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Even Keel - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Even Keel
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very good

84 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.7%

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  3.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
A session beer for Hop-heads, this ale gets double dry-hopped.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 06-06-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 34 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with earthy hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty and very drinkable for the ABV.

Serving type: on-tap

04-08-2013 05:27:35 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of mactrail


3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Ballast Point store on Linda Vista Dr. Dry and thin but full of flavor. Resiny and hop scented but not terminally bitter. Pale brownish amber with a modest head.

Fresh tasting and highly refreshing. A big taste of browned biscuits with a long bitter aftertaste. More on the IPA end of the spectrum, but a great example of good taste with less alcohol content than a Utah supermarket beer. After setting the glass aside for a few minutes, that last sip confirms the big aromatic quality.

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2013 03:14:09 | More by mactrail
Photo of 71ADub


2.73/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on draft, pint glass at the Cloverleaf, Caldwell, NJ. on sight, nice golden hue. not much hops in the nose. slightly bitter on the tongue, but not strong. finishes ever so slightly bitter, not much backbite. could use more hops during the finishing stage of the boil or during dry hopped, as well as a little more boil hops. good smooth mouthfeel. just needs more hops, would be a good IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2012 21:01:40 | More by 71ADub
Photo of corby112


3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Devil's Den in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a dark amber color with rose edges and a two finger, frothy light beige head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap.  Steaks and spots of soapy lace left behind.

Resinous earthy hop aroma with subtle hints of citrus countering the dry, grassy pine character.  Underneath there's a nice malt presence with some caramel, toffee and nut.

On the fuller end of medium bodied with a blast of bitter dry hops up front that linger over the sweeter notes into a slightly dry finish.  Lots of earthy pine, grass and soil countered by orange peel, mango and grapefruit.  Well balanced by decent makt backbone with hints of caramel, toffee and light fruit notes.  Overall this is a solid, well balance, easy drinking session ale that has a very strong hop profile.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2012 00:06:54 | More by corby112
Photo of cbutova


3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from San Diego trip.

A- Golden amber body with a small white head. Creamy ring and cloud atop the beer and a bit of spotty lace.

S- Light biscuit caramel malt. Hops are floral and citrus tropical fruit but certainly not dominant, balanced.

T- Pine, herbal and floral hop presence on top of a solid biscuit caramel malt backbone. Yeast bread hints.

MF- Light body with moderately high carbonation. Slight bitterness and somewhat watery feel.

Good balanced session ale. Both hops and malts are used quite evenly.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2011 23:46:08 | More by cbutova
Photo of Cavery


3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at Blue Palms 3rd Anniversary, a lower ABV brew to relieve the stress of potentially pounding multiple BA stouts throughout the day.

notes from Aug 13th 2011

A: Slightly diluted honey amber with some early morning sunshine. Looks fairly light in the body with some almost see-through white foams. Some high water mark lacing that sticks with little else below it, it floats over the body of the beer like clouds on a coastal horizon. Nice color, some okay lacing, but the thinness of the bubbles was a bit strange.

S: Connective tissue of lemons and grapefruits. A bit of lime rind bite that I like. Tamarind sweetness with a dash of salt. Sweet nose character that doesn't quite hit the candy level, but it's almost like the making of a hardened candy that hasn't quite hardened yet.

T: Lavender dusted popcorn, haha seriously.A drizzle of earthy leaf infused agave nectars. Funky light yet flavorful citrus rinds. Cantalope with some honey and marmalade. Lavender really creeps up in the back where there would normally be a presence of alcohol. Creepy almost non-alcoholic taste. A bit of watery tropical fruits that burst in the absence of alcohol.

M: Light body, but highly drinkable. Spritzy watery character that makes this thing drink like a slightly carbonated fermented tea. The after feel in the mouth is extremely wet, but refreshing. Like eating a fresh melon while sipping on a lemonade.

O: This is a sound alternative to drinking some "beers". Not to say this isn't beer, it's just maybe something that might be worth having in replacement of the typical onslaught. I think there is a place for this beer, especially in the current market, but I think I'd personally only drink this as a launching pad towards bigger and better beers. However, I think this could be improved upon. I am not opposed to this idea, and I wouldn't give up on the big flavor low alcohol market.

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2011 04:17:27 | More by Cavery
Photo of armock

New York

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the main brewery's tasting room.

A - Poured a copper color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is a nose full of grapefruit hops

T - Just like it smells lots of grapefruit hop juice

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

O - I love this beer its super sessionable with a good taste and low abv there needs to be more beers like this made definitely worth getting if you see it

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2011 23:54:52 | More by armock
Photo of notchucknorris


3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very cloudy light brown color. Reminded me of an unfiltered apple cider.

S: Some dank wheat along with some grapefruit. Faint tropical fruit notes.

T: Grapefruit pith and grapefruit juice. Some citrus acidity on the finish. I wanted a little more from this one. Definitely not my favorite from Ballast.

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2011 23:30:14 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of Nugganooch


3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Notes from Homebrew mart visit on 07/14/11

*On tap at the brewery

A: Even Keel pours a super clear light copper pale color hue with a small fizzy tan head. Well carbed with some really nice legs on it.

S: Aromas are citrusy and faint tropical fruits but they do fade rather quickly.

T: Taste is overall a bready biscuit like malt character with that classic citrus and piney hop combo going on. Low bitterness. Flavors are soft. Very light, crisp, and refreshing.

M: A light stickiness in mf but overall a nice creamy texture and superlight body.

D: Drinkability rates high given this is a nice summer sessions type of beer that you can sip all day long but as I previously noted the flavors are a bit soft and really just have me wanting something more.

A nice session offering by BP and something I would choose to order as a starter. Working my way up to bigger brews. Tasty drink but pretty straight forward.

Serving type: on-tap

07-19-2011 18:11:28 | More by Nugganooch
Photo of beagle75


3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft service into a shaker pint glass at Churchill's in San Marcos.

A: Clear, light amber color with less than one finger of very fine diminishing white foam head. Heavy, step-wise, lacing remains on the glass.

S: Very mild, with faint multi-grain toast and floral and earthy--tea-like--hops.

T: Begins dry, with mild pale malt that shows a hint of caramel, delicate floral and herbaceous hop aromatics, and bright acidity of moderate intensity. Malt becomes lighter, more crackery, in the middle where floral hops persist. Hops turn more herbaceous, even coniferous, in the finish that is mildly bitter with faint mineral crispness.

M: Thin viscosity, wet and slightly acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This session pale ale owns the distinction of being the forebearer (and perhaps the inspiration for) Stone's San Diego Session Ale collaboration. As far as sessionable beers go, Even Keel goes one step beyond the beer it inspired, delivering its bounty in a package that is significantly under 4% abv. It walks a fine line between being satisfying and underwhelming, as many in the sub-style slide toward. In this case it stays appealing and nuanced from start to finish, with layers of flavor emerging through sustained study. Even Keel is an accomplished session ale, but it is difficult to say that it is any better than the San Diego Session Ale.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2011 19:07:32 | More by beagle75
Photo of koopa

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on cask at the Pony Bar over the weekend.

Appearance: Pours a light amber with a 1 finger white crown that shows some retention and lace.

Smell: Nice notes of floral hops, citrus hops, and a touch of pine that is faint.

Taste: Same as the nose but it doesn't come through as much.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied with enough carbonation.

Overall: Super sessionable and fairly enjoyable. Hard to pay the same NYC pour price for a 3.5% abv beer though when I can get something up to 7.9% abv for the same price at the same bar.

Serving type: cask

06-06-2011 11:09:16 | More by koopa
Photo of SDtastentune


3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A- Looks good, good lace, light yellow/pale orange.

S - Hops, but not too much, kinda more ale'ish.

T - Taste was kinda wierd (end of cask) Hops like an IPA but toned down into a drinker/session brew.

M - Not too good because of the end of cask... but it was flat and warm by that time. Good aftertaste though.

O - Overall I need to try a normal tap version before I can rate this better, good hop flavor for a session brew.

Serving type: cask

05-27-2011 00:14:41 | More by SDtastentune
Photo of FosterJM


4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

479th review on BA
Draft to taster
@Old Grove

App- Bright vibrant yellow with a nice head to it. A little bit of lace as well.

Smell- Big hops, with a little bitterness even in the nose. The citrus was pretty evident as well.

Taste- HUGE flavors and was super dry. A great session beer to rival alot on the market with its flavor, low ABV and overall taste.

Mouth- Medium bodied and yes even medium carbed IMO. Not a soft beer at all.

Drink- I am kicking myself for not getting a growler of this. It was refreshing, tasty and just plain good.

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2011 22:35:47 | More by FosterJM
Photo of ChrisPro


3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Draft at Devil's Den.

A - clear golden with a quickly dissipating bubbly head.

S - Huge orange and grapefruit notes in the nose. The dry hopping really dominates here and I don't get any sweetness, which is indicative of what's to come

T - No sweetness whatsoever. This is a dry crisp super bitter APA. I love the hopping, but this beer cleaned up too much. Either it attenuated too much or it was over-hopped, but this beer is just sheer bitterness. I would've wanted something like 30 IBUs with a great nose, but this was just overly bitter and resinous.

M - clean, crisp, decent carb. A little tannic on the finish.

D - I had high hopes for this given the ABV and incredible aroma. The first few sips were sublime, but it would be a struggle to drink anything more than a pint of this unbalanced beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2011 13:41:14 | More by ChrisPro
Photo of weeare138


4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Khyber Pass Pub...
Appears a light golden amber with a small white head that slowly fades into a cap and collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of a walloping of dry hopping, citrus goodness with hints of caramel, vanilla, and floral notes.
Taste is of the aromas with light notes of pine, and citrus merging nicely with the malted grain and yeast.
Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied, evenly balanced, and simply one that you can come back to time and time again during the same night.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2010 21:49:22 | More by weeare138
Photo of garuda


3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A - Slightly hazed golden with a small white head that has decent retention and little lacing.

S - Prominent citrus hops, mostly orange, with some floral, and a nice, strong, sweet caramel malt undertone.

T - Hop flavors again with grapefruit and pine. Surprising punch of grapefruit bitterness through the finish.

M - Light body, medium carbonation, a little thin.

D - A proper pale session beer. As a hophead at heart, this is something I could drink all day.

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2010 22:20:24 | More by garuda
Photo of hoptrip619


4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was stoked to see this on tap at Hamilton's the other night. Even Keel is arguably the best session beer coming out of SD. It's kind of like Sculpin light.

A: Pours a bright golden orange w/o much of head and that's fine because it means there is more beer in the glass.

S: For a "small" beer there is a ton of citrus and floral hop aroma. Not sure but must have dry-hopped with cascades, amarillo, chinook, or a combo of them.

T: Lots of citrus hop character with a touch of toasted malt in the background. Again, this is what I would imagine a light IPA to taste like but calling something light IPA would be...

M: Light in body with crisp carbonation and a nice dry finish.

D: This is the perfect beer to drink at unch when you have to go back to work. You can even have 2!

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2010 14:25:26 | More by hoptrip619
Photo of nickd717


4.58/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler shared thanks to largadeer.

Pours clear golden with a one-finger white head and good lacing

Aroma showcases loads of hops for the ABV. Citrusy and herbal, along with a touch of sweet malt.

Flavor is solid for a session beer (in the true sense of the word) like this. Slightly sweet malt with a hop kick that is orangey and herbal, almost tea-like.

Medium-light body with lots of resins attacking your palate.

Overall, wow, this is an excellent a pale ale, especially at 3.5% ABV. I could session the hell out of this, and what do you know, I can even use the verb "session" and not offend the term's tireless defenders when referring to this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2010 17:12:07 | More by nickd717
Photo of largadeer


4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from Hophead84. Thanks, Shane! Into a Moonlight imperial pint glass, the beer is a hazy copper color topped by a big frothy white head that rises to a two-finger height. Bright citrus hop aroma, grapefruity with a touch of orange and a nice bready malt backbone. Bitter grapefruit is the first thing to hit the palate, followed by flavors of orange peel. There's a nice bready malt backbone that provides a surprisingly hefty body. Nicely carbonated with a bitter and dry finish, this is awesome stuff, a true American session beer. 

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2010 07:01:16 | More by largadeer
Photo of HopHead84


4.6/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


On tap at the Olds Grove location. The beer appears hazed dark orange with a frothy one inch white head. Retention is excellent and lacing is scattered.

The aroma is an exlosion of hops, with notes of grapefuit, mango, papaya, and orange pith. Malt is faint and crackery. Wow. The most potent hop aroma I've witnessed on a beer this low in alcohol. The flavor is similarly awesome, with a pleasant lower moderate level of bitterness and a dry mouthfeel. The hops are fresh and explosive with mingled citrus and tropical notes.

At 3.5% I can with certainty say that this is the best session beer I've come across. I'm in awe. Outstanding. Please bottle this!

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2010 21:41:32 | More by HopHead84
Photo of Thorpe429


4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright gold with a good-sized off-white head. The aroma is very nice, with some floral and citrus hops that aren't too overpowering, but are well situated for the style. The taste has the floral and fruity character from the hops, a little bit of bitterness, and a little bit of bready malt. Light to medium-bodied with good carbonation. Not as enjoyable overall as some of the other Ballast Point offerings, but a very nice and sessionable hoppy brew.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2010 15:31:08 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of womencantsail


4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the second time I've had this beer. The first time was at Blue Palms and then this weekend at Ballast Point. I was not impressed the first time, but figured I would give it another chance.

A: The beer is a very clear light golden color with a thin layer of white foam that leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

S: Considering the description and all the mentioning of dry-hopping, I had high expectations. This is a pretty fragrant beer, especially for a pale. Lots of citrus hop aromas going on here.

T: This definitely has more of an IPA flavor to it. A lot of bitter pine and grapefruit flavors from the hops with hardly any malt flavor. You would not expect this to be such a low gravity beer.

M: The beer is quite light on the tongue, but that is the point of it. Very lively carbonation helps to keep it light as well.

D: This is a beer I wish was more readily available (even bottled). An amazing session beer and very refreshing. It's nice to see such a flavorful, low alcohol beer like this.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2010 17:42:21 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Gueuzedude


4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 1702, Tucson AZ; August 2009
This beer arrives from the tap a darker color than I was expecting; it is an amber, lightly hazy hue that is topped by a thin, pale tan colored head that is typical for a tap pour. There is a nice, clean hop citrus aroma to this that has notes of orange zest, some bright tangerine character, grapefruit, and a solid lychee note. There is a hint of crystal malt character here in the nose that adds light notes of toasted grain and caramel.

This has a nice biting bitterness to it as it first hits my tongue. It is quite dry which mutes the citrus hop flavors, but not completely as notes of grapefruit, tangerine, spicy citrus oil, a touch of lychee and a lingering apricot note in the finish are all noticeable. This is nice and light feeling on the palate, the hops actually provide some astringent mouthfeel that makes this beer seem a bit fuller than it actually is. Some pine and menthol flavors are also here and help to add to the hop complexity. There is just a hint of malt backbone here with notes of toasted grain and a touch of caramel.

This is very nice, I could drink a lot of this if the alcohol is anywhere near 4%, unfortunately there seems to be quite a bit of conflicting information on the actual alcohol content of this beer. This is perhaps not complext enough, but the mix of dominant hop character and light malt backbone in a low-alcohol form makes for a very nice beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2009 02:57:16 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of bennetj17


4.6/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap @ 1702. Clear, deep gold, with massive white foam. The head seems to last forever. The aroma is hop dominant, with loads of pine and citrus. Smells more like a west coast IPA to me.

The taste is quite nice, with more citrus hop dominance. Very piney also, the malt stays in the background and is not too sweet. This is very flavorful for such a lower ABV pale ale, although you have to almost be a hop head. The carbonation was very appropriate and mouthfeel held up well, it wasn't too thin.

Considering you can session this beer I think it is a great choice. The ABV is actually only 3.5%. We ordered pitchers and I had several pints without really feeling a buzz. I'm always looking for hop bombs, and this is one you could actually drink alot of. Highly recommended...

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2009 18:11:03 | More by bennetj17
Photo of GJ40

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at the Ballast Point brewery.

A - Golden and clear with a moderate off white head.

S - Nice floral and fruity hops.

T - Starts with floral and fruity hops then turns to a citrusy bitterness. This beer is smooth and easy with plenty of flavor despite the lower alcohol level.

M - A moderate carbonation and a light consistency without being thin.

D - As billed, this is a great session beer; especially if you're watching the alcohol intake. I could see reviews being harsh if you compare this head to head with an IPA or maybe even an APA but as a lower alcohol session beer, it's fantastic.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2009 14:16:40 | More by GJ40
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Even Keel from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.