Join us as we check out the new Ballast Point in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District!
Ballast Point is a San Diego-based brewing company, and its new location in the Downtown Disney District is its first in Orange County.
And Ballast Point delivers another first as well, as this the very first onsite brewery — complete with a tasting room, a kitchen, and an outdoor beer garden — in the Downtown Disney District.
Though the official Grand Opening will take place this coming Wednesday, January 16th, Ballast Point is currently in soft openings. So if you go by before Wednesday you’ll likely find it open!
That’s what our Disneyland Correspondent, Heather Sievers (@diningindisney on Instagram) did, so we can show you around!
Let’s step on in… and up!
There are two main elements equally at play in the design. One is the nautical theming, which is on display throughout in classic ship pieces as well as bright and vivid artwork.
Some of the nautical nods are more whimsical…
(Check out this beer bottle light fixture!)
… while others show the more dangerous side of a life at sea with some of the Ballast Point signature art.
The other element factoring into the setting is the fact that the Anaheim spot is a three-barrel “research and development” brewery.
You’ll never forget the specialty of the house…
As for seating, the indoor dining room is the spot where people with reservations will be placed at tables.
There is also a seat-yourself bar.
But the rooftop patio — with its own bar and lounge area — might be my favorite spot. Here’s a look before the sun was setting.
And here it is again, a bit later.
Note that the outdoor lounge is first come, first served in regards to seating.
A merchandise shop is also present to commemorate your visit and the brews.
Though parents can keep in mind that this spot is absolutely family friendly and welcoming to the “Little Explorers”…
… there is no doubt that the general feel brings a hip, adult vibe to the Downtown Disney District along with it!
Eats and Drinks
The menu at Ballast Point is and will continue to be seasonally-inspired, featuring items that are created with beer pairing in mind!
Because in addition to award-winning beers, Ballast Point guests can also enjoy Southern California cuisine made with a focus on seasonal, local ingredients. (Ballast Point also refers to their style as offering New American cuisine.) Here is the above menu divided into sections, starting with Plates to Share and Salads & Flatbreads.
Entrees include Sandwich & Burger selections and Mains.
And, of course, there are a couple of sweet items on hand for dessert.
Guests can expect to find anywhere from 30 to 50 beers on tap at any time. These include limited edition brews exclusive to Downtown Disney. The menu is divided into sections starting with Hops, Hops, & More Hops; Rich & Malty; and Crisp & Bright. (Just click any of the menu images to enlarge for easier reading.)
Small Batch Specialties and Tart & Sour are up next. The Small Batch Specialties are part of the “Roots to Boots” Research & Development program, which gives employees the chance to experiment with the ingredients, as noted on the menu. If the brew is a hit, it may become a new beer on the menu, so “vote with your glass!”
Barrel Aged options complete the current list, and note that a Flight of any four is an option as well.
Wine is also available.
Heather and her family enjoyed some Plates to Share, which included the Bavarian Pretzel.
It’s served with “Sculpin” beer cheese and “Fathom” beer mustard for dipping.
Heather noted that all of the food came “fast and fresh,” which was especially impressive given the large crowds ready to pay the new location a visit, and the fact that new restaurants often have an adjustment period for the first few days. A highlight of the Plates to Share was the House Made Pimento Cheese.
It’s accompanied with chicharrones (pork rinds), grilled bread, and bread & butter pickles.
The highly addictive, creamy and substantial pimento cheese was “incredible.”
BP Wings can be ordered in your choice of three serving styles: Spicy Sculpin Buffalo Glaze with blue cheese sauce, Bourbon and Brown Sugar with ranch, or in a Crispy Dry Rub with southern style comeback sauce.
The crispy dry rub is a great choice for sharing because those who don’t care for the spice from a buffalo glaze can still share with those who appreciate some of that kick from the spicy comeback sauce!
There is yet another standout from the Plates to Share, though. (And the shareable plates here really are a fun way to go if you’re grabbing some friends and some seats on the patio to relax and linger for an evening.) Among your order, you’ll for sure want to consider the Impossible Lettuce Cups.
This is plated with “Impossible” (plant-based) protein and peppers with hydroponic lettuce, which has an unbelievably clean, bright, and fresh flavor that is the signature of lettuce that’s never touched soil.
Heather especially loved the plum sauce (hoison, on the menu), and chose to totally drench the wraps in it because it added so much terrific taste.
By the way, if you look again at the menu, you’ll notice that Ballast Point has plenty of other options for vegetarian guests, as well as those who are gluten free.
Moving into Burgers & Sandwiches, Heather’s kids loved — and “completely devoured” — the California “Kolsch” Steak Burrito.
The meat is seasoned with a Santa Maria style dry rub and wrapped up with guac, pico de gallo, and cheddar cheese. Oh, and there are a ton of French Fries in there, too!
Finally, the Ballast Point Burger (which is served alongside a Smokey Blue Burger and a the plant-based “Impossible” Burger) takes a 7 oz chuck and brisket blend patty and tops it with sharp cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles and remoulade on a brioche bun.
It’s served with fries.
With the remoulade lending its hints of spice, it’s a classic meal that’s done very nicely here.
Which makes sense, because what can beat a burger with a beer?
According to Heather, all of the food was fantastic, and her family can’t wait to return. And though you may see crowds when you first arrive (and likely will for the foreseeable future well beyond opening weeks), it’s worth noting that the large space — which was indeed packed — also provided quick turnover with food that arrived quickly, so the service is already going well. That said, for those who want to relax a little longer on the patio, that’s an option, too!
Ballast Point is a pretty terrific addition to the still-transforming Downtown Disney District. It offers great eats paired with a huge and unique beer selection in what’s sure to be a pretty huge hangout spot for both vacation guests and locals. And we say, “Welcome!”
Of course, this isn’t the last you’ll see of us here in Downtown Disney. There are still new additions on the way, with Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer also coming this year.
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In fact, so much has changed in Disneyland Resort Dining over the past year. Let’s take a look back at when Ballast Point, The Tropical Hideaway, Pixar Pier, and more were still on the horizon! You’ll see all the latest additions from the past year in our DFB YouTube Video!
Check out more Disneyland Food Reviews Here!!
Are you looking forward to visiting Ballast Point? Please let us know with a comment!