Redhook landed far ahead of the curve when it pioneered the "craft" brewery scene in the early 1980s (before the term had even become a buzz word), getting a modest start in a former transmission shop in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard.
Today, Redhook boasts bustling breweries in Woodinville and Portsmouth, N.H., and it has emerged as one of the country's most recognized craft beer labels.
Red Hook appeases hop-happy visitors in the heart of Woodinville's wine hub — Photo courtesy of GreenRubino / Redhook Brewery
While Redhook has no doubt expanded and evolved during the past three decades, throughout the years, the company has maintained a dedication to producing great beers like ESB, Long Hammer IPA and Audible Ale. (Redhook beers are available both on draught and in bottles across the country.)
In summer months, Washington residents flock to the Woodinville brewery for outdoor movie showings, and year-round, visitors come to hang out in the on-site pub or to take informative tours ($5) that happen daily.
During the holidays, Redhook spices up its offerings even more than usual. For the past 30 years, Redhook has proudly crafted 30 different Winterhook recipes, "warming the bellies of many on chilly nights."
Good eats complement the tasty brews at Redhook — Photo courtesy of GreenRubino / Redhook Brewery
This year's seasonal brew – Winterhook #30 – translates as a dark chocolate malt with a spicy aroma, subtle sweetness and strong caramel flavor. Nick Crandall, "Innovation Brewer" at Redhook Woodinville, oversaw the development and brewing of this year's recipe.
“You might say Winterhook #30 is something of a ‘greatest hits’ of the previous 29,” says Crandall. “We looked back over all the previous recipes, brought out some of our favorite ingredients and added a few new ones. It’s a well-balanced beer that's great for the frosty nights and colder weather.”
Winterhook #30 is said to be dark and rich in color (like its predecessors). Pale and Munich malts combine with dark chocolate malt to create bold flavor, and "the spicy aroma, subtle sweetness and strong caramel flavor are courtesy of Cascade, Centennial and Nugget hops, while flaked rye concentrates the spice further still."
In honor of its 30th birthday, Redhook is hosting a party at Crystal Mountain on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets cost $10 in advance or $15 at the door and include a six-ounce take-home mug, three beer tokens and appetizers.
Other highlights range from a DJ and a photo booth to an Ugly Sweater cat walk for all patrons, with enticing prizes like a Redhook Mervin Snowboard. Guests can enjoy all three Redhook specialty beers: Ryeberia, Winterhook and Barrel Aged Blackhook.
Happy (and hoppy) holidays to all!