PetCo Ballpark Beer Review

Eno Sarris, September 09, 2013 -   

Ballast Point Sculpin is significantly better from the tap than the bottle in this writer's estimation. That's an important thing to remember when you go to San Diego's PetCo Park because Ballast Point Sculpin is on tap everywhere in San Diego's PetCo Park. And Ballast Point Sculpin on tap is one of life's better joys.

In fact, there seems to have been some sort of deal with Ballast Point which has pushed San Diego's own Stone Brewery out of every vendor save two. Used to be all over the place, too. Now you can only find it on tap in Hodads, the burger joint that spans two levels around 219/319.

But that's fine because Ballast Point Sculpin.

Here's the beer map for PetCo Park. There are actually some dead zones, but some days the top row beer vendors are shut down -- it's hard to know exactly what's going on in the 300s. There might be another stand or two there.

And it's not like the park has to make any excuses for itself. This coverage alone puts it right with any ballpark this correspondent has been to. And the fact that it's mostly all San Diego craft beer makes it just that much more excellent.

And then look at the list:

  • Ballast Point Big Eye IPA
  • Ballast Point Calico Copper Amber Ale
  • Ballast Point Longfin Lager
  • Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
  • Coronado Golden Ale
  • Coronado Orange Avenue Pale Wheat Ale
  • Hoegaarden Witbier
  • Karl Strauss Endless Summer Light Lager
  • Karl Strauss Red Trolley Red Ale
  • Kona Fire Rock Pale Ale
  • Kona Longboard Lager
  • Kona Big Wave Golden Ale
  • Kona Wailua Wheat
  • Lagunitas IPA
  • New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale
  • Red Hook Audible Pale Ale
  • Sierra Nevada Pale
  • Shiner Bock
  • Stone IPA
  • Widmer Alchemy Pale Ale

So maybe there are a few duds, but not a ton. And that's a great selection when you look at it as a whole. More than half of the dots on this map have Ballast Point Sculpin on tap. The Ballast Point Beer Garden serves it on tap and in cans. If there's a complaint, it's that the Calico is the rarest Ballast Point beer on tap regularly at the park. Might be fun if they did some specials, but having Sculpin on tap around the entire park is awesome.

But there's still one more surprise left to unwrap.

Section 109 has a stand called Craft Beers of the Padres. The line wasn't even that long because of the excellence of the rest of the beer selection in the park. They have the following beers in bombers and 12-ounce bottles: 

Here's the best thing, saved for last. Ballast Point also does rare beers on cask on Friday nights over the summer. Pretty much undoing the only complaint you could really have about the park. Here's the schedule for the season at Firkin Fridays:

Outstanding.

If San Francisco didn't have The Public House, it would pale in comparison to PetCo. If 109 had the regularly changing tap list of The Public House, PetCo would trounce AT&T. Since 109 is closer to most of PetCo, it's more accessible than the Public House. That's the difference that separates these two excellent parks featuring excellent craft beers.

But with a high floor and a high ceiling, PetCo's no sleeper. It's a star of a park.

PetCo Park, San Diego, California: 98/100

Top Beers: Ballast Point Sculpin (10.2 BAR), Ballast Point Big Eye (2.53), Stone IPA (6.54), Stone Levitation Ale (3.99), Port Wipeout IPA (3.33), Green Flash West Coast IPA (5.66), Green Flash Hop Head Read (2.82), Coronado Idiot IPA (3.05)
Excellent Stands: 15
Price: $7-15.50 (22oz bombers are $15.50 at 109)

Here's a link to all the ballpark beer reviews.

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