From a design perspective it's a masterpiece. Cheaply made from stamped aluminum with that ever common sentiment among those cretins who send soldiers to die, "God is on our side." God sure has been on a lot of sides. Anyway, I can't wear this with my favorite Ralph Lauren khakis but it'll be placed in the sock drawer with the whistle my Grandfather carried in WWII and the sterling silver jump wings my father wore in Vietnam. I like to think of the three of us and what we all have in common. A love of beer.
Ballantine Ale is a lot like a Nazi belt buckle - - somewhat embarrassing with an ancient graphic and an underground following. I know Trad Dad drank it. First brewed in 1840 I assume my Grandfather had one or two as was well. Only available in a handful of States today --I just rediscovered it. The best part? Like that Springfield Rifle Sling belt...at $17 a case it's a steal.
Today the brand is owned by Pabst but made by Miller in Milwaukee. Oddly, you can't get it south of the Cheese Curtain in Chicago. I'm not sure what the Brand Manager of this stuff is up to but I have a feeling this beer is gonna take off soon. If it doesn't - - he should be fired and I should be hired.
I was always a fan of hoppy beers. In the last ten years the IPA or India Pale Ale has taken the beer market by storm. Many sell for $10 a six pack. In the New York City of 1985 I drank Ballantine Ale for one reason. It was cheap. Ten years later I rediscovered the beer in Chicago. An IPA, it was made in Ft. Wayne and it was still cheap. Then it disappeared.
It was the beer of choice for Trad Dad in Central Asia and just when I thought it was long gone it finds me again. Not as hoppy as the Ft Wayne IPA but what do want for .70 cents a bottle? This is a great everyday beer. Perfect with cheap Port Wine Cheese and Triscuts. There's something about that chalky processed cheese being cut with cold Ballantine that I just love.