Ballast Point becoming gimmicky?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by 2014LM2X1, Feb 8, 2016.

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  1. 2014LM2X1

    2014LM2X1 Initiate (0) Oct 13, 2014 Massachusetts

    Over the past two weeks, I've seen these in stores:

    1. Pineapple Sculpin
    2. Ginger Big Eye
    3. Mango Even Keel
    4. Watermelon Dorado

    Not to mention Peppermint Victory at Sea over the holidays. Is Constellation weakening the brand by pumping out all these new flavored offerings?

    P.S. To me, these sound like they come right from the PowerPoint of some Constellation marketer who decided that fruit beers are all the rage. I haven't purchased anything from BP since they were bought out and will continue to abstain.
  2. Hoos78

    Hoos78 Maven (1,281) Mar 3, 2015 Ohio

    Howdy partner...many of these concerns have been discussed in this thread:
  3. LloydDobler

    LloydDobler Pooh-Bah (1,966) Jul 25, 2014 Indiana
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Damned if you do and damned if you don't. A brewery decides to go outside the box and be innovative and they are labeled "gimmicky", but if they just keep plugging away with what they have already been doing, they are boring. These guys can't win either way. Do you want different offerings, or will you be fine with just drinking the same beers for the rest of your life?!

    CJNAPS Initiate (0) Nov 3, 2013 California

    Your missing out because the Mango Even keel was good. But they can keep the watermelon Dorado and Pineapple Sculpin, haven't had the new big eye yet.
    alucard6679 and beertrip like this.
  5. MNAle

    MNAle Initiate (0) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Not to mention it will be Constellation's fault whatever they do.
  6. JFresh21

    JFresh21 Savant (1,012) Mar 6, 2012 Illinois

    I'm cool with it. It's called voting with your feet or in this case $$$. They will examine the sales and if people buy them they will make em.

    Goose island has done pineapple and peppermint beers. Both were excellent. I'm all for new stuff.
    PerHops likes this.
  7. rather

    rather Initiate (0) May 31, 2013 California

    I will take the regular version of any of their flavored beer. Mango even keel ties the regular for me but gets a slight edge because my gf likes it.
    BP really has lost respect. if they had release some new BEER not just some of their current line plus some shit thrown in (artificial/natural flavors) I would cut them some slack but I'm sure sleeping in money is wonderful
    CJNAPS likes this.
  8. IceAce

    IceAce Pooh-Bah (2,158) Jan 8, 2004 California

    BP has always been cutting edge...from Thai Chili Wahoo to Victory at Cereal.

    Constellation hasn't even owned them long enough to even begin to scratch the surface. Time to lighten up Francis...
  9. algebeeric_topology

    algebeeric_topology Pooh-Bah (1,966) Dec 30, 2014 Florida
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    This has been going on BP since before Constellation picked them up. It's just what they like doing I guess. I'm excited for at least 3 of those beers!
    PerHops and IceAce like this.
  10. CJNAPS

    CJNAPS Initiate (0) Nov 3, 2013 California

    I agree, they lost a little respect....but its hard to turn down a truck load of money that backs up to your docks
    kemoarps and rather like this.
  11. HeislerGold

    HeislerGold Initiate (0) Oct 19, 2013 Michigan

    That's not gimmicky. Fruit beers have been plentiful for a long long time and ginger isn't exactly some new bandwagon for brewers to hop on. This is just a brewery making beer.
    m4gdelen4, SawDog505, PerHops and 4 others like this.
  12. corgistout

    corgistout Initiate (0) May 8, 2014 California

    These were all pilot beers at the brewery for over a year before they were released, so no. They are simply fan favorites that made it to bottles. I don't think having fun with some new variations makes a brewery gimmicky. Maybe if they replaced their core beers with the flavored ones.
    BigMike likes this.
  13. monkeybeerbelly

    monkeybeerbelly Initiate (0) Dec 6, 2012 New York

    Ballast Point becoming gimmicky?

    i must correct you, "became gimmicky"
    lateralusbeer and Brolo75 like this.
  14. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    How are these flavors added to the beer? Post fermentation as strictly a flavor additive (like creamer or sugar in coffee)?

    I havent gotten a straight answer yet from anyone from any brewery. All we hear is "brewed with grapefruit, grapefruit juice" or "tangerine, orange, and orange peel". I know one can add zest to the boil. Anything beyond that feels a touch like cheating.

    If one runs a stout through a bag of coffee beans, those flavors are intense. One can turn an average stout into a world class offering. AT the end of the day, it's not really the yeast working any sort of magic if it's all done after the fact. Then again, that's what dry hopping is all about (after the boil).

    Maybe people don't care so much about how it's made. I guess I'm just trying to see if I can brew this on my own.

    There was a thread in here awhile back about adding a splash of juice to IPAs. In theory, this may be how those orange flavors get added.

    Early on with home brewing, many warned of using real fruits in any sort of fermentation. One would have to make sure those items were super super clean or off flavors and infection could happen, so they would recommend flavor extracts. Maybe that's also used here.

    This just got me thinking.. Carry on, ramble over
    monkeybeerbelly and tone77 like this.
  15. Relik

    Relik Zealot (567) Apr 20, 2011 Canada (NS)

    Well if you add the fruit to the fermentation a lot the flavor and scent will blow off with the CO2. Added during Conditioning is ideal because the flavors are still fresh once they hit the serving vessel.
    You can add flavors in the mash, in the boil, you can add them like you would dry hop a beer all will impart something, but its however you want to express that flavor.
    Extracts are a good way as they are mostly just alcohol and whatever the source of the flavor is, you could also soak your flavoring is a grain alcohol to kill off any bugs/yeast that may be on the surface.
    cavedave and Oktoberfiesta like this.
  16. BigMike

    BigMike Initiate (0) May 8, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I have no problem with them. If its not your cup of tea, move on.
  17. Raime

    Raime Pooh-Bah (1,935) Jun 4, 2012 Korea (North)

    To continue drinking mass amounts of grapefruit sculpin or to care what people think about me drinking mass amounts of grapefruit sculpin.....

    * Sips beer *

    BEERMILER12 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,639) Sep 11, 2010 Maine

    As others have said, they aren't new beers. They were mostly brewery-only/draft-only beers that have been recently released in cans and bottles. Sure, the increased income helped with that, but they are in no way Constellation-born beers. Constellation was much more interested in their spirits and pre-made hard drinks than their beer line.
    jesskidden and breadwinner like this.
  19. DWheeler379

    DWheeler379 Initiate (0) Jun 15, 2012 Colorado

    That's not true. I don't know why people keep saying that. Constellation didn't buy their spirits. I heard this from their East Coast Sales Manager on a podcast, before and after the sale went through.
    JimsArcade likes this.
  20. lalancette7

    lalancette7 Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2015 Vermont

    Mango even keel was one of the most godawful beers I've ever had.
  21. stealth

    stealth Pooh-Bah (1,757) Dec 16, 2011 Minnesota

    Ah, fruit and spice is gimmicky now. Noted and said note discarded.
  22. floridadrift

    floridadrift Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2014 Florida

    I think its not that big of a deal. They're competing with Samuel Adams now, so the chase includes colorful labels and flavorful beers for guys and gals. Like Sam Adams, they have joined the coalition to the gateway to craft beer. Any local bottle shop will give you true craft but when you're in a super market, its not always available so I think Ballast Point is a nice suprise nowadays.
  23. ebin6

    ebin6 Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2009 California

    Becoming? They have been for some time. They seem to use a lot of shortcuts. For instance, Victory at Sea has always used vanilla "flavors"
    otispdriftwood likes this.
  24. AWA

    AWA Savant (1,171) Jul 22, 2014 California

    Of course it's gimmicky. But if it's meeting their customers desires, what's wrong with that? Of course I won't drink, and I'll talk smack about the people that do, but so what?
    ebin6 likes this.
  25. Dansac

    Dansac Pundit (866) Dec 6, 2014 California

    Yep, and they are not that good either.
  26. Scott17Taylor

    Scott17Taylor Initiate (0) Oct 28, 2013 Iowa

    I'm ok with gimmicky as long as the beer is good. With that being said I'm not a ballast point fan and won't be seeking out their beers.
  27. do_ob

    do_ob Initiate (0) Feb 12, 2015 Kentucky

    You know, I've had the same thought. But I can't say anything, having not had any of these "gimmicky" beers. I love my sculpin, and as long as they don't mess with the base beer, more power to 'em.
  28. eppCOS

    eppCOS Grand Pooh-Bah (3,844) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Have tried the whole Sculpin + ______(whatever) line of BP, and have to say I'm more impressed by the simple and straightforward taste of Grunion though I rarely find it here. Don't buy a ton of the stuff, however, as it's a little up there...
    VABA, JimsArcade and TonyLema1 like this.
  29. TrojanRB

    TrojanRB Grand Pooh-Bah (3,103) Jul 27, 2013 Texas
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Ginger Big Eye has been out for years.

    Lots of these variants have been brewery only or local keg distribution.

    That being said, they are certainly increasing the frequency and magnitude!

    I enjoy most of them. Not something I will drink everyday, but a nice change of pace.
    breadwinner likes this.
  30. ovaltine

    ovaltine Grand Pooh-Bah (5,731) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I've enjoyed all the Sculpin variants, and would love to try the peppermint VAS. Keep 'em comin', BP.
    OctoberPest likes this.
  31. WillemHC

    WillemHC Zealot (568) Jun 21, 2013 Utah

    Seriously? I get what you're trying to say but you really can't use the word "innovative" when they're adding fruit to beer.. That is a serious stretch.
  32. hophugger

    hophugger Grand Pooh-Bah (3,268) Mar 5, 2014 Virginia

    Don't like 'em, Don't drink 'em. I, myself am glad breweries are trying new things because it keeps things fun and unique. Keep drinking the same beers. If you like them, that's great!!
  33. babaracas

    babaracas Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2008 Florida

    good: these all seem like larger scale versions of "one keg only" type treatments that a ton of breweries do with a wide variety of their core beers

    bad: "natural flavor" on the label, meaning they throw some extract in the beer as late in the process as they want Nothing very natural about the process. IMO a betrayal of the good point listed above.
    Oktoberfiesta and ebin6 like this.
  34. frasergrove

    frasergrove Pooh-Bah (1,539) Apr 11, 2015 California

    Spoke with one of their brewers at their Old Grove location a little more than a year ago about Grapefruit Sculpin, and he indicated that they add concentrated essence/flavorings to the bright tank to give the aroma and flavor (something along the lines of rose extract, some form of citrus extract) I believe it would be safe to assume that they are just adding some form of concentrates or extracts for most or all of these beers
    Oktoberfiesta likes this.
  35. TCJ0100

    TCJ0100 Initiate (0) Oct 9, 2014 California

    Their core line up is fantastic. Commodore, Big Eye, Sculpin, Wahoo, Grunion, and even their pale ale are well above average. So as long as they keep making solid beer they can experiment to their hearts content. There are some breweries that just brew different takes on hazy tropical fruit forward IPA's that might be construed as gimmicky however...
  36. bcmac983

    bcmac983 Initiate (0) Sep 9, 2010 Indiana

    Change doesn't happen that fast. Damn some people cant handle a different flavor can they? How were you when they came out with new colors of Crayons?
    hophugger likes this.
  37. babaracas

    babaracas Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2008 Florida

    Yep, the "natural flavors" on the bottle/can means "extract" or "derivative", and not concentrate, not "aged on", as a lot of breweries do with smaller scale runs. You could make the same distinction between "brewed with/aged on vanilla" (VaS still is afaik) and "we threw some vanilla extract in at the end". If you think this is semantics, cook/bake/brew with the two... check the difference in price and flavor.

    Dude, what if a brewer starts using Pappy extract instead of real Pappy! (this is a joke. Pappy is flavors + alcohol, so FDA probably considers it no different than an extract. Hells yeah "Pappy's Extract Stout" trademarked as of now)
    Oktoberfiesta likes this.
  38. JTW10

    JTW10 Zealot (503) Nov 25, 2013 Pennsylvania

    i agree with the sentiment that at the end of the day it's on us to decide what we want to drink, and if you don't like it well hey don't buy it.

    i also could not agree with this more, this and pineapple sculpin are really fucking bad, so it's understandable when people complain about what BP wants to charge for beer they didn't even try to make good. every beer i've had that uses pineapple has been mediocre at best, but i have had several good mango beers so i don't think BP has any excuse for how gross mango even keel is.
  39. Dan_K

    Dan_K Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado

    I thought Pineapple Sculpin was great. I applaud BP for releasing these beers in wide distribution.
  40. Ipaupaweallpa

    Ipaupaweallpa Pundit (876) Dec 26, 2014 Alabama

    Ballast point rules as long as it dosent change taste I will always seek out Thier releases
    m4gdelen4, SawDog505 and OctoberPest like this.
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