Recap of the 16th Annual Redhook Fest 8/18 (NH)
The 16th annual Redhook Fest took place on Saturday, August 18th at the Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth, NH. Not having been able to make last years fest, I was stoked to get to go this year. The fact that one of my favorite bands, Ryan Montbleau would be playing, AND I had great friends to share the day with me, made it all the better.
Redhook Fest started at 2pm but my friend Bianca and I got there around 3 and headed right in to stake out our spot. Getting to the fest early is a great idea because they set it up so you can enjoy a FULL day of music, food and beer. We found a nice cozy spot to lay out a blanket and chairs and headed for food and a pint.
The taps were full of Redhook brews as well as offerings from Kona and Widmer. I really loved seeing the variety of brews to choose from. The vast beer selection was composed of (but was not limited to) the following styles: Hefeweizen, Wit, IPA, ESB, Oatmeal Pale Ale, The Ben Harris tribute beer (cream ale-style), Cask conditioned beers to a Pumpkin and Okto beer. Put it this way, we had a lot of options.
The food area was located right at the front of the Cataqua Pub which made it convenient to grab a bite, then head over to hear the bands with a brew in hand. Bianca and I filled up with some great ribs, chicken and salad. I paired my lunch with an oatmeal pale ale by Redhook while Bianca chose the Widmer hefeweizen.
Fueled and ready to roll, we weaved our way through the many chairs and blankets to our little spot under a big tree to sit and enjoy the sounds of The Brew. Even as early as we had gotten there, the place was packed. Did I mention you should get there early?
The crowd was as cool as I had remembered from years past. An eclectic mix of families and free spirits of all ages formed a sort of patch work quilt across the hilly, velvety green lawn of Redhook’s “back yard.”
If you have kids, this is your chance to bring them to a beer fest. It’s not JUST about the beer. They have plenty to keep everyone entertained. Some of the attractions included a dunk tank, corn hole game, and hula hoops galore. Needless to say, Redhook provides plenty of entertainment to keep everyone happy.
We were joined at about 4pm by our friends Chelsey and Chris and a good friend of theirs. We chilled all afternoon, chatting about beer, music and life in general and watched the ever-growing crowd dance all around us.
Redhook has an amazing sound system that allows the tunes to crank nicely, but not so loud that you cant talk to the guy sitting next to you. They also have a way of always selecting killer bands for the fest. The four they chose this year were perfect. Dusty Gray, The Brew (aptly named for a beer fest), The Ryan Montbleau band and Moe. all helped set the stage for this overgrown back yard party.
If you’re thinking you might attend Redhook Fest next year, I suggest getting your tickets in advance. They were fairly priced this year at $25 then $35 at the door. Saving ten bucks to me means more beer and food. Kind of a no brainer if you ask this beer gal.
Some of the awesome beers WE enjoyed at the fest were:
- Widmer Cask conditioned Shaddock Pale Ale with Grapefruit
- RedHook ESB
- Long Hammer IPA
- Okto Fest beer
- Kona Fire Rock Pale
Big thanks to Karmen, Brady and the Redhook crew for the tickets we raffled off to craft beer fans Brian and Etole Hoppe! They really showed us their Redhook love by submitting a picture on https://www.facebook.com/2beerguys from their son’s wedding AT Redhook NH!
Peace, love and beer,
Here’s a little more eye candy from the festival: