When I first got into craft beer, one of the first breweries that I tasted things from was Hook and Ladder Brewing Company out of Silver Spring, MD.I was a bit confused when finding the location of this brewery, as their bottles says Wilks Barre, Pa, but their website and most other internet resources says the Silver Springs location. I’m assuming they contract brew with the Lion Brewing Company and that would account for the labeling on the bottle.
I’ve always liked the idea of craft beer “helping the greater good.” Hook and Ladder donates a portion of their profits to local fire departments. Since 2005 they have raised over $60,000. I would love to do something similar with my future brewpub, but I have a different group that I would want to donate to. But that’s a story for another time.
Flashpoint Pale Ale (great name) pours a nice amber color and has a thin, light tan head. It it perfectly clear and it looks very nice. A tad dark compared to most pale ales, but a good looking beer none the less. The nose is super malty with some strong smells of dark caramel. There is a slight citrus smell that is produced from the hops in the beer.
The nose promised malt, and the taste carries through on that promise. I got a lot of strong caramels, almost too strong. There was some slight citrus from the hops and also some slight biscuit. To go along with the hops and malt, the yeast gives a few dry fruity esters which is a nice addition to the beer.
I’m not sure how well this fits into a typical pale ale in terms of style. It was much more malt forward than what I would have expected. The flavors did mix very nicely and there was a good amount of complexity thanks to the strong malts and slight fruit. This probably isn’t an award winner, but it is nice to have a pale ale that isn’t all about the hops. (more…)