Ballantine of the 50s & 60s

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by mklmg, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,127) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

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    I never had any of these but Old Peculiar I did.
     
    #41 Bitterbill, Jan 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  2. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,326) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Oh, and bringing this comment back to the yeast topic - I've often wondered if either the new "light" lager recipe or the then even newer lager recipe (created in reaction to the nonacceptance of that first change) in the period of roughly 1965 - 1969 introduced new/different or a "true" lager yeast into the brewery? Did a problem with a new yeast cause some of the problems of the new lager?

    In those final years, both sets of ownership were doing a lot of changes - they even briefly switched to kraeusening for carbonating the lager for a short period starting around mid-1970, which I always thought sort of strange for a brewery that, post-Repeal anyway, never did.

    Like many other US kraeusening brewers of that period, they used a "non-foreign" -easy to pronounce?- term - in their case "Cold Brewing". Even worse, they claimed it allowed "...the customer to drink and enjoy the beer at any temperature"....Huh?
     
  3. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,087) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Here in the Midwest Old Style always used kräusening as a marketing catch phrase. I suppose they weren't concerned with pronunciation because they used the word in all of their radio commercials and advertised during every sporting event. We all knew how to say "Fully Kräusened," it even became a play on words for being completely in the bag. :wink:
    I've found that the majority of European beers taste pretty good in a wide range of temperature -- unlike American Adjunct Lager that becomes practically undrinkable if it's slightly warmer than 33°F. Maybe Ballantine thought the kräusening was the trick to good flavor at any temp? (insert shrug emoticon here)
     
  4. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (826) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    That's interesting about those 2 yeasts. A number of years ago I gave my Father an SNPA. He was old and didn't drink much anymore. He tasted the SNPA and got a puzzled looked on his face. He took a larger taste smiled and said this tastes like the old Ballantine IPA. A local brewery Twin Elephant brews a few ales and IPA's with what they call Old Newark yeast. The brewer says it the Ballantine Ale yeast.
     
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  5. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,326) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Oh, yeah, lots of east coast brewers used the correct term, too (w/various spellings - some out your way used a weird phonetic spelling like "KROYZEND"). Off hand I can't think of who it was who used the term "Twice Brewed" or something similar.

    Hmmm...that wasn't what Chicago's own Richard Siebold claimed...:wink:

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    Even Ballantine, who emphasized "cold beer" in several different ad campaigns for their Ballantine Beer over they years, like the early '50s:
    "DEEP BREWED THE FLAVOR THAT CHILL CAN'T KILL"
    recommended that... "The ideal serving temperature for BALLANTINE BEER is 40 to 42 where the true mellow flavor comes through" - that could be one of those situations where the marketers don't agree with the brewers.

    Speaking of Ballantine Beer being both cold and bad:

    "(In the mid-1960s), according to the industry, Ballantine decided to change its formula. This change was noticed almost immediately by Puerto Rican purchasers, who had long been strong Ballantine fans. Puerto Ricans are known for preferring their beer extremely cold (remember Ballantine’s 'Hey, get your cold beer!') and the beermakers considered it unusual that they noticed the change in taste. When beer or any other liquid is extremely cold, it is difficult to detect variances of taste or flavor.”


    ---"A Look at Why City Brewery Industry Went Flat",
    New York Times, Feb. 9, 1974

    So, the chill couldn't even kill the taste of the unacceptable new recipe.
     
    #45 jesskidden, Jan 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
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  6. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,326) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Oh, yeah - Detroit's finest - E&B Beer
    (from the Ekhardt & Becker Brewery Co.)
    [​IMG]
     
  7. tzieser

    tzieser Savant (961) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey
    Trader


    Another great post there, @jesskidden . This part of the post caught my attention. Have you tried Croydon Cream Ale by Nashaminy Creek? If you have, how does it compare? Your description of the classic cream ale flavor seems to be spot on of with what Croydon Cream Ale tastes like. Not sure where in NJ you are but they probably make it to your area.
     
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  8. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,326) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    No, I haven't. I'm a big fan of their _____ Pilsner (whatever the heck its called)- although sadly it's difficult to find fresh and I notice that it is seems to be the most common of their regular line-up for a store not to carry. (Perhaps because it sells so poorly that when they finally unload the old ones, they're not about to re-order it?)

    I guess if I see a "craft" cream ale I avoid it unless I hear something positive, given the common erroneous beliefs (vanilla, low ibu's, lactose, nitro, etc) about the style. I'll check out the dates next time I see it on the shelves...although at 4.2% and 12.5 ibu's doesn't sound exactly like a classic Repeal-era version, but if it's good, it's good.
     
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  9. tzieser

    tzieser Savant (961) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey
    Trader

    I totally agree with you. Most craft cream ales these days rely too much on modern brewing trends and/or gimmicks. This one was a simple, subtly hoppy cream ale. I, too, like their pilsner and JAWN as well so it gave me good reason to check it out. I was very happy with it, hope you give it a shot!
     
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  10. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,640) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    JK, it is Neshaminy Creek Trauger Pilsner (named after a German family that settled in that area 'back in the day').

    FWIW, I am less than an hour drive from Neshaminy Creek and I too can't find their beers fresh. I picked up a 6-pack of Trauger Pils this past weekend and the little white sticker on the top indicated the beer was over 6 months old. Neshaminy Creek beers are priced higher than other comparable local breweries (e.g., Sly Fox) so my guess is that folks in my area are buying other beers vs. Neshaminy Creek beers. I personally will buy a 6-pack of Sly Fox Pikeland Pils because it is cheaper (plus I can find those beers fresh).

    Cheers!
     
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  11. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,127) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    Got a cone top of that in my collection. Not for the Ekhardt name....:wink:
     
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  12. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,087) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Yeah, but notice that he's comparing it to other beers -- maybe Meisterbrau kräusened their brew? :grin:

    For extra cash, my dad hawked beer for Meisterbrau in the early '70s at semi-pro football games. I often helped load the carrying cases for him and the other vendors, but I never really tried the beer (at least, not so's I could really remember the flavor...).

    By the time I was old enough to drink, the brand was long gone, so I can't compare its flavor fluctuation to the likes of BMC (or Rhinelander, or Blatz, or Point) -- which really needs that chill to kill! :grin:
     
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  13. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,532) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    I heard that smuttynose clusters last stand was closer to the original than was the nouveau ballantines. I wonder if that is true?
     
  14. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,532) Jun 11, 2013 New York


    I happened to be a big fan of 6th borough. I served it thanksgiving with my citrus scented cheesecake. I profiled in it in new Beer Sunday but can't point to the thread. =)
     
  15. mklmg

    mklmg Initiate (109) Jan 2, 2004 New York

    Coincidently, that's about the time my Dad started drinking Piels Real Draft !
     
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  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,640) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

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  17. mklmg

    mklmg Initiate (109) Jan 2, 2004 New York

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    I came across this site while checking out where my Dad grew up. This is across the street from his apartment was, the corner of Franklin Ave & Willoughby Ave in Brooklyn. Don't think that's him playing in the street, as this photo was taken on 7/8/1942. He would've been in Basic Training or some jungle in the South Pacific by then. I was just wondering how long that Ballantine billboard was there and if it had any bearing on him being a Ballantine man ? LOL
     
  18. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,326) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Nice shot - esp. since it was in the ol' man's neighborhood.

    In '42, Ballantine was the largest brewery in the NYC-NJ metro area (well, the entire east coast for that matter- they were #4 in the nation, with #1-3 out in sticks, in Missouri and Wisconsin :wink:).

    But given the specific borough he lived in, the neighbors might have been more likely to drink Schaefer (#5) or Rheingold (#8) brewed a few blocks away, or even Ruppert out of Manhattan (#6).
     
  19. mynie

    mynie Poo-Bah (3,613) Jun 22, 2004 Maryland

    Any updates on the XXX? I live in Baltimore and over the last month or so it's become really easy to find--like, sixers are showing up not only at beer stores but even at corner liquor marts. The dude at the liquor store said he heard it was a reformulation, but lord knows if he was just BS'ing.

    Frankly, I like the current XXX. You can definitely taste the cascade and the aroma from the dry hopping, with fainter than a typical modern APA, is still apparent, and pleasant. It's something like a bridge between a relatively hoppy adjunct (like, say, the Gusto Schlitz) and a lighter APA. I got no idea what it was like back in the day, however.
     
  20. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,326) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Ya never know what's going on with Pabst (even their customer service people are pretty vague and if you talk to more than one, they can be contradictory) but the company rather quickly dropped the "new" revived Ballantine-branded ales - Burton, Brewer's Gold and IPA, they no longer list the brand on their main Pabst Portfolio webpage and clicking on www.BallantineAle.com takes you to the Pabst Blue Ribbon site.

    And they don't even bother using the iconic green bottle (granted, that could be seen as a plus IF the beer was any good).

    Makes it seem that their long promised revival of Ballantine XXX Ale would be unlikely. I'd guess it is more likely that a local PBR/National Bohemian distributor was having good luck with those brands or their malt liquor line-up (the segment that Ballantine Ale has wound up in) and asked, "Uh, what else ya got?"

    With the Ballantine XXX Ale site gone, no way to check the local distributor. I'd give them a call.

    Into the early '60s, Ballantine was one of the largest selling brands in MD, after the two large locals, National and Carling, and AB. They even operated their own wholesale "branch" in Baltimore into the mid-1960s.
     
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  21. BeRightBock

    BeRightBock Devotee (434) Apr 27, 2007 New York
    Premium Trader

    It was either Ballantine XXX or Carling's Black Label that was the first brew to flow passed these taste buds so many years ago, a sip from Dad's glass.

    :expressionless:
     
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