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Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

848 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 848
Reviews: 337
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 14.73%
Wants: 19
Gots: 59 | 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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-26-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Yellowtail Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 848 | Reviews: 337 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.58/5  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...

feloniousmonk, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of mactrail
4.22/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

mactrail, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of WesWes
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a light pilsner malt scent along with moderate hop aroma and clean finish. The taste is decent as well. It's crisp and clean with a touch of hop bitterness and a solid pilsner malt composition. It's not a complex brew, but it's an easy drinker. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great summertime brew; light and refreshing.

WesWes, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

mendvicdog, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Common Table in Dallas. The beer pours a cloudy orange color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the toffee with some orange citrus and some light grass notes. The flavor follow suit. I get a lot of toffee and caramel malt as well as some citrus and pine notes from the hops. The malt is much more prevalent than the hops, but there is still a light bit of bitterness and some hop flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

jwc215, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of smcolw
3.1/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

smcolw, May 17, 2008
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliantly clear, light copper color and is topped by a two-finger thick, frothy, light tan colored head. This beer has a light, herbal, lemon-like hoppy aroma to it. As I dig around a bit deeper in the nose I get an interesting aroma of something like cinnamon.

The beer has a fairly light taste to it, in fact it is almost completely dry. The hops almost get it a tangy tartness though and there is a noticeable herbal hop character found throughout this beer. The flavor almost reminds me of those exotic, yet mellow, basils (e.g. cinnamon basil), but that is not quite it. A light lemon-like note is here as well as some spicy hop notes. This is not your typical American Pale Ale, but I really like its hop leanings. Light and quaffable as well and it makes for an easy drinking 22oz bottle.

Gueuzedude, Jun 10, 2006
Photo of kojevergas
2.73/5  rDev -22.7%
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.

kojevergas, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of XmnwildX12
3/5  rDev -15%

XmnwildX12, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.08/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

oriolesfan4, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
3.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear golden colour with a firm white head, good retention, some creamy lace.

S: Classic Kolsch nose of white grape and ale fruit, bready malt.

T: The malt is nice and there is a good fruit/pear-like flavour to this brew. There is a fair amount of hops in this beer, a San Diego take for sure. Hops are very green and grassy, not exactly my style, and it's too hoppy for this kind of beer.

M: Light-bodied, kind of flabby at times with a crisp finish.

D: A solid Kolsch, but I really prefer the classic Koln-made stuff in this style. Not a beer where being overly hoppy is a virtue.

Halcyondays, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of Gavage
3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark golden yellow color with a 1" head that lingers a while. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: grass, hay, and some malt sweetness is detectable by the nose.

Taste: grainy malt base with grass, pears, and mild bitterness. Very simple kolsch style that is refreshing.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Medium bodied beer. Clean aftertaste.

Drinkbaility: definite session beer here. I was surprised the label states pale ale but the liner notes explain this is a kolsch. Tasty and worth a try.

Gavage, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

05/24/08- Purchased at City Beer in San Fancisco, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Pale yellow-golden pour with a 1/2 inch seltzery head. Leaves behind decent lace sheets.

Smell- Light scented sweet toasted malt and a handfull of hops.

Taste- Sweet malt with a lemony flavor. Hops are present and are lemon-grapefruit in flavor. A bit grainy as well.

Mouthfeel- Mid to high range carbonation level.

Drinkability- Haven't had many of this style, but it went down easy enough. Decent enough to try.

GClarkage, May 25, 2008
Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

InspectorBob, May 27, 2013
Photo of woodychandler
4.13/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

From the CAN: "Handcrafted & CANned in San Diego, California"; "Dedicated to the Craft"; "The Beer That Launched Ballast Point"; "Our original Pale Ale is a rich golden brew, crafted with aromatic German hops and rounded out with a blend of American and Munich malts. While it's hopped like a lager, we ferment it like an ale to create a smooth, bright taste that has just a hint of fruit and spice. It's extremely drinkable, like a Kolsch should be. And complex, like a good craft beer demands."

The Crack revealed yet another brimful craft CAN and I was ready to see what was inside. An inverted Glug later, curtailed midway through as it threatened to overflow the sides of the glass, and I had a massive finger-and-a-half of French Vanilla-colored head with good retention in the face of today's humidity. Color was a deep, rich gold with NE-plus quality clarity, allowing me to see into the future.

I will be returning to the site of the creation of the term, "NE-quality clarity", which refers to one being able to read the Sunday comics through it, a level of clarity used by the brewer at Empyrean BC in Lincoln, NE to describe the kind of beer his patrons wanted in 2006 when I visited. I will be going back in late-February 2015 for a joint birthday celebration with Val MidWest who turns 21 y/o on Valentine's Day of that year while I will hit the big 5-Oh on the 25th. The party is planned for Yia Yia's and Old Chicago on Saturday, 28 Feb 2015 if anyone wants to join us.

While I was typing, the head fell, allowing me to lean in for a good whiff. The nose had a distinct biscuit malt/bready yeast quality, like freshly baked bread or biscuits. Yum! Mouthfeel was medium and the initial flavor was of mixed fruit, but followed with a subdued yeasty spiciness. It was like JuicyFruit gum, but with a bite. Finish was semi-sweet and highly refreshing on this hazy, humid day. Of the two so far (Longfin Lager) and this one, I am giving the majority of the cooler space to this, but neither really trip my trigger the way that the next two CAN.

The following is my original Bottle review dtd 12-31-2009

It arrived with a finger of bone-white head with good retention. Color was a bright golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity (although that is redundant when using the term "bright" to describe a beer). Nose had an interesting tang, a little sweet, as though the hops and yeast were fighting it out. Mouthfeel was medium with a sweetish, spicy black pepper taste on the tongue. Finish was dry, but not overly so.

woodychandler, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of orangesol
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

orangesol, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very interesting. Of course a kölsch is a pale ale, technically, but one marketed as a pale ale in America seems like something of a misnaming. Anyway, let's see how it is.

Pours a very pale yellow colour, with a filmy but fine-bubbled head of white foam, that leaves some abstract lacing. Looks very lagery, which is stylistically true for a kölsch at least. But thin, but decent enough.

Nose is slightly grainy, with a sharp German hop profile. Hint of molasses or raw processed sugar, along with something slightly phenolic. It reminds me a lot of a Munich Helles. Less fruity and clean than I expect for a kölsch, but not bad.

Taste is similar. Some graininess on the back, fronted by a light sweetness and a sugary, slightly nutty aftertaste. There's something all a bit insipid about it, however, and the characters don't mesh together particularly well. Mouthfeel light, which is expected, but it doesn't add anything to the beer, which really needs a lift.

Eh, drinkable enough, but really, there's something unappealing about it. It's not so far as to be offensive, but there's so little to it, I wonder why they bother.

I'll stick to Sculpin, thanks.

lacqueredmouse, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of wrightst
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

wrightst, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of Billolick
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber, no freshness info offered. Pours light and clear, under a fairly thin off white tiny bubble head, that leaves plenty of sticky, fine sheeting. Resiny hop nose. Easy drinking, snappy, hopped up offering. I personally find it confusing when a brewery puts out a "pale ale" that actually is a Kolsch beer. Anyway, this beer is a pleasant enough light sipper. Nothing special going on here.

Billolick, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Abe's.

Well it's a good thing they're calling this a kolsch, because it wasn't much of a pale ale. This beer just has a clean pale malt flavor with a touch of sweet biscuit and a hint of hops. The aroma has sort of a bland light malt smell, but not much more. Still a tasty beer, nothing wrong with drinking this if you want something lighter.

UPDATE: 5/13/10: I'd just add that there's an interesting popcorn aroma and pleasant mineral character to the flavor and water.

tempest, Jul 02, 2008
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.03/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a bowtie glass)
Best by 09/21/2013
A- This beer pours a clear glowing yellow body with a thin white film of heat that breaks up after a few sips and a slow carbonation pushing toward the surface.

S- The green bitterness of Noble hops and some dry field corn notes is all that come through this lagered clean aroma.

T- The dry pale malt has some stronger field corn taste that leads to a soft Noble pungent bitter note that lingers with a slight almost sulfury dryness. The taste also has a lagered cleanness to it.

M- The light mouthfeel has a tight scrubbing fizz in the finish.

O- The clean beer has lots of qualities of an American adjunct lager with lots of field corn qualities and Noble hop hints. It was a bit of a let down.

rhoadsrage, Jun 18, 2013
Photo of ejimhof
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

ejimhof, Sep 08, 2013
Photo of DoubleJ
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thank you Cost Plus World Market for carrying this in your vairety pack! On to the beer:

A soapy head forms on top of this golden ale, albeit one that doesn't last too long. But it does the job on a pleasant warm day. It's semi-sweet with some hop grape and bready flavors. The crispness is light and finishes a touch dry. A great beer to have when the weather is too much to have something big.

DoubleJ, Jul 10, 2007
Photo of Huhzubendah
3/5  rDev -15%
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.

Huhzubendah, Sep 22, 2013
Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 848 ratings.