Almost 39 years ago, Mike Hale founded a Fremont staple: Hale’s Ales. In April, the local brewpub will raise one final glass to the end of an impactful decades-long run.

Hale’s was always more than just a place to grab a beer. At the helm of the craft brewing revolution, its innovative spirit introduced seasonal, cask-conditioned, and nitrogen-conditioned ales to the region. No one needs a reminder that the past couple of years have been tough on the hospitality industry, and Hale and team are off to their next adventure—retirement for Hale. TBD for the rest.

Those hoping to celebrate the final days of Hale’s Ales can score tickets to its funky annual comedy/variety show, Seattle’s Moisture Festival, March 17 through April 10. This year’s fest will also mark the last hurrah for Hale’s performance venue, the Palladium.

When Hale and company announced the impending closure on Facebook last week, their fans took to the comments with memories of sweet times at Hale’s Ales throughout the years. Folks shared wedding photos from their receptions in the space, others thanked and celebrated their favorite bartenders.

One early customer reminisced, “I bought my first keg of Hales, in summer of 1983 or ’84 in Colville, WA, where Mike started his first Hale's Ales Brewery. Took the keg up to Orient and we watched the Perseid meteor shower while having a ‘Hale of an Ale.’”

“My husband and I had our first date at Hale’s 20 years ago. So sad to see this,” another regular commented.

While it’s clear that the lively event space and small-batch, full-flavored ales will be missed by many, not much else is certain at this point.

According to marketing and events manager Julia Olson, nothing is set in stone yet. While the sale of the building is pending, the potential new owner or subsequent use is not yet being shared publicly, leaving us to dream up what could soon become of the space. 

The future of the storied brews is up in the air as well. While there are still libations flowing in the taproom from previously fermented stock, the beer is no longer brewing. Another brewery may purchase the brand (along with the recipes and legacy) and continue brewing from their own location, but there are no promises at this point. 

Hale’s Bremerton barrelhouse is also slated to close, but the timeline of that departure is—you guessed it—still unknown.

If there’s a silver lining, it’s found in the fact that fans have a few weeks to make the pilgrimage back to Hale’s to celebrate the memories shared over a beer, find out where their favorite bartenders are off to next, and properly bid adieu to the well-known spot.

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