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Q & A with Mike Hale of Hale's Ales

Mike Hale, president and founder of Hale’s Ales, will make the first dig today at 10 a.m. at the site of his newest establishment in the Kitsap Mall.

The site, near the Kohl’s entrance and not too far from Silver City Restaurant and Brewery, will have the same menu as the flagship in Seattle. It will also feature a rotating cycle of up to 10 guest beers in addition to at least 12 Hale’s brews.

The new brewpub will open this summer. Hale, who has been brewing for more than 40 years, handpicks each guest beer featured.

Hailing from Suquamish, Hale already has a successful venture, Hale’s Ales Pub, in the Seattle neighborhood of Fremont, but plans to make a splash in Kitsap’s blossoming beer scene. Hale was asked what he thought of expanding his business and taking a chance on the west side, what he has to offer and what people in Kitsap can expect.

Question: Why open up a restaurant here on the Kitsap peninsula?

Mike Hale: My wife (Kathleen, the new restaurant’s general manager) and I have lived in Kitsap County for 25 years and so it makes a lot of sense to us. My wife was born and raised in Bremerton.

Question: With the economy in a slump, why take a risk in opening something now?

Mike Hale: Our segment hasn’t really suffered that much in this economy. We’re not a real fancy restaurant, but we’re a good restaurant. We haven’t suffered very much in the recession. It’s really quite a good time to build something. Suddenly I’m everyone’s best customer. The mall has wanted a restaurant for quite a long time. Quite a few breweries establish in malls.

Question: What can you offer to the people of Kitsap County?

Mike Hale: Beer is much better with food than wine and more people need to know that.

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