Shelley, Robert and I attended the Brewer’s Dinner on St. Patrick’s Day. Shelley and I got there early and, unknowingly, got very lucky in doing so as we were sat at the front of the table next to the brewers themselves. They had the table set up in a ‘U’ shape with four brewers sitting at the end. They didn’t have enough room at the end of the table, so they put a fifth brewer in the crowd mixed with the dinner guests. During dinner I spoke with the brewer closest to me. He had only been working at Hale’s for two years and was still learning himself. He also was a homebrewer. In fact, he mentioned that he currently has some mead in the fermentor.
During dinner, as each course came out with its own beer paired with it, the head brewer stood and gave some history of the beer, how it was developed and how it was made.
This photo shows the head brewer standing discussing one of his beers. The woman sitting next to him is his wife. To his left, with the beard is Mike Hale. To Mike’s left are two brewers and then at the end, in the stocking cap, is a distributor for Hale’s.
After this picture was taken and people started eating their desert, Mike got up and started mingling around with the guests around the table. I got to meet him a year or so ago here in Boise when he came to a Brewer’s Dinner at a local pub here in town called The Front Door. That was where he told Bil and I he would email us the recipe to his Honey Wheat. Which is now in my secondary.
So, when he came around to us I introduced myself and told him that story. He appeared quite interested. He pulled up a chair and sat and talked to me about the Honey Wheat, the Front Door, home brewing and other beer stuff. That was pretty cool. Course, you would have to understand what kind of icon Mike Hale is. This is the guy every home brewer wants to be. He made his first beer in 1983 and turned a little garage style operation into his 30 barrel operation that he has today. He’s up there with Jeff Lebesch from New Belgium Brewery and Jim Koch from Sam Adams. Mike told me that he has plans on coming back to Boise in June for another Brewer’s Dinner.
And yes, I have ordered and 8×10 copy of this photo that I plan on getting autographed at the next Brewer’s Dinner.
Here are the three of us enjoying a hardy meal of corned beef, cabbage and Hale’s Ales.