Each week, The Daily Meal shares a craft beer for the week. This week, we're going for something "crushable" that makes us want to head to the Northwest.
There's a lot of legend about which brewery started the craft beer boom, but without a doubt, Washington's Redhook Brewery is one of the godfathers of craft brewing. Let's face it, Red Hook has been making beer since before some of these craft beer lovers were born — since 1981. And to this day, the craft brewery is holding true to its Northwest roots — good beer, without the attitude.
What's great about the Redhook Brewery lineup of brews is that the beers are sessionable, easy to drink, and full flavored. Consider this your Bud Light alternative while watching the game or out at the bar: you'll still get a lighter beer that won't immediately crush you (like a few over-hopped IPAs might) that you'll enjoy throughout the night. Take the newest brew from Redhook, the Audible Ale. The brew, made just for the Super Bowl and sportscaster Dan Patrick, is what the brewers call "crushable" — meaning you can drink them for a long, long time during the game. But the amber ale stil has a good body that isn't too light or too heavy, and a balance of malts and Cascade hops. It's only 4.7 percent ABV, which makes it the most sessionable beer on the list. Redhook's Cross Czech Pils is another golden lager with the same sessionable qualities as the Audible Ale. Modeled after the lagers made in Plzen, Czechoslovakia, the malts balance out the Saaz hops for a buttery toast taste. Still, it's got that clean finish that makes it an easy beer to drink.. Even the Long Hammer IPA redefines the traditional style of an India Pale Ale. It's not an overly hoppy IPA, thanks to its "moderate" IBU (international bitterness units) and alcohol, but still maintains that hop flavor thanks to its dry-hopping. IPA purists may not love it, but those looking for an IPA that's drinkable will appreciate this lighter approach.
But the true gem of the lineup is an oldie but goodie: the British ESB. That stands for Extra Special Bitter, a beer style that's not commonly seen these days on the market. But Redhook has been making this ESB since 1987, and considers it the bechmark for the amber beer category. With a balance of caramel malts for a touch of sweetness, plus spicy, citrus hops, this style hits all the right notes. While it's not the bestseller anymoer for Red Hook, it's a beer that the brewery is hanging on to.
We're excited to see this brewery take off, especially now with a new brewery in Portsmouth, N.H. It's pretty clear that Redhook, with more than 30 years of experience under its belt, will just keep crushing it for many years to come.