Filling My 12 Ounce Bucket List

Ballantine IPA

A while back an older friend, who had just gone through some serious health problems and was having to face those inevitable questions that trouble all of us–inquired as to the contents of my bucket list. Other than my wish to have spent more time with loved ones that had already passed on, or my unrealistic hopes of getting the definitive photograph of the Loch Ness Monster, or having an actual encounters with alien beings, I realized that for the most part my bucket was empty.

But then I did recall that there was one experience (even though it seemed even less attainable than the alien or lake creature thing) that I had always told people that I wanted to repeat before permanently giving up my allotted space at the bar–and that was to enjoy at least one more encounter with my first true American ale infatuation–the Ballantine IPA!

During the past seven plus years of publishing American Public House Review, it seems that whenever beer was the topic of discussion my longings for that superlative pale ale would be exuberantly voiced, and on occasion, as noted below, those passions would find their way into the final draft of an article.

  • Here was a world-class recipe that rivaled my long lost and much lamented first true beer love – the Ballantine India Pale Ale. Since the 1983 demise of that well hopped heavyweight, (60 IBUs during its prime recipe years}), I’ve been on a personal quest for the next great IPA. Thankfully, we live in a time when so many American brewers are emulating the style and techniques of those early masters of the craft…     From a 2010 article about Wagner Valley Brewing in Lodi, New York
  • In the February-March 2000 edition of“Celebrator Beer News,” Fred Eckhardt wrote, “Ballantine IPA would be a good choice for the greatest and most enduring American brewing triumph of the early and mid-20th century.” From a more personal perspective, Ballantine IPA continues to this day to be the most memorable and pleasant beer drinking experience of my life.  From a 2008 article about the Trinity Brewhouse in Providence, Rhode Island

So it is with many a heartfelt thanks that I raise my glass to the memory of Peter Ballantine, and those very talented, present day brewers at Pabst whose efforts and expertise  have reshaped and resurrected this American classic. Because of you my bucket list is now full–and my recycling bin is overflowing!

Posted by: Chris Poh

Blue Tag

InBev Buys America

When I heard that Warren Buffett was in favor of the deal, I knew in my heart that the American cause was lost. The last vestige of our empire in the new world would fall victim to the Euronauts – Budweiser would be bested by the Belgians.

But before we all get overly jingoistic about the affair, let us remember those other great American brewers whose market shares were diminished or crushed by the juggernaut from St. Louis: Schaefer, Stroh’s, Schmiidt’s, Piels, Falstaff, Genesee, Narragansett, Rheingold, Knickerbocker, Hamm’s, Olympia, National Bohemian and of course the venerable – Olde Frothingslosh. Who amongst us has shed a tear or raised the flag on their behalf.

I believe that ridding ourselves of one company that has dominated better than fifty percent of the marketplace for such a long time is good for America. Just because InBev took Budweiser doesn’t mean that we can’t still kick some Bass.

Like our forefathers we must shed monarchy. We shall not be ruled by the king of beers.

I say, “Pabst for President and Schlitz for VP!”

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Posted by: Chris Poh, Publisher

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