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Founded by Paul Shipman and Gordon Bowke In May of 1981, Redhook Ale Brewery may have started the modern microbrewery movement. At the least they were a crucial and early player.

Redhook started operations in a small building in the Ballard section of Seattle Washington. The original Redhook Ale was a belgian-style ale, a lightweight fruity/spicy brew which was never a huge success and seems to have been discontinued. In 1983 Blackhook Porter was added to the lineup and it was an instant success, establishing a small but devoted following which has grown slowly over the years. Then in 1984 Ballard Bitter was added, and the small brewery in Ballard could no longer keep up with demand. The brewery had to move, and a new location in nearby Fremont was chosen. This building was an old Trolley-car barn, and required extensive remodelling.

More locations have been added, as of this writing Redhook maintains breweries in Woodinville Washington and Portsmouth New Hampshire as well as the Fremont location. Redhook currently produces Redhook ESB, Redhook IPA, Redhook Hefeweizen, Redhook Blonde Ale, Blackhook Porter, Doubleblack Stout, and two seasonal brews, Redhook Nutbrown Ale in spring and summer and Winterhook in fall and winter.

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