a friendly guide to spirits, cocktails and beverages for beginners

Posts tagged “ballast point

Some go to Church on Sundays, I pray to the God ‘Ninkasi’ instead


Some people go to church on Sundays but if I did that, I wouldn’t be able to be at a bar. If I don’t drink on Sundays, I no longer am supporting the hard workers at the breweries and their families. If I don’t support the workers, their kids don’t get to go to college. If their kids don’t go to college then our future brewers would be uneducated and their businesses would fail. In turn, the economy would crumble. The only logical and sustainable solution to keep the beer industry (and the global economy) alive is for me to keep drinking on Sundays. It’s OK guys… the reward for all of us is well worth the sacrifice I’m going to have to make.

As a rule of thumb, I always drink local. Whether its wine, beer or liquor. I found a new beer in San Diego during my religious endeavors – Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. The brewery started (and still operates) as a home brew supply store… to our benefit though, I guess that one guy stuck around to make beer! This is a limited release beer that like all Ballast Point beers is named after Pacific ocean fish. They have a Wahoo, a Yellowtail and more including the Sculpin.

What’s an IPA? It stands for India Pale Ale. They were named such because during their conception, they were shipped off to India from England in the 1800s. Their high levels of hops made their durability and age-ability ideal for the East India Company traders – and the fact that the two original brewers had eighteen month terms surely helped their cause.

Having come from the Northwest before this gig in San Diego, I’m used to big hops in my beers. Even the lightest of NW brews are extremely hoppy, heavy, enamel-removing delicacies. What are hops? Hops are female flower clusters used for flavoring beer. The

benefits of using hops is that they balance out the sweetness of malt, they provide an antibiotic type quality that helps develop brewer’s yeast and they stabilize beer for longevity. More important for you – hops provides bitterness. This SoCal special is refreshingly hop-heavy while having a full body, medium weight and an amazing floral aroma. The evergreen and pine bouquet is there but there’s also notes of peach, apricot and mango. The difference is that unlike the heavier of IPAs, it begs you to have more than one… like eight. As for fancy terms, its a 7% ABV – alcohol by volume. Most beers are between 3 and 5 percent. It has 70 IBUs or international bitter units, which measure how hoppy beers are. NW ales start in the 70s and gravitate towards the 100+ levels. As a reference, a Bud or Miller has 5 IBUs.

So next time you’re in San Diego, stop into a bar and get a local brew on tap – you won’t regret it. San Diego also houses micro breweries like Coronado Brewing Company and powerhouse Stone Brewing company -an amazing pioneer microbrew that is loved nationally as well as internationally.
That’s all for now… I love booze and I hope you love booze too.