On April 16th of 1999 I wrote the following about Ballard's Best Bitter:
Bottled on 02/24/99. The label says this beer is "crisp
and dry, extra hoppy", "celebrates hoppiness". I found this beer to be as
hoppy as the average pale ale. It's golden in color with light carbonation,
a vigorous pour produced minimal head production. Nose has a touch of
diacetyl. Palate is smooth and does have some good crisp biscuit-like malt
body to it and a touch of fruit. There's a subtle peppery hoppiness and a
very light bitterness more appropriate to a pale ale than an IPA. Indeed, as
a pale ale this beer would be commendable for it's outstanding balance. With
that in mind, I enjoyed the beer a lot.
The beer is a light orange in color and forms a generous head on the pour. The nose is fruity with Cascades, Northern brewer and Willamettes are used too. The body is crisp malty but thin for an IPA, there are slight notes of butter and citrus fruit. A mild hop bitterness develops in the finish and lingers on the tongue after sipping.
Though the beer falls on the mild side for an IPA, it is still an enjoyable brew. I recommend it with salads or seafood. This would make a good entry level beer to introduce a budding beer enthusiast to hops.
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.