So I’m trying not to buy any beer. I have a lot of beer on hand, you see, because Christmas just passed and I stocked up on winter seasonals and, well, just bought a lot of other beers, too. So, I’m trying not to buy any beer. Wherever I go, though, beer seems to follow me. There I was on a Saturday evening watching a movie with the wife, and not buying any beer. Then came the call, my son was at work with a flat tire and needed my help, so off I went to Publix to help him out. His shift was not quite over when I got there, and I wasn’t thinking of buying any beer, but with time to kill I strolled over to the beer aisle-and spied brand new six-packs of Samuel Adams Rebel Grapefruit IPA.
So OK, I bought some beer, a six-pack of the stuff, because I love Samuel Adams and wanted to try this one. So much for not buying beer, we’ll do that later. Anyway, I ended up cracking a bottle the next day, and we’ll get to my thoughts on it shortly. Most people these days think of Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA when they think of IPAs with grapefruit as an ingredient, but they were not the first to add it. I do believe Widmer Rotator Shaddock IPA predates that beer, at least I had it a few years before. Adding real grapefruit seems a natural complement to the citrusy, grapefruit like flavors given off by some varieties of American hops.
From the website:
Rebel Grapefruit IPA’s grapefruit flavor and aroma comes from grapefruit juice and peel, as well as hops that showcase similar flavors. Grapefruit peel is added in the kettle to impart a tart, slightly sharp character, while grapefruit juice is added right before the beer is filtered to provide a big, grapefruit juiciness. The juice rounds out the touch of bitterness from the peel and the four West Coast hop varieties to bring a refreshing finish to this bold, bright, thirst-quenching IPA… The brewers focused on showcasing Mosaic hops, with their sweeter fruit notes of Mandarin orange, pineapple, and grapefruit.
Ingredients from the website:
HOP VARIETIES Mosaic, Citra, Centennial, and Cascade
MALT VARIETIES Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend and flaked oats
YEAST STRAIN Samuel Adams ale yeast
SPECIAL INGREDIENTS Grapefruit juice and grapefruit peel
Samuel Adams Rebel Grapefruit IPA has an alcohol content of 6.3% by volume with 52 IBUs. I paid $8.99 for a six-pack, a decent price I think. My bottles are notched best by April of 2016.
Samuel Adams Rebel Grapefruit IPA pours to a hazy orange color with a light head of spritzy foam and a decidedly bitter grapefruit nose. Taking a sip, the beer has a bit of caramel malt up front followed by a sharply bitter grapefruit pulp and peel character, but there’s certainly some hoppy grapefruit too and a very long, very dry bitterness.
Really, I think the use of Centennials, Cascades, and Citras here is a no-brainer, but I’m puzzled about the Mosaics. Their delicate tropical fruit notes just don’t punch through the assertive, bitter grapefruit to me. That said, this is a very refreshing and tasty beer, more of a warm weather beer for me, but enjoyable this time of year as well. I prefer the Sculpin in all honesty, but then again Samuel Adams Rebel Grapefruit is just a little over half the price of that beer.
Definitely a beer I’ll be buying again. I look forward to it arriving on tap at Taco Mac, and will be back to tell you more when that happens.
Update March 26th, 2016: Sam Adams Rebel Grapefruit has arrived at Taco Mac! The bitter grapefruit peel really comes out on tap, more so than it does in the bottle for me. A deal too at $5.50 for my 20-ounce mug, and a perfect match for an order of Taco Mac signature Buffalo Wings.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.