1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Ballantine "India Pale Ale"... who remembers?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by diesel59, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Flashy

    Flashy Advocate (525) Vermont Oct 22, 2003

    Somewhere at my parents lake house (shack) there is a glass jar full of the Ballentine riddle caps- about 60% of them figured out.
  2. Wasn't the Baldwinsville brewery built to brew with a process called continuous fermentation?
  3. shawnohall

    shawnohall Savant (330) Texas Nov 8, 2009

    It seems like this is what happens when you have a Harvard Business grad with a bean-counter mindset running things. In order to maximize "efficiency", They mess with the quality of the product multiple times. They then have to make a move to fix a screw up, and another move to fix the new screw up, and again and again. When the head of a brewery has to surmise, either publicly or privately, that the dandruff or snot-looking stuff floating in the beer is not harmful, then you're in trouble anyway.

    What these bean-counter types (which sadly run too many American businesses today) don't seem to understand is the most basic premise that the quality of the product is what matters. If you cost-cut to the point where your product is barely worth ingesting, then it doesn't matter how much money you saved because people are no longer buying it. The same thing happened at Walmart, and food-wise, at Wendy's. Once Dave died, the bean-counters did their thing, and their burgers are square, grey, dry hunks of leather to this day.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  4. 3 good friends of mine were Schlitz drinkers in the 70's. All 3 noticed "snot" in there beer and started drinking Rheingold. Rheingold never screwed around with their beer but went belly up in a few years anyway!
  5. Didn't that character drink Ballantine Beer? Not the Ale nor the subject of this thread, the India Pale Ale.

    Ballantine Beer by then had long been reduced to just another discount brand of the S&P Corp. (Pabst-Falstaff-General-Pearl). In the 90s, S&P was still running the Olympia Brewery in Tumwater, WA but always wondered if they even brewed and/or distributed Ballantine Beer in the PNW during the TV show's run.

    S&P dropped the "Ballantine Premium Lager Beer" label sometime in the late 90s.
  6. azorie

    azorie Advocate (715) Florida Mar 18, 2006

    too late 90%-95% of all production is not done here anymore. They counted the beans and found that folks working for 50 cents a day makes for great profits for them. Too bad they do not think that if no one here has any money left they will go out of biz one day, but in the short term it works great.....If a million barrels of beer was not so heavy they would make the beer in CHINA.
    beergurujr likes this.
  7. Manufacturing is still 12% of GDP, and the US is the 2nd largest manufacturer in the world after China.

    Beer is shipped all over the world, and I am always impressed how you can buy German beer for a reasonable price. I do get the point on shipping beer, as it being mostly water it is heavy.
  8. azorie

    azorie Advocate (715) Florida Mar 18, 2006

    well I am sure I was being silly on the number, but there are NOT many machinist jobs around this state in more. Besides they are exporting ALL the jobs they can At this point in time, right?
  9. That sounded so good I decided to try it. Drinking it as I type. Awesome. I did have the Ballantine IPA when it was brewed in Newark but was to young to enjoy it. If this blend comes close to it I wish I had.
  10. drtth

    drtth Champion (850) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2007

    Good to know. Be sure and altert Jess to thank him for the suggestion. The first time I tried it was with a fresh Celbration and a less than year old Bigfoot. Definitely enjoyed it.

    This year I'm doing it with the just under two year old Bigfoot and next year...

  11. You know, I did that mix accidentally one day probably closing in on two decades ago. A maverick bottle of Celebration Ale left over one winter eve reminded me of something...

    "...what is that... Oh, I know ---- Ballantine India Pale Ale. But if only is was a touch stronger..."

    Checked the beer fridge, saw the Bigfoot and did the blend. It worked perfect ---> that evening.

    Ever since then, when I TRY to duplicate it, doesn't work. The magic is gone. The ephemeral nature of nostalgia when it comes to taste, I guess.

    Both are still great beverages - separately or together.
    dennis3951 likes this.
  12. drtth

    drtth Champion (850) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2007

    Well after you mentioned the combination on the old version of this site, a person you will remember as Traquairlover went off and tried it, coming on the next night or so to praise your suggestion. I developed a lot of respect for his tasting abilities and tasting memory so even if it doesn't quite fit the "nostalgia" version it must come reasonably close. And since I never got to try the Ballentine's I'll settle for the mix... :) (He says as if he had a choice.)
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  13. drtth

    drtth Champion (850) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2007

    Do you remember the relative age of the Bigfoot on that occasion? The reason I ask is that I did the mix last year with 2012 Bigfoot (most recent bottling then and so less than a year old) mixed with fresh Celebration. This year I'm using the 2012 again with fresh Celebration and despite the falibility of taste memory and all the other things that could be affecting my tastes, I'd swear this is a better mix even if its not closer to the Ballentines.
  14. BJC

    BJC Aficionado (230) New Jersey Nov 9, 2002

    Something that strongly reminds me Of Ballantine IPA from the late 70's and early 80's is Yarsd Cape of Good Hope. It's pricey, but I taste my youth.
  15. My dad's every day beer was Schmidts but he would buy Ballantine IPA 4/5 times a year. He had to cut back drinking for health reasons and drank beer rarely. He was over for dinner one Sunday and I was drinking an SNPA. He asked what it was and asked for a bottle. I poured him one . A small sip ,than a large one smiled and said tastes like the old Ballantine IPA. It must have been the hops.
    surfcaster likes this.
  16. bill1017

    bill1017 Zealot (80) New York Apr 30, 2010

    Greg Deuhs and Pabst have re-launched Ballantine IPA, produced initially in Cold Spring, MN, available in select markets in the Northeast region in 12oz bottles and 750 ml limited-edition bottles. In Deuhs’ words, this brew is “what Peter Ballantine would create if he were brewing with today’s ingredients and brewing techniques.”

    I'm looking forward to trying it... Hope is as good as I remember. I was drinking it during the period that Narragansett brewed it and had the rebus puzzles under the caps.
  17. MTG72

    MTG72 Initiate (15) Colorado Oct 27, 2013

    I'll have to look for this when I'm in New York later this week! This was the first IPA I ever tried and to this day the only one I really enjoyed. It was very hoppy for the time period (early 90's) so it was pretty unique. When i'm in New England i always make sure to pick up a 6 pack of the regular Ballantine Ale, which to me tastes just like the stuff I was drinking 25 yrs ago. I always found the taste different than any other mass produced American beers, in a good way.
    beerluvr likes this.
  18. It's plausible, but only because by that time (25 years ago) the original Ballantine formula was long gone.
    It was still different than the mainstream stuff, but you'd probably be really amazed if you had the chance to experience what it tasted like 40 years ago is what present mythology considers to be the 'dark ages' of beer.
    With all the publicity surrounding Pabst's recent reintroduction of Ballantine IPA, it seems so sad that they're still peddling their watered down version of regular Ballantine XXX. It would be a surprising (and pleasant) revelation to a lot of beer drinkers to experience what that original brew was like.

    Ballantine was a true craft brewer long before the term came into the common (and mostly bogus) usage of the term today.
    beergurujr, Bitterbill and jesskidden like this.

Share This Page