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Another new pub pouring pints of ale

The Ale House on Winslow is sort of a stepping-stone for its young owners, whose long-term goal is to open a brewery.

But for now they’re enjoying being purveyors of beer at their new taproom on Bainbridge Island’s busiest corner.

“Our original coming together was to start a brewery, and while we looked for a location and all the logistics that go with that, the spot we’re in now in the Gateway building happened to open up as an opportunity,” Augusta Butlin explained.

She and Seattle-area friends Zach Eller and Michael Camden had approached Travis Samson, a college friend of Camden’s, with the idea of being partners in a beer venture because Samson was already part of the local brewing fraternity, working at Bremerton’s Silver City Brewery. 

Instead of producing its own beer, the Ale House plays beer roulette with its 16 taps. When a keg of one type of beer is emptied, it’s replaced with something different. 

Popular beers will rotate through again, but the idea is to offer lots of choices — including plenty from craft breweries in Kitsap County and around Puget Sound — to see what customers like. The Ale House also has a couple dozen beers available in bottles or cans.

“We wanted to take some time to get to learn about different beers people would enjoy,” Butlin said.

The taproom, which also serves hard cider and has a selection of wines, doesn’t serve food but there are options for hungry customers. Bainbridge Bakers, which occupies the other half of the building’s ground floor, is offering a special pub menu for the Ale House. Also, customers can bring in their own food or order from local restaurants that deliver.

With a prime location next to the art museum in the Island Gateway complex at the corner of Winslow Way and State Route 305, where passengers walk up from the ferries, Butlin said the Ale House has been busy since its soft opening in July.

With its grand opening on Aug. 1, the business adjusted its hours and is now open seven days a week, from noon to a flexible closing time that will depend on the ferry schedule and how busy the place is any given night.

Butlin said she and her partners are learning how to run a pub, “with the eventual plan of opening up brewery. But right now we’re having a whole lot of fun with the Ale House for the foreseeable future.”


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