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Big Changes Bubble Up at Two Seattle Breweries

Hale’s Ales closes its kitchen, while two co-founders leave Schooner Exact

Schooner Exact’s co-founders, Matt and Heather McClung, are departing the brewery.
Schooner Exact/FB

Two Seattle breweries are undergoing changes, with long-running Hale’s Ales scaling back its food options in Ballard and Sodo’s Schooner Exact shifting management.

Just before the holidays, Hale’s Ales, one of Seattle’s oldest craft breweries, posted a sign on the door of its Ballard brewery announcing it was closing temporarily, to reopen in the new year as a taproom only. A tipster sent in photos of the signage:

The taproom is now open, pouring Hale’s beers as usual, but the former menu of burgers, pizzas, salads, and fish and chips has been reduced to just five items: house-smoked pork sliders; mac and cheese; a deli sandwich with salami, pepperoni, and turkey; chili made with the brewery’s Mongoose IPA; and Bavarian-style pretzels.

Over in Sodo, Schooner Exact co-founders Heather and Matt McClung have departed the business they started in 2007, while their partner from the beginning, Ray Spencer, remains the owner and operator and Joel Stickney continues in his role as head brewer. Spencer has brought on Marcus Charles (Belltown Brewing, Local 360, and more) to help oversee renovations that have temporarily closed the taproom. The space is being turned into a beer hall and lunch counter, set for a March 1 reopening.

This is not the first major link between Schooner Exact and Belltown Brewing: Eater reported recently that Schooner Exact’s Stickney and Belltown Brewing head brewer Adam Frantz were forming a collaborative effort called Sodo Brewing, which should launch in early 2018 sans taproom.

Belltown Brewing

200 Bell Street, , WA 98121 (206) 485-7233 Visit Website

Hale's Ales

4301 Leary Way NW, ,

Schooner Exact Brewing

3901 1st Avenue S, Seattle, WA 98134 206 432 9734 Visit Website