Redhook is making its return to downtown Seattle.
Earlier this month, Craft Brew Alliance — which produces and markets the Redhook brand, as well as the Widmer, Kona and Omission lines of craft beers — announced plans to open a new Redhook Brewery brewpub in Seattle, the brand’s birthplace.
Located in the Pike Motorworks building on Capitol Hill’s historic auto-row, the new watering hole will be the first Redhook pub in the city since 1998. An official opening is scheduled for next fall and will coincide with the brand’s 35-year anniversary.
The pub will feature a 10-barrel facility where brewers will create Redhook classics as well as one-off beers available exclusively at the new location. The space will also have a pilot system, which will be used to create new recipes unique to the brewpub and potentially become part of Redhook’s permanent line-up.
Part of the innovation strategy for the new endeavor will be collaborating with other businesses considered to be iconic in the neighborhood, the company said.
“[Redhook is] looking forward to the opportunity to connect with the community and continue partnering with great local businesses like Caffe Vita,” lead innovation brewer, Nick Crandall said. “Creating distinctive collaborative brews such as Double Black Stout ties all the goodness of Seattle together.”
In an interview with Brewbound, Brady Walen, the director of brand marketing for Redhook and Widmer Brothers, described the new pub as an opportunity for the brewery to experiment with new recipes and further entrench itself in the Seattle market.
Brewbound: How much is being invested to build out the new location?
Brady Walen: We are still in the process of designing the brewery and pub, and do not have an investment figure to share at this time.
BB: What is the goal with product brewed on-site, beyond serving the Seattle market? Will this location also serve as R&D for future seasonal/national Redhook releases?
BW: The small batch Redhook brewery at the Capitol Hill location will allow us to primarily brew beers that will be served at the pub and in the surrounding neighborhoods in Seattle. The new brewery will also create a great opportunity to expand Redhook’s R&D efforts while providing a new platform for expanded innovation and experimentation. Most importantly, it will allow us to share these new brews with Redhook fans on site at the Capitol Hill pub; we expect to have at least 12 beers on tap at the new location. Many of the beers brewed at the new brewery will likely remain as one-offs or pub exclusives, but some of the more popular releases could certainly grow to become the next Redhook seasonal or national release in the future.
BB: Why is it important for Redhook to reinvest back in its original home market?
BW: Since it was established in 1981, Redhook has always been heavily invested in Seattle. The new Capitol Hill brewpub continues Redhook’s tradition of brewing in some of Seattle’s most iconic neighborhoods – having previously run breweries in both the Ballard and Fremont neighborhoods – while also providing a new opportunity to create a uniquely-Redhook beer experience for consumers and the local community. The investment in a new brewpub location may be a different kind of investment in Seattle than Redhook has made in recent years, but it’s one that really embodies our commitment to the local community.
BB: How does this move fit with CBA’s stated goal of competing more aggressively at the local level — via partnerships like AMB and Cisco as well as investments into established brands like Widmer and Redhook?
BW: The new Seattle brewpub is a great example of us bringing our home market strategy to life. We want to give more beer drinkers in Seattle the opportunity to experience Redhook – the beers, the brand, our brewers and our team — on a regular basis, and the brewpub in Capitol Hill is a great way to make that happen.
BB: Will there be any additional bottling/packaging capabilities or is this simply a brewpub site for on-premise sales
BW: Our brewers have some remarkable recipes and some pretty awesome ideas for new experimental beers – and we’d love to have the ability to bottle limited-run specialty Redhook beers at the new brewpub location but have not finalized those plans. Right now, our first order of business is to complete the brewhouse and pub build out, then we’ll revisit packaging options down the road.
BB: At a time when local craft options are abundant and competition is at an all-time high, how does CBA plan to consistently attract drinkers and ensure this brewpub will be a success?
BW: Our number one goal with the new Redhook pub is to create a remarkable beer experience that is uniquely and undeniably Redhook. As Redhook celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2016 we have an opportunity with the new pub to showcase Redhook’s storied history. It’s a story of brewing better beer in Seattle, and a story that has resonated with beer drinkers since 1981. We’re looking forward to continuing to tell the Redhook story in new ways with the new Capitol Hill pub in 2016 and beyond.