Ballast Point Brewing Company

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BEER AVG
4/5
Based on:
194 Beers
9,094 Reviews
Place Score: 92
Reviews: 62
Visits: 330
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask:
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar ]

10051 Old Grove Road Suite B
San Diego, California, 92131
United States
phone: (858) 695-2739

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @bpbrewing

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

In addition to Ballast Point Brewing Company's Old Grove location, they still have brewing operations at their old location in the back of Home Brew Mart. You can get growlers/bottles and do tastings at both locations.
Home Brew Mart / Ballast Point
5401 Linda Vista Road, Suite 406
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 298-2337

Ballast Point also runs tasting hours at the brewery. Please check their website for details.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 62 | Visits: 330
Photo of sillyhed8
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Much smaller than their tasting room and kitchen, but their knowledge and ability to answer and share what you are tasting. One of my favorite places by far!! (159 characters)

Photo of levineju
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Review of the India Street (Little Italy) Tasting Room & Kitchen: outstanding, friendly staff, service, and food paired with BP stalwarts as well as "R&D" limited trial brews on draught. Great hangout, and a stone's throw from Bottlecraft Tasting Room & Shop. Good times! (271 characters)

Photo of guityler83
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Right in the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego, Ballast Point was easy to find. Parking around the area was more difficult, but if you go during the day or don't mind throwing down a couple shekels for parking, you shouldn't have to walk too far.

When we walked in it was bustling with people (nearing 2PM), luckily we a table of people was getting up from there spot and asked if we would like to sit down. The drinks were ordered right up front when you walk in and the list is displayed on two big flat screen TVs that rotate, which makes it difficult to find what you are looking for if you go through in detail (like I tend to do). But eventually I went with a flight of beers (IPAs, a smoked scotish, and a lager if memory serves).

Food is done in a hybrid-cafeteria style, order with a window then you get a number and they bring it out to you. The food came fairly quick, about two sample size beers quick any way, and was tasty.

From our spots you could see the brewing equipment encased in a glass room, shiny stainless ready to go. I would have liked to talk with one of the brewers, but the place was super busy. The beers where fresh, but nothing mind blowing, they did have a very wide selection.

Overall a great spot for a night out, lunch or just to stop in for a pint. (1,294 characters)

Photo of BeerEngineer
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.25

So I went to this location on a saturday night after being at a homebrew rally all day. This was a saturday night, normally I don't even go out on Saturday nights because I really like the crowds. This night seemed like it was a full moon or something because this place was crazy. There was a wait for everything, getting beer, getting food, getting a table, going to the bathroom. Just not my style

On another night I bet that I would really like this place but it was SO busy that I couldn't make it enjoyable.

They did have a big beer selection which was a plus and they had a heavy pour on their tasters which I always appreciate.

In general, seems like a nice place but not my style on a saturday night. (714 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.19/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Tucked inside an industrial complex is Ballast Point Brewing. It doesn't have a proper parking lot for customers, so you'll need to search for a spot on the street. Once that's done, open the door and check out the 20 taps of beers being served, plus a cask which is used on Thursdays. Despite a drab environment outside the building, the interior has life. A handful of tables sit on the other side of the tasting room, and the bar, while very large in size, didn't have any seats. Additional seating is just outside.

Ballast Point's portfolio is not only long, but diverse. Regulars such as Sculpin, Black Marlin, Wahoo, and Calico are available in 4 ounce, 8 ounce, and full pint servings are reasonable prices. Variations of their year round beers, such as Calico on nitro, or Black Marlin with cocoa and peppers, make occasional appearances. Lesser known/limited release beers were spotted too (Brother Levonian, Ingrid's 1 in 8, Piper Down, Even Keel). Ballast Point used a large chalice to go along with the standard shaker pint, so it was nice to see a small change in utilized glassware.

Looking to try new Ballast Point beers? Visiting the brewery is one easy way to try a number of new beers in one place without having to hunt them down around San Diego. For the Ballast point fan, a stop is obligatory. (1,319 characters)

Photo of MoorBeerPlz
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

We went to their Linda Vista Rd. store where their Homebrew Mart is located. The tasting room is a little on the small side but we were lucky to be there when the crowds were somewhere else, so not a problem.

The staff there is real friendly, knowledgeable and really want you to enjoy the offerings on tap. There's no seating available here but some small tables to stand at are spread around the tasting area.

Tastings are inexpensive and a good selection of their offerings. They had a large selection of BP merchandise including a better than average selection of glassware. They also offer chips and salsa to munch on while you taste and beers to go (singles, sixers, etc.) when you're done.

Random thought... I wonder how many people they convert to home-brewers with all the home-brew supplies to stare at while tasting their beers???

A good place to go the have some very good beers. I think I'll try their other facility next time just for the heck of it. Cheers! (980 characters)

Photo of dexterk1
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Great brewery! That is the fist and most important reason to visit this place. Simple interior with small tap room. Many beers to try with an ability to try some of there rare beers as well. Did the tour. It was interesting and pretty engaging as far as brewery tours go.
When we were there they were grilling outside and had some game sausage. Staff is knowledgeable and enthusiastic. (386 characters)

Photo of abaer123
3.89/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Ballast Point, like other breweries in the San Diego area, is located in a business park. It is not too bad, just kinda unusual when it comes to having a beer. The staff is friendly and the beers exceptional which make up for the business park environment. Recently, they have been making changes to give the place a more home like environment, which I have noticed and appreciate including an outdoor area to have a beer and guest food that comes in every so often.

Keep up the good work, Ballast Point. I will see you again soon! (532 characters)

Photo of GraduatedCashew
4.69/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

My journey to its production facility and tasting room was truly well met. Starting the morning off right, I stayed with the darker samples ranging from the Sextant, Sea Monster, to the Black Steamboat. This was followed by a cask edition of the Black Marlin Porter with vanilla bean, cocoa nibs, and hints of tart cherries side by side with the regularly made Black Marlin. Both were excellent with the cask tasting a bit like dessert. The last sample was the Schooner dry hopped ale which is what I ultimately took home in a growler. All in all, the samples that I had here were all amazing, especially for darker beer lovers.

That isn’t to say, though, that their abilities don’t extend the full range of styles popularly found in most West Coast Breweries. With both year round and seasonal beers available, any beer drinker would be hard pressed not to find something that appealed to their tastes directly.

Further pertaining to the actual site, the ambiance was truly appropriate with production facilities visible behind the bar. Fellow consumers and bartenders alike made this place special after, of course, the beer. Everyone was passionate and well versed regarding the beer and made the experience fun and enjoyable. I can't wait to go back. (1,260 characters)

Photo of RyanLaw
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75

Stopped in on a Wednesday evening, it was fairly busy but got service right away. Staff was friendly and they have a good selection for a reasonable price. Tasters were $2 (If I remember right) and a flight of 3 was $5. They also served half pints (most around $4) and I don't recall the cost of the pints.

They have a decent sized bar and high tables inside but no seating. They also have an outdoor patio area with seats that stayed full when I was there. I heard they had food trucks a couple days a week but I didn't see one when I was there towards the end of the night.

Overall a decent brewery with a good selection. Most everyone was ordering Sculpin which is excellent but they definitely have more to offer. (719 characters)

Photo of jbaakko
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 2

I visit Ballast point at least once a week. Opens at 11 am each day, closes at 9pm. Food is lacking, consisting of Chips and Dip! However they often have catering on the patio! Taco Tuesdays, Sushi Bus Wednesday, and a Cheesey vendor Fridays. (current as of June 2013).

The staff is usually awesome, however when it gets busy and people don't leave the bar with their drinks, it can take a few minutes to get in.

Tell Amber I said Hi! (436 characters)

Photo of jdhowe
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Stopped at Ballast Point on a Wednesday afternoon. The accessible area is a small part of a larger facility, but seating is very limited and outdoor only (about 10 tables). They do not offer their own food, but instead rely upon food trucks for providing eats to patrons -- a practice that seems to be not uncommon around San Diego. They had a pretty extensive selection of bottles, priced right about at the same price I'd get from a retailer. Roughly 20 tap offerings.

The service at the bar was pretty good -- getting pours was easy and fairly cheap. The primary knock against this place is the incomprehensible dearth of seating. Even mid/late-afternoon on a Wednesday, getting a table was arduous to impossible. Indoor seating is nonexistent -- there is a bar and high-top tables to stand around if you're so inclined. Overall, while the service was nice while interacting with people, the overall setup just didn't feel like they actually wanted people to be there, and that was just a little off-putting.

While I had a good experience, I probably would not go there again.

The high point was the ridiculous value of the flights and generous pours. $5 for any 3 4-oz pours (or a $6 for 6 preselected). Very solid. (1,222 characters)

Photo of T100Mark
4/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

What a place! I showed up on a Thursday afternoon. The place was surprisingly busy. Of course, the weather was perfect (this is San Diego). The facility is located in the middle of an industrial park which is located in the middle of a eucalyptus grove. There are tables located inside and out. The site is fucntional. Overall, not a bad place to drink beer. The night I visited, food was being provided by a mobile sushi truck (only in Southern California). There is no on-site kitchen. I ordered the "6 for 6" flight (six pre-ordained beers for six dollars). The pours were generous. There is no better deal in all of Beerdom! Another option is ordering any three beers on tap for $5.00. I took the tour. "Micro" doesn't accurately explain the scale of the brewery. Overall, a great experience. A must-see for any hop-head visiting the San Diego area. (853 characters)

Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
4.66/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Unfortunately I didn't get to do a tour, but I did visit Ballast Point's tap room here. It was probably the wrong time of day (afternoon) but it seemed more vacant than I expected. The servers seemed more knowledgeable than others I have talked to in other breweries and the Ballast Point quality was definitely there... I just wished I had a chance to try some of their off seasonal offerings. Definitely worth a visit to a beer tourist, just make sure to not forget to take a tour like I did. (494 characters)

Photo of jeffhenders0n
4.61/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Biggest bang for the buck of any brewery visit, ever. Thank God I don't live close to this place or I would have a serious problem. The samplers are the biggest value in the history of samplers. It also helps that I loved their Sculpin and Black Marlin beers.

If the gourmet grilled cheese sandwich guys are there when you visit, don't pass them by either! (357 characters)

Photo of dvmin98
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Growing up in San Diego and loving beer, when I came back for a visit, I had to hit the place where all the magic happens. Hopped by there in July '12

Located in an industrial park near Mirmar

Cool little tap room. Lots of stand up tables and a nice wooden bar. Can see the vats in the back.

I think they had about 15-20 items on tap. I did a flight plus a couple extras. As usual, the quality of the brews was awesome. BP always has great stuff, and to get it right where its made is even better.

I ate too much Indian food before I got there, otherwise I would have had a few more selections, but I was stuffed. (617 characters)

Photo of Bubbalito
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Stopped by here on a whim on a rainy SD sunday. Got a private tour with me and my buddy. The brewer that showed us around was super awesome, energetic and informative. It seemed like he was showing us around "his" place, full of pride and ownership. I think their beer reflects this pride of every employee/member of the team. The tasting room was super cool, with an outdoor porch that i fully intend to enjoy next time I am in town. Chatted with the bartender who was also very helpful and informed. Bought a shirt, Overall great experience. If you are in town, swing by, you wont be dissapointed. (599 characters)

Photo of ripdog
4.44/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Went here while on vacation around 5:30 on a Friday night. Was a little afraid that it would be empty since its in a very industrial area, but there were 40 or so people having a good time. Fun bar style vibe with some people enjoying pints after work and others starting their night off. One food truck was outside, they also had chips & salsa for sale.

I had a lot of 4oz samples that were cheaper when you bought 3 at a time ($2 as opposed to $3) as I recall. About 20 or so beers on tap with a large amount that seemed experimental, limited or seasonal. Took home several bottles I haven't been able to find in stores in Los Angeles. Will definitely be back here! (668 characters)

Photo of DocJitsu
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

This place is on Old Grove Road in an office/professional park. It's a brewery that has makeshifted it's unused space into a tasting area. Complete with a long bar, a few tables strewn around, and some window seal and wall mounted surfaces on which to sit your beer. There's an outdoor seating area, complete with four tops and umbrellas. It was a busy evening. Some of the work crowd leaving the office the last time for the week (it was Friday evening). The service is pretty attentive given the size of the crowd. It's a walk-up-to-the-bar-and-order system. While they would answer questions about beers, they seemed canned and rushed. I won't knock them too badly for that. They were busy after all. Quite a few offerings on tap. Some quite interesting to include the Indra Kunindra (curry stout) and a habanero ale. Flights are available making it possible for a person to taste several different beers. There's a pretty good vibe in this place all in all. I gave this place 3.5 on service just because other places in San Diego were more friendly and accommodating. It's almost unfair for me to compare them, however, because none of these other places were nearly as busy. The atmosphere could be spruced up a little to help distinguish the tasting area from the brewery. The outdoor seating helps. (1,305 characters)

Photo of crossovert
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Stopped here on a busy Friday night. The brewery was under construction so no tours.

They have about 20 taps, all Ballast Point beers, and not just the usual suspects. You can have a sampler of any beer for 2.00. I was on a tour of various breweries so I got to choose 6. Plenty of pepper and BA variations along with most of the staples, if not all of their regular lineup.

It definitely was a popular spot so yes it does get crowded but I got pretty prompt service. There is also a deck area outside which recently opened and looked pretty nice. (549 characters)

Photo of jrcook
2.45/5  rDev -41%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 3

Tried to visit this place Friday afternoon. Myself and a friend stood at the bar for 10 minutes without being served and even asked if we wanted anything. Four barkeeps and while they were busy, they still manged to take care of others around us. Seemed like if they know you, you'd get served, if not, they'd ignore you. Finally gave up and left. Like the beer but doubt we'll try the brewery again.

RE: the rating listed above, the only one that counts is "service" it sucked" (479 characters)

Photo of Murrhey
2.98/5  rDev -28.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5

Went 4/3/12, on my spring break tour in San Diego (which was awesome, by the way). Reviewed from memory.

A- The atmosphere was alright. The people there were beer knowledgeable. It was pretty quiet, but a Tuesday afternoon will do that.

Q- The beers were ok, I wanted to try more rare ones on tap, but I had about six tasters and nothing was awful. The Calico was weak however.

Ser- One girl working the bar, but since we called ahead I got a brewery tour with my buddy. That was a blast. Saw the distillery too. This brewery is going to be on the rise very soon. They have a lot of expansion plans and I'll be there to drink the rewards.

Sel- Not great. Ginger Big Eye and Tongue Buckler were the only rare ones there. Wanted Habanero Sculpin or any other hard to find beer. Must not be a great time of the year for the company.

F- No food.

V- Best part of the place. 1-2 dollar tasters for everything, and I got a nice pint glass for 3 dollars. (953 characters)

Photo of Popp24
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Visited the brewery on Sunday and had 9 samples of beer and I enjoyed most of them. The brewery is in an industrial park but it was easy to spot from the street. The tasting area is a good size and there was plenty of tables to put down your drink.

A - The tasting room is separated from the actual brewery. Their was a lot of wood inside the tasting room and it was clean. Nice place to have a beer.

Q- The beers were all good especially Sculpin and Victory at Sea. I also enjoyed the Big Eye IPA. My least favorite's were the Habanero Sculpin and the Pale Ale was just whatever. The Habanero Sculpin was the spiciest beer I have ever had and I have tasted others that have chili but damn. I guess I am just not a fan of spicy beers.

Service - This was the worst part. They only had one girl tending bar and she didn't really pay attention to the customers much. She also sold me a chipped Big Eye IPA glass. It was wrapped up and when I checked it after I was already leaving town it was too late. Plus we left on a Monday and they were closed the next couple of days. So that kinda sucked.

Selection - They have a pretty good selection of beers. It may have been around 10 or more. The samples were priced well; I think it was a buck a sample and they were pretty good sized.

Food - They didn't serve food; not sure if food truck's come by there either.

Overall I enjoyed my time there and talked to some of the other customers who were enjoying their beers. I would go again if I were in the area. (1,510 characters)

Photo of jwhancher
4.94/5  rDev +19%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Visited the Home Brew Mart on 9/3 during a trip to SD. Was surprised to find a homebrew shop AND a brewery within the same walls. Pretty cool. I browsed through the shop and was impressed with the specialty grain setup, but I was really there for the beer.

The tasting section was small yet acquainting. The locals were friendly, the service was impeccable, and the beers were darn tasty! Having tried very little of BP's beers before I was quite pleased to see all their flagship offerings and large number of one-offs.

I didn't buy anything homebrew related except for some spent grain doggy treats. Besides that, after a half dozen tasters which my wife paid for, 4 bombers cost only $20. A bargain in my opinion.

An excellent setup. I really wish someone out on the East Coast did something similar yet oh so good as BP does it. (838 characters)

Photo of Ragingbull
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This is for the Scripps Ranch location as its our "local brewery" now. The tasting room is small and gets pretty full in the last 30-45 minutes before the tours go. I know tours go at 2 and 5 and I think 10 AM or noon is the other time. Once the tour folks depart there is plenty of space. Talking to the staff they mentioned that they are expanding the tasting room, so things will open up signigicantly. There have been 9 or 10 beers on tap on my visits. 9 both times with a 10th being tapped while I was there the first time. Some of the beers changed between my visits which is nice, but there were also the staples that anchor their board. The service was exceptional in my opinion as the tasting room personnel were attentive, friendly and talked me through the best way to enjoy their establishment the first time I was there. We have taken our out of town guests by to sample and pick a growler already and will likely continue to do so. No food other than the bowl of pretzels. They are in an office park so there isn't much right around there for turning it into an "outing" unless you pile back in the car and move along. Its fine for a "pub crawl" or just visiting for a beer and growler fill however. Everything is clean and crisp. I look forward to seeing what expansion looks like. (1,296 characters)

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Ballast Point Brewing Company in San Diego, CA
92 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.