Ballast Point/Kelsey McNair/Stone San Diego County Session Ale was inspired by homebrewing and exceptional quality of life found in San Diego County. A collaborative effort between three San Diego brewers, this aromatic and flavor-driven beer can be enjoyed during any "session."
San Diego offers a variety of memorable sessions. Surfing, dining out, homebrewing and conversing with fellw beer enthusiasts are some of my favorites. Positive experiences and good conversations require a careful mix of good people, a little time and more than one tasty beer.
As a homebrewer, I was fortunate to have been a customer of both Stone and Home Brew Mart. Now with thirteen years of professional brewing experience, I am honored that Kelsey McNair picked Ballast Point Brewing Company as his inspiration for this award-winning recipe.
Created to evoke San Diego County’s best sessions and favorite beer ingredients, this beer was infused with an ample amount of hops. Bright and floral, this brew will leave you inspired and ready for your next session!
Cheers to the Stone Crew and Beer Drinkers everywhere,
Colby Chandler, Specialty Brewer
Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits
Hi, I’m Kelsey, and I am a hophead.
There’s definitely no shortage of well-hopped India Pale Ales here in San Diego. The local craft brewers are true masters of the style, making some of the finest examples in the world, and a lot of them! If you’re a hophead like me, that’s a pretty good problem to have. These big, aggressively bitter and intensely aromatic brews are the ones I crave the most, but they often pose a dilemma: you can only have a few, yet those bright, complex flavors leave you wanting more.
BUT, what if you could find a smaller, more sessionable beer that could really scratch your itch for hops? An "all-day-IPA?" Quantity and quality at the same time! Within this bottle, I think you might find just that. From one hophead to another, I give you Ballast Point/Kelsey McNair/Stone San Diego County Session Ale! A deceptively small beer that is bold, aggressively hopped, assertively bitter, and captures the essense of our local brewing culture. Cheers!
Kelsey McNair, Homebrewer
North Park Beer Co.
bhightow (24) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 26, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz. from BDBS in San Diego. Pours golden with a nice white head. Aroma has notes of tropical fruit as well as citrus. Nice hoppy taste, not overpowering. A bit of lingering bitterness. Great drinkability.
BMan1113VR (7773) - Los Angeles, California, USA - AUG 26, 2010
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle (marked best by 11/10/10). Pours with a clear golden body and a small white head. Aroma is room filling, citrus, guava, pine, mango, dankness paired with tropical fruits. A bit of pine. Super fresh. Some tangerine. Taste is bitter, dry grains, some citrus, straw. Doesn’t have the same hop punch in the flavor as the aroma (I am talking about flavor components, not bitterness). Light pine as well. Light bodied and dry. Lingering herbal bitterness. Medium carbonation.
danielcurtis81 (1517) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 26, 2010
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Served from a 12 oz bottle from OTM. The appearance is a nice brilliant gold with s medium white head. The aromas are rich with earthy hop tones with a nice malty back. The flavors have an earth bittering hop kick, lots of flavors, very impressive for the low abv. The mouth is light and refreshing with a mild bite in the after taste that slowly grows. Nice brew, congratulations Kelsey.
JohnnyJ (4041) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 23, 2010
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft at Stone 14th Anniversary. Nice golden pour, white head. Citrus, grapefruit, some caramel malt, fruit, and lots of floral hops. 4.2% really? This is very hoppy for the abv, I thought it was quite good.
doubleo (1433) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 23, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12oz’er from SBD. Pours clearish light orange with a thin white head that leaves specks of lace. Smells citrusy and earthy hoppy, light and crisp. Tastes light and crisp citrusy hoppy. Good. Poundable for sure. Light body with good carbonation. Goes down real easy.
westcoasterSD (10) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 22, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: AUG 24, 2010 Draught at Stone 14th Anniversary Celebration. Floral, hoppy aroma. Beautiful light golden color with a good head in the Stone taster glass: http://twitpic.com/2hb7zt . Floral, citrus aroma really comes through in the taste, as well as the large amount of hops (Colby Chandler said this is the second hoppiest beer Stone has ever brewed, behind only their 13th Anniversary Ale). Light-medium, crisp body. Mouthfeel and carbonation perfect for a session ale, although you would never believe this wasn’t 6-7% ABV instead of 4.2%. As Kelsey McNair put it, truly an "all-day IPA."
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