Beer of the Week – Goose Island Honker’s Ale

Goose Island has recently flown into Louisiana with several new brews, including 312 (an Urban Wheat Ale), India Pale Ale, Summertime (a German Style Kölsch) and this week’s Beer of the Week: Honker’s Ale.


Not this kind of “Honker”

Honker is a style of beer known as a Bitter,  a mainstay in English pubs. This style is typically golden-brown draft, top-fermented, hoppy, dry, and lightly carbonated. A pale ale, with Bitters the hops may be barely detectable to nonexistent. Their website states “Inspired by visits to English country pubs, Honker’s Ale combines a fruity hop aroma with a rich malt middle to create a perfectly balanced beer. Immensely drinkable, Honker’s Ale is not only the beer you can trust but one you’ll look forward to time and again.”

Now don’t let that style designation “Bitter” turn you off … it’s really just the English term for a pale ale. If you’re a hop head, this isn’t the brew for you. That being said, if you like BALANCE in your beer, this is the one for you.


This kind of Honker, yeaux.

While grilling some steaks, I decided to pop open one of these and enjoy it with a New York Strip. The color, as you can see, is really gorgeous to behold. Sporting a fingers worth of head, it left a fair amount of lacing as I imbibed. It’s lightly carbonated, which really lets the flavors take center stage. Now, give it a sniff! Honey and bicuity/malt aromas shine though … and that’s why I enjoy drinking a beer from a glass. When you pour your brew into a glass, you can really enjoy the color, the aromas, and the way it reacts with the light. It’s not beer snob thing, folks … it’s just really enjoying your beer, not unlike a great wine should be enjoyed.

Citrusy, malty along with those stealthy hop tones on the finish, this is really a great brew to enjoy with a good steak. It sports the perfect blend of malt, yeast and hops with bready malts. Props to the guys at Buquet Distributing for bringing this brew in!

4/5 … Try it with some grilled meats or hot wings. Mmmmmm.



Joel is a local beer enthusiast, home brewer, member of the American Homebrewers Association®, The Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild and is a Cicerone® Program Certified Beer Server

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  1. John says:

    Where can I get honkers ?? Johnilek

  2. John,
    i got mine at Cannata’s, but they should be available anywhere.


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