Editor’s note: We’re republishing this review from April 2003 because the old copy still gets so much reader traffic.
I first learned of Ballantine’s while reading something by Hunter S. Thompson. He seemed to like it (then again, what didn’t he drink).
At the time, I couldn’t find it: beer store guys looked at me like I was asking for some 19th century product. Now, though, it can be found with relative ease, at least in New York City. I won’t kid you: Ballantine’s XXX is a cheap beer. Yet, unlike Hollandia or numerous other thin yellow beers, it has a character all its own. Whatever hops they use (Cascade?) import a dry, sweet bouquet to what would otherwise be a very pedestrian brew. Drink it very cold, for as it warms up it loses its crispness and becomes flabby. (Rating: Good)
Churned out by Pabst, Ballantine XXX goes for $1.10 for a 16 ounce optic lime green can. You can learn a bit more about Ballantine by surfing to this fan site: http://www.jadetech.com/~smallsha/ballantine_ale.htm or the Pabst Ballantine website at http://ballantineale.com/.