Origin – United States of America
It gave us Ray Charles in 1930, Jimi Hendrix in 1942, Kurt Cobain in 1967 and Sir Mix-a-Lot in 1983. Then Microsoft in 1984 and Amazon in 1994. However Seattle, on the west coast of the US, is not only famous for its musos’ and tech start-ups, it was a founding member of the craft beer scene. And it was Godo and Paul, 2 bearded hipster mates who founded Red Hook in 1981, that paved the way for many to follow. That said, (spoiler alert) Red Hook is now owned by the Craft Brew Alliance and it isn’t technically a craft brewery given it exceeds the 25% ownership rule by any big multinational brewer. In this case mega men in suits, Anheuser-Busch InBev, who has a lazy 55 billon US big ones of beer sales every year. Put that to one side, this ESB, which is affection known as the granddaddy of craft beer, fills a niche in the beer style spectrum that makes it truly unique and, in my opinion, under appreciated. It’s more robust and richer in malt complexities than an amber, while staying on the lighter side of a porter. So if you’re looking for a beer to lubricate a long night of conversation, something a little richer and more complex than ale, you’ve hit the mark. And Red Hook’s version couldn’t be more true to the style. Amber on the pour with quick dissipation of the head. Floral spiciness on the nose. And a mouthful of low carbonated creamy caramel malts, toffee and freshly baked bread. After crafting a conversation over 1 or 2 of these, I’d suggest that…even white boys got to shout, baby got back!