Ballantine is Coming Back!

I wonder which recipe they will use-hopefully the older one and not the watered down Pabst version. ... ?hpt=hp_t2

Of course it is Pabst so probably answered my own question…

I assume you’re referring to the Ballantine India Pale Ale that has been buzzed about recently.
The regular Ballantine XXX Ale never left, and that one is still sold (regionally) in it’s sadly watered down Pabst version of the last 20 years.

For this re-introduction of the India Pale, they didn’t use the greatly diminished version last seen in the late '80s or early '90s.
But they didn’t use the original Ballantine formula either, because it apparently couldn’t be found anywhere (the brewery closed in 1972 and the formula changed a few times after the brand moved to different breweries).
What they did do was attempt to reverse engineer the original brew without having the benefit of a fresh sample to taste or analyze. They nailed the ABV (7.2) and IBUs (70) spot on andcame very close on the color (the SRM is slightly paler than the original). And considering the fact that they guessed at the malts, used a totally different combination of hop varieties, and abandoned the long aging that was an important aspect of the original, they still came much closer than I thought they would.

I sampled the new version of the India Pale Ale a few days ago and although it bears only a passing resemblance to the original product, it is most definitely NOT a watered down “cop out” brew and, nostalgia prejudices aside, actually stands on it’s own merits. Their brewmaster, Greg Deuhs, seems to have some very good brewery cred and he has managed to formulate a pretty worthy product for his company that is every bit as good as any currently produced IPA out there, and considerably better than quite a few if them. I hope the product stays around…I’ll add it to the very short list of commercial beers I buy, and will continue to buy it (whenever I run out of homebrew). Unfortunately, current brand owner Pabst has had a pretty lousy track record when it comes to the legacy brands they own (especially the Ballantine ales) , but in this case, they have actually made a real effort to come up with a beer that actually has some depth and character.

So in the end, I kept my expectations low, and I wound up being pleasantly surprised.
Ballantine (when they were still opeating in Newark, NJ anyway) was a truly craft oriented brewer, even during the so called “dark ages” .
This re-boot of one of their old products was a pleasant surprise.

Just ran across this: ... 1628690352

[quote=“dannyboy58”]Just ran across this: ... 1628690352[/quote]

Nice article…a few inaccuracies, but an important point was made: that Pabst actually did manage to come up with a pretty fine brew here, even if they didn’t really nail the character of the original BIPA. To do that, they would certainly have to ditch the citrusy character that seems to make so many of the modern IPAs indistiguishable from one another… ‘Citrus’ was definitely not a part of the original’s flavor profile. Between 1970 and 1980, I was buying at least a sixpack every week or two and was already making notes in an effort to homebrew a version.
Still, Pabst’s current version is good stuff, certainly on par with --and in some cases quite a bit better than-- many IPAs out there nowadays. Pretty amazing, considering that it’s a Pabst product. They seem to be serious about this one.

If it survives this initial test marketing phase, I’d buy it. Right now, the problem is finding it. In trying to find some, most of the retail stores I’ve called have no idea it’s even available (and a few of the ones who were aware of it stated outright that they didn’t intend to stock it.)
Unfortunately, Pabst’s NJ distributors (a few of whom I’ve spoken with) don’t seem to be putting much of an effort to get product into the stores.

If anyone reading the forum is in NJ and is curious to obtain some, it does seem (so far) that you’re likely to find it more readily in southern NJ.

I’m in north jersey and it is good.

It seems to be showing up a lot more now. Average price for a sixer seems to be between 8.49 and 9.99.
It seems to be selling rather well, too.

I drive to NYC occasionally and would love to pickup a 6 pack of this beer. I drive up 81 then east on 78 to the city. Stopped in a little package store in Bernardsville(?) I think, last weekend but they didn’t carry it. Any chain convenience stores carry it? Any suggestions where I could grab a sixer?

Baseball and Ballantine. :cheers: