Ballantine Ipa was an India pale ale legendary among aficionados, brewed from 1890 into the 1990s by the Ballantine Brewing Co. of Newark, New Jersey (later owned in turn by Falstaff Brewing and Pabst Brewing). Ballantine IPA spanned two eras of IPA glory, that of the late 19th century in Britain and the revivification of the style several decades later by American craft brewers. Maintaining traditional brewing methods such as dry-hopping and aging in oak for up to a year, as well as distilling extract from whole Bullion hops for use in conditioning, this IPA introduced many drinkers to ales of substantial character and inspired many brewers to emulation. See bullion (hop).

Cited by Michael Jackson as “wonderfully distinctive … an outstanding American ale unique in its fidelity to the East Coast tradition of Colonial ales,” Ballantine IPA in its heyday boasted a bitterness of 60 IBU, a strong hop aroma and 7.5% ABV; it also held a lofty price point among domestic beers (around 5 US dollars for a six-pack in the late 1970s). Over the years, and as the sites of its brewing moved from Newark to Cranston, Rhode Island (1971) and then to Fort Wayne, Indiana (1979), aging times were reduced and hop bitterness diminished. The oak tanks in which it was aged gave way to lined Cyprus wood and then stainless steel, and eventually alcohol strength was cut to 6.7%.

Though long out of production, Ballantine IPA remains a touchstone for the brewers and beer drinkers who remember it. It introduced many Americans to the IPA style and inspired many brewers to attempt to recreate it.

See also india pale ale.