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
Reviews by sloejams:
Photo of sloejams
2.45/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This came in the Beer on the Wall beer of month club. 4 bottles. 4 bottles too many.

After enjoying the Backdraft Brown immensely, I finally decided to give of the BOTM club offerings from Hook & Ladder a go. I think, like most people on here - I don't pretty avoid "light" beers. With that said this had more flavor than just about ever other one I've tried. Of course that is not saying much. Very little hop profile for an APA - almost as if it was one at some time and then more water was added later.

Skip this one and head for the Backdraft Brown.

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More User Reviews:
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 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 NJpadreFan
2.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hook & Ladder- Lighter

On tap at Isaac Newton's- Newtown, PA

A- Light yellow with a small film of a head. Very bubbly carbonation noted.
S- Light crisp wheat and grains.
T- Just a light touch of fresh cracked grains like sunflower, rice, and oat. Very little to almost no malt presence.
M- Very watery and very light on the flavor. Slight dry finish.

Overall- The flavors just aren't there. Wasn't bad tasting just very watery blah tasting. I don't recommend.

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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 asabreed
2.44/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pale straw yellow with a decent frothy white head and interesting lacing. I hate when the look is the best thing about a brew, but it can't be denied here.

Smell: Semi-metallic and light beer aromas. A bit of grain and maybe some corn. But it's light light light and hardly discernible.

Taste: It tastes like beer, but this seems to almost have as much flavor, or less, than other BMC lights. I get maybe some adjunct sweetness, grain beer flavors, and that's about it. If someone told me this was non-alcoholic beer, I wouldn't have thought about them being wrong. That said, it does go down like water, so if that's your thing...

Mouthfeel: There could be more carbonation and it seems a little thin, which worsens a bit as it warms.

Drinkability: An easy-going, thoughtless light brew. I could swig a couple of these at a barbeque, but sitting down to review it has left me with not too much to admire, especially when a few more calories could get you a lot more taste.

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Photo of cjgator3
2.52/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Pours a pale golden yellow color with a large white head that leaves a good amount of lacing. Pretty impressive appearance for the style.

S- The aroma is faint grainy malt with just a hint of barely noticeable floral hops as well.

T- The taste like the aroma is pretty faint and underwhelming. Clean malt, grain and just a touch of hops in the finish make up the taste.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied and fizzy from the high amount of carbonation.

D- Hook & Ladder is not the most flavorful beer out there, but it is pretty drinkable. However, it is really not something I would purchase again.

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Photo of tempest
2.22/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I'd call this an American Blonde Ale. It appears a yellow-gold with white lacing. This beer isn't completely free of flavor, but it is a strong representation of a light lager. There's a mellow, pale grain flavor with a touch of caramel. The carbonation is a touch harsh, or at least combined (possibly with high mineral content water) with an off-flavor, there's a chaulky feel and taste. There's also diacetyl in the aroma, which could go either way as a flavor or good characteristic.

A light ale needs to be clean and with perfect brewing practices as there's no place for flaws to hide. I'd say this has diacetyl and an astringent feel, that's not good. It's a start, but this beer needs some work.

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Photo of cliff1066
2.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of bconsidine
3/5  rDev +10.7%

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 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 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 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 fitzy84
2.43/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at the Rendezvous. The beer was a pretty pale color with a thin head and some patchy lacing. Nothing too impressive. The aromas were way, way too light. Sensed some barley and yeast but you had to really sniff hard to sense anything. The taste was a mild bitter-sweet with typical hop flavoring. The only thing pretty good comparatively from this drink was its body which was refreshingly carbonated. Overall, it was a nice beer to have especially with the food I was having, but on its own I would not normally drink such an ultra light beer.

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Photo of GrandpaGeorg
2.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I kept saying to myself, "Think style. It's supposed to be a light beer." But the wan yellow coloring, frothy carbonation, and watery flavor just didn't cut it. I love H&L beers. I just can't do this one. Is it drinkable? Yes, but only if you're washing down food or trying to get as much alcohol into your body as you can without tasting it (or the beer). Why it's categorized here as an APA is confusing. It's an Ale, but definitely closer to a macro "light" beer than to any other APA on the list.

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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 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 erosier
2.41/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a golden yellow color with a short but thick white head that fades pretty fast and laces the glass ok. It smells of toasted malts with hints of a slight hoppy aroma as well. It tastes pretty good, but I don't think it's an APA. It tastes like a blonde ale. It tastes of toasted malts and a very light hop bitterness at the end. Certainly not a pale ale, but it isn't bad. I'm rating this as a blonde ale because it doesn't have the crisp hoppy taste that pale ales tend to have. It has a thick and almost creamy mouthfeel and it is fairly drinkable.

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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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Photo of MaltyGoodness
2.3/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear, pale straw color with a small white head that fades. Mild lacing on the glass.

Light, fresh grainy smell.

Just a light hint of grain malt upfront before it vanishes into nothingness. Bland city.

Thin body, medium carbonation.

I should have read the label a little more closely before picking up this "light beer". Maybe this beer could be a gateway for a BMC drinker, but I think that there's really no need for this to exist.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
2.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear and golden with a small head and lace.
The aroma of corn,hops and some citrus notes.
The taste was light hops,light malts and some grains.
The feel was like having a Bud but a weaker version.
Medium carbonation,light body with a crisp feel.

Notes: Not what I want while watching any game on tv. Not what I would call quality brew.Weak is the word that best describes this beer.

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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 jdhilt
2.06/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Pours with three finger white head that fades slowly leaves some lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light sweet floral nose. Very light carbonation and very light bodied. Flavor is adjuncts and carrots, good lawnmower beer. A better light is Sam Adams. Mis-classified here as an APA. $1.75 for a 12oz from Barb's Beer Emporium Concord, NH.

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Photo of sebaastionb
3/5  rDev +10.7%

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