity, wheat beer smell. A bit of hops sneaks through as it warms.

Tastes like it smells. Fresh and light, fruity wheat flavor. Just a touch of hops, very mild bitterness. Finishes clean and dry.

Light body, mild carbonation.

Very easy to drink. Equally as easy to forget.

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Photo of rmmm16
3.3/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden amber. Decent head, but does not remain long. Leaves almost no lacing. Smell is sweet with a hint of cranberry, almost. Taste is not as sweet or fruity as the smell, a good balance between malt and hop. Finish is mildly bitter and lingers for a moment. This sixer is not as fresh as ones I have had in the past (Bought at a Kroger, my fault). Overall it is just a decent beer, good for a hot day, or with a pizza, but not much more than that.

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Photo of coalcracker
3.57/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gold as advertised. Mildly carbonating. There does not appear to be much in the way of lacing.
Smell: An aroma of wheat is strongest here. Not much else.
Taste: Wheat predominates with a touch of balancing hops in the background. Taste actually gets a bit stronger through the middle of the taste, then drops off at the end. A little light in all.
Mouthfeel: Just a tad on the light side.
Drinkability: Quite drinkable. refreshing with good taste.

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Photo of blackie
3.1/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: into my Carolina Brewing Company IIPA pint, gives a fizzy dirty-white had with low retention, the beer is straw golden in color

s: wheat malts carry a heavy white grape juice sweetness, hops negligible, pretty one-dimensional

m: carbonation just under medium, light-medium body, a little heavy on the palate for the style

t: wheat malt body with some light notes of spice and a dominant, sweetish white grape juice flavor, hops very light, some pale barley sweetness lingering with a light bitterness, much similar to the aroma

d: not bad, but a pale wheat should be more drinkable and have some range of character

single bottle from Whole Foods Reston

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Photo of nem2006
3.41/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, yellow-gold with good carbonation visible. There is a good head that fades a little and nice lacing was left on the glass.

The nose is sweet with a little orange.

The beer is light bodied, but fills the mouth. It is slightly sweet with a little orange hint to it. It is quite smooth without much hop finish.

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Photo of far333
3.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear straw yellow colored with a thick foamof bright white head. A fine stream of bubbles rises up.

Very low aroma of creamed corn, some fruit and lemon.

Non-complex flavor of buttery, biscuity malt, a little doughey, some hints of corn and lemon.

Even mouthfeel, moderate carbonation. Average to slightly above-average, all around. Not complex at all, okay to try once but I won't seek this out again.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.01/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of jjboesen
3.36/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle, Golden Ale pours a heavy head; but it sinks quickly, evaporating into a thin white wafer-like top - without discernable lacing. A faint nose of butter essence. The glass contains a wheat colored liquid with minimal clarity and zero carbonation bubbles.

The first sip surprises; it's more like a lager than an ale, "Golden" or otherwise. No hops, little body but a fine crispy mouthfeel. It is an average session quaff, but nothing unique.

There is a tinny aftertaste to this one. Not great; but not bad. But unlike, the previous reveiwer, I would NOT pour it down the drain - it ain't a Bud.

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Photo of Reagan1984
1.71/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This started off as an ok review and quickly went south.

I literally noted that this was a gorgeous beer after pouring it from the bottle. There was a thick and rich 2 finger head that had so much structure it was unreal. It started to settle and stick to the side of the glass and you could tell the lacing was going to be extensive.
The beer was a light amber/gold with orange highlights. There was plenty of visible carbonation.

The aroma was what I would expect with a clear wheat aroma that was grainy/grassy and some honey notes. Nice.

Then I tasted the beer. WOW, Metallic flavor. I mean very metallic. Tastes like my finger was bleeding and I stuck it in my mouth. Doesn't really taste spoiled, just tastes terrible.

Mouthfeel - horrible.

Drinkability - None drain pour.

Sorry, not good

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Photo of DIM
2.86/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

a: This was a slightly hazy yellow. It was served to me with a short lived, creamy white head.

s: Pretty bland, I found a little sweet wheat and not much else.

t: Things are a bit better here, with mild banana wheat flavors and faint peppery tingle.

m: Decently carbonated, but a bit thin.

d: This isn't one I'd try again, but it wasn't offensive at all.

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Photo of williamherbert
2.98/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Darker yellow color. Thin, watery head. Icy lace sticks to the glass like cold weather on a window.

The smell is a lighter, golden ale/lager aroma. It's like a lighter, weaker pub ale smell. Nothing unpleasant, just a bit wimpy.

The taste is an English light ale, along the lines of a Bass. Has a decent sweetish malt that is bready but with a dollop of molasses. It leaves a bit of an aftertaste.

The feel is watery and leaves a minor bitter film. Underwhelming on the palate; a light lagery film at the end. All told, it's an okay beer. Not overwhelmingly awesome, but drinkable I suppose.

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Photo of Gmann
2.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear golden color with a small but dense egg shell colored head that dissipated into a light cap. The aroma is sweet with grains and honey, some cookied veggie smell. Overall kind of odd. The taste is of cooked veggies, quite grainy, a stale grassy or tea hop bitterness can be detected towards the end. A jumble of off-putting flavors. The feel is light with fizzy carbonation, finishes malty/grainy sweet. Not sure what they were going for with the brew. It seems to be a failed attempt at a Kolsch.

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Photo of Tbn2
3.8/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A-Golden and clear. Two finger head rises and settles leaving spotty lacing.

S-Interesting....Citrus and sweet malts hit the nose first. The yeast and some other fruity aromas are in the background.

T/M-Refreshing...The malts hit you first and they come off as an apple and caramel flavor. The hops have a small presence at the end giving it a good citrusy taste. I can see drinking this beer after I have mowed the lawn.

Overall this beer is a good refreshing summer beer. Pick a six pack up. It won't knock your socks off, but you won't be disappointed.


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Photo of Gambrinus1184
2.35/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served on-tap at Mark Steven's in Waterbury, Conn.

A: Poured a golden yellow color with a very thin head of carbonation which faded to nothingness. Looked like apple juice after a couple minutes.

S: Smells are faint, but consist of toasted barley and some mild wheat and corn aromas. No hops in the nose.

T: Cooked corn and sweet sticky malts come to the mouth initially. There really aren't too many distinct wheat flavors here. It's odd, it drinks a tad dry, but the finish is sticky and lingers.

M: Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied, but the flavor is a tad slick.

D: I had a few of these, because it was the only micro on tap besides Sam Summer, and a couple were bought for me. Otherwise, I was ready to switch it up after the first one.

I dunno how this was a wheat ale, but to me, it was more like a Bud with some more flavor and more body. If you're gonna go Hook & Ladder, stick to the Backdraft Brown. This should be reserved for washing down food, or serving to some fireman buddies for kitsch value.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
3.27/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle: the color is a golden amber topped by a one finger white head. Lacing is minimal.

The aroma is hard to pinpoint, but, I detect some peach, apple and flowers. The taste is caramel apple, sweet and tart. There is a small hop bitterness. There is some graininess to the taste too.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lot of carbonation. So so overall.

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Photo of WesWes
3.28/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Hook & Ladder Golden Ale from Hook & Ladder Brewing Company (No. 2)
Beer rating: 16.2% out of 100 with 154 ratings
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