There’s nothing quite like a day spent at the track, picking the ponies and, hopefully, taking home some cash. For the longest time, doing so meant settling for Del Margaritas. I know, I know…first-world problems. Margaritas are fine and all, but even wealthy beer fans didn’t have a wealth of options. That changed this year with the debut of Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits’ cleverly named The Jockey Box.
It’s located at the easternmost part of the second level of the Stretch Run, upstairs from the paddock. the space was formerly occupied by Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing, a beercentric restaurant chain featuring ales and lagers primarily brewed in San Clemente. The Jockey Box features four Ballast Point beers on tap with an assortment of packaged offerings. The opening day lineup included Pale Ale, Session IPA, Wahoo White, and Sculpin IPA.
In addition to liquid refreshment, The Jockey Box also has a food menu, including a Cuban-style sandwich, flatbread, and PB&J chicken wings. That trio of dishes are a collaboration between the racetrack’s executive chef and Colin MacLaggan, the chef at Ballast Point’s Little Italy Tasting Room and Kitchen. While it’s likely I’ll still park in my super-secret lot and prime the pump with a 22 or 750 prior to post time, it’s nice to know my craft beer enjoyment won’t end there next time I take in a day at the races.