I’ve been visiting Ballast Point for some time now. When I first visited the Scripps Ranch location it was really small and had hardly any space to sit if any. Now it is three times as large inside plus has a nice outdoor sitting area. When Ballast Point announced the new location in Little Italy I was excited but I didn’t go down there until now because I am so close to the Old Grove location. After making it down to meet with a few friends I am glad I made the trip and got to try a few interesting beers they don’t have at the other location.
I went straight for the four varieties of single hopped IPAs. For those not familiar, most IPAs, like Ballast Point’s Sculpin, are made with multiple varieties of hops. The combination of flavors is what makes your favorite beer so good. Single hopped IPAs are made with a single type of hops. This is nice because it lets you become familiar with the different tastes of the hops. They were nice to taste and experience the hops but I was not craving pints of any of them after the tasters.
It is important to note that Ballast Point does have a wine selection as well. So you won’t be alienating your friends if they don’t drink beer. I didn’t get to taste any of the wines though so I don’t know how good they are.
I next went for the Hop Face IPA, the original Sculpin recipe with some Mosaic hops. With that I got a taster of the Chocolate Schwartz and the Dunkelweisen.
The Hop Face was good but it didn’t blow me away or anything. I still prefer the original Sculpin. I was quite impressed by the Chocolate Schwartz. I wasn’t expecting such a delicious sweet chocolate taste. It could turn into a popular mainstay if they make it right. The Dunkelweisen was not bad but tasted pretty much like any other dark Belgian beer. It didn’t grab me and I much preferred the Chocolate Schwartz.
It is nice to note that they did have a selection of food available here. Most of the offerings were around $12-$15. We only had the chips and salsa. It was tasty and the chips were quite nice. We ended up eating a sandwich down the street at Mona Lisa. The little Italian market has amazing huge sandwiches for $7 or so that you can easily split with someone. Since Ballast Point serves food I doubt they would let you bring one in, but it is great for after a few beers. Overall, it is worth stopping by the Little Italy location for a taste of some interesting beers you can’t find at the other location. It is a great start to a new location that will hopefully be very successful.