San Diego is a fabulous city – located on the coast, it’s large without the big city feel, and much better than the dive that is LA just up the coast. It’s famous for its seafood, and in following this trend, Ballast Brewing Co have named each of their beers after a sea animal – in this case, the Big Eye IPA (turns out a Big Eye is a type of tuna, and a prized recreational game one at that).
Ballast Brewing Co (who also make their own spirits) claims that this is “big and bold”, and they’re not far off the mark. Pouring into the glass light brown in colour and a nice head, this is one attractive beer. Big citrus and woody scents come through, but phwoar, the flavour! Matching the scent, it’s huge on the hops – citrus comes through first before washing down with big pine and resiny flavours. They’ve placed a big emphasis on the hops, and have been rewarded by nailing the IPA style perfectly.
This is undoubtedly a top beer. It’s smooth from start to finish, has huge flavours, and would be dangerously sessionable if given the opportunity. Beats the pants off America’s most famous beer export – Budweiser. Want to match it with a food? I’d say it would go well with anything, but particularly a beef vindaloo. Either with food or not, I’d have it again and again.
Drunk: from the bottle