Tapping the Keg: Reviewing craft beer Ballast Point Sculpin

“Tapping the Keg” is a weekly review of craft beers brought to you by campus correspondent Dan Wood.

A bottle of Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company in San Diego, California, at Oliver Twist in Stockholm. (Bernt Rostad/Flickr)

Ballast Point Sculpin is definitely refreshing in the world of super hopped and overhyped I.P.A.s. This beer keeps true to its form with its label, but is any thing but ordinary. Sculpin is amber in color with excellent head retention if poured properly into a chilled glass. Immediately, you are hit with the intense aroma of grapefruit and Meyer lemon when opening a bottle, and the taste confirms much of what the nose experiences. The top notes of this ale are very hoppy and sour, smoothing out into an apricot and bready yet bright and tropical body. We are revisited by the grapefruit and its bitterness when finishing the drink and it bites a little - which might be too much for less experienced beer drinkers, but on a hot day after long hours, Sculpin is as smooth as can be.

This beer weighs in with a decent 7.0 percent alcohol by volume, so don’t be fooled by how easy it is to drink. This is a great beer to have with a wide variety of cheeses, crackers and deli meats, especially fresh cheeses like goat cheese or fresh mozzarella.  It is also an excellent ale to have with a hot slice of pizza. Sculpin is powerful, yet subtle enough to stand up to an arugula salad with a vinaigrette without overpowering the spicy green. (Why not all three: goat cheese arugula pizza?)

This versatile ale has won many awards over the years. Sculpin comes in 12 ounce bottles or cans. If the classic style is too bitter, Sculpin comes in different varieties brewed with different produce like grapefruit, pineapple, and even habañero if you really like to sweat when you drink! Locally, it can be found at both Price Chopper or Storrs Wine and Spirits. A six-pack of bottles will typically cost you $12 to $15.

Overall Rating: 9/10


Dan Wood is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at daniel.wood@uconn.edu