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Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub

Not Rated.
Hale's Ales Brewery & PubHale's Ales Brewery & Pub
BA SCORE
85
very good

33 Ratings
Ratings: 33
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.4%
Active Beers: 35
Beer Ratings: 1,311
Beer Avg: 3.62
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask:
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

4301 Leary Way NW
Seattle, Washington, 98107
United States
phone: (206) 782-0737

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 33 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bigkingken
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

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 really 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.

bigkingken, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of IceEyes
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%

Hales is a comfortable, low-key place for beer and food though it's not the best choice in the greater Fremont area. I'd rate the overall experience as "OK" but that's about all. I had a great burger here, but the fries were pretty lame. Most beers seem to taste better on tap at the bar than I've known them to be in bottles.

The brewery is fairly large and sits out in the hallway. You can watch them brew while you drink the beer and the fermentation tanks have mirrors over them so you can watch them ferment. I visited Hales on a Saturday afternoon when they weren't too busy and got very good service. Plus, the great thing about Hales is that you can pub crawl to Browers or Maritime or just go for a walk along the bike trail near the canal. I'd recommend a visit to Hales though I wouldn't give it my top priority.

IceEyes, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of morebeergood
3.64/5  rDev -1.9%

Our second stop on our Saturday afternoon beer journey. After lunch at Brouwer's Cafe, we headed up the street to Hale's Pub. Nice layout inside. The tanks and brewery equipment are on the right, open for viewing. The pub is on the left, and the large windows that separate this area still give off the feeling of being right in a brewpub since you can still see the tanks. Lots of leather seats and couches for patrons. Pulled up seats at the bar, and chatted with a nice bartender. I ordered the seasonal Tripel, and my wife had the Porter. Both very good. A decent brewpub, worth a visit if in the area.

morebeergood, Dec 24, 2008
Photo of RoryGilmore
2.23/5  rDev -39.9%

Hales is an OK place, but it you go during the busy times be prepared to have plenty of topics of conversation to use with your fellow patrons. It seems to be run with by a significantly large percentage of people who are incompetent. The hostess completely bypassed my name on the list to make us wait another 20 minutes beyond when we should have been seated. Then, once seated, it took another 25 minutes before menus were brought to the table or even an acknowledgment from the sever. Then the sever stopped by about every half hour of so to see if we needed anything. Overall, it took over two and a half hours to get a grand total of three beers and one grilled cheese to a party of two people. Pathetic. I wasn't the only one suffering through a ridiculously long ordeal, everyone around me was having a similar experience. This last visit might have been the worst service I've ever had in any restaurant.

Hale's brews are usually just OK, they fit within the style intended, aren't terrible, but aren't good either. They're just OK. At $5 bucks a pint (not including tax), it seems a bit pricey considering there are much higher quality brews from just about every other brewpub in town, and those breweries charge less. Also, they only have one guest tap. A little more variety would be nice.

Food is decent, above average pub food that is just a touch overpriced. Portions are small, which would be fine if the prices were about $2-4 less per item.

The vibe is OK with plenty of wood in the pub and lots of exposed brew kettles and the such right in the entrance. In my opinion, that's the best part of the place. Too bad they don't produce a better product or service.

RoryGilmore, Jun 22, 2008
Photo of RedDiamond
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%

Hale's Brewery and Pub is one-third pub, one-third brewery, and one-third warehouse and everything else. The floor plan is expansive yet open with limited outdoors dining and a banquet room upstairs. Where most brewpubs have the brew house sequestered behind glass, at Hale's it is the restaurant that is walled off from the open brewery. The brewing system is partly gravity fed and placards inform visitors of its various functions. You can even watch the beers ferment by way of mirrors above the open fermenters.

I can't express much enthusiasm for Hale's beers. Or for their food. Most beers are clean but timid, though in this respect, Hale's American Pale Ale is a frail and reclusive gem. Many recipes date to the 1980's and don't reflect the greater measure of inspired creativity with which brewers elevated the artistry of craft brewing from the mid-90's on. Hale's El Jefe Weizen and seasonal Irish Nut Brown are worthy of a pint but aren't compelling. And the food is at times overtly disappointing, lacking freshness and invention.

Still, Hale's pub is a sizeable, multi-room establishment and draws a full house nightly during peak dining hours. The kitchen staff work like a drill team and the servers are numerous and attentive. They're also personable, engaging, and fun. Hale's prides itself on pioneering the use of nitro- expeller gasses many years ago and regularly features three nitro beers and one cask alongside its six regulars and multiple seasonals. They've also recently added a guest tap; on my last visit, a blonde ale from Flyers.

RedDiamond, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of StephSandford
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%

I've been going to Hale's for a number of years and usually get great service if I sit at the bar, and have greatly enjoyed the new beer recipes over the past couple of years.

I more wanted to mention, though, the current state of the upper management. Mike Hale, as many of us know, is a born-again Christian who looks down on drinking. He has recently started firing employees who, despite great reviews and service, stating that "things aren't working out". In response to the increase in cost of hops and malt, he stated, "then just use less", resulting in dumbed down beers. It seems that his internal battle is finally affecting his ability to run a top notch brew pub.

StephSandford, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of travisd13
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%

It's a pretty big place with plenty of seating. It was a little dead that night (weird because it's Saturday and kind of scary) so service was top notch. The menu was filled with some of Mom's home cooking. I had the meatloaf and was quite pleased. Out of the group of eight all of us were happy with the food keeping in mind that it's a brewery. I didn't get into any of the mainstay beers because they are all over here all year. However they had a dry hopped seasonal IPA going that was very floral and quite tasty. In my opinion it's well worth the try and I'd even go back for seconds.

travisd13, Nov 03, 2007
Photo of nortmand
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

I was struggling with whether or not to visit this place. It'd been recommended by some of my friends who used to frequent Seattle, but everyone on here told me to avoid it. Well, I stopped in and actually quite enjoyed myself.

Atmosphere is kind of high scale. Some really fancy seating areas near the bar and a bunch of drunk businessmen. "But I thought the main thing was to keep the main thing the main thing. And the main thing was supposed to be beer, not overstuffed leather chairs." /shakes fist at sky/

The beers were actually quite nice. They tend to go more for session beers, all of which were solid, but they also have some bigger beers. The barleywine was OK, but the Aftermath IIPA was pretty freakin' awesome.

Friendly, and relatively prompt service. I waited for awhile at the gift desk, though.

Very good selection of beers. Three nitro beers, which were decent sessioners, and several other of varying style.

Good food, a bit on the side of glorified pub grub, but good nonetheless.

Overall a cool stop, and definitely worthwhile for visitors to visit. Seems like the Bell's of Seattle. Except, you know, good.

nortmand, Apr 06, 2007
Photo of eballard
3.1/5  rDev -16.4%

Located just off a main road in north Seattle, this is a great brew pub to go relax at. I made a side trip here on my way to a baseball game and it started off the evening well. When you walk into the building the first thing you see is all of the brewing equipment. They have only a rail separating their lobby from their brewing operation. You can smell the beer being made and all along the rail they have descriptions of what you’re looking at. It’s a great way to give just a bit of information to the patrons with their brew pub experience. The dining room was off in a separate room with a glass wall separating the dining from the brewing. I would assume this is to cut back on the noise traveling between the two. The service was fine but there were not many people their when I was there. I didn’t have much to eat but I ordered the nachos and they were fine. The food in general looked like your standard brew pub cuisine.

eballard, Aug 16, 2006
Photo of czechsaaz
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%

The main entrance is through the brewery and the first thing you'll see is the mash tun, brewkettle and fermentors. The entrance to the bar is through a door to the left and there's a dining room with a glass wall looking into the brewery. But the brewhouse and the pub are basically kept seperate. There's also a smallish patio off the main dining room. A few style points for the couches in the main room.

Hale's beers do a perfectly good job of pleasing the masses. I find them solid and drinkable but never awe-inspiring. I feel kind of the same way about the food. The pulled pork sandwich is really good, but any number of Bar-b-que spots in Seattle do it better. The burgers, same thing. Good but if I'm craving a great burger, I won't think of them.

I don't want to sound negative because I think the place is fine. But so are lots of brewpubs around the country.

czechsaaz, Oct 11, 2005
Photo of FirstMan
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Hale's is located about halfway between Ballard and Fremont on the northern side of the ship canal in Seattle. Kind of in a no-man's-land between two great Seattle neighborhoods, which really serves as a wonderful metaphor for the place in general.

Hale's brewpub is a nice-looking place to have a meal and a beer, and if you aren't terribly adventurous and want to find a fairly "safe" place to bring a group for dinner and a beer, give it a shot.

I'm not too high on Hale's beer, which sort of colors my experience every time I wind up here. I specifically say "wind up here" because I'm not sure I've ever actually planned on going to Hale's. It just seems like I wind up here when noone can decide where else to go for food and beer. It's sort of a twilight zone of beer indecision for me.

The bar area is best as there are nice leather chairs, a large wood bar, booths and all the other accoutrements. I always find myself thinking that a bar like this is a little out of place in Seattle. It's almost too nice, too clean...

There's a larger restaurant style seating section to the right of the entrance, which can handle pretty large groups, but I've never actually eaten in there.

The food here is not bad, but without much diversion from the standard pub fare. I'd actually come here for the food before I'd come here for the beer. Some people like Hale's beer, and I think they do pretty well around the area, but I think everything they make is mediocre.

Hale's is "Safe", which may be why I'm not thrilled with it. If it wasn't for the out of the way location, I'd think it was built to cater to out-of-town tourists who want a Seattle brewpub experience.

About as average as I can imagine - not bad, yet not great. 3's all around.

FirstMan, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of RoyalT
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%

Atmosphere – First off, parking just stinks here. I hate to start off with a negative, but I can’t believe that they don’t have anyplace for the patrons to park.

Having said that, the place is pretty cool when you step in. The pub just reeks of grain and all those smells that you get from brewing beer. The huge metallic vats are in giant rooms visible upon entry. There’s a small bar area and a restaurant-style seating area with about 18-20 four tops. The best part about this place is that the entire pub is smoke-free.

Quality – The quality here is great. The building is in an older part of town but it’s anything but a dive. The furniture especially is nice and they even have a couple leather couches in the restaurant area where you can lounge around and eat and drink. Nice touch.

Service – I was perplexed at the poor service here. Like I said, the restaurant seats about 80 people and when I came by for lunch on Saturday there was about 20 people there and three waitresses. They were running around a lot but not really doing everything, and EVERYBODY in the restaurant was getting impatient.

I hate to complain about service because I’ve worked in restaurants myself over the years, but I just don’t get it. I ordered a sampler of beers, then later ordered a burger, and I didn’t get my samplers until 30 seconds before my food was done. I had to wait 10 minutes just to talk to a waitress and, of course, my food order was wrong. Go figure.

Selection – They only serve their own beer. Having said that, they had about a dozen regular beers and a few special offerings, which was nice.

Food – The burger I had was spectacular! It was a huge hunk of juicy, high-quality choice beef in between some great-tasting hard bread. They actually cooked my burger rare like I asked, which most restaurants won’t do anymore. They served Jo Jo Potatoes on the side, which are baked potato wedges nicely seasoned.

RoyalT, Mar 13, 2005
Photo of jreitman
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

The Hale's brewpub is located on a strip of industrial buildings halfway between ballard and fremont in Seattle. When you walk in the front doors, you see all the brewery equipment on the right with the pub on the left. The pub itself has a nice feel to it and feels cozy. In one area, there are leather sofas and chairs for people to hang out on and several booths along the bar. There is also a section of tables devoted to families with kids. The food is standard pub fare but was pretty good. The beers are what you would expect from Hale's line. Nothing stood out as anything special, but they were decent examples of their styles.

jreitman, Jul 27, 2002
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Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub in Seattle, WA
85 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.