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Wavehopper - Big Bay Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

34 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 34
Hads: 75
Avg: 3.34
pDev: 27.84%
Wants: 0
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Bay Brewing Co. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerFMAndy on 12-14-2010

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (10) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 34 | Hads: 75
Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazed yellow with a thin white head that becomes a wide patch. Some trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of some grain with mild floral notes.

The taste is light - a sweet (honey-ish?) kiss, slight nut from the malt, with a mild floral dryness in the finish.

The carbonation level works well enough to fit the character of the light brew. Leans a bit watery, but not too fizzy.

This is a light, easy-drinking, balanced beer that fits "kolsch" style well enough. It has a "refreshing" quality to it.

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Photo of KFBR392
3.16/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Transparent body with straw yellow color. Poured with a finger of head which settled in to a thin layer across the top while drinking. Active carbonation is on the lower side for the style.

Smell: Straw, honey, and dough on the front. Sweet biscuity malts are really potent on the body. Cereal and nutty finish fits well.

Taste: Dough and buttery malts on the front. Watery forgettable body. The finish is some earthy yeast and sprite fruits.

Mouthfeel: Drinkable almost to a fault. No notable lingering textures are left behind.

Overall: The aroma is no doubt the highlight. So disappointed the taste couldn't follow it up.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.79/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

(A)- Pours a crystal clear pale yellow color. Some pure white froth with decent retention.

(S)- Light cereal and biscuit-like grains with hints at lemon and spice.

(T)- Quite sweet for the style with a big honey wheat sweetness going on. reminds me of buttered toast with honey. Very grainy.

(M)- Very light bodied but carries a rather potent sweetness for the style.

(O)- I actually quite like the flavor this has, that, and being lighter and crisp, but really very little about this reminds me of a kolsch.

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Photo of Phocion
3.62/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle aggressively poured into a pilsner glass. Light golden straw body with a big, frothy, white head. Good staying power and chunks of thick lacing.

Grainy/wheaty and sweet pils malts. Subtle noble hop aroma, fairly floral and grassy.

Flavor is thin. Sweet malts and a bit of a sulfur-like finish. Wheaty and kind of salty. Smallest hint of earthy hops.

Light bodied and medium-high carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

Sweet and not particularly clean. Drinkable but not particularly memorable Kölsch.

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Photo of Fcolle2
3.91/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pale straw in color with moderate carbonation and a white soapy head that dissipates somewhat quickly.

Nose has grainy straw malt notes with a hint of sweetness, slightly spicy hops and a big straw backbone.

Taste follows the nose. Grain and straw notes are forward. While the flavor is light, it is robust and delicious lots of great grainy qualities that the clean herbal hops play nicely with.

Mouthfeel is great for a hot day. Light, crisp clean and lots of carbonation. Very refreshing.

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Photo of 1DAC3
4.44/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wavehopper is a very nice American Kolsh style beer. It has a nice creaminess with a subtle hoppy finish. This will do very well during a Chicago summer. In addition, I love the marketing of life on the water and the white caps. I grew up vacationing in the great lakes region and have a boat in Chicago.

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Photo of ChefFelipe11
4.37/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The lightest of all Big Bay Beers but not a light beer. I would consider this beer a li-dium body...Haha. Yes Li-dium body its in between the two. The taste is good again well balanced very social type of beer. When in Germany, you can compare this beer to Fruhl (Cologne) and the Kolsch style wouldnt be able to be distinguished. Overall a great beer! Its now selling in Illinois!!

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.54/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Finishing my introduction to this new-to-the-area brewery. It pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises sweet corn, wheat, light funky rice, a half-pinch of black pepper, and a small dose of minerals. The taste brings in more of the same, but without the funk. Instead, the minerals combine with a mild citrus character and the wheat to form a soft, clean, mildly fruity flavor combination. Not bad. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a crisp-ish finish. Overall, a decently solid kolsch, an easy-drinker if there ever was one.

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Photo of steveh
3.86/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Stumbled on this by chance a local that's been carrying some new beers. Interesting that it's a brew-pub beer contracted by Point.

A -- Clear, very pale gold/yellow with a pretty firm white head that holds up well.

S -- Grainy malts with a mellow fruitiness. Vaguest sulfur in the background.

T -- Light grainy to bready malts up front, same fruit character follows then finishes with good bready character and a light balance of spicy hops.

M -- Smooth to crisp mouthfeel with a dry finish and light body.

O -- A very nice, clean and crisp beer -- delicate flavor and body with no faults showing thru -- talk about a difficult beer to brew. Perfect for summer afternoons at the grill. I'll have to remember this in a few months.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a Big Bay stange.
4.8% ABV, no date.

A - Wavehopper is pale straw yellow in color with brilliant clarity and a billowing cloud-white head. Magnificent retention eventually leads to a plateauing pile and sticky lace clutching the glass like foamy waves lapping the shore.

S - Crisp and open like an afternoon trolling the lake in the breeze, this aroma starts with a grainy pale malt nose with sweet notes of pilsner malt, finishing with a touch of buttery diactyl and sea salt.

T - Dry straw and husky malt make a splash but the ripples die out as the pilsner sweetness rolls in. More butter diactyl joins the party but this beer finishes off with a clean hop addition of floral noble-like hops.

M - Wavehopper is light-bodied and moderately carbonated though slick on the palate, it almost finishes with a lager-like crispness, though not quite there. A tingle of dry, lightly hoppy bitterness for balance enters just before a pinch of minerals and salt beckons for another sip.

O - There's no question that Wavehopper is an entry-level beer that's more or less designed for the masses but, make no mistake, it's fashioned well. This will appeal to the everyman while dropping in enough flavor for the person looking for an easy-drinking, flavorful "light" beer. This is one of my go-to summer beers, especially when wake boarding!

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Photo of JamesMN
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: About three fingers worth of beer and six fingers of white foam on the top. Waiting to pour the rest of the bottle. That being said, the neon yellow color of the beer is appealing and the white soapy foam gives it a nice look.

Aroma: Lots of yeast and not much else. A 'dry' smell.

Taste: The first half is reminiscent of white grape juice and is moderately sweet. The second half adds a coriander spice taste (maybe from the yeast) and finishes crisp. It's interesting because the first half almost feels juicy like an IPA might be. Not getting much malt flavor on this one so I'm guessing it's a light malt bill. The hops add a slight bitterness that compliments the sweetness from the malt. At 4.8% ABV this is a good session beer.

Mouthfeel: Wet and medium bodied. Good effervescence for the style and easy to drink. Decently refreshing.

Final Thoughts: Usually I hate spiced beers but this one keeps the flavor in check and delivers a nice drinking experience. I could see someone going through a sixer of this with a buddy while watching a game and having some pizza or burgers. Would I drink it again? I'm tempted.

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Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Princeton Liquors in Maple Grove. The aroma and flavor have a toasty, creamy barley character with a crisp finish and hints of caramel and grassy, earthy hops. This is a fine summer beer, and I like the barley character, but this is missing some of the light fruit of a great kolsch.

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Photo of maximum12
3.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a non-beer-crazy friend suggest Big Bay to me so. Despite his very suspect taste in beer, I'm always on the lookout for a good Kolsch, so here we are. 12 oz. bottle poured in preparation for a dinner of raspberry chicken & potatoes with Gruyere cheese. Mmmm.

Pour is...well, imagine all the carbonation in the world. It's now gone. Because it was all bottled up in this tiny little shard of glass. Three pours & five minutes to get the beer into a pint glass. It's yellowish with light-speed bubbling. Smells like a puff of air: not much coming off the surface. Faint grains & yeast if I really pull.

Wavehopper's first sip is promising. Then the aftertaste takes hold like The Claw. Clean, wheaty, & crisp on the front, yeasty in the middle, then an unpleasant...something on the back end. A little musty, almost, but not quite, like a hop twist that didn't quite make it. Overcarbed, seriously, but like any decent Kolsch, easy to down.

This is pretty close, honestly, to being very good. Instead, the carbonation & aftertaste drag this down into the mediocre range. Maybe a couple days old, super-fresh? Either way, decent enough beer. Off to my dinner.

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Photo of socon67
3.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had at Miller Park in Milwaukee

A - High soapy foam that stays for a long time. Golden color and plenty of carbonation.

S - Some smell of fresh grain. Has a slight skunkiness to the scent.

T - Pleasantly refreshing flavor of fresh grain, bit of lemon tartess, and spices. Simple but tasty.

M - I thought this was a smooth beer that had a light feel and a tart finish.

O - Better than I expected since I never heard of this one. Nothing outrageous but I'd have this again.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
1.38/5  rDev -58.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I will admit up front that I am not a fan of kolsch as a style. Occasionally, I will find an excellent, delicate and flavorful kolsch that I will tolerate and enjoy. Tonight is not that night.

Wavehopper from Big Bay Brewing looks fine in the glass with a white head that falls with a nice lace over a slightly anemic looking yellow brew. Pungent nose has some of the classic kolsch characteristics, but overwhelmed by a sour apple and mineral wafting up. Just as watery in the mouth as it looks, the taste has a barely perceptible sweet malt and a sharp chalky flavor and unpleasant sourness.

In spite of my general beer optimism, I cannot find any redeeming characteristics in this brew. In a phrase, avoid this beer. Unfortunately, I didn't review Big Bay's Portside when I had it in March at Grumpy's in Minneapolis. My simple rating of Portside was much higher, which is what made me hopeful for Wavehopper. While it would take some convincing to get me to try Wavehopper again, my experience with Portside on tap will at least give me reason to try Big Bay again some day.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.09/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from session notes.

Somewhat hazy golden straw color with a receding foam collar for a head, no real retention or lacing left behind. Smells of wheat malt mostly and has a touch of grassy herbal aroma. Taste is on the sweeter side for my personal preferences in a Kolsch, but not terribly much so. Tastes of perhaps a mixture of wheat and crystal malt sort of flavor, with a twist of lemon peel. The grassy herbals from the nose do not unfortunately make an appearance in the flavor. Body is on the thicker side of light-bodied, dries out somewhat in the finish but just barely misses the mark of being 'crisp' for me.

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Photo of morimech
3.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy straw color with half inch of head that did not hang around for very long. The head settles to a thin cap. Surprisng amount of sticky lacing is left down the glass however.

Has a sweet, grainy aroma. There is a faint Noble hop aroma as well.

We have been getting dry, aggresively hopped Kolsch's lately, this is not one of those. This is a sweeter, milder version. Tastes more like a pilsner than an ale as in not having much of a yeast influence except for a touch of diacetyl.

Light body with nice carbonation.

Certainly respect the easy drinking and low ABV. I just prefer my Kolsch drier and more aggressively hopped.

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.03/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer pours a slightly hazy golden color with large visible floaties. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is heavy on the butterscotch to such an extent that nothing else comes through. The taste is similar to the aroma, but not quite as strong. The mouthfeel is light bodied with a watery texture, and high carbonation. Overall, this is a pretty bad beer that I will not drink again.

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Photo of Zachtheporter
3.8/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz bottle

A- a rich golden yellow with a nice thick frothy white head. very bubbly and with a good amount of light penetration.

S- smells clean and wheaty. Like spring air near a hay filed barn.

T- Has a light wheat taste and is very crisp and clean. has a almost grainy breadiness that lingers at the end. Very tasty.

M- The head which lingers for almost the entire beer, feels delightfully fluffy. It is unlike the head of many beers I have tried before. The beer itself is very crisp while at the same time seeming somewhat almost thick. very smooth.

O- One of my favorite Kolsche's yet! very drinkable while still being a full bodied delicious beer. I could easily see this being session-able while at the same time it could also be great having just one! Very surprised by this beer! Something to make Shorewood proud!

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Photo of gatornation
3.88/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from a 12 oz bottle

A- pours a clear pale yellow color with a fresh 1 finger white head with a good amount of lacing thru-out

S- was lemon citrus baked bread with a nice amount of crisp noble hops

T- noble hops first crisp,floral with lemon citrus , next were light caramel baked bread malts

M- crisp and sweet with a dry finish of sweet malts and noble hops

O- very fresh and delicious tasted like euro pils

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Photo of Strix
4.2/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale yellow, frothy initial head that leaves some lacing.

Grassy and pilsnery hops, quite fresh smelling, the slightest hint of a skunkier note, but hardly noticable.

Pilsnery malt highlighted by some grassy herbaly hops. Lemon. Cheerios. Grass. Very crisp.

Medium-full mouthfeel, crisp carbonation.

Maybe I was just in the mood, but was really refreshing and drinkable and just hit the spot. Balanced and tasty. I'm impressed, I'll have to seek out more Big Bay.

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Photo of beagle75
4.32/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a becker glass.

A: Clear, pale golden color with two fingers of white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass and scattered solitary bubbles rise frequently in the column.

S: Powerfully grassy noble hops are allowed to spread expansively in the nose, fairly dripping wet herbaceous qualities. Malt is very light and bright, accommodating to the featured hops in a traditional way. The smell is clean, save for a trace of sulfur with questionable origins.

T: Begins off-dry, with refined pilsner malt that lends a breath of sweetness, as well as mild hop aromatics that hay. Acidity is moderate, adding an accent of brightness that joins other similar layers. Short-lived herbaceous aromatics are greener during the middle, as malt begins to crouch for a late pounce. The finish, while very mildly bitter, shows resonating husky malt that stays light but leaves a bold presence.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, balanced and lively on the palate, with brisk carbonation.

D/O: As an introduction to Big Bay Brewing Co. this beer makes an outstanding first impression. Hops are allowed to shine, while the beer remains balanced and even aggressively malty at times for such a typically-understated style. A Citra- or Amarillo-hopped version of this beer could be a Gumballhead-killer.

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Photo of tapman
3.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light dusting of conditioning yeast on the bottom of the bottle, but brew is very clear, a pale yellow, light straw color with a white head that subsides to a thin smattering of lacing.

Nose is earthy and bready; lots of hops for a Kolsch, but I ain't complaining! Mildly sweet pilsner malt aroma with some dry grass, straw notes.

A decent malt backbone, though the hops remind me of cheaper euro lagers. Taste is not clean in the finish as a thin skunkiness sticks momentarily to the palate. Bitterness is moderate and a little high for the style IMO, but I don't mind it too much.

Sticky, yet a little biting. Fits the style.

A decent Kolsch, but a little young tasting compared to traditional examples of the style.

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Photo of u2carew
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz longneck. Pick this up on a summer road trip through Milwaukee.
A) Pours with a two finger head - fluffy and white. Slowly settles. Clear straw colored body. Fairly sticky lacing on the drink down.
S) Grassy with notes of lemon and "wet dog".
T) At first not much flavor but as it moves towards the finish grainy notes and subtle citrus fruit come to the front. Nutty finish with some sweet malt and linger hops.
M) Crisp. Light bodied. Dry and with tannin in the finish and aftertaste.
O) A well crafted brew with true profile characteristics. I'd have another one.

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Photo of FightingBob
3.54/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Tall Stange glass
A: Clear like a Kolsch should be with a straw/yellow hue.
S: mild hop aroma, much less than expected for the style.
T: Very mild malt flavors with an almost fish/salmon-like after-taste.
M: thick and bright

I've had better Kolsch-style beers, the hop flavor is not overwhelming in line with the style, but I would like to have a more prominent hop aroma and bitterness.

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Wavehopper from Big Bay Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.