Updated, April 26, 2012
Here is a statement the brewery released.All, We are grateful for the outpouring of support that we’ve received from the community after Tuesday’s tragic accident in Portsmouth. Ben Harris had been a member of the Redhook family for more than seven years, first working at the Cataqua Pub and most recently as part of our brewing operations team. His wife, Alysha Miller, is expecting his child and is also part of the Redhook family as a server in our pub. Ben was a wonderful man, a dedicated member of our team and a friend to all who knew him. We are heartbroken by this tragedy and are grieving with the family.
We would like to thank the community and the media for respecting the family’s privacy as well as that of our employees as we mourn together. We would also like to thank our family of employees for their support in this process, as this is an extremely difficult time for all of us and our top priority is taking care of Ben’s family and our team.
There is an assessment underway to reveal exactly what happened Tuesday morning. Although the investigation is still in process, there are several facts that we can confirm:
• The accident was caused by an exploding plastic keg ;
• The keg was not owned or used by Redhook Brewery or any other CBA brewery;
• It is normal protocol for the brewery to receive kegs that aren’t ours from time to time;
• Ben was handling the keg at the time it exploded.
It is extremely important to us that we understand exactly what happened before
we share additional information about this tragedy. There is an evaluation in progress and we can assure you that we will issue further information when the report is complete.
In the meantime, we ask for continued thoughts and prayers for Ben’s family, friends, and everyone touched by this accident.
When I woke up today I knew something did not feel right. It was cloudy out, which doesn’t happen often in the land of over 300 days of sunshine. Both of my roommates were home, and they have usually left for work by then. After my morning routine I jumped online to begin sorting through my jumble of social media. While none of the beer news sources locally had shared this information, many national outlets were reporting a great tragedy. An employee at Redhook Brewing died this morning, as a result of a keg he was cleaning exploding. Ben Harris was only 26. Redhook has two breweries, one in Washington, and one in New Hampshire, where the incident occurred. Supposedly, he was using pressurized air to clean out the keg, when it exploded sending metal shards every where. I can not begin to express my condolences to this man, his friends and family, and the Redhook Brewing family. The Portsmouth New Hampshire brewery will be closed today, and maybe even tomorrow, while they sort through this terrible accident.
Two years ago, I lost 2 of my closest friends within four months of each other and since then have always been greatly effected by death, especially untimely ones. Be careful out there brewing industry friends, while this is a fun business, it is also serious business. The sun is not shining here today for a reason, but I hope it is brighter in New Hampshire today.
If you would like more information on the incident, or Ben Harris, here is a local news article.