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Redhook: A Microbrew Success Story Hardcover – November 13, 1998

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

A diverting history of the makers of Redhookmerry pranksters of the brewing businessmildly 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 Bowkerin Redhook's case, along with Paul Shipman and the whole brew house cast. Red hook 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 Redhooks 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 chemists help, and also going public, the first microb rewer 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 e ntertaining 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 p roducts that educated the American palate. The early years make the story herea time when food and drink were in as much ferment as Redhook's bitterand Krebs does tell the story with flair. (20 b&w photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Ass ociates, LP. All rights reserved.


"A surprisingly candid, revealing, and informative inside story from the decade's hottest little industry. I have known the two principal characters for almost twenty years, and helped inspire their dream, but I now have a far better understanding of their business triumphs and calamities." -- Michael Jackson, author of ULTIMATE BEER

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Four Walls Eight Windows; 1st edition (November 13, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568581068
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568581064
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,736,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a good read about the early days of the craft brewing industry. I have a hard time considering Redhook a craft beer. In the book they go into details how they raised the money to open the doors. They did a complicated investment strategy that would not work in today market. It was also really neat to see one of the principles was also the ground level with Starbucks. How both companies were started on the same idea.

This is must read for anyone interested in the brewing industry.
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed the book immensely. It of course helps that the beer has been a favorite since inception and that I'm from the area but I would think anyone interested in the beer industry, entrepreneurial pursuits, or a sense of humor would like the book. The players involved in the formation of Redhook represent some of the business icons of the Pacific Northwest. It really truly was a great read.
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Format: Hardcover
A fun read for anyone interested in starting a small business. Though the subject is brewing, the struggles and challenges faced by the founders are not unique to the industry. Excellent source of information for anyone interested in learning about the rise of the American craft-brewing industry in the Pacific Northwest. Cheers and enjoy!
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Format: Hardcover
For those of us with an entrpreneurial spirit, we enjoy learning how others make successes out of ideas. It's an added bonus when that success story is about a brewery.

The author offers captivating details on how Paul Shipman, a charismatic man with the gift of persuasion, and Gordon Bowker, founder of Starbucks Coffee and advertising guru, found their way to a passionate persuit of a shared vision.

An easy read chock full of the successes and failures of these two leaders, "Redhook - Beer Pioneer" inspires you to believe you can accomplish anything as long as you are persistent and dedicated to success.

Some of the books highlights include:
-Bananna Beer and House Character - How Shipman spun to the local beer drinking public the breweries funny tasting beer caused by contaminated yeast. I think the late beer author Michael Jackson saved the day on this one.

-The Bitter that was Sweet - How Redhook ESB, originally known as Ballard Bitter, made Redhook beer a drinkable alternative.

-Selling your Soul - Perceived as a controversial move for a craft brewer, Redhook made history by partnering in distribution with Annheiser-Busch. The book offers great insight on how this partnership was actually structured and why it was beneficial to Redhook without compromising their craftsmanship heritage.

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