You see, I have an affliction: dark beers typically make me feel so warm and cozy that I get sleepy. I usually have to drink them while I’m out and about and being social, because if it’s nighttime and I’m having a stout at home, I’ll be asleep about an hour after drinking it. (Does anyone else have that problem? Please tell me I’m not alone!)
Ballast Point Brewing Company’s Calm Before the Storm makes it easy for me to enjoy some of the flavors of darker beer without having to crawl into bed before sundown. A cream ale with coffee and vanilla, Calm Before the Storm is the little brother and “warm weather alternative” of Ballast’s famous imperial porter, Victory at Sea. As the name suggests, it’s the lighter, lower ABV version (5.5% compared to 10%). Calm Before the Storm is a delicious mix of the light, golden taste of a cream ale, and the delicious coffee/vanilla combination that gives the beer more heft, complexity, and flavor.
The beer is available in limited release in bottles and on tap. I’ve seen it at my local liquor store in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego, and I was able to pick up at a six-pack at Ballast Point Little Italy, though they didn’t have it on draft when I visited. Fingers crossed that it will be around for a while, though, because it’s delicious–and a perfect solution for when I want to grab a coffee beer at home and stay awake!