I’m not sure when it happened exactly, but in the last few years, grapefruit has gone from being that thing old people ate at breakfast to being one of the hottest adjuncts in the craft beer world. If you love grapefruit, you’re living in a wonderful time; You can find the fruit being added to everything from bitter IPAs to dry saisons. It makes sense that breweries would start adding grapefruit to their beer, since a handful of popular hop varieties already mimic flavors of the fruit (hello Citra and Cascade!). Hell, the juicy/bitter aspects of grapefruit have helped define West Coast IPAs for decades. Now, breweries aren’t being so subtle, adding the pulp, juice, zest or rind of the fruit to the beer at various stages of the brewing process. Here are nine grapefruit beers, from IPAs to sours, you need to drink now.
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Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin
This is the beer that started this whole fruit IPA thing that we all not-so-secretly love. This beer is just a little bit juicier than regular Sculpin, in all the right places. There are other Sculpin variants out there, but I have a special place in my heart for Grapefruit Sculpin.
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Alaskan Brewing Smack of Grapefruit
Alaskan goes classic with the hop profile (Citra, Centennial and Cascade) to give the beer a robust and citrusy baseline. Then they added ripe grapefruit and a lot of rye malt to help add a layer of spiciness to this fruity, bitter beer. It's part of their limited edition Pilot Series.
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Crane Brewing Grapefruit Gose
Crane Brewing, out of Kansas City, has a knack for fruited sours, and the Grapefruit Gose might be their best offering. The brewery uses the zest of fresh fruit to counter the saltiness of the gose. And it's just 4.1% ABV.
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Schlafly Grapefruit IPA
The St. Louis brewery adds pounds of grapefruit puree to the wort, which allows the sugar to ferment out, giving the beer tropical aromas without the fruit-cup sweetness. The Chinook, Cascade and Citra hops take care of the rest. And it's just 5% ABV. And you can get it year round.
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Lonerider Sundance Grapefruit Saison
This is a new seasonal from the Raleigh, N.C. brewery. It's hazy, and hits hard with citrus on the nose, but has a layer of pepper from the Belgian yeast in the taste, mixing with all that grapefruit citrus before the dry, zesty finish takes over.
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Sierra Nevada Otra Vez
At first sip, you might not realize Sierra Nevada adds any grapefruit to this year-round gose, and the addition is definitely subtle. The brewery adds prickly pear cactus fruit and dried grapefruit peel, both of produce a sort of melon-like sweetness to this sour. It's just 4.5% ABV, and available all the time.
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Starr Hill The Hook
The Hook is Starr Hill's spring/summer session IPA, coming in just barely below 5% ABV. It's more tart than bitter and incredibly aromatic, the way session IPAs tend to be.
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Victory Brewing Agave IPA
Part of the brewery's quarterly "Blackboard Series," Agave IPA was made with agave syrup and fresh-pressed grapefruit juice (after the fermentation process), giving the beer a tug-of-war between sweet and bitter.
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Maybe you don't like radlers (a blend of fruit juice/soda and beer). That's cool. No harm, no foul. But if you're looking for one radler to try, give Stiegl a shot. It's a blend of Stiegl's Goldbrau and grapefruit soda for a seriously refreshing beer that comes in at a miniscule 2% ABV.