San Diego's Ballast Point arrives in Michigan

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Michigan craft beer drinkers are extremely proud of their home-grown industry. And with a roster that includes names like Bells, Founders and New Holland, who wouldn’t be?

But unbeknownst to many natives who believe Michigan to be the center of the craft beer universe, there are other galaxies of beer from California, Colorado, and other states that have yet to see distribution in metro Detroit. So when San Diego brewery and distillery Ballast Point launched in Michigan last week, craft beer geeks were ecstatic.

The brewery is perhaps best known for Sculpin, an archetypal “West Coast” style IPA which features the familiar citrus and pine notes from Northwest hop additions, as well as a hint of tropical-fruit complexity. Sculpin has also been brewed in grapefruit and habanero versions. The latter bears a warning on the label that heat may vary from bottle to bottle.

Along with their trademark hop-forward brews, Ballast Point offers an interesting range that includes Indra Kunindra Curry Stout, Wahoo White, and Piper Down Scottish Ale. Their Pale Ale (in actuality, a German Kolsch) is perhaps the perfect beer for SoCal weather, light in body with a just hint of noble hops.

Somewhat recently, Ballast Point has also launched into spirits production, creating a diverse portfolio that includes staples like gin, bourbon and tequila as well as more exotic stuff like horchata. They even produce Bloody Mary and mai tai mixes to compliment their vodka and rum variations.

As of right now, Ballast Point – including all three variations of Sculpin IPA – is available at retailers throughout metro Detroit.

For those of us who want to get our hands on beers like Firestone Walker 19th anniversary or Russian River Pliny the Elder, however, we will just have to wait patiently.

Or maybe trade a friend in California for some Short's.


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