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Pabst to Bring Back Ballantine India Pale Ale in September

Pabst to Bring Back Ballantine India Pale Ale in September

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Pabst Brewing Company will resurrect a classic India Pale Ale that dates back to 1878

Ballantine's classic India Pale Ale returns to shelves in September.

In September, Pabst Brewing Company will bring back Ballantine India Pale Ale, a legendary American brew that lost prominence in the 1970s as larger brands took over, reports USA Today.

Although Pabst has owned the brand since 1975, the company had no existing recipe or notes to recreate the original pale ale, so Pabst’s brew master Greg Deuhs turned to analytic reports from decades past that tracked the ale's attributes (alcohol, bitterness, gravity level), and conducted research on what ingredients were in popular use.

“The IPA uses four different malts and eight different hops, as well as hop oil to finish it off. American oak chips are used in the process, harking back to the oak and cypress barrels used for the original beer,” according to USA Today.

In September, Ballantine IPA will be available in nine northeastern and Mid-Atlantic stores (including New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland) in six-packs and 750 milliliter bottles.

For the latest food and drink updates, visit our Food News page.

Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.

The Return of Ballantine

On the eve of Pabst announcement that their brewery would be sold for over 700 million dollars, we caught up with brewmaster Greg Deuhs to discuss his largest project of 2014- Ballantine IPA. During the interview, I was home in Chicago, Greg was at The Ballantine House, located at the Newark Museum in New Jersey. Here are some excerpts from that conversation.

I was at Hopleaf recently and there’s a huge tin beer sign for the old Ballantine. That image, along your beer release gives us a chance to revisit America’s brewing heritage…I love this topic.

When I grew up in St. Paul, MN many of the regional breweries were still very active – Hamms, Schmidt and Green Belt. Those breweries were in their heyday when my father took me on those brewery tours. Part of the draw for me working at Pabst is that we’ve got all these brands of beer from breweries I remember seeing when I was younger. Getting back to heritage is pretty cool for me too.

Pabst is a national brand. You guys make beer all over the country, where was Ballantine IPA made?

We brewed at Third Street Brewhouse in Cold Spring, Minnesota. That’s a brewery that we at Pabst have been associated with for a number of years. 3yrs ago they built a new brewhouse and fermenting cellar. They have a beautiful 75bbl brewery and a modern packaging line. They make a number of craft beers under contract like the cans you see from 21st Amendment Brewing, as well as their own brands. They’ve been a very good craft partner.

What is this initial quantity of the IPA rollout?

That seems like a massive amount of beer. Outside of your core brands where does this rank for you?

This is our biggest project for 2014..and beyond. We are in this for the long haul. Before joining Pabst I worked with Craft Brewers Alliance. I worked with Kona and Widmer Brothers. When I interviewed for the job with Pabst, one of the assignments was be prepared to discuss how Pabst can join the craft beer revolution. My presentation focused around how Pabst already had the answer – Ballantine India Pale Ale. We thought it was an excellent opportunity to launch a craft beer.

Lets talk about recipe formulation. Was this a collaboration with Cold Spring?

Cold Spring has an excellent brewing staff, the recipe formulation took place on the Pabst side. I began working on this behind the scenes for about a year on my own while the marketing and senior management teams were getting all their ducks in order. Finally they decided to explore it as a viable project.

Through all the test recipes, I came up with 5 or 6 that best displayed the elements of what the Ballantine IPA was into those beers. From there we started hosting large tastings, we invited everyone in the company over to Milwaukee to try the beer.

We then we took the recipe from 5-gallon size to the 75bbl size. I took all the brewhouse parameters on efficiency, kettle/ hop utilization and went from there to design what the production-sized recipe would be. From there it took 4 trial brews to tweak it with their equipment, and to understand utilization factors. It wasn’t a 1-to-1 linear build up from small scale-to-production, but it was close. The hopping was the biggest change.

This packaging is really impressive, one of the best in recent memory. It arrived in a wooden box with a keychain. Is that how it will appear in stores?

No. We only made 2000 of those boxes. They are generally designed for people like yourself, as well as distributors and key retail accounts.
We’d like to find a way to make that available for the general consumer, We haven’t figured it out yet.

The new label appears to be homage to the original.

It’s almost an exact duplicate of the label used in the 50’s and 60’s. The tagline is different. It was ‘Aged In Wood For 1 Year’, we replaced that with ‘America’s Original IPA’. There was a change in the script, but the green label with the Borromean rings are identical.

The original beer was made in Newark and also at the Rhode Island brewery until 1971 when Ballantine was sold to Falstaff. Later on Pabst acquired Falstaff, that’s how Pabst got the brand. The parameters of the beer we wanted to focus on were those from the 50’s & 60’s.

The vintages from 1971-1996 were made at the Pabst’s Brewery in Milwaukee. That beer was 45 IBUs, and 6%ABV. It was more of a session IPA when compared to the one Ballantine made for over 100 years before that. This one is around 8% abv and near 80 IBUs.

This is a beer that survived Prohibition. At one point it was one of that largest brands in the country and remained popular when many other beers couldn’t. Why is that?

Yes, We were just talking about that very fact at the museum. When Peter Ballantine moved from Albany, NY back to Newark. He was very familiar with the influx of Europeans back in New York. He knew they wanted that type of beer and that they were familiar with it. That customer based drove sales and influenced the focus of the brewery. In 1939 the parameters of 7.8% abv and 75-80IBUs were the norm for this beer back then.

What are your thoughts on the potential retro movement you’re creating within Pabst’s catalog? You have the ability to do this with a number of different beers.

Just on the Ballantine side were looking at the Brown Stout, they also made a Bock as well as the Burton Ale which was highly regarded. I would like to bring out the Burton Ale as the true Barleywine Style Ale that is was.

The portfolio is loaded with styles that would be known as craft today. For example, Pabst Andeker, a very good German Pilsner made in the Midwest is possible. There is Strohs signature brand which was a Bohemian Pilsner.

Right now our hands are full with the Ballantine relaunch. But yes, we are starting to stoke the fire on what we can bring back.

Ballantine XXX from the 60s

I am looking for a clone recipe for Ballantine XXX from the 60s. I know this discussion has come up in the past from time to time.

When I was in college back in the 60s I used to be in love with Balantine XXX Ale. It had a very distinctive aroma of pine trees. The word back then was the beer contained Juniper Berries.

A couple years ago I was thrilled to find some Ballantine XXX Ale on the shelf of a store in Wisconsin. (It was brewed by Pabst). The stuff was terrible. It tasted like Bud/Coors/Miller. It was not close to the Ballantine I grew to love in the 60s. This new stuff was nothing more then generic Falstaff.

I inqured about all this a couple years ago and was told an old Ballantine emplyee assured a list member there were no Juniper Berries ever used in brewing Ballantine XXX Ale. He said the aroma came from the hops they used. I never have ever smelled hops with an aroma like in the old 60s Ballantine XXX. I don't believe what I was told. I do know the recipe changed from time to time, so maybe at some later date the statement of no Juniper Berries used was true.

Does anyone on here have a clone recipe reflecting the Ballantine XXX Ale I remeber? I think others have gone down this road before me. I sure would like to hear from anyone who has come up with a recipe for this incredable beer.


Well-Known Member

Never had the real stuff, but maybe this is a step in the right direction?


Well-Known Member

Not exactly a clone but this might get you within shouting distance.

Category American Ale
Subcategory American Pale Ale
Recipe Type All Grain
Batch Size 5 gal.
Volume Boiled 6 gal.
Mash Efficiency 72 %
Total Grain/Extract 9.75 lbs.
Total Hops 3.0 oz.

7 lbs. American 2-row
.75 lbs. British Crystal 55°L
2 lbs. Corn Flaked
1 oz. Brewers Gold (7.00 %AA) boiled 60 min.
1 oz. Brewers Gold (7.00 %AA) boiled 30 min.
1 oz. East Kent Goldings (5.00 %AA) boiled 5 min.
Yeast : WYeast 1056 American Ale

Predicted American Pale Ale Compliance
Original Gravity 1.048 1.045 - 1.060 100 %
Terminal Gravity 1.011 1.010 - 1.015 100 %
Color 11.15 °SRM 5.00 - 14.00 °SRM 100 %
Bitterness 44.8 IBU 30.00 - 45.00 IBU 100 %
Alcohol (%volume) 4.9 % 4.50 - 6.00 % 100 %
100 % overall


Well-Known Member


Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

I was heading to bed when you asked this last night and didn't want to search my notes. On occasion we get asked for Bally or Falstaff beers. I can tell you based on months of research, there isn't much out there, in terms of clones or pseudo tribute recipes.

This is one xxx recipe I did manage to find,

Never having drak the original, I can't state the veracity of this recipe, nor at what periond of Bally's multiple recipe changes due to corporate takeovers and changes it is a clone of. It could be a clone of the early xxx, or could be from before they finally stopped production.

Ballentine XXX Ale All Grain

6-3/4 lb American 2-Row
1/4 lb Munich Malt
3/4 lb Cooked Rice
3/4 lb Flaked Maize
1-1/4 lb Crystal 20L
2 oz Williamette Hops 60 min.
2 oz Williamette Hops 5 min.
1 tsp Irish Moss 15 min.
Wyeast 1056 American Ale
3/4 cup Corn Sugar for priming

Mash grains for 30 minutes at 135 degrees F. Raise the mash temperature to 160 degrees F and mash an additional 30 minutes.
Sparge and collect wort. Bring wort to a boil, and add 2 oz Williamette hops. Boil 45 minutes. Add irish moss boil 10 minutes. Add 2oz Williamette hops and boil 5 minutes. Cool wort and pitch yeast.
First Fermentation 5-7 days
Secondary Fermentation 3-5 days. Drop temperature to 40 degrees F and condition an additonal 2 days. Bottle or keg. Age 3-4 weeks before serving.

Ballentine XXX Ale Extract

1/8 lb Crystal 20L
1 lb Flaked Maize
3/4 lb Maris Otter
1/4 lb Carapils
4 lb Alexanders Pale Extract
1 lb Plain Extra Light Dry Malt
1 lb Rice Syrup
2 oz Williamette Hops 60 min.
2 oz Williamette Hops 5 min.
1 tsp Irish Moss 15 min.
Wyeast 1056 American Ale
3/4 cup Corn Sugar for priming Steep grains for 30 minutes at 155 degrees F. Remove grains and stir in extracts and rice syrup. Bring to boil. Add boiling hops and boil for 45 minutes. Add Irish Moss and boil for 10 minutes. Add finishing hops and boil for 5 minutes. Cool wort and pitch yeast. Ferment for 5-7 days at 70 degrees F. Secondary Fermentation 5 days at 65 degrees. Drop temperature to 40 degrees F and condition an additonal 2 days. Bottle or keg. Age 3-4 weeks before serving.

Bally's and Falstaff are intertwined in brewing history. Here is a great website on the story.

THere's some more discussion and info in this thread.


Burrowing Owl Brewery

This one is supposed to be close

Ballantine IPA Project Beer

BJCP Style and Style Guidelines
07-0 India Pale Ale, India Pale Ale

Min OG: 1.050 Max OG: 1.075
Min IBU: 40 Max IBU: 60
Min Clr: 8 Max Clr: 14 Color in SRM, Lovibond

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 11.00 Wort Size (Gal): 11.00
Total Grain (Lbs): 27.50
Anticipated OG: 1.075 Plato: 18.12
Anticipated SRM: 8.0
Anticipated IBU: 63.2
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80 %
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Pre-Boil Amounts
Evaporation Rate: 1.66 Gallons Per Hour
Pre-Boil Wort Size: 13.49 Gal
Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.061 SG 14.94 Plato

Formulas Used
Brewhouse Efficiency and Predicted Gravity based on Method #1, Potential Used.
Final Gravity Calculation Based on Points.
Hard Value of Sucrose applied. Value for recipe: 46.2100 ppppg
% Yield Type used in Gravity Prediction: Fine Grind Dry Basis.

Color Formula Used: Morey
Hop IBU Formula Used: TinsethTinseth Concentration Factor: 1.30

Additional Utilization Used For Plug Hops: 2 %
Additional Utilization Used For Pellet Hops: 8 %

% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
72.7 20.00 lbs. Pale Malt(6-row) America 1.035 2
14.5 4.00 lbs. Flaked Corn (Maize) America 1.040 1
7.3 2.00 lbs. Corn Sugar 1.047 0
5.5 1.50 lbs. Crystal 60L America 1.034 60

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
3.00 oz. Bullion Pellet 7.60 38.7 90 min
3.00 oz. Cluster Whole 7.00 23.7 30 min
2.00 oz. Czech Saaz Whole 3.28 0.8 2 min
4.00 oz. Czech Saaz Whole 3.28 0.0 Dry Hop

US-56, WY1056 or WLP001

Water Profile
Profile: Burton On Trent
Profile known for: Strong Pale Ales
Calcium(Ca): 268.0 ppm
Magnesium(Mg): 62.0 ppm
Sodium(Na): 30.0 ppm
Sulfate(SO4): 638.0 ppm
Chloride(Cl): 36.0 ppm
biCarbonate(HCO3): 141.0 ppm
pH: 8.33

Mash Schedule
Mash Type: Single Step
Grain Lbs: 25.50
Water Qts: 36.00 Before Additional Infusions
Water Gal: 9.00 Before Additional Infusions
Qts Water Per Lbs Grain: 1.41 Before Additional Infusions

Rest Temp Time
Saccharification Rest: 148 90 Min
Mash-out Rest: 170 10 Min
Sparge: 180 40 Min

Total Mash Volume Gal: 11.04 - Dough-In Infusion Only
All temperature measurements are degrees Fahrenheit.

Upon racking to the kegs, add .25 ounce of med American toasted oak chips per keg, carbonate and let it age at cellar temps for 1 year. Then stand back and wait for Nirvana in the glass.


Well-Known Member


Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Yeah, I was just going to say the same thing.


Burrowing Owl Brewery

Yeah, I was just going to say the same thing.

I've never had either so I guess I missed that

I do know that Ballantine used a special hop oil that they produced, which could be why the hop flavor was unusual in their beers


Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

I've never had either so I guess I missed that

I do know that Ballantine used a special hop oil that they produced, which could be why the hop flavor was unusual in their beers

It's one of those regional pre-MBC Corporate takeover stories that has always fascinated me.

This is a good article if you haven't read it. It actually tracks the breweries and recipe changes over the history of the name.


Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

niquejim, re-reading the opening paragraphs of that article

Mention the name Ballantine to beer lovers, especially beer lovers with more than a few flecks of gray in their beards, and more often than not they will begin to rhapsodize rapturously about this famous ale. You'll hear stories of old bottles mysteriously and wondrously discovered and tasted tales of long-discarded techniques employed by the original brewers accounts of the slow, steady decline of the beer's greatness as it passed from brewery to brewery, the result of corporate takeovers.

Beer writers often praise Ballantine. Michael Jackson, writing in the August 1980 British beer journal, "What's Brewing," described Ballantine IPA as "wonderfully distinctive . an outstanding American ale unique in its fidelity to the East Coast tradition of Colonial ales." More recently, in the February-March 2000 "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." Pat Baker stated in an interview, "Ballantine IPA was just such a beautiful looking beer. It had a deep amber color and a sparkling head. And of course the hops were just monstrous. It was one of those beer tasting experiences that just stays with you."


Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Here's info on the IPA changes

Through all these moves, Ballantine ales constantly changed character. The brands most often brewed were Ballantine XXX and Ballantine IPA, the latter being the most widely loved and praised. In Newark, Ballantine IPA was a strong, 7.5% abv amber ale with great hop bitterness (60 International Bittering Units or IBUs) and a powerful hop aroma. This aroma came from hop oils distilled from Bullion hops at the brewery and added to the storage tanks. These tanks them-selves were unique, in that they were made of oak. Ballantine IPA was aged for a full year in the wood, a technique unheard of today except for the most artisanal microbrewery. The woody character found in Ballantine IPA was as important to the beer's profile as were the hop oils. The Newark brewery also produced a special ale named Ballantine Burton. This extra strong beer, perhaps 10% abv, was aged an amazing ten years in wood and bottled sporadically as holiday gifts to brewery employees and friends. The labels created for these bottles would sta te the date the beer was brewed and bottled and the name of the recipient.

When Ballantine moved to Rhode Island, the IPA aging was first lowered to nine months, then six and finally to five. Oak barrels were replaced by wax-coated cyprus, according to Bill Anderson, Narragansett's master brewer in the early 1970s. Hop oils continued to be used for a while, with a distillation unit on premises, but this process was later abandoned. Overall IBUs for the IPA dropped to 50, then 45. Bullion hops were used at first, but were later changed to a blend of Brewers' Gold and American Yakima. The IPA was dry hopped in storage tanks after the hops were put through what Anderson called a hammer mill. "We ground them to a consistency that was a cross between corn flakes and sawdust," he remembers. The strength of the beer remained constant during most of the Narragansett years, at 7.5% abv, but Anderson says this was later reduced to 6.7%.

I couldn't find anyone to provide notes on Ballantine when it was brewed in Milwaukee, Tumwater or San Antonio, but I did speak with Dan Melideo, master brewer at Pabst's Lehigh Valley plant, Ballantine's present home. Melideo says that today Ballantine XXX, the only Ballantine in production, finishes with a strength of 5.45% abv (a far cry from the original) and is hopped to a bitterness of about 22 IBUs (again, much lower than in the past). And the hops have changed again. Melideo uses Cascade hops in the boil and also in storage to dry hop the beer. Aging in wood remains a thing of the past. Jim Walter, VP of Business Administration for Pabst, explains that Ballantine XXX is marketed primarily in the northeast corridor with some sales in the Mid West and West Coast. He says that in the future Pabst may also see a market develop for Ballantine IPA.

Before joining Pabst in China, Alan Kornhauser was a brewer at Portland Brewing in Portland, Oregon. While there he wanted to recreate the Ballantine he knew and loved from years ago, and to introduce this re-creation to West Coast beer lovers, unfamiliar with the old ale. He says he brewed the best version of Ballantine XXX he could in 1996. The beer, originally named Summer Ale, is now called Portland Pale Ale in some parts of the country, and Kornhauser's Oast Ale in the Pacific Northwest, where it is available from April through August. Kornhauser wanted to use hop oils just as was originally done in Newark and Rhode Island, and he built a still to extract oils from Oregon-grown Brewers' Gold hops. Not completely satisfied with the results, he sent a batch of hops to England where he knew of an established hop distillery. The hop oil returned to Oregon was blended with the oil he extracted and used in his ale. The result is a 4.7% abv ale with about 28 IBUs and a highly aromatic fragrance from the hop oi ls. In comparing it to his benchmark, Ballantine XXX, Kornhauser says that for flavor it rated eight on scale often, but for hops it was a perfect ten. "The burp after a few sips was all hop oil," recalls the proud brewer. The Narragansett-brewed Ballantine IPA was the model Kornhauser used when he developed Woodstock IPA for Portland Brewing, a beer in year-round production. Woodstock is a 6.3% abv ale with 45 IBUs (no hop oil, but plenty of dry hops) and a noticeable woody flavor from Kornhauser's "secret oak aging process."


Well-Known Member


Burrowing Owl Brewery


Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

If you read the bits that I posted you would have noticed that in the article it stated

Palmer actually says that the subs for bullion if you can't find it is

Brewer's Gold, Northern Brewer

Other sites say this about bullion

And for Chinook, Eroica & Bullion are subs. it's odd that evidently a purely bittering hop was used for aroma and flavor as well. But who knows with hop oils.

But the article I posted gives some clues to at least get the numbers right..

But again BigEd, the OP is looking for XXX NOT the Ipa. But your IPA recipe looks great


Well-Known Member


Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc


Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Sterling and Saaz are often subs for each other.

Teacher, have you ever browsed through the Ballantine Ale falstaaf/Ballantine tribute page?


Supporting Member

Exactly - It still a noble from Czechoslovakia. I'd guess its been used a lot longer.

1004 AD - Records don't exactly say 1004 but indicate

Its very likely to have been used. I'm guessing it was just about any kind of noble hop that was readily available and cheap.


Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Exactly - It still a noble from Czechoslovakia. I'd guess its been used a lot longer.

Its very likely to have been used. I'm guessing it was just about any kind of noble hop that was readily available and cheap.

That's really freaking cool I tried googling "history of saaz" and didn't come up with that chart. only the wikipedia under hops said 1918's..

How'd you find that nifty chart? I've never seen a "google timeline" before.


Supporting Member

That's really freaking cool I tried googling "history of saaz" and didn't come up with that chart. only the wikipedia under hops said 1918's..

How'd you find that nifty chart? I've never seen a "google timeline" before.

I don't know. I had too look through several websites to find it, most of which were travel websites. I just stumbled across the thing.

BTW - I got a job yesterday or word that an offer was pending. waiting for the offer this morning.


Supporting Member

Revvy - Use the google, show options look for a blue + sign.

You get a sidebar with "Timeline" in the list.


Supporting Member


Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

It's really neat to see so many people interested in Ballies this time around, I think this has more people involved than any other time a thread about the brewery has come up. Like I said earlier, their story has always fascinated me (as does brewery history in general) and it sucks that I never got to taste the Ales.

If any one is interested, I have a bunch of Ballantine ads in my old vintage beer ad thread.


Supporting Member


Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc


Well-Known Member

That kind of pretzel-looking logo is what I remember about Ballantine as a kid. My one uncle used to love the stuff.

Thanks for the history lesson guys - I'm liking these historical brew recipes. gives me a chance to have a taste of history in person!


Burrowing Owl Brewery

If that was a 1964 bottled Burton Ale I would be far more jealous


Well-Known Member

Dang. I didn't know it came in Aluminum cans. I figured the taste you're looking for is due to the fact it was canned in steel cans.

Take a RING.
and then another RING.
and then another RING.
You've got three RINGS.

(Can't remember the rest of the words to the jingle. God am I old, or what?)


Well-Known Member

Never heard of Ballantine but what a great thread to learn about it. Sounds like they really went to great lengths to make the best beer they could until bean-counters got their way. Gotta respect that.

Regarding the hop oil. I piddled with distilling some hops/water and you def get some strong aroma in this 'hop water'. Here's a quick description and pics of the kluge-still.. Don't know if this would do anything for this beer but thought I'd post it anyhow.


Burrowing Owl Brewery


Well-Known Member

Sterling and Saaz are often subs for each other.

Teacher, have you ever browsed through the Ballantine Ale falstaaf/Ballantine tribute page?


Well-Known Member


Well-Known Member

Sorry to chime in late to this discussion. I too have been trying to replicate both the XXX and the IPA recipes. I drank a lot of XXX in the late 60s and the 70s, so I have some residual memory of the taste. Unhappily, I have no clue what the IPA was like, never having had one.

My recipe, as you will see, has been vetted by a former employee of the brewery that now owns the Ballantine name and beer. He also developed a replica recipe when he worked for a microbrewery in the Northwest. I have made this six times now, and am still trying to get it right in terms of color and flavors. Also, I want to distill some BG hops to try the hop oil addition, because that is really the signature of this old departed ale.

I was able to track down a gentleman who was brewer for Pabst, the owner of the Ballantine name now. He had access to the recipes for XXX and the IPA. I did not ask him for exact details, since that info is proprietary to Pabst. He was gracious enough to answer two series of questions from me, and to review my first recipe. Here is what he had to say, edited slightly by me to create a summary of his information:

&#8220Between actual knowledge of the product, my perception and all my years of product formulation, here are my hypotheses:

O.G. 11.5-12.0 plato
A.E. 2.3-2.5 plato (I assume A.E. final gravity)
Adjunct ratio 20-30% (corn grits)
Malt would almost have to have been 100% 6 row Eastern seaboard brewery)
No color malt

B.U. would have been much lower than your figures, 20-25 IBU at most, perhaps lower (I had used 40 IBU based on other information). As for hop additions, I used a fair amount of hops at kettle K.O. (for additional aroma) and from which you will not get a lot of isomerization and used enough in the first two additions to get the required B.U.'s

This was a very easy drinking beer. Ballantine used a real ale yeast (as did Narragansett). My guess is that fermentation temperature would have been in the low 60's F followed by 2 weeks in ruh at 32F.

The outstanding feature of this product was the hop aroma which came from hop oil distilled at the brewery. I gleaned this from the head of brewing operations at rival Rheingold.

The regular Ballantine was a light refreshing, easy drinking beer with a very strong hop aroma. The hops used were Brewers Gold. There is only one grower left in the U.S. planting Brewers Gold (for one of the two remaining large Canadian brewers. actually one is Belgian and the other American at this point). These are the hops I used at Portland Brewing.

We did distill our own oil at first but later found a place in the U.K. that extracts the oil with liquid CO2 at 5000 psi, and this method, without heat, produced a much purer, better flavored and aromatic oil. We mixed pellets with water and heated it with an open flame. our excellent engineering staff built a beautiful stainless steel condenser. The oil floated on the top of the distillate and had to be pipetted off. I don't know what Ballantine used for a still.

I grew up in Rhode Island (drank Ballantine for several years from Newark before that brewery closed) and was hoping to latch on to a position at Narragansett (I knew some of the people there) but ended up working for Huber, Anchor, and was brewmaster for Heileman, Miller/Leinenkugel (Milwaukee), Portland, Schell's and Pabst Asia.&#8221

That&#8217s it for the XXX, he had this to say about the Ballantine IPA.

&#8220The beer that was 40-50 IBU was the Ballantine IPA which did not seem to have hop oil and was aged one year in wood. This was a very bitter beer with a noticeable oak character and a slightly vinous/solventy note, quite bitter but with not a lot of hop aroma. This beer was reddish in color and so did contain some color malts.&#8221

So, based on his input, here is my recipe for XXX attempt number 2. Target was 6 gallons in BK at end of boil.

8.0 lbs. Six row malt
2.5 lbs. Flaked maize

HOP TYPE Perle Brewers Gold Brewers Gold
WEIGHT (GRAMS) 20 18 45
WEIGHT (OUNCES) 0.7 0.53 2.01
% ALPHA ACID 8 7.4 7.4
BOIL TIME (MIN) 60 30 0

Single infusion mash temperature 152 F, 60 minutes. Batch sparge, because that's what I do. I used leaf Perle because I need some leaf hops for efficient wort straining through my hop screen, and they seem to give a clean bitterness.

Ballantine lost

Flash forward to 2012, when Pabst (you know it for its PBR) was looking for a new master brewer. One of the challenges that the company put to the interviewees for the position was how could Pabst get in on the burgeoning craft brewing market. Greg Deuhs, a third-generation brewer who had previously served tours with some of the country’s most prominent breweries, had an answer.

“I put together a presentation and said, ‘Hey look, you’ve got the answer already: It’s Ballantine IPA,'” Deuhs told us in a phone interview. “I showed them the history of Ballantine and why it makes sense to bring back that unique beer.”

There was just one problem: Nobody had a recipe.

As it turns out, in that the period of time from 1971 to 1996, while Ballantine production bounced around from brewery to brewery, it lost its character. It had been “dumbed down” along the way (as Greg put it) to try to align with contemporary tastes. Bringing the last iteration of Ballantine back would be like bringing back a pigeon when you wanted a velociraptor.

Deuhs rightly wanted to resurrect the 1960s version, when the IPA was in its prime. Unfortunately, nobody had bothered to keep track of the original recipes.

It’s not entirely surprising. At the time, the economy was so bad and so volatile that sometimes you’d walk into a long-abandoned brewery and it was as if everybody had just stopped what they were doing and left, with papers scattered everywhere. Deuhs suspects that the true recipe must be lying in a dusty cabinet in somebody’s basement somewhere, but so far nothing has turned up.

The question then became: How does one faithfully recreate a beer that nobody has tasted in more than forty years?

Ballantine India Pale Ale, Storied 136-Year-Old Craft Beer, Re-Launches in Northeast

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Aug 14, 2014) - Pabst Brewing Company, the largest American-owned brewery with over 30 beers in its portfolio, today announced the re-launch of Ballantine India Pale Ale, one of the oldest and most iconic craft beers in the country. The beer will be available beginning in September in major Northeast markets.

First brewed in 1878 by P. Ballantine & Sons Brewing Company in Newark, NJ, Ballantine India Pale Ale was the only American-made beer that successfully continued the tradition of the 19 th century IPAs once Prohibition ended. This was due in large part to the brewery's steadfast commitment to "Purity, Body, and Flavor" -- as exemplified by the three interlocking Borromean rings found on every bottle.

Ballantine's brewers were meticulous about ensuring that the beer's gravity, alcohol content, IBUs, and hopping rates remained consistent well into the mid-20 th century. Another unique method that characterized Ballantine India Pale Ale was a hopping process in which the distilled oils from a hop-and-water mixture were added to the brew, giving the beer an intense hoppy flavor that was quite distinct from its competition. P. Ballantine & Sons was also rumored to have matured the India Pale Ale in huge wooden vats for up to a year in order to help develop the ale's original flavor.

In order to replicate the original recipe as closely as possible, Pabst Master Brewer Gregory Deuhs reverse-engineered the beer, ensuring the robust heritage and quality of the 136-year-old brew was properly reflected in the 21 st century version.

"I began this project with a simple question: How would Peter Ballantine make his beer today?" said Master Brewer Deuhs, adding, "There wasn't a 'secret formula' in anyone's basement we could copy, so I conducted extensive research looking for any and all mentions of Ballantine India Pale Ale, from the ale's processing parameters, aroma and color, alcohol and bitterness specifications. Many brewers and craft beer drinkers would be impressed that the Ballantine India Pale Ale of the 1950s and '60s would rival any craft IPA brewed today."

Over the course of two years and over two dozen iterations of five-gallon batches handmade at his home near Milwaukee, WI, Deuhs finally struck gold.

"Unlike recreating a lost brew from long ago, I had the advantage of actually being able to speak with people who drank Ballantine back in the day," continued Deuhs. "Their feedback was crucial to ensuring that the hoppy, complex flavor that was revered for over a hundred years was front and center in my recipe."

Ballantine IPA will be sold in bottled six-packs and limited-edition 750 ml bottles in major markets across the Northeast, including New York, New Jersey, Boston, Portland, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Pittsburgh.

Dry hopping and the addition of hop oil has long been credited as the key to the beer's unique profile. In addition, a proprietary brewing method ensures that every drop of Ballantine India Pale Ale comes in contact with American Oak, effectively capturing the robust flavor and heritage of the brand. With the reintroduction, an entirely new generation of craft beer enthusiasts will experience what made America's Original IPA so exceptional.

In the 1950s, Ballantine was the third largest brewery in the country, going on to become the primary broadcast sponsor for the New York Yankees. Despite stiff competition, the IPA continued to flourish as its dry hopping process gave the beer an intense, distinct hop presence, unlike anything else available in the United States at that time.

In the 1970s, taste preferences changed and American lagers edged out the IPA, a trend that was abruptly reversed with the craft beer movement of the past few years. This increased interest in craft beer gave Pabst the perfect opportunity to bring back America's Original IPA.

About Pabst Brewing Company

In business since 1844, the Pabst Brewing Company is North America's largest privately held brewing company. Pabst's portfolio includes iconic brands with deep ties to America's heritage such as Ballantine, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Schlitz, Colt 45, Old Style, Lone Star, Stroh's, Old Milwaukee and Rainier. Pabst's decision to re-launch Ballantine IPA after more than 30 years reflects the company's recent move into the craft beer market where the company will maintain Peter Ballantine's commitment to Purity, Body and Flavor. For more information, visit

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Ballantine IPA To Return

This is exciting news. Pabst is bringing back the iconic Ballantine IPA, one of the few ales made by a bigger brewery, and one of the only examples of an India Pale Ale before the 1980s. There were, I believe, maybe a dozen or so American IPAs after prohibition, though by the 1960s Ballantine was the last man standing. I’m not sure when they stopped making it initially, sometime during the 1970s I believe, although they did bring it back briefly in 1995, only to discontinue it again. But beginning next month, it will be back again, brewed at Cold Springs Brewing in Minnesota. That’s actually good news, I think, because they’ve been brewing the canned 21st Amendment beers, so they’re already familiar with making hoppy beers. Also, the Pabst brewmaster, Gregory Deuhs, used to brew for Redhook at their Woodinville, Washington brewery.

When I first started drinking beer, Ballantine Ale was around, but I never had the IPA, sad to say. I remember talking to Michael Jackson about his memory of how the beer tasted while sharing a cab from an event back to our hotel at GABF one year in the 1990s. He recalled it fondly, though it was probably closer to what today we’d consider an English-style IPA, in his recollection of it, though I believe he thought it was around 45 IBUs. It appears that the new version will be 7.2% a.b.v. and 70 IBUs, which is at the upper end of the BJCP guidelines, making it more like a modern American-style IPA. I may be wrong about this, but I’d be surprised if it was like that in the 1970s, not even Liberty Ale, which was (pun-intended) revolutionary in 1975 when it was released, was that high. Liberty Ale is 5.9% a.b.v. and around 47 IBUs.

Apparently, the new Ballantine version “uses four different malts and eight different hops, as well as hop oil to finish it off. American oak chips are used in the process, harking back to the oak and cypress barrels used for the original beer.” I’m certainly very interested to try it. It seems like a great move, given that IPAs are such a growing category, for Pabst to revive it now when interest in them is at an all-time high.

First brewed in 1878 by P. Ballantine & Sons Brewing Company in Newark, NJ, Ballantine India Pale Ale was the only American-made beer that successfully continued the tradition of the 19th century IPAs once Prohibition ended. This was due in large part to the brewery’s steadfast commitment to ‘Purity, Body, and Flavor” — as exemplified by the three interlocking Borromean rings found on every bottle.

Ballantine’s brewers were meticulous about ensuring that the beer’s gravity, alcohol content, IBUs, and hopping rates remained consistent well into the mid-20th century. Another unique method that characterized Ballantine India Pale Ale was a hopping process in which the distilled oils from a hop-and-water mixture were added to the brew, giving the beer an intense hoppy flavor that was quite distinct from its competition. P. Ballantine & Sons was also rumored to have matured the India Pale Ale in huge wooden vats for up to a year in order to help develop the ale’s original flavor.

In order to replicate the original recipe as closely as possible, Pabst Master Brewer Gregory Deuhs reverse-engineered the beer, ensuring the robust heritage and quality of the 136-year-old brew was properly reflected in the 21st century version.

“I began this project with a simple question: How would Peter Ballantine make his beer today?” said Master Brewer Deuhs, adding, “There wasn’t a ‘secret formula’ in anyone’s basement we could copy, so I conducted extensive research looking for any and all mentions of Ballantine India Pale Ale, from the ale’s processing parameters, aroma and color, alcohol and bitterness specifications. Many brewers and craft beer drinkers would be impressed that the Ballantine India Pale Ale of the 1950s and ‘60s would rival any craft IPA brewed today.”

Over the course of two years and over two dozen iterations of five-gallon batches handmade at his home near Milwaukee, WI, Deuhs finally struck gold.

“Unlike recreating a lost brew from long ago, I had the advantage of actually being able to speak with people who drank Ballantine back in the day,” continued Deuhs. “Their feedback was crucial to ensuring that the hoppy, complex flavor that was revered for over a hundred years was front and center in my recipe.”

It will be sold in six-pack bottles and limited-edition 750 ml bottles beginning in northeast market, and hopefully released in wider distribution after that.

Pabst to Bring Back Ballantine India Pale Ale in September - Recipes

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From “Newark and Its Leading Businessmen” 1891

If the testimony of the great majority of competent physicians, and the results of practical experience, are to be regarded as conclusive, then it may be stated as an established fact, that the reasonable use of pure malt liquors is as healthful as it is agreeable. The demand for such liquors has increased with phenomenal rapidity of late years, and some idea of its present magnitude may be gained from a few figures concerning a representative establishment engaged in their production - that of Messrs. P. Ballantine & Sons. The business conducted by this firm was founded some forty years ago, and their productions have long held their present leading position in the market, being conceded by the chemists, by expert brewers, and by consumers in general, to have few equals, and no superiors, either in this country or elsewhere. There is certainly every reason why they should be equal to the best in every respect, for the firm have exceptional facilities, use the choicest selected material, and make it a rule to have every detail of the various processes incidental to production carried on by experienced workmen under close and skillful supervision. The premises utilized cover an area of about ten acres, and a number of substantial buildings, from four to eight stories in height, are made use of, the ale and porter brewery being located at the foot of Fulton Street, while the plant employed in brewing Ballantine & Co's famous "export lager beer," is located on Freeman Street. Fine XX and XXX ales and porter, stock, India pale and Burton are produced at the Fulton Street brewery, and average of 1,200 barrels of ale being sent out daily, while 7,000 barrels of lager beer are sent to New York every day, besides a large number distributed among other cities. Employment is given to about 1,200 men, and thought 200 horses are owned by the firm, and used to convey the product to the railway, a large proportion of that work has to be done by hired teams. In spite of its great magnitude, the business has by no means reached the limit of its growth, for orders are rapidly and steadily increasing, and will probably continue to do so as long as the firm maintain their present policy of keeping the product at the highest standard of excellence.

"Newark - The City of Industry" - 1912:

The THREE RINGS are known the world over as the trade-mark of P. Ballantine & Sons, Brewers and Maltsters, Newark, N. J., U. S. A. This trade-mark was adopted in 1879 and was suggested by the chief characteristics of the product of their breweries -- purity, strength, flavor.

The nucleus of the great business of the Ballantine Breweries was formed in Albany, N. Y. in 1826, by the late Peter Ballantine, who removed to Newark in 1840. The lager beer brewery was started in 1879. To meet the needs of the rapidly growing business, the corporation of P. Ballantine & Sons, embracing the ale, lager beer and malting business, was formed in 1883. Since then the annual output has increased steadily until it now amounts to over half a million barrels yearly. Several years ago the manufacture of Ballantine cereal syrup for the use of bakers was inaugurated, which product is used throughout America and has met with constantly increasing success.

The ale brewery, malting, elevator and cereal syrup buildings of the Ballantine plant are situated on Front, Fulton, Rector streets and the Passaic river the lager beer brewery and bottlery are located on Freeman, Christie, Oxford, East Ferry and Bowery streets, Newark. all these buildings cover twelve acres of ground, are equipped with the most modern and model machinery, and contain great storage capacity necessary for the enormous output and insuring the thorough ripening of the Ballantine products. The entire brewing and bottling plant is subject to the supervision of the United States government.

As Ballantine resources are ample, as Ballantine capacity is enormous, and as Ballantine Ales and Beers are never made from anything but the very choicest grain, barley-malt and hops, the purity of the Ballantine products is beyond the veriest shadow of doubt. Expert brewers constantly supervise every process, and absolute cleanliness is observed in every operation. All Ballantine's Ales and Beers are thoroughly matured and fully ripened in order to perfect their condition and retain the distinctive flavors at their very best. No preservatives are ever used in any one of the Ballantine products. None is needed.

There is no necessity for argument as to the superiority of brewery bottling over that done elsewhere. Ballantine's Ales and Beers are all bottled at the brewery in a specially designed bottling house, equipped with the best modern machinery. The beer is conveyed to this house in bright copper pipes, under the supervision of U. S. Government officials, and is stored in glass-lined steel tanks. The latest bottling machinery thoroughly cleanses, sterilizes, fills and seals the bottles without the possibility of contamination. The beer does not once come into contact with air in its passage from the brewery storage vats through the pipe line and the bottling machinery into the bottles in which it is hermetically sealed. Purity of product is thus absolutely assured. Every sealed bottle of Ballantine's Beer conforms in all respects to the requirements of the United State Pure Food Law. Finally, handsome labels and careful packing complete the attractive presentation of this perfectly made and valuable product.

From Pete Bruno:

The company was founded in 1840 in Newark, New Jersey, by Peter Ballantine (1791�), who emigrated from Scotland. The company was originally incorporated as the Patterson & Ballantine Brewing Company. Ballantine rented an old brewing site which had dated back to 1805. Around 1850, Ballantine bought out his partner and purchased land near the Passaic River to brew his ale. His three sons joined the business and in 1857 the company was renamed P. Ballantine and Sons. The name would be used for the next 115 years, until the company closed its brewery in May 1972. By 1879, it had become sixth largest brewery in the US, almost twice as large as Anheuser-Busch. Ballantine added a second brewery location, also in Newark, in order to brew lager beer to fill out the company product line. Peter Ballantine died in 1883 and his eldest son had died just a few months earlier. His second oldest son then controlled the company until his own death in 1895. The last son died in 1905.

In the mid-1960s the company went into decline. It was losing market share to lighter lagers with less alcohol content. In 1972, despite advertising efforts to revive the company, the owners agreed to sell the brand, the company, and all their assets to the Falstaff Brewing Corporation in 1972.

The new owners closed the original brewery in Newark, started brewing elsewhere, and did not strictly adhere to Ballantine's recipes. The general consensus is that, under the stewardship of Falstaff, the beers remained faithful for a time to their original flavor profile. But Falstaff was doing poorly financially and was eventually sold to Pabst in 1985. This sale meant more breweries being closed and more restructuring. At an unknown point during these changes, the original recipes were lost.

Pabst continued to brew some of the Ballantine portfolios throughout the late 1980s and 1990s. They stopped brewing the IPA in 1996, and gradually all of the beers were discontinued the exception of the flagship Ballantine XXX Ale. Throughout the 2000s and into the 2010s, Pabst continued to brew Ballantine's signature ale, but the recipe changed several times. Despite all the ownership changes and recipe changes, many tasters seem to agree that it retains at least some hint of its original character. The most notable changes are a markedly lower bitterness, lower alcohol content, fewer hops, and in general a much less assertive aromatic character. One big contributing factor is the discontinuance of using distilled hop oil until 2014 when Pabst Brewing Company relaunched a new version of Ballantine IPA

Shut up about Barclay Perkins

Ever wondered what old-time American IPA was like? Go on. You must have. Your wish has been granted. Sort of.

In Bill Schwarz's papers there were a couple of other recipes. Most notably, one for something called Indian Pale Ale. There's no indication of a date or even of the brewery. My guess is that it's from around the same period as the dated items. So 1940's.

Nice detailed mashing instructions. But unfortunately there's one piece of information missing: the hopping.

The gravity is given: 17 Balling. Which is around 1068º. Quite a bit stronger than the Lager. Could explain why Americans think IPA is a strong beer.


The most famous American IPA (actually, the only one I know of from the pre-microbrewing time) is Ballantine's IPA. It was moderately popular, but when the brand was sold repeatedly, it declined in quality and sales.

More than ten years ago I communicated with a retired Ballantine brewer (whose name might actually have been Bill Schwartz - sounds familiar). I was attempting to recreate that beer. I had some luck, but missed that distinctive taste, which I believe came from the inhouse-produced Bullion hop extract.

The gravity was about 17P as I recall and 45-50 IBU. I've just done a quick search of my computer for these communications, but without luck. There may be something on an old hard drive.

Here is a HomeBrew Digest post from another homebrewer who brewed my recipe with his modifications. He sent me a few bottles, and it was different from the original (as was my attempt), it was good.

Last months Brew Your Own: Magazine had an interesting article on Ballantine's with recipe for their IPA and pale ale.

Their Burton sounded fantastic, aged n oak lined tank!

In Toronto, the Granite Brewpub brews a Best Bitter that reminds me of Ballantine IPA, with which I was quite familiar. It was Bullion indeed that provided the signature for Ballantine IPA. The beer was quite hoppy but not massively so. I think the brewery distilled its own hop oils, but probably that was dropped with the repeated sales of the brand. I did not like the palate at the end, not so much because of lowered ABV or the taste as such, but because it had a caramelized, sometimes burnt, taste that might have resulted from the way it was pasteurized in later years, or so it seemed to me. The colour was a decided amber. It was a good product and should be revived, but of course many similar beers are now made by small and larger breweries. Greene King IPA (export version) reminds me too of the old Ballantine IPA.

I'm pretty sure Jeff has seen this link but it may interest others as well:

This gives some good history on Ballantine and its IPA and recounts an attempted recreation a few years ago in Oregon. The hop oils for the recreation were made with Brewers Gold, not Bullion, so perhaps Brewers Gold was the main hop although Bullion rings a bell too. I think the varieties are connected anyway.

The recreation looked really interesting, I am not sure if it is still sold.

Ron - You wrote earlier, "I'm sure large quantities of American brewing records survive. It would be nice is someone went through them methodically. I've seen a lot of speculation about what American beers used to be like, but virtually no real information."

This eBay offer of a brewer's notes may be part of the reason - they're in private hands.

I'm not aware of any central repository of records from closed breweries as you have in UK. I suspect that MBAA may have some.

An interesting page from the above offering is the analysis of "6% beer." You'll note that it is actually about 4.7% abv. This is because in post 1933 US, there were two categories of beer, low strength, "non-intoxicating" beer with a maximum of 3.2% by weight, universally called "three-two" beer, and maximum of 6% abw.

When I was growing up in Ohio in the 50's and 60's, three-two beer could be sold to 18-20 year olds, on Sundays, and in some localities such as Oxford, Ohio, home of Miami University, where every Friday and Saturday night proved the inaccuracy of the definition of non-intoxicating.

We thought that three-two beer was barely more than half strength, when in fact, it was more than 80% as strong as most so-called 6% beer.

there are brewing records in public archives in the USA. I know because I did a search and found some.

There isn't a central repository for brewing records in the UK. They're spread all over the country. The only exception is the Scottish Brewing Archive. The London Metropolitan Archives only has records from a couple of London brewers.

The vast majority of brewing archives in the US have nothing to do with the brewing of the beer. Its nearly all stock holders things, records of beer types, contracts, etc etc.

Gary. just wondering what iteration of the Ballantine IPA you are familiar with. perhaps a later version not brewed at Newark. because I've had the Greene King IPA and it really is not nearly so hoppy and aromatic as the Ballantine product was.
In any case, it's nice that the Ballantine product is well remembered since it was indeed in a class by itself certainly by the standards of the day but I think even by today's standards. It was hands down my favorite 40 years ago.

It STILL boggles my mind that the most recent custodians of a formerly great brand watered down and ultimately managed to kill altogether a product that could have stood quite nicely alongside anything of it's type brewed today. However, given the TLC it received at the Newark NJ brewery and the extended aging it was afforded prior to packaging, I suppose it would be a fairly expensive brew to make to it's original specs today .

As a side note, as part of ongoing research into the Ballantine story, I recently had occasion to sample some well kept bottles of both the IPA and the Burton that Ballantine made. While they were both clearly well past prime, the wood and hop character that remained, as well as the utter lack of any oxidative flavors in these beers after 45 years in bottle, was nothing short of remarkable. They were obviously a shadow of what they once were, but still, the shadow they cast was formidable.

I still have several bottles of each and will probably sacrifice one set for lab analysis in the near future. it will be interesting to see what turns up in such an analysis after all these years.

There were at least a dozen (probably more) US brewed IPA's in the post Repeal era. Ballantine's local Newark competition, Krueger and Feigenspan, both brewed one, as did a number of upstate NY breweries- mostly now long forgotten brands but even Utica Club brewed one (in addition to a Sparkling Ale, Old Stock Ale and their Cream Ale). In addition, a number of New England brewers had IPA. Most, I'd guess, died out post-WWII, tho' Nueweiler's in Allentown, PA was pretty long-lived - into the 1950's (they, too, had a number of ales in their line up).

Contrary to some info on the 'net, the Ballantine brands were not really "sold repeatedly"- they were sold only once, in 1972, to Falstaff. A few years later, Falstaff was bought by the S&P Corp., which bought Pabst in 1984 and took on that more famous name as it's brewing identity - their other brands (from General, Falstaff and Pearl) folded into Pabst.

After Newark, the IPA was brewed in Cranston RI (Narragansett), then Ft. Wayne (Falstaff) and finally in Pabst's Milwaukee brewery before being dropped in the mid-1990's.

Ballantine XXX Ale famously used "Brewer's Gold" hops (which were first grown widely in the US in NY State in the late ཚ's, as that state hopped to revive it's hop industry.)For years in the 1950's, "Brewer's Gold" was a major ad campaign for Ballantine Ale and they were even mentioned promenently on the neck label. Falstaff would even come out with a Ballantine Brewer's Gold Premium Ale for a couple of years in the late 1970's.

I've never come across any specific reference to particular hop strains used in the IPA when it was a Newark brew, tho’ as Gary mentioned, articles long after the fact usually say bullions.

From what I've seen, the 3.2% and 6% ABW beer designations were not US national labeling laws, but primarily an Ohio and the other "3.2" states phenomenon after the first few year of Repeal. Interestingly, there apparently was an early Federal Alcohol Administration rule in the immediate post-Repeal era that states "ale" had to contain *at least* 5% ABV.

Nor was there a national "maximum" 6%- a number of labels and ads from that era sometimes state 7% (rather than 6%) as well- for one, the label of Ballantine IPA said "maximum of 7%" - since that beer was in the 6.5%-7.5% ABV range (Ron's own NUMBERS book has Whitbread listing the BIPA at 7.08% ABV).

I've READ articles suggesting that some US post-Repeal brewers released much higher ABV beers, but have never seen the actual labels. Some brewers, before the laws were adjusted, used to use "proof" numbers in ads, thus nearly doubling the number.

Contrary to the current beer myth that it was the Feds and state regulators who wanted to prohibit alcohol content being listed on the labels, from what I read, in the immediate Repeal era, it was the *brewers* who did not want the public concentrating on beer's alcohol content. I've got many such quotes from the era and, I suppose, it was a way to continue to distant the industry from liquor, along with the long running "Beer is the beverage of moderation" campaign, etc.

Bock and Doppelbock Beer Recipes – Beer Styles

Bock beer is a classic German lager that is smooth and very drinkable. Traditionally bock was brewed in Winter, so it is appropriate for a winter beer article. This week we take a look at some bock beer recipes and how to brew the classic Bock beer style.

History of Bock

Bock traces its origins back to the town of Einbeck in Northern Germany as early as 1325. The beer of Einbeck was not only popular but widely distributed to Hamburg and Bremen. Lightly kilned wheat and barley was used in the original Einbeck beer, which had only a remote similarity to the modern bock style. Wheat was used for approximately 1/3 of the grain bill, and barley malt made up the rest.

Alas, Einbeck was ravaged by two fires in the 16th century and then suffered greatly in the 30 years war (1618-1648), so little of the original style survives. (Ref: Daniels) In the 16th century, Munich tried to emulate the great beers of Einbeck and started brewing variants that were called “Ainpoeckish Pier”, named in the Bavarian dialect for the city of Einbeck.

Later the name was shortened to “Poeck” and ultimately “Bock”, which means “Goat” in German. In the 1800’s bock enjoyed a resurgence as brewing techniques and science improved. The addition of the hydrometer and thermometer, controlled lagering and other techniques helped dramatically. Bock also spread well beyond Munich to Vienna and throughout Germany.

German immigrants brought Bock to America in the late 1800’s where it, along with Pilsner became popular. Best & Company (later Pabst) became one of the first to brew it broadly in America. (Ref: Daniels) Bock, traditionally quite strong in Europe, was brewed at lower strength after Prohibition in America.

Variants of the bock style include Doppelbock, Maibock, Eisbock, American bock and Weizenbock. Doppelbock means “double bock” and is brewed with a minimum original gravity of 1.074, which is slightly stronger than traditional bock and typically has complex chocolate and caramel flavoring. Maibock, or “May bock” is tapped in the Spring and has a much paler color than traditional bock, and is traditionally made from a mixture of Munich and Pilsner malts.

Eisbock, or “Ice bock” which has a minimum OG of 1.093 is a very strong bock that is highly alcoholic and malty. Though made in the tradition of regular bock and Doppelbock, the strength of the beer approaches that of some barley wines. American bock is made primarily in the Midwest and Texas, are typically somewhat lighter in gravity than traditional German bock and may be a bit less malty in flavor. Weizenbock is perhaps better characterized as a Dunkel-Weizen brewed to bock or Doppelbock strength, and not technically a bock beer. It is composed primarily of around 60% malted wheat with Munich or Vienna malt filling the rest of the grain bill, and fermented with wheat yeast rather than lager yeast.

The Bock Style

The modern bock style closely tracks the traditional German style of the last hundred years. Bock has a fairly strong original gravity of 1.064-1.072 and a dark amber to brown color between 14 and 22 SRM. German bocks must have a minimum starting gravity of 1.064. The flavor of the beer is malty with a slight chocolate or toasted edge. Bocks have medium to full bodied profiles, but no roast flavor.

The carbonation is moderate, and hop flavor is minimal. Typically German hops are used to balance some of the maltiness of the beer with an IBU level of 20-27 IBUs. Lager yeast is used along with cold temperature storage (lagering) at temperatures near freezing.

Brewing a Bock

Munich malt makes up the bulk of the grain bill for any Bock. In fact, most traditional Bocks are made from a single Munich malt, with variations in kilning determining the color and character of the finished beer. Daniels recommends using Munich malt for 75-93% of the grist,with pale or lager malt making up the balance. For all grain brewers, this is your best route to an authentic bock. Where possible, choose a two row Munich malt as the base.

Analysis of many award winning homebrewed recipes indicates that crystal and chocolate are often added – especially for the dunkel (dark) bock varieties. Crystal makes up 10-15% of the grain bill and chocolate approximately 2% – primarily to add color.

For extract brewers, try to secure a munich based malt extract if possible, as it is difficult to achieve the proper malty balance without it. Extract recipes often use some crystal or chocolate malt to achieve the appropriate color and body, but these should be used sparingly. If you are brewing a partial mash recipe, the addition of munich and pale malt will add authenticity to the recipe.

Not surprisingly, German hops are used extensively in Bock. Hallertauer hops is the traditional choice for bock, though Tettnanger, Hersbruck or Saaz are occasionally used. Do not use high alpha hops in a bock as it will upset the malty balance. Bock is not a hoppy beer, so the bulk of hop additions are used during the boil for bitterness. Small flavor or aroma additions are OK, but hop flavor and aroma is not a dominant feature in this beer.

The traditional mash schedule for a German bock is a triple decoction, though with modern highly modified grains a double decoction will suffice. Decoction does help to enhance the color and body of the beer to bring out the strong malty profile of a traditional bock. The protein rest should target around 122F, while the main conversion should be done at a slightly higher temperature of 155-156 F (68C) to bring out the desired medium to full body beer profile. A single infusion mash is also an option, again in the 155F range.

Munich water profiles have a high proportion of carbonate which is why hops are sparingly used to avoid harsh bitterness. However, most domestic brewing waters can produce a good bock style since the darker bock malts help provide the proper mash pH balance, and adding carbonate really does not enhance this particular style.

Munich/Bavarian lager yeast should be used for your bock recipe. Cold lagering during fermentation and storage is critical. The fermentation temperature should match the recommended range for your yeast, but fermentation is usually done around 50F. Once fermentation is complete, the actual lagering should take place close to freezing, and continue for 4-10 weeks as these lager yeasts often take some time to flocculate (sediment).

Bock Recipes

For more recipes, you can visit the BeerSmtih Recipe Site or our discussion forum. Thanks again for visiting the BeerSmith Home Brewing Blog. Don’t hesitate to subscribe for regular weekly email delivery, or drop a few votes for our articles on the BrewPoll brewing news site. I’ll be back again next week with another brewing article.

Pabst Blue Ribbon. quality vs. quantity Question for Beer Drinkers

Let me preface my question with the fact I am NOT a beer drinker. On average I probably drink 10 beers a year and that would be after doing yard work during the summer, nothing quenches a good thirst like an ice cold beer. But that's really it, other than that I don't drink beer. Not since high school which was 25 years ago.

So the point of my post is this. I was recently at a new restaurant called Brickhouse (here in NJ) and they have a happy hour special of a can of Pabst Blue Ribon for $1.00. per can. I was so amazed by this, I haven't seen a $1.00 beer anywhere in 20+ years so as a novelty I ordered one to wash down my food once it came. I had a martini and a beer chaser. (don't judge me lol) The funny thing too about the restaurant they serve the can in a small paper bag, to hide it's identity I assume? Anyway when I tasted the Pabst I was surprised that it seemed "ok". I was expecting a rather vile, bitter or really shitty tasting beer, but it wasn't. I won't say it was the best beer I've ever had but it certainly wasn't hideous. (to my novice beer taste buds)

So my question is. for $1.00 a can is Pabst Blue Ribbon a good deal, or is no price a good deal for that beer?

Watch the video: WILK Friday Beer Buzz 81514 (November 2022).