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

Hook & Ladder Golden AleHook & Ladder Golden Ale
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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 154 |  Reviews: 119
Photo of ktrillionaire
2.43/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Old tick... (the first of a few hundred in my backlog.)

First off, am I to understand that the brewery is called Hook & Ladder, but wishes to further self-gloss as "No. 2?" Hmmm. "Number two"... is that second best (aka head loser) or does it reference fecal matter? Either way, a brainiac must've been responsible.

A - It pours a pale, fizzy gold with an unspectacular white cap.

S - Not much to the nose, except a bit of pale malt and maybe, wait, is that hops? I don't think it was, actually. False alarm. My bad.

T - The flavor is as the nose suggests, vaguely 'beer-y', with some light grain and green hop flavor. I am not a fan of a beer like this. It seems like the flavor has been sucked out.

M - Thinner, intended to be refreshing, partially successful.

D - Mehhh.

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Photo of wsunate
1.56/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

The only redeeming value of this beer is that they donate 25 cents to a burn victim fund. Other than that, I just burned $5.50 on a disgusting, offensive tasting, flavorless beer. The lemon really is quite disgusting for this beer.

You really do get what you pay for. For two more dollars I'll take something local, something great.

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Photo of diabecktic
3.82/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This light gold beer yields an airy, white head which is ~1 finger thick. Retention and lacing are both minimal, as only a very thin rim remains near the edges at the top of the brew throughout the course of the tasting. I see minimal rising carbonation, too.

There's nothing too complex here. It smells like a biscuity malt with a hint of grain and light citrus. I also detect a bit of yeast and hops, but no strong spices.

The malt is fairly astringent, with biscuity notes and a hint of lemon. Subtle hopiness becomes apparent towards the end of the tasting. The balance is pretty good, and any taste of alcohol is well-hidden.

This might sound odd, but the beer is a bit heavier than it "looks." There's minimal dryness, and a subtle crispiness imparted by the hops. It's of medium body, so it's not too dense.

Good balance makes this a very drinkable beer. Minimal alcohol flavor and a nice aftertaste make imbibing quite enjoyable.

Though it's not too sightly, this is a fairly good beer. Even though the taste wasn't exceptional, it definitely wasn't offensive. So, this beer isn't too generic, but it isn't of exquisite quality, either. I also enjoyed the balance and mouthfeel, as reflected in my rating. Again, it's good but not great; I might not go out of my way to drink this beer again, but I most certainly wouldn't refuse it if offered to me.

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Photo of industrialswill
3.27/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden honey colored, wispy head.
Not impressed with the smell, it reminds me of mildew. Not repulsively odiferous, I had to take a deep whiff to make that observation.
I like the taste, slightly malty. Not bad, not great, but overall this is a decent beer.

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Photo of JoKo
4.13/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a bright clear golden color with a white frothy head. The carbonation is very high.

Smell: Some pale malts, not getting much in the nose.

Taste: Malts up front, very little hop presence. The taste is reminiscent of a wheat ale. Nothing too complex with this brew.

Mouthfeel: The beer lingers around on the palate after each sip, it is light in body.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable, good summer styled beer. Overall, it was enjoyable.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.49/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is golden in color with a thin head and nil lace. Smell of light sweet honey and some fruits. Taste has that same sweet honey maltiness with light hop followed by a crisp carbonation. Mouthfeel is light with good body. A mellow slightly sweet blonde ale, nothing complex just a easy drinker.

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.68/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear golden color pour with a short lasting, two finger fizzy white head , leaving some spotty lacing, light carbonation . Aroma is of light pear skins , corn and herbs . Flavor is slightly fruity , like apple or pears , corn bread and a little cereal at the end . Light body with a smooth clean mouthfeel , short fruity finish , quite sessionable and an easy drinker .

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Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is sweet, malts with a touch of citrus. Taste is light, mild, slightly sweet. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and is very drinkable. Overall this is a pretty good brew.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden color with a very thin head that gives way to some lacing and the head goes to a film. The aroma is of lemon and some citrus. The taste is of sweet malt and some lemon, citrus, and a hint of honey. The mouthfeel is light bodied. Drinkability wise, if you were out on a hot day this would be a good beer, however, if your looking for something complex it isnt really for you.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark golden body with moderate amounts of carbonation streaming up to the thin ivory white cap. Aroma is lemongrass, hay and something just a little funky. No funkiness on the palate though. But there is a distinct earthy feel to it. Malt base is substantial enough for a golden ale and the hops are here only in a ghostly way. Little bit of an apple flavor. This is not bad, just not that good either.

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Photo of Portertime
2.85/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I bought this soley for the charity factor. I had low expectations going into this one...So we have a golden ale brewed by a bunch of firemen. Maybe they should have made a smoke beer! Poured a bright, lucid gold color with a few bubbles dancing within, very Bud-like. Smell was faint of cereal grain and soap suds. Taste was muted hops and a corny aftertase that stung the tongue. I like the charity aspect but I will take a lot of choking down this beer to make it worth while.

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Photo of thekanna
2.85/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Jaleo in Bethesda, MD

A: Thin, clear yellow with some active effervescence and a very small, white head.

S: Some aromatic citrus aromas, general clean malt smell.

T/M: Watery and actively carbonated malts with some honey sweetness, some faint citrus. Much more like a lager to me: thin and crisp.

D: I've tried some other blonde ales before, but this doesn't taste much like them. This is much more like a lager for me (especially since I followed it up with Stella Artois and found it similar).

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Photo of matjack85
2.82/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this single 12oz brown bottle at the Binny's in Glen Ellyn, IL for $1.39. There was no freshness date.

The beer poured a hazy straw yellow color and made a 2 finger white head that lasted several minutes. It left lots of spotty lacing on the glass.

Not much to the smell - faint citrus is all I get.

"Lite" is the key word to describe this beer. It's lite on malty sweetness, lite on hop bitterness, and lite on lemony citrus. It has some flavor, just not enough of it.

This is a weak and watery beer. The carbonation level is decent but the drinkability is only so-so. There's just not enough flavor. I did discover that this will taste better as it warms up a bit, so don't drink it ice cold right out of the fridge.

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Photo of zeff80
3.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden-yellow color with a good deal of carbonation. It had little to no head and left no lace.

S - It smelled of grains, caramel and mild floral notes.

T - It had a sweet caramel flavor with a toasty malt flavor. It had a very, very mild spicy hop bite to balance it out.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a slightly dry finish. A light bodied ale that is very sessionable.

D - This is a nice blonde ale. It is refreshing and easy drinking.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.01/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear golden color with very good carbonation and decent head.

S: Pretty clean smelling. Reminds me of a pilsner or lager.

T: Clean tasting, but a bit too bland. I'm wondering if they miscategorized the style of beer they made. This easily tastes like a pilsner to me.

M: Very light & refreshing. Would make a great beer in the summertime. I still wish there was more to it.

D: It is very drinkable, but again it's a bit too bland for me. I could see myself drinking lots of these; however, if I didn't know what brand I was drinking I could likely easily think this was a mass produced beer. For a craft brew, I wish it defined itself some more.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz. twist off into a pint glass, this beer pours a light golden in color with half an inch of soapy foam. Nice and clear in appearance with a steady carbonation to keep a thin surface cap and yield some decent temporary lacing.

Bit of orange on the nose along with a light and sweet hint of banana couple with a prominent maltiness. Nice hop notes after some warming and agitation

Light citric sweetness carries forward to the taste. Wheat is evident in the flavor though I was unable to pick it up in the smell. A touch of simple sweet fruitiness offers a decent finish which lingers briefly. A light bitterness on the finish is quickly quenched with a final bit of citrusy malt. Excessive warming does deter a bit as a bit of a metallic nature reveals itself.

Overall somewhat sweet and full bodied for the style, but an interesting take nonetheless.

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Photo of NicholasCasber
3.45/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer pours a good golden color. Head stayed until first drink, was very similar to that of a pub ale.

S: Slight sweet, but dull smell. Overall, fairly apeasing.

T: For an ale, which is one of my favorite beers, this tends to be up top. The beer had a quality to be surprising each time, but yet something that I remembered.

M: The beer was somewhat syrupy in my mouth, but still left me wanting a bit more full feeling. I still feel that it is on par for other ales that I've had, but I wanted the taste in my mouth a bit longer.

D: I feel that this beer was something that I'd reach for on a regular basis. I was able to consume more than half the bottle without thinking about it, while still enjoying each drink.

Overall, I'd suggest this beer as a regular drinking beer for my friends, and to you as well. Best of luck in your findings, and as always, Cheers.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.3/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a golden color with a decent head that disappates quickly. Typical looking golden color.
S- Smells clean. sweet and bready, but very subdued.
T- pretty simple. sweet dough. faint taste. not much going on here, but not bad.
M- Good carbonation and substantial body.
D- Light body and plenty sessionable.
It's not a terrible beer, but there isn't much going on. Simple and good, but there's nothing special or extraordinary about the beer.

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

Pours a bright and clear gold color with a decent white head.

Aromas are pretty faint. Kind of sweet, bready, and creamy. There is also a dusty note as well.

Taste is pretty clean and simple. Soft malty flavors, kind of sweet, creamy, and dough like. Finish is pretty fleeting, with not much in the way of hops. Just a touch of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is actually fairly good. Well carbonated, and with a nice full feeling.

Drinkability is pretty good. This is a pretty decent golden ale. It's fairly mild, but also refreshing.

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

Consumed 11/4/2009- from notes.

A- A bold, gol color topped with a tight one finger white head. Pretty active carbination, some lacing.

S- A faint grassy/citrus aroma was about all I picked up.

T- Pretty much the same as the smell with the addition of a light biscuity note as well as a little almost metallic tinge at the end.

M- Light to medium, pretty smooth despite the carbination.

D- Pretty easy to drink as a BMC alternative, but not much else going on. Wont be picking this one up again. Pretty middle of the road to me.

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

This ale is decent and pleasant, but very simple, one-dimensional, and a bit sweet. It does not give much for the listed 5.5% ABV.

Dark gold, it has a small faintly off-white ehad soon dissipating to a thin foamy ring and leaving no lace.

The aroma is apples, apple juice, with a hint of grain and grass.

The taste is basically apple cider, a bit thin, sweet, with faintest hints of mineral water and grass in the finish. The aftertaste has light apple with a hint of crackers lurking underneath. It is exceedingly simple and, though pleasant, fairly drinkable, and not bland, it's lacking in other character or interest of any sort.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Comparing this one to the Backdraft Brown, this one is stellar. Overall a very solid golden ale, more interesting than your typical version. Appears a slightly hazed pale yellow golden body with a bright white foamy head, after dwindling minimal lace is left behind. Aroma has tart apples with a slightly grassy hop presnce with a mild refreshing citrus note. Pale malts provided a biscuit malt sweetness but those esters from the yeast are very nice. Flavor has a delicate yet flavorful approach that I really enjoyed with a slight green apple tartness with notes of herbal and citrus light but hoppy appeal, nice semi sweet balance acheived with the pale malt profile. Mouthfeel is light bodied even stream of carbonation very easy going and refreshing. Drinkability always good to get more outta of a beer than you were expecting especially out of a Blonde Ale.

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Photo of Risser09
4.12/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a zotten glass - fridge - 2009

Appearance: Pours a transparent golden yellow color with lots of active carbonation. The head is 1" tall, white in color, and shows decent retention. The head is quite cakey with no lace left behind.

Smell: A strong cereal grain aroma is sweet and nutty at the same time. Almond, pecan and brazil nuts combine with very fresh pale malt sugar. No hops to speak of.

Taste: Excellent grain flavor includes nutty Munich malt and a little bit of hop bitterness. Almond and even peanuts explain the taste sensations that are coming from this beer. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Delicious malt with a medium, smooth body. Ample sweetness and a tad bitter, this beer has a distinct grain flavor. Good carbonation, too.

Drinkability: Excellent. I did not expect much from this beer, but was well surprised. A very tasty beer that could be consumed in sessions. Nice.

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

Presentation: Poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

A: Medium golden color with nice white head and heavy lacing.

S: Mostly a mild malt sweetness with a faint citrus hop scent.

T&M: Medium bodied with nice medium carbonation. Like its smell the ale is mostly malty with very mild hop bitterness. Nice flavor, nothing extra special but very good for a golden ale. Finishes with a more sweet malty note, almost fruity in character.

I am not a fan of golden ales, but this is one of the best I've ever had from an American brewer. Not sure if there is inconsistency in brew batches from looking at other reviews, but it is definitely worth a try AND the proceeds go to a good cause.

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Photo of katan
2.87/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint

A - Pours a clear, highly filtered, medium golden color. Head formation very strong, light white in color. Carbonation is obvious.

S - A light malt note combined with some yeast scents. No hopping.

T - Starts off rather dry, flat, wheaty and grainy. Very boring. Mid-stream develops some bitterness, but no hopping is detected. Finishes with a more sweet malty note.

M - Medium to light bodied. Carbonation sensations are quite evident. Leaves behind a light film on the tongue.

D - Very drinkable from an abv standpoint, and it isn't very filling which runs against its carbonation profile. If only the flavors were worth sessioning.

Not bad - just - boring.

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Hook & Ladder Golden Ale from Hook & Ladder Brewing Company (No. 2)
Beer rating: 3.15 out of 5 with 154 ratings
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