Ballast Point Brewing Company Dining Review – Best Beer in Downtown Disney
One of the best bars at Disneyland is Ballast Point Brewing Company due to the location and wide selection of beers on tap. Our Ballast Point Brewing Company review includes an overview of atmosphere, drinks, food, plus a couple tips on how to get a reservation and an added Downtown Disney bonus.
There are plenty of dining options in Downtown Disney, but for a menu with familiar locally-inspired bites, kid-friendly options and a large variety of award-winning beers fresh from the tap then look no further than Ballast Point Brewing Company.
Ballast Point Brewing Company Review Overview
Ballast Point offers indoor and outdoor seating located on the second story of the brewery in the heart of Downtown Disney. The air conditioned indoor space and rooftop patio with outdoor bar both overlook the magic of Downtown Disney.
I would suggest dining at Ballast Point on a day when you are not planning on going to Disneyland since a park ticket is not required to visit Downtown Disney. Our family tradition has been to dine at Ballast Point on our arrival day to Anaheim. We check into our hotel and then make our way into the Downtown Disney District to get everyone in the Disney spirit. We love Downtown Disney on our first evening in town, but highly recommend visiting anytime for the lively Disney vibe.
The tasting room hours for Ballast Point are Monday through Friday 11am – 10pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am – 10pm. Ballast Point Brewing Company is a family friendly location so kids are welcome anytime.
Get three hours of parking free when you make a $20 minimum purchase and receive validation from any Downtown Disney location (includes quick-service restaurants, merchandise locations, and kiosks) – or up to 5 hours of parking from any table-service restaurant, which would include Ballast Point Brewing Company.
After those parking validations are up, each additional hour costs $14 which is charged in 30-minute increments with a minimum $7 charge after the 15-minute grace period.
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The Story of Ballast Point Brewing Company
Ballast Point started out in 1996 as a small group of San Deigo homebrewers. Their very first beer sold was called the Ballast Point Special. In 2005 the award-winning Sculpin IPA is brewed for the very first time by combining two home brew recipes and it was an instant hit. In 2010 they win “Champion Small Brewery” at the World Beer Cup. In 2013, the first kitchen and brewery open in Little Italy, San Diego. As they grew, in 2019 they opened their restaurant and brewery in Downtown Disney.
There are now three locations: San Diego, Anaheim and Long Beach plus one coming soon to San Francisco. Definitely a local California place!
We enjoy visiting Ballast Point Brewing Company and we recently had the opportunity to go again. Read on for my Ballast Point dining review of the food and restaurant.
Ballast Point Dining Review
When we arrived, we checked in at the host table downstairs and requested a table outside on the rooftop patio. We were invited to walk up the stairs to the seating hosts on the second floor.
We were immediately greeted by a host upstairs who escorted us to our table on the outdoor patio. We have only dined outdoors because we love the atmosphere with it's half shade and twinkle lights. Not to mention the sights and sounds of Downtown Disney District below!
But the indoor area looks nice too, especially if it were blazing hot outside and you needed a reprieve from the heat. There are also seats available by the window if you would like a view of the Downtown Disney District.
We were seated on the outdoor patio with a lovely view of Downtown Disney.
Ballast Point Brewing Company Menus
Our two boys were given kids menus with lots of fun activities and coloring to enjoy, including word searches and tic tac toe games. I did not get a picture of the kids menus, as the little monsters went pretty wild and crazy on them immediately and then I forgot to ask a host for a blank one. You can get little peeks of the kids menu on my food pictures below if you are terribly interested, or you can just trust me, they were cute.
As for the main menu, a QR code is provided for your party on the table and guests order food through the mobile link. We had no problems with this. It was straight forward and quick.
But the minute I looked at the menu I was legitimately devastated when I learned that one of my favorite food items in all of Disneyland Resort, the Impossible Lettuce Wraps, were nowhere on the menu! These were a delicious starter I looked forward to every time I went, so I was very disappointed.
A second choice starter that I love is the Bavarian Pretzel Sticks that come with Fathom beer mustard and a California Kolsch beer cheese for $16. I did not order them this time because I had just eaten two huge soft pretzels the night before and it seemed like that would be too many soft pretzels, but I kind of wish that I had ordered them. They are so good.
What Ballast Point is Known For – Beer
The beer menu at Ballast Point is what interested us in dining here in the first place. My husband ordered the four 4 ounce Signature Beer Flight tasters for $15 and tried, from left to right, the Aloha Sculpin IPA, Grapefruit Sculpin IPA, Pineapple Sculpin IPA and Watermelon Dorado Double IPA. His top choice was the Watermelon Dorado which had just been added to the Ballast Point Anaheim menu.
For beer lovers, Ballast Point Brewing Company is heaven. With small batch specialties like crowd favorite Tart Cherry Sour Wench or the rated perfect 100 by beer critics Sculpin IPA, there are dozens of choices sure to please, including rich + malty, crisp + bright, and barrel aged selections.
You can also choose from multiple cider, seltzer and wine selections. There's even a Strawberry Hibiscus canned margarita if that's your thing.
Ballast Point Dining Review Food Options
Our obvious pick for an entree was the Baja Style Fish Tacos for $19. Hand pressed corn tortillas, Longfin beer battered fish of the day, cabbage, cilantro crema, pico de gallo, and queso fresco with chips and salsa on the side. We opted to substitute the beer battered fish with blackened fish for an added $2 cost. This was well worth the upgrade as the blackened fish was tasty.
These Baja Style Fish Tacos and dipping salsa have a slight kick. I am usually kind of a baby when it comes to spice and could manage these tacos fine, because I was starving, but barely.
Next up we ordered the Ahi Poke which included Hawaiian marinated Ahi tuna, avocado, ginger vinaigrette, sriracha aioli, kelp, macadamia nuts, and wonton chips. The poke was in a cup hiding under kelp strings, macadamia nuts and avocado. I wanted way more aioli, avocado and kelp and way less of those wonton chips.
Both of my children picked the cheeseburger meal which came with a side of fries and three miniature cookies from Sugar and Grain – a California cookie bakery! These sweet little cookies were a very pleasant surprise.
The kids cheeseburgers come with only cheese which was perfect for one of my sons who is a straight shooter when it comes to burgers. My other son loves the extra toppings for his burger so our server delivered tomatoes, pickles and lettuce on the side. These toppings made my son feel very special and grown up. Thank you, Ballast Point!
Kids have the option for a choice of a fountain drink or milk with their meal but my husband and I are mean and made our kids get chocolate milk. The kids were also given small water cups with lids! I love when restaurants are so kid-friendly.
Check out the menu while you are there (or beforehand!) and pick out what looks good to you! I usually like to look at a menu beforehand so I don't feel rushed at order time and I know what to expect.
Menus change all the time, especially at Downtown Disney, so it is a good idea to check the menu before arrival so you know what to expect and what your options are.
Tips on How to Snag a Dining Reservation at Ballast Point
Ballast Point isn't directly linked to the Disneyland Resort so if you would like to make a dining reservation in advance (I always do) make your reservations through Open Table. I made a dining reservation online in advance for my family of four which is recommended if you don't want to wait when you show up.
To book an advanced dining reservation head to the Ballast Point website and make a reservation through Open Table. It was super easy and quick. I had no problem finding the day and time I wanted. I also made my reservation a couple months in advance because I am extra like that. They do have availability only a couple days out so that's an option for you too.
I love having a reservation because we always breeze right in with no wait at all, but I know not everyone likes to be so committed ahead of time.
Ballast Point Walk Up List
If you don't have a dining reservation, no worries! Reservations are not required. You can just walk-up and ask to be put on the list! It is always an option. But be ready to wait if you are dining during high peak times like weekends and evenings.
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