To celebrate a quarter century of brewing, Ballast Point Brewing Co., a division of San Diego-based Kings & Convicts Brewing Co., is releasing a new, limited-release 25th Anniversary Mix Pack. These beers embody the past, present, and future of Ballast Point with four classics that commemorate the journey along the way: Calico (Amber Ale, 1996), California Kölsch (German Style Pale Ale, 1996), Sculpin (IPA, 2005) and Big Gus (IPA, 2021).
“From our gritty Home Brew Mart to our big production facility in Miramar, Ballast Point concentrates on the beer and what it means to enjoy beer with friends,” said Brendan Watters, co-founder of Kings & Convicts Brewing Co. and CEO of Ballast Point, in a statement. “We are going to continue innovating and sharing great beer and look forward to doing so for the next 25 years.”
Ballast Point's 25th Anniversary Mix Pack will feature 12, 12-ounce cans and will be available beginning mid-June initially in all Ballast Point tasting rooms and stores throughout Southern California. The following are the beers included history and taste descriptions:
CALICO, Amber Ale (ABV 5.5%)
The very first beer brewed on the original 15-barrel brewhouse at Home Brew Mart, Ballast Point's ESB-inspired ale has seen a name and artwork change since it was first introduced in 1996. A rich, copper ale with a chest full of gold medals, Calico takes its inspiration from the British. Four types of malts give it a bold complexity, and the proprietary yeast strain lends it a fruity, madeira-like richness. However, it's the blend of American Cascade and Centennial hops that give this ale a distinct bite and floral aroma that have earned it just about every major beer medal, including taking gold in the American-Style Amber/Red Ale category at the 2001 Great American Beer Festival.
CALIFORNIA KÖLSCH, German Style Pale Ale (ABV 5.2%)
California Kölsch, formerly Yellowtail, is often referred to as the beer that launched Ballast Point. A nod to the beloved German style, Ballast Point's original Pale Ale is crafted with aromatic hops and rounded out with a blend of American and Munich malts. While California Kölsch is hopped like a lager, it's fermented like an ale to create a smooth, bright taste that has a hint of honey up front and estery, banana notes.
SCULPIN, India Pale Ale (ABV 7%)
2005 saw a renaissance in the industry with new beers and styles being created: India Pale Lagers, Session IPA's, Coffee Imperial Porters, strong fruited honey ales, Rye Browns, smoked beers, multiple lagers, and indigenous beers. That same year, the world was introduced to Ballast Point's Sculpin India Pale Ale. A blend of two near-identical homebrew IPA recipes originally named North Star IPA has since become a hallmark of the style. Named by resident artist Paul Elder over a few beers, Sculpin ended up being the apt name for the new West Coast-style IPA with the distinct bite. For the past 15 years, flagship Sculpin IPA has been the #1 selling beer and the most awarded in Ballast Point's history, winning gold medals at the World Beer Cup (2010, 2014) and European Beer Star (2010, 2011). The original has since spawned a family, each made unique by enhancing a certain flavor.
BIG GUS, India Pale Ale (ABV 6.5%)
In honor of its 25th year of craft beer innovation in San Diego, Ballast Point added two new offerings to its year-round portfolio in early 2021: Big Gus and Wee Gus. The duo — a R&D hoppy lager and an IPA — mark the first additions to the portfolio since 2019. Big Gus, the bigger, bolder brother of Wee Gus, is an extremely dry and colossally dry-hopped 6.5% ABV India Pale Ale. This behemoth has the spine of a traditional IPA with a generous amount of American Amarillo, Cashmere, and handpicked Yakima Valley Mosaic hops and a delicate pilsner malt.