Nobody likes a wishy-washy answer like, “We don’t know.” With regards to the future of Hale’s Ales Brewery, there are things we know and things we do not. It is the reality of the situation. Above – Me and Mike Hale at his retirement soiree (December 2021).
Mike Hale retired. He founded Hale’s Ales Brewery in 1983 and finally decided it was time to walk away. Good for him! He deserves to enjoy his retirement. In the wake of that development, people have questions about the future of Hale’s Ales. After all, figuratively and literally, Mike was the owner of it all — the building, the brewery, and the brand. I have now spoken to the appropriate person at Hale’s Ales and have some information to share.
Will the brand live on? At this moment, there is no real answer. They have entertained conversations with other breweries about acquiring rights to the brand, but nothing has led to a solid conclusion. They are willing to talk to any other breweries that might be interested, so the answer to the question is, we don’t know.
Has the building been sold? Well, yes and no. There is an agreement, but there is also a lot of stuff to be done to close the deal. Studies. Due diligence. As those things are still underway, nobody is in a position to disclose who the buyer is or even announce that the deal is done. We will just have to wait and see how it all shakes out. I have been told that the buyer, or anticipated buyer, is not another brewery.
Will the building continue to be a brewery? We don’t know. The anticipated/potential buyer has expressed an interest in, and a desire to, have it remain a brewery if they can find a brewery tenant. It is a very big building in a very expensive neighborhood. Hale’s Ales bought the building nearly 30 years ago when the real estate market was a lot different. These days, I cannot think of too many breweries that could afford that nut. But, as a tenant and not a property owner? We will see.
Are they still brewing beer? Well, not really, but there is still some beer making its way through the system. Some beer still needs to be put into kegs in the coming days and weeks. The kettle is no longer boiling, but some more beer is forthcoming. But that’s it, for now at least.
When is the pub closing? The annual Moisture Festival (a wacky variety and comedy show) kicks off in Hale’s Palladium on March 17th and runs for a month. If you’ve never been, consider it. Fun, crazy show. The beer mentioned in the previous paragraph is destined to get served at the Moisture Festival and at the pub. When the moisture festival is done, so is the pub. Last call, mid-April.
I know there are other questions out there, but what I have just shared is all that there is to share. In the end, do you really need to know more? The future holds all the answers.
It is sad to see the place close down and it’ll be even sadder if the brand disappears forever. But it is also happy to see Mike Hale move into retirement. The guy deserves it. So cheers to all that Hale’s Ales Brewery has been since 1983 and let’s all hang on and see what’s next.