Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Even Keel Session IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

very good
158 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Even Keel Session IPAEven Keel Session IPA

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.80%

Availability: Rotating

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

Added by xlperro on 06-06-2006

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 158 | Ratings: 825
Photo of Mateo2699
3.29/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Clear Amber, almost bronze pour. Ok lacing and retention.
Smell is an off-lemon scent, a little soapy and almost a seaweed type of smell. Some subtle orange peel.
Taste is pretty much bready malt foward, with a hint of lemon and orange peel. One dimensional and not too much going on.
Easy drinker, moderate carbonation.

 320 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 fl oz. can, coded canning information on the bottom of the can. Acquired a single can as part of a mixed six pack at the local Binny's.

Poured into a Duvel tulip snifter.

A - Pours a crisp golden / bronze orange body, two fingers of frothy white head that leaves good scattered soapy lacing behind. Body has some light sediment floating around. Apt carbonation. Looks good.

S - A fresh, floral, soapy, hoppy aroma. Light bready pale / crystal malts, and fresh notes of floral, creamy, earthy hops. A good aroma for such a light IPA.

T - Taste follows the nose: lots of fresh, fruity, floral hops for such a low abv beer. Notes of grapefruit, oranges, lemongrass, peaches, pine. Good bready pale / crystal malt content for balance. Lots of flavor for such a low abv beer.

M - Ridiculously smooth, crisp, & easy-drinking. Quintessentially light-bodied.

Overall, session IPA's have been growing on me lately, and this one was no exception. A very nice take on the style from Ballast Point; huge hop flavor and balance for such a low alcohol beer. Very nice.

Ballast Point Even Keel Session IPA -----4/5.

 1,121 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

can courtesy of my boy mike. enjoyed side by side with the mango version. looks identical but the mango got that nose. regular is nice. session ipa all day. less like a watered down ipa and more like a pale though this has some age on it. far from my jam but a good session.

 274 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I picked up a can of Ballast Points Even Keel Session IPA for $1.89 at The Lager Mill. Now that Ballast Point is in Michigan I thought I would start off with their session Ipa, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a 12oz can into a imperial pint glass.

A- The can looks good it's got a nice clean design to it and it's just a little eye catching. It poured a nice golden amber color that took on more of a golden color when held to the light and it was pretty clear with almost two fingers worth of fluffy off white white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some nice patchy lacing behind. This is a very nice looking beer. I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the hops being the first to show up and they impart a very nice mixture of green hops, citrus, berries and some tropical fruit aromas showing up in the background along with a little bit of creaminess. Up next comes some doughy yeast that leads into the malts which impart some bready, pale malt, biscuit and grainy aromas. The aroma is good, I like the hop profile and it's well balanced.

T- The taste seems to be not to similar to the aroma and lighter, it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the hops still being the first to show up this time they just impart a generic hop flavor with a medium amount of bitterness. Up next comes the doughy yeast that leads into the malts which impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma. This is a decent tasting beer, I wish the hop profile was more like it was in the aroma.

M- Smooth, crisp, clean, medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is pretty nice and it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a decent beer and it was pretty close to being an average Session IPA, the aroma had me thinking this was going to be really nice, but when I got to the taste I was disappointed. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, half a glass is enough for me, the flavor doesn't keep me coming back for more. What l like the most about this beer is the aroma and appearance, those were the highlights of this beer. What I like the least about this beer is the hop profile in the taste, it lost what made it good in the aroma. I wound't buy this beer again and I can't say I would recommend it, it's not hard to find a better example of the style. All in all I was a little let down with this one and it didn't make for the best first impression for this brewery. It's not bad, but I think it it could be better, better luck next time.

 2,623 characters

Photo of bark
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The colour is gold (7 EBC), the liquid is clear. The two finger head is off-white and airy; it sinks slowly leaving no lacing on the glass.

The smell is loaded with lemon and grapefruit juice, plus orange juice sweetness. Hints of rubber and fruit candy.

The taste is bitter with lots of lime and some grapefruit. Passing dry bitter flavours. Smooth notes of fruit candy and lemon drops. Medium body. Growing sweetness in the aftertaste, as well as notes of rubber and dried flowers. The smooth finish got notes of fresh squeezed lemons and lime peel.

The carbonation is medium to strong, the few mid-sized bubbles are long-lasting. The liquid is light with some stickiness.

Compared to BrewDog Dead Pony Club, one of my standard beers at home, this one is less aggressively bitter and more balanced. Very refreshing and highly drinkable.

 842 characters

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant gold under a ½” white foam collar that dissipates to a thick film.
S: Grass, mint, melon with some biscuit.
T: Melon, citrus, biscuit to bread crumb, malt is medium. Hop flavors are medium high, hop bitterness is medium.
F: Medium body and carbonation.
O: An easy to drink session beer.

 312 characters

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can, no date, poured into Belgian ale glass.

L: Pale-ish, mostly clear amber, with carbonation bubbles. 2F head with decent retention, some lacing, and cap.

S: Lots of tropical fruit, light citrus, light pine, faint light malt.

T: Doesn't really follow nose. Pretty bitter, some citrus

F: Light bodied, medium carbonation for good drying on palate. Good balance, very refreshing.

O: Crisp and sessionable, but maybe could be a tad less bitter.

 454 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 3/31/16

A: Somewhere between burnt gold and medium amber, with some orange honey around the edges - clear - pours with a medium sized, slightly off-white head, fades to wisps, retains a small collar, leaves some spots of lacing

S: Bright and light - bright orange and grapefruit, mostly floral citrus and zest, but some citrus flesh as well - lightly herbal with a touch of resin - a touch flowery - light, pale malts and a touch of caramel - bread dough - again, light overall (this IS only 3.8%), but interesting

T: Light citrus, with some tangerine, orange, and ruby red grapefruit flesh and zest - touch of oily citrus - lightly herbal, touch of pine, touch of grass - more bitterness than expected, with some dry, straight-up aspirin flavor - malts are faint, but some perceptible pale malts, touch of caramel grain, and light bread

M: Light body, crisp, medium carbonation, clean finish

O: Bro, do you even keel?

While Ballast Point deserves some props for cramming some nice hoppy aromas and flavors into a 3.8%ABV beer, I wouldn't place Even Keel among my favorite session IPAs. It is on the watery end of the spectrum, and the lingering bitterness seems a little out of place.

 1,201 characters

Photo of Act25
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Try 6. Tough call who makes the best session IPA. I'd have to blind test them (Boat, All Day, Even Keel).

A - beer pours a clear, bright rich copper amber body, with 1.5 fingers of puffy, foamy white head, which lasts and laces like a much stronger brew.

S -Best part. It smells of pungent red grapefruit, orange, and sweet lemon, bready pale malt, minerally water, and weedy, floral hops.

T - The taste follows smell but is more confused, but has a nice chalky feel.

F - Finishes pungent and dry. Refreshing and definitely a session beer.

O More to like than All-Day 3.86, an equal to Boat 4.

 601 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
4.49/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden orange color with a tight, white head that fades quickly leaving chunks of lacing.

Smells of bright tropical fruit notes.

Tastes of the bright hops layered over a decent malt backbone. Hops lead off with notes grapefruit, mango, pineapple, and guava as well as some pine. This gives way to a little grainy malt. Not much sweetness to it, but doesn't come off as overly bitter. Finishes fairly clean with a bit of lingering fruit.

Mouthfeel sied medium-light with a crisp amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a tasty session beer and is my new go to for those occasion when I want a session beer.

 627 characters

Photo of HopHunter19
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - nice clear golden amber color with a head that dissipates pretty quickly and therefore doesn't leave much lacing
S - nice grapefruit, pine, some dank garlic onion. Passionfruit.
T - same as smell, a little more muted though. Grapefruit, pine, dank garlic onion.
M - very light. Alcohol covered. Aftertaste is grapefruit/dank.
O - pretty damn decent, I like it better than the mango version.

 397 characters

Photo of breadwinner
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Didn't expect to like this quite so much, not being much of a SIPA guy, but a couple things really make this work for me. 1) It's a legit SIPA @ 3.8% ABV. Sorry, but if your session beer goes much over 4.5% (and, frankly, that's being generous, as I really think it should be closer to 4.0 or below), it's not a session beer anymore. I've had some great small IPAs/pale ales that hover around 5.0%, but if you're gonna specifically market something as a session beer, you may as well go all the way with it and make it legitimately sessionable. (Stops to climb down off high horse.) 2) Even Keel has a legit, noticeable malt base. The complaint is as frequent as it is legitimate: too many SIPAs taste like hop water. Even Keel starts out crisp, veers toward watery mid-palate, but then pulls it all back together with a nice, toasty malt finish. Really, really dug that aspect of it.

Other detail... Copper out of the can, a little over 30 days old, nice foam on the pour that hangs around just enough and leaves a bit of lacing. Smell is, well, hops. No one note screams from the nose, but it's all pleasant and satisfying, lightly piney, a touch of fruit, a bit of green/herbal note. Palate is similar, a nice, zesty hop bite off the top, a touch weak mid-palate, then a harmonious toasty malt + lingering hop finish. And, again, at 3.8% this is a legit candidate for summertime crushing. In my neck of the woods, it's already warming up, and the thought of a cooler full of these bad boys on warm days and nights is a delight indeed. Kudos to BP for nailing a hard-to-get-right substyle.

 1,592 characters

Photo of LampertLand
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ballast Point Brewing 'Even Keel Session IPA' @ 3.8% , served from a 355 ml bottle purchased for $3.30
A-pour is gold from the bottle to a clear orange/gold in the glass with a medium size white head leaving a spotty lace along the pint
S-pine , hint of floral
T-crisp & clean tasting , can feel the low ABV on the swallow
MF-ok carbonation , feels medium body , real big dryness lingers on the palate
Ov-ok beer & session IPA
prost LampertLand

 445 characters

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce can into pint glass, canned on 11/19/2015. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep orange/amber color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, melon, lemon zest, orange peel, light pine, honey, light caramel, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of bright citrus/tropical hops and light-moderate bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, melon, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, honey, light caramel, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate pine/citrus rind/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, melon, lemon/orange peel, pine, honey, toasted bread, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of bright citrus/tropical/pine hops and light-moderate bready malt flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance and zero astringent hop flavors after the finish. Moderate dryness from bitterness and lighter body that increases through the glass. Medium carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth, moderately crisp/sticky/resinous, and lightly creamy/grainy/bready balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 3.8%. Overall this is a very nice Session IPA style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of bright citrus/tropical/pine hops and light-moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth, crisp, and easy to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,830 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On draft in tulip

Clear golden in color, good lacing. Very fruity hop aroma - berries, orange. Similar tastes, little malt character. Thin body. overall, one of the better "session IPA" beers I have had.

 204 characters

Photo of Evilyak
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

color is nice on this one. amber, with a white head that fades.

smell is some pine with bread dough. not getting much in the way of fruitiness, but that's ok.

taste is really just bitter hops. that pine really pops. not bad, but that's all there is to it.

feel is a bit thin.

overall, this has a lot of character for a sessionable beer. i don't know as i'd want more than 2 in an evening, but if you're going light, this is a good way to go.

 447 characters

Photo of Roby923
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Spectacular session IPA from Ballast Point. Lots of hops balanced with malts to produce a great tasting IPA without the elevated ABV. Hope to see this more widely available. Canned from somewhere in Sarasota.

 209 characters

Photo of Jimmys
3.17/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz can. coded 15285. I assume packed on October 12th, 2015 after researching Julian dates. so a little over 4 months old.

A: copper hued. hazy, but not ridiculously. dismal head, retention, and lacing.

S: oxidation, mild hop citrus, and a lot of caramel. earthy pine as well.

T: loads of caramel malt. slight oxidation. pine hop flavor and very limited bitterness. I think the oxidation lingers more so than anything.

M: average carb on a fairly light body as one could expect seeing the minimal abv.

D: wish this had more hop character cause it is fairly non-existent. is it easy to drink? sure. would love to review this fresh, but gotta judge what is in front of me. and without an Enjoy By they had this coming.

 728 characters

Photo of Bonkinishwa
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Ballast Point Brewing Company - Even Keel Session IPA. 3.8% ABV. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Packaged on 10/12/15 (code 15285).

Look: Hazy burnt orange body, with huge three finger white head, which leaves traces of sticky lacing as it subsides.

Smell: Sweet juicy tropical fruits, floral hops, and some bready malt comprise the aroma.

Feel: Extremely light bodied, and very smooth, with a little bit of carbonation to balance.

Taste: Bitter hops up front, leaving a sweetness (from being old), some over-ripened fruit, and some bready malt make up the back end into the aftertaste.

Overall: I seriously considered not reviewing this, since it was obviously old, but I feel it was still good enough to be enjoyable. Very sessionable indeed, with great feel, and low ABV. This is another review to be updated when I try a fresh one.

 843 characters

Photo of madelfonatree
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

15285 can label enjoyed January 21, 2016 in a stemless wine glass.
Look – Dark orange almost copper. Finger of white medium bubbled head. Nice lacing. See through.
Smell – Musty. Dank. Malt. Hop.
Taste – Pine. Must. There is alcohol. Malt.
Feel – Dry finish. Alcohol and hop burn. Creamy.
Overall – This reminds me a lot of Alpha King. I like a musty IPA.

 365 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

With the somber alcohol content of pale ale but the hoppy thrust of IPA, the balance of Ballast Point's "session IPA" is anything but even keel. However that's their namesake and that's how things go down in the San Diego brewing region.

Even Keel's color is a mildly hazed light gold with a creamy and fluid crown. Its aromatic display is rife with citrus, tropical and orchard fruit for a bright bouquet that's floral, fruity and tantalizing. With the supple sweet honey and caramel flavors seemingly fructose in nature, the malt character is little more than a creamy fruit juice character.

As the floral and fruity presence remains high, the sweetness and light creaminess fades swiftly to allow the hops to take precedence. That's when the racy vibrancy of pink grapefruit, tangerine, nectarine, mango, pineapple and honeydew take hold and enliven the middle palate with its luring fruit taste without the associated sweetness of those fruits.

And as the taste leaves the palate, the beer is dry, refreshing and very crisp with a medium-length extension of citrus rind, tea and pine. As an ultra thirst quencher, its an ideal beer for easing into a night, pairing with sushi or a way to extend the evening without compromising sanity.

 1,242 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an effervescent bronze with 3+ fingers of pearl colored head. Very nice head retention & lacing

S: Mango & grapefruit rind, plus breadyness

T: Follows the nose, light breadyness, a little grassiness & lime up front. A little lemon grass, plus dryness & a little Kafir lime as this warms. Finishes dry, slightly astringent with grapefruit & mango

MF: Light/medium body fairly firm carbonation, nice balance. Carbonation softens up as this warms

This drank very easy & had a lot of flavor for the ABV, there are better out there, but this is well worth a try

 579 characters

Photo of cfalls
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L - golden color, not much haze, head fades quickly

S - smarties, fruit cup, especially pineapple, some floral notes

T - fruit forward, somewhat sweet, pear, white grape, slightly bitter grassy finish

F - thin, medium carbonation, clean finish

O - can't think of a better beer at this abv

 292 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

From the can. Sampled on December 19, 2015.

The pour is an attractive looking medium amber-copper with a tremendous off-white head that has great retention.

The aroma is cut grass, pine, and blossoms with a touch of caramel, grain and toasted bread underneath.

Light to medium body.

The taste flirts with toasted bread and cereal and then the grassy and pine dry hop bitterness emerges at the finish.

 407 characters

Photo of andrewjraab
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Burnt orange with a frothy white head that weaves a web of lace all the way.

S - Citrus, orange rind, grapefruit, bread dough, piney.

T - Citrus hops, piney, balanced by a caramel flavored malt, grains, bread dough, yeast, light and crisp mouth feel.

O - Solid Session IPA and since the ABV is so low you can really crush these and not get smashed.

 361 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Even Keel Session IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.