Ballast Point, Miramar
Ballast Point’s huge production facility keeps getting bigger. The restaurant/tasting room is big, too, and very nice. It is not quite as flashy/fancy as a Stone Gardens, for example, but it still would make an excellent date or business dinner location. My only complaint is that I have to drive all the way to Miramar (and, more problematically, home again) to visit. I should also mention that the kitchen seems to be excellent. I had a sandwich that was an interesting twist on a French dip, bahn mi and pho–amazingly delicious. But they have you as a captive audience once you are here so they charge far too much ($16 for a sandwich is too much, no matter how good).
I have had plenty of Ballast Point beer in my drinking career and it had been a long day, so I dropped in mainly to check the location off my list. I did try a Sculpin on Nitro (IPA, 7% ABV) for the first time while I was there–it was lovely. I rated it 4/5. The nitro smooths the strong hop notes, brings out a cherry-like aroma, and of course contributes a smooth mouthfeel and makes the head super-creamy. It was still nicely bitter. I’ve also recently had Red Velvet on Nitro (5.5% ABV), both on draft at the Little Italy location and in a six-pack. It is great. It is a blonde oatmeal stout with beets, of all things, so it comes out a bit sweet and vibrant pink. It tastes like an excellent milk stout with added complexity. In fact, on draft I rated it 4.75/5, one of the highest ratings I have ever given a beer. In the six-pack it was a little less good, earning a still-impressive 4.25/5 (the head doesn’t develop as well, for one thing, even if you follow the instructions to “pour hard”).
https://www.ballastpoint.com/locations/ 9045 Carroll Way, San Diego, CA 92121