Beer of the Weekend #727: Grunion

The beer tonight is Grunion, brewed by Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits of San Diego, California.

Grunion pours an amber-tinted gold into a pint glass. A finger of buttery, eggshell-colored head leaves a spotted lacing and ring around the edge. The aroma is a lovely bouquet of citrus and tropical fruit. Oh, baby! There are scents of orange, grapefruit, kiwi, pineapple, mango, and perhaps a little kiwi. The beer’s webpage mentions “summer melon,” too, and I suppose it does have a hint of muskmelon. Malt is thrown in for good measure (why not?). The flavor offers a nice bitterness, but there is not as much tropical fruit as in the aroma. Citrus, especially grapefruit, is much more prominent. There is also a pleasing zest that does not go over the top. This is a solid brew.

Fun facts about Grunion:

• Style: Pale ale.

• Price: $2.69 per 12-ounce bottle at the “Drug Town” on First Avenue in Iowa City.

• Alcohol content: 5.5 percent ABV.

• Food pairings: Ballast Point’s website recommends yellow curry with shrimp, creamy pesto pasta, crepe with tropical fruit, and Munster cheese.

• IBU: 35.

• Grunion, as the beer’s webpage says, “is named after the tiny local fish known for late night frolics on shore.” The grunion breed out of water on the beaches of Southern California. I can’t remember how often the grunion “run,” but it is quite an event. My mom told me that during grunion runs in the late-seventies, the radio station in LA that she worked at aired short bits with someone yelling, “The grunion are running! The grunion are running!” My mom apparently saw the grunion “run” or walk on the beach, once, too. I went to see the grunion run one night but there wasn’t much action; there was no swarming orgy of grunion in Huntington Beach — at least on that night. The few grunion that did find their way to shore were caught by people. Booo!

The Quiet Man’s grade: B+.

Popular Posts