Disneyland's First Brewery, Ballast Point Brewing, Is Officially Set To Open In Downtown Disney
Parents now have another reason to take their Frozen-obsessed children to Disneyland. For the first time ever, the Disneyland is getting its very own brewery later this year. Popular San Diego-based brewing company Ballast Point will reportedly open a 7,000+ square foot restaurant and brewery within the Downtown Disney section of the resort, according to Thrillist. According to a release from Michael Ramirez, Public Relations Manager of Disney Destinations, the location — Orange County's first — will "house the first-ever on-site brewery, tasting room, kitchen and outdoor beer garden at Downtown Disney District." The location will offer many of the company's mainstay beers, as well as some new, Disney-specific brews, and a San Diego-themed menu boasting "steroid- and antibiotic-free proteins, line-caught fish, and local produce when available."
Ballast Point grew from the minds and the UCLA dorm rooms of Jack White and Peter A'Hearn. in 1992, White opened Home Brew Mart — a store stocked with all the supplies and ingredients needed to successfully brew beer in your home—in San Diego, while A'Hearn enrolled in UC Davis' Master Brewers program. Yuseff Cherney, another passionate homebrewer joined the team as Home Brew Mart's first formal employee, and later joined the two others to open Ballast Point's first location in the back of the store.
Less than ten years later, in 2004 Ballast Point's success was great they had outgrown the small location they had in Home Brew Mart and moved to a much larger domain in Scripps Ranch, a suburb of San Diego (though Home Brew Mart remains up and running.) In 2013, the company opened both a third location in the Little Italy area of San Diego complete with restaurant, tasting room, and research and experimentation lab, as well as an enormous 107,000 square-foot brewery in Miramar, California. Plans for the location at Disneyland appear quite similar to the location that exists in Little Italy.
Often overshadowed by castles and cartoons, some of those more familiar with the Disney theme parks would argue that Disney Resorts' true strength lies within their culinary endeavors. The dining options at its Florida location alone touch on countless different themes and types of cuisine. Plus, Epcot's Drinking Around the World attraction at DisneyWorld resort has been a popular attraction for the over-twenty-one crowd for years.
The food and drink at Disneyland in California is equally impressive. From trattorias to cafeterias, the restaurants of Disney's west coast (and original) park are plentiful; with options for fans of every age. One way Disneyland arguably has the upper hand is its prime location for events such as the Disney Food and Wine Festival, which takes place every spring. It's a pretty fair bet Ballast Point will be involved with the festival next year.
Something Ballast Point prides itself on is its homegrown roots. The entire company grew out of a creative endeavor between three friends; even their logos and labels are all created by the same person. Paul Elder, a San Diego native and former Home Brew Mart regular is the artist behind the company's many nautical beer labels as well as their logo: a sextant. A navigational tool traditionally used by sailors to estimate the space between stars and the sea's horizon, the sextant was carefully chosen by the three founders to serve as "...a reminder to keep on our journey, continuing to seek out new ideas, new flavors, and new people to share our beer and spirits with."
Knowing what we do about a company like Ballast Point, it is easy to see why Disney chose to partner with them to open Disneyland's first brewery. At the end of the day, maybe a family theme park and a brewing company aren't all they different when both are primarily interested in sharing joy with family and friends.