Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA

by Jim Lannen

As the summer beats on and the dog days approach, raspberry lemonades, sangrias and other fruity cocktails seem to be quite popular. But what do beer drinkers look for during this heat?

Sure there are your typical Summer Shandy, Berry Weiss and citrus Oberons out there, but have your heard of - or tasted - a grapefruit IPA yet? This summer, a few of our bartenders were discussing this type of beer from Ballast Point brewery out of San Diego.

A few weeks back we had introduced Ballast Point's Grunion to our draft beer menu. This week, we bring their Grapefruit Sculpin to our bottle list.

Ballast Point is an American craft brewery and distillery that ranks 37th in the country in sales volume. It is the first micro distillery in San Diego since the prohibition. Over the years, it has become a staple in the market and has won numerous awards.

Their regular Sculpin IPA is one of those beers. Year after year, it has been their highly prized brew. So they have taken that recipe and added a touch of grapefruit to create this Grapefruit Sculpin IPA.

I was never a fan of all those fruity summer beers that you find on every gas station or convenient store shelf. From lemon, orange, lime, loganberries(?), elder berries(?), etc. etc. etc.... they always seemed over the top with fruit. Not this beer. It's a very hoppy, enjoyable west coast IPA with a hint of grapefruit on the back end.

Here is one of the latest reviews from Beer Advocate (By the way, this beer received 96 points out of 100 from this acclaimed beer trade group):

  • Look: crystal clear gold-amber ... not quite copper but definitely with some red in there; about 1/2-inch head of white foam that sticks a bit at the top; slight bit of lacing, decent collar of white foam
  • Smell: grapefruits ... loads of citrus sweetness, ruby red grapefruits
  • Taste: bittersweet grapefruit, a little grain, perhaps a little onion/grassy hop flavor ... and the bite is very bitter at times; the grapefruit is unmistakable
  • Feel: very nice, full and well carbonated
  • Overall: great brew. the grapefruit isn't overboard or out of balance with the typical citrusy, hoppy Sculpin flavors, but there does seem to be an extra grapefruity kick, especially in the nose.

We tend to agree with their summary of this great summer brew.  Stop out and give it a try for yourself!

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