Listen Live Now:

Tolbert’s Beer Review: Hess Grapefruit Solis IPA

The year is 2009.

Mike Hess needs to move his financial services office to a spot closer to the San Diego coast, closer to his new home. He picks a location that has an added bonus: extra room to build out his home brewing passion.

Fast forward eight months to Hess opening the Mike Hess Brewing brand to the public. At the time, it was the 32nd brewery in the beer-rich San Diego area, but since then has grown to the 11th largest.

Our fearless, beer-tasting leader Tom Tolbert said he used to play basketball against a Mike Hess from Southern California. We’re not sure if it’s the same person, but if it is Tom said his high school team didn’t fare to well against Mike’s.

“I think we beat you all the time actually…no you actually kicked our ass,” Tolbert said. “Yeah they crushed us if it’s that Mike Hess. They were like a 3A school, we were a 2A school. We got hammered.

“Although I did drop 30 on you.”

But we digress. Tasting notes from the brewery themselves:

“Grapefruit Solis kicks it up a notch by taking an awesome San Diego–style IPA and pumping it full of citrusy grapefruit—we’re talking real fruit, zest and juice. The hops complement the zestiness, and the subtle malt makes this an award-winning, crisp, and deliciously refreshing India pale ale.”

If you liked this review, check out the entire series at And if you’re down in San Jose, go visit our friends at South Winchester and mention Tolbert’s Beer Reviews to receive a free pork slider with purchase of a beer.


More from KNBR