The best thing about winter is absolutely nothing at all, but discount citrus is a close second. There’s no better way to convince yourself that life will eventually have meaning again than by stuffing your face full of clementines as you wait for the sun to go down at about 3:30 p.m., at which time you can finally make yourself a whiskey-and-grapefruit without feeling like a daylight-squandering degenerate.
And if you want to stave off scurvy and madness without mixing your own drink, the good folks at Samuel Adams have recently begun offering vitamin C and sanity in convenient beer form! Rebel Grapefruit is the newest member of their West Coast-inspired line of IPAs, joining Rebel, Rebel Rouser (double IPA), Rebel Rider (session IPA), and Rebel Raw (10-percent ABV monster juice). Now, should we all boycott the company over their failure to introduce a limited-edition David Bowie tribute brew called Rebel Rebel? Of course we should. But we’re weak-willed, and Rebel Grapefruit is delicious.
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When judiciously applied, real grapefruit juice and peel nicely augment the natural citrus notes of many popular IPA hops. Too heavy a hand and you end up with a sloppy shandy situation, but Rebel Grapefruit has an ideal dose of extra citrus kick while remaining resolutely Beer. Its strong, slightly sweet grapefruit aroma is balanced by a lemon-pine bitterness and just enough bready malt, making it simultaneously stern and approachable, and the perfect temporary antidote to seasonal despair.
Samuel Adams Rebel Grapefruit IPA, 6.3% alcohol-by-volume, approximately $6 per pint at select bars and restaurants.