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Longfin Lager - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Longfin LagerLongfin Lager

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77 Reviews
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Reviews: 77
Hads: 407
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.89%
Wants: 18
Gots: 83 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 08-07-2006

Our Longfin Lager has become one of the go-to beers with the team at the brewery. A solidly balanced Helles that finishes clean with a hint of hops, it would easily fit in at any German beer garden. But we think it’s perfect for enjoying on the beach, the boat or anywhere else you can put an ice chest full of beer.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 77 | Hads: 407
Photo of barnzy78
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - slightly hazy, pale golden lager topped with a frothy white head
S - yeast, grass, must, grain
T - sweet & delicate, grass, a touch spicy, nutty, German
M - thin-medium with higher carbonation making it feel fuller
O - very good example of the style. I'd pick this up again if the price is right. Easy to drink, good flavors, well done. (340 characters)

Photo of ToriBug13
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Ballast Point Brewing Longfin Lager

A- Pale straw color- I think it’s clear, but it appears cloudy because of temperature. There was some head, but it quickly dissipated.

S- My biggest pet peeve of lagers across the board “it smells like beer,” meaning there is no distinctive or discerning smell. It just smells like cheap boozy Budweiser. Right now I’m beginning to wonder if maybe this sample was old. I looked for a date, but didn’t see one. This just does not seem like something from Ballast Point, usually they’re amazing.

T- So disappointed in this taste. It tastes like high end Budweiser, just as it smelled. Crisp, light, refreshing, sure. But boring. Not bad, just boring. I keep looking for anything to make it unique or special, but nothing. So luckily, tonight I’m taking home one of their new cans of the Longfin, hopefully I am proven wrong and my sample was just old. I promise to re-review this beer because I love the brewery so much. They definitely need another shot. (1,006 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Thanks to woodychandler for yet another canned beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a yellow color with a 1 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts, a touch of sweetness to it. Taste is light and mild, malts, a bit of hops at the finish, not exactly bursting with flavor. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a mediocre beer. (324 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.84/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

At long last, nepotism rears its ugly head on The CANQuest (TM)! For those not in the know, I write for Ale Street News (and others) while my cousin, Colby Chandler, is the specialty brewer at Ballast Point B.C. It has been a closely-unguarded secret for some time and I have written about our relationship as well as making appearances with Colby at various venues and events. He knows of my affinity for CANned beer and especially craft CANs, so when they began CANning their beers, he knew precisely who to send some for a fair and balanced review. I will begin with their Lager as I am unCANvinced that a west-coast ale brewer CAN change his spots and brew a quality lager.

From the CAN: "Handcrafted & CANned in San Diego, California"; "Dedicated to the Craft"; "San Diego Helles Lager"; "A classic German beer, brewed in San Diego"; "Our Longfin Lager has become one of the go-to beers with the team at the brewery. A solidly balanced Helles that finishes clean with a hint of hops. It would easily fit in at any German beer garden. But we think that it's perfect for enjoying on the beach, the boat or anywhere else you [CAN] put an ice chest full of beer."

Okay, Cuz, come wid it! The Crack revealed yet another brimful craft CAN and I hope that the big boys are paying attention because this is how to make the CANsumer feel like they have gotten their money's worth. An inverted Glug later and we were off and running. I briefly had a finger of fizzy, foamy, bone-white head that quickly dissipated into wisps, leaving just a skim across the top in its wake. Color was a pale, straw-yellow with NE-quality clarity and I once again want to mention the plight of Lincoln, NE's own Val MidWest who has been cited for public nudity while trespassing on private property. Ha! She may beat this one and I will stop there. Say, a fizzy yellow beer from San Diego (County), California ... Doesn't someone else from the area have some choice words to say about such things? Nose is good, with a pure lager scent driven by a honey-like sweetness with an underlying grassiness, undoubtedly from Saaz hops. I say "pure" because one of the drawbacks of The CANQuest (TM) has been my repeated exposure to AALs and once I realized what a lager was supposed to taste like and what Prohibition desensitized us into, I wept and CANtinue to weep. Mouthfeel was medium, not overly carbonated as I may have led people to believe with my "fizzy" comment. The taste was more grassy than malty, which straddles a fine line between a German and a Czech but as the site's description reads "... a bit more subdued and in balance with malts", I will bow in deference. It was not as in-your-face as a Czech Pils, lending credence to the CAN's verbiage about being "... solidly balanced", but as a self-avowed hophead, I would now like to challenge my Westie Cuz to make a Czech Pils in a CAN. Finish was, indeed, "... clean with a hint of hops" so kudos for truth in advertising. I think that by "clean," they are referring to the qualities that adjuncts, especially corn, impart in a lager and this was definitely clean. That "hint" business puts me in mind of the old Schlitz slogan, "Just a Kiss of the Hops". What are we? Kissing cousins that I just get a peck on the cheek?!? I want a kiss like my Old Lady's, where she punches me in the mouth with her lips! All jagging aside, this was a solid iteration of the style and would definitely be cooler-worthy in my humble estimation. (3,470 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Undated, recently purchased, 12 oz bottle served in a lager glass. Pours very light with a generous white head and lots of visible carbonation.

The carbonation is medium-high and feels surprisingly soft. Light body.
They must use a similar hop load to Heineken because it has a similar flavor profile, including a hint of skunk in the aroma and aftertaste. Aroma is also pilsner-like, with a stronger hop note than found in the flavor.

O: Aside from the feel, this is a remarkably average lager. Served its purpose, nonetheless. being thirst-quenching and refreshing on this first hot day of summer. (604 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.66/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

(poured into a fluted goblet)

good ol' lager...

L: snow-white, shiny foam... sickly, flourescent-light yellow... looks more like the Silver Bullet than a Helles (well, I guess it IS pretty bright)

S: bit of diaper and lemon on the nose... some grassy hop aroma...

T: doughy-malty underneath, while metallic and wet grass notes sit on top... stone-like (granite?) overtone with the bitterness attached to it like barnacles... certainly comes across as all-malt... strange, but you can taste the sea air in it... mild sweetness lingers in the aftertaste - like cereal with a bubblegum note

F: near medium-bodied, sudsy flow... bit of residual stickiness

O: not a bad lager at all... yeah, it does pack malt flavor similar to a Helles... dry enough, but maybe a bit to doughy to have more than 2-3 in one sitting (816 characters)

Photo of mactrail
2.88/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Kind of a bland and malt-liqourish flavored brew. On tap at Mitch's Seafood by the sport-fishing piers.

Pours a clear amber with a modest head in the big 22 oz glass. More of the club soda taste. Not as crisp as I'd like in a lighter lager, but not very malty either. Drinkable but even less interesting than many industrial lagers. A slight tanginess is about the best I can say for it, and it still has that kind of sweet nearly insipid taste. An earthy tough to the not very bitter hops. I would hope for a good San Diego style lager from somebody around here to counteract all the over-hyped IPAs. However,the closest I can come to a favorite local lager is Craftsman in Pasadena. (685 characters)

Photo of beagle75
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A: Clear, pale golden color with over one finger of white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Faintly toasty cracker, with a substantial vegetal quality of green plant stem. A trace of sulfurous metal anchors the other nuanced qualities firmly in the pale lager family.

T: Begins dry, with crisp Munich pale malt that is overstepped by herbaceous/spicy hop aromatics. Flavors turn distinctly sweet on the palate into the middle as malt becomes more refined. Fruit is delicate during the second act, like golden delicious apple. Flavors become diffuse into the finish, barely bitter but with a resurgent huskiness to the lightly toasted grain.

M: Thin viscosity, seltzery and energetic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Full of traditional qualities, this American pale lager does a credible job of measuring up to the German archetype. The constant craft beer drinker may be misled, dared to contemplate how this beer does not stand apart meaningfully from everyday adjunct lagers. In fact, the truth could not be farther away from such a thought. In a direct comparison, evidence of traditional ingredients and careful contemplation on the part of the brewer ooze from this product. It should not be mistaken for an aggressive, next-generation American craft pilsner such as Sam Adams Noble Pils or Green Flash Fizzy Yellow. This is for the old-school beer purists--and those that simply order 'a beer' when trying Beachwood BBQ for the first time. (1,537 characters)

Photo of Sarlacc83
3.86/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can courtesy of Shane. Thanks!

A: Pale straw color with a 1/2 inch of fluffy white head. Semi transparent and reminiscent of lighter beers.

N: Good mixture of some light lemon, grass, pale malt, and a touch of pine from the hops. Some light banana and green peppercorn. It has an appreciable sensation that works well for its style. Flavors are light and delicate.

T: A strong sense of hop bitterness followed up by a zesty pepper. The malt is the third tier here which I quite enjoy.

M: Easy sipper. Well within style.

O: I’m seeing a lot of low scores from what I assume are non-fresh bottles shipped across the country. I think the cans will mitigate this issue because this is a solid, refreshing beer with a touch of hops and spice to make it worth enjoying. Buy it fresh and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. (839 characters)

Photo of champ103
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Blind Pig in Champaign, IL

A: Pours a clear straw yellow color. A two finger white head forms. The head recedes after a minute, and leaves a bit of patchy lace.
S: Toasted malts and cereal grains. A very light sweetness in the nose. Not much else.
T: Light toasted malts. Cereal grains with a bit of sweetness. That is about it. Not much else here.
M/D: A light to medium body. Moderate carbonation, and fairly dry. Not hard to drink, but not enough here to make me come back for more.

Not bad, though I have had much better lagers. Several made at the Blind Pig Brewery itself. Nothing more than a slightly above average lager. Good for an intro into better examples of the style. (697 characters)

Photo of bashiba
3.13/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured a straw pale yellow. very thin white head.

The smell is very light and a touch grassy.

The flavor is light and grainy with a touch of noble hops in the finish, a bit of citrus and fresh cut grass.

The mouthfeel is light with medium carbonation.

Nothing bad, but on the boring and bland side for a brewery as good as ballast point. (341 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
2.32/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Enjoy by date of 4/19/13

Appearance - Pours a touch hazy, pale yellow with a white, 1/2 finger head. Sub-par retention. Spotty touches of lace around the glass.

Smell - Subtle esters and a slight sourness.

Taste - Touches faintly on a bready malt character, hints of grain, then a ghostly mild lemon finish. Not much.

Mouthfeel - Is it possible to be lighter than water? Yes, yes it is. Virtually no carbonation. Bone dry, making it a bit of a chore to swallow. Maybe the worst body I've ever experienced with a beer.

Overall - Lagers are light in nature, but this is ridiculous. Boring, relatively flavorless and utterly disappointing. Sorry Ballast Point, this beer sucks. (680 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.11/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, picked up at the local Total Wine,

A: Pours gold with a light white head, average retention, no lace.

S: Sweet bready pils malt, very much a classic German Helles nose.

T: Lovely simple bready malt, yet vibrant. A soft noble hopping lends a good balance, very easy to drink.

M: Crisp, clean, light-bodied, well made here, no off flavours.

O: A classic craft lager for the summertime. I don't now why I'm seeing bottles of this for the first time come wintertime, but I'll be looking for this in June. (520 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap for the 4th Annual LA Beer Week Beer Festival at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear light yellow with a foamy white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and some grassy aromas. Taste is much the same with a grain flavor on the finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is pretty tasty and refreshing. (545 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.05/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at khyber in philly

Pours a crystal clear pale golden color with a layer of white head on top. Fades out into a few wisps of film, leaving a couple spots of lacing on the glass.

Bready and grainy in the nose with some hints of straw and grass. Very faint notion of hops and sweetness.

Snap of floral and grassy notes up front. Grainy with some straw hints and a thinner biscuit-like malt backbone. Touch of citrus with light sweetness. Finishes crisp and a little dry.

Lighter medium body, decent carbonation, crisp on the tongue. Not a ton of exciting flavor going on here - not something I'd drink again. (620 characters)

Photo of DeanMoriarty
3.87/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Feeling like drinking something light tonight, I picked up a growler at Ballast Point/Home Brew Mart in San Diego for $10.99 and poured it into a Stone branded pint glass.

A: Pours the typical clear fizzy yellow look that one would expect from the style with a decent head that dissipates with the first sip, leaving very small amounts of lacing.

S: Sweet and malty, dried grass and hay with an unmistakable german yeast that reminds me of German beer halls in Munich - they nailed the style for sure!

T: Taste is on point with the nose - sweet and grainy with a very faint hint of hop on the back end. Again - very traditional Munich style lager. Could easily go toe to toe with Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräuhaus, Spaten or the likes.

M: This is where this one falls short for me - the body is nice for the style which is on the verge of medium-bodied, but the carbonation is too light which gives it a flat finish instead of that crisp clean finish that this style begs for.

Overall this beer is super tasty, ridiculously easy to drink, and a true tip of the hat to the German brewers who helped to get the beer craze going. Great all night drinker!

I heard this will be released in bottles soon if it hasn't already. (1,221 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.46/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Bruery Provisions

A: The beer pours a clear golden straw color with a finger of white head.

S: Some sweet malt and corn with a strong aroma of grass and straw. A light banana and apple ester quality to it with some hints of yeast.

T: The beer is somewhat sweet with corn and biscuit malt flavors. The hop character is light, though there is a bit of bitterness to it. A light grass flavor and maybe some fruity esters.

M: The body is light with a medium carbonation.

O: Pretty simple light lager, but not really my favorite. (539 characters)

Photo of jamex
1.66/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a growler into a pint glass.

Light gold color, quickly fading head. Smells like a cheap malt liquor like you'd find in a 40oz. Tastes like Miller Genuine Draft. My friend and I were really disappointed. Ending up making red beers from it since it was so awful. When I got home I ended up drain pouring it. Hate to give a beer from BP such a low mark but it really was awful. Pretty sure my growler was clean so I don't get it. Maybe I just have to stay away from this style. (487 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5


On tap at Home Brew Mart.

A: Pellucid pale yellow with a modest and fast fading white head.

S: Grain with a little biscuit and dough. Lightly sweet, with a low noble hop spiciness. Clean, with no fruity esters.

T: Slightly sweet grain, bread, and Pils malt flavor with a low noble hop bitterness. There's a light spiciness on the back end. The finish is clean.

M: Upper light to lower medium in body with medium carbonation.

Overall: This is delicious and ridiculously drinkable. I want to take down an entire growler right now. (543 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light yellow with a pretty good white head. Smell is a little bit of grain and grassiness; not the best overall, but for its style pretty good. Pretty light flavor, not surpassing most others of the style as the nose did. Mouthfeel was light and crisp, and drinkability was nice. Overall, very nice for its style, but still lacking in too many departments to justify a higher score than this. (400 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Longfin came to me looking like a american adjunct, bright white gold, yellow colored, no head. No lace.

S- Light grain, light hops, a solid malt smell, all in all light.

T- Sweet malt is apparent and some corn. Hops are minimal but make the slightest dent. Kind of has a helles vibe.

M- Goes down smooth, probably this beers best feature. Im liking the light feel and not the over the top carb causing over crispness, fizz if you will.

D- Im sure the ABV is low and i finished my pint with ease, but I wont be going back for it anymore, not my style I guess. (572 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very light lager, near clear. Not much head nor lace.

S - Solid wheat and raw grain.

T - Similar to smell. Very raw grain taste, mixed with wheat and a small malt profile.

M - Light bodied, good carb, light coating. Good balance for what it is.

D - A very easy beer to drink, in ABV and flavor/body. (307 characters)

Photo of corby112
2.99/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very pale and very clear light golden yellow color that is almost as clear and light as water. Looks like a very diluted ginger ale. Fizzy white head that quickly dissipates into a very thin ring. I wanted to use words like urine to describe the appearance but thought better of it. I wish that I could give it less than a 1.0.

Pilsner malt aroma with subtle light crisp fruits;apple and pear, some bready yeast and subtle hops. Very bland.

Crisp medium body that is slightly spiced with some nice bready yeast, pilsner malt crisp light fruit and subtle hops. I'm shocked at the flavor and complexity of this beer after how awful it looked and bland it smelled. This is a pleasant surprise. Spice notes up front with clean crisp apple and pear notes followed by some slightly earthy straw notes. Slightly watered down with a subtle hoppy finish. (855 characters)

Photo of Floydster
3.46/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

10 ounce serving from Liars Club in San Diego

Pour was a light golden yellow color with a small head that faded in about two minutes

Smell was purely yeast and not much to it

Taste was surprisngly dry for how light the beer was

Bartneder thought it was around five percent alcohol, but was not entirely sure

Could have drank a lot more of this one (362 characters)

Photo of mentor
4.09/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle was a 2006 GABF left-over that was given to me as a reward for my volunteer efforts. Thanks a million to GABF and to Ballast Point Brewing for the opportunity. Entered into judging in category #18 (Munchner Helles).

Pours a two finger clingy white head. Crystal clear dull-light yellow liquid. Looks like a macro lager or a light macro lager. Smells a little bit of zingy hops. Pils malt and a hint of yeast.

Tastes simple. Gentle pils malt sweet with a hallertauer floral. Nice zing hops make the end. More and it would come across as peppery. Touch of grassy with a sweet that hangs oon the back of the tongue. Just a touch of creamed corn (suggesting DMS). Not to style, but at a level that I find adds character, rather than detracts. Soft simple and tasty. I see myself buying this one for hot summer days next year.

Md body and hangs on the tongue enough to keep the malt and sweet around a while. Nice, very drinkable. (941 characters)

Longfin Lager from Ballast Point Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.