SCULPIN IPA by BALLAST POINT BREWING CO.

“My taste buddies never gave up on the Sculpin and by the end they pushed through for me. They rolled with the punches long enough to begin enjoying the challenge.”

Sculpin IPA: 3 out of 5

For Kate’s birthday, we kept it classy and shared an entire hot-and-ready pizza from Little Caesar’s. Afterwords, we settled in to finish watching The Santa Clause with Tim Allen, one of the most underrated Christmas movies of all time. I poured my self a glass of Sculpin IPA, gave it a whiff, and handed it off to the birthday girl for the honorary first taste. She hadn’t even finished swallowing before leaning back in her chair, cringing and mumbling, “Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.”

Needless to say, it wasn’t for her. I was surprised by her reaction because the aroma was mild when I gave it the smell test. I assumed it was just a wrong beer at the wrong time sort of reaction, but when I gave it a taste I understood why she hated it so much. It was extremely bitter. I am aware that the words hoppy and bitter are often used interchangeably, but this one felt more bitter to me than it did hoppy. Maybe it was the cheap cheese coating my mouth from the pizza, but I didn’t get that same bright, floral, complexity that I have tasted in other IPAs.

With all of that said, I still enjoyed it. My taste buddies never gave up on the Sculpin and by the end they pushed through for me. They rolled with the punches long enough to begin enjoying the challenge. By the time I finished my beer, Tim Allen had made amends with his ex-wife, proven those stupid cops wrong, and finished delivering presents to every man, woman, and child on earth — as long as they believed in him of course. Overall, it was a good night.

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