Grunion Pale Ale
Ballast Point Brewing Company

Grunion Pale AleGrunion Pale Ale
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Style:
American Pale Ale (APA)
Ranked #118
ABV:
5.5%
Score:
91
Ranked #3,521
Avg:
4.08 | pDev: 9.31%
Reviews:
269
Ratings:
1,451
From:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  88
Gots
  488
SCORE
91
Outstanding
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.
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Reviews: 269 | Ratings: 1,451
Photo of SierraFlight
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach, poured into shaker pint. Appearance is clear orange-amber with a finger and a half of white head that lasts and leaves patchy lacing. Aroma is grapefruit, mango, pineapple, pine, and biscuit malt. Taste is hoppy citrus bitterness with a fading pine note followed by a balancing malty sweetness. Medium bodied, slightly oily texture, average carbonation, just to the bitter side of balanced on the finish.

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Photo of pda22
4.77/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Grunion is delicious! It's not bottled, as far as I know; I don't know how my local store received a keg, but they did. I pickup up a growler and am enjoying this beer!. Drinking out of a 16oz DFH snifter. Light caramel looking. Outstanding fruity hop aroma. Very light and crisp. I could drink this all day.

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Photo of tempest
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Grabbed the last pint at Astoria Beer & Cheese. Fruity hop character and a lighter but balanced body. This is a great sessionable pale ale. The bitterness is relatively mild, but there's still a large floral, tangerine and tropical fruit character with a piney, grapefruit bitterness. Like the best pale ales, Grunion covers a lot of ground in hop character over a highly drinkable body.

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

Look: A golden color with a short white head that leaves some lacing

Smell: Tropical fruits, citrus, and some pine, with some biscuit and bread malts

Taste: More bread malts, with citrus, pine, and a hint of floral hops,

Feel: Light body, good feel, slightly dry finish

Overall: A good APA, not something that stands out over the gold standard Sierra Nevada, but good nonetheless. Would gladly drink again, but not something I would seek out.

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Photo of wedge
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

@ Ridgewood

Golden colored under a sticky white head. Bright, aromatic hops hit the nose…spicy, herbal, vibrant, and green with some citrus rind. Flavor pops with fresh hoppiness: earthy, herbal, and brisk. Green pine resin, grapefruit, fresh apples, crackers, and general fresh dankness. Snappy, oily mouthfeel makes drinking very easy. Just a great APA dripping with vibrant hoppy freshness.

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Photo of smcolw
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The color is dark gold/light amber. Slight haze. Good head that leaves ring lace and streaks.

This is a solid entry into the APA style. Lots of grapefruit hop to the nose and to the tongue.

The malt is subdued but not missing. The hop is stronger, though and leads to a long aftertaste. The body is solid and the carbonation neutral.

Overall, one of the best APAs I've ever had.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap. Pours a slightly hazy orange color. Aroma is tangy and ripe with tropical fruit and citrus smelling hops. Flavor brings forth a bunch of zesty citrus, melon and mango flavors. The use of Mosaic & Calypso hops surely delivers said flavors. Just enough balancing malt flavor and sweetness. Finishes without much bitterness but the tropical and slightly resiny hops linger. Lighter side of medium bodied. Definitely quite bubbly. Very easy to imbibe. I enjoyed this beer quite a bit; I enjoy mostly all of Ballast Point's brews.

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

on tap at hops and pie, those guys always do a great job. this is nice pale ale, the kind i like to drink when ipa is just a little bolder than i want to go for a session. ballast point has been brilliant at hitting that mark for me, between the calico and this one, they have it covered. frothy and creamy feeling piney pale, medium bodied, dry, satisfying yet crushable. the hops scream winter at me, fresh, but evergreen in a way, good for snowy weather, maybe a little sturdy for summer, but i think its balance is on the money. pale two row stays in the background, but there might be some honey malt or a light crystal giving just a faint sweetness to this. carbonation is robust and the whole thing just feels expertly crafted. for being simple, straightforward beer, its really impressive. so often beer has to stand out for me by being unique or different or weird. its very rare when one stands out just for its quality, not for its inventiveness. this one does, and i admire it greatly for that reason. do they bottle this one???

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

Clear golden pour with some orange highlights and a minimal white head. Strong citrusy aroma with a hint of pine. Great wet citrus hop flavor upfront without being overly bitter. Tastes of grapefruit, pine, light resin, bread and biscuit come through as well. In addition, as the beer warms an oniony flavor begins to stand out. 

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Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%

Had on tap at Sticks and Stones.Came in a standard pint a deep burnt orange with a thinner white head atop.Citric hops and some mild nutty malts with some caramel sweetness to go along with the nuttiness.The hops are not as big as i thought they would be,some grapefruit/citrus the there but somewhat tame,the malts stand out almost as much as the hops giving some caramel and biscuit.Eh I was happy to try it but was a little underwhelmed.

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Photo of PacNWDad
4/5  rDev -2%

On draft at Chuck’s 85th as part of a 4-beer sampler. Nice grassy, herbal, earthy aroma, some light malt. Color is reddish brown, great amount of mottled, white head, lace on the sides that lingers with each sip. Nice balance of bitterness and sweetness, Very much a traditional pale ale in terms of its flavor profile, as opposed to an IPA. But does not have the buttery character of an English PA like Bass Ale. Rich body considering the relatively low alcohol content. Smooth finish where the hops really comes out. Great beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My new favorite Ballast Point beer. Have gone through a six-pack without even remotely getting tired of it. Could be my new favorite hoppy beer in its respective format. The only other beer I can think of in the same format that's just as satisfying is Zombie Dust.

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours light amber in color with a big fluffy finger and a half head that retains nicely.

Smell has some great crisp hop aromas of ripe mango, juicy citrus, some dank note and some pine.

Taste follows the nose with crisp juicy hop flavors if mango and citrus along with a bigger presence of some dank hops. Very mild bitterness.

Light crisp drinkable with lots of hoppy oils and resin to help balance it out

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the 2014 Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest held at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with nice citrus forward hop qualities all around.

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Photo of mothman
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Beige head with some lace. Color is a clear orange hued gold.

Flavor profile: a lot of tropical flavors. Grapefruit and mangos with some muskmelon. Bready malts with some earthy hops.

Mouthfeel: mild bitterness. Ends with a slight hop resin aftertaste.

Overall, solid pale ale. Definitely could be an ipa.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Updated Review: New Recipe w/ Mosaics

Had this on draught at The BP brewery restaurant – Miramar, SD as well as from growler, can, and bottles on after..

First noted on 06/25/2015

A: Dark golden amber with a lightly burnished look and decent clarity across the body. Somewhat copperish if you will. My glass has a smallish foamy whip topping that settles out slowly. There are some nice broken tracks of lace displayed all down the glass.

S: One of the most aromatic APA’s I have come across yet. Just a super Mosaic explosion ripe with tropical guava, peach, grapefruit, floral melon, and a light green onion note. So much stank on this one it wafts across the bar top. Somewhat herbal and cheesy almost and I mean that in a good manner. Heady tropical dank all the way. Man some A-1 aroma right here. From a fresh can or c/growler this is a full on nose grenade. Love that Mosaic niff!

T: Flavor falls a bit flat from the nose to reveal more of that pale malt bread awash underneath. Mosaics still flourish a bit with that grapefruit, green melon, floral tropics, and spiced guava. It’s just not at the capacity of the aroma. Nice light and crisp with a moderate to lower amount of actual hop bitterness. Trails into more of that more herbal essence with some mild green onion. Seems they loaded up on the Mosaic Dry Hop here which is all good to me.

M: Moderate to lighter filling body with an even keel of popping carbonation and some minimal hop bitterness. Finishes semi dry but a tad thin and watery too. Not all that resinous as you would expect either.

D: Very solid, easy drinking, and hop-bursted with Mosaics if you are a fan. A brilliant move on Ballast Point as I recall the original Grunion to be lacking that hop flare and being somewhat forgettable. Aroma is where it is really at with this one.



Review of Original Recipe
Look - 4.25
Smell - 3.5
Taste - 3.75
Fell - 4.25
Overall - 3.75

On tap at Linda Vista – 8oz pour served in a Tulip style glass

A: Medium dark caramel amber body with some really well conditioned clarity. Finger width of dense khaki suds hold fairly strong. Some sticky splash sprays the glass within every sip.

S: Smells of a blend of biscuit and bready pale malts with a touch of sourdough even. Lots of that rich toasty malt up front. Faint but present with some piney hops and a twist of citrus/orange fruit. Fairly nominal nose to be honest but nothing to mark negatively here.

T: Bready pale malts develop a tasty doughy pretzel flavor with some light accents of orange-citrus peel and piney hop character. Has some nice floral hops making their way through as well with a dash of cali buds. A solid step up from the nose. Very doughy but not sweet as it is dry in the finish and balanced with a moderate amount of bitterness. Alcohol is completely disguised making for a nice session. There is good balance here but this is definitely one of the breadier APA’s I have had in sometime.

M: Smooth texture from a nice even level of carbonation. Light to moderate filling body. Nicely crisp with a drying finish. Slightly resinous and sticky but pretty clean overall.

D: Definitely your more classic take on the APA rich with toasted bready malts. The hops seem to take a back seat during the show but what you do have is a nice sessionable brew with fair balance. Not one of my favs but still enjoyable none the less.

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Photo of mactrail
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Handsome dark amber in the pint shaker with a decent cap of foam. Plenty of carbonation in the mouth. Light body.

Great mouthful of citrusy hops. Supposed to be brewed with Calypso and Mosaic hops. This has the classic Pale Ale flavors with the crisp biscuity malt and a restrained by enthusiastic dose of hoppy taste. This gets rather bitter after a few sips. It just makes you want another.

So much citrus flavor with a distinct orange taste. Fruity hints and a little malty sweetness. Bitter aftertaste but a nice San Diego version of the old classic. On tap at Local Habit.

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Photo of Gobigvt7
4.73/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

20oz pour into imperial pint glass @ The Hop & Vine (Portland, OR)

a- pours gran marnier-orange with amber edges, fluffy white head that never really settled down.

s- oh mama, hold me. wonderful aromas of sweet grapefruit candy, mild pine, mango, pineapple holy cow.

t - a huge zing of dank, green hops with more tropical essense washes over the tongue with some piney earthy edges before quickly dying down. Now that is a pale ale.

m- perfect weight. Like Barley Brown's Handtruck Pale, basically an ipa that drinks like a pale. Very sessionable, if a tad sweet, but I like it that way.

o - in Grunion's case, this beer had me at hello. No beer lover on the planet could resist this aromatic bomb of tropical hoppy goodness. The taste delivered on the promise. Awesome.

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

Had on tap at the new BP brewery in Little Italy. Massive improvement over their original Pale Ale (Yellowtail). Very tasty and highly recommend. Crisp and clean with just the right hoppy bite and citrus undertones. Cheers.

Side rant: The prices at this location are MORE than at other locations. They wanted 7.5 for a Sculpin. WTF. Guess I'll keep drinking at Bottlecraft.

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Grunion Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 1451 ratings