Friday 24th June 2011
A definite beer day, although there was plenty of public transport involved to make it go smoothly. At the NRHS AGM and Convention the day was given over to committee meetings and procedural business with a banquet dinner in the evening. Well, I'm only a normal member so this was good opportunity to get out somewhere. When you're in Tacoma and want to go somewhere where there's lots of bars there's only one answer and so I went to Seattle.
I had a late arrival back from the Harmon Brewery the previous evening (morning?) and so I was grateful not to leave earlier than the 11.05 Amtrak Cascades train to Seattle. I caught the tram to the Sounder station, had breakfast, then walked down to the Amtrak station. The tram, correctly the Tacoma Link, has been used so often on this trip it deserves its own photograph.
The Amtrak train was on time, it had left the university town of Eugene-Springfield at 05.30 that morning, so there was room for doubt.
Before I went out beer hunting there was somewhere I had to visit.
I had arrived at the beautifully restored King Street station which handles the trains of Amtrak and Sounder, although once it was those of the Northern Pacific and Great Northern that polished its rails.
One block to the east is the now train-less Union station which once handled the trains of the Milwaukie Road. It's a classic and you can still appreciate its grandeur. It serves as the entrance to an office block built on the old platforms. You can imagine yourself waiting here for the Olympian Hiawatha, their top train, to Chicago. Check the photo to see its true splendour.
From the Union station I crossed the road to catch the much more prosaic no 81 bus, this turned out to be wild goose chase and about an hour of valuable time was wasted. I got off just after going over the Ballard Bridge that crosses Salmon Bay to visit The Jolly Roger Taproom of the Maritime Pacific Brewery at 1514 NW Leary Way. It was an empty premises. I then contrived to pass one block away from its new location at 1111, NW Ballard Way.
I walked along Leary Way in an easterly and then southerly direction for about twenty minutes until I arrived at 4301 NW Leary Way, the home of HALE'S ALES. At least this was a fully functioning brewery and very much so. It's purpose-built home cannot be missed, see photo above.
As far as beer is concerned there is a basic range as follows: Red Menace Big Amber Ale, Kölsch, Hale's Pale American Ale and Mongoose IPA.
Also on tap were Aftermath Imperial IPA, Rudyard's Rare Barley Wine, Troll Porter, Supergoose IPA and something called Chuckanut. I designed a sampler tray that had the three IPAs, Hale's Pale Ale and Troll Porter. I had the Pale Ale first and it was pleasant, I liked the stout, very bitter.
Then the IPAs. I thought they were all good, beginning with regular Mongoose IPA, a truly American version. Supergoose was, as can be detected in its title, a stronger version. Aftermath Imperial IPA was very extreme, not unlike the fallout following a nuclear explosion of hops. I thought it was fantastic but I don't think you could have more than one a night!
The pub was interesting in having a reception area in front of the brewery with nice sofas, photo previous page, and a bar that was completely separate from the restaurant area. This is very unusual as the two are almost always the same room. There is even a red UK phone box in the building!
After this very satisfying stop-over I caught the no 28 bus back to downtown.
Hale's Ales, 4301 Leary Way NW, Seattle, WA. 98107. Tel: 206 706 1544
Open: Mon to Thurs 11.30-22.00; Fri 11.30-23.00; Sat 09.30-23.00; Sun 09.30-22.00
The brewery is located to the west of the Freemont district which is north of the downtown area. It is close to the intersection of 43rd Street and Leary Way. Buses 28 and 40 pass by and these start at King Street station and run through the city centre along 3rd Avenue.