JUNE 2, 1997
Redhook unveils new ale
by Andrew Walgamott, staff reporter
At a press luncheon last week in Seattle's Common Meals Cafe, Paul Shipman, the CEO of Redhook Ale Brewery, introduced Blonde Ale, a light, pilsner-like beer. The new brew is the seasonal rotator to Redhook's Winterhook.
Shipman said the straw-gold colored seasonal brew was made for summer. The lightest in body of Redhook's beers to date, the recipe combines six different malts, a touch of wheat, and "Saaz" hops to create an easy-to-drink brew that goes well with seasoned foods, spicy foods, grilled foods, and barbecues. Alcohol content is 3.9 percent.
Shipman said that Blonde Ale was the first new concept beer since Blackhook. The recipe will be modified from year to year depending on availability of ingredients.
When asked how Redhook tested their beers, Shipman said he had a rather large sampling market. "We view the Seattle market as a giant focus group."
Blonde Ale was officially introduced to consumers Saturday, May 24, with draft on tap Sunday at the breweries.
Shipman said that expansion at Woodinville's Redhook brewery was expected to be done by June. The completed campus will include areas for cold beer storage and keg racking. A sky-bridge connects the brewery to the packaging division. A grassy area dubbed "The Hollywood Bowl" will host summer concerts in association with the city of Woodinville. There will be seating for roughly 800, according to Nelson Jay, Redhook marketing director.
Jay said the beer garden was open for the summer and invited folks to come down and check out the "finished look" of the Woodinville brewery. Jay also said that the Woodinville brewery was the model for Redhook's new Portsmouth, New Hampshire facility. He said those who visited both would experience a sense of "déjà brew."