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Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

353 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 353
Hads: 959
Avg: 3.52
pDev: 24.43%
Wants: 31
Gots: 123 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-26-2001

There's no wonder why our Pale Ale is so popular--it is skillfully crafted in the style of the Kolsch beers of Cologne, Germany. We've chosen German hops for aroma, and rounded out the recipe with a blend of American and German malts.

While it is very much like a pilsner, our Pale Ale is fermented at ale temperatures, giving it a subdued fruitiness--a perfect compliment to the crispness of the wheat and maltiness of the Munich malt. If you like a lighter brew but also like the complexity of craft beers, then our Pale Ale is for you.

23 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Yellowtail Pale Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 353 | Hads: 959
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear yellow-gold color with a 1 inch white head that settles to a thin film. Broken rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is good but basic with malt and floral hop aromas. Taste is of sweet malt and some floral and herbal hop flavors. Mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good carbonation level with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a solid beer from Ballast Point. Nothing too special but nice and easy to drink for what it is.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.16/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Golden with amber hues. 2 finger thick head.

S: bready and malty. Not getting too much of the fruitiness.

T: Wheat, mild fruit notes that I really have to search for. More like the bready nature of a pilsner than a pale.

M: The wheat beer character makes this more refreshing than many pale ales. A little bitter on initial feel

Overall: The refreshing aspect is a huge plus but this just isn't the pale ale for me. I love Ballast Point but this is just not for me.

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Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is crystal clear golden yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that quickly died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderately strong aromas of biscuit and cracker malts are present in the nose along with some hints of white grapes.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell, except that there are stronger notes of grapes and a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little dry and chalky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and is a good American representation of the German Kölsch style.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a nice looking golden color, kind of hazy. The head was a little fizzy but ended up sticking around for a little while. The smell of the beer was pretty nice, giving off some decent hop aromas and malts. The taste of the beer has a nice crisp bitterness that faded into a sweetness as is settled on the tongue. The mouthfeel was crisp and sharp, nicely done. Overall I pretty Solid pale ale.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear pale golden color with a marshmallow cap; decent retention and a touch of lace

Smell: Bready, with lemon floral tones

Taste: Opens with sweet malty elements that have a considerable lemon character; after the swallow, the contrasting flavors persist and are joined by a hint of wheat and a dollop of husky grain

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A little maltier than would be expected for the Kölsch style; when I reviewed this on tap I was overly critical as I thought it was a pale ale

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice golden color with a fairly-large white head. The nose has a lot of malt, especially for a beer being labeled as a kolsch. Along the same lines, this is pretty hoppy, so it seems like BP is right in describing this as a pale ale. Bready malt and some citrus hops come through in the nose and taste. Mouthfeel is very nice and refreshing, with more of the German lager-type carbonation atop this softer pale ale. Drinkability is good.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pint at the Waikiki Yard House, dubbed 'Yellow Tail' on the menu.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium golden straw colour, with one finger of foamy, somewhat creamy ecru head, which leaves a solid wall of painted lace around the glass as it slowly slips away.

It smells weakly of bready, doughy malt, a bit of aged lemon juice, and mild leafy, grassy, earthy hops. The taste is more bitter up front, sort of indeterminately, kind of leafy, kind of citrusy, with a still-strong pastry-esque maltiness providing a wholesome balance.

The carbonation is a bit peppy, the body a lightweight medium, and haltingly smooth. It finishes with more of the same - timidly bitter hops, and solid bready hops.

A decent pale ale, a bit of necessary moderation at the moment - for the rest of you - drink at will.

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Photo of zeff80
3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a fizzy, somewhat cloudy, golden yellow color with a foamy, soapy, white, two-figer head. There were some rings of lace.

S - It smelled of citrus and was quite floral.

T - This was pretty sweet with a nice barley and grain taste. It also had some spicy hop presence.

M - It was sharp and very crisp. A light-bodied beer.

D - This is one of the best Kolsch-style ales that I've ever had. I liked the hop kick that it had.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Polished brassy gold with a suggestion of juicy orange. There's almost no visible carbonation, which looks a little odd, especially right after the pour. The head is bone white and picks up a hint of yellowish orange from the beer beneath. Soapy ropes of lace arrange themselves into (transient) rough rings as the cap lazily retreats.

The nose lacks both power and personality. I realize that Kolsch isn't a style that lends itself to bold aromas, but a little more fragrance would be welcome. It's mildly sweet pale malty with a little fruitiness for good measure. I'm having a hard time picking out anything resembling hops.

Things still aren't wonderful on the palate. I'm fully capable of appreciating subtlety. I even desire subtlety at times, especially on a hot July day like today. Yellowtale Pale is overly subtle, though, and would benefit from more flavor. It tastes like an all-malt ale. In other words, it has the simplicity of an all-malt lager, but with an ale yeast fruitiness and a slightly more full, ale-like mouthfeel.

Speaking of the mouthfeel, it's on the light side of medium, feeling a little more full thanks to the quiescent carbonation. Each upending of the glass stirs up a cloud of fine bubbles, so I know the beer has retained its CO2. Too bad it isn't that evident in the mouth.

Yellowtail Pale Ale is a decent Kolsch that doesn't put any kind of a serious scare into the world's best versions. After enjoying Big Eye IPA, it was my hope that this one would be just as good. No such luck. While I don't have any desire to throw it back, I won't be mounting it above my mantle either.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

golden color with tons of bright yellow highlights that really showed off the clarity and brightness of this one. Huge head of white that towered over the glass at first settled down like a soft pillow that gently coated the outside of the glass and gave a rich, and dense color to it. Aroma is light, airy, with hints of banana and light fruit that is layered on top of bready tones and hints of light grain. Very light, cannot stress that enough as it really was coming through quite well on a 90 degree afternoon. Warming brought out a touch of almost citrus like smells across the nose, but then you go in for a taste and its over. Light and refreshing taste just overwhelms the palate.

very drinkable in deed.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.29/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Well, until I started typing this I had no idea this was considered a kolsch. I mean, why would they call it a pale ale if it was another style altogether? It does explain things, though... It pours a clear brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises sweet biscuit, flowers, and a hint of candied orange peel in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, but with more of the orange peel and some mild grass for good measure. Overall, a decent little kolsch, and a sad excuse for a pale ale, depending on how you wanna look at it.

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Photo of mactrail
4.18/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted this at a German restaurant in Ocean Beach, where it is a house draft called "Kaiserhof Kölsch Pale Ale."

Crisp and slightly hoppy. Such a nice clean taste. Very light body. Pale golden color in the mug, nice lacing. Like a lager with a rich tangy flavor. Flowery nose. Malty, yet delicate. Best Kölsch I've tried in a long time, not knowing what the heck it was. Score one for the local lads, but it really is a highly decent drinkable light beer and well worth a try.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.75/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

650ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high based on the rating average here on beeradvocate. I usually quite fancy kolschs, so I'm excited to try this one. Here we go!

A: Pours a three finger head of no cream, fair thickness, and average (~2 minute) retention. Colour is a semitransparent yellow.

Sm: Light barley and subtle bright fruit notes. A mild strength aroma, but a pleasant one.

T: A touch creamy over top a clean barley foundation. Too malty. I don't detect the wheat the label mentions at all. A very simple beer. Boring but pleasant. Built decently but without boldness or inspiration.

Mf: Smooth and wet - overly so in fact. A bit thick for a Kolsch as well.

Dr: They got the style wrong, but its a pleasant simple beer, with muted flavour. It's too restrained to be truly good, but if you're not expecting much, it's a highly drinkable beer. It's certainly sessionable. I'd try it on draught on a rainy day, but it won't be coming up in conversation anytime soon. Nice try, lads, but you didn't do anything interesting.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.05/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Name says its a pale ale.. on the bottle it calls it a Kolsch.. confusing eh?

Anywho, a decent drinker. Weird my package store just got this in as it doesn't seem like a winter type brew.. in fact it's the exact opposite. There's intense carbonation in this bad boy, I had trouble pouring it without the head spilling over (maybe my bottle was old/infected?). Very light bodied with a nice crispness to it. Some slight hops are there but it drinks like a pils/kolsch as the bottle states. Pale ale.. nah not enough hops for that. Not something I'd buy again but decent.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from t0rin0, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a becker pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of grain, light malts and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste very bready with flavors of grain, a mild malt sweetness, despite a substantial malt character, and a touch of fruit. There's a good hops presence for the style and it provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready, slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is very good beer to pound for and entire evening.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.11/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big white head settles to a very big lacing that crawls up the edges of the glass above a clear pale straw golden golden colored beer.

Sour lemons and slightly soapy aroma.

Wet slightly sour grains taste with a little bit of lemony hops that is also probably adding to the sourness of the taste.

Wettish yet slightly dryish aftertaste with a bit of the lemony sourness remaining behind with this light to medium bodied drink.

A bit to much on the sour taste for a pale ale for me, not really what I think of when I grab a pale ale.

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Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber with a blurb about the beer on the side of the label, no freshness date.

Appearance: Very mild chill haze, big frothy white head that cakes to a great thick lace.

Smell: Light breadiness with hints of yeast and grain. Faint whiff of fruit and hops also.

Taste: Medium body, sweet pale malt flavour through and through with a even hop bitterness (slightly spicy) and mild leafy noble hop twang flavour. Sweet bread and yeast on the palate straight into the drying finish.

Notes: Decent go at the Kölsch style, quite palatable with an impressive malt character for such a light coloured brew. Nice addition of hops to make for a perfect balance.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold with a white-ish head that wastes no time in falling. Flavor is a bit sweet and smooth. Noticeable grain attributes. But that sweet aftertaste sticks with you for quite some time. Feel has a biting carbonation. This is pretty easy to drink. I have to say this kölsch style is growing on me lately.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 5/30/2014. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy golden color with a 2 finger dense and rocky white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, bread, herbal, straw, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, bread, herbal, straw, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light earthy herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, bread, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness and balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. A fairly clean finish as well with no overly estery yeast notes present. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with no warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice kolsch style. All around good balance and robustness of pale malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First things first the label is misleading, this should be labeled a Kolsch or a golden ale. When you see Yellowtail Pale Ale from San Diego, my Pavlov's dog in me starts to salivate. When I get home and pour a pale golden crystal clear beer with a bright white head forming thick, it's definitely not what I was expecting. Aroma has sweet biscuit malts slight honey sweetness with some herbal hops lingering a nice cereal grain presence with a mild metallic mineral water accent and hints of grassy/citric hops in the backend. Flavor is grainy light toasted malts bringing biscuit to minds with a touch of citrus/fruit esters very mild hops in the finish. Not even great German style brewing going on just pretty much a dissapointment as a whole. Mouthfeel light bodied easy going, easy drinking, care free crossover style golden ale. Drinkability, okay but I'm shocked at how light on flavor and color their labeled "pale ale" is. Crappy pale ale, okay kolsch.

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Photo of chinchill
3.61/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz undated but very recently purchased bottle served in a pint glass. Small amount of sediment at bottom of the bottle added mid-tasting.

Near clear golden liquid with a substantial amount of fine-grained carbonation visible. Small white head has moderate retention. More lacing than expected, given the head.

Smells like a malty lager, albeit with a fruitiness that is much more characteristic of ales. The flavor is not as expected. Both the aroma and the "pale ale" labeling led me to expect something with much more hop flavor, but there's only a rather subtle touch of spicy hops in the taste. If I hadn't tried the beer before seeing the description "crafted in the style of the Kolsch beers of Cologne, Germany" I would have been surprised. This beer is mild in flavor, as per the kolsch style. In fact, I had a quite similar, but perhaps even less flavorful kolsch last weekend at the Pisgah (NC) Brewery.

It has a nice, if near watery, mouthfeel with excellent carbonation and some dryness in the finish. Slightly bitter balance, yet more malt than hop flavor.

O - a highly drinkable and refreshing beer that makes an excellent substitute for a light beer ... not that you'd want one of those. Plenty flavorful for the kolsch, but not the PA style.

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Photo of smcolw
3.11/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light amber color with a slight haze. Good lace. Modest head, but lasts.

Slightly stinky, but not skunky. Dry malt and slightly grainy. Very low hop.

Astringent is the first word that comes to mind. Flavorful, but dry. Smooth mouthfeel but not overly rich. Nice hoppy finish with good aftertaste.

This wouldn't be the first beer I'd reach for, but it is innocent enough to enjoy. No flaws but no curiosities either.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden-hued and clear, below a small white head.

Citrus-y aroma, fresh orange and lemon zest...light spices....fragrant and lively.

Fresh on the tongue, with plenty of hop zing blasting the palate. Then all is smooth and lovely. Light bodied, light hops, tasty malt below...a kolsch, but called a "pale ale" on the label..."I guess"...but, it works, it's a lighter easier-drinking ale, no chore to toss back,but full of flavor.

Should be offered in 6-packs, though, not 22 oz bombers. Just not spectacular enough to warrant the size or the price. A good beer, don't get me wrong, just doesn't push my buttons...

...searching....searching....no, that's all I have to say on this...

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Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours straw golden yellow with a thin white head that holds up for awhile before becoming a vanishing patch.

The smell is sweet grain with a hint of Continental-type/floral hops.

The taste follows the nose. A touch of "wet cardboard". A bit yeasty, though with some crispness. Sweetish, turning to a dryish finish. Appropriately light-bodied.

A decent attempt at the style, though not quite as crisp and refreshing as some more classic examples of a Kolsch-style beer, IMO.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is clear and ligh golden with a small white head. The aroma brings grain, earth, hops, malt. Some sweet corn character in the flavor. A balance of malt and hops with some wet earth character. Dank hops and lingering bitterness. This is neither a good kölsch nor pale ale. It certainly lacks the attributes of either style. Too sweet. One beer was more than enough. Not again.

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Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 353 ratings.