Our discussion with Ballast Point Long Beach GM Tim Hass continues and we dive a little bit further into trends in the craft beverage industry as well as the craft coffee industry. We discuss the shift toward RTD beverages amongst other things.
Highlights & Takeaways
Episode 92 Transcript
Brendan Hanson: Today on Drips and Draughts, we continue our discussion about RTD beverages and the craft beverage industry with Tim Hass, the GM of Ballast Point Long Beach.
Brendan: Welcome to the Drips and Draughts podcast where we help you bring your craft to draught. From soda to beer and from coffee to kombucha, we’ll discuss making your favorite craft beverage in small or large batches and how to best serve it on draught.
Brendan: Hey, there. Welcome back to another episode of the Drips and Draughts podcast. Hard to believe we’re in the 2018 already. 2017 is gone but we saw a lot of changes throughout the coffee industry and the craft beverage industry. All good things and I think 2018’s going to bring some exciting stuff for craft beverages in general. Stay tuned, let us know your predictions and we’ll see what 2018 brings.
In today’s episode, we’re continuing our discussion with Tim Hass, the GM of Ballast Point Long Beach. We had Tim on in episode 90. It got a little bit long, so we split it into two episodes. This is the second half of that episode. If you didn’t hear part, one you can go back and listen to that. It’s episode 90. You can find it in iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or you can find it on our website at dripsanddraughts.com/90.
We’re picking up this episode as Carrie is getting back from grabbing us another beer to share. Without further ado, continuing our discussion with Tim Hass from Ballast Point.
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Brendan: All right. The brain fart’s over.
Carrie: Much darker beer.
Brendan: Carrie went and grabbed a beer.
Carrie: Hit it up, Hitcher. Guess you’re glad with it.
Brendan: Yes. We talked about this last week on the podcast. We sampled one of these, but now we each got one, the Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale. They have a specific name, the ‘Merry Christmas Happy New Year’?
Tim Hass: That’s the name of it.
Brendan: Is it?
Tim Hass: Yes. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.
Carrie: Tim’s no stranger to this beer, from last episode Bren talked about this.
Brendan: Yes, I mentioned Tim on the last episode, actually, handed one over the wall to me and I say, “You know, what? I don’t normally buy Anchor Brewing beers but I’ve had them.” Told a good story about the-
Cary: – The Anchor Steam?
Brendan: Yes, my combo beer that I had. You compare these every year, Tim?
Tim: Yes, actually this has been one of those fun beers.
Cary: Your holiday tradition?
Tim: It’s a holiday tradition. But what I really enjoyed about this is that they change the recipe every year. You actually can look at — There is no set recipe for this beer. It’s always going to be a dark style Christmas Ale. Actually, the name as we were talking about, ‘Merry Christmas Happy New Year’ is the name of the beer. But each year, they change the recipe. One of my fun things I’ve done probably for the last five years, I’ll go, I’ll buy the sick pack. Of course, I’ll consume five of them but I always age one for —
Cary: In one night?
Tim: No. Well, all right.
Brendan: Back to back to back.
Tim: But then I always save one for the next year. I always like to compare how it ages over the year to the current year and enjoy and see what the spices are in there. If you get any like this one, I’m just trying it right now, I get pull full punch of cinnamon right off it. Where some years, I’ve had the nutmeg has been more pronounced. But you can always tell, they’ll tell you the ingredients, they won’t tell you how much of what’s in.
Brendan: We can find that. I was just looking while we were —
Cary: It said it had spices yesterday because I sipped it and initially, I was saint absent but then the more I got drinking it, I think it was the black licorice, like I almost got like a Jagermeister, that kind of that-
Cary: – that anise flavor in there. I don’t know and maybe it was what we drank before yesterday, but I still get a little bit.
Brendan: I just needed everybody to know that Carrie’s wearing a necktie right now.
Cary: It’s not a bow tie.
Brendan: It’s a necktie.
Tim: What’s wrong with bow ties?
Brendan: It’s a bow tie?
Tim: He [unintelligible 00:05:07] for work.
Brendan: I feel like you have a bow tie with that outfit.
Tim: It’s my nice gingham shirt.
Brendan: Yes, that is a nice shirt.
Tim: Thank you.
Cary: Let’s talk Ballast Point 2018 stuff. We were talking earlier about ready-to-drink craft beverages, canning and what are some of the new stuff that you guys —
Tim: I think not just us, I think you look at the entire beverage industry where it is. I mean craft beer has become so well known to even where you go over to some of the smaller areas. Looking at it, I knew I was on a — What was it? I think it was Brewbound, the other day. They pop up like their job postings and they’re trying to hire head beer brewer in Istanbul, Turkey for a craft beer. I’m like, “That is the coolest thing to see that a lot of these — the craft beer is not just focused on America.”
Carrie: It’s getting worldwide.
Tim: I was actually on vacation last week and just seeing at some of these places, we were over in Hawaii, they got some great local craft breweries that are there. I mean Maui Brewing Company is a great beer, I mean Coconut Porter.
Brendan: Pretty well known now?
Brendan: That coconut Porter’s bomb.
Tim: I got a bottle of the Imperial Coconut Porter come in my way. I had a friend over there. Him and I are trading and so I’m sending him some high West, like Bourbon Barrel-Aged Victory At Sea for trdae.
Brendan: Nice. That’s a good beer.
Tim: But you look at the industry, as of now you get to really see where it’s going. We’re even now crafted cocktails, I think are the new up-and-coming thing. Rogue does a great job with their spirits program. There’s one actually out of O.H.S.O. Brewery which is out of Phoenix, Arizona. They actually have their own distillery there, too. They’re starting to dabble into it where now what Carrie was talking about is the RTD, the ready to drink cans.
You’re finding canned cocktails are the new thing where people are making gin and tonics, vodka mules.
Cary: Do you guys remember at —
Brendan: It’s ready to go.
Carrie: I mean, I was young, but going through the grocery store and down the beer aisle, it’s nowhere near what it is now. But over on the other side or maybe in the refrigerated section, there was those little club cans and it was like a-
Brendan: A little club cocktails?
Cary: -club cocktails, dude, remember?
Brendan: Sex on the beach.
Cary: Those totally went away. It was like you could get an old-fashioned club cocktail.
Brendan: Yes, or margarita.
Cary: Those totally went away. I think we’re seeing a shift back to that.
Brendan: Coming back to that?
Cary: I mean we see this in the coffee industry, canned coffee now. When you see that, your employees buy canned nitro coffee.
Tim: It’s one of the biggest things I think out there. I mean crafted coffee, even on the cold brew nitro side, people are enjoying that so much more. Like I said, we were on vacation last week, Island Coffee Roasters, they’re out of based out of Hawaii. They have a couple of locations throughout the islands. Their cold brew was amazing. They really, really did a great job.
Actually, my wife and I, we bought gifts for our in-laws and stuff because they’re coffee people. We’re like, “This is that good of coffee that you will enjoy.” But they took it into a craft level where they did their cold brew every day, the 24-hour drip on it’s own. Then the one morning, I went back and, of course, I wanted to order another cold brew. They were like, “Sorry, we’re out.”
Brendan: Sold out?
Tim: This was 8:30 in the morning. I’m like, “What time do people get up here?”
Brendan: They got to get those first away.
Cary: We need to get them a brew bomb.
Tim: Yes, these guys are really good out of there. They do a great job.
Brendan: That’s awesome man.
Tim: I think what you see now is that people are really enjoying the crafted industry as a whole.
Brendan: Yes, you mentioned Istanbul, Turkey. We’ve worked with people in Australia and New Zealand. There’s a company in New Zealand called Garage Project, a brew company.
Cary: They do good beers.
Brendan: They do good beers. We were happened to be in a McGregor’s in Moore Park after unloading a container and one of their beers had made it all the way up in the Moore Park through some sort of distribution. We bought it that day and enjoyed it. It was good beer. Then I think I saw that they were at the Firestone Walker Invitational.
Brendan: Yes, it’s funny to see these companies, the small companies gain enough traction. Who else was it? Alex from Australia?
Brendan: He’s got a cold brew company. He partnered up with packed beer company in Australia. They did a Cold Brew Cream Ale. It’s getting bigger and bigger. But that same guy did a martini on draught, he kegged a cold brew martini and basically sold it to a restaurant. Said, “Hey, you could do something like this. It’ll save you time, say, your bartender spending two and a half minutes making this martini.”
Cary: It’s ready to go.
Brendan: It’s 30 seconds. They pour it, they burn a cinnamon stick and here you go.
Cary: Yes, we were talking about that with — If you’ve been to a big Mexican restaurant in the last year, you’ve probably seen margaritas on draught now served out of a either soda thing or draught beer.
Brendan: Or at any of our sisters parties, dude.
Brendan: Always margaritas .
Carrie: Yes, I think that’s definitely — We’re seeing it now on coffee in coffee shops, it’s quick, it’s easy and it keeps a product clean. No light hits it, it’s in an environment where there’s no oxygen, it’s in a keg, safe, it stays fresh for days, weeks, whatever.
Brendan: Yes, good stuff. All right, guys, think we’ve got enough here?
Cary: Anything else?
Tim: I don’t know, anything else? We got to talk about some of the previous holiday parties we’ve had?
Brendan: What’s traffic look like?
Tim: Traffic still looks terrible right now.
Brendan: We got to keep talking. We got to drink more beers.
Cary: Your guys’ location there, you have an upper deck.
Cary: You have your main bar down low, down below. Restaurant, everything, it’s a big facility. Then there’s this upper deck, that’s just incredible where you look at the Marina and everything.
Brendan: Yes, you got people out that paddle boarding.
Tim: Yes, we do private parties up there. It seats about 120 people upstairs, it has its own bar located up there. But we’ll do anything from a party of 15 to 20 people up there to actually tonight, we have a party of 90 people up there that’s taking up the whole facility.
Brendan: We should do our 100th episode party at Ballast Point.
Cary: Oh, my gosh.
Tim: You want to?
Brendan: Yes, we’ll bring out —
Cary: What kind of discount can you get us?
Tim: I think we can work something out.
Brendan: We’re going to need the Drifts and Draughts discount, the triple D.
Tim: I think we can definitely work something out.
Brendan: That might be central because we got a lot of guests and listeners in the San Diego area.
Cary: We do.
Brendan: Some LA. That would be fun to try to make it happen.
Tim: Want to come up there? Let’s have some fun.
Brendan: Yes, we’ll have to plan this. If we’re going to do it, we’ll have to get you on in the next two months to officially announce it.
Brendan: Yes, we’ve got some remote recording equipment now. We can make that happen, that would be fun.
Tim: You want to set up upstairs? Do a nice little broadcasting.
Brendan: Could you guys put coffee on draught as a Guest tab or would that be a problem?
Tim: No, not at all. We have every opportunity to put on some of the local coffee roasters, anybody that wants to come up, we’ve done that. We’ve actually teamed up on some collaborations, too. Home Brew Mart was were we originally started. We just did a family collaboration, we actually went to seven different breweries from Fieldworks, 32 North, Eppig, down in San Diego. There’s a couple of other ones we did and these were all actually former Ballast Point brewers.
We actually did a collaboration to celebrate our 25th year of Home Brew Mart. We actually brewed collaboration beers with these guys. We actually have almost all of them on draught right now.
Brendan: I love collaboration beers.
Cary: Just the idea behind it, it’s just awesome. Even if the beers don’t turn out that good, I just love — That’s what craft in general is about, it’s about-
Brendan: Sharing the love.
Cary: -sharing the ideas, the love, and how good it is.
Tim: I think we’re a big community.
Tim: It’s a big community. I’ll be the first one to say, up in the Long Beach, Huntington Beach area, one of my favorite breweries is Riip Beer Co, down in Huntington Beach. Guys do a killer job with their IPAs.
Brendan: So good.
Tim: Do a lot of fun stuff. For us, it’s more about promoting that culture, that’s one of our big values, is we treat people like we like to be treated. I think in this industry, finding these people that came, some of these guys that own their own breweries now started as overnight keg watchers. They would just watch kegs over night, built themselves up to a production line, build themselves up to a brewery line, where then they’re able now to do it.
Brendan: That’s awesome.
Tim: Do those collab beers, I’ve tried them, they’re amazing. It was in English ESB with oats and coffee in it, that was with the Eppig Brewery.
Tim: Absolutely killer, just a great beer. That’s where I think the fun part is, we always like to tell the story because telling the story is —
Brendan: The story makes things. Because you can have a beer by yourself, you can buy a beer, you could try it. But if you go and you meet somebody and you listen to their story and then you try the beer, whole different experience.
Cary: Yes, you know what the background is.
Brendan: Yes, it changes your whole perception of what you might be tasting.
Tim: I think a lot of people look at it just like in any craft industry that you do, it’s a formal artwork. Just like in the culinary industry, some of these-
Tim: -great chefs that are out there. You got these brewers there that they brew so many batches. We were talking earlier about the two batches that you guys just brewed, the Pumpkin Ale and the IPA.
Tim: You guys were probably your own worse critics when it comes to it.
Brendan: For sure.
Tim: But for a lot people that have tried it, they’re raving about it.
Tim: I think that’s the fun part about this, it’s that you can always push for better, you can always try yo do something better. It goes with everything in the industry.
Carrie: We’re definitely seeing that, man. We talk about this all the time, we go to our local bar down here, institution ales or Midwest. Their IPAs, I’m telling you, are top notch, way better or — I can’t say better, but better than some of these premium beers that we used to seek out and try to find. You can only buy a bottle once a year.
Brendan: They’re so good, we just always get them on tap when we pop over to dug out over here for Friday lunch.
Cary: It’s crazy, yes.
Brendan: They’re good, man.
Cary: So many people have figured out how to make better beer over the years and it’s exiting to see it just keep growing.
Brendan: Yes, everybody’s rising. I appreciate that, that everybody shares so much information that everything gets better. It’s not just one person, it’s just —
Tim: I think, even with us, we grew up on the company as a home brewing company, that’s how it started out. With you two guys, you guys started out too, that’s what your passion was as home brewing.
Brendan: That’s how we started, as home brewing.
Tim: You go and you look at different ingredients and stuff. The thing is, too, it’s not one of those things where, “I’m going to hide my secrets. I’m going to hide what I do.” You want to put out there and say, “Hey, here’s the four different recipes I did for one beer.”
Tim: “Here’s the four different batches. Let’s try it.”
Brendan: That’s what’s cool about you guys do the homework series.
Brendan: You put the recipe on the label and you tell home brewers how to brew it.
Brendan: There was a porter, I think you gave me a Porter last year.
Tim: That’s number six.
Tim: What a robust Porter it was.
Brendan: I don’t think I ever brewed it. But I looked at the recipe, I was like, “This looks good, we should brew it and we should put a little scotch in there.”
Cary: A little scotch in there.
Cary: Bring it on.
Tim: Are we bringing that out tonight, too?
Brendan: Oh, man.
Cary: We should put that in the fridge.
Brendan: Yes, we should get that ready.
Tim: Yes, I think it’s a great thing that with the culture of the industry. It started out pre-prohibition was crafted cocktails, now you got into a lot of the wine making in that industry. You see the progression as it goes over time to where the craft beer industry now has spurned, I think even now what we talk about is craft coffee, getting into the cold brew.
Getting into people really enjoying those things because, I’m sorry, I can only drink so much beer in the morning that I actually do need some coffee.
Brendan: In the morning.
Tim: I’m not going to say I have but honestly, I think that’s where it comes down, is that it’s not your — I remember going to my grandparents house and they had that big old can of Folgers. Then you’re just like — Now, to me, I look at it and I’m like, “There’s certain things.” Even going to the grocery store, I’m like, “I don’t want to buy any of these.”
But when I was out on vacation at that island coffee, I bought three different things of coffee there because that’s what I wanted to enjoy. I knew, of course, what the process is of these guys enjoying that craft.
Brendan: For sure.
Tim: I think it goes hand in hand with any of this industry.
Cary: I was talking to a guy today before we left there and he was telling me about — because he’s a big beer lover and he got into nitro coffee recently. He goes, “Man, I’m just all about this. Once I found out about cold brew, just the smoothness of it. But then nitro-coffee, it’s like, dude, I feel like I’m getting my beer in the morning. I don’t have to wait till after work. I’m getting my beer.” It’s nitro-coffee, it’s a different buzz but it’s his go-to.
Brendan: It’s nice being able to pour something that just looks nice and you’re pouring it into the glass and you see it. Yes, you watch it and yes, it’s got a frothy head on it.
Tim: Great flavor, too. You talk about what it is? You look at it. Even when you’re looking at a beer, you look at the clarity, you then smell it. I mean it goes back to now even with that were — I know for a fact if I’m going to a — not to point out a mass conglomerate coffee person that’s on the side of the street, I look out for some of those local coffee places that I know these guys are going to a great job.
Cary: Yes, absolutely.
Brendan: I’ve said these many times like on the shows. I travel with my family, which happens to be two teenage girls. They always want to go to [unintelligible 00:20:46].
Brendan: I’m like, “There’s a local spot literally right across the street, let’s go there.” No, I want [unintelligible 00:20:56]. I’m 15.” It is what it is but I always make a point to go and just try like a local cup, especially if they’re a roaster, I appreciate that. Especially now that we got that roasting machine, we set our office on fire once or twice.
Brendan: Roasting coffee is amazing.
Cary: It is amazing. The whole process is amazing.
Brendan: It is. How that coffee changes from being like grassy smelling, to being like popcorn smelling, to then being just rich and just smells like coffee.
Cary: Oils are seeping out of the beans and stuff.
Brendan: Whoever figured that out is, you know, —
Tim: Yes. Well, he’s probably on an island somewhere enjoying his life.
Brendan: Definitely. But, hey, Tim, we’re going to have to seriously talk about episode 100 and doing a episode at Ballast Point, having a little party.
Cary: Curtain call right now if anyone’s made it through this long episode. Hit us up, if this sounds interesting to you to come out to.
Brendan: Yes. Shoot us an email, [email protected], or you can find us on social media. I think we’re just DripsDraughts, I don’t even know because we don’t pay much attention to that. Hit us up or it’ll ping us. That would be fun to do a live episode, do a bunch of recordings and try a bunch of coffees and a bunch of beers.
Tim: Yes, we could definitely have fun up there.
Brendan: In the Long Beach area. All right, Timmy.
Tim: Well, thanks very much, guys, cheers.
Brendan: If you’re looking to learn more about cold brew or draught coffee, make sure you check out Keg Outlets, ultimate guide to cold brew coffee and serving coffee on draught. But, hey, don’t just take my word for it. Here’s Daniel Browning from the, Browning Beverage Company in Marfa, Texas.
Daniel Browning: I got on the internet and started looking around and I found the Keg Outlets, ultimate guide to cold brew coffee and read it a couple more times, than I’ve read anything in my life. That was pretty much all the research I needed.
Brendan: If you’re looking to start your journey with cold brew or draught coffee, check out the ultimate guide to cold brew coffee and serving coffee on draught. A free 34-page ebook offered at kegoutlet.com. You can get there through the drips and draughts website by going to dripsanddraughts.com/ultimateguide.
Brendan: All right. Another huge thanks to Tim from Ballast Point for joining us today. If you’ve listened to both episodes and you’re thinking, “Hey, an episode 100 party at Ballast Point might be cool, let us know. Reach out to us, [email protected] or we’ll actually set up a page on the website. Go to dripsanddraughts.com/100, we’ll put a little form or something up there and you can let us know if that’d be something you’d be interested in.
Coming out, trying some coffee. Maybe trying some beers, maybe we’ll have a cater, who knows. But before we commit to anything, we just need to gauge the interest. See how many people we might be able to get up there and see if it’d be worth it for us or for Tim. Again, if that sounds fun, sounds like something you might be interested, let us know. Send an email to [email protected] or head over to the website, dripsanddraughts.com/100.
If you’re listening to this outro right now and you hear a little christmas music in the background, I’m recording this just before christmas time. Carrie is in the other room blasting at Santa baby. I’m guessing he’s got it cranked up to 11 right now. It is blaring. If you’re wondering, that’s where that sound’s coming from. Actually, I don’t even know if it’s being picked up, but just in case.
All right, guys, that’s going to do it for today. Thanks to Carrie for making some beer runs for us today. Thanks to Tim Hass for being in studio with us. I’m Brendan Hanson, I will see you again next week on the Drips and Draughts podcast.
Brendan: Are you looking to learn more about cold brew and draught coffee? Join us in the Cold Brew Avenue Private Community to connect with and learn from other cold brew and draught coffee professionals. Plus, get access to exclusive content, such as ebooks, how to videos, buyers guides, and more. You can learn more and apply for membership at forum.coldbrewavenue.com.
Thanks to Keg Outlet for sponsoring this podcast. Thank you to everyone who has contributed questions and to you for tuning in. Thank you for listening. That does it for this week, but looking forward to seeing you again for the next episode of Drips and Draughts.
Mentioned in this Show
Island Coffee Roasters