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

First Brewed in 1878, America's Original IPA Returns in Style to Select Markets

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 08/14/14 -- 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 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."

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.

Ballantine background

  • 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 http://pabstbrewingco.com/.

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