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

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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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Reviews: 119 | Ratings: 154
Photo of callmemickey
2.53/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: cloudy golden body... off white head that lingers

S: wheat and yeast... nothing noteworthy pops out

T: the taste follows suit... wheat and yeast with a hint of spice

M: Light bodied... easy on the mouth

D: Goes down well.. not likely to drink again

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Photo of tempest
1.95/5  rDev -38.1%
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.

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Photo of erosier
2.88/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice golden yellow color with a medium sized white head that laces pretty well. The aroma is more malty than hoppy and the taste is the same as well. It is a very malty taste. A bit rough on the mouthfeel as it could be smoother which would make it more drinkable as well.

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Photo of timtim
2.53/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

pale golden with a white head that diminished quickly, but left some okay lace. smell was dominated by wheat, which lent a little spiciness, but was not very pleasant or enjoyable to simply breath in. taste was watery, wheaty and a little hop and spice came through. very light and watery. not nearly as spritzy, spicy, citrusy, or refreshing as a wheat beer should be. i was told it was 3.5% abv, and it was much harder to get through than expected. strongly not reccommended.

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Photo of billybob
3.88/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a cloudy golden color with a two finger off white head that holds fairly well with some good lacing on the glass. nose is the weak point mostly wheat and yeast with a small hint of spice. taste is bready, wheat malt, with a slight tang from the yeast on the finish. light to medium body and carbonation ok. not special but a good wheat beer just the same i would buy it again.

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Photo of treehugger02010
2.9/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this at a "tasting" at the faculty club I am a steward at.
Appearance: A pale gold colored body with a frothy white head having decent retention and leaving a fair bit of lace.
Smell: It certainly smells like a Wheat Ale, but I'm not 100% sure that's what is should be classified as. Obviously the wheat is what stands out, but there is a bit of spiciness (not much) that probably comes from the wheat.
Taste: Kind of watered down, but there is more of a hop spice present with a very week backing of wheat.
Mouthfeel: Way to smooth, I was looking for more of a crisp mouthfeel.
Drinkability: Ok, but certainly not "case worthy."
Don't drink and review.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.88/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Hannaford in Gardiner. Pours a hazy golden body with a half inch of whiteish head. Smells biscuity and citrusy with a slight hint of DMS. Tastes biscuity and sweet with a fair amount of lemony citrus, and a hint of pith toward the finish. Light to medium in mouthfeel with plentiful carbonation help make this one an easy drinker. Spot on for the style, and one of the best examples of it I've had. Little wrong with this one, and a good one for a hot summer day, I'd think.

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Photo of altgeeky1
3.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours golden color with tangerine highlights, not much head, but the lacing is stable both around the rim and across the surface. Hazy as in cold haze.. clears up considerably as the beer approaches 60+ degrees F.

On packaging, I was expecting typical American Pale Ale - The packaging does not even indicate this is a Wheat Ale - but whatever... a wheat it is. I can see a lot of consumers being thrown off when they see a 'golden ale' which is hazy like a wheat. No bottled-on or best-by date disclosed anywhere.

Weak wheat smell, and you know there are hops inside.. and that's about it.

T - All I can taste up front is hops for a second. This is followed by by some strong sweet wheat bite with fruity and banana hints. Spices might be in there, or maybe it's residual from the yeast profile. Finishes with a heavy hops feel and a slight burn to the tongue from the carbonation.

Mouthfeel is sharp when served cold, and gets better around 55* F when some of the CO2 has dropped out of suspension. Drinkability is average. This is a bit sharp on the belly unless it's served cool instead of colder.

What I'd suggest here is more aroma, less spice, less carbonation, and maybe letting the consumer know what kind of ale it is besides being 'golden'.

I have to imagine this is almost a rushed reaction to the Pennichuck firefighter ale, because of the packagine really. There is nothing wrong with inspiration on this concept (indeed, I'd like to see the marketing duplicated further for police, returning troops and schools).

 1,536 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
2.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a golden yellow with a bit of haze.

Smell is the least savory of the features. The combination of a slight hop smell and other aromas does not meld well that leaves the nose a bit off-putting.

Taste is decent and the beer is light to drink but has enough hops to be pleasing, little more than usual carbonation though.

 327 characters

Photo of Brad007
3.1/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.17/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Yet another brewery/beer that pays homage to firefighter's, seems like a very popular thing to do these days. "A penny in every pint" says the lable. "For evey barrel we sell, we make a donation to a local burn foundation" Seems like a good cause. This was brewed by Mercury Brewing Co. out of Ipswich, MA.

A yellow golden color with only a slight haze, very fizzy with a one-finger, thick, smooth and dense head that dissipates slow to only minor lacing.

Musty scented spices over sour dough bread, wheat 'n grains with a semi-sweet,red berry scent and a pine-tree resin hop edge.

The flavor at first is a toasted sour dough malt that is quickly dominated by an sweet 'n sour, lager like yeast effect that throws off the balance a bit. A semi-sweet, red-berries hop flavor does it's best to bring back balance but the musty herbal yeast tends to pop back in the picture and finshes with a lager-esque tangy yeast flavor. This one tastes much like an Australian sparkling ale but a bit fruitier.

Feel is light and crisp but ends pretty smooth.

I can't say i really enjoy the overall effect due to the balance being askew with a dominating yeasiness.

 1,161 characters

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
2.58/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Hazy amber yellow color with little head or lacing.

Smell- Strong malt in nose with a hint of sweetness, not hoppy at all.

Taste- Very little flavor, beer is way to crisp. Strangely enough I'm tasting roasted almonds, a strange combination for a lighter beer. Also there is a big flavor hole in the middle of this, the taste completely disappears mid-way through.

Mouthfeel- Pretty average, not water but not chompy either.

Drinkability- An interesting offering, no one of my favorites but not awful either.

 523 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.05/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

 363 characters

Photo of Rootdog316
3/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours pale golden with a dissipating white head. Typical pale lager aroma. This has a decent amount of body and is not overly carbonated like it's peers. The maltiness has lots of sweet and pale wheat breadiness, with some hints of biscuit, and honey. Hopping rate is very low and puts this somewhat out of balance for my personal tastes. Short and clean finish.

 362 characters

Photo of Gavage
2.9/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

 828 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.58/5  rDev -18.1%
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.

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.1/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I guess I thought more of this than some others did. Tried on tap at Hard Times in Germantown over a steaming Cincinnati Chilicheeseburger. I know, heart attack on a plate. But the beer was great. Served in the tall (20 oz) tapered glass with a nice foamy head and a deep, shimmering gold color. Smell was immediately subtle, fruity hops and fermented malt ("beer") in the nose. Actually very appetizing, as if saying "Drink me!" Body was moderate, which said immediately "craft brew." And the taste did not disappoint. Almost all malt--rich, smooth (from the wheat) malt--right to the last drop. Others at the table were equally impressed. One suggested it would be a fantastic session beer, though the moderate body and craft-brew price would prevent it from being a "binge" beer (which is OK by me). By the way, H&L products now available in bottles. This one is OK (though definitely not as good) in the bottle.

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

Had a pint on draught at at the Embassy Suites in Alexandria, VA.

Appearance - Light yellow color small CO2 bubbles slowly rise to the top creating a white, quarter to half inch head.

Smell - Not much to speak of (though I don't think smell is really my strong suit)

Taste - A light, crisp brew with lots of carbonation. The aftertaste had a slightly smokey taste that faded quickly.

Mouthfeel - Hook and ladder has a decent mouthfeel...nothing to write home about. The carbonation was a bit much for me, but once things settled down you're left with a crisp clean beer.

Drinkability - Overall, the beer was decent, and I could probably drink another if there's wasn't much else available. I didn't catcht he ABV of this one, but I don't think it was much maybe 4-5%.

 783 characters

Photo of cichief
3.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on draft at Friscoe's Grille, Columbia, MD.

A- A very pale yellow color with a snow-white head.

T- Grassy, yeasty, very light, finishes dry. Very typical of American Wheat Ales.

M- Very fizzy, light on the tongue.

D- A decent beer for a warm summer day, what I would call a "Lawnmower Beer".

This is from Hook & Ladder Company No. 2, the first was in Oakland, CA. The brewery moved back east a couple of years ago.

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Hook & Ladder Golden Ale from Hook & Ladder Brewing Company (No. 2)
3.15 out of 5 based on 154 ratings.
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