Redhook, one of Seattle’s original beer giants that recently shuttered its Woodinville production brewery, uncorks its fancy and experimental but downsized Capitol Hill Brewlab Thursday, August 17 in the Pike Motorworks building at 714 E. Pike St. To celebrate, Redhook and KEXP are throwing a party that day, with live music and one-off collaboration beers.
Eater stopped by to preview the space, which includes two bars with 16 taps apiece, two patios, and windows that peer into the brewery. The design retains some of the building’s original brick and timber, and it’s all nested under a bunch of apartments that are self-described as “über-luxurious.”
Head brewer Nick Crandall is looking to shake up the traditional Redhook lineup by serving rotating, small-batch beers like the cloudy Bicoastal IPA, a raspberry saison, tangerine IPA, and more. The aim is to brew more than 100 different small-batch beers every year, a goal that will be enabled by a state-of-the-art eight-barrel brewing system, a smallish and therefore flexible setup in line with that of many modern craft brewers. Crandall is sometimes labeled the company’s “innovation brewer,” although even he admits that what might be innovative for Redhook isn’t necessarily going to seem cutting-edge to anyone who pays attention to the rest of the industry.
The beer, of course, will be complemented by food: Chef Adam Stevens is centering the menu around a stone-hearth oven and “unabashedly good bar food, the kind of food we like to eat while drinking great beer,” he said in a press release. He plans to rotate the menu to align with the shifting beers. “We won’t limit ourselves, we’ll be experimental, and we’ll always be having fun,” he said.
The opening marks Redhook’s return to its Seattle roots. The company was born in 1981 in a former Ballard transmission shop before departing for Woodinville in 1994. Redhook left Woodinville earlier this year when its parent company, Craft Brew Alliance, decided it no longer needed to hold onto the Woodinville brewery, which was running at only 30-percent capacity.