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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

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Reviews: 119 | Ratings: 154
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Once again, thanks to chaz over at realbeer for this one. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my nonic pint glass. This ale appears a clear bright straw yellow color with about a finger of quickly fading bone white foam. Aromas and flavors are reminiscent of earthy grassy mildly bitter hops, lightly toasted bread, slightly fruity (think pear). At the least, this ale is medium bodied and amply carbonated. Worth a try, I suppose.

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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 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.

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Photo of thain709
3.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured with a copper body...I don't know if it was the lighting but this is not "blonde"...a white foamy head that settled into a spotty ring...some lacing

S - Lacking here...some earthy notes along with some sweet bread aromas

T - Lacking here as well...I'm getting a lot of bready flavors coming through...not yeast but sweet bread as I described in the nose...other sweet notes are toffee/caramel flavored malts...the earthy flavor isn't there as it is in the nose...I was expecting a little hop bitterness...but was left hanging

M - Medium bodied...surprisingly smooth and crisp

D - Not one of my favorites...but with this "Penny for a Pint" thing they have going why not drink to support firefighters!

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.11/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hook and Ladder Golden Ale has a medium to thick, off-white head and a hazy, amber appearance, with lots of active carbonation and a decent amount of initial lacing. The aroma is of over-ripe citrus and lightly-roasted malts, and the taste is predominately citrus with some maltiness and a subdued hop presence. Mouthfeel is medium, and Hook and Ladder Golden Ale finishes fairly refreshing and semi-dry to wet. Overall, this is an okay beer, and I'd rate it higher if it didn't have that sort of spoiled smell.


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Photo of stockingcpl
3.11/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This selection came as part of a 12 pack sampler box.

Appearance: Out of the bottle this brew pours dark golden with a creamy yellow head. Head retention was moderate with minimal lacings. Spiderwebs observed on the surface. Fairly heavy carbonation bubble threads observed.

Smell: Sweet matliness is the predominate aroma which is highlighted by a faint skunkiness. Aroma strength was fairly light. Nothing too strong. The skunkiness tends to blur the malt presence.

Taste: There is a strong sweetness during the initial hit of the flavor. This tapers fairly quickly into a nice malty smooth flavor. Finish it characterized by aromatic hops. Not bad...not excellent.

Mouthfeel: Presence on the tongue is pretty nice. The initial zing hits the palate pretty well. Taper is pleasant and sustain does NOT turn into skunky aftertaste as I had expected.

Drinkability: Overall this is a fairly light airy brew. I rate the overall presence and desirability high. Not a bad selection. This would be a good session beer.


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

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 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 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 Contagion
3.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

There is a nice golden straw coloring to the beer. It is clear, with no signs of cloudiness of floaters to it. When I poured it into a pint glass, almost no head formed. What head there was consisted of tiny white bubbles and faded quickly to nothing, not even a ring around the edge of the glass. There was no lacing at all.

The scent is a mainly a dray caramel malt with a slight graininess to it. There were some floral hops in the background that helped enrich the overall scent. The flavor is a subtle and a little week. It's mainly of malted grains and a very mild hop finish. The combination of ingredients gives the beer a very mild pear flavor in the background.

This is a light bodied beer. Almost no coating to the mouth and it passes over the tongue very easily. The carbonation is a little strong and bites on the tongue and lips.

Overall this is a nice, gentle beer. I think this would be a good one for a hot summer day. The thought of sitting out on the front porch kicking back a couple of ice cold ales or even sitting around a campfire on a cool summer night with friends. I enjoyed it, and could see myself picking up another six pack sometime in the future, especially since each purchase helps a burn foundation.

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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 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).

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
3.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours aclear gold with a thin head and no lace. It's aroma is fruity with hints of vanilla, dough, and honey. The flavor has lemon, cream soda, honey, and hay notes. The mouthfeel is light-medium and dry in the finish. Hook And Ladder Golden Ale is a good beer, recommended.

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Photo of Jarod
3.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a yellow amber combo with a white head, but very little retention. The aroma was average at best, some hops and lite malt but that is it. The taste was light hops, some malt and a tad sweet. The taste reminded me of your typical american large corp. beer. It was drinkable comparable to what was on the menu. So it was the best of the bunch at the time.

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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.

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Photo of hdf561
3.05/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appaerance was hard to decifer as it was drank out of a bottle, but it looked golden in color.

Smelled just ok, hard to determine ingredients

Tasted good, but a little harsh

Very harsh after taste, but not offensive

Very heavy beer for me, took a 6 pack to a race and had to switch over. Its an ok beer that supports my profession and a good cause, so I drink a few when I find them, this is not a party or tailgating beer though.

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

Honeycomb gold with a tincture of tangerine. Three fingers of yellowed ivory foam follow the pour. The crown looks fluffy, but still manages to hang around for a spell. What lace manages to stick looks just okay.

The nose lacks a hook and is nothing special as a result. Golden grain and a slight whiff of musky hops (Willamette) is about it. Although Cascade hops were used for bittering, their distinctive citrusiness isn't appreciated.

For starters, Golden Ale is an amber ale, not an APWA. It uses wheat, but doesn't taste the least bit wheaty. Pale malt gives the beer a bland sort of untoasted graininess and a hint of underlying sweetness. Hop flavor and bitterness are at a low ebb. It's as if the brewers did everything they could to wring all traces of personality out of this brew.

Please don't drink this offering 'ice-cold', as the label suggests. Only when it gains a few degrees does the beer develop any sort of flavor: cereal grains and earthy hops. Still no hint of Cascade. If American macro ale was a recognized style, then Golden Ale would be its poster child; never mind the size of the brewery.

The mouthfeel is acceptable for the style and the ABV. It's light without being watery and the carbonation adds some excitement without being annoying about it.

Hook & Ladder Golden Ale is only slightly better than Hook & Ladder Backdraft Brown. The labels and the cap are well-done, and I have a soft spot for any brewery that contributes proceeds to worthy causes, but the beer itself leaves quite a bit to be desired. Average.

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

Hook & Ladder Golden Ale

Crystal clear golden yellow with a small white head and some lace down the side of the glass. Aroma is biscuity malt and light euro hops. In the taste, lightly malty and creamy. Pretty drinkable blonde. easy simple but a bit plain. Light bodied feel, low carbonation, clean finish. Overall, a nice simple summer beer here, nothing more nothing less.

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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 Minkybut
3.01/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was a nice golden color with a really nice white head head. The lacing was good also. The beer did not smell fresh and had a skunky smell. However the tste was not. In fact it was buttery smooth and nice, a little sweet but very refreshing . i will buy 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 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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Hook & Ladder Golden Ale from Hook & Ladder Brewing Company (No. 2)
3.15 out of 5 based on 154 ratings.
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