hook-and-ladderGenerally speaking, alcoholic beverages and putting out fires are a bad combination when attempted simultaneously.  But volunteer firefighter Rich Fleischer’s Hook & Ladder Brewing Company has found a much safer way to blend the two.  Based in Silver Spring, the craft brewer and his team (including his brother and business partner, Matt) are turning out kegs and cases of beers with names like Backdraft Brown, Ember Amber and Lighter while supporting burn treatment facilities in the areas where their beers are sold.

I had the opportunity to sample all of the above beers, as well as the Hook & Ladder Golden Lager, at our local Harris Teeter while shopping for Super Bowl supplies earlier this year.  Although I may not be able to tell you the difference between cascade hops and two-row malt, I can certainly tell you that these craft brews made an impression.  And when I heard about their “Penny in Every Pint” program, I was sold.  Since then, I’ve picked up a six pack of the Backdraft Brown on several occasions, and it’s been a hit every time.

Descriptions of the Hook & Ladder brews, where to find them, and how they give back after the jump. (more…)