A fresh look at Redhook

Last week we posted a story in which we told you that Redhook was on the verge of a big announcement. Well, here it is. Today the Woodinville-based brewery introduces a new look. It’s sort of a not-so-stubby stubby bottle, along with some new branding.

Along with these changes, Redhook also plans to introduce Redhook Pilsner (next week) and Copperhook in aluminum cans (next month).

Here is the official press release:

Redhook Unveils New Look for 30th Birthday
Craft beer pioneer goes back to its roots to ring in new decade


Woodinville, Wash. – March 14, 2011. This month, Redhook Brewery, one of the nation’s founding domestic craft brewers, is celebrating its 30th birthday by unveiling a new look, including bottles, labels, bottle caps and packaging.

The new look is all part of Redhook’s effort to get back to its roots. “There seems to be a movement within the craft beer community where a lot of breweries are trying to ‘out craft’ each other,” said Robert Rentsch, brand manager of Redhook Brewery. “Redhook isn’t about that. Of course we’re brewing great beer, but we’re just as interested in having a great time. We think our new look reflects our personality well.”

The Beginning

Just like other pioneering brands such as Starbucks and Microsoft, Redhook was born out of the energy and spirit of the 80’s. In 1981, founders Paul Shipman and Gordon Bowker (who happened to be a co-founder of Starbucks) thought the people of Seattle deserved their own beer; one that offered more flavor than the lighter tasting domestics and imports that were available at the time.

Redhook started brewing beer out of a converted transmission shop in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. After achieving local success with Ballard Bitter (known today as Long Hammer IPA) and ESB, Redhook became the first nationally distributed craft beer brand. Then came the identity crisis. “We realized we weren’t celebrating the big personality that Redhook is in the way it deserved to be celebrated,” said Rentsch.

The Evolution

After some soul-searching over a few beers, Redhook decided it needed its exterior to match its personality. The new look includes:

  • Packaging/Labels: Easy-to-spot labels and packaging across all Redhook beers helps consumers quickly grab and go in the beer aisle. Every beer style is identified by a unique color scheme and Redhook’s simple beer-o-meter on the side helps pick between refreshing, smooth, bold, or dark.
  • Bottle/Bottle Caps: To go back to basics, Redhook created a no-frills bottle, while the bottle caps all depict iconic images and phrases of Redhook’s colorful 30-year history, so you can drink while you reminisce. Genius.


  1. Now if they’d only make good beer we’d be getting somewhere…

    You’d think they would have a craft beer unit in Woodinville, they have virtually unlimited resources. Come on, guys, step it up!

  2. I don’t like it. People prefer long-neck bottles. They’re easier to grasp because you can hold them either from the body or around the neck. And you can carry 2-3 bottles in one hand by holding around the neck. Looks like that’ll be harder to do with the stubby bottles.
    The label and cap changes sound good tho. I hope the cans they’re introducing are the 16oz style, like the ones used by Seven Seas.

  3. Last year, the Woodinville brewery had a load of cool one-off stuff that was pretty interesting (Oaked Mudslinger, 8-4-1 Expedition Ale, interesting stuff in the cask).

    However, that seemed to be a trend that could not last. Cask is now almost always ESB…and you just don’t see any new fun stuff available in the taphouse.

    I know for a fact that there are passionate brewers there interested and more than capable of creating some wicked brews. Please give them a chance!

    OR…allow the Woodinville location to tap beers from “sister” breweries….I would love to have some Goose Island Bourbon County Stout!

  4. They poured their Tripel at Washington Belgianfest. They poured Eisbach 28 at Washington Winter BeerFest. Last year at Cask Fest they poured Big Ballard Imperial IPA and 841 Expedition Ale. I seem to remember there being a line at the Redhook booth last year at Cask Fest. A line, I tell you!

  5. I’m a beer geek, and also a Redhook fan. Whenever I hear someone dis Redhook, I always ask them the last time they were at the Woodinville taproom and it’s always like 5+ years if ever. They have awesome odd ball stuff on tap all the time, stuff they don’t bottle. If you haven’t been lately, then go check it out again. If you haven’t been to the taproom in the past 3 years then your opinions don’t have much credibility.
    …just my $0.02

  6. …I like the new Redhook bottles. The only beers I ever drink straight from the can/bottle are the Full Sail Session and Black. It’s because of the fun bottle design.

  7. I hate change! That’s why I love the old Redhook bottles, George Michael’s Careless Whisper, and living in my parent’s basement!

  8. I should clarify, though. I am all good with the new bottles and labeling. Cool to see different styles of glass when you are at a bottleshop or, in this case, 7-11.

  9. We live in Kitsap Co and it has been worth the drive to Redhook the last couple of years. Best to go to the bar and look at the taps and look for the seasonals – we don’t trust the staff enough to tell us their latest creations. The Eisbock is wonderful and enjoyed the triple and Expedition. Check out what is on nitro. We asked if Kim (one of the brewers) was available, and he came right to the table. Can’t wait for the warmer weather to sit outside on the patio.

  10. Dear Monsieur le Ferment_Nation,

    I for one sir, fully agree with you. Why would I buy locally crafted products at 7-11? That’s where my butler probably purchase his microwaveable lobster tails for God sake! I would never be seen in an establishment frequented by my own staff of whom I regularly heave my martini glasses at (not because I’m cross at them mind you, but just because I damn-well can)! Let’s meet for a game of polo sometime and exchange ideas on sovereign-wealth derivatives.

    Best Regards,
    Carter Barrington III

  11. That graphic is incorrect. I think the first longneck bottle was the first “bikini” label bottle as well. Wonder who made the picture…

    I think the Redhook line is good for meal beers and session beers. The type of beer where you’re not looking for adventurous flavors, just a defect-free and drinkable beer. I personally love the pilsner for the refreshment. Some of their stronger beers are a little timid and off the mark for me personally, and that’s what I’d like to see change.

  12. To the estate of Carter Barrington III,

    I am gladdened that you align with my viewpoint. While I, for many reason, not buy craft beer at 7-11, that is not the point I was so douchely trying to make.

    I think 7-11 is the perfect retail establishment for Redhook. After all, the new labels have a simple beer-o-meter on the side that helps patrons to pick between refreshing, smooth, bold, or dark.

    So, call me elitist or snobby…which I try not to be…but know that MY opinion is just that. Mine. I am not a fan of Redhook beer and although they are miles above what the rest of the country drinks, they are sorely behind in creating the innovative brews the community longs after.

    So, Cheer’s to the Hook for being locally and undeniably popular. Cheers to their well-funded distribution that spreads the gospel of craft brew.
    Cheer’s to making, well, as ian says above: Defect-Free, Drinkable Beer.

    Now THAT is a Redhook slogan that I can live with.

  13. Thank You Redhook!!! Now your beers will fit in my koozie like they used to…..Love the look of the new bottles!! Cheers!!

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