Grunion Pale Ale
Ballast Point Brewing Company

Grunion Pale AleGrunion Pale Ale
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American Pale Ale (APA)
Ranked #126
Ranked #3,833
4.08 | pDev: 9.31%
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
Grunion Pale AleGrunion Pale Ale
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 270 | Ratings: 1,455 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Smurfman584
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a taster glass. Beer has yeast sediments and looks unfiltered. I like that. Golden color. Minimal pacing. Smell is unique, probably from the lesser used Calypso hops. Smooth taste, slightly sweet, dry finish. Medium carbonation. Not as polished as the few other great pale ales, but very good nonetheless.

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Photo of Squire
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear amber gold color with white cap and lacing.

Aroma of slightly caramel malt and herbal, citrusy hops.

Taste is slightly hop forward quickly followed by caramel malt sweetness with all the flavors closely entwined. I usually find hops resting on a malt base but here the caramely sweet malt seems to sit atop a herbal hop base with the citrus hops riding as a third layer above the other two. Well made, well balanced, remarkably good.

Medium full texture with balancing carbonation.

This is a very balanced APA where the malt and hops play well together.

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Photo of psycHOPathy
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy amber body, thick head
Rich earthy hops, citrus, caramel, pine, brown sugar, yeast
Orange peel, grass, malts
Medium body
Taste is a bit of a disappointment compared to the smell, but still a good beer. Malty and earthy, hoppy

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Photo of SB2017
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

At first taste, I loved this beer. After halfway through my six-pack, it began to feel like a chore to drink. I lost track of the clean, refreshing bitter sweetness and mild malts of my first couple, and became bogged down by nondescript hops. All in all, a decent go to for a pale ale.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Pours deep orange with a tint of yellow and a fluffy white head. Smells of sweet citrus, but with a slight tropical fruit note. Tastes of sweet grain with citrus and slight tropical fruit notes. Beer is light bodied and very easy drinking, good carbonation. Overall, a good beer.

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Photo of REVZEB
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is actually a very nice pale ale. Nothing too innovative, but wonderfully balanced. The hops bring pine, rind fruit and hop spiciness. Taste has a good hop snap finish, where nose lets them linger. The malt mixture base has a honey and roasted herb complexion. All together this beer comes together to make a nice west coast pale ale.

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Photo of CabbageA19
4.73/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Crisp pale ale with a nice finish that makes you smack you lips and get ready for that next sip. Floral and very well balanced bouquet of hops the whole way through. First time I have picked it up and I have concern I might never put it down!

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Photo of BombusBombus
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice bitterness, sits really well in the mouth and lingers a bit but not for too long. Not much aroma but makes up for it in taste. A nice pale ale all around, not too complex but rather straight to the point. Will definitely buy again.

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Photo of Antg8989
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours light gold-gold with a white head and very nice lacing. Aroma is fairly weak, but is indicative of a standard pale ale with piney and citrus aromas. Taste is a bit stronger than the aroma would have you expecting. An even blend of citrus and pine with breadiness in the malt - which is in the background - but it is there. Feel is medium carbonated and medium mouthfeel. Overall, a good Pale Ale. Nothing to complain about here. Certainly drinkable and a bit dry on the finish which I like.

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Photo of sokol_1993
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Got one at GSA Party, UCSD.
Felt very much like an IPA. It is unbalanced for a pale ale, as all I got was the hoppiness, but could not discern the malt back.

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Photo of StephenM
3.3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

L: light golden, clear, thin head
S: Grapefruit rind, slightly grassy, piney
T: Bitter up front, grapefruit rind, slight lemon, with a metallic tone. Minimal malt, doesn't develop when chill comes off
F: thin, with lingering bitterness
O: My first Ballast Point beer, not taken with it. The bittering is not balanced with malt sweetness or yeast fruitiness.

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Photo of k204
2.95/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

To be clear, my taste buds are not quite refined, but here's my take anyway (partially for my own reference later). This was a fine beer, and good. But, it wasn't really notable. I purchased it thinking it was an IPA and found it to taste kind of like an IPA but have less kick. Then I log on here and found it's a pale ale (hey look, the label says that too).

If an Indian from New Delhi offers to make a meal, I hope for a meal that's absolutely New Delhi-ish. An Indian from Hyderabad ought to make a dish that's his version of Indian cuisine, complete with overkill turmeric with a side dish of a sermon on the health benefits of turmeric and drinking water from copper vessels. If a Mexican offers to prepare a meal, I hope he's wearing a sombrero, speaks nothing but Spanish, and makes something that's all Mex and no Tex.

Perhaps that's my problem with pale ales. Though generally likable, I appreciate the up front, overkill harshness of a DIPA / Imperial IPA, followed by a very long lasting finish. Therefore, to me, this pale ale seems maybe too likable. Maybe like somebody wanted to crank it to eleven, but instead there was a committee that determined most people would prefer a good loud 5 or 6.

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Photo of FLima
3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber orange color with a thick two finger head with decent retention.
Nice citrusy aroma with notes of tangerines, pine, grapefruit, slightly toasted malts, melon and American yeast.
Bitter flavor with notes of pine, grapefruit, tangerines, slightly toasted malts, onion, caramel and melon. Dry aftertaste with a pungent bitterness.
Light to medium body with appropriate carbonation.
Very good exemplar of traditional second generation hoppy APA (IPA borderline) with bold citrusy, piney and spicy notes. Not world changer, but it is flawless.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Miramar location.

Light yellow with a thick, sticky white head.

Bright and citrusy with strong Cascade hop aroma. It smells bone dry.

Assertive bitterness, yellow grapefruit, Cascade hops, dry through and through.

Dry, thin, just enough bubbles.

This is a textbook American Californian pale ale. Yum.

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Photo of hopheadhoward
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this on tap 11/17. (Brand new keg) This pale ale lives up to my fondness for Ballast point. It is an excellent pale ale that has all of the bitterness I want, without the high alcohol. It poured a bit cloudy, with an average head. The smell is light, but it is FULL of flavor! Not quite an IPA, but this is a nice ale that should satisfy the IPA lovers who want a little lower alcohol level. No hesitation in recommending this one.

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Taste: fresh melon, piney hops mixed with a grain and malty backbone. Bread and a fresh floral hop nose. Dark Gold/Honey color, semi clear, medium body, some clean finish with a bit hint of grain at end. 50 IBUs

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Photo of jjamadorphd
3.22/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I am not having much luck with this brewer...

My second offering from Ballast Point and I have walked away, once again, unimpressed. I hear and see all the love for this brewer's beers but damn, I haven't had one yet that I really liked. This one was at least much better than that cream ale I had a while back, but still not something I would turn too again. The look and the smell of the brew is certainly appealing - dark-orange liquid with a head that laces quite well. The smell has a complex blend of fruits, hops, and those caramel notes advertised on the can. Even the feel has creamy quality to it, though it's more carbonated than I like. And that's where it all ends for me - the taste is simply a bitter take on an IPA, and this is touted as a mere pale ale. (I just hate it when these pales lean into the IPA realm...) Anyway, it wasn't awful, but I certainly don't get the love that this brew gets...

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Photo of andrewh995
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy gold with a white head. Smells of hops, fresh citrus, and some malts. Tastes of bitter hops, slightly off citrus, and malt. Medium in body and carbonation. Overall a very good APA, just a little something off in the flavor.

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Photo of paulwain
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - 4 - Nice golden brown color, very clear once settled, about 1 finger of foam head (but not very substantial perhaps)
Smell - 4.25 - With just a touch of hops and a good sniff of citrus the smell is very pleasant. The citrus lingers nicely
Taste - 4.25 - It tastes like it smells, but perhaps the hops linger on longer than the citrus this time around
Feel - 4 - Very pleasant to the mouth and slips down nicely

Overall - 4.25 - For some reason I think of this is as the "poor sibling" to the Sculpin, but do not let that put you off. They are very different, and yet similar, at the same time. In the Grunion, a nice balance of hops and citrus sits on the tongue, in a very lively and pleasant manner, their blend definitely works well in the warmer California environment. I would perhaps say this is the "casual drinking" Ballast Point IPA that is best suited to the evenings out here, where its "big brother" is for the more formal occasions! ;)

[ Meh - read that how you will - basically, if you like Sculpin, you'll like Grunion, and the price difference is awesome - just try it out!!!! :) :) :) ]

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Photo of shiu-chan
3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Drafted pour on a half pint glass.
Clear amber copper tone with an inch head.
Sweet hoppy nose with subtle grapefruit peel.
Rich resin hoppy but refreshes the palate.
Above average IPA, definitely on the list of an IPA lover.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a pint glass. The appearance was a hazy burnt orange color with a light transparency about it. Carbonation runs up at a moderate pace to fill a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within less than a minute. Spotty lacing sticks nicely around the glass. The smell starts off with a nice crisp sweet fresh cut grass to it. A little bit of citrus and sweet pine come in underneath. Bitterness is there but not overly bearing. The taste was balanced between the sweetness and the bitterness. Malts don’t show much sweet presence as the hops seem to be the leading factor of the sweetness. A light citrusy to pine aftertaste leads into a dry finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a nice crisp sessionability about it. Carbonation runs nicely as an APA and the bitterness seems a little bit more than other APA’s but that’s okay. Overall, I like this one and would have it again.

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Photo of HoppyBastard
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a Shaker pint glass, there is no "best by" date that I can find.

APPEARANCE: pours a nice golden color with small bits floating about, one-finger white head that slowly dissipated until a thin layer of small bubbles remained, medium carbonation, there is light lacing on the glass.

SMELL: pineapple, bread and pine.

TASTE: the taste follows the nose, initially sweet pineapple, bread and then a nice piney finish.

PALATE: medium body and carbonation.

OVERALL: this is a decent beer but nothing special, there are better beers available in this style so I will probably not but buy this one again.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden orange with some floating particles, little to no carbonation, and 4 fingers of yellow tinged head.

Smells of big notes of caramel and pineapple. Hints of pine and orange. Really sweet and fruity.

Fruity, bitter and dry. Not sweet as the nose hinted. Solid bitterness but holds fruity and floral qualities still. Pine and orange and grapefruit pith.

Medium, crisp and dry body, with medium to low carbonation.

Got at Namtons, drinking here in Chiang Mai on June 2nd, 2017. Excellent brew. Loving the dryness and complexities of this beer.

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Photo of mjurney
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Golden-amber, murky. Lots of bubbles rising. Thick rocky head.

Lots of citrus hops, grapefruit, bitter orange, piney, bready malts, hint of toffee.

Citrus-piney hop forward, a bit of grapefruit. Solid malt backbone, a little caramel. Finish is bitter, crisp and dry. Medium bodied, refreshing, slight sharp carbonation, highly drinkable.

Very good American Pale Ale.

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Photo of Mark-Leggett
4.62/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the best smelling beers I have ever had and the taste backs it up. Citrus and pine hit the nose and the pallet, strong flavors that really work well together. Might revisit this soon and see if this should be all perfect 5's

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Grunion Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 1455 ratings