Ballantine IPAMarch 1, 2015
Pabst Brewing Co.
Cold Springs Brewery; Cold Springs, MN
Pabst relaunched Ballantine IPA in 2014 after a two-decade absence. The beer is brewed with pale, Munich and caramel malts and hopped with Magnum, Columbus, Brewer’s Gold, Fuggle and Cascade hops.
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: NA
AVAILABLE: MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, ME, PA, RI
Not long ago, in beer years, Ballantine was the largest-selling ale in the United States. At a time that few Americans had ever heard of an IPA, they offered one. Now, the deep golden color is bright and topped with a tight ecru head. A bouquet of hops is evident in the nose, and the flavor is balanced and delicious, both malty and hoppy with a lingering but not overpowering aftertaste. We enjoyed it with linguini and clam sauce and grilled endive salad.
- Charles Finkel
Light copper with a hop-infused haze. Is this the way the original appeared? Limitless foam that beckons and lingers. Big full earthy hop aroma with hints of citrus. Hop aroma reminds me of heirloom and wilder varieties. Medium-bodied, balanced caramel sweetness; hop bitterness predominates. Is this the way it used to be 50 years ago? Now I remember … “hopheads” was beat-era term for drug addicts. But one can’t help but wonder—were Ballantine IPA drinkers also considered hop heads for more legit reasons? They are now. Delicious, well-made IPA. Iconic classic returns and succeeds.
- Charlie Papazian
Founder of Merchant du Vin and the Pike Brewing Co., Finkel is a pioneer in the marketing of craft beers in America.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and National Beer Examiner at examiner.com. Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.