I found some Ballentine XXX

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I found some Ballentine XXX

Postby Azorean Brewer » Sun Jul 28, 2002 3:22 am

Hi y'all, living down here in South Carolina, I don't have access to any northern micro's like Linney's of the upper mid west, and Goose Island from Chicago. However while visiting Bristol R.I for the 4
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Don't Confuse This Brew With The Legendary Ballentine's...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Sun Aug 04, 2002 6:05 am

The beer you picked up is not the same as the Ballentine's of legend, which was orginally owned by the Buck family (Bethlehem Steel). This beer brand was long ago sold to Falstaff Brewing, which was folded into Pabst, which closed and is now a Miller brand. During this passing from a brewery to a brand and through it's various brewers, it's composition was greatly transformed.

Historical accounts of this beer noted it as a moderately caramely, high bitterness (by US standards of the day) Pale Ale, and by some an IPA.

Due to it's present macrobrew production & formulation, it is now more like Genessee Cream Ale, but lighter in body.
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Re: Don't Confuse This Brew With The Legendary Ballentine's.

Postby The Professor » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:35 pm

Mesa Maltworks wrote:The beer you picked up is not the same as the Ballentine's of legend...
Historical accounts of this beer noted it as a moderately caramely, high bitterness (by US standards of the day) Pale Ale, and by some an IPA....


The Ballantine Ale sold today is nothing at all like the original brew, which was well hopped and aromatic (and not only by "standards of the day"...it would absolutely hold its own today as well).
I know because 40 years ago, I was drinking quite a bit of it. The original beer survived the first acquisition...Falstaff took great pains to brew to the original formula and methods to produce it. It took a nosedive as soon as Pabst got into the picture.

But to clarify one important point...it was not ever categorized as an IPA. Ballantine IPA was a completely separate and pricier premium product, one which most beer experts still consider a benchmark for authentic IPA, and which was far and away miles above anything in that category brewed today. It was still being sold into the 1990's but had not been brewed to its original formula since the early/mid 1980's. Great stuff, it was. Intensely bitter and "in your face" aromatic, and was aged in wood for a full year before bottling. Not many breweries today are willing or able to dedicate that kind of tank space. That quality came at a price--- In 1970 the IPA cost $3.50 for a sixpak. In 2009 dollars, that translates to more than $18.50.
And I'd gladly pay that for it today. It was that good.
Thanks for listening and sorry to rant...the mere mention of the name gets me going. The IPA was one of the main reasons I started home brewing 38 years ago.
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