Ginger Big Eye IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

very good
50 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Ginger Big Eye IPAGinger Big Eye IPA

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Deuane on 09-12-2008

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 228
Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.57/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Hogan's Hideaway in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a clear light amber, with a small head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells like kind of rotten stale ginger, heavy caramel malt, and a dearth of hops.

As all of the new Sculpin flavor creations have been, this is a monstrosity and really bad. The ginger is not well integrated, it kind of makes everything taste stale and weirdly spiced, and completely flattens the hop profile. It just doesn't taste good. Underneath is all caramel malt, with a little bit of bitterness. This is just muddled in the worst, worst way. Nothing stands out that makes me want to take another sip.

This is medium bodied, not all that drinkable at all.

Ballast Point is slowly but surely jumping the shark. Highly unnecessary, and highly undrinkable.

 794 characters

Photo of iheartmyTHO
2.68/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Definitely not a fan of this particular beer. First off, the smell is awful - somewhere between funk and plastic. The smell is quite off putting as get your sips of beer. As for the flavor, it's not great and quite a harsh ginger flavor. Between the smell and the flavor harshness, I do noticing some redeeming but faint, typical IPA qualities.

 348 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
2.92/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottle. Pours a clear copper color. Aroma was all ginger and alcohol. Hops get swept away by the ginger flavoring. I enjoy basic Big Eye. This one was too heavily tweaked. It was almost like a hoppy ginger beer. Too heavy on the ginger flavoring and too boozy. The feel was sugary. Not a fan.

 292 characters

Photo of Jshbrown40
2.99/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Disclosure: I like beers with ginger: that said its a fine line to get it right, and this offering swung and missed. Did not smell or taste much of ginger in it. The balance of citrus/hop, spice and ginger was just not right ( 2016 Alagash Fluxus, and Bissell Brothers i-Lucky are much better offerings of this type of beer). Had this beer in a pint glass, smelled of an ale light spice, low ginger: taste is a cluster F in your mouth. Very disappointing, as Ballast Point has knocked it out of the park on so many other infused beers.

 537 characters

Photo of OhioLimoncello
3.07/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I love most Ballast Point offerings, but this is the exception. I love ginger, but this brew didn't cut it.
Poured out of a non-dated 22oz bomber, it gets it's highest rating on the Look, with a thick, soapy head.
The smell is the worst rating, coming somewhere between wet latex gloves and moldy pine cones.
The taste is tolerable, since the malt backbone holds up to the sting of the ginger and spicy hops.
The feel is less pleasant, with a steely finish. This would only pare well with a strong sushi or a sardine sandwich with spicy mustard.

 547 characters

Photo of Jimmys
3.11/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

bomber. cannot make out the date on here, white print on white writing doesn't work too well...

A: amber brew that has chunks of something floating around in it. I assume that is the ginger? maybe yeast? either way not a good looking beer. head is off-white with good lacing.

S: getting whisps of ginger after an aggressive swirl. it actually overpowers any hop aromas in my opinion.

T: flavor, not really getting any ginger aspects, just a bit of oxidized hops. oxidized finish. nothing too distinctive here.

M: moderate carb on a medium body.

D: overall a bit of a letdown as it seems like Ballast Point is trying to throw whatever they can into their core lineup. Some good, some bad, this is of the latter imo.

 721 characters

Photo of jooler
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Look is very dark and tastes pretty malty. I don't really get a taste of the ginger. Not really worth going out of my way. Though, carbonating is on point

 154 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.29/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Best by 5/5/16.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Tiny particles of sediment are seen suspended in the beer after the pour. Smell is of ginger root, ginger juice, earth, and grain aromas. Taste is much the same with earth, ginger root, grapefruit juice, and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer with a ginger presence that comes across and earthy and dirty to me.

Serving type: bottle.

 689 characters

Photo of mothmanscott
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright, clear, medium-deep amber producing almost 3 fingers of frothy, moderately lasting, beige head that leaves a webby splotches & specks
of lace. Aroma is a wave of dominating ginger that beats into submission the hoppy tropical fruit forward with hints of orange, tangerine, citrus pith, peach & faint pine hoppiness swimming in a sweet caramel background of the original Bid Eye IPA. Taste is the same with the ginger overpowering the fruity mix of orange, tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, peach, subtle pine resin & sweet, bready dough & caramel malt of the original. Aftertaste is a long lasting, unpleasant, phenolic, astringent bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium-high carbonation, slick & wet in the mouth but drying rapidly in the finish. This is my first truly disappointing brew from Ballast Point. Absolutely too much ginger.

 865 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.37/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear orangey amber with a hint of rose. Modest foam in the pint shaker. From the very first sip the ginger makes its presence known-- hot and spicy. The other sensation is how dry this is. It's quite sharp and lacks even a hint of sweetness. The malt provides some body, though. The ginger flavor is good but the hops are a one-dimensional bitter burn.

This flattens out considerably in the carbonation department. The heat from the ginger is interesting, but overall this is really tart and a little harsh. Drank this at Fathom on Shelter Island while waiting for the big cruise ship to sail by.

 598 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.42/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Lord Hobo. Served in a pint glass. Hazy orange. Citrus and tropical hop aroma. Taste is strong bright tropical citrus hops. Pale malt sweetness. Grassy bitter finish and a lightly toasty malt flavor. Medium body. Enjoyable.

 233 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Crystal clear amber with massive fizzy head receding to a thin soft blanket and clingy lacing.

This really smells like freshly grated ginger root with that fruity yet spicy element. I also find myself imagining some lemongrass and soy sauce...

Taste is more balanced where the hops are big and bitter, in such a way it's like eating an Asian salad. There is a little bubblegum in there as as well, but mostly some caramel malt. I'm not disappointed with this like I was the other recent variants that they released recently.

 526 characters

Photo of QuakeAttack
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On-tap at Ballast Point's Miramar location. Poured into a tulip glass.

If you like ginger, this is worth a try. Ginger definitely is the starting and ending point with this beer. Not the spicy ginger, but just a solid taste of ginger. I would have liked to have a little more balance with the hops. Something along a sweet hop with the tart ginger. While I appreciate the effort, it wasn't one of their better beers.

 417 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Bottle dated 1/6/2016:
This beer looks fine, with a decent pillow of white head, and lightly hazy with very small particles on an orange-ish golden body.

Nose seems a little piney, maybe some grapefruit pith, and something else. warmth and continued analysis does bring out the ginger note more in the back. At times, the nose seems holiday-like, at others like a wet forest where the wet ground and fungi that populate it are noticeable.

The beer needs some warmth to clear up a mostly muddled taste. The pith comes out more in the taste, and the pine a tad more muted. The ginger adds an earthy/root-like bitterness actually to an already bitter beer. I do not get much of that spice bite that I expected and hoped from the ginger.

Decent feel through the sip with a nice level of carbonation, but ends up a tad dry on my palate.

Too muddled to begin with, too one-dimensionally bitter as it warmed for my liking. I think the ginger detracts a little from a base IPA I do enjoy. If you like a little raw bitterness to wipe your tongue with, this may work better for you.

 1,083 characters

Photo of RyanK252
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at BC's Pizza & Beer

A: Pours orange amber with a frothy light tan head that settles to a light layer and laces well.

S: Tons of fresh ginger, a little citrus, a bit of spice, and faint caramel malt sweetness.

T: Ginger dominates, there's some citrus, grapefruit, maybe lemon lime, and hints of caramel malt sweetness.

M: A little on the lighter side of medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: The ginger is a bit too overpowering for my taste, but still drinkable. Would probably go pretty well with sushi.

 525 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Clear body with a dark golden hue; nice, frothy, white head. Zingy ginger aroma; faint caress of caramel malt. Respectable level of toasted malt flavor, strong hop bitterness, and spicy ginger taste. Medium body; crisp and zesty on the palate; somewhat sticky with residual sugars yet ultimately dry at the finish.

A good, solid ginger-tinged IPA. Hop bitterness is the strong point with this one although the sweet malt sugars and ginger flavor do a fair job of keeping things interesting.

 491 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at southside on colfax. those guys are doing a nicer and nicer job with their beer selection all the time, although this is a letdown for me. seems like ballast point has stopped making new beers and just adds whatever is in the spice cabinet or crisper drawer to beers they already make. heres the problem though, the beers they already make are famous for a reason, highly refined, well loved, and in need of nothing else. this base beer is awesome, and needs no ginger. similarly, sculpin needs no habanero, dorado needs no watermelon, and victory at sea needs no peppermint. some better than others, and this isnt one of the good ones i dont reckon. the ginger adds a heaviness to the malt i dont remember in the original, and the hops are lost to its sharp spiciness. its refreshing in the nose, but heavy and overbearing in the flavor, and it ends up being more bitter and less flavorful on the hops than the base beer, and its not flattering. for me this was weighty and too pungent to be real drinkable, and even a small glass felt like a lot. some of these beers just need to be left alone, and while i like ginger, this is the wrong base beer to mess with and add it. long ginger finish on the tongue, not a huge fan.

 1,234 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not only happy Ballast Point is now in MN, but delighted they started dating their bottles in visible numbers. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife, dated 1/6/16.

The pour is washed-out copper with plenty of visible zest. The nose has just a scrap of the base grapefruit that’s buried in a washout of spicy ginger. Subtlety, thy name is not.

Ginger Big Eye is what the world would taste like if it was one big ball of ginger. Ginger, ginseng ginger, red-haired ginger, it all pops out like it was just plucked from the organic garden of a Ween fan. It‘s accompanied by the sharp bitterness of the base beer. After my palate adjusts to the ginger full frontal, I might be able to tease out strings of grapefruit, caramel,& an almost rye spiciness above & beyond the ubiquitous ginger. Very tacky in the mouth, but oh-so drinkable.

Well, it certainly is unique, & they didn’t stint on the adjunct! Nice addition to the base & so strong that it would be impossible to sip mindlessly. Good beer.

 999 characters

3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I love regular big eye. But to me this is reminiscent of cleaning solution or something. It's not terrible, but the ginger adds a weird angle that just doesn't do the base beers glory justice.

 192 characters

Photo of oldn00b
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was nice - definitely not big on the ginger. Comes across like Big Eye but with a bit of a bite on the finish. It's nice, refreshing, a bit brash but not overly forward. Definitely glad I could try it.

 209 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear copper colored ale with a medium sized tan colored head.

Smells hoppy and spicy with the sting of ginger in the nose. Scents of grapefruit, pine wood and heat. Scents of green pepper and ginger. Other than that similar to the original.

Starts out dry and peppery with a woody after taste. Medium bitter with a little sourness to it. Tastes of pinewood mostly. Heat and warmth from the ginger. All I get is a ginseng like woodiness.

Overall OK beer, but the ginger didn't do much.

 495 characters

Photo of trishhart
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very good IPA. Orange is color very big head when poured. The smell of ginger citrus and lots of spices hit you. Giner is not overwhelming. Smooth and clean finish. Flavor is intense and full bodied. Defintely worth trying.

 223 characters

Photo of Murrhey
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap at Ballast Point in San Diego, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Creamy finger width head. Longer retention. Fluffy lacing.

S- Citrusy hops, ginger is heavy, some soapiness, grapefruit, light crisp smells.

T- Some bitter hops, but the ginger comes up and bites in the end. Still very subtle flavor.

M- Smooth and creamy feel with a bite of carbonation.

O- The ginger isn't strong, but it is present. I feel this could have been done better.

 458 characters

Photo of Moose90
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served On-Tap

A — Pours out a very hazy and foamy murky orange hue into the glass. A billowy voluminous white head sits atop the beer, leaving behind some spots of sticky & frothy lacing.

S — Smell is pungent, bright, strong, dominated by sticky fresh sliced ginger. Not spicy dried ginger, but some nice notes of sliced / grated ginger root. Nice and fresh. Notes of sweet citrus dominated by caramel malt undertones and pungent hops.

T — Much like the nose, though a whole lot more understated. Mild notes of ginger, big malt sweetness, little bit of a piney hop bitterness.

M — Medium bodied, sticky & lingering finish.

O — Pretty good overall, smell is much better than the taste though, pretty mild on the taste but the nose was great.

 757 characters

Photo of ichorNet
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ballast Point's lesser-known IPA, Big Eye, has always been kind of an underdog in the CA IPA scene. Always overshadowed by its brother, Sculpin, I've generally found BE to be pretty dang good as well, and this ginger version is the latest BP variant to hit shelves since the brewery's purchase by the Modelo group.

The pour is a simple and unassuming amber hue with medium clarity and a sticky, sudsy ring of white lace that fades very quickly to a single finger of head. On the nose, I instantly get a huge hit of gingersnap cookies and a mild vegetal, earthy note in the back. Hops seem spicy and complimentary, but ginger is definitely the main note. I wouldn't consider it "unbalanced" really, because it seems kind of obvious that with these variants they are really pushing the adjunct flavors, but the meld with Big Eye itself seems to be pulled off decently well. On the tongue, it's rather richly spicy and layered with biscuity malt, ginger and earthy, herbal and lightly-citric hops. Swallow is good and the finish is medium-drying. It's not a pushy or heavy beer, but it's also not passive; it definitely has a robust zing to it, which is important to understand going in.

I happen to enjoy gingersnap cookies, so that flavor being a pretty big component works for me. Obviously, mileage will vary, as it is bound to with any of these variants, depending on how much you like the flavor(s) utilized. This is well-made and should be picked up by fans of ginger beer/ginger-flavored desserts as well as by IPA fans looking for something other than pine and citrus bombs from their California standbys.

 1,613 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ginger Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 228 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.