Ballast Point Brewery Visit

So, when we last left my San Diego adventures, I was talking to my tour guide at Stone brewing, Mike Martinez. During the course of our conversation, Mike found out that I’m a big fan of well done chili beers. Man, that set him off! He told me that, if I enjoy that type of beer, I absolutely must visit Ballast Point Brewing while I was in the area. What could I do but take a fellow beer geek’s advice? I went to Ballast Point.

I wasn’t able to visit the brewery while they were giving a tour, but I definitely purchased some tasters in their tap room to enhance my southern California beer experience. When I arrived, I scanned their very long list of brews scrawled on a large chalk board. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to sample all the beers on their list and still be able to drive back to the hotel safely – even with taster size glasses. So, I had to be very selective with my choices.

Since Mike had sent me to this brewery for chili beers, I figured I better start there. There were 3 available on their list:

  • Wahoo Wheat with thai chili, ginger, and lime
  • Indra Kunindra – a beer they label as an India-Style Export Stout; brewed with Madras curry, cumin, cayenne, coconut and Kaffir lime
  • Black Marlin Porter with chipotle peppers, cocoa nibs, and orange peel

Of course, I tried all three. They were all tasty in their own right. The Wahoo Wheat had the best pepper flavor and aroma. The Black Marlin Porter was deliciously chocolately and roasty while having the most spicy heat I’ve ever had in a beer. The Indra Kunindra ruled over both of those beers, in my mind. I’m a huge fan of coconut curries, and this beer perfectly blended that spicy, rich flavor with a very tasty stout. I liked it so much, I bought a 22 ounce bomber to take back to the hotel. I liked it so much that when the bottle was empty, I rinsed it really well and lovingly wrapped it in a nice thick sweatshirt so I could bring the memory home with me. Yep, I completely love that beer.

Now, even though I had found a very memorable brew, I figured I had better try a couple more before I eventually would head back to my hotel. After all, when would I get an opportunity to try these beers again? These 2 were awesome:

  • The Homework Series Batch 1 – If you’re a fan of hoppy red ales (like I am), you would very much enjoy this well balanced, caramelly and toffee sweet, floral and bitter hoppy beer.
  • Sea Monster with Rum Raisin – Can you imagine a big, rich, chocolately, roasty imperial stout? OK, now imagine it brewed with rum soaked raisins. Is your mouth watering yet?

When I finished my samples, I purchased the aforementioned bomber and headed back to my hotel. What a great experience! Thank you, Ballast Point, for exposing me to one of the most memorable moments in my beer tasting repertoire: sipping on Indra Kunindra. And an even bigger thanks to Mike Martinez, for telling me that I must visit Ballast Point!

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