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California Kölsch | Ballast Point Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
80
good
366 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
366
Ratings:
1,011
Avg:
3.53
pDev:
24.08%
 
 
Wants:
36
Gots:
159
For Trade:
0
California KölschCalifornia Kölsch
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Yellowtail Pale Ale and Pale Ale The Original.

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-26-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 366 | Ratings: 1,011
Photo of cbros
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving tyoe- 12 ounce bottled poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark yellow/orange color with a small one finger head that quickly disipates. There is no cling to the glass on the way down. There is some carbonation activity shown in the beer after the pour. Overall a good looking beer.

S- I am smelling the malty sweetness right off the bat. I am alos picking up some hop presence in the smell as well as a little alcohol near the end.

T- I am tasting the malt sweetness at the beginning which is followed by the bitter notes from the hops. It finishes rather smoothly and evenly. Overall not a bad tasting Kolsch.

Picked this beer up as part of a mixed sixer. Can't really tell why it's called a Pale Ale on the bottle but I digress. This is a good tasting Kolsch and definately a welcome change to my usual fair. I see this beer as a summer time staple due to its lighter body and taste. Probably won't pick this one up again but I will certainly pick up other variations on this style from the different breweries.

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Photo of klikger
3.52/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

6-8 oz pour into a standard pint glass

A - Very light yellow - macro-territory, here; decent head and lacing

S - Champagne, earthy barley

T - Grainy malts up front + a decently bitter finish = a balanced beer. Nothing exciting going on here, but it's well done for what it is.

M - Undercarbed for the style; light body

D - Very easy to drink, but with other options, why fill up on this?

This is a decently enjoyable beer, but the weakest Ballast Point offering which I've tried to date. It doesn't offend, but it doesn't call out, "Drink me again!", either.

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Photo of Gabriel_Vaughn
2.85/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: golden straw, slightly hazy

S: tad fruity like dried fruit, sweet

T: fruit again, stale not to my liking

M: meh

O: I'd love to try their other pales but I'm no fan of this fellow

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Photo of TH28
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. 11/15/15 bottle date. Appearance: Crystal clear light golden, with thick white head and nice lacing. Aroma: Grainy, cracker, subtle pear like fruitiness. Taste: Light, cracker like malt sweetness that turns to a strong spicy bitterness that lingers long after the swallow. Mouthfeel: Medium body with a light creaminess and moderate carbonation. Finish: Fairly dry on the finish with a strong spicy bitterness that lingers. Overall: Has the look and smell of a true Kolsch, but seems to have the bitterness level of an APA. Still a pleasant, easy drinking beer, but balance shifts more towards the hoppy side than any other Kolsch I’ve had.

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Photo of ahq514
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into NB globe glass. When purchased, I was expecting it to be a pale ale as advertised, not a kolsch.

Pours a slightly hazy bright golden color. Fairly light, bright white head. Appears to have fairly light carbonation. Great lacing all around the glass.

Light grainy straw with a hint of citrus. Very subdued aroma.

Very clean and crisp while maintaining an ale like quality. Very close to aroma. Fairly bland overall, but has some light notes of grain and straw.

Fairly dry beer. Light body and lighter carbonation.

A decent kolsch overall, just fairly bland. I would consider it a good lawnmower beer, it was pretty refreshing.

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Photo of seanh99
4.33/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Server from 12 oz bottle into Sam Adams Glass
A: Golden/ Dark yellow, very clear, Off White head with medium bubbles. Head disipated fairly quickly
S: Floral, malty and a little fruitiness in the background, no real hop scent.
T: Delicious, a bit sweet, simple bit of malt and some esters from the yeast with the hop bitterness being,slight and very late.
M: Aquious, crisp. refreshing.
D: This is a great drinker, I would love to sit out on the patio or out by someones pool and drink these all afternoon.

The taste on this is hard for me to describe other than to say it tastes like "really good beer".

I had this for the first time at the ACBF and when out and spent the $12.50 for six. I drank them all this weekend. I will have more in my fridge tomorrow afternoon.
I think I like Kölsch

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
4.03/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a wonderful clear golden color with a one finger white head. Aroma is sweet bready malt with some spicy noble hop character. Taste is lightly fruity, floral, spicy, grassy, all the noble hop characteristics. Mouthfeel is light, but spritzy on the palate with carbonation. Overall, a wonderful kolsch/pale ale hybrid that deserves respect and a spot in every true beer lovers graces. Doesn't have the huge hopping, barrel aged, adjunct pieces, but that is what makes it special.

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Photo of Ek0nomik
3.46/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured In: Snifter Glass
Attained through a trade.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear light golden color with a finger of head. The head quickly vanishes, and as the beer calms down from the pour the effervescence is revealed, which looks quite low. No lacing is showing up on the side of my snifter.

Smell: Some hay like smelling malt in the background, with some herbalness as well. Slight fruit aroma, perhaps pear? Honestly, it seems rather similar to a pilsner except with a few fruity notes.

Taste: Same as the nose really. Some light malt sitting in the background that's slightly herbal, with a few fruit notes as well. Again, similar to a pilsner, but with a few fruit additions.

Mouthfeel: A thin bodied beer with a good crisp carbonation.

Drinkability: Sitting at only 4.6%, it's a beer that's easily drinkable. Although, the flavor and aroma is mediocre, so I'm not sure that it's something I want to pick up again.

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Photo of beersarang
3.15/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale gold with a big bubbled head that didn't last long at all. Macro?!?

Faint aroma... not much to discern here.

Slight grainy malt flavor gives way to the tiniest of hop bitterness and flavor. Grassy if anything. Wimpy all the way.

Light bodied. Would be great on a hot day, but overall pretty bleh and plain.

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Photo of flyers1980
3.62/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Was very excited to finally try my first beer from Ballast Point. Poured into a Pilsener glass and noticed a light body, though a bit darker than an American version, most likely due to German malts. Definite fruitiness to the tone- not sure if I can pinpoint which fruit exactly but grape seems as close as any. Very crisp, breezy, and fresh upon taste- I'd call this a beach beer! Bring a cooler, watch the waves crash in and enjoy!

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Photo of vabeerguy
3.86/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a pilsner glass. Noticed immediately that a straight hard pour produced too much foam but it dissipated quickly. The first taste produced noticeable lacing. The color looks like it could be your average pilsner or kolsch. The name indicates it is a pale ale but it does not seem to fit into that category. That said, the beer is very tasty and refreshing. If you are looking for a hoppy or bitter beer (like an APA or IPA), than this would not be the one. If you are looking for a beer or two (or more) for a hot summer day, this would be a good selection.

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Photo of GarrisWH
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear golden color with a thin, white head that quickly drops down to nothingness. Leaves very light lacing behind.

S - Light citrus aromas as well as some spicy, fruity, yeast qualities.

T - Slightly tart, citrus flavors as well as an herbal character make up most of the flavor. Pale malts also come through as well as a bit of yeast. Finish is crisp and dry. No unpleasant off flavors, but lacking a bit in flavor intensity.

M - Light bodied with a pretty subdued carbonation. Very smooth going down.

D - A decent enough beer, albeit simple and light. I was somewhat expecting a pale ale when I bought the sixer, and was slightly disappointed to see I had bought a kolsch instead. Not bad, but nothing exciting here at all.

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy orange/copper appearance. Has a one finger of foamy head. Looks like a typical adjunct lager head. This has some carbination, but it's not real noticeable. Looks like a slightly paler version of a kolsh.

S- Malty sweetness. Fruity hop spice. There is also a lemony element here. Has a lager type graininess.

T- Follows nose. Malty sweetness. Fruity hop spice. Lemons. Lager type graininess.

M- Mild. Crisp, clean and refreshing. Finish starts out with sweet, but ends fairly dry. Easy drinking beer for sure. No complaints here. It just about drinks like a lager.

Overall this beer is very good. It's what got Ballast Point going. And I'm glad they stepped up their game in just about everything else they've done. It's an above average beer for sure, just not anything that blew my socks off. This would be excellent with seafood like mild whitefish, shrimp, or crab. I'd say try this if you are new to the craft beer scene or if you just want something that is light and extremely flavorful. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of happy4hoppybeer
2.68/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Fizzy pale yellow, with thin foamy white head.

Aromas of bread/dough, very grainy, with some faint malt. Pretty boring nose.

Some sweetness, faint traces of malt, even fainter, if any hops. Very grainy, light-bodied. Usual high carbonation. Pretty bland and lifeless brew.

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Photo of gabeerfan
4.18/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thought I would crack this open on the first hot day we've had this year.
Pours a slightly hazy gold color with a somewhat fizzy head that only leaves a very thin ring.
Very subtle aromas. Some lemon and orange juice, very light grassiness. It took several whiffs to even get that much.
Flavors are stronger than the aroma would let on. Lots of lemon juice, little bit of honey, saltine crackers, and grassy hops.
Light bodied. Nice carbonation.
Very drinkable. Light bodied, good flavors and a somewhat low ABV make this a great summertime beer.
Too bad this isn't available in GA yet, I would get this beer all throughout the summer. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of beerdown77
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours slightly cloudy golden with one finger of head. This beer is quite honestly, disappointing. It tastes like a tolerable golden lager at best. Although the beer is still “crafty” in its quality, the flavor is heavy on the bitter malt side of things. It kind of reminds me of a Dortmunder from Great Lakes…only thinner and not as good. Admittedly, I was expecting an APA, and didn’t realize that this was actually a Kolsch midway through my experience; I still didn’t love this beer.

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Photo of bradybeer
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As others have said and the label states this is not a pale ale but a kolsch.

Pours a medium gold with little head and little hops aroma. I don't pick up any hops or malt aroma. Taste is a bit soapy? Not much body or hops. Mouthfeel is a light-which is good for a Kolsch. Drinkability-I have to give this beer a good because it is drinkable and is one I could have after mowing the lawn (if I had a lawn)

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Photo of Chizoad
2.55/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Well maybe I came into this thinking I was getting a pale ale of the IPA variety. Sorely disappointed.

Pale yellow gold with nearly no head or lacing. Fruity-cardboard nose. Musty even.

Very similar flavor although maybe even a little worse than the nose. Some malts but the sweetness feels forced.

Decent mouthfeel but not great. Light but not crisp. Not one I'm going to ever have again.

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Photo of Talisker
3.82/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice example of a non-American style from a West Coast brewery.

Poured from a 22oz bomber (BevMo SF area, $3.99). Basic clear yellow with an orange tint. Foamy head that dies down quickly - no lace. Crisp German hops flavor (no citrus) - nice to experience without the metallic lager aftertaste. Nice light bready malt complement. Finish is long, maybe lingers a little too long for such a crisp beer.

If you can find this fresh and like the style, it's worth a try. Very nicely integrated beer.

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Photo of nvsblman
3.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pale yellow with about a half finger of white head. Grassy, earthy hop aroma with a light biscuity background. Well balanced hop/malt flavor. The grassiness plays well with the caramel malt. The medium mouthfeel and slightly dry finish makes this really refreshing and enjoyable.

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Photo of NickTheGreat
4.17/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L (4.25) - A bit more of an orangey yellow, and has a nice white foam on top.
S (4) - Not a lot of aroma, but a little bit of hops are noticed
T (4.25) - I find this very well balanced between hop and malt. If you think about the malt, you notice that, but start considering the hops and they pop out. Very well balanced.
F (4) - Easy drinking beer, carb'ed about right.
O (4.25) - All in all, I liked this beer. I'm kinda hit or miss on some BP stuff, and this is much more "hit."

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Photo of ChrisPratz
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice light amber with a very slight haze to it. Pours to a fingers worth of foam that dissipates to a thin veil of lace that almost completely covers the top.

S: Aromas of grass/grain with some bready/doughy yeast and a hint malt.

T: Some sweetness and tart up front with that doughy biscuit taste and a bit of lemony citrus tart at end with a very mild bitterness that is almost non existent. Very light with a nice amount of flavors.

M: Average carbonation works well with the flavors. Left with a slightly dry taste in the mouth.

O: Very nice and flavorful brew with crisp and clean flavors. Def a nice beer to enjoy on a spring/summer weekend with friends. I'd def get a case of this for a gathering of friends.

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Photo of Pittsburgh
4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up on a whim the other day, and I am glad I did.

Pours a nice golden brown, a bit darker than other pale ales I have had, has a bit more flavor as well. Seems a bit thicker than others, but still has the bitterness necessary.

Very smooth and clean with a hint of lemon/citrus, nice and easy drinking as well, goes down smooth, could be a perfect version of a summer beer for me, it probably does skew my review a bit that its 85 and humid and this is a post 6 hour test review, but I am really feeling this beer right now.

I may come back for a follow up later to make sure I am not overly high on this, but I like the flavor on this pale ale, I think it has a little more flavor than others I've had and I like what they've done with it.

I am definitely getting this again.

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Photo of mobud
2.62/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into tulip.

A- Dark straw with no head and very light carbonation.

S- Wheat with light smell of cut grass.

T- Light wheat with a tang that I have trouble placing.

M- Insanely thin with almost no body and not all that refreshing.

D- I purchased this beer at a Von's close to my San Diego resort and was unable to find a freshness date or code to find if I was drinking old beer. Ballast Point has such a great rep that I hope it was old and not them. I will give this one another shot if I can get it in the future.

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Photo of TheLiterati
2.03/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a bright gold with reddish highlights and a smallish off white head. Smells of bread, malt, and a hint of hops.

Mouthfeel is watery and thin. Taste is slightly off as well, and is mostly weak. The bottle says it’s styled after “the crisp golden Kolsch ales of Cologne, Germany,” but I’m not so sure about that. Though I didn’t see a freshness date, I’m wondering if I might have gotten a bad bottle.

Has the potential to be a good beer, so maybe I’ll try another bottle at some point. However, if this is the norm for this beer, then I’ll have to pass.

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California Kölsch from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 366 ratings.