A toast to Mike Hale – December 5th at the brewery in Seattle



Your chance to salute a craft beer pioneer

On Sunday, December 5th from noon until 3:00, the Hale’s Ale Brewery invites you to join them at the brewery’s pub in Seattle for an open house as they bid Mike Hale a happy retirement. Mike will be there to accept your salutes and your toasts. An “industry-only” event will follow in Hale’s Palladium. After decades in the craft beer biz, Mike is taking off his brewer’s boots for the last time. Driving the big red bus off into the sunset, so to speak.

Mike Hale in London, 1982.
Mike Hale in London, 1982.

So why should all you young whippersnappers care? Allow me to explain.

The Craft Beer Pantheon

American craft beer continually evolves, reshaping and reinventing itself. Since its birth in the early 1980s, it’s always been about innovation; it’s always been about change. Breweries come and go; beer styles fall in and out of fashion. Only the beer itself is constant; only the beer remains.


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One of the few things to mark the entire lifespan of American craft beer is Hale’s Ale Brewery. More specifically, Mike Hale. Through it all, he and his namesake brewery have endured. When the brewery opened in 1983, Mike blazed trails and began inspiring the generations of breweries that followed. Breaker of ground, paver of roads. A soft-spoken ambassador for the craft. An advocate and activist for the industry.

Mike Hale at Cask Fest in 2019. Photo by Bob Brenlin.

The world that you enjoy, the world that is replete with great craft beer choices at every turn, exists because of Mike Hale and the other pioneers like him. A handful of creative, visionary people invented American craft beer out of thin air. In those early days, it was a high wire act. There was no net. There was no guarantee that any of it would work. There was no roadmap. The breweries that you love, the sexy, ballyhooed, new breweries that everyone is talking about these days, stand on the shoulders of people like Mike.

What does the future hold for Hale’s Ale Brewery after Mike Hale retires? We will see. That’s a story for a different day. For now, all you need to know is that the brewery invites you to visit the pub on Sunday, December 5th to raise a toast in Mike’s honor. See the event page on Facebook for more info.


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2 thoughts on “A toast to Mike Hale – December 5th at the brewery in Seattle

  1. I have known Mike Hale for 30 years. Back in the day when he brought his brewing skills to Mossbay above the waters of kirkland. I used to sell his beers back then. His American Pale Ale and Celebration Porter were my favorites. Mike is truly one of the pioneers of Craft brewing in America. Enjoy retirement! You deserve it! Cheers!

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