BREWER: Hook Norton Brewery, Oxfordshire, England
STYLE: Pale Ale
VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle
DATE OF POST: 29th November 2020
With a brewery that kicked off back in 1849 I’d like to think Hooky Gold didn’t start life under this name. I’m sure under its original guise it could have been called Hook Norton Ale, maybe. Local drinkers would have then begun to colloquially dismantle the name over the next century and a half plus.
Glass of Norts?
Some of that golden Hooky please.
You get the idea.
So we arrive today with a name that has been forged over some time I’m sure and a beer that tastes like it has been too. See, it is utterly fantastic.
In a world of New England IPAs, Milkshake Pales and Peanut butter stouts it is sometimes easy to forget just how good a decent classic British beer can be. And let me tell you, this is a star.
There is a hint of lemon and possibly even smoke in the taste. There is also just the most amazingly balanced level of bitterness throughout the whole drinking experience. It is a level of bitterness that is VERY much there but not prominent. Without it, the beer would fail, but more than there is, then the flavour would not pronounce as it does.
It’s a beer for any occasion for sure but a very long afternoon in a country pub with friends and family is where our Hooky Gold would excel.
Jymi’s Rating: 87%
The team at Hook Norton Brewery have been at this brewing game for quite sometime. Since 1849 in fact. Of course, it’s not the original team because if it were, well, it would make them the oldest folk alive. Anyway, it’s an old brewery, not one of these new upstarts. So, with all the collective experience and knowledge, the crew from HNB should be able to pack a punch when it comes to making a beer.
The first impression of Hooky Gold, once out of the bottle (which itself is a little nondescript), is of a golden beer: exactly what we’d hoped for, given all that was promised on the bottle. And the nose, is exactly as it says on the tin: zesty.
Then comes the highlight, the drinking. Hooky Gold is sublime. It’s fruity and well balanced. Zest dances around the palate. And here’s the thing, the more you drink HG, the better it gets. It’s a joy to have in your glass. To add to it’s sensational drinking experience, it’s also a beer you could have anytime, anywhere.
It’s more than fair to say that the years of brewing experience at HNB have most certainly paid off. I think Hooky Gold will tick the box for many a beer drinker, including, dare I say it, those that rarely, if ever, break away from their lager standard.
Go get your hands on one, you won’t be disappointed.
Sammy’s Rating: 93%
MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 90%
MOB review next weekend: EXPORT INDIA PORTER by THE KERNEL BREWERY