Redhook ESB ( Portsmouth, NH )

Redhook ESB is a full-bodied amber ale. brewed since 1987, and is Redhook's signature brew. It is modeled after the premium Extra Special Bitters found in English pubs. Redhook ESB is made with a careful blend of two-row Klages and Caramel 60° barley malts and two hop varieties, Willamette and U.S. grown Tettnangs. It is copper colored and offers a complex balance between the bitterness of the hops and the sweetness of a heavier caramel malting.


Paul Shipman and Gordon Bowker founded Redhook Ale Brewery in Seattle, Washington in May 1981. Based on the facts that the import beer market was growing nationwide at the time and that the Pacific Northwest had the highest per capita draft-beer consumption in the country, they believed that the region would welcome fresh beer brewed in accordance with European traditions.

On August 11, 1982, the first pint of Redhook Ale was sold in Seattle. The original ale was modeled after spicy Belgian ales and took Seattle beer drinkers by surprise and received a mixed reaction. It became affectionately referred to as "banana beer." Sales were less than 1,000 barrels in the first year. Then Blackhook Porter was introduced in 1983 and immediately established a small but loyal audience.

Today, Redhook also operates a second brewery in Woodinville, Washington and a third brewery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Back to list