Home Brew Mart Ballast Point


28 Reviews
Home Brew Mart Ballast PointHome Brew Mart Ballast Point

Type: Bar, Homebrew Store

5401 Linda Vista Rd
Ste 406
San Diego, California, 92110-2402
United States

(619) 295-2337 | map

There is a Ballast Point tasting bar and growler fill station in the back.

Added by xlperro

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Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 40
Photo of Gavage
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

This is an off the beaten path find on my San Diego trip. This is a homebrew shop run by Ballast Piont with a tasting room in the back. Parking was a bit tough in this small strip mall, but I got lucky after two tries someone was leaving for a spot. When you enter you notice a large homebrew section taking up the entire right side of the store, and some high top tables with folks standing around them drinking beers offered in the back. There was about 20 or so on draft, some standard and some one-offs. There is a refridgerator off the cashier desk that has plenty of Ballast Point beers to go.

While looking around homebrew section, I over heard some conversations between homebrewers and staff, and the staff was very helpful and offered opions. The tasting room folks were friendly but seemed a bit harried with the line of folks waiting for tasters. Overall this was a great stop for me.

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Photo of GB_Brewer
3.45/5  rDev -18.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4

This brew store is 1/2 tasting room and 1/2 home brew store. The tasting room part is nice and friendly and I have no problem with it. The selection of stuff is pretty good and the prices are reasonable - about the same that you'll find online.

HOWEVER... I have had mostly good interaction with most of the staff here. But there's one guy behind the counter at the home brew store that has a beard (describes 90% of the staff unfortunately) that is sort of unhelpful, bordering on rude. I am new to this stuff and I was asking him a few questions, and I swear, in the middle of my question, he sort of just walked off and that was that. He seemed really bothered to have to answer questions for a new home brewer. Isn't that what you guys are here to do???

I don't know if he is an owner or what, but if he's an employee, I'd get rid of him. Most of the other employees seemed friendly and helpful but the SD brew culture seems to have a lot of hipster types that are more concerned about how cool they are and how awesome their beer knowledge is, and is bent on lording it over you instead of helping you out.

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Photo of BillRoth
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Have stopped by a few times while visiting son in San Diego. Always have a great conversation with staff, and try out the many wonderful BP beers. Last time staff introduced me to Paul Elder who does all the awesome art work for the labels/otherwise for BP. Nice special moment while sipping on super fresh VAS and Dorado. Doesn't get much better, Great beer and great people.

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Photo of Hotrod88
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

I love this brewery. If anyone didn't know this is where Ballast Point started out. Up till now every single one of Ballast's beers was created at the Home Brew Mart. If you get the chance stop in and have a few tasters, get a growler filled and maybe pick up some bottles of their tasty brews. They also started offering some food options, just basic stuff but everything they do offer goes well with their beer.

The service I get there is always exemplary, everyone is helpful and more than happy to answer any questions that I may have about any of their beers. When I'm looking for new homebrewing equipment or tips on homebrewing this is where I go.

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Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
3.16/5  rDev -25.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.75 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5

As a few others have mentioned here, there seems to be some sort of... I don't know if the word is arrogance here but my experience was not as good here as visiting the Ballast Point brewery. I thought it would be nice to see where the San Diego craft beer scene started... maybe they expected me to spend a bunch on homebrew equipment. I did buy a few pints, picked up a bottle, and headed off. Don't get me wrong, not all the people here were unpleasant but let's just say I won't be going back here again and leave it at that.

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Photo of cbutova
4/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped in for the tasting room but also browsed the homebrew section while there.

The selection of things and prices of homebrew equipment were on-par with the best stores I have been to in MA. Everything was organized well and the store was not messy like many homebrew stores turn out to be.

The tasting and growler station was nice. $1 for a good size sample and a nice selection of Ballast Point regulars and one-offs. I tried some things I have never heard of, a few barrel-aged offerings as well. The employees were nice to me and informative about the brewery.

Definitely worth a stop if you want to try the Ballast Point beers or fill a growler. The homebrew section looked very nice as well.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.14/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in here mostly for the Ballast Point tasting room, but the home brew store is actually quite impressive (which I suppose shouldn't be surprising).

Pretty much all the equipment and ingredients you need for homebrewing along with Ballast Point bottles, growlers, and tasters. They also have a nice selection of merch, glassware, and other Ballast Point wares (like their Bloody Mary mix, for instance).

Pretty cool little place, though the tasting area can be a bit cramped as the bar is not very large. The prices are decent and the service is pretty good.

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Photo of NickMunford
3.18/5  rDev -24.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4

Home Brew Mart seems to have everything you would need to start home-brewing, at fair prices. I haven't actually started home-brewing yet, but I'm interested to try in the future, and I'll definitely come here for supplies. That is, unless I find somewhere with better service and friendlier employees.

Every time I've gone in, it's been for Ballast Point growler fills or bottles. Every time I've gone in, I've gotten a holier than thou, can't be bothered to help you attitude from all employees I interacted with.

So, in summary, I will never go here again for Ballast Point products. I'll trek up to the Old Grove location instead. However, despite the bad service, when I do get into home-brewing, I'll give them another chance.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%

This was my first time at Home Brew Mart and I wanted to check out and buy a first time brewers kit. Ive brewed cider for awhile so I have just a little background in brewing and the guy who helped us was more than happy to explain everything I was buying and any questions I had.

It was cool they had all the Ballast merch and a good amount of theirs beers for tasting. The kit I bought included a 6 gal carboy but they were out so they gave me a free bucket and a coupon to come back once they get their delivery of carboys in.

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Photo of GJ40
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

I know my beer stores and beer bars but while I do brew quite a bit myself, I can't say that I've visited too many homebrew shops. My regular is American Brewmaster in Raleigh and it sets a pretty high standard.

I went to Homebrew Mart mainly to pick up some Ballast Point Sculpin. They have a nice little tasting area in the back and a couple of coolers of Ballast Point products. The Ballast Point stuff is great but they have a solid homebrew shop there as well. It's well laid out, neat and orderly. They also offer quite a few "homemade" mash tuns that are similar to the one I made from online instructions.

Homebrew Mart is a great stop for both Ballast Point and homebrew equipment.

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Photo of ryannaman
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%

The reason I give them a 4.5 out of 5 is ... service always needs improvement anywhere. Went into HBM quite a few times over the years with my Brew Buddies.... can't say that we ever had or saw a bad experience take place. Staff knows their stuff!!!! Beer on Site!!!! Great Selection and the price is not expensive or outrageous by any means. Definitely thankful to have such a sick place near home!!!

Shout out to Steve... if you are ever there m-f and have any questions... dude knows his stuff!!!!

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Photo of adkirkish
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%

Home Brew Mart is actually where I learned the basics of brewing. During San Diego Beer Week, the Ballast Point Guys hosted a learn to brew class in their brewery surrounded by fermenters. A pretty amazing time. I like coming here because you can get a couple tasters of Ballast Point Freshies and walk around the store and browse for ingredients.

The service is awesome, the guys will chat brew with you, and teach you everything you need to know to make an outstanding batch of beer. Homebrewing is relatively inexpensive, and I dont find the prices here to be anything outrageous.

Best place to get ingredients in San Diego :)

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Photo of ferb99
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%

I've been going to Home Brew Mart for years and was just there a few days ago. They've recently completed a significant renovation and the place is much nicer now. Before the renovation, it was cramped and difficult to find some items. Now they seem to have at least double the space and have organized it well.

The grains are now contained within bulk-food-style gravity fed bins. Just put your container underneath and open the door on the bottom. The only downside is that the process of weighing you grain is still a little klunky. With these new containers, if you overshoot your grain and need to return some to the bin, it's going to be a bit problematic.

The equipment is now displayed on spacious shelves and the new organization makes things relatively easy to find. The counter for checking out and paying is also much, much larger which is convenient.

One demerit come from the fact that they couldn't mill the 16 lbs. of grain that I was buying because the brew house was in use. I had to use the hand-operated mill which only takes about a pound at a time. I heard a rumor that they're going to be dedicating a mill for the store so hopefully that happens soon.

The hops and yeast are contained within large refrigerator cases. There was some reorganization there too and it seems like things are easier to find.

The service at HBM has never been exceptional. The staff will point you to what you're looking for but rarely go above and beyond.

The tasting bar (Ballast Point) is in the same place but has been rebuilt and now has more room and looks a lot better.

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Photo of radshoesbro
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%

This is the only place I've gone to buy homebrew supplies, and therefore can't compare it to anything, but I can give you my impressions of the establishment.

Their service seems hit or miss. There have been times that they've lead me down the right path, but other times they've flat out given incorrect information. For instance, once when I was looking for ingridients for a Brown Ale. I told them that I was extract brewing, so they told me to use Victory Malts. I am somewhat new to homebrewing and took their advice. Turns out you have to mash Victory!

Now, I can't hold that against them, because when perusing for things for a Saison they gave me some really great information, and that beer came out pretty great!

They're in the process of renovating still, even though by now they're almost done (or so it seems). A lot of what used to be very cramped is really opening up.

Are they perfect? No, but they're still pretty damn good!

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Photo of jorgey454
2.75/5  rDev -34.8%

This place was okay at best. The service was a bit spotty, I got the impression they wanted my money but my presence was a bit of an inconvenience to them.

In their favor, they have a great selection of grains and hops, and all the gadgets you could need. It is also a bit pricey.

I came for some ingredients but I left without buying anything because of the shape their store was in. There was a layer of dust over EVERYTHING. I understand that the ingredients are sealed, but the place was just plain dirty. I was really put off that they couldn't keep a small store like that clean.

By comparison, Hydrobrew in Oceanside is cheaper, cleaner, and has way better service.

I'm not going back.

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Photo of nomomentwasted
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%

I went here a few days ago to try and browse their selection in person so that I could see what my home brew urges may lead me to spend. Their building looks a little cluttered and under construction, but they do have several home brew sets that were all cool. I was shown a few sets after asking for a hand, and while they took their time to help me, they did a nice job, but left often to ring people up. Can't fault them for that, but they did know their stock.

There were two really cool things about this shop. First, they had tons of hops, in many forms including plug as well as pellet, and malts, grains, yeast, and all you really would need to start up a brew. I was really impressed by that, but unfortunately they were out of kettles, which I do need, and kept them from being a 5. Still really cool.

The second cool part was the taps of Ballast Point. They had all of their standards, but also had some rotating taps for some, and from time to time they have Sculpin, Victory at Sea, Dorado Double IPA, and the occasional barreling as well. It's pretty darn cool. All in all, definitely worth checking out and I'll buy from there when I do decide to purchase a set.

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Photo of Newmerator
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%

This place is the shit. First place i got my start up stuff.

Doug is the guy to see there, he knows his stuff and can help you out with any set up that you have or desire.

Big plus is that you can enjoy some tasty brews while you shop around. and it's in a pretty convenient location of linda vista.

I think the grain selection is rather decent, though I have only frequented another home brew store that was comparable in culver city.

You can get absolutely everything you need here and a decent buzz to boot! I think tasters are around 2 bucks for a 5 oz or cheaper. well worth it if you are shopping around ne ways. They also have good deals on growlers with rotating taps of ballast point brews. The sculpin and el dorado are my favs.

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Photo of nanobrew
3.76/5  rDev -10.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I feel like the customer service is hit or miss. No one is amazing, but some can be friendly and answer your questions. Others seem to be annoyed by questions, and have almost a snobbish attitude. I have been there numerous times and the majority of the time I leave with an unsatisfied feeling. Their prices are very high. I find it worth while to shop online for brewing equipment/ingredients, especially since there are no other options in SD. I get better help and I save $$ even with shipping cost.

Edited on 06-17-2011 (previous review on 06-02-2009, score: (no atmosphere rating), 3.5, 2.5, 3.5, n/a, $$$$)

I have been meaning to do this for a while since the renovated their space.

With the larger space, this is a nice place. More options, plenty of room. It would be nice if they get another scale. The workers seem a lot nicer and more helpful. Their prices are still very high. I can still get a little bit of a better deal if I shop online, but I don't do that as much anymore. I also like how you can buy a gift card for the domestic 2-row, and get a discount as if you bought a 55 lb sack at once.

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Photo of quinlin
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%

This is a great place for homebrew supplies. The guys who work there are friendly and knowledgeable. And their selection of products to choose from is great too. They have never not had what i needed.

I have heard of another brew shop somewhere up north, but ive always come here since its conveniently located in linda vista just outside of mission valley.

This little hole in the wall has everything you could want in a home brew shop; cool people, cool environment, great supplies, and did i mention that ballast point has a little tasting area set up in the back of the shop?

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Photo of srandycarter
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

The only place I go in the county for Home Brew Supplies. These guys are incredibly helpful. They walked me through my first home brew and I keep learning with every batch. All the hardware you can think of (except for later tuns, unfortunately) - they even created a blow off tube and stopper on the spot. An amazing array of hops, yeasts (including White Labs), barley and other tasty ingredients.

Doesn't hurt that you can sample all of the Ballast Point currents at the back of the store, including growlers. This is my only small disappointment in service, however. When there is a large crowd sampling, it's hard to get help in the front end. However, this is a small price to pay for all the goodies you can experience there.

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

This is the first, and only, homebrew shop I have ever been to, so it's hard to make comparisons. Regardless, the store had a nice open atmosphere even though racks of supplies and ingredients were everywhere (not too cramped). I went to pick up my first homebrewing kit in January, and the service was excellent. One of the guys guided me through the pro's and con's of each kit and readily answered all my questions. They were even available via phone when I had questions during my first brewing session (Pale Ale kit), very cool. There seemed to be a large selection of brewing supplies here, for the novice to the advanced homebrewer. Bonus points for the Ballast Point tasting session in the back, I definitely had a few tasters while picking out my gear. From what I've heard, this is *the* place for homebrewing in San Diego, and I am looking forward to going back to pick up ingredients for my second batch of beer!

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Photo of Floydster
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Probably the best homebrew store I am ever been to, certainly the only place I ever seen White Labs yeast available, cool atomsphere with genuine employees, it did not smell nearly as strong as the other ones and was much cleaner, not to mention you can get growler fills of Ballast Point beers there, had four tasters while I was there, walked up to this little window with a wooden bar and a guy filled my glass within thirty seconds, no complaint there, they had some nice stuff available, most of the offerings were not bottled so it was fun to try some new stuff, I got a peice of paper and reviewed some brews right then and there too, including Sextant Oatmeal Stout, Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Marlin Porter, Fathom India Pale Lager, and Dorado Double IPA, growler fills ranged from eight to sixteen dollars depending on the scarcity of the beer, had some cool magazines to check out while drinking, and saw some barrels at stuff in the back where they do some brewing, great experience and will definitely go back now that I know it is less than two blocks from University of San Diego where I have several friends who go to school, glad I stopped here yesterday

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Photo of domtronzero
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%

An excellent homebrew store. I prefer this out of the two homebrew stores in San Diego. The staff has always given me great advice on my homebrewing projects. From my first extract brew, through partial-mashing, and they are still helping me with efficiency-related problems. Selection is great, and it is always fresh. We are very lucky to live here is SD with White Labs Yeast being produced in the same town; Homebrew Mart always has a huge selection of very fresh WL yeast. Some of the items are fairly pricy, but it has come to be expected in a town with only 2 homebrew stores. The taster bar in the back is waht makes this place great! Have a couple 4 oz. brews while you are shopping for ingredients for the next batch. I consider it to be inspiration.

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Photo of kleffman
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%

I'm a big fan of the Home Brew Mart at Ballast Point Brewery. This place is almost a one stop shop for your brew day. I got my starter kit here, and usually get my ingredients here as well. Their ingredients are fresh and stored well.

I would say the service can be questionable depending who you talk to. Some of the workers are amazing and offer up tons of advice while others barely give you a yes or no.

I must say having a taster bar at the back is a big plus, they usually have some interesting brews that definitely never get bottled.

Overall, great place but can be a little expensive depending what you're looking at. Ingredients are fairly standard prices, but the original kit I bought was a little pricey. That's alright though, they're convenient and I'll be back.

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Photo of MisterRed
4/5  rDev -5.2%

I really liked this store. I am thinking about getting to brewing and this place seems to have everything that I need, including: books, basic brewing kits and all of the ingredients for custom brewing recipes.

The people are very friendly and helpful, plus there is that great taster bar at the back of the store. They have tastes, and will sell you and refill your growler. They have the ballast point beers on tap, and other microbrews and craft beers.

Overall I think it's a pretty good place. I will purchase my brewing kit and supplies from this store.

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Home Brew Mart Ballast Point in San Diego, CA
4.22 out of 5 based on 40 ratings.
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