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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

107 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 107
Hads: 626
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 31
Gots: 183 | 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: 107 | Hads: 626
Photo of SweetChicken
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the fullness of flavor from IIPAs and IPAs. So, session IPAs make me a little leery. However, Ballast Point has developed some real fullness in Even Keel that I don't pick up in other sessions. Well Done. (214 characters)

Photo of gatornation
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-pours a clear golden color with a 1finger white head some lacing
S-slight tropical and citrus notes some grassy and sweet malts smells
T-light on the citrus/tropical hop taste had some baked bread cracker malts that competed with the hops
M-medium carbonation a tad watered down
O-typical session brew taste and hops were light its worth a try (349 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (1,455 characters)

Photo of Tucquan
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2014-11-23 in Columbia, PA from a 12 oz can

A - Very clear orange-copper with a 3-finger pillowy white head that sticks around and leaves good lace.

S - Bright citrus, touch of bread and mild spice. Inviting.

T - Orange zest tea and a pine/orange peel hop bite up front. Just a hint of biscuit malt sweetness. Very dry. Orange and grapefruit flesh on the finish. It's nicely bitter but not over-the-top. Reminds me of a Surly Bitter Brewer.

M - Light body and light-medium carbonation. Somewhat prickly.

O - This is one fine session IPA. Lots of flavor. Definitely not just bitter/dank hop water. The orange-zest-tea-with-a-half-lump-of-brown-sugar puts pushes this higher than most of the session IPAs I've reviewed. (745 characters)

Photo of porntipsguzzardo
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

it's hard to make a beer that's both this sessionable and this hoppy and flavorful. I love session IPAs and this is a great one - hits all the marks of the style and does them with flair - super floral, and very low ABV. Would be amazing on a summer day. They did an awesome job. Ballast Point knows their shit and this beer is further proof. (342 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

Can. Pours a clear, orange color. Nice sized head. Head leaves lacing consistently. Aroma consists of damp citrus flesh. Some sweeter floral aromas, too. Some caramel. Flavor is better than the aroma and is quite powerful for its diminutive ABV level. The citrus seems to pop more. The flavor does falls off the tongue quickly, which isn't necessarily the worst thing; keeping it sessionable and not overbearing. Not overly bitter, which also helps its sessionability. Light bodied and somewhat crisp. A decent Session IPA. I will destroy this six pack come high noon. (568 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to the legendary woodychandler for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a beige/orange color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops, citrus. Taste is well balanced hops and malts, some citrus, highly drinkable. feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a smooth, sessionable beer. (303 characters)

Photo of larryi86
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into a snifter

A- A clear copper color with a two finger white head

S- Dank, pine, citrus grapefruit, pungent

T- Fairly bitter piney dank finish, grapefruit/citrus, light malt backbone.

M- Smooth, crisp, light to medium body.

O- A good session IPA worth trying, like other session IPAs I feel it has a big hoppy nose, but nice lighter taste. (364 characters)

Photo of seagullbeer
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Got a six pack for the baseball games. Nice to see a session beer that clocks in below 4% alcohol. I was really enjoying the Stone Go To and the Lagunitas Daytime but this might be my new favorite light and crisp 6 pack.

S- Light metalic hop smell, nothing to complex

T- Smooth and bitter. Kinda creamy. Tasted more like an esb than an ipa to me.

F- Very smooth with tiny bubbles, really enjoyable. It think the mouthfeel is why i like this a lot more than similar session ipas and pas.

O- Solid session brew. Doesn't have lots of interesting flavors but it checks all the boxes off for a session beer. (606 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.13/5  rDev -18.9%
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+ (2,842 characters)

Photo of nmoreilly
4/5  rDev +3.6%

I've been so soaked into the "it must be of high ABV" to be a real beer that I've forgotten that that's not a factually correct statement. This beer proves that hands down, I asked for this at the Hoppin Pig in the Gas Light after being told the Sculpin tap was over. It was very good, tropical / citrus fruits, standard malt background and highly quaffable. I finds these San Diego area breweries having the ability to blow the Northern CA standard bearers out of the way Well done Ballast Point on this and various others, can't wait to try the stouts and porters into the fall. (585 characters)

Photo of JBuckwalter
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

What a fantastic session beer. My standard go to for sessions is Founder's All Day IPA, but I think Even Keel has officially dethroned it as my new favorite session beer.

This beer has a malty backbone that other sessions don't seem to have and a flavor that would suggest it has a far higher alcohol content than it does. The beer is very hoppy with a citrus and pine aroma. The bitterness on the tongue is a little smoother than the All Day, so although the IBU may be higher, it has a little less of the bite.

To be honest, if this beer was at 5-6% alcohol I would have given it a 3.75. Because it is so light, dry and drinkable I think it really should be elevated. One of the most quaffable good beers I've had in years. Again, its going to replace the All Day as my new go to and that is really saying something. (821 characters)

Photo of HipCzech
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

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. (477 characters)

Photo of zander4dawin
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%

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. (311 characters)

Photo of lordofstarside
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

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 (1,314 characters)

Photo of mynie
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%

Smells strongly of medium-alpha hops. Big green burst, light malt backing. Noice.

Tastes... like most of these sessionable smalls. Big hop presence up front that drops off into a middle that is downright watery. The finish resembles a regular west coast pale, but that middle is like pure seltzer. The best of these beers, namely Founder's All Day IPA and Stone's Go To, rely on a crisper hop profile and slightly heavier malt nodes to in order to avoid the fall off. This beer has an excellent hop profile, and it's good drinking, but the lack of balance keeps is away from greatness.

I like how big brewers are catering to us problematic daydrinkers and offering up low ABV session beers. But, hey, you know how higher ABV beers cost more? Shouldn't that logic go both ways? Just saying... (802 characters)

Photo of GeoChase90
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a pint glass

A - Poured a hazy copper orange with a big two and a half finger off white head. Head shrunk pretty fast but remained present for a good while. Moderate sticky lacing.

S - Very impressed with it. Pretty dang hoppy and very bright. Almost all citrus, lots of orange and lemon. Little bit of pine and no noticeable malt.

T - Pretty much follows the nose, bright and poppy. Lots of citrus fruits and a little bit of pine. Not a lot of malt going on here but not overly bitter either. Loved how big it tasted for such low abv.

M - Super thin but I don't necessarily think that that's a bad thing for the style, don't always want something super thick and sticky.

O - Awesome session beer. I think it would take a lot of these for me to get bored of them. Great for a "middle of a hot day, don't want to get smashed" type of beer. (868 characters)

Photo of seedyone
2.76/5  rDev -28.5%
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. (415 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

For a session beer under 4%, the Raul man was all kinds of surprised. Like a Cartier watch falling out of the piñata kind of surprised! Really crisp, juicy, and it has a nice malt backbone that keeps you on the level like Congress should. Just all kinds of smooth and tasty like Olivia Munn biting into a plum.

Yep! (317 characters)

Photo of KFBR392
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours with a copper orange color. Big head of two and a half fingers on the pour which dissipated but was present while drinking. Active carbonation is right on for the style. Random sticky lacing left behind with each drink.

Smell: Crisp dried fruits and not overly bitter pine greet the drinker. Some floral accents are picked up on the body, combining with heavy saturated citrus. Just a touch of caramel malts picked up on the back end.

Taste: Initial hit of soft tropical fruits really pulls the drinker in. Grassy hop profile opens up on the body and lingers on the palate throughout. There is a creamy, buttery malt backbone that really allows the hops to shine. The finish is lingering pine and grassy hops.

Mouthfeel: Really impressive showing for a brew ay 3.8% abv. Easy drinking with enough body to keep you interested. Carbonation fits well.

Overall: For me this is a solid middle ground between Stone Go To and Founders All Day. Definitely hop forward with a present malt profile. Really impressed by the pop that this brew bring being what it is. A summer staple. (1,096 characters)

Photo of rawfish
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
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. (946 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (1,226 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce can into an Altamont glass.

Nice head and pale-gold colour.

The nose is heavenly and potent. Pineapples and fruit. Raw, sticky, and promising.

Ah, it was too good to be true. It's a fine beer, but with very little of the sweet-hop character found in the smell. A thin, bitter beer with a brief taste, but fine finish. It's suitable, enjoyable even, but a big letdown from the nose.

This is a great spacer beer or ending beer or beer when you want fizzy REAL hop water, but not the booze of big IPAs. Recommended for the right situation. (563 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (548 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (501 characters)

Even Keel Session IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.