Ballast Point Brewing Company

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BEER AVG
4/5
Based on:
194 Beers
9,126 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 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 2ci
3/5  rDev -27.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5

Did a tour of their small brewery.They are also distilling spirits as well.The tasting area has some pictures of fishing excursions and paintings concerning fish.The bar tables are made out of the ends of oak barrels,well done.The tasting area is essentially a bar. Very high prices for imbibing at the source. Pints of strong ale are close to 6$.Selection is somewhat limited as they mostly produce "safe" beers.No enticement for me to come back to in the future , i suppose they get alot of office workers who are stranded in that area do to their office space cubicles. (572 characters)

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.14/5  rDev -24.3%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4

Stopped in here on Sunday around 1:00pm with my good friend, Justin.

I'm surprised this is listed as a "Beer Bar" on BA. It's a tasting room, nothing more. There are half a dozen small tables, but no chairs. When we were there, the place was absolutely silent: no music, no noise from the TV, no talking from the bartenders. It was a bit awkward. When one of the bartenders eventually spoke up (I believe he was a trainee), he seemed to know very little about craft beer, and couldn't offer us any recommendations on places to go... other than Lost Abbey because they have a hot bartender who works Sundays. Cool brah.

Luckily, the beer was solid. We sampled Dorado Double, Tongue Buckler, Sextant Oatmeal Stout, and Sculpin. They were all very tasty and reasonably priced. The cooler offered most of BP's year-round offerings along with Victory at Sea (which Justin grabbed two of).

All in all, this place kinda sucked. Actually, it did suck - forget the "kinda". This is a decent spot to refill your Ballast Point growler. It's a lousy spot for anything else. If you're considering a visit, reconsider. (1,107 characters)

Photo of squaremile
3.14/5  rDev -24.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Hit the Ballast Point taproom up in northern San Diego. The space is in a business park as many SoCal breweries are, and the tasting room is a very very tiny hallway space in the front. They had an OK array of beers on tap and I went for the Big Eye (liked it better in the bottle surprisingly) and the India Pale Lager (which was a bit buttery for me). The server was pretty standoffish and looked pissed, and when I didn't finish my tasters because the room was so awkward they made a face at me. Not a good experience. (521 characters)

Photo of mrkun
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
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. (499 characters)

Photo of gildobeer
3.51/5  rDev -15.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4

I used to live near here and would go quite often for growler fills. When I first started going I could get a dorado fill for a decent price, then it kept going up and up and up until I substituted dorado for big eye. Not a huge deal but I once had 2 samples and an actual beer and it came out to $9. AT THE BREWERY. I can't justify that. The staff used to be horrible. I went in one day to ask for fathom, which is fantastic, and the girl behind the counter literally rolled her eyes at me and said "Well we're not brewing it right now so we don't have it" F U. Tongue Buckler is awesome as well, but this place goes to show you that sometimes the product is worth more your customers dignity, seeing as how ballast point isn't doing too shabby. Also, the new girl that works behind the counter is way nicer than the old one, but the old one still pulls weight so there you have it. (883 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.59/5  rDev -13.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

This place was packed when we first got there, but realized shortly after that there was a brewery tour about to begin, so it emptied out once the tour started. Tours are free and they run 3 times a day, which is nice. The place had a great set-up, and with big window fronting was very well lit. There were plenty of displays for the beers and memorabilia they had for sale, as well as ads for their distillery and spirits. There was a tv with the game on, too. Also, they had some of their trophies from the GABF and some Euro competitions. With all this going for the place, the service was a bit of a let down. As I said, the crown died down pretty quick, so it wasn't as if it was really busy. When getting beers the servers were friendly and helpful enough, and even chatted up about different things, but we tried a different beer each time coming up, and had to ask each time up that our glass be rinsed before the next beer was put in. And this wasn't a case of them thinking they were just refills. Each time as we approached they asked what we just had, what we thought, and what we wanted next. I'm sorry, but I don't want to taste the remnants of the Amber in the next glass of IPA...that kind of defeats the purpose. Other than that, I really have no complaints about the place whatsoever. The prices were very reasonable and the beer was decent. All in all a good place to visit in San Diego when taking in the beer experience! (1,442 characters)

Photo of Yetiman420
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

I did a three day brewery, brewpub, beer bar tour of San Diego and Ballast Point was one of my stops.

I made the mistake of thinking that the "beer bar" distinction on BA meant they would have a wide(r) variety of beers than just their standard offerings. The only beer they had that may have been out of the norm was an India Pale Lager.

I sampled a couple of the beers. I think they were $1 a taste. The tasting room was pretty small. No seats but a couple of repurposed barrel end tables to stand at and a nice large screen TV for the NFL game.

A tour was wrapping up and I tried to ask the tour guide about their hop profile and he said he didn't know and really didn't express any interest in chatting with me.

I was informed at my other beer stops that the other Ballast Point location (with the homebrew shop) was where they were more likely to do small, one off pilot batches of experimental brews. (914 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (578 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
3.86/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Was out there for my bday on a brewery tour in SD and had the better looking tasting room of the 4 breweries I hit that day. Not only was it nce astetically but there was some coo peeps chillin having a good time having fun brewery hoppin as well. The selection was most of their year round brews plus some rotating tap only brews that I was glad to take a stab at since they don't bottle it. All around the brewpub was quality and the people there qwere pretty nice too. Definitely glad I got the chance to visit them and recommend this spot if your down in SD brewery hopping. (578 characters)

Photo of ARoman
3.86/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

*transferred from previous notes - 2/21/2014*
This brewery is a store front in an industrial park. Sort of weird location, but they take advantage of the lot with a nice front patio. Nice selection of beers - all Ballast Point, of course - but quite a few experimentals available. Decent little gift shop to go along with it. They don’t directly offer food, but have a rotating food truck schedule. (400 characters)

Photo of bcm119
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
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. (527 characters)

Photo of mulder1010
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

A-- Pretty small I thought. Couple of tables and some TV's with football on it. Counter with the usual stuff for tourists like me to buy!!

Q-- Quality of the stuff and beer was good. Had Sculpin and BA V@S while there. Also bought a 6 pack of Sculpin to take with me.

S-- Good helpful staff and pretty cool people to have a conversation with. Tasters were a $1 but went for pints of what I wanted.

S-- It was SD beer week so a lot more was available. Just Ballast Point beers.

V-- Good stuff. Plain and simple. Worth hitting for a quick 6 pack or a pint. Not big or anything like that but it works. $15 for a 6 pack of Sculpin is a deal. (646 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 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 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 tjensen3618
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3

I went here on a recent Beer Tour and the Ballast Point brewery was the that we toured and tasted at. It's a really small tasting area with enough room for people to stand, we had about 20 people on our bus and the inside of the place was pretty crowded.

The tour was informative and we got to check out their very small distilling setup. After the tour we were supposed to taste the 5 or so beers that are considered the regular releases. The bartender was cool and let me have pours of any beer that they had up on the board.

I ended up buying a couple bottles of Sculpin at the end of our tastings and the prices for them were in line with what you'd expect at retail.

A nice small brewery that was nice to visit once, but unless i happen to be a local, which im not, or in the immediate area, it's not really a place that you would make a point of going to more than once. (879 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 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 Retsinis
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (1,179 characters)

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

Enjoyed a Saturday evening stop into the taproom on my last night of vacation. My girlfriend and I were helped by a pleasant guy working the bar, who provided a good explanation of what the beers were and how we could have opportunties to sample them. A bit more on the quality of the service, on my way out I asked if they maybe had an empty six-pack holder somewhere in back for a collection, and the bartender promptly shot back out of sight, returning quickly with an empty cardboard holder. I was very pleased with the service.

The feel of the taproom was nice, with ocean fish-themed decor and artwork on the walls, as well as a TV in the corner for those wishing to take in whatever sporting event may be on at the time. A large glass window behind the bar provided an expansive view of the brewery space in back, which was nice for me since we showed up too late to get a tour.

Overall, a cool little brewery tap room with some tasty beers on tap (I think they at least 10 available when we were there). Stop by if you have a chance. (1,043 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 BigB415
4/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Like the previous user posted you wouldn't know it's a brewery unless you went in. When I first drove by it looked like an office but once you go in you can see the silos in the back and know you're at the right place. My only complaint is that there are not chairs. There's the bar, a mini gift shop, a to-go fridge with 6 packs and 22's including my favorite "Sea Monster." There are about 4 barrel tables and a TV or 2 so when you're having a beer you have to stand. I guess they were going for the ship feel. I got a pint of the sculpin and a taster of pepper sculpin which was spicy but good. I also got a pint glass and a bottle opener key chain. Prices are good. About $4.75 for a pint and $1.50 for a taster.

A huge group of about 30 people came in for the 5 o'clock tour but I went with a tour of 6 people. On the tour I got the history and how each part of the brewery works. I got to see the hop room and found out how much each bags of hops cost which is a lot. We were then taken in the back of the brewery and told they are expanding into the lot behind them since the people there are leaving which was cool to learn and I'm glad they are expanding. We were then given a history of the distillery and learned how that works. I didn't realize how many spirits they make until now so that was very informative. (1,324 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)

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