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First Look: Hale’s Ales New Barrel House & Tasting Room

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Mike Hale

All photo credit: Lindsey Scully

Owner and founder of Hale’s Ales Brewery, Mike Hale is building a new barrelhouse and tasting room in Bremerton. Hale’s latest project is located at the corner of Wycoff Ave and 15th St in an old warehouse, vacant for the past 20 years. Mid build-out, the space already houses several rows of barrels and the skeleton frame of a small tasting room, tucked just inside of the loading dock. The tasting room is tiny and intimate (a cozy 750 sq. ft., to be exact), the start of what I imagine to be the perfect setting to sip on a barrel aged brew.

Hale’s Ales has operated a number of locations since its conception in 1983, including establishments in Colville (original brewery), Kirkland, Spokane, as well as their current brewpub in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. In 2010, Hale’s Ales opened an alehouse and restaurant in the Kitsap Mall in Silverdale, but were forced to shut it down several years later when it failed to attract enough business to keep the large space afloat.

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The new tasting room will have 20 taps, including three cask offerings dispensed through traditional hand pumps brought over from England. Hale plans to feature a selection of his own brews in addition to a number of guest taps of unique and hard-to-find beers.

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According to Hale, the space was originally slotted to function as a warehouse and satellite distribution center for the brewery, and the idea to add a tasting room was an afterthought. The warehouse stays at a constant temperature year-round, which is ideal for storing beer explains Hale. The tasting room will need to be heated in winter and will have the option to roll up the garage doors in the summer, so it will be walled off from the rest of the storage space.

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The framework of the room already shows windows looking in at the barrels, with lots of stained glass, and repurposed windows and doors leaning agains the walls amid construction supplies. A nearby Fir tree that was threatening to fall down is being cut for the bar, and Hale envisions several long community tables with benches filling the space. He plans to add patio seating on the loading dock for sunny days, and food trucks to provide local fare.

Hale has yet to divulge the opening date for the Bremerton barrelhouse and tasting room, although he hints it may be soon. You can view all the photos from our tour on our Facebook page.

The new barrel house will be located at 1509 N. Wycoff Avenue, Bremerton, WA.  

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A recent beer geek transplant to the beautiful state of Washington, Erica has spent the last six years working in the craft beer industry in Oregon and Northern California, most recently at Mikkeller Bar SF. With parents from Belgium and the Pacific Northwest, drinking good beer is in her blood. When Erica isn’t talking about beer, she is…well, sleeping probably. Follow her on instagram and twitter @its_beerica. For tips or leads, contact: erica@newschoolbeer.com

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