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Reef Rye Brown Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Reef Rye Brown Ale
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very good

74 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 74
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: HopHead84 on 04-13-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 74 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap for the 2nd Anniversary event at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and rye aromas. Taste is of malt, rye, caramel, and some slight pepper flavors. There is a mild herbal bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a better taste than smell.

UCLABrewN84, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

kjkinsey, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jun 22, 2013
Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Mellow in Greensboro.Poured nto a standard pint an amber tinged chesnut brown with a thinner quick to fade off white head.Caramel malts mixed with sharp spicy rye,quite a mix of sweet and sour/spice.Sweet caramle/biscuit,light roast and a tinge of lactic sharp rye in the finish.Quite a combination for a brown ale,it has mild sweetness and roast with a bit of a surprise with spicy rye in the finish,I liked it.

oberon, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

largadeer, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber, ruby brown color with a light khaki tan head forming thick. Aroma has caramel malts with earthy citrus hop components coming forth. A nice roasted malt profile with spicy rye in the forefront. Flavor has some semi sweet notes with ample hopping especially for the style, citrus notes with spicy rye pair well and becomes reminiscient of a lighter Hop Rod Rye or heavier Red's Rye. Mouthfeel was medium bodied mellow even carbonation carries the beer so well...overall incredible session beer from the West Coast that I'm proud to procure in the Burgh at Smokin' Joe's I believe.

WVbeergeek, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ O'Briens pub (San Diego, CA) on 11/14/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear, deep amber, with a finger of smooth off-white head. This stays thin but creamy, leaving some strong looking thick lacing behind. The rye is really out there in the aroma, with strong notes of toasted caramel malts and extra spicy qualities about it. Floral and citric hops round this out.

The taste is sweet and bready, with a nice sharp spiciness to it. Tight hops gives that a firm bitterness that runs the whole way through. Finishes spicy and drying. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a strong prickly feel from the hops, rye, and additional spicing in this.

Another really solid entry here from Ballast Point. Good bit of rye character is here, with plenty of spice from it and the extra coriander that was present. Flavorful and very easy drinking, this was some good stuff.

Kegatron, Dec 16, 2009
Photo of Slatetank
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a Nonic of this at Al's of Hampden on 12/10.

A dark bronze, translucent cocoa color with thin tan cap and tiny bead, there is a speckling of lace left on the glass. The smell of toasted grain and caramel malt is moderate with subtle spice whether from the yeast or malt I am not sure -slightly earthy and woody aromas. The feel is dry and toasted with slightly creamy middle and gently bittered with a moderately carbonated mouthfeel.

The taste has very good malt flavor with mild hop accent and balance flavors overall with slight spice in the taste. The yeast gives a creaminess to the flavor with bready tinges and mild tang, the dry toasted notes are dominant overall. The drinkability for this ale is good, a pretty decent brown ale with some rye flavor, but could possibly use a boost from the hops or not, depends on taste- it comes off slightly one note, but enjoyable overall.

Slatetank, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

mendvicdog, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of mactrail
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A sweet intensity that is really pleasant if you're not expecting the big hops. I keep thinking chocolate. But there are some intriguing hops here, and it's another "what hop is that." Aromatic but woody, even mushroomy. Like it was aged in a barrel.

Nice head on the ruby-brown ale. Interesting beer with a mouthful of malt and totally drinkable.

The bartender at Sessions Public in San Diego said it was like Hop Rod Rye, only better. But it's not really the same style, certainly way less hoppy. A better comparison would be with the Karl Strauss Full Suit Belgian brown.

mactrail, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Halcyondays, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of wrightst
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

wrightst, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

duceswild, Jul 17, 2013
Photo of BARFLYB
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

BARFLYB, Jul 13, 2013
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ballast Point : Reef Rye Brown

Pours a medium brown color, slight off white head. Aroma of nutty, roasted malts and some hops. In the taste, nice cocoa flavor, nuts, mild caramel and roast flavors. Hops are tame with just a mild herbal pineyness. More chocolate, nutty and biscuit flavors last into the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and creamy. Overall, I found this to be a tasty, sessionable brown ale. Would certainly have again.

Stinkypuss, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of chinchill
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Ballast Point Tasting Room and Kitchen.

Clear, dark red-brown with a good tan head. Decent lacing

Feel: near medium body; Soft, medium carbonation.

Smell: Nice mix of hops that is about equally fruity and herbal.

Taste: this is a rathe hoppy brown ale, although some of the spicines no doubt comes from the "rye and coriander".

O: a refined spiced brown.

chinchill, Jun 29, 2014
Photo of HopHead84
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


10oz on cask at Ballast Point Old Grove. Brown ale brewed with 27% flakes rye and dry hopped with coriander. 

A: Murky brown with a reddish orange tinge and a creamy beige head.

S: Toasted and bready with caramel, chocolate, and some coriander. Rye is evident and there's an earthiness and a little orange.

T: Lightly sweet up front but quickly dries out. Toasted and bready with notable rye and a subtle spiciness. Chocolate and caramel are both evident, and spiciness increases in the finish which displays a lower moderate bitterness with earth, citrus, and a little alcohol. Orange lingers on the palate for some time.

M: Medium in body with lower moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and creamy.

Overall: A nice rye Brown Ale.

HopHead84, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at the brewery, this brew was served in a pint glass. The beer was a caramel-brown coloring with a thin ring of head around the glass. The aromas were all sweet, and included nutty, dark cherry, and dark caramel characteristics. Mid-round bodied, the beer had nutty flavors, but also some strong vanilla notes similar to chewing on a whiskey barrel, which was good for my wife and I. There was a tartness to the finish, with nutty and sweet aftertaste. The body was slightly dry and light for the style, but it carried the flavors well. Good, unique brew.

GarthDanielson, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of Brenden
4.34/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Looking very much a rich cherry wood sort of color, it's about medium brown but definitely so along with deep, shining red highlights. The head is creamy, a light brown cap just taller than one finger that remains that way for a good while. The lacing shows impressive stick and high volume on the walls of the glass.
The rye impresses early, right out in the aroma with earthy spiciness beneath a heavy, bready malt strong enough to hold it. There's a hint of roast and a bit of a leafy hops addition for good balance.
Rye comes up front and stays the main event for the long haul, and this beer has me thinking maybe a brown ale is the perfect base beer to showcase what rye has to offer. Along with earth and spice, it gets a bit nutty and has a light sweetness of cocoa. A hint of caramel joins the bready malt base on the tongue. All in all it's delicious, really drinkable, and easy to put back.
The body is medium with a low to moderate carbonation holding steady. Smoothness and crispness are even, both working well in the feel of this beer.

Brenden, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of maximum12
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%

Review live from Petco Park between innings. On tap from th Ballast Point tasting room.

Pour is reddish brown, filmy. The nose runs of light sweet malts and vague spices. Quiet.

Reef Rye tickles my rye need. More brown though. Nice maltiness is immediately jumped by a big mouthful of spicy rye.Nutty, bit of earthiness, almost woody, mid palate. Spicy rye starts to make the lips tingle, and mounts the finish vigorously.

Definitely grew on me as it warmed. Not in the stratosphere of their hoppy offerings, but a good, solid brew.

maximum12, Sep 04, 2014
Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev +4.2%

mhaugo, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of malfunxion
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

malfunxion, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of ffejherb
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On one of the handpulls at Al's of Hampden on 12/9/10. Dry hopped with Willamette and Palisade hops.

A - Emerged from the handpull as a clear, coppery bronze liquid with deep amber hues and a finger's width of creamy tan foam that reduced to a thin film but yielded lots of stringy lace.

S - Spicy rye presence with a hint of chocolate and a mild leafy, green herbal tea-like hop character, the latter of which really opened up as the liquid reached room temperature.

T - Spicy rye malt presence up front with a hint of chocolate in the middle. Finishes with a moderate earthy, herbal tea-like hop bite with a faint catbox character.

M - Light bodied for a brown ale with a smooth, albeit a tad thin, texture. Finishes with moderate bitterness on the palate.

D - I likes me a hoppy brown ale... hoppy anything, really. This one was nice and dry with a moderate bitterness. While it could have benefitted from a more full-bodied mouthfeel, this was a solid effort.

ffejherb, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of scottfrie
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing, mjyoung!

Pours a deep, clear, raisin brown with a faint bubbly collar of a head. Rye, red grapes, caramel and a hint of hop and milk chocolate come through. The mouth is clean with a medium-thin body and bubbly carbonation. A tad watery but easy to drink. I thought the rye was a bit low, and this beer could have used more flavor all around, but what was there was good and I enjoyed the glass I had. Thanks Matt.

scottfrie, May 01, 2012
Photo of Deuane
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On the hand pull at Al's of Hampden.

A-Slightly hazed dark brown tinted copper, with a medium light tan head that reduced to a thin cap and left thick lacing.

S-Spicy rye notes and sweet toasted caramel malts up front with a touch of earthy citrus in the background. The aroma is pleasant but rather light.

T-Spicy, sweet and chewy with a good biting hop kick along with the rye zing gives this one a pleasant sharpness.

M-Medium bodied, sharp and biting with good lingering flavour and bitterness.

D-Really nice stuff and with a fairly low ABV this one is easy to enjoy multiple times over.

Deuane, Dec 12, 2010
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Reef Rye Brown Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.