Name: Ballast Point Brewing Company
Location: San Diego, CA
Available in DC Market: No (available in Northern Virginia though)
What you need to know: Sculpin (we’ll get to that in a minute)! The good folks who owned Home Brew Mart, a San Diego homebrew store, started brewing in 1996. Then they started distilling while still brewing. At the 2010 World Beer Cup, Ballast Point won Small Brewery of the Year and took home three (3) gold medals. They are very good at what they do, and shipments to NoVA don’t last long on the shelves. They’ll brew about 60,000 barrels of beer this year.
Beer #1: Sculpin (American IPA / 7%ABV)
Beer Advocate: 98 (1,453 ratings)
Rate Beer: 100 overall, 100 style (886 ratings)
Notes: This was one of the aforementioned gold medal winners at the 2010 World Beer Cup. It is one of the best, if not the best, IPAs you will ever have. Check the ratings above and you’ll see I’m not alone in that opinion. Amarillo and Simcoe hops blend to create a nose of tropical goodness – you’ll wish this beer was sold in scented candle form at your local mall. Also, it tastes great, as the hops are balanced out by a generous grain bill, and those tropical hops are met by some lemon notes as well. Overall, it’s a bit less bitter than your typical West Coast hop-bomb.
Beer #2: Indra Kunindra (Spiced Stout / 7%ABV)
Beer Advocate: 87 (31 ratings)
Rate Beer: 97 overall, 99 style (66 ratings)
Notes: I’m going to nick this description off of the RateBeer page for Indra Kunindra: Brewed with “madras curry, caynanne pepper, cumin, toasted coconut, and kaffir lime leaf.” Hmm, those aren’t ingredients you see in a stout very often. It will be paired with a coconut macaroon, whipped cream fraiche, and lemon zest. You can find me at this table (table 4), often, on Saturday night. No cutbacks.
Ballast Point is coming correct, scratching your beer geek itch with one of the best IPAs out there and a rare stout made with non-traditional ingredients. These guys get what SAVOR is about. I wouldn’t be surprised to see both these beers end up in the “top 25 beers to try at SAVOR” post we do the week of the event.
This profile is a part of the DCBeer SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2012 SAVOR participants.
Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.