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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.
BA SCORE
85
very good

324 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 324
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 11.67%
Wants: 11
Gots: 45 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 324 | Reviews: 69 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.68/5  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.

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of acurtis
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of womencantsail
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
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. 

Photo of Kegatron
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Downtown Johnny Brown's (San Diego, CA) on 3/18/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper with a finger of foamy brite-white head. Retention stays rich and frothy, leaving some solid spotty lacing behind. The aroma is floral and fresh smelling, with a touch of hop spices and some light notes of citrus and bread. Not overly assertive but still pleasant.

The taste is similar, with some sturdy pale malt character and some moderate bitterness to it, with a splash of citrus in the back. The mouthfeel is ligher bodied with a thin creaminess to the carbonation and extremely easy feel.

Solid Pale Ale that was quite refreshing and quaffable after a good sized downtown walk on this warm, nearly spring day. Easy body and sessionalbility and this packed just enough flavor to keep me interested. Good lighter offering form Ballast Point.

Photo of jlindros
3.66/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Yay craft beer cans! Plus I'm a big fan of the new craze for session IPAs, all the great hops without a ton of booze. Code on the bottom of the can but no discernible date.

Also cans force a heavy pour, and it yields a large fluffy 2+ finger head which I can't finish the pour even, it fades at a med pace wtih nice soapy lacing, hazy sediment laden reddish-orange with a slight copper hue.

Nose is explosive out of hte can, lots of fresh hops, a little floral and grassy but lots of citrus, orange rind, a fruity apricot tangerine like, with a little candied orange, but unfortuntely the bright hops fade quickly to the candied orange, and caramel candy malt, and a little toffee. Could be a little older than it should be.

Taste brings more malts at first, caramel toffee candy malts, a reddish juicy malt. Hops are there btu more background, grassy and a bit spicy, with more generic fruity flavors, a little orange rind and citrus notes but not much, general fruity hops, with mild to fair bitterness, candied fruits, etc. Finish dries a bit, luckily not sticky or sweet, a little more candied orange peel and generic fruits, hops get more spicy and grassy though.

Mouth is med bod, decent carb.

Overall OK but not special, hops are OK but not great, I think a little old unfortunately, also way too malty for a session IPA I think. Fairly enjoyable and sessionable for sure, but not quite what I expected, esp for that first great aroma of hops.

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of mactrail
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of drewone
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of kojevergas
3.13/5  rDev -17%
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.

C+

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear medium orange in color with heavy amounts of active visible carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and some faint golden yellow + amber + copper highlights. The beer has a three finger tall pillowy foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amount of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of citrus/grapefruit zest, citrus/grapefruit pith, and slightly sweet caramel malts.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of slightly sweet grainy malts with a light amount of caramel malts that combine to provide a light amount of initial sweetness. Moderate flavors of citrus/grapefruit zest, citrus/grapefruit pith, and earthy hops. Light to moderate amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy initially but becomes a light more crisp as it warms..

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable but not quite as good as some of the other more widely available session IPAs that I have gotten (specifically Stone and Founders). Can describes these as a Session IPA but I can see it listed as an APA.

Photo of woodychandler
3.43/5  rDev -9%
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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Even Keel Session IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.