Beer drinkers usually fall into two camps: a member of the IPA appreciation club or firmly against India Pale Ales. Unless the IPA in question is Ballast Point Brewing Company's Sculpin, which has managed to not only become one of the California-based brewery's most popular brews, but a history-making beer in its own right.
As Colby Chandler, vice president and specialty brewer at Ballast Point, explains, Sculpin is a bright, not overly astringent beer that exists to win over anti-IPA drinkers. It was the company's first employee collaboration and reflects the "team effort" mindset that now drives every Ballast Point creation. Doug Duffield, Ballast Point's lead specialty brewer, and George Cataulin, the company's senior homebrew advisor, are the men behind Sculpin.
Since Ballast Point began in — and is still headquartered out of —a home brewing supply store in San Diego, it only makes sense that the voices of the public would be taken into consideration during development. After years of experimentation, the group found that hopping an ale at five separate stages would end up producing this gold-medal winning IPA. It has hints of apricot, peach, mango, and lemon flavors, but at 7 percent alcohol, still packs a bit of a sting just like a Sculpin fish.
Now Ballast Point's IPA portfolio has grown to include grapefruit and pineapple versions, as well as one infused with habanero peppers. Who knows what the next experiment might yield?