1) Ah, social media. There’s nothing better for generating buzz or hype around a beer. Sure, the breweries can advertise all they want but nothing’s better for making beer geeks think ‘‘damn, I must have that beer’’ than a Twitter feed full of other people banging on about.
2) And so it was with Ballast Point’s Grapefruit Sculpin. For a while there every second beer-related tweet was about someone drinking this beer, about to drink this beer or wishing they could drink this beer. Well, it probably wasn’t every second tweet, in fact it was more likely to be that thing where someone tells you to watch out for red cars and, voila, suddenly you start seeing them everywhere.
3) Yeah, that’s probably more like it. I saw a tweet about Grapefruit Sculpin, thought ‘‘I’d like to try that’’ and then every other tweet I saw suddenly had added significance. That HAS to be it because I can’t imagine Ballast Point has flooded the Australian market with this beer.
4) I was up in Newcastle in January and visited Warner’s at the Bay. I spied a bottle of this beer in the fridge and had to buy it. Along with about $150 worth of other beer – yeah, the look on my wife’s face when they rang that up on the register wasn’t pretty.
5) And the beer itself? Well I was a bit disappointed to read the label and see it’s ‘‘natural grapefuit flavour’’ and not actual grapefruit that goes into the beer. Funnily enough, I found the grapefruit seemed to soften the bitterness of the IPA, which is exactly the opposite of what I thought it would do. I also had to wait until the beer warmed up before I got any grapefruit flavour. All-up, it wasn’t as good as I expected – but that’s often the way when you build up a beer in your mind before you try it.
NOTE: I used to post the Five things about … pieces on Sunday. But lately I figured that was dumb. Most people do their drinking over the weekend, so posting it when the weekend’s half over wasn’t the smartest move in the world. So I’ve moved it to Fridays. Okay?