Longfin Lager | Ballast Point Brewing Company

107 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Longfin LagerLongfin Lager

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Longfin Lager has become one of the go-to beers with the team at the brewery. A solidly balanced Helles that finishes clean with a hint of hops, it would easily fit in at any German beer garden. But we think it’s perfect for enjoying on the beach, the boat or anywhere else you can put an ice chest full of beer.

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 08-07-2006

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 107 | Ratings: 541
Photo of jamex
1.66/5  rDev -54.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a growler into a pint glass.

Light gold color, quickly fading head. Smells like a cheap malt liquor like you'd find in a 40oz. Tastes like Miller Genuine Draft. My friend and I were really disappointed. Ending up making red beers from it since it was so awful. When I got home I ended up drain pouring it. Hate to give a beer from BP such a low mark but it really was awful. Pretty sure my growler was clean so I don't get it. Maybe I just have to stay away from this style.

 487 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
2.32/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Enjoy by date of 4/19/13

Appearance - Pours a touch hazy, pale yellow with a white, 1/2 finger head. Sub-par retention. Spotty touches of lace around the glass.

Smell - Subtle esters and a slight sourness.

Taste - Touches faintly on a bready malt character, hints of grain, then a ghostly mild lemon finish. Not much.

Mouthfeel - Is it possible to be lighter than water? Yes, yes it is. Virtually no carbonation. Bone dry, making it a bit of a chore to swallow. Maybe the worst body I've ever experienced with a beer.

Overall - Lagers are light in nature, but this is ridiculous. Boring, relatively flavorless and utterly disappointing. Sorry Ballast Point, this beer sucks.

 680 characters

Photo of Troy-Hawaii
2.4/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bought a 12oz can from Don Quiojte $2.25. Very light golden color, watery taste with some sweetness, light mouthfeel, overall a good beer to drink on a hot day but not worth the premium price. I'll drink it if offered, but would not buy it unless price drops.

 261 characters

Photo of BigGeorge860
2.44/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

It's decent. It's a decent lager. Dollar for dollar, of course, I'd take this over any adjunct any day...but when you put that $10 tag on a sixes of cans, I dunno.

This one simply doesn't have much character. I agree with another reviewer who noted the lack of crispness for the style.

 287 characters

Photo of emerge077
2.64/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Label dated: "LF 60 14150"
Which could be May 2014, almost a year old.

I was looking forward to this but unfortunately the bottle I bought was infected.

Pale pastel yellow, excessive foam, no lacing. Cloudy with ever present carbonation.

Aroma is minerally and grassy, wet stone and grains.
Taste is moderately tart, which was unexpected. Grainy and bland, astringent.
Feels strange with a dry mealy aftertaste. Overall not a good experience. Might try on tap, but will likely avoid the bottles in the future.

 514 characters

Photo of mobrado
2.68/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Although it was fresh from the can, the smell was unpleasant, bordering on rotten. Taste didn't remind me of an actual Munich Helles. Feel lacked crispness. It didn't invite me to keep on drinking, which is what I expect from a beer like this.

For a SoCal lager, Golden Road's 329 is much better. As for Ballast Point-- their Kölsch ("Pale Ale") and their Witbier ("Wahoo") are MUCH better if you're looking for something light and refreshing. This is the first beer of theirs that I didn't admire.

 501 characters

Photo of seedyone
2.75/5  rDev -24%

04/27/13 At Beer Authority, NYC. Just a taste. Looking for something crisp & refreshing & this was not it. A bit too much linger & lacked crispness. Worth another look in a different mode.

 188 characters

Photo of JustLikeMyDad
2.82/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

pours into a mug, pours a light golden color with no foam head.

Smells slightly skunky with a mild hops note to it.

Tastes mildy skunky like a euro pale lager with a subtle hops flavor int he aftertaste.

Mild carbonation with a crisp clean feel that drinks easy.

Overall pleasant, not not bad ont he tongue. Easy to drink. Easy to enjoy.

 341 characters

Photo of mactrail
2.88/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Kind of a bland and malt-liqourish flavored brew. On tap at Mitch's Seafood by the sport-fishing piers.

Pours a clear amber with a modest head in the big 22 oz glass. More of the club soda taste. Not as crisp as I'd like in a lighter lager, but not very malty either. Drinkable but even less interesting than many industrial lagers. A slight tanginess is about the best I can say for it, and it still has that kind of sweet nearly insipid taste. An earthy tough to the not very bitter hops. I would hope for a good San Diego style lager from somebody around here to counteract all the over-hyped IPAs. However,the closest I can come to a favorite local lager is Craftsman in Pasadena.

 685 characters

Photo of corby112
2.99/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very pale and very clear light golden yellow color that is almost as clear and light as water. Looks like a very diluted ginger ale. Fizzy white head that quickly dissipates into a very thin ring. I wanted to use words like urine to describe the appearance but thought better of it. I wish that I could give it less than a 1.0.

Pilsner malt aroma with subtle light crisp fruits;apple and pear, some bready yeast and subtle hops. Very bland.

Crisp medium body that is slightly spiced with some nice bready yeast, pilsner malt crisp light fruit and subtle hops. I'm shocked at the flavor and complexity of this beer after how awful it looked and bland it smelled. This is a pleasant surprise. Spice notes up front with clean crisp apple and pear notes followed by some slightly earthy straw notes. Slightly watered down with a subtle hoppy finish.

 855 characters

Photo of tone77
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Thanks to woodychandler for yet another canned beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a yellow color with a 1 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts, a touch of sweetness to it. Taste is light and mild, malts, a bit of hops at the finish, not exactly bursting with flavor. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a mediocre beer.

 324 characters

Photo of JackieTH
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very pale yellow with bone white foam. Decent lacing. Smells of crackers, yeast, lemon. Tastes lightly skunky, grain, yeast, lemon. Watery light body with moderate carbonation. Very simple beer, I've had better crafted lagers. I'll drink it, but I won't buy it again.

 267 characters

Photo of xnicknj
3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at khyber in philly

Pours a crystal clear pale golden color with a layer of white head on top. Fades out into a few wisps of film, leaving a couple spots of lacing on the glass.

Bready and grainy in the nose with some hints of straw and grass. Very faint notion of hops and sweetness.

Snap of floral and grassy notes up front. Grainy with some straw hints and a thinner biscuit-like malt backbone. Touch of citrus with light sweetness. Finishes crisp and a little dry.

Lighter medium body, decent carbonation, crisp on the tongue. Not a ton of exciting flavor going on here - not something I'd drink again.

 620 characters

Photo of bashiba
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured a straw pale yellow. very thin white head.

The smell is very light and a touch grassy.

The flavor is light and grainy with a touch of noble hops in the finish, a bit of citrus and fresh cut grass.

The mouthfeel is light with medium carbonation.

Nothing bad, but on the boring and bland side for a brewery as good as ballast point.

 341 characters

Photo of GarrettB
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

January 20th, 2014 - Longfin Lager is easy to spot in San Diego year round, but it seems to be most appreciated during the hotter months. Of course, all months are appropriate for a beer of this weight in San Diego, so January doesn't seem too, too weird. It pours like many other lagers, donning a thick white head with bubbles big and small, and underneath a slightly hazy body - just a bit of fog - in a dandelion yellow body. The aroma is dry, but with a single sweet scent, like a concentrated honey flavor. The mouthfeel is intensely active, and in the mid-taste it sweeps aside to reveal that honey touch again. This lasts through a long aftertaste, where the last popping bubbles mingle with a waning honey flavor. Broadly, I like the balance here, but that honey note is a bit sweet, and appears a bit candied in places. But that might be easier to overlook after a day walking along the boardwalk, watching friends on Facebook kvetch about snowstorms, blizzards and slush.

 982 characters

Photo of ToriBug13
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Ballast Point Brewing Longfin Lager

A- Pale straw color- I think it’s clear, but it appears cloudy because of temperature. There was some head, but it quickly dissipated.

S- My biggest pet peeve of lagers across the board “it smells like beer,” meaning there is no distinctive or discerning smell. It just smells like cheap boozy Budweiser. Right now I’m beginning to wonder if maybe this sample was old. I looked for a date, but didn’t see one. This just does not seem like something from Ballast Point, usually they’re amazing.

T- So disappointed in this taste. It tastes like high end Budweiser, just as it smelled. Crisp, light, refreshing, sure. But boring. Not bad, just boring. I keep looking for anything to make it unique or special, but nothing. So luckily, tonight I’m taking home one of their new cans of the Longfin, hopefully I am proven wrong and my sample was just old. I promise to re-review this beer because I love the brewery so much. They definitely need another shot.

 1,006 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3.19/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

12oz can poured into a shaker pint.

Pale straw with 2 fingers of fizzy, white head. The head retention is decent enough. Excellent clarity and moderate carbonation.

Spent grains, lemon and skunk.

Spent grains with a little bit of breadiness. Hints of lemongrass that add a touch of bitterness. It does have a skunk yeast character to it similar to Budweiser. Luckily this less apparent than in was in the nose.

Medium-light bodied, smooth, crisp and clean.

Very clean and smooth. Would be a good summer beer but I've have plenty of better lagers.

 591 characters

Photo of MNJR
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A decent beer, but not excellent for the style. There is a musty skunk flavor in the background - it isn't pronounced but it is there and really detracts from enjoying this beer. Too bready and lacking the clean crispness this style is renowned for. A rare dud from Ballast Point.

 283 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.22/5  rDev -11%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz can into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a clear straw color. The head is a finger high and white in shade. Retention is quite bad, though. There isn't any lacing on the glass, though. (2.75)

Smell: Smells like a helles to me - albeit with a bit more noble hopping. The bubblegum and cotton candy I usually pick up in the style is also there. Decent (and very style-appropriate), though there's a bit too much cardboard for my liking. (3.25)

Taste: It opens up with malty sweetness - think sugar cookie. Gentle hopping finishes it off, along with a touch of diacetyl. It's dead simple, but man does it hit the spot. This beer is spectacularly balanced (just like the best German examples!) (3.25)

Mouthfeel: This isn't as bone-dry as a pilsner, but its creamy feel makes up for it. While not as refreshing as an aforementioned pilsner, it still goes down very easily thanks to vibrant carbonation. (3.25)

Overall: To me, a helles is a step or two below pilsners on the lager totem pole. This, though, hits the spot nicely, thanks to its balance of hop dryness and malt sweetness. And it's a fantastic BMC substitute, to boot! (3.25)

3.22/5: A decent summer beer

 1,167 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Undated, recently purchased, 12 oz bottle served in a lager glass. Pours very light with a generous white head and lots of visible carbonation.

The carbonation is medium-high and feels surprisingly soft. Light body.
They must use a similar hop load to Heineken because it has a similar flavor profile, including a hint of skunk in the aroma and aftertaste. Aroma is also pilsner-like, with a stronger hop note than found in the flavor.

O: Aside from the feel, this is a remarkably average lager. Served its purpose, nonetheless. being thirst-quenching and refreshing on this first hot day of summer.

 604 characters

Photo of flyingpig
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

355ml Can from BottleDog, Glasgow (£3):
Very ordinary from Ballast Point to be honest, it was a very clean & crisp beer but there wasn't a whole lot of flavour really. I got some grassy hops, hay & corn with some bread malts but nothing grabbed me or made me want to try this one again which was disappointing given how good some of the brewery's other beers are.

 364 characters

Photo of malvrich
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%

12 oz. brown bottle into a Foothills glass.
No BB date found.
Bottle states 4.5% ABV.
A: Clear straw color with the slightest haze. Half finger of loose head. Good lacing but it does not last and goes down to only a small collar around the glass.

S: Tart herbs and dough, mostly.

T: Crackers/doughy malt flavors with a tart herbal hop flavor finding its way through later, along with a bit of a sweetish roundness as the beer warms. Crisp, clean and bitter. Quite good.

M: A bit on the stiff side of light. A good amount of bubble tingle on the tongue. Minimal hops stickiness, a bit wet maybe and very clean. Maybe this beer's best quality.

O: Had high hopes for Longfin but found it good though hardly great. I appreciate everything about this lager, including its low ABV. It all says "quality" but nothing was found truly exceptional. A good brew but stupid expensive. At $12/6, I've likely had my last B.P. Longfin.

 925 characters

Photo of McStagger
3.29/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Craft...lager? Yes, please.

A: Looks about like a BMC. Carbonation is moderate. Bright bleach white fizzy head. Rapid dissipation. Slightly darker than straw but not quite to gold.

S: Spicy hoppiness. Lemon zest, a little salty smelling, herbal notes. Malt is crackery and ever so slightly sweet.

T: Big splurge of graininess in the onfront. This carries through the palate. Some mild spiciness from the hops, along with a bit of lemon oil and mildly sulfuric compounds, green grape. Finishes bone dry.

M: A little creamier than I remember Helles lagers being. Malt plays a bit more on the palate. Carbonation is neither invigorating or lively.

O: Pretty decent. Very grain dominant in the flavor department. Smells spot on for Helles, though. Mouthfeel is slightly too full and it is somewhat undercarbonated. Poor by Ballast Point's standards.

 855 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Longfin came to me looking like a american adjunct, bright white gold, yellow colored, no head. No lace.

S- Light grain, light hops, a solid malt smell, all in all light.

T- Sweet malt is apparent and some corn. Hops are minimal but make the slightest dent. Kind of has a helles vibe.

M- Goes down smooth, probably this beers best feature. Im liking the light feel and not the over the top carb causing over crispness, fizz if you will.

D- Im sure the ABV is low and i finished my pint with ease, but I wont be going back for it anymore, not my style I guess.

 572 characters

Photo of champ103
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Blind Pig in Champaign, IL

A: Pours a clear straw yellow color. A two finger white head forms. The head recedes after a minute, and leaves a bit of patchy lace.
S: Toasted malts and cereal grains. A very light sweetness in the nose. Not much else.
T: Light toasted malts. Cereal grains with a bit of sweetness. That is about it. Not much else here.
M/D: A light to medium body. Moderate carbonation, and fairly dry. Not hard to drink, but not enough here to make me come back for more.

Not bad, though I have had much better lagers. Several made at the Blind Pig Brewery itself. Nothing more than a slightly above average lager. Good for an intro into better examples of the style.

 697 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Longfin Lager from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.62 out of 5 based on 541 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.