They are very sociable at Hales, helpful, even educational. In asking about their many beers and ales on tap, including their own, they are gracious enough to have other breweries on tap too (but not Silver City brew- pub's ales, as they are like a walk out the door from there), we got many tastings (partially filled mini schooner tasters) and then decided upon a pint. Actually, I think Hales and Silver City ought to each have one tap for one another's brews, there could be a symbiotic relationship that could do them both good.
In good time, we received double orders of the rock fish and chips, much to my son's surprise as he never got to order. I admit, this to be my fault in misunderstanding what I had ordered. We laughed about it and he enjoyed the meal.
We saw a guy coming behind the bar, that didn't seem to fit in as a bartender and he was with another guy. I turned to my son and said, "I think that is Hale." He said, "The Hale, like the owner?" And I said, "Yes, I recognize him from his photos, from the blog I recently did on this pub." Mr. Hale was directly in front of us, pulling a beer, and so my son said, "Are you the owner, Hale?" And Hale said, "Yes."
Mr. Hale himselfWe told him how much we liked the place. He smiled and said, "Thank you, we put a lot of work into it." He is a very nice, amiable fellow and pleasant to chat with. Then he turned around and gave the other fellow one of his brews. It turns out, it was a brewmaster from Port Townsend brewery. He liked what he tasted. Hale came back to pull another and we talked some more between the three of us.
I had to tell him that I had blogged about the pub recently and that people as far as Russia and Australia were reading about his pub. He smiled and seemed to like to hear of it. I later considered that he would probably have rather heard that many local people were reading it, but that too is true, I just didn't say that. I told my son that I should have our friend Sergei come by and tell them that he read my blog in Russia and just had to stop by for a taste.
Out of respect for the visiting brewmaster, we had another pint, of the Port Townsend Ale which was also very good. As I had indicated before, I've always liked Silver City's brews, their only true competitor in that shopping mall (I don't consider Red Robin a contender), but Hale's in my opinion is just a better brew. However, in a pinch I would be happy to drink either. Not quite so of the McMenamin's brews I had in Seattle yesterday. They too were good and my son especially like their winter brew, which was tasty. But I would rank them in the order I've just specified, with Hale's on top and Silver City in the middle.
I highly recommend Hales. So, stop by any time for a quality ale or two and try the food, it's quite above average on healthy pub grub scale.
Kitsap Sun article on Hale's Pub opening