Ballast Point beers are here in Georgia! Not so long ago a few of them started showing up in six-packs, and a few weeks ago more varieties arrived, now in bomber bottles, too. Even better, all the Georgia Taco Mac locations featured Ballast point beers for a “Tap Takeover” event. Not that Ballast Point can completely take over a Taco Mac, mind you-with at least 100 taps at each location that would be a daunting task indeed.
We did get 5 kegs of 5 different beers, though, and one of the ones that I enjoyed first was Ballast Point Big Eye IPA. Actually, I had just enjoyed this beer in the bottle a few weeks before, but it was nice to try it on draft from a freshly tapped keg (I got there the night of the tap takeover).
Ballast Point is a well-respected and sought-after West Coast brewer located in San Diego. The brewery originated there in 1996, though they really have started to gain national acclaim only recently.
Ballast Point Big Eye IPA is their interpretation of what has come to be called “San Diego IPA.” Indeed, the label says “San Diego IPA” right on it. There are those that refer to the style as West Coast IPA, but I disagree with that, since there are plenty of other IPAs from the west coast that have more malt while still retaining a very pronounced hop character. San Diego IPAs, then, are more notable for a thinner body and less caramel.
Ballast Point Big Eye IPA has an alcohol content of 7% by volume and 71 IBUs, and is brewed with Columbus and Centennial hops. Dry hopping adds extra aroma and flavor. I paid $9.99 for a six-pack here in the Atlanta area, and $6.25 for a 20-ounce mug at Taco Mac.
Ballast Point Big Eye IPA pours to a bright orange color with a medium sized creamy head and a big, almost viciously grapefruit and pine hop nose. Taking a sip, the beer has some firm caramel-crystal malt body and flavor up front, though not as much as I normally like in my IPAs, quickly followed by more of those intense resiny hops the nose promised. And I mean really quickly folks, you really don’t have much time to appreciate the malt before the hops steamroller you. Big and resiny, bright and citrusy, and at the last packing a puckering wallop of hop bitterness. This one ranks up there with Green Flash West Coast IPA as an amazingly hoppy San Diego IPA my friends, both in the bottle and on draft where it featured an even sharper hop bite finish if you can believe it. You actually get two more bottles than the Green Flash, too, for about the same price. Always a bonus.
Not to be missed, my friends.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.