For only $5, Hales Ales set up a great happy hour buffet of consisting of 3oz pours of Hale Ale brews paired with a variety of local foods prepared with Hales Ales. Three tasting stations were set up in the upstairs banquet room, with seating provided so you could sit down and really enjoy your beer and tasty treats. This was the best happy hour in town and a way to celebrate the start of Seattle Beer Week.
Tasting Station One
Hales Ales Red Menace Big Amber paired with:
- Morning Star Bakery Pretzels made with Hales spent grain, served with Red Menace mustard
- CasCioppo Brother’s Bratwurst boiled in Hales Pale Ale and served with Red Menace mustard
They aren’t kidding when they call the Red Menace a BIG amber. This is a hoppy amber with 100% Centennial hops and it shows in the Red Menace mustard, giving it nice bitter bite along with a bit of heat. I am all about pretzels and beer and this combo rocked for me. It is a classic pairing for a reason as well as the Bratwurst and beer combo.
Tasting Station Two
Hales Ales Imperial Stout paired with:
- BBQ Pork Sliders made from Hales Ales Cream Stout on Morning Star Bakery’s Spent Grain Rolls
- Meatloaf made with Hales Imperial Stout
Hales Ales Imperial Stout is a big, black monster of a stout. It is chock full of toasted malts, exuding smoke and coffee over subdued layers of dark fruit. Astringent coffee notes buffer the sweetness inherent in some many imperial stouts. The sliders were tasty but weren’t my favorite pairing. The gentleman across from me said it paired better with the cream stout than the imperial but I didn’t give it a try. The Imperial stout with the meatloaf was a winner. I was surprised about how the addition of the stout gave your basic meatloaf complexity and sophistication. Who would have thought?
Tasting Station Three
Hales Ales Cream Pale Ale and Hales Cream Stout paired with:
- Trophy Stout Cupcakes made with Hale’s Cream Stout
- Bottega Italiana Dark Chocolate Gelato made with Hale’s Cream Stout
- Bottega Italiana Vanilla Gelato made with Hale’s Cream Ale
I need to preface that I am not a big fan of cream ales and stout. They are missing something for my personal palate. The fore mentioned gentleman across the table agreed with me and even told me to not even bother trying the Cream Ale. Two minutes after he left, I overheard the woman behind me telling everyone that a cream pale ale was her absolute favorite beer. She was trying to explain to her daughter that she needed a quiet moment to enjoy her most favorite beer. I love how there is a beer for every palate.
The desserts were getting rave reviews from all over the room, especially the Vanilla Gelato made from Cream Ale. The man who told me not to try the Cream Pale Ale was practically licking his ice cream cup of the Vanilla Gelato.