Feb 20, 2015

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA

The standard Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point can be an elusive beast, but it’s this grapefruit-infused variety that became darn near mythical this Winter. The baseline version of this 7% ABV IPA is a wonderfully crafted beer with great flavor and balance. The Grapefruit Sculpin IPA takes all of those wonderful traits and adds the fruity tartness of the Winter fruit.

The result is a beer that is citrusy, lightly tart and just as playfully tasty as ever. I’ve had some brews in the past where the injection of grapefruit has overwhelmed the base flavors. That’s not the case here. The fruit compliments the pre-existing citrus and pine notes while adding just that little extra twist to keep you on your toes.


A dense cap of khaki foams sits atop the amber brew.

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA photo


Loads of grapefruit juice, tangerine, light pine and distant malt fill the nose immediately, offering a hint of what’s to come.


There’s no doubt that the grapefruit influence certainly has an impact on this beer as it’s present from start to finish, but not in an overly dominating fashion. Orange and tangerine also make an appearance, accompanying the fruity tartness of the grapefruit to its peak before fading ever so slowly to a briefly warming, lasting finish. The hop bite isn’t too crazy, but when it arrives in conjunction with the grapefruit tartness it certainly does grab your attention. There’s a light pine and soft sweetness that also present themselves as the beer warms a touch.


This beer could have gone down the one-dimensional path, but Ballast Point has done well to keep things level headed. The additional grapefruit allows the base Sculpin IPA to shine through — complimenting, instead of overtaking the core flavors that make this beer so good to begin with. My only complaint with this beer — as is the case with many of these types of limited releases — is the limited and restrictive buying arrangements that face your standard beer fan.

Rating: 4.25/5

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