Redhook: Beer Pioneer

Overview

Redhook: Beer Pioneer takes the reader into the lab and behind the bar at one of America's most successful specialty breweries. Led by the company's two charismatic founders, Paul Shipman, a beverage biz whiz kid with an MBA, and Godron Bowker, cofounder of Starbucks, Redhook was born in 1977 when Bowker first suggested to Shipman that they start a brewery.

In a fascinating narrative set against the backdrop of Seattle in the late 70s through the 90s, the author tells how ...

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Overview

Redhook: Beer Pioneer takes the reader into the lab and behind the bar at one of America's most successful specialty breweries. Led by the company's two charismatic founders, Paul Shipman, a beverage biz whiz kid with an MBA, and Godron Bowker, cofounder of Starbucks, Redhook was born in 1977 when Bowker first suggested to Shipman that they start a brewery.

In a fascinating narrative set against the backdrop of Seattle in the late 70s through the 90s, the author tells how Redhook came on the scene when today's craft brew standouts -- Sierra Nevada and Anchor Steam -- were still in their infancy and foreign imports like Becks and Heineken dominated the upscale beer market.

From Redhook Ale's first pouring in 1982 -- at which the beer was panned by the press and dubbed "the blonde that dyed her hair purple" -- to its controversial alliance with Anheuser Busch, Redhook: Beer Pioneer tells thestory of two Seattle-style entrepreneurs and how they created a world-class brewery -- not, however, without a few bumps along the way.

Peter Krebs has had direct access to all of the key Redhook players, and the book is bubbling with insider information that will appeal to both the growing population of home brewers -- with how-to information on building a brewery and brewing specifics -- as well as the business enthusiast -- with details on how Redhook was financed, how the company positioned its products, and how it expanded. The book also takes a look at the microbrew industry as a whole.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Chronicles the classic American entrepreneurial success story of a small regional brewery and its ascent to national prominence. Highlights the company's charismatic founders, Paul Shipman, a beverage biz veteran, and Gordon Bowker, cofounder of Starbucks, taking readers onto the brewery floor and into the boardroom of one of the country's most successful craft breweries. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Kirkus Reviews
A diverting history of the makers of Redhook-merry pranksters of the brewing business-mildly tainted by Seattleite Krebs's idolatrous tone. From a tumbledown converted transmission shop in Ballard, Wash., came Redhook Ale, an offbeat craft beer that was to the brewing business what Starbucks was to coffee: a blast of fresh air, loaded with character and flavor. And little wonder, as both were the brainchild of Gordon Bowker-in Redhook's case, along with Paul Shipman and the whole brew house cast. Redhook cultivated an eccentric image as the maker of an eccentric product, an ale that reviewers at first described as tasting "like bananas." The wild northwest yeast gave it distinction, claimed Redhook's makers; it was the Belgian style they were really after, they claimed. Actually, the yeast was contaminated, but by then they had a following, so why announce their continuous tinkering? Still, tinker they did, finally getting the yeast right with a chemist's help, and also going public, the first microbrewer to do so, with a stock offering that shot skyward. The microbrew market has since bottomed out, and Redhook's bohemian image has been tarnished by expansion that robbed it of its handcrafted cachet. Krebs complements the Redhook story with lots of entertaining craft brew tidbits (what puts the steam in Anchor, when is a bottom-fermenting beer an ale), but he also creates a godlike aura around both Bowker and Shipman, as if no one else ever had a good idea when it came to fashioning authentic local products that educated the American palate. The early years make the story here-a time when food and drink were in as much ferment as Redhook's bitter-and Krebs does tell the story withflair. (20 b&w photos, not seen) .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568581064
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 11/28/1998
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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