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

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

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  1. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Sure you're not confusing Ballantine XXX Ale with Ballantine India Pale Ale?
    The XXX was typically priced in the "premium" level (i.e., equivalent to the national flagships like Bud, Schlitz, Miller) or sometimes a bit higher outside the northeast, while the IPA was among the most expensive domestic beers on the market (perhaps only Michelob was more expensive in most regions at the time), in part, obviously because of its famous "Aged in Wood One Year" brewing method.

    Of course, prices varied greatly state-to-state, depending on taxes, local competition, types of legal beer vendors (liquor stores vs. grocery stores), sales, etc., but in 1964 in the official NJ State Price List, Ballantine India Pale Ale sold for a minimum of $5.58/cs (and that was returnable bottles - typically cheaper than "throw-aways" or cans). That is compared to $4.40/cs for Ballantine Ale, $4.65/cs for Budweiser, or $3.40/cs for Yuengling Premium.

    Outside it's home region, in Wisconsin, in the late 1950's, BIPA went for $6.60/cs, while the national premium brands sold for around $3.30/cs. Those prices for BIPA are the equivalent of a case going for $42 - 53 (respectively) today, according to the BLS Inflation Calculator.
    mfnmbvp, azorie, JimKal and 1 other person like this.
  2. Flashy

    Flashy Oct 22, 2003 Vermont

    Somewhere at my parents lake house (shack) there is a glass jar full of the Ballentine riddle caps- about 60% of them figured out.
  3. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Wasn't the Baldwinsville brewery built to brew with a process called continuous fermentation?
  4. shawnohall

    shawnohall Nov 8, 2009 Texas

    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.
  5. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    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!
  6. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    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.
  7. azorie

    azorie Mar 18, 2006 Florida

    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.
  8. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    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.
  9. azorie

    azorie Mar 18, 2006 Florida

    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?
  10. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    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.
  11. drtth

    drtth Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    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...
  12. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    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.
  13. drtth

    drtth Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    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.)
    #133 drtth, Nov 16, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  14. drtth

    drtth Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    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.
  15. BJC

    BJC Nov 9, 2002 New Jersey

    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.
  16. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    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.
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