4301 Leary Way Northwest
Visited on March 29, 2009
My first visit to Hale’s Ales is more than a little fuzzy. A couple of good friends I was visiting and I walked down to the brewpub after lunch and several beers at Maritime Pacific Brewing Company. But there was basketball on TV (NCAA tournament) and we had nothing better to do. Once seated, we asked for a sampler. The waitress gave us a funny look and asked if we wanted all of them. Apparently, there were like 15 on tap at the time.
Yes, give us all of them.
Needless to say, I don’t remember much of the rest of that evening. But on my second visit, I do remember being quite impressed by their barbecue sandwich as well as their beer. It’s certainly a quality establishment, as most are in the Pacific Northwest.
Hale’s Ales has all the look and feel of an upscale chain microbrewery, but with none of the pretentiousness. The space is huge. The tables are plenty. The televisions are limited, but you can find one if you want to. Nothing is overdone. It’s comfy and contemporary at the same time. I like it a lot.
On a second visit I made sure to have plenty of room to try the food, and boy am I glad I did! It’s hard to find good barbecue in the Pacific Northwest, but Hale’s has barbecue done right. I ordered the beef brisket, which came in large chunks that I pulled apart with my knife and fork, and was accompanied by baked beans and coleslaw. The sides were fine, but the brisket really stood out. Absolutely fantastic.
My friend and I had already put down several beers at Maritime Pacific down the street before ordering a sampler of everything on Hale’s menu. We didn’t realize there were 14 different beers, but we got through them, and even ordered a pint of our favorite. But with all the beer, my memory is a bit fuzzy. Everything was good but nothing really stood out. If I had to choose a few, I would go with the Troll Porter, the Imperial Stout (which was definitely IMPERIAL! Great for the style!) or the pint we ordered. I forget the name, but apparently each of the brewers in Seattle threw something in the mix and this is what came out. It was spicy like harvest ale.
We had great service, especially considering we took up a table for several hours and didn’t order any food.