Beer of the Week

Five things about …. Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin


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?

5 replies »

  1. It’s kind of funny that I see this post right now. Three weeks ago I got back from 12 months in Colorado. They have so many damn fine beers. Coming back to the Australian beer market is kind of disappointing … so I resorted to the internet and found this blog. I probably just have to find the right places.

    Anyway, I also heard a lot about this beer while I was there, and initially struggled to find it. Eventually I found a place selling single bottles for $5 (when most 6-packs in the US are <$10) However, I did get a couple of 6-packs in the end, the last in a supermarket. I was initially disappointed as well – but after a couple, I quite enjoyed it. It was better than their standard Scullion IPA IMHO.

    Last Friday I also unexpectedly saw the Ballast Point Big Eye IPA in the local BWS… that has been pretty good too.

    • Wow, that’s a bit of a coincidence. I’m sure the grapefruit sculpin is around – Warner’s, Beer Cartel and Slowbeer all do mail order online – one of them might have it.
      As for Big Eye, that’s been available at Dan Murphy’s and others for some time now. Yep, the accessibility of good beer here in Australia has improved.

  2. I was off the understanding that Woolworths is the official importer of Ballast Point into Australia. If Grapefruit Sculpin is only available at places such as Slowbeer, Warners, etc, surely this must grey or parallel imported and by extension, question marks on its condition. Or am I mistaken?

    • I can’t say for sure but I wouldn’t think a brewery would let only one retailer have access to their range. Maybe they have the rights to Big Eye – as it’s the only one I’ve seen on the shelves at Dan’s – but none of the others?

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