This month, Hale’s Ales Brewery will celebrate its 35th anniversary, a milestone for both the brewery and the Pacific Northwest craft beer scene as a whole. Founded in 1983, the brewery produced its the flagship beer, Hale’s Pale Ale, the original Northwest pale. Hale’s was also the first brewery to offer traditional, hand-pumped cask conditioned ales and the first American brewery to sell nitrogen-conditioned beers.
To celebrate their revolutionary 35 years in business, Hale’s will be hosting a blowout party at its Seattle brewpub, held July 28 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Attendees can expect vintage and rare beer samplings, live local music, food, raffles and more. Plus $1 of every pint sold will benefit City Fruit, a nonprofit with a mission to promote the cultivation of urban fruit to nourish community and help protect the environment.
We talked with Bill Prieb, Hale’s sales manager, to find out more about the monumental occasion.
1) Thirty-five years is a huge milestone, and no better way to celebrate than with a big party. What are you most looking forward to that night?
After 35 years in the business, the thing we most look forward to regarding our anniversary party is the opportunity to spend time with and thank the many people who have been a part of our history. Hale’s has deep roots in this industry and strong relationships with publicans, brewers, distributors, beer enthusiasts and bar staff all over the region. Our story is their story too, and our anniversary party is a way to celebrate that shared history.
2) Why pick City Fruit as a charitable partner that night?
City Fruit is a program where volunteers harvest fruit trees at your home and donate the produce to those in need. We chose City Fruit as a partner in the event because they provide a much-needed service to the Seattle area. I personally have used City Fruit for years to harvest the Italian plums off a tree in my front yard. Before using them, I didn’t know what to do with all the fruit the wonderful tree yields. They are a great organization and very deserving of support. I urge people to visit their website and check out what they do.
3) Can we get some insights or hints as to what kind of “rare beers” will be featured at the party?
Among the rare and vintage beers featured at the party, we’ll be pouring our Akademic Ale, an 11 percent ABV black ale brewed in late 2012 and barrel aged for 15 months in bourbon barrels. We will also feature a barrel aged barleywine and Belgian strong ale. We aren’t finished formalizing the list yet but these are some examples of what we will offer.
4) Hale’s continues to push creativity and innovation in the brewing industry, what is something on the horizon you all are looking forward to implementing?
In terms of brewing technology, Hale’s is a curious mix of old world brewing techniques and modern equipment. We still use open fermentation, yet, a few years back, we installed one of the state’s largest hybrid solar water heating systems. On the beer side of things, we continue to experiment with hop profiles for our Leary Way Limited IPA Series — four unique, hop-forward IPAs released this year. We are also excited to be making kettle-soured beers for our pub and sourcing malt from Skagit Valley Malting.
Lastly, our brewers have begun experimenting with Kombucha beers. None of this has never been done before, but it is rather new to the Northwest craft beer scene.