My “Gateway” Beer

Ballast Point Pale Ale
was a game changer for me.

As I joke about in my tag line, I used to not like beer at all. I always wanted to be a “cool girl”–the one who could kick back on the couch with football on TV and a beer in my hand, but I had resigned myself to the fact that that would never be me. And that was totally fine. I had tried Coors and Budweiser in my hometown of Dallas, and, well…meh. Beer just wasn’t for me.

I eventually moved out to San Diego for college, and though it’s a hotspot for craft breweries, I didn’t really get into the scene until after I graduated. And oh my gosh, that’s such a shame because I spent nearly four years attending classes right up the hill from Home Brew Mart. Sigh.

Anyway, one of the first craft breweries that I went to was Ballast Point. They have such a wide variety of beers, ranging from Victory at Sea (holy yum) to Grapefruit Sculpin (amazing) to Indra Kunindra (not my favorite, but still good). However, my favorite will always be their Pale Ale. It was really the first beer I had that made me think: whoa, I might need to reconsider my self-imposed “non-beer girl” label.

In my opinion, Ballast Point Pale Ale is a great beer for those who may be skeptical about beer or think they don’t like it. It’s a light, golden beer with a relatively low ABV (5.2%). It’s simple in comparison to some of Ballast’s stouts or IPAs, but you still get a smooth taste of hops and fruit. To me, it’s the perfect antidote if you have friends who think that all craft beer is hoppy and heavy.

I could obviously drink this beer all day. On a trip to New York City last summer, I was thrilled to find it in a Brooklyn supermarket. My friends and I set up shop on an apartment building rooftop, sipped our California craft beer, and watched the sun set against the NYC skyline. It was surreal; I couldn’t believe that this was my life.

But that’s what Ballast Point Pale Ale is to me: a warm reminder not to make hasty judgments about where my life is headed. It’s an old standby that always makes me reflect on how far I’ve come during my craft beer journey.

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