Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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

131 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 131
Hads: 707
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 23.38%
Wants: 31
Gots: 224 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 131 | Hads: 707
Photo of bsp77
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from can into IPA glass.

Appearance: Rich amber with good sized head and light lacing.

Smell: Herbal, citrusy and toasty.

Taste: Old fashioned Pale Ale malts with a focus on toast. Hops are a mixture of citrus, herbs and tropical fruits. Slight spiciness and bitterness.

Feel: Light bodied but definitely fuller and smoother than expected for 3.8%. Moderately high carbonation, with a great dry finish.

Overall: Very impressive, especially considering how ridiculously low the alcohol is.

 518 characters

4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big fan of the session ipa style. This one is pretty impressive, amber in color, not much head. Smell is like what others have said, lots of tropical fruits, almost kiwi like, taste is more subtle but the hop presence is there, definitely citrus hop forward, and man it's a beer you can just throwback. Finishes sort of light and dry but for 3.8 you would expect that, Oskar blues pinner and easy jack are better beers in my opinion and pack a more substantial punch, im really not a fan of the pricing on even keel at 10.99 a sixer, but all in all it is a veryyyyy refreshing light brew.

 588 characters

Photo of tillmac62
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BOD 042/15. Pours a clear amber with a hint of garnet. Outstanding head volume and retention, world class lacing.

World class nose of blended hops. Citrus (grapefruit, lemon), tropical (mango, pineapple) and pine all make an appearance over a subtle biscuit.

Light medium body that has a smooth texture and a bit of oiliness. Slightly above normal carbonation with a bit of effervescence in the middle and a nice burst in the finish.

The outstanding flavor profile is intense and hop flavor forward, slightly complex and fairly balanced. It begins with hop flavors that never relinquish the forefront. The flavors follow the nose with a blended hop profile that begins with tropical, flows to citrus and shifts to grapefruit and pine in the middle. The middle is mildly bitter over a hint of biscuit. The finish is slightly dry and a rind bitterness lingers. A superb session beer and possibly the ultimate lawnmower beer.

 934 characters

Photo of bluehende
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Has a great hop smell and flavor. My only complaint is that it was not bitter enough. That might be due to the session aspect. Overall a very good effort in a sessionable beer,

 179 characters

Photo of DeFaz
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pours from the can with a huge head that was completely unexpected, although the head recedes quite quickly.

Smell: Hops. This may be a session IPA, but there's small about the smell. I would have liked some citrus notes in the smell, however--this was just hoppy, and there wasn't much that was pronounced.

Taste: Really nice, even for a session. There's a strong hop presence here, which brings a herbal component. Nothing like the superior Sunshine Daydream that offers citrus flavors, but this is nice and bitter.

Mouthfeel: While lighter than I would want, it's not as thin as most sessions. It also could be more carbonated, but hey, it's nice and bitter.

Overall: This is the second best session I've had (Sunshine Daydream is first) and it does offer a lot with little alcohol. However, at $10.99/six, it's still somewhat overpriced.

 851 characters

Photo of Phocion
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. can poured into a Stone IPA glass. Slightly hazy golden-copper body with a thick and extremely retentive near-white head that leaves thick streaks of lacing as it finally drops.

Aroma is primarily citrus and tropical hops: grapefruit, mango, and lemon, along with a bit of resin. Surprisingly strong malty backbone (for a session IPA) hints at primarily pale malts, but also a bit of caramel and toasted notes.

Flavor mirrors the nose, but is fairly light. Mild bitterness but citrus fruit and pine are very evident; definitely tastes like dry hopping. Slight lemony zing. Caramel and bready malts are tame but definitely noticeable.

Light bodied and moderately carbonated. Very crisp mouthfeel with a lightly dry finish.

Overall this is what a session IPA should be. It doesn't taste or feel like hop water. Very hop-forward but with a bit of a malt backbone, unlike its peers. Excellent beer.

 906 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

 290 characters

Photo of cmq103
3.34/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

 169 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden amber color with white head. Light pine, some citrus, grapefruit specifically, and floral notes on the nose; follows onto the palate. Light on the palate. Finishes with small amounts of hop resin. Decent session IPA.

 237 characters

Photo of MadCat
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Light clear golden color, short white head that leaves some lacing

Smell: Pine and resin hops

Taste: Piney and bitter, resinous hops. Super light malts

Feel: Light to extra light body, good carbonation

Overall: I would drink it again, but it doesn't really feel special for a session IPA. Not a bad choice for how low ABV it is, just uninspiring.

 358 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark golden color, almost a light amber. The off-white head is huge and pillowy. The head slowly settles into a rocky cap.

The aroma is strong on grapefruit rind and some pine. The beer smells dry if that makes any sense.

The taste is more dank. Pine, onion and some tropical fruit notes seem to dominate. Some grapefruit rind. The malt is neutral but not as light as most session IPAs. Pretty amazing that this beer is 3.8%, seems beefier than that.

Moderate feel with semi-soft carbonation. Bitter on the palate but not overly so. The finish is quite dry.

A good session IPA. The hops are more dank and earthy than most session IPAs that I have had.

 673 characters

Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is relatively clear orange amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that quickly settled down, leaving some bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of grapefruit citrus are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of flavors of grapefruit from the hops, which also contribute a light to moderate amount of bitterness. There are underlying hints of caramel malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and rather crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and can be considered sessionable. It's not a bad choice if you like grapefruit flavors.

Serving type: can

 800 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fluffy head for a bar pour. Length if ring lace. Gold cored liquid with nearly no haze.

Starts with a bitter citrus aroma.

The flavor is strongly bitter and astringent. Little malt flavor; this is a hop lovers beer. Long aftertaste. The body is as expected for the style. A bit in your face bitterness wise.

 311 characters

Photo of Matonika
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Look: light to medium caramel color. Nice head retention. Tons of particles in suspension it's not cloudy it looks a orbits. Smell: great hop aroma citrus a lil piney. Taste: super clean tasting for a ipa. A touch of malt sweetness. Plenty of bitterness but not overwhelming it is not oily, so it is not lingering. Picking up pine on it. Overall this is a good session ipa not terribly complex but it is one you could knock back pretty quick and easy.

 451 characters

Photo of ParnellJoseph1138
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-An attractive deep amber, copper hue, not overly carbonated and a thin white head.

S-A mild citrus orange aroma with a hint of the malt lying underneath the hops.

T-Pleasant mild and steady citrus hop character and the grapefruit flavor dominates over the orange and other citrus flavors. Piney and spicing notes also become apparent. The malt provides balance, body and additional depth to this slightly hoppy IPA.

O-I classify this is a hopped up pale ale and certainly it fits the bill as sessionable IPA. One might say it's the perfect lawn mower beer.

 562 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was shared by tenderbranson69 with me, enjoyed chilled from the can.

The color is slight darker pale golden with thick white head head. The aroma is floral and fruity with a slight citrus quality -nice hop aroma. The feel is decent with more malt than expected from the nose but mostly dry and not too intensely bitter.

The taste is very good with some citrus and bitter hop flavors with nice amount of malt with some toasted grain and some mild sweetness level with a slight orange and floral flaovr in the profile. Overall this is better than most of the 'session IPA's' I have had, I consider it a very good pale ale with nice hop flavor

 650 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz can. Pours a translucent brownish orange with very little head. Minimal lacing. The aroma is citrus and tropical fruits as well as some malts. Tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple and orange peel. The taste is very similar to the aroma, but a bit more subdued. Tangerine, grapefruit and some light dank hops. Slightly bready. Quite dry. Very drinkable with a light mouthfeel as expected. Overall, it's a solid Session IPA I would buy again. Not the best, but certainly one of the better ones.

 493 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a tall pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an unfiltered looking copper orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid two fingers of white head which settle into a thin foam layer.

Smell: A ripe and juicy hop forward aroma with hints of citrus fruit, pine, and caramel malt. Upfront scent of citrus hops with hints of grapefruit, mango, orange peel, pineapple, apricot, and lemon. Earthy hop hints of pine resin and grassy hops. Backing malt hints of caramel, cracker, and yeast. A pretty solid hoppy aroma.

Taste: Like the smell indicates, a juicy and ripe hop forward taste with nice notes of citrus fruit, pine, and caramel. Citrus hops with upfront juicy notes of grapefruit, orange peel, mango, apricot, pineapple, and lemon zest. Earthy and spicy hops with notes of pine resin and grass. Solid malt background presence with notes of sweet caramel, cracker, and yeast. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Juicy and slightly oily with a drying finish. Nice bite from the hops.

Overall: A very good take on a Session IPA. Big sharp citrus hop flavor with a light body. You almost can’t tell that it’s below 4% ABV.

 1,202 characters

Photo of Mdog
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a 12oz can:

Appearance: Hazy gold, good head.

Smell: Mild citrus aroma.

Taste: Good dry citrus rind flavor with a little bit of breadiness behind it, a little more heft than many session IPAs.

Overall: Picked up a single, nice to see a craft 12oz can. Not much in the way of aroma but pretty decent feel and flavor, lots of session IPAs just don't have enough body, but this is pretty decent.

 408 characters

Photo of loubar
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. can from Ales Unlimited. Hazy orange colored body with an off-white head. Nose of light floral hops and grapefruit. Taste of grapefruit citrus on a smooth malt base with a bit of cracker and cereal. Not piney. Really well balanced. Medium to light bodied with good flavor, moderate carbonation and mild bitterness. All that a session IPA should be, light, tasty and drinkable.

 383 characters

Photo of SensorySupernova
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Smell: Pretty strong citrus and floral hops.

Taste: Moderate hop bitterness up front, into a sweet malt backbone that reminds me of shortbread. Ends abruptly, with just a faint hop aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated and very thin. I wish it had more body, but that’s the price of sessions.

Overall: Good as a session IPA. It’s certainly not as beefy as a full IPA, but it delivers plenty of aromatic hops.

 422 characters

Photo of plsmanx
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
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!

 737 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

 2,776 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can poured into a pint glass.

A: Amber/orange color with a mild haze. Fine-bubbled white head retains well at a half inch. Sheets of thin and sticky lacing.

S: Ruby red grapefruit with sugar, tangerine, honeydew melon, floral. Soft whiffs of a Crackery and grainy malt base.

T: Ruby red grapefruit and tangerine. Pine. A bit herbal. Faint toasty malt base. Bone dry. Tangerine and grapefruit with sugar on the finish.

M: Light bodied. Very slight creaminess. Fine carbonation has a strong scrubbing action. Hop astringency clamps down tightly.

O: I'd put this on par with some of the better session IPAs on the market. It's straightforward and pleasantly quaffable, but does suffer the same emaciated malt qualities and raking hop astringency that plagues the style. That seems to be the direction the style has headed though.

 837 characters

Photo of SweetChicken
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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

Even Keel Session IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 131 ratings.