Hook & Ladder Lighter | Hook & Ladder Brewing Company (No. 2)

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Hook & Ladder LighterHook & Ladder Lighter
51 Ratings
Hook & Ladder LighterHook & Ladder Lighter

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

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by timtim on 02-07-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 |  Reviews: 43
Photo of wrightst
2.75/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Brenden
2.59/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

This beer is a crystal-clear dark gold color, and bright. The head is bleach white, about half a finger's height to start but holding well at half that for the rest of the time. It leaves behind some moderate patching.
I'm not sure what this beer is attempting, though I have some idea; regardless, it misses the mark a bit. The nose isn't a while lot more than grains. almost cloying honey-like sweetness, and must. Marring it is some notes that remind me of an adjunct (corn, mostly), and a slight burnt edge to the grains underneath. The flavor offers more of the sweetness, yeasty esters going a little overboard and overshadowing malts and hops. Otherwise, it's just like a watered-down lemony soda.
The mouthfeel contributes to the watery lemon soda impression, though the crispness is consistent enough to stay lively.
When I have trouble deciding whether I'd pick one of these up if the only other option is BMC Light, I'm only doing it if it's free and/or a friend offers.

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Photo of sebaastionb
3/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of rorjets
2.25/5  rDev -17%

Photo of harpus
2.75/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of bconsidine
3/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of brheuer
2/5  rDev -26.2%

Photo of cliff1066
2.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of Duke3nc
3/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a clear, bold, yellow with half-inch head and some lace. The aroma begins with lemon followed by dough and vanilla. It's flavor is mainly lemon and grass and has good malt and hop balance. The mouthfeel is light with plenty of carbonation making it very sessionable. Hook & Ladder Lighter is a decent beer, very refreshing and a good example of the kolsch style. Recommended.

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Photo of Treyliff
2.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a very light wheat color, very little head, hardly and lacing.

S- Mostly sweet grains, a little bit of hops and corn.

T- Little bit of grain taste on the front end, taste like water on the back end. Nothing really happening at all.

M- Very thin, like water.

Overall- this is supposed to be a light beer, and it definitely is. However I think it is a little too light. This could definitely pass as a good chick beer but too thin for my tastes.

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Photo of hdf561
3.2/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pretty much like Golden Ale but alot more drinkable, and less harsh tasting.

I can use this beer for a variety of different situations, and it supports my profession and a good cause. I think this beer is well worth trying and should be given a chance even if Golden Ale turned you off.

 288 characters

Photo of DCon
2.3/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer from a Mix-6-Pack from Siesta Key Mart in Siesta Key, FL and poured into a pint glass.

Appearance- A light orange color with 1 finger head.

Smell- Very average with light beer but smells hoppy, maybe even a pale ale smell.

Taste- The most boring and extremely horrible light beer I might have ever had, even though this is supposed to be a Kölsch!?!? Come on! Really missed the mark on this one.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied, and mouthfeel had yeast behind it.

Drinkability- Always easy to drink light beers, so this one isn't a problem. Didn't have any more of these, thankfully, because of the Mix Pack I had. Wouldn't suggest this beer to anyone. Actually, would avoid!

 680 characters

Photo of BennyL1
3.23/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

A - It poured the pretty standard golden color that you would expect from a light beer

S - Only thing I really picked up in the smell was some grains and a very faint corn smell

T - The taste of the grains were at the forefront for sure. A little on the sweeter side. I was pleasantly surprised for a lighter beer.

M - Not much to say here. Very smooth throughout with a sweet aftertaste

D - Overall a very drinkable beer. It is extremely light but not in a bad way.

A very good alternative to any light BMC. Plus they donate money to a local burn foundation for every barrel sold. This beer is good for your karma as well as your waistline

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Photo of tone77
2.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some grains. Taste is also mild, some grains coming through, not much in the way of flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a mediocre offering.

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Photo of Soonami
3.36/5  rDev +24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A friend brought a bottle of this to a tailgate, so I thought it was worth trying. From the description on the bottle, I could tell that this was not going to be a full flavored beer, but rather one light on body, alcohol, and taste. However, I was surprisingly pleased considering that it was only 95 calories. The beer was yellow with a hint of orange coloring and looking a little darker than most macro lagers, but still inviting. The smell was a little lacking but not bad, clean and grainy. The Lighter tasted good, with great biscuity, bready malt flavors, but not enough hops for my personal taste and definitely not enough for a kolsch.

Overall, this is a great alternative to BMC for those that looking for a lighter beer that still has good beer characteristics and doesn't taste too watered down.

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Photo of drizzam
2.81/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the twist top brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date.

A - Poured a crystal clear straw yellow color topped with a white one finger head. Decent head retention with some spotty lacing.

S - Kind of a sweet corn and grain aroma...not much in the nose and I had to strain to get that.

T & M - The grain is forefront in the taste, and there is a sweetness that seems to linger after the swallow. Very light bodied, watery actually, but it does finish fairly crisp with a slightly sweet aftertaste.

D - Yep, it's certainly a light"er" beer...I guess it would be drinkable on a hot Summer day, and I would take one over a BMC product. The best part of this brew is that they make a donation to a local burn center for every barrel sold. If you're looking for big flavor, look elsewhere.

 812 characters

Photo of HalfFull
3.48/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz. bottle and served up in a standard pint glass. A somewhat aggressive pour yields only 3/8's of an inch of creamy white foam. This settles to a thin cap in a minute or so, yielding light lacing. The pour is clear and light straw in color with just enough bubble action rising to keep a light cap.

A light citric sweetness accompanies a husky grain aroma, with a light noble hop presence when allowed to settle for a bit. Taste follows with slightly sweet grains, quite singular in the approach and without any lingering components. Offers a light malt body as expected but there is enough fine carbonation on the finish to keep the dryness from being too discernible. Decent feel as a result and quit quaffable given the light nature of the beer.

Note: Viewed as much as a 'light' beer as a Pale Ale, this beer does a decent job of what it's trying to do but is obviously no match for beers with twice the calories. But then, sometimes those extra calories can have a negative effect as well.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bleached goldenrod with lemon juice colored accents. The good-sized cap is closer to ivory than bright white, which is unusual in such a lightly colored brew. The foam is cobblestone-like as it falls and manages to streak the glass with skinny squiggles of suds.

If blinded, I would have said Euro pale lager. That's because there's no malt except pale malt and there are no hops except Saaz. The ale yeast adds no discernable fruitiness... hence the above impression. A grassy muskiness is the extent of things.

It was a good decision for Hook & Ladder to design Lighter as light ale rather than as light lager. That's assuming that brewing a light <anything> is ever a good idea. Mildly estery ale yeast adds at least one more flavor dimension to an offering that is pretty deficient in that department.

Pale malt adds minimal grain flavor and the Saaz hops add their customary grassiness. It's all very subdued, however, which is the unavoidable outcome when you whittle the calorie content down to 94 per bottle.

The mouthfeel is one small step above the usual light/lite fare. That doesn't mean there's much to recommend it. Decent bubblation does what it can. Which isn't much.

Lighter (Hook & Ladder... fire engine... fire... lighter... get it?) is my third beer from this brewery and is the third average to below-average beer from this brewery. It's better than most of the more widely known light lagers, but then I don't drink them either.

 1,461 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.07/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into an American Tumbler. No date or info.

A - Clear and overly carbonated pale yellow straw with a fizzy, effervescent white head. No retention at all with no blanket or anything left and no lacing.

S - Crisp and light pale malts with a somewhat corn-like sweetness. Rather plain and sweet overall.

T - Crisp corn sweetness and dry straw with a pale base malt flavor in the background. No hop flavor. A plain light beer.

M - A lasting sweetness with a lighter-medium body and a crisp carbonation finish. A bit slick on the tongue.

D - An alright session beer you can feel good about drinking when you know proceeds from each bottle are made to a burn foundation. Not bad, just a plain beer experience.

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Photo of rfgetz
2.73/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Slightly hazy golden orange in color, frothy punch of a white head that leaves quickly and leaves nothing behind. Smells of sweet carmel malts, buttery popcorn and slightly stale water. Taste follows scent with a very sweet punch of carmel followed by a buttery popcorn like taste. Thankfully the "off" scent was not present in the taste. Light body, slightly undercarbonated, slightly unwelcomed buttery aftertaste, For a light beer, pretty good. For a beer, pretty average.

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A :Poured a golden-orange with a bright clarity and a fizzy, quickly diminishing light beige head that left no lacing. Visible carbonation was light and random.

S: buttery bread with light hints of buttery popcorn, caramel and toffee sweetness. Overall the strength was light-medium per style.

T: The flavor was sweet caramel and toffee with light pale grains and a soft herbal hopping. Sweet honey buttered toast with a tangy fruitiness of melons and honey dew is also present. Overall was sweet, buttery, with a tangy fruitiness but lacked any transition of flavor. I later found out this was suppose to be an APA which certainly didn't help matters and my perception.

M: light and buttery slick with a slight creaminess. A slight fizziness is detected all around the tongue. The finish is short with a sweet tangy fruity fade.

D: Average drinkability with only average regards here. A touch to sweet and buttery malted for me to drink more then one. A single try at best. Overall my biggest gripe was this was a beer that drank more like a light cream ale rather a pale ale and would of faired higher in some areas, but sadly this is a beer that is about as much pale ale as Genesse cream ale.

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Photo of KarlHungus
1.9/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This beer pours a clear pale golden color. The head is a half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is beardy malt with a hint of noble hops. The taste is lighter than the aroma, which means it is almost tasteless. It has a hint of spicy hops, but other than that it is mostly water. The mouthfeel is lighter than light bodied with a watery texture, and high carbonation. Overall, this is a bad beer. I'm not sure if it is supposed to be an APA like it is listed here, but whatever it is it is bad beer. It is not bad, because it is like. It is bad because it has no life in it. There is nothing there to take a hold of and ponder. Honestly, I'm not sure I would even consider this a step up from all the BMC light lagers. Needless to say I will not be drinking this again.

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Photo of lakeviewmike
4/5  rDev +47.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all, even thought this is an ale, it definitely isn't a pale ale. I would classify it as more like a blond ale. But it should probably be reviewed like a light lager since it is very low in calories and alcohol. That said.

It's appearance is a very nice clear orangey-yellow. It pours a pretty nice solid, fluffy white head. The head last a while and ultimately sticks around enough to produce a small amount of lacing.

The taste and smell is fruity and sweet. Light malty flavor. Finishes with some orange/lemon bitterness. Very flavorful for a light beer. No really off tastes.

The mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat creamy.

Very drinkable.

This is the best low alcohol, low calorie blond beer I have ever had.

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Photo of jwc215
2.1/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours straw yellow with a fizzy thin head that immediately becomes a thin patch that disappears. Forget lacing.

There is virtually no aroma - a touch of tonic water? Clean...

Seriously, almost nothing (a light touch of soap?) ... I suppose it goes with the thinking that it doesn't taste "bad" if it doesn't taste. A touch of mild cardboard in the finish.

This is thin and fizzy.

I understand it's a "light" beer, even "lighter" is appropriately named, at that, but there are macro lights with more "beer" character to them, IMO. This claims to be flavorful with a light body. Almost no flavor with a fizzy body is more like it.

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Hook & Ladder Lighter from Hook & Ladder Brewing Company (No. 2)
Beer rating: 2.71 out of 5 with 51 ratings