Knox Beer Snobs

Red Hook Long Hammer IPA.

This is the newest addition to KBS, Johnny Miller. I wanted to give a bit of an introduction to get us on friendly, drinking terms. I’m a beer snob through and through and I love every thing about beer! I brew it, I drink it, I talk it, I dream it. I’ve recently moved back to Knoxville and I am really excited to see the developments in the craft beer scene! I’m getting my feet wet here at KBS by giving a brief review of a beer I picked up recently while on a trip to Minnesota.

Red Hook brewery, out of Washington, started out in a old trolley depot but has since grown significantly and now brews 360,000 barrels annually. Bless ’em! Since 1984, they have been brewing up a doozy of an American IPA they call Long Hammer and in fact Long Hammer is said to be the best selling IPA in America. I was first intrigued by the bottle. It’s a squatty little thing with an odd shape that made me fear I was being robbed of beer, but fortunately that was only a drunken illusion as it poured an even 12 ounces as promised by the label.

When I first opened the bottle, it felt like I was hit smack in the nose with a long hoppy hammer! The Long Hammer is dry hopped using Cascade hops and has a loud and upfront hoppy aroma with some hints of pine and citrus. You can smell malty sweetness and flowers but the hops definitely dominate the aroma. This complex brew has a medium body, is bitter with a crisp/dry finish but the flavor is not as dominated by the hops as I expected when first opening the bottle. This is a well balanced brew that holds true to the Northwest style IPA, that this hophead tends to prefer. I’m looking forward to trying more from Red Hook and I suggest you do yourself a favor and do the same!