Colby Chandler, Ballast Point Brewing Company's specialty brewer who heads up their Linda Vista brewery inside Home Brew Mart, invited Eater into the brewery to commemorate the last batch to be brewed on their 15 barrel brewhouse, which dates back to 1996 when Ballast Point CEO Jack White first founded the brewery with Yuseff Cherney, now the company's head brewer/distiller.
For the final brew, Chandler, along with Linda Vista brewers Doug Duffield and Kristjan Vaca, selected Ballast Point's Calico Amber Ale, an award-winning, ESB-style beer brewed with proprietary yeast on nitro. A homebrew recipe of Cherney's (fun trivia: he brewed an early trial batch at Pizza Port Solana Beach with its co-founder, Vince Marsaglia), Calico was the first-ever beer brewed on the system 17 years ago; now, the old equipment is making way for a newly-built 15 barrel kettle and 20 barrel mash tun that will enable the brewery to produce a larger volume of higher gravity beers and increase efficiency.
As for the original brewhouse, it's being transported to the San Diego History Center, where it'll serve as the centerpiece in a nine month show about local beer culture and production. The exhibit doesn't open until April, but you can get a sneak peak at an event on Saturday.
The new Linda Vista brewhouse should be up and running in a month, but in the meantime, Home Brew Mart is scheduled to begin an expansion that will add 1,000 square feet of retail space, offices and storage, plus a restroom. It'll also allow Ballast Point to dedicate more room to their tasting area within the store; Chandler says that they may venture to get a new license that'll enable them to stay open later, be able to serve customers more than their current limit of one taste of any certain beer and possibly even sell pints.
Yuseff Cherney also told Eater that the company is looking for a location for another new tasting room, likely in the metro San Diego area. This tasting room is in addition to the new production brewery that Ballast Point is concurrently seeking space for, to house a new 150 barrel brewhouse (see this Eater piece for more info).
Cherney told Eater that this new tasting room will also hold a pilot 5 barrel system that'll serve as a testing ground and experimental brewery for employees from their Scripps Ranch and Linda Vista breweries, and Home Brew Mart; a lease is expected to be signed soon.
The brewery's also prepping to put three of its core beers, Pale Ale, Longfin Lager, and Sculpin IPA, into 12 oz. cans, while expanding their bottled beer selections; next to get the bottle treatment should be Fathom IPL, along with their Oktoberfest, Abandon Ship Smoked Lager and potentially Chandler's Habanero Sculpin.
· Ballast Point Brewing Company [Official Site]
· All Beer Coverage on Eater San Diego [~ESD~]