Beer Preview: Ballast Point Sculpin
today at 11:37 pm
I’m still runni9ng through beers that have been sent to me for my comment. Let’s forge ahead.
Ballast Point Brewing Co. was founded in 1996 in San Diego. They built up a national distribution footprint with their flagship Sculpin IPA. I encountered it in the Chicago market in 2013. It was a kind of California IPA that explored hop loads beyond the usual West Coast hops, adding fruity impressions.
Ballast Point was swept up in the wave of craft brewer buyouts in the mid-teens, going to Constellation Brands for an eye-popping one billion dollars. The purchase at first brought expansion, with a branch brwery on the East Coast and a brewpub in Chicago’s West Loop. The brewery failed to find the needed “synergy,” though. In December of 2019, it was sold to new investors, who had also backed Kings and Convicts Brewing in north suburban Highwood. This led to a reconsideration of their business, focusing on the Southern California market and closing the Chicago site (of course the pandemic had something to do with it). Earlier this year, they started to expand again, now packaged in cans.
The Sculpin kicks up a big head when poured from the can into a tulip. A slightly tan head sits on a golden beer body with a bit of haze. Smell is light tropical fruits from hops. But in the taste, the tropical fruit is more prominent, followed right behind by the usual pine and resin of a West Coast IPA. As I recall, this was one of my first IPAs to bring in “tropical fruit” hops.
Ballast Point, Sculpin
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