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Even Keel Session IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Even Keel Session IPAEven Keel Session IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

126 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 126
Hads: 672
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 23.44%
Wants: 29
Gots: 198 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  3.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 06-06-2006

A session beer for Hop-heads, this ale gets double dry-hopped.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 126 | Hads: 672
Photo of 71ADub
2.73/5  rDev -28.9%
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.

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Photo of seedyone
2.76/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

05/30/12 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Not sure where we're going with this brew. As an Un-hoppy guy this was not what I had in mind, or for that matter what was Ballast Point was thinking?

Tons-O-Hops but only 3.8% ABV? One would think this would alienate fledgling crafties due to unfamiliar sensations on the tongue with 'less than' sensations on the buzz. My advise...save the vats for something more decisive.

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Photo of KevChiTown
2.85/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Not a fan of session IPAs, but in this case I understand the need for them now. Much more malt base then I expected, but still just had an off taste. Not bad just kinda blah.

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Photo of joebrewer
2.97/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed at Stone Brewery. Billed as a "mild IPA" by the server.

C: Gold, poured with a very thick head (the short pour isn't BP's fault). There were flecks of hops in the head.

S: honeysuckle

M: slick and oily.

T: Lacks sweetness to balance the hops. Very hoppy, but initially I don't think the beer can stand up to it. Spicy hop flavor. I was expecting more citrus. By the end of the beer, I had gotten used to hop/malt imbalance and the last few sips were refreshing. I'm still a bit up in the air about this approach to the style.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Swing-top growler filled hours ago at The Growler Room in Austin, TX, and served into a pilsner glass. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery. Served cold. Side-poured with extra vigor as slight carbonation issues are anticipated. Reviewed as a session IPA.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Pours a 4 finger wide head of off-white colour. Frothy and starchy looking. It's a foamy sticky blanket of head, with a nicely thick consistency. Not as creamy as would be ideal. Inconsistent webby lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Retention is good - about 6-8 minutes. Airy and fluffy.

BODY: Clear copper colour of average vibrance. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears to be of below average carbonation. It's a decent looking session IPA, but isn't unique or special by any means.

AROMA: Pale malts. Floral hop notes. A bit of caramalt. Light nectary hop notes. Quite resinous. A kiss of grapefruit citrus and bready malts. On the more bitter end of the spectrum. There does seem to be a lot of flavour here for a 3.5% ABV.

No oily hops, juicy fruity hop notes, alcohol, off-notes, or spices are detectable.

It's an inoffensive aroma of average strength, and suggests an imbalanced brew with a fair amount of flavour.

TASTE: Pale malts. Caramalt. Floral hop notes. Hints of candied character (with an accompanying sweetness) and bubblegum. Resinous. It's too sweet, and lacks sufficient hop character. What hop character is present is underwhelming. Where's the grapefruit citrus? Much more malty than anticipated. It's certainly imbalanced, but I don't dislike it.

The build is cohesive, but far from gestalt. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. Complex for a 3.80% beer, but not complex by general standards. It's not subtly executed, and lacks nuance. A very simple plain flavour profile. No-frills, if you will.

TEXTURE: Sticky, smooth, wet, medium-bodied, aptly thick, and somewhat oily. I'd prefer it softer. Well-carbonated.

Not gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

OVERALL: Certainly drinkable, but it's not the blow-you-away session IPA I hoped for from Ballast Point. I expected a beer I'd be shocked had so much flavour and quality at such a low ABV, but ultimately I got just another imbalanced session IPA (i.e. glorified pale ale) that happens to have less alcohol. This is a tall glass of no thankyou, but I appreciate Ballast Point's effort and look forward to whatever they bring out in the future. I've had far better in the style. This isn't up to par with Ballast Point's finest offerings. Can safely be skipped. I like what they're going for - an über-drinkable hoppy brew with a lot of flavour but low-alcohol, but the execution just isn't there. The discerning drinker will be unimpressed.


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Photo of Extol
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

It's ok. I am a little disappointed. There is a strange flavor in it that I can't shake and I just don't like it. Overall it is alright. I probably won't drink it again.

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Photo of cmq103
3.34/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Surprisingly light with enough flavor to keep it very drinkable. I'd much rather have this than any of the macro light beers out there. A solid choice for a session IPA.

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Photo of zander4dawin
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%

An extremely bright beer with a floral and upfront hop profile and little maltiness in the body. Has a really light body and crisp taste of a lager and at 3.8% ABV it's really playing up the session factor. A solid beer no doubt but not the king of the session IPA, giving the nod to Founders All Day so far.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours amber with a fluffy one finger white head with good retention and lace.

S: One dimensional pine notes, light malt.

T: Again I got mainly the one note of pine in the hop flavour and some biscuit/toasty malt. A very simple ale.

M: Rather light-bodied and low in carbonation makes it sessionable as it is described.

D: A nice little ale from Ballast Point, if it were cheaper, a pint to stick with for the night, it's a beer that's easy to drink, tasty enough, and you don't have to think about it.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

My dear cousin, Colby ChANdler, specialty brewer at Ballast Point B.C. (yes, he is my cousin and yes, that is his job title), has seen the light and begun putting his brewery's beers into CANs! I will take full credit for encouraging him to make the switch, although he probably begs to differ. This CAN is out of The Fridge's cooler.

From the CAN: "Handcrafted & CANned in San Diego, California"; "Dedicated to the Craft"; "San Diego Session Ale"; "Please Recycle"; "A Flavorful Ale That Keeps You Balanced"; Our Even Keel is a hoppy ale designed for smooth sailing. A full-flavored beer with a silky malt backbone and bright hop profile of herbs and citrus, it packs all the taste of an IPA in a sessionable alcohol content. This ale is perfect for leisurely days on the water, when all you want are a few beers and a level ride."

The Crack! unleashed a good bit of foam through the blowhole, so there would be no inverted Glug. Instead, I utilized the same leeward pour as for the Hop Stalker with both glass and CAN at an angle with the pour going down the side of the vessel. Arrgh! We be takin' on some foam, mates! Back off on the throttle and prepare to drop anchor as necessary! Avast heavin' on the sails! We be on a starboard list and need to get back on an Even Keel. Color was a solid Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9) with NE-quality clarity. The two fingers of dense, tawny head fell like the mizzenmast in yesterday's gale. Nose smelled of our cargo of grapefruit, pine trees and hemp. Hemp line, that is. Ye want to get us boarded? We struck the Jolly Roger so as not to call attention to ourselves, but this ship be a beast with loose CANnons rolling around and a mast CANsigned to Davy Jones' Locker. We look a sight on every one of the Seven Seas and every ship in sight thinks we be in distress. If we CAN keep her on an Even Keel until we make port in CAN Diego, CANifornia, it'll be a miracle! That's why I be drinkin' beer - to calm me nerves. Mouthfeel be medium-to-full with a boatload of carbonation. The taste leaves something to be desired, like taste! Arrgh! Aroma hops be not bittering hops, boyo! I needs me them hops to stave off the hops monkey on me back that I picked up in Shanghai! This brew be for the scullery crew. As captain of this motley crew, I CANnot stand for low ABV and low bitterness. A CANmand decision: if we CANnot come back to an Even Keel, we will jettison the rest of the store of this beer as Ballast and Point to the nearest landfall. Finish was rather bland and nondescript and so we began heavin' the barrels over the side to ride higher and faster. I put them Ballast Point scurvy dogs in a lifeboat and set them to their own devices. I hear tell that the magnificent artist, Paul Elder, captured their plight in a painting.

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Photo of Durge
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this one on tap at the Fish Market Restaurant in San Diego. Poured cold into a pint glass this showed a light golden color with a whispy white cover and very good lace. The aroma is mild malty citrus, very mild. Taste is light and bubbly wheat and citrus hops, but the hops are very mild, maybe more grassy than citrus. A little harsh, not much sweetness or malt presence. And the hops are way too tame, so what do you have left? Not that much. Drinkable enough if it happens to grow on you, but I wasn't highly enamored.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours two fingers of head on a clear dark straw body.
The aroma is big: lots of grapefruit, lemon, mango and pine.
The taste has a nice bitter beginning, it quickly dies off to a thin flavor.
The texture is light and crisp.
The aroma is great and so is the flavor considering it's low ABV.

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Photo of plsmanx
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Wow, I spent $10 on this six-pack, based on the price I figured there was something magical about this beer, also description sounded like it had a little bigger malt backbone than your average dry session IPA. Later I noticed 3.8% alcohol, jeeze couldn't you make it at least 4%!

Poured a darker than expected light amberish color. Smelled okay, kinda that hop astringency smell. Taste was similar to the smell. Yeah, its okay. I first had it at fridge temp first and it was okay then I let it warm up a bit then it was good tasted the hops a little more and the malt a bit more too.

All in all not the greatest, perhaps it be better on a summer day! I'll take founders All Day or laguinitas Day Time over this one. Cheers!

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Photo of Urk1127
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

-Finger and half of head, golden orange color
-Light malts, buscuity, bitter vegetal hops
-Get a zip of bitterness from hops, light biscuit malt, vegetal like aftertaste
-Crisp, high carbonation

-good but not best session for me id say. Would buy again though.

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Photo of ChrisPro
3.47/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Clear amber colored beer with a tall white colored head.

The scent is citrus and sandalwood. Strong whiff of grapefruit rind. For a mild ale this is quite aromatic.

Starts out dry with the taste of grapefruit and soda crackers. Slight ghost of sweetness. assertive bitterness but it isn't overdone. The flavor is mostly citrus.

Mouthfeel is average.

Overall for what it is it is very good. Considering that this clocks in about as light as bud Light what the hell is Anheuser Busch's excuse? Why can't they make a light beer taste this good!

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Photo of HipCzech
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Serving Type: 12 oz can poured into an IPA glass.

Appearance: Clear, copper golden color. Fizzy white head recedes quickly with limited lacing.

Smell: Brightly hoppy, citrus zest and resin, but also slightly musty, vegetal.

Taste: Refreshing citrus and resin continue with crisp bitterness and slight tartness. Very little malt.

Mouthfeel: Very light, thin body with good, moderate carbonation.

Overall: Light, refreshing thirst quencher with a good dose of hop character.

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Photo of lordofstarside
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

can to glass

Pours a nice golden orange with two fingers of foam. Lots of yeast floating around, the beer would be mostly clear except for that. Good retention, not bad lacing. This would be a pretty sexy beer if there wasn't so much floating around 3.5/5

Smells pretty solid. Lots of alpha hop character, strong grapefruit and citrus, with a little bit of catty pine. Malt profile is understandably lower, some sweet caramel and some bread notes. Actually really good and hop forward 4/5

Taste follows okay, big citrus hop character- lots of grapefruit and pine upfront, followed by a bit of melon with a bouquet of citrus hints. Malt is pretty non existent, a light caramel hides behind all the hops 3.5/5

Feel is very light, no real body whatsoever. A little carbonation, dry, medium bitterness. 3/5

Overall while this isn't bad, it's incredibly one dimensional. Which I get, to make a hoppy beer at 3.8% the malts need to be absent. Still though, it's sort of like drinking hopped water with a little c02. In a way, I guess that sort of comes with the territory of the session ipa. I'm getting pretty tired of the fad though, if I wanted something hoppy with a lower abv I'll turn to a pale ale. I'll give BP props though they've been making this long before the summer of 2014 session ipa craze 3.5/5

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Photo of magictrokini
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tap @ Local. Pours clear gold with a bubbly white head. Crisp hops and grass in the aroma, with white grapes. Straw and hops in the front that turns nicely into lemon and resin with drier malt/bread flavors. Very light, shocked to see it was classed as an APA.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grassy, herbaceous, citrusy, faint hints of tropicalness. Slightly bitter on the back end. Drinks well for only 3.8%. A decent session IPA but not my favorite.

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Photo of cbutova
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of rawfish
3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber pour with a nice tight finger high head of white. The retention on the head is decent and the lacing is barely present.

Pungent and floral hops are quite piney and herbaceous lifting above the bready malt which carries quite a bit of caramel sweetness.

Sadly the color is quite deceptive, malt is bready but also very porous and husky it doesn't carry enough body for the hops which lay it on spicy and piney. Opening bright citrus rind, finish of grasses the rest of the flavor is all pine. Watery and husky finish with oddly prickly bitterness.

Very thin body with active and exciting carbonation. The hops are bright enough on their own though. Stale and flat finish, relies on the carbonation to give the impression of drying.

A lesser version of Stone's Go to IPA, not nearly enough malt for the hops inside and the malt bill results in a very grainy flavor that bleeds into the finish. Hoppy and sessionable for sure though.

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Photo of Cavery
3.57/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Even Keel Session IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.