Good Head: Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
Here’s a nice new beer to try for the weekend.
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of San Diego County’s breweries. In fact, they’re easily my favorite thing about San Diego. Granted, I’m not much of a beach person, but going down to North County to sample beers is one of the best uses of a Southern California Saturday afternoon I can imagine. The breweries are easy to get to, close together and distinctive enough to warrant checking out several instead of camping out at just one. With a large facility they built from the ground up, the biggest in the area is easily Stone Brewing Co.─who have a fantastic free tour that includes samples, by the way─with others, like the ever delicious Mother Earth Brew Co., being as small as a single suite in a single-level office park. I like to think I’ve been to lots of the area’s breweries, but in reality, I’ve probably been to less than 25% of the fine establishments that make up the San Diego Brewers Guild. One of the bigger ones I’ve never had a chance to visit is Ballast Point. I’ve wanted to go, but it’s far enough away from where I usually go to be written off as “maybe next time” every time. Boy, was that a mistake.
A few weeks back I had a nice time getting
bad genuinely fucking terrible service at Slater’s 50/50 with two friends, and one of them had me try his Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. Now, I’m not much of an IPA guy (unless it’s Port Brewing’s seasonal High Tide IPA), so I tried it more as a courtesy to him than out of actual interest. Much to my surprise, it was beyond fantastic. I’ve since had it several more times. Sculpin IPA has that hoppy, citrusy crispness typically associated with the IPA style, but the execution uses just the right amount of sweetness and a note of tropical fruit to bring a perfect balance to a style of beer that can sometimes overwhelm the palate with bitterness. I would recommend it to anyone, even lovers of canned domestics, and I’m recommending it to you right now.
Ballast Point is my new go-to summer beer, and I think after you try some, it will be yours, too.