The Beer Savant

June 21, 2011

Ballast Point Calico Amber Ale

Ballast Point Calico Amber AleDate: June 13, 2011
Cost: NA
Brewer:  Ballast Point Brewing Company, San Diego, California
Alcohol content: 5.5%
Served: Cold from tap with seafood dinner at the Red Sails Inn

When you try a beer for the first time, the “where you are, who you’re with” factor can sometimes cloud your judgment. I tried my first glass of Ballast Point Calico Ale at a seaside table while dinning with my cousin and his wife from New Zealand, whom I had not seen for many, many years. It was a special evening.

The waitress brought me a glass of deep, clear, amber ale with the smallest of heads. I caught a whiff of grass and perhaps herbs as I raised it to my lips. It was love at first sip! My mouth was flooded with a rich ale full of malty flavors accented with hops and a slight bitter bite. It’s a complex tasting beer; each sip seemed to reveal additional nuances: a biscuity yeast, hops, maybe some citrus, caramel, etc.

As I mentioned, sentiment can wreck havoc on one’s objectivity, so to ensure a fair tasting, I ordered a second. I can swear without a doubt that this is one damn fine amber ale! I think I would find it no less satisfying if I were drinking it alone while eating a Big Mac following my best friend’s funeral.


June 9, 2011

Skid Mark Brown Ale

Filed under: Ale,American,Brown — hikingsandiego @ 10:07 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Date: June 8, 2011
Cost: NA
Brewer: Pizza Port, San Diego, California
Alcohol content: NA
Served: By the glass from tap onsite, with pepperoni & mushroom pizza

Yeah, yeah, yeah. The name. Go ahead, laugh. And when you’re done, come back and read what I have to say about this beer.

Last night was my maiden voyage at Pizza Port in Ocean Beach, which is one of four Ports in the San Diego area, not counting the Port Bottle Shop in Carlsbad. Pizza Port opened for business in 1987 and has been creating craft beers since 1992. I’ll let you click on the link above if you want to read more about them.

Seven beers are brewed onsite, and many…and I mean many…other fine beers are available on tap or in bottles. The choice was difficult. But with a name like “Skid Mark Brown,” I had to give it its day in court.

The beer poured a clear, mahogany brown with a slight white head that disappeared quickly. If an amber ale and Guinness had an offspring, its color would look like Skid Mark. On first sip, I tasted cocoa. Then the malts came into play. I’ll admit, the consistency was thinner than I expected, but I was anticipating the fullness of a stout. My bad. This is an ale, after all.

Overall, it was a nice beer with a pleasant, fresh taste. It could stand to have a little more zing, but I would definitely order it again.

And by the way, the pizza here is far better than your usual pub grub. The cheese is good, and the sauce is full of herbs and spices. I would dine here again just for the pizza.

pizza port OB

The Ocean Beach Pizza Port, San Diego, California

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