Sunday, August 2, 2009

FoodTrek: It's Always Beer O'Clock at Redhook Brewery

We live out in Duvall, so going to neighborhing Woodinville to visit the Redhook Brewery isn't like climing Mt. Rainier, but it was a nice way to escape the weekend summer heat. Given the weeklong heatwave, such a task is like climbing a neverending mountain. We had been driving around, looking for a particularly hard to find meadery that will remain unnamed, so we relied upon the chilled ales and porters at the Forecasters Public House to cool our heels.

Welcome to Redhook Brewery, where it's always time for a brewski - Photos by Wasabi Prime

The smell of hamburgers and other meaty delights were tempting, but we wanted to keep it light in lieu of the heat, as well as save room for a delicious summer BBQ at a friends' place later that night (thanks, K + J!). We kept with the salad days of summer and ordered a chopped salad and a sliced steak number with gorgonzola cheese. But let's get down to brass tacks -- this place is about the beer, and Brock got a tall, dark and handsome glass of the Blackhook Porter, and I got a frosty beverage by the name of Sunrye Summer Ale.

A handsome couple indeed! Blackhook Porter and Sunrye Ale - Photo by Wasabi Prime

As far as summer beers go, I like a wheaty, cloudy hefewizen or a nicely crisp, clean ale, which is what the Sunrye is. True to the name, it's like a little beam of sunshine whose lightness of flavor won't clash with any heavy BBQ foods like burgers or ribs. The Blackhook is a nice porter that's good to just sit and sip for a spell; I like ordering Redhook's version of an ice cream float, where they put a creamy scoop of ice cream in a glass of the porter and it turns into a murky mix of deliciousness. Although, I think the light flavor of the Sunrye would be just as good with a vanilla/caramel ice cream -- per some experimenting at the BBQ later that night, even vanilla ice cream and PBR tastes mighty fine!

Along with a visit to the Public House, we wandered over to a lonely trellis that's set off to the side of the building. Hops grow all over it, as a visual aid to those curious about where beer ingredients come from. Brock has taken to growing hops at home, so we wanted to see how the little sample hop trellis at Redhook was doing compared to the very young growth in our backyard. The Little Trellis That Could at the brewery made us green with hop-envy! It was awash with vines weaving in and out, creating a mad canopy of foliage and hop cones! It's quite a sight to see, and if you pluck one of the pinecone-shaped blossoms and rub it between your hands, you can get that aroma of floral bitterness that makes beer so distinctive. If you live in the area or visit the Redhook Brewery, go visit that lone trellis off to the side of the restaurant, and get a look at one of the signature components of the beer you know and love.

C'mon, get hoppy! - Photos by Wasbi Prime

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  1. "a creamy scoop of ice cream in a glass of the porter"

    Really? Why haven't I tried or even heard of this before?!

  2. Looks like a lovely way to spend another warm afternoon!

  3. Not so sure about ice cream in my beer, but that porter does look good. Do they do it bottled, or is it only on tap?

  4. They serve Blackhook Porter on tap in their bar/restaurant, but you can purchase it in bottles in stores. Unfortunately, I don't know if Redhook is available overseas. Redhook was purchased by Miller a couple of years ago, and I don't know what presence Miller has in distributing internationally. As for ice cream in beer -- it sounds insane, but if you're given the opportunity to try it, it's not so bad!

  5. Excellent...I have some sources in the know...I'll try and tap them up for info on international availability!

  6. Sounds like a great place to go. I'd love to try their beers. I especially love darker, spicy beers.


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