Saturday, November 15, 2008

REVIEW: Hook & Ladder Brewing Backdraft Brown

I picked up a six of Hook & Ladder Brewing Co. Backdraft Brown Ale last weekend when we had friends coming down for a visit. I'd never had – or even seen – this beer before so I was throwing caution to the Beer Gods by not going for something tried and true, though I did cover my ass by grabbing some reliable Yuengling Lager (which I'm enjoying right now) and a six of Riverhorse Hop Hazard Pale Ale, an excellent, dry-hopped (and then some) India Pale Ale from my old flea market stomping grounds of Lambertville, NJ.

I was actually expecting Backdraft Brown to be a little bolder with more flavor, but it has a nice subtle taste and aroma with hints of both caramel and chocolate. While it definitely felt a bit more carbonated than most beers (says the man who regularly purchases the water-like Natty Boh), the lightness was refreshing as I quaffed a couple bottles during appetizers of cheese and soppresato, not to mention steamed shrimped dunked in Baconnaise (more on this later) and some Chicken and Black Bean Taquitos that I'd made the night before.

While I wouldn't be in a huge rush to purchase Backdraft Brown again, I have to give props to the brewer for donating a portion of the proceeds from pint and case sales to local burn centers. In fact, you can click that link to make a donation without even buying the beer. As somebody who has a close family friend that's a firefighter, that's a cause worth supporting.


Douglas A. Waltz said...

We went to watch a friend of mine play at this place called O'Shea's Pub and they had a beer on special called Leinenkugel's Fireside Nut Brown Ale. Yeah, it tastes like beer mixed with flat cream soda. Thank God they had Guiness on tap!

Dan said...

I'm a Leinenkugel's fan but I'm not crazy about some of their variety or seasonal offerings. It always feels like they go overboard to me. And now that I think about it, your description is apt for the Backdraft Brown, too. Beer mixed with flat cream soda... yep, that pretty much describes it!