Hale’s Ales celebrating 35th anniversary

While most Ballard-area breweries are just a few years old, Fremont’s Hale’s Ales is celebrating its 35th anniversary this month.

It all began back in 1982 when Mike Hale spent a year of apprenticeship brewing at Gale’s Ales Brewery in Horndean, England. A year later, Hale’s Ales was founded in Colville, WA, using refashioned dairy equipment to make up the brewing line. At the time, there were fewer than 100 breweries in the country, the company says.

Now Hale’s is the longest-running independently-owned brewery in the Northwest.

“We sold our first keg on July 4, 1983,” says founder Mike Hale. “We’ve been having fun ever since.”

To celebrate, Hale’s is throwing a 35th anniversary party on Saturday, July 28th from 1 to 6 p.m. They’ll have live music, vintage and rare beer samplings and brewery tours.

Reuben’s creates ‘Good Hair Day’ brew for Rudy’s

Brewery collaborations are all the rage these days, and Reuben’s Brews has a unique one in store: a 25th anniversary beer for Rudy’s Barbershop called “Good Hair Day.”

“While a beer partnership might seem unlikely for a barbershop, we’ve never been ones to do what’s expected and that’s how we’ve stayed fresh,” said Danny Segal, director of marketing and brand at Rudy’s, which first opened in Capitol Hill back in 1993.

The beer will be sold at all Rudy’s locations, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Equal Rights Washington and its work supporting the LGBTQ community.

“I think it’s fun for two local businesses to collaborate!” said Reuben’s co-founder Adam Robbings when we asked about the growing popularity of topical beer collaborations. Adam says Reuben’s has worked with Kuma coffee on coffee beers, Gorilla FC to raise money for homeless programs and the Phinney Neighborhood Association to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its beer taste event.

“I’d like to collaborate more with other industries like we have done with coffee, to expand our knowledge and understanding and lead to more experimentation!” Adam said in his email.

It’s also a good way to drive some free publicity. When Fremont Brewing created an official beer for Emerald City Comic Con back in January, it sparked stories in Geekwire and here on My Ballard. Fremont also created a brew in collaboration with New Season’s grand opening in Ballard.

Reuben’s will hold a Good Hair Day launch event at its taproom at 5010 14th Ave NW this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Rudy’s stylists will be on hand starting at noon “to serve up buzzcuts, bang trims and fresh fades” (hopefully while not drinking too much beer.)

Peddler kicks off its summer movie series

Peddler Brewing has started showing its weekly summer movies, every Thursday at 8:30 p.m. in the beer garden tent.

Last week it was Top Gun, this week it’s Big. Here’s the full schedule.

“Be sure to show up plenty early to get a seat at one of our picnic tables and a beer before the film begins,” explains co-owner Haley Keller. “You can also bring camp chairs and blankets to make your viewing experience as comfy and cozy as possible.”

Peddler is located at 1514 NW Leary Way.

Fast-growing Reuben’s Brews to open new production facility

One of Ballard’s most popular breweries, Reuben’s Brews is expanding into a full-scale production facility at a large, historic building at the corner of 8th Ave. NW and NW 46th St. (above).

The brewery has been operating out of several locations to keep up with growth, explained co-founder Adam Robbings in an announcement today.

“As we grew we needed space, but unfortunately nothing was ever available within the same building!” Robbings wrote in an email. “But now we are so excited to announce that we will be bringing most of our production together at 800 NW 46th St. The building is not only less than half a mile away from our taproom and brewery (which will remain in its current location), but it is also walking distance from our home.”

Robbings co-founded the brewery with his wife Grace (their first child is named Reuben) back in 2012. He said it was important to find a production facility in his home neighborhood of Ballard, close to the taproom. He says they plan to “carefully renovate” the historic facility.

“The building is getting a big overhaul – new roof, new siding, new insulation and heating systems – but the character of its 70 year-old barrel roof will now be exposed for us all to enjoy!” he wrote. “Here, our team’s lives will be made easier, and they will be able to focus on brewing different beers and increasing diversity of offerings for our customers rather than traveling between buildings!”

As you can see, he’s very excited about the new digs, which he expects will be operational by the end of the year. He’ll also get a new office, a big upgrade from his current working space inside a “merchandise storage closet.”

Reuben’s joins Fremont Brewing in opening a large, dedicated production facility and office in Ballard. Fremont’s facility is located at 4700 9th Ave NW, which the brewery calls “Fremont West.”

Peddler and Populuxe breweries to celebrate their 5-year anniversaries on Saturday

Five years ago, the Ballard brewery scene kicked into high gear. Two breweries, Peddler and Populuxe, opened on the same Friday a few blocks from each other. They joined mainstays Maritime Pacific, Hale’s and Hilliard’s, as well as relative newcomers Reueben’s, NW Peaks and Urban Family in the neighborhood.

“March 8, 2013, was the day this thing really broke open,” wrote Daniel Person in Seattle Weekly back in 2014. “In the eight months to follow, what was once a crowded five-brewery scene became something altogether different: a brewing district that borders on the absurd, where one can walk less than two miles and drink 10 beers by 10 different brewers.”

Now those two breweries are celebrating their 5-year anniversaries on the same day — this Saturday — with respective parties.

Populuxe Brewing is throwing a “Ballard Beach Blanket Bingo” event from noon to 10 p.m. They’ll be handing out free beach balls to the first 100 customers as well as other prizes throughout the day. They’ll have a limited bottle release of the Populuxe Pineapple Sour and “unique kegs and pins tapped throughout the day.” The entertainment starts at 5 p.m. with all ages bingo, and the music kicks in at 8 p.m. More details here.

Peddler Brewing will be celebrating from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and they’ll give away 500 can-shaped glasses commemorating Peddler’s 5-year anniversary. They’ll have a limited one-day release of a special anniversary beer: Le Mont Ventoux Aged Belgian Sour. Live music gets underway at 6 p.m. in the beer garden. More details here.

Sounds like a great excuse to roam Ballard’s breweries on Saturday.

Briefs: Esters, Roux, Brewery District, RapidRide, Solstice poster and more

Lots of quick updates from Ballard and Fremont…

ESTERS – The owners of Piccolo in Maple Leaf, which shut down last year, will open Esters Enoteca soon in the old Homegrown spot at 3416 Fremont Ave. N. “Grab a quick panini to go or stay and enjoy a glass of wine, local beer or one of our house-made sodas,” reads the sign on the door.

RESTAURANT ROUX – Speaking of Fremont Ave. spots, Restaurant Roux will close on February 18th. “After some soul-searching, we decided to accept an offer to sell Restaurant Roux,” explained owner Matthew Lewis. (No word on the identity of the incoming restaurant.) For fans of Lewis’ food truck, Where Ya At Matt, don’t worry: it’s not going away.

LUCKY ENVELOPE – The Ballard brewery is launching five specialty beers for its Chinese New Year celebration on Feb. 16th and 17th. “Last year’s celebration was such a great success that we decided to extend the event to two days this year,” said Raymond Kwan, co-founder of Lucky Envelope. The beers include Buddha’s Hand Citron IPA and Lychee Sour.

BREWERY DISTRICT? – What do you think about the growing use of “Brewery District” to describe Ballard’s industrial neighborhood? That question is from FreeBallard in the forum, which is now in working order — so head on over and chime in. (To create your own username and avatar — which also displays in comments — you can register quickly here. Once you’ve created your account, click your profile to upload an avatar.)

RAPIDRIDE TO UW?Over at the Urbanist, Doug Trumm wonders why there isn’t a RapidRide route that connects Ballard and UW along the water. He breaks down the idea in maps, and he adds, “I’m just a guy who wants his commute to the UW in the morning to be more dependable.”

SOUND TRANSIT – The Ballard-West Seattle light rail advisory group met for the first time on Thursday night, and the West Seattle Blog was there.

SOLSTICE POSTER – For those designers and artists out there, the organizers of the Fremont Solstice Parade are looking for proposals to design this year’s parade poster. If you win, you get $250 bucks and lots of bragging rights. Proposals are due March 19th.

FISHING VESSELS – A bill by Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard) that provides “temporary incentives to support the rebuild and replacement of aging fishing vessels” has won state House approval. “This bill gives badly-needed support to one of our most prosperous industries, while also accelerating our transition to a clean-energy future,” Tarleton said. The bill now moves to the Senate.

FISHERMEN’S TERMINAL – The Port of Seattle announced this week that Delmas Whittaker is taking over daily operations at Fishermen’s Terminal. He replaces Kenny Lyles, who was recently promoted to director of Fishing and Commercial Operations, a department that combines Fishermen’s Terminal and Terminal 91.

Have news? Let us know by emailing tips@myballard.com. Have an event? Submit it here.

Briefs: New Nordic, Hullabaloo, Hale’s Ales, Stoup, Sloths, Goodwill and more

A few quick blurbs from around the Ballard area…

NEW NORDIC: The Nordic Museum’s address has officially switched to the new location, and the staff moved into the new digs on Friday (photo above from @NordicMuseum). The building opens to the public on May 5th.

HULLABALOO – The Leif Erikson Lodge will host “the biggest Ballardest clearance sale under one roof” this Friday evening and Saturday morning. “Find treasures galore at heavily discounted prices” and support local shops, explains the event listing here.

BURGLAR STEALS CAMERA: Early in the morning of Jan. 30th in the 1400 block of NW 63rd St., police say a man gained access to a locked condo building, tore the surveillance camera off the wall and walked away with it. Nothing else was reported stolen. Police are examining the video.

CRIME CHECKS: We spoke with SPD’s Mark Jamieson to check on a few ongoing cases. He said the investigation into the assault at Salmon Bay Park is still active, but he has nothing new to share. He said there’s no new information on the search for the Ballard dumpster fires suspect — or the search for Chris Burrus, suspected of setting a man on fire last November.

HALE’S ALES: As we reported in December, 34-year-old Hale’s Ales is promising big changes this year to compete with newer breweries. “We’re rolling out new packaging. The website is getting an overhaul. We’re brewing new beers. The taproom is getting a makeover,” explained Mike Hale in an email this week. “We’re working on becoming the most happening spot in Fremont, featuring events and musicians in our pub on a weekly basis.”

MOTHER OF EXILES: As part of the “Beer Trumps Hate” campaign initiated by Rooftop Brewing following the 2017 election, Stoup Brewing has brewed Mother of Exiles IPA. Proceeds from the sale of this beer will benefit The Refugee Women’s Alliance (REWA) during the month of February. Stoup will host an event tomorrow (Tuesday) evening.

SLOTHS: Those Woodland Park Zoo sloth cubs have opened their eyes, and there’s video.

HOLMAN PEDESTRIAN OVERPASS: The city has finished its design work for the new crosswalk on Holman Road at 13th Avenue NW, near Dick’s Drive-In, that will keep the current pedestrian overpass instead of tearing it down. PhinneyWood has the details.

TRANSFER STATION: In partnership with Goodwill, the North Transfer station in Fremont (1350 N 34th St.) has opened a “reuse donation center” — a drop-off location for reusable household goods and electronics. It’s also opened a “community education room” with interactive exhibits. Seattle Public Utilities will be holding an open house there on Saturday between 10 a.m. and noon.

We have a lot more community events on the Ballard calendar — and there’s always something going on in the My Ballard Facebook group, which recently surpassed 2,500 members.

Trailbend Taproom to open in the middle of Ballard brewery country

The sign has gone up over the Trailbend Taproom, a new restaurant and bar from the owners of The Dray and The Yard.

Located deep in Ballard’s brewery district at 1118 N.W. 50th St., Trailbend is slated to open in March. With 42 taps and a wood-fired oven, the new restaurant and bar aims to capitalize on the growing brewery crowd in the area.

The taproom is the brainchild of Jamie Butler, Travis Eaton and Andy Walls, the founders of The Dray in Ballard and The Yard in Greenwood. The West Woodland location will be the most ambitious of the three.

“We’ve been trying to find a location there for a while,” said Butler, who says his Ballard home is “triangulated” between the three locations. “The food trucks are great, but some people prefer a sit-down restaurant, and the neighborhood is lacking that.”

The taproom takes up the first floor of The Klotski, a new three-story office development. With tall ceilings, concrete floors and custom woodwork and metal, Trailbend looks like a larger Colorado version of The Dray. Pending city approval, they also plan to open an outside patio.

The heart of Trailbend is the 42 taps, stretching 20 feet down the bar. On the wall, a giant sign with movable wooden letters details what’s available at a given moment, “inspired in part by an old train station sign,” Butler says.

The taps will feature “a good representation” of beer from the breweries next door. In fact, Butler says he’s working with Stoup Brewing to create “Stoup Trailbend IPA,” a co-branded beer for the opening. We also spotted Reuben’s, Populuxe and Fremont on the sign. Also on tap: cider, ginger beer, wine, Stumptown cold brew and a cocktail or two. “There will be a little bit of everything for everyone on tap,” he said.

As far as food, Trailbend is designed around its Wood Stone Oven — a popular oven created by a Bellingham company — that will create wood-fired pizza. They’ll also serve entrees, sandwiches and salads to attract folks in the neighborhood, too.

“There are a lot of homes around there,” he said while we talked at The Dray, a few blocks away. “We wanted to create a place that’s good for neighborhood.”

We’ll keep you updated as Trailbend gets closer to launch.

(Bottom two photos courtesy of @trailbendtaproom on Instagram)

Fremont Brewing to debut geeky beer

It’s fun to watch our local breweries spin up new beers for any occasion. For instance, Fremont Brewing just announced they’re bringing back the “Official Beer of Emerald City Comic Con,” designed for the geekiest drinkers out there.

Called Dark Heron, it’s described as a “loud, expressive IPA” that “stands as a beacon of light and justice.” The beer features artwork created by Seattle artist Jeffrey Veregge.

And yes, it is the official beer of the Emerald City Comic Con (March 1-4), complete with a joint press release with ReedPOP, the organizer of the event. This the third year of the partnership.

Fremont will unveil the beer at its beer garden on February 1.

Last month Reuben’s Brews brought back its Crush the Dark Side beer — complete with Yoda in the artwork — timed to the release of the latest Star Wars movie.

Hale’s Ales closes pub, to re-open as a taproom

Hale’s long-running pub — a restaurant serving hamburgers, pizzas and sandwiches — has closed, and it will turn into a taproom serving a shortened menu in the new year.

The announcement was posted on Hale’s door. “Keep your eyes open for more information on our new hours and a new concept as we bring in the new year,” it explains.

Besides Hale’s beer and some guest taps, the taproom will serve chili, deli sandwiches and mac and cheese, according to Hale’s website.

A lot has changed since Hale’s opened in 1983, billed as the “longest-running, continually-owned brewery of any size in the Pacific Northwest.” Breweries of all shapes and sizes have popped up around Ballard and Fremont, attracting crowds with new brews, food trucks and social marketing.

Meanwhile, Hale’s Palladium remains a popular event space. Tonight (New Years Eve) it will host the Moisture Festival New Year’s Eve Extravaganza. Details here.