Grapefruit Sculpin adds a fruity note to a legendary IPA

What it is: Sculpin India Pale Ale, made by San Diego brewery Ballast Point, is widely considered one of the finest IPAs on the market; BeerGraphs ranks it the 32nd highest-rated beer in the world (as of this writing), and Beer Advocate puts it at a slightly more reasonable 137 (still quite impressive). So it's little wonder that Grapefruit Sculpin, which is getting wide distribution for the first time, has become the talk of the beer world. It's Sculpin … with grapefruit! The brewery won't say exactly how the grapefruit flavor is added — it's "a proprietary process that uses grapefruits purchased from Florida" — but does say it is added as a final step in making the beer. The addition of fruit to an already-loved beer makes for a deeply satisfying equation for IPA fans. (Grapefruit Sculpin already clocks in at No. 229 in the Beer Advocate rankings.)

In the bottle: Grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit and grapefruit. Grapefruit Sculpin smells so much like — get ready — grapefruit, that if you had no information about what was in the glass, you might guess it was grapefruit soda. But just like the standard Sculpin, the grapefruit version is 7 percent alcohol, which gives it plenty of beery heft. It’s still plenty bitter, as an IPA should be, thanks to the grapefruit (which has more of a rind quality on the palate than juicy) and the hops. Yet Grapefruit Sculpin stays bright and tangy, and amounts to one of the most refreshing and approachable 7 percent alcohol beers I’ve ever sipped. All that said: If you don’t like IPAs, this is not the beer that will convince you otherwise. This beer takes one of an IPA’s greatest attributes — the intersection of bitterness and citrus — and amplifies it generously.

Drink it with: Shrimp tacos with a mango salsa.

Find it: Available in six packs of 12-ounce bottles at better beer stores.

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