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A Well Built Beer

             In the spring of 1981, Paul Shipman and Gordon Bowker founded Redhook Brewery in Seattle, Washington. These two beer lovers thought that the market was inundated with poorly crafted brews, the result of cheap ingredients and a lack of cold storage and packaging. They chose to open the first of three Redhook Breweries in the northwest because of the extremely large market for handcrafted ales and micro brews. The first pint of Redhook Ale was poured in August of 1982 in accordance with the European traditions of purity and taste and a leader in micro brewing was born.
             The original Redhook Ale was modeled after the spicy Belgian ales and took Seattle beer drinkers by surprise. The Blackhook Porter was introduced in 1983, and immediately gained a small but loyal following. The Blackhook Porter, which is a traditional, London-style, top fermented porter with a dark ebony color and a distinctive dark malt flavor, is commonly compared to Peroni. Peroni, which is an Italian brew that has won many taste tests throughout the world, is now referred to as the "chocolate lovers" beer, not the beer drinker's beer (www.redhook.com/index2)". Erik Walnum, a craft beer connoisseur believes that Redhook has a drink for every season, he said," The Blackhook is a beer that can be drank during the late fall and winter giving you a meal in a glass." .
             Although the company still remained small, the loyal following of beer connoisseurs was growing exponentially. After a relatively slow start of 1,000 barrels sold in the first year, the sales grew to 10,000 barrels in only three years with the introduction of Ballard Bitter, an India Pale Ale (IPA) that captured the affection of Seattle's beer drinkers (Redhook Sales Pamphlet). With the immense popularity of the aggressive hopping component introduced in the Ballard Bitter, it became apparent that the tiny 5,000 square foot brewery was going to run over its capacity, and a new facility was necessary.

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