I’m not talking about a certain “parrot head” and his mid-life crisis, I’m talking about a Washington icon celebrating 30 years as
one of the Pacific Northwest’s best breweries. This year Redhook Brewing turns 30 years old and boy do they know how to throw a party! Mitten, the Tom Tom Club, Psychedelic Furs, and headliners DEVO performed during the event. And I got a chance to sample Redhook’s Extra Special Birthday beer making this the best birthday bash I have ever attended. More about the
entertainment in a bit; first things first…the beer!
We started off the event with an enjoyable lunch and conversation with the Redhook crew: Jeffery, Shannon, Ciea, Robert, and Master Brewer Greg. The Redhook staff was decked out in their 1980’s best and I had some serious flashbacks (Why did we ever dress like that? I think I owned a pair of those fish nets! Did makeup really need to come in neon?) But back to the beers…Scott & I threw back a couple of the Redhook’s best…
Big Ballard Imperial IPA (8.6% ABV) – Dark amber color. Hoppy yet surprisingly sweet for an IPA. Nice malty texture. Well balanced hop/caramel character with a crisp hoppy finish. Great beer for the “hop heads.”
ESB (5.8% ABV) – One of the brewery’s flagship beers, the ESB is dark red in color with a spicy nose. Crisp, medium bodied, and hoppy. Malty caramel notes without being too sweet. One of my favorites!
Blonde (5.7% ABV) – Smooth and malty with a soft honey sweetness. Just a hint of hops giving it a nice citrus snap. Great for
hanging out by the pool.
Pilsner (5.3% ABV) – Dark honey color and think honey flavor. Crisp and clean with a nice medium body. Light hops and spices brings out a lovely floral character. The summer to autumn transition just got a little easier.
Wit (5.3% ABV)- Another Redhook favorite of mine! Gorgeous banana clove aroma and flavor. Master Brewer Greg and I had a
great discussion about this beauty. He informed me that tea from the famous Market Spice located in the Pike Place Market in Seattle is used in the brew, creating the lovely spicy aroma and flavor. I truly love this beer!
Extra Special Birthday Beer (7.0% ABV) – Now for the Pièce de résistance! Don’t let the dark color of this gem fool you. Paying homage to the original ESB, Redhook modified their recipe and uses a special yeast strain to create a lovely banana clove character. Very rich and slightly toasty with a little bit of a dry finish. The Extra Special Birthday Beer is a great tribute to Redhook’s brewing legacy! The Extra Special Birthday Beer is in the process of being bottled and will hit the stores soon…but only for a limited time!
As the day progressed we joined the crowd of 5,000 Redhook fans outside for the birthday party featuring live music from some great music icons: Tom Tom Club, Psychedelic Furs and DEVO. Opening New York band Mitten took the stage first followed by Tom Tom Club. Tina Weymouth still has it after 30 years!
The rain held out as long as possible but the Psychedelic Furs took the stage and the sky opened up! The Furs still sound as great as they ever did and Richard Butler’s raspy vocals and sexy stage presence still captivates!
As the rain Gods continued to pummel us, DEVO strummed their first chord and we all suddenly forgot we were getting soaked. Being true showman the band played on without complaint…and they were getting just as soaked as we were. DEVO is just as great to watch now as they were when I was a teenager in the 80’s!
Well as I said earlier, Redhook knows how to throw a party. Thank you again to Redhook for inviting me to this great event. The brewery should be proud of their accomplishments over the last 30 years and I’m proposing a toast to the next!
For more pictures of the 30th Birthday Party visit my Facebook page.