1. Why You Should Go on the Redhook Brewery Tour
2. Location and Cost
14300 NE 145th Street
Woodinville, WA 98072
Cost: $1 or $3 per person for a private tour (8 people minimum required)
3. How to Sign Up
When you get to the brewery, look for the Forecasters Pub sign hanging from a covered walkway. Go in the door by this sign and take a right. There’s a small retail shop and you can purchase tokens for the tour from the cashier. Tours run approximately on the hour, but hours vary on some weekdays, by season and may occasionally vary for other reasons, so it’s a good idea to call ahead or check Redhook Brewery’s tour times in advance.
Important to note: Once you enter the main door, the Forecasters Pub is just to your left, if you seek a meal before or after your tour. The menu features pub fare—appetizers, sandwiches, soups, burgers and a few entrees.
4. What to Expect on the Tour
You’ll meet up with your tour guide (likely one of the cashiers) in the retail shop and then follow him or her to an upstairs space with a view of several giant brewing and fermentation tanks. The tour starts with your guide checking your ID and pouring your first beer sample.
As you sip your beer, the guide will give you a rundown of Redhook’s history. After that, you’ll get to sample another beer, and then learn about ingredients—grain, hops and yeast. You might even get the chance to smell the hops and taste a bit of the malted grain, if you so please (it tastes much like any other roasted, dry grain might). Then you’ll get another beer taste before you learn about the beer-making process, which takes place behind a large glass window in a series of giant tanks. Finally, you’ll get another beer taste and venture into the fermentation area on the other side of a set of glass doors. There, you’ll find more huge metal tanks with a total of 8.63 miles of piping running between the tanks and the bottling plant.
If you go on a weekend, be aware that no bottling takes place. If you want your tour to include the bottling process, visit the brewery on a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday.
5. Beer Tastes on the Tour
As of summer 2013, the tour included five beer tastes from Redhook Brewery’s beer lineup: ESB (extra special bitter), Audible Ale, Long Hammer IPA, Wit and Double Black Stout. Redhook’s beers are craft ales, but aim to be approachable. Even if you think you won’t like the IPA or ESB, you just might. The bitterness is not as strong as most IPAs. If you really can’t stand the beer you’re tasting, the guide does provide a bucket to spit.
Bonus: You get to keep the tasting glass as a souvenir.