This weekend marks the greatest four days in sports of the year and whether you are nearing a perfect billion dollar bracket or crying your sorrows because you picked a 15 to beat a 2 seed nothing pairs better with March Madness than beer! This weekend I am drinking an IPA from one of the most consistent brewing companies; this weekend, Ballast Point Brewing Company’s Sculpin IPA is What’s on Tap!
I was shocked to find that I had not reviewed a brew from Ballast Point because whenever any of their beers are on tap I make sure I have one. Located in San Diego, another great beer city, Ballast Point Brewing Company has been producing beer since 1996. Sculpin IPA is the brewery’s flagship IPA and it never fails to disappoint.
When I drink a West Cost IPA, like Scuplin, I am expecting a beer that is heavy on the hops, citrus, and earthy flavors and has a huge bitter kick at the end. Sculpin has all of those characteristics. On the frontend I immediately get the hops and citrus flavors which are followed by the earthy pine notes but almost immediately the beer’s bitterness takes over. I could see how, for some, the bitterness would be too much but I love it!
Paring a food with a beer whose backend is so powerful can be somewhat difficult. You want the food to have the same type of kick or “power” so the beer will not overshadow it. But at the same time you do not want your pallet to be overloaded. I am pairing Sculpin with chicken that has been marinated in maple syrup and cayenne pepper powder. I am hoping the sweetness of the maple syrup hits first and then Sculpin’s bitterness cuts the cayenne pepper; a great food to prepare on the grill! So here’s to the start of spring, your busted bracket, and to a great bitter IPA!
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 7
Color: Hazy Golden