First, beer lovers thrilled when news broke that Ballast Point would be opening a new brewery in Little Italy. When word came that it would also be a restaurant, foodies took notice. Now, at long last, Ballast Point Brewing Company's Tasting Room and Kitchen is set to open, officially to the public, early next week.
Within the 9,000-square-feet of beer wonderland is a 5 BBL brew house that's already turned out its inaugural beer, a pale ale called Little India that includes five hop varieties and, as an ode to Little Italy, additions of olive oil, rosemary, basil and thyme. It's the first of many specialty beers, sours among them, that'll be produced here and featured at their 50-tap tasting bar.
One half of the space is like a traditional tasting room, without seats but plenty of surfaces on which to rest your glass. On the other side, the dining area holds tables of different heights and an eating counter that spans a wall of windows looking out onto India Street. Even more seating will be available when their planned beer garden comes online sometime next month.
Food is ordered via a front register, or at the tasting bar, and delivered to you. The all-day menu, split into sections labeled Land, Sea and Garden, incorporates brewpub familiars (burger, fish taco, bratwurst) and chef-driven dishes, including a surf & turf of cumin-seared albacore and crispy pork belly, duck confit salad, house made herb gnocchi and house smoked seafood. In charge of the kitchen is chef Colin MacLaggan, who'll also be doing seasonal specials and beer dinners; a three course prix fixe, with beer pairings, will be offered daily.
Ballast Point Tasting Room and Kitchen's operating hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday to Saturday, closing at 9 p.m. on Sunday.