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Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Based on:
220 Beers
47,368 Hads
Place Score: 93
Reviews: 65
Visits: 344
Avg: 4.21
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
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

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: 65 | Visits: 344
Photo of abaer123
3.89/5  rDev -7.6%
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!

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Photo of GraduatedCashew
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of RyanLaw
4.04/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of jbaakko
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
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!

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Photo of jdhowe
3.99/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of T100Mark
4/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
4.66/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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Photo of jeffhenders0n
4.61/5  rDev +9.5%
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!

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Photo of dvmin98
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of Bubbalito
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of ripdog
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
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!

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Photo of DocJitsu
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of crossovert
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of jrcook
2.45/5  rDev -41.8%
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"

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Photo of Murrhey
2.98/5  rDev -29.2%
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.

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Photo of Popp24
4.16/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of jwhancher
4.94/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

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Photo of Ragingbull
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of SDtastentune
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

This review is for Old Grove Scripps!

A - Small rectangular operation. Usually two tenders, knowledgeable, cool, and social. Cool, social people stacked into a a small place, some can be into only there group of people that don't want to talk much but thats only 50% of the people. Cool tables, cool fish floatin about, cool glass area of BP merch. Good HD tv with usually sports flowin', good overall place.

Q - Beer is great here, everything is really fresh and done right... you get the freshness of a brewery right to your face. They usually have 3 special editions of there styles or a new style not released in bottle form. Costco SD Pretzels are good too!

S - Fast, efficient, and know what there in for. Don't doubt they will handle business and have a great time too! Great for a medium of both fun and business. Good pretzels but keep them flowin' please, thanks.

S - Great, all of the regs with usually 3 specialty brews on tap, some time some super octane special stuff in store.

F - No food sorry.

V - Good place for the reg brews, other specialty brews get a little pricey here and there, but worth it if you like the beer style. They need more Dorado DIPA though. Pints served here... not lame taster only status like HBM BP.

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Photo of easong
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Made a pilgrimage here on a recent trip to SD for baseball and beer. Ballast Point is at the point where they have simply run out of space to store all the Sculpin they have brewed until the trucks can take it away to make room for more Sculpin in the tanks. So they are taking over the building next door for more cold storage. Of course they make other fine ales besides IPA, and now also distilled spirits (I'm saving my money now to taste the whisky someday), but I went here for the uber-fresh Sculpin and was not disappointed. Also got the taproom-only habanero Sculpin, which was very hot and tasty -- but a waste of good Sculpin. The tour was casual and informative, the scene in the brewery passionate and hectic. Place smells like...a brewery....yummm. Recommended for your friends who don't know where beer comes from.

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Photo of bcm119
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

A small tasting room located off one side of the brewery. Tasters, pints and growlers available, as well as bottles and gifts. The space is small and there is only standing room around small tables and a few chest-height bars along the wall. The selection is about half regular beers and half specials or seasonals. I was impressed with the Habanero Sculpin-- it had a great flavor but a little too much burn to be really drinkable. Odd location in a manicured office park. Friendly service. Worth a stop if you're in the area.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

The location was a little tough to find. Sort of in an office park. The beer selection is solid. The service was top notch. The server constantly provided me with samples and wanted to make sure I was able to try as many of their brews as possible since I was just passing through ans live 3000 miles away. I felt the beers were good though no one beer really stood out to me to mention here. That being said, I enjoyed them all and if they were available/distributed in my area, I would definitely continue to purchase their product. Overall the service really stood out to me.

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Photo of mrkun
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

The tasting room is at the brewery. It's not very large and there are no seats, but there are a few tables and some table rails. There is only 1 person that takes drink orders and we had to wait in line about 5-10 minutes to order our drinks. They had all their regular stuff available without any special releases. They also had a nice option to buy a glass for $2.50 with your beer. It's a fairly spartan place overall, but it's good to try out all of the Ballast Point brews in a single location.

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

Been meaning to post my review of Ballast Point. Visited with a group of friends as part of a beer brewery tour of our own design. (rented van, DD, etc.) After having visited Alesmith and Hess, this was the next stop.

Thankfully when we were there, they had Victory at Sea on tap, which is one of my favorites of their offerings, (also like Habanero Sculpin and Sea Monster of course) So of course, it was the first taster I ordered.

The tasting room is rather small, about the size of space you would see in a medium sized Subway (restaurant). No chairs, just a few tables. They have whats on tap just above the bar on a chalk board, where they also list the ABV, and IBU's of each beer. Had to seperately for each taster, and they don't do flights either ( at least not when I was there)

Picked up a bottle of fresh Sculpin while I was there too, since they were out of Victory at Sea, also got a T-Shirts for their Three Sheets Rum, since they were also out of T-Shirts of Victory at Sea (obviously it's popular)

Service was friendly, and prompt. It was a bit busy when I was there, but no one had to wait long at all to get a fill either.

Had a brief but good time.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.64/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I absolutely love this place and regret not being able to go for the past few months. The tasting room in Scripps Ranch isn't huge, but it's big enough to comfortably hold a good amount of people. There aren't any chairs and only a few tables, but I think that they make do with the space they have and it never feels uncomfortable there. The beer selection is usually solid and it seems like every time I'm there, they have something new on tap that is worth a try. They always have the usuals (Big Eye, Black Marlin, Wahoo Wheat, etc.) but it's the specials that make this place worth a visit. I've seen Victory at Sea on a random day in the summer, so you never really know what to expect there.

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Ballast Point Brewing Company in San Diego, CA
93 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.