To beer or not to beer

Mike Hale, at right, owner of Hale's Ales

Oh goodness, I went to two consecutive Green Drinks events on Thursday and Friday last week! My good friend Jaime (a BGI connection) is the founder of the Bremerton Green Drinks ,* and Kat Kjovik, a one-time colleague from Conversation Café days, helped start the Bainbridge Green Drinks. Of course I had to support them both! My next post may be about the dentist I met at the Bainbridge event who is experimenting with offering “insurance” to his patients. But yesterday’s excursion to the Silverdale Oktoberfest was triggered by meeting Mike Hale,** owner of Hale’s Ales, at the Bremerton Green Drinks, He teased me for taking ‘old school’ notes in a real notebook, and followed up with enthusiastic demos of new photo and video features on his iPhone. He’s the generous monthly donor of the beer we enjoyed that night, and I learned that he and many other local brewers would be at the seasonal fair on Saturday. Jaime was up for joining me and Jason in Silverdale (a half-way point between our respective homes), she would show us the beautiful trail walk nearby, and we could top it off with a Costco run. It was a date.  

A beautiful and sunny although occasionally windy day, you could almost forget you were in one of the many parking lots that form the connective tissue between the big box stores around the Kitsap Mall.  After getting ID’d and getting an arm band to prove it, we grabbed some interesting beers (mine was a ‘liquorice’ IPA) and walked around. The beer was quirky but got better the more I imbibed. We bought some smoky cheddar cheese from another vendor. But honestly, it was the Viking Feast Ice Creamery’s beer ice cream that captured our attention. OK, it’s not eating lean, but it sure is living creatively to put local beer (and it was Hale’s Ales!) into handcrafted local ice cream and sell it at an Oktoberfest. I think there was beer-flavored popcorn at another booth, but I can’t vouch for it. I select my carbs carefully, even when I’m overdoing it.  

Leslie and Jaime celebrating beer in Silverdale

The Viking Feast Ice Cream owner—a very recent immigrant from Iceland (just before the volcano, he said)—apparently did some serious personal quality control taste testing of the intriguing results, but what a fun, sweet, hardworking guy! I will look for his ice cream, soon to be distributed at Real Foods on Bainbridge, when we have guests to impress. I kick myself for not asking his name, but a quick search on the Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce site turns up Thormod Skald. Now that sounds Icelandic!  

Silverdale, the locale for this windy Oktoberfest celebration, is usually only a destination for my family when we need to make a Costco run, and that impulse has thankfully diminished from once a month to about once a season. The 25 or so vendors and the live band made you forget where you were, but the parking lot is the unfortunate defining feature of Silverdale for me. You can probably find whatever you need in the general area, but you always get in your car before the next stop because even ‘right next door’ has a daunting stretch of dispiriting asphalt to protect it from pedestrians. When one is navigationally challenged like me, I have no sense of where I am in the greater area; I get to where I need to go by rote memorization… or I get hopelessly lost. So I will continue to reduce my trips to Costco and hope that more of my shopping will feel like Oktoberfest and farmer’s markets. With real people, like owners Mike and Thormod, adding flavor to the feast.  

P.S. OK, re-reading this post, I don’t want to just dis’ Costco. It’s a good company, provides a good service, and it’s even fun to go sometimes. Is there a place for Costco and other big box stores to contribute to our lives in a hotter future? How is Costco part of living creatively? Your thoughts…

*I want to plug this month’s host, Kitsap Libraries, and their ballot measure for capital improvements funding. The last one was in the ’70’s!
**Even though the Hale’s Ales brewery is in funky Fremont, Mike lives in Kitsap County and has just opened a new pub/restaurant in the Kitsap Mall. Solid local credentials!

About Leslie

In my 50th year, I had an amazing transformation that I had actually lost hope of achieving... I started a program that helped me lose 40 lbs and three sizes! The program met all my requirements for being sensible, fitting my lifestyle, nearly cost-neutral, and focused on acquiring habits for long term optimal health. This blog is to share some of what I discovered and what I am still learning. To learn more about my program, go to, or just ask me!
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