As a relatively new entrant to the Colorado beer scene, Ballast Point Brewing Company has been rapidly gaining fans with their finely crafted lagers and ales, as they should be. Since their founding in 1996 they have grown from a tiny brewery out of the back of a home brew shop, to the second largest brewer in San Diego County. Considering that the area is home to big time brewers like AleSmith, Green Flash, Stone, and Mission they must swing a pretty big stick to stand out, or at least a big fishing rod.

With a lineup of beers deriving their names, and inspiration, from the Pacific Ocean located a few miles away, it can be tough not to find a beer suitable to the mood you are in. The labels highlight the residents of the oceans deep, plus the lucky humans that ply the same waters. Their beers will make you yearn to pack up your bags and head west.

As the rains fall across the Front Range ushering in the changing of the seasons—good-bye frigid temps and winter weather—and the colors are rapidly returning to our hills it is time to break out something different. Time for a little spice to be added into your beer drinking life, and Habanero Sculpin is the perfect beer to do it. Named after a bottom dwelling fish that cruises the sea floor off the San Diego coast it packs quite a bite, and it should since the Sculpin fish is also known by another moniker, the sea scorpion.

By taking their signature Sculpin IPA and adding the spicy kick of natural Habaneros’ into the brewing process, Ballast Point has created one of the more interesting, yet memorable IPA’s on the market. While hopping each batch five different times they have created a unique beer, with an incredibly strong floral aroma—fitting for any West Coast IPA. But the overwhelming scents of grapefruit and pine have some competition, a hint of spicy heat that lingers after each wiff.

Upon taking your first sip confusion reigns, the IPA flavors you are looking for are there, but also a powerful kick of heat. The two work together nicely. In fact the spiciness lingers long after the first sip, but unlike other chili-spiced beers the complexities of this brew cause you to want more. It’s not just some heat seeker looking to shock you but something much more subtle.

So if you are headed to A-Basin for some spring powder, or to your local river to run the rapids, toss a sixer of this fine beer into your cooler. It will take the chill off while putting a large smile on your face. But hurry. It’s only here for the spring and then it will leave until next spring.

HZ12_ShieldLogoLiquid Gear is proudly sponsored by Hazel’s Beverage World which is the go-to store for outdoor enthusiasts and everyone else on the go.  Featuring Boulder’s largest selection of wine, beer and spirits at everyday low prices, Hazel’s has lots of beverages that are easy to carry along and enjoy no matter what your adventure.  So don’t forget to pack the party—fly by Hazel’s before your next excursion and stock up on your favorite liquid refreshments. Hazel’s – Same Planet, Different World.