Redhook Brewery – Come for the tour, stay for the beer.

ESB BBQ Burger and Copperhook Beer

If you follow me, Matt Templon, on social media (Twitter, Google+ – yes this is a personal plug to follow me if you don’t, but don’t ever feel obligated to) you may have seen that I recently made my first successful trek to the Redhook Brewery and Forecaster Pub in Woodinville, WA. It was a lazy Sunday and I decided that there was no better time to go and there was a 5pm tour that worked out perfectly for my basketball watching schedule. I also figured that after the tour I could get a meal as well.

When I arrived I was pleasantly surprised at the price of the tour, $1. While I had been on many brewery tours in Wisconsin, I had never been on one that was merely $1. I asked what the catch was, and they said nothing. You get beer, and keep the glass afterwards. I figured I might as well not ask anymore questions and get a beer instead while I waited for the tour to start.

As I was at the Redhook Brewery I thought it would be a great time to enjoy a Miller Lite that I had been craving, since I was missing Milwaukee. Of course I am kidding, and decided to go with one of their brewed beers, and landed upon the Copperhook. This was the first I had heard of this beer and it intrigued. I was a fan of red ales, and a fan of pale ales and this was what I imagined would be right in between the two.

Copperhook Ale... and my hand.

The smell off the beer was very pleasant. It had a slight citrus smell to it, that was not too overpowering. Like I had imagined, the first sip was smooth and light. I was not bitter at all, and some of the citrus accents were left in my mouth after I had swallowed. This continued throughout the entire beer as I consumed it very quickly. Unlike some red ales, it didn’t leave a cotton-mouth dry taste in my mouth, but was rather delicious and well bodied all the way through.

After I had completed my beer I joined the 5pm tour. I have a couple of things to say about this tour. 1) I was like no other brewery tour I had been on before. You stood in a room and you turned depending on what the tour guide was discussing. Before you judge, let me finish with the finer parts of the tour. 2) The history of Redhook, it’s beers, and beer making in general were very well explained. 3) For that $1 that I paid earlier, I not only got to keep the glass (see below) but also got to taste 5 different beers, with 6 different fills of my 5.5oz glass (the last one was our choice from the previous 5 beers we had tried – I of course went Copperhook).

Redhook Tour tasting glass - and my hand again

Once the tour completed I headed back downstairs to the Forecasters Pub. I decided that I wanted to try a burger from their menu, and quickly decided on the ESB BBQ Burger. During the tour I had tried the Redhook ESB (pretty much their flagship beer) and had liked it. Sometime in the future there will definitely be another post on the ESB. It is a good beer, but I decided to no review it here, but rather give a separate review after having a full pint.

The ESB BBQ Burger arrived pretty quickly, and I paired it with another Copperhook (yes I really liked the Copperhook, yes I will rate it at the end). The ESB BBQ Burger contains the following items:

  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Bacon
  • Crispy Onions
  • Lettuce
  • Garlic Mayo
  • Tomato
  • Whole Wheat Bun
  • Chips on the side

The presentation on the burger was something that looked very nice. All the flavors had melded together very well and the smell that came off of it very much enticed me to dive in.  Unfortunately once I did, I found out that the smell was about the best thing about this burger. There was barely any garlic mayo present on the burger. While I am not a huge fan of garlic mayo, it is necessary with this setting to cut the rich taste of the BBQ sauce. The BBQ was another shining moment from the burger because of it’s taste, but was the plastered on in the opposite fashion of the garlic mayo – too much. Lastly the meat was not what I was expecting from an $11 burger. There seemed to be a lot of filler present, and was a little rubbery. All this said though, I worked through it as I was hungry after the tour.

The Copperhook beer was delicious and I highly recommend trying it if you haven’t and have access to it.  I therefore rate this beer 4.5/5 stars.

As for the burger, well there is much to be desired here. I did find out as  I was sitting and having my meal and conversing with others at the bar that there is a renovation plan in place to redo the Forecasters Pub and hopefully update the menu and the food. Currently, as it stands, I would have to rate this burger a 2.5/5 stars.

The title of this post was no accident. I rather did that on purpose to leave off the fact that there is food at the Redhook Brewery in Woodinville, WA. If you are in the area, I HIGHLY suggest you take the tour, get your glass, and pay up the $1.

Look for more reviews of Redhook Brews in the future. This is a great brewery and a fun place to go.


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