2 Beer Guys Blog

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Wait, what was this party for again?

Oh that's right, last night was the "release" party for Redhook's new, well, newly named anyway, IPA. At long last, the Long Hammer was dropped on the public, but with such little fanfare it felt less like being hit with a long hammer and more like a pin prick. Driving into the Redhook facility in Portsmouth, you could tell they had a packed house on hand. For the first time ever, I had to park my truck in auxiliary parking. Walking up to the doors, they made sure you knew this was the Long Hammer party, and when you got inside, well, they just sort of seemed to stop telling you.

Outside of one hanging banner at the main entrance, and some chalkboard writing about the event, there was nothing else to let you know that you were in fact at a release party. Missing were banners of the new packaging for the beer, missing were specials on pints of the IPA, missing were Redhook executives and employees walking around talking about the beer.

In all fairness, we didn't get there until 8:30, so the party had already been going on for over two hours. However, I doubt that the party got so out of control that the banners were torn down and Redhook's staff just got tired of talking about the beer. And speaking of the beer...

I've heard time and time again that Redhook didn't change the recipe, just the name. In terms of widely-available, year-round local IPA's, Redhook is probably my second favorite drinking IPA. So it was with great disappointment that I took sip after sip of what, to me, was a sub-par beer. It was boring, had no hop character, it had no bite, and it was just all around bland. I'm hoping that it was just a bad batch, or that I got my drawn off the end of the keg and it just wasn't quite right. Although, to that end, that in and of itself would be disastrous for an event solely focused on that particular beer. I gave it another shot and ordered one cask-conditioned. Expectedly, it was mellow, but it still lacked the characteristics I expect in an IPA.

I have to tell you that my faith needs to be restored in this IPA. Thankfully I have a few at home, but they're from before the new name was announced. I can still taste what a quality Redhook IPA should taste like. Crisp, clean hop bite, nice citrus aroma, clean finish. None of the things I got in my pint glass last night. The party last night was more reminiscent of a keg party, and unfortunately the beer backed up that claim.

Redhook, you broke my heart.


  • At Thursday, March 22, 2007 at 9:47:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No kidding. Seriously, I felt like I was at some club in Boston surrounded by kids in their early 20's. Not that that's entirely bad, but for a beer release party, I think I expected the mentality behind it to be more than just "sweet dude...a beer party thing!" On the plus side, Red Hook hired a really great, entertaining band. But all in all...it was a poorly done event.

  • At Wednesday, April 4, 2007 at 7:51:00 PM EDT, Blogger beergirl said…

    I agree about the IPA. Upon taking a few sips, I was very suprised on how, non-hop-like the Long Hammer was..."hop"fully they will read this blog and make some changes! I thought the event however was a great time. I think we can get so caught up in the "quality" of the beer, we forget what the atmosphere should be like. Everyone was having a great time...and you are correct HH...the band was fun! I think it's great that Red Hook is inviting a younger crowd to thier brewery events. Let's get the 2o somethings hooked on some good beer! Maybe not the Long Hammer.....Beer Girl


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