Get To The Point
Exceptional Beer, Food, and Hospitality Are On Tap at Ballast Point Brewing
by Jason “Stub” Stubblefield
Ballast Point Brewing Company owes its existence to humble beginnings in 1992 as Home Brew Mart, which offered equipment, supplies and advice for budding home brewers. The founders’ passion for craft beer and helping the budding home brewing community led to the creation of a “back room” brewery in 1996, the year Ballast Point Brewing was born. Twenty-five years later, Ballast Point boasts seven tasting rooms- six of which also serve Ballast Point’s exceptional food menu and an exceptional reputation for quality craft beer, the newest of which is located in Daleville.
It’s difficult to pin down the most impressive thing about this new addition to the Southwest Virginia landscape. The location, the hospitality and the beer are all excellent.
Visitors are greeted by a glass-walled building backed by a beautiful mountain vista that is visible from most seats in the expansive tasting room. The room itself is open and seamlessly blends modern design with a welcoming charm. The juxtaposition of heavy metal barstools lining the beautiful lacquered wood rectangular bar is inviting. If the views from inside aren’t enough, the views from the large patio area are complete with a fire pit table perfect for outdoor tasting and dining. The views are simply breathtaking.
The cozy openness of the tasting room is amplified by the friendliness of the entire staff. I noticed that each staff member made every guest walking through the door feel like a regular. The commitment to hospitality starts at the top with General Manager Mike Alvarado’s contagious enthusiasm for all things Ballast Point. Every tasting room server is a Cicerone-certified Beer Server- think basic sommelier for beer. Assistance with choosing a beer is never far away.
While a beautiful space, location and hospitable hosts are desirable, a visit to a brewery tasting room is all about the beer. For the craft beer lover this is where Ballast Point shines! With over 100 taps (some are duplicates and selection varies depending on seasonal or special release selections available), there is a bound to be a beer for everyone, as well as those who don’t normally enjoy beer. During my recent visit there were 40
different beers available.
A few of the standout beers I tasted during my recent visit include:
– Manta Ray Double IPA (Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal Winner): Imperial IPA with a ton of hoppy citrus and pine notes, but balanced to eliminate that hoppy, bitter “bite.”
– Piper Down Scottish Ale: A smooth ale with great malty notes that’s not overly sweet.
– Sextant Stout: Oatmeal stout with comforting notes of coffee and chocolate served through a nitro tap.
– CA 2 VA IPA: Ballast Point’s first exclusively brewed Virginia beer! Unfiltered New England-style IPA that incorporates Virginia grains in the recipe.
– Sour Wench Blackberry Ale (Great American Beer Festival 2017 Silver Medal Winner): Fruited American-style sour ale with a perfect balance between tart and sweet.
There’s more than just beer offered on the menu at Ballast Point. Food items are not only tailored to Ballast Point brews, but are also uniquely delicious. Many items are standard throughout all Ballast Point Tasting Room and Kitchen locations, but each location serves food specific to its locality as well. I had the opportunity to sample three amazing dishes during my visit:
House Made Steak and Chorizo Nachos: Tender flank steak and house-made chorizo sausage play well with the white cheddar sauce and fresh toppings. Order a pint of Unfiltered Sculpin IPA at the same time and you won’t be disappointed.
Shrimp & Stone Ground Grits (Daleville location only): Shrimp, Andouille Sausage, grits and local vegetables. The Andouille adds a nice spicy kick to the otherwise creamy dish. Try this entree with the Piper Down Scottish Ale.
Ballast Point Burger: Choice of cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion served with fries. Perfectly cooked meat served on a fresh bun with just the right amount of sweetness, as well as an ample side of french fries. Order this burger medium with Cheddar and a pint of Manta Ray Double IPA for a perfect pairing. Visit on “Burger Mondays” to enjoy the burger with a pint of main production beer for $10!
Ballast Point has an event space that accommodates over 100 guests and also hosts semi-regular beer dinners showcasing main production and special release beers paired with regular and special menu items. The next beer dinner is November 10 with seating available at 5:30 and 8:30.
Ballast Point Brewing Company
555 International Pkwy
Daleville, VA 24083
Monday – Saturday 11 AM – 11 PM; Sunday 11 AM – 9 PM