From the Beer Writer: Padres fans (a club I’m a lifelong member of) have suffered a long drought in terms of wins and playoff appearances. The same cannot be said when it comes to “Friar water.” AleSmith Brewing unveiled a pale ale brewed in conjunction with Major League Baseball hall-of-famer Tony Gwynn in 2014, and numerous San Diego County breweries have released one-off beers referencing the brown-and-gold, the most recent examples of which are ales with punny names referencing newly-acquired third baseman Manny Machado. But this week, the San Diego Padres announced the arrival of the team’s official beer, Swingin’ Friar Ale. In search of a special beverage to celebrate the team’s 50th season, the Padres reached out to Miramar-based Ballast Point Brewing, a company that has long had a presence at Petco Park. In developing Swingin’ Friar Ale, the brewing team wanted to create something unlike Sculpin IPA and other popular Ballast Point beers already available at the ballpark. So, they went with a 5.5% alcohol-by-volume SMASH (single hop and single malt) pale ale exclusively hopped with Simcoe, a varietal that has somehow remained largely unexplored by the 22-year-old brewing interest. That hop lends aromas of grapefruit and tangerine, plus flavors of ruby red grapefruit, peach and a herbaceousness closest to rosemary. It’s an easy-drinker meant to be consumed during a day-game at the stadium, where the beer will debut on opening day, Thursday, March 28. It will also be sold in six-packs and on draft throughout San Diego County.
From the Brewer: “In developing Swingin’ Friar Ale with the Padres, we all agreed we wanted to brew a beer that’s perfect for the ball game but also clearly a San Diego-style beer. It’s a 100% Simcoe-hopped pale ale that has a light pale appearance with bright clarity. It’s super easy-drinking with a nice hint of grapefruit and citrus, and soft bitterness. It also has a great crisp finish and medium carbonation that go well with its biscuity malt backbone.”—James Murray, Vice President of Brewing Operations, Ballast Point Brewing
From the Padres: “When we considered a local craft partner to collaborate with on the Padres first-ever co-branded beer, Ballast Point was a perfect fit given our long-standing partnership and their 20-plus years of brewing and distributing award-winning craft beer throughout San Diego. The occasion of our fiftieth anniversary this season made for a meaningful time to launch this new beer and offer fans of the Padres and Ballast Point an opportunity to enjoy the beer and celebrate with us at Petco Park and throughout San Diego.”—Erik Greupner, President of Business Operations, San Diego Padres