As I was drinking this beer at “The Murder Table” (that’s what Limpd calls the island in our newly renovated kitchen), I kept asking myself, “What’s a grunion?”.
It turns out that a grunion is a type of fish which is indigenous to Southern California and northern Baja California. Apparently, they have a VERY unique spawning ritual…
Now that I know a bit more about this unusual fish (who says beer drinking can’t be educational?), my next question is, “What does any of this have to do with beer?”.
Did Ballast Point develop this beer on the beach while witnessing this bizarre phenomenon?
Are fertilized grunion eggs harvested and used to brew this beer?
Does this beer pair well with grilled grunion?
Sadly, my answer to all these questions is, “I don’t know!”. I guess we’ll just have to go with Ballast Point‘s description of this beer and let my questions remain a mystery. Here’s what they have to say about their Grunion Pale Ale:
Our Grunion Pale Ale wasn’t born on a beach, but in a backyard. Originating from an employee-only home brew contest, this award-winning hoppy pale ale is named after the tiny local fish known for late night frolics on shore. A pair of new hop varieties lend strong yet balanced summer melon aromas and herbal flavors, while a soft caramel malt sweetness holds it all together.
Let’s find out if this beer is any good…
- Appearance: Pale orange color with lots of clear, fast rising bubbles. Thin bead of off white foam and very little lacing.
- Aroma: A smattering of funk, i.e. my cycling jersey after a 60 minute ride on a sticky, 85 degree day (TMI?). Honey. Grapefruit zest. Some pine tree.
- Taste: Lightly carbonated with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. A bit of honey sweetness at the start. Pithy grapefruit bitterness shows up in the middle. Gets a bit more bitter at the finish with a good bit of astringency too. Sweet, biscuity malts show up in the aftertaste.
- ABV: 5.9%
This is my second experience with Ballast Point’s Grunion Pale Ale. My first time around was at Tom Bergin’s Irish Pub in LA. It was served on draught and I found it to be deliciously crisp and lightly bitter. While it may have lost a little something in bottle form, this is still a supremely delicious beer that I would absolutely recommend. Given Grunion’s delightfully hoppy nature, I’m left with yet another question that will most likely remain unanswered: Where does the Pale Ale end, and where does the India Pale Ale begin?