Reef Rye Brown Ale | Ballast Point Brewing Company

very good
21 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HopHead84 on 04-13-2009

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Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 77
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap for the 2nd Anniversary event at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and rye aromas. Taste is of malt, rye, caramel, and some slight pepper flavors. There is a mild herbal bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a better taste than smell.

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Photo of oberon
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Mellow in Greensboro.Poured nto a standard pint an amber tinged chesnut brown with a thinner quick to fade off white head.Caramel malts mixed with sharp spicy rye,quite a mix of sweet and sour/spice.Sweet caramle/biscuit,light roast and a tinge of lactic sharp rye in the finish.Quite a combination for a brown ale,it has mild sweetness and roast with a bit of a surprise with spicy rye in the finish,I liked it.

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Photo of chinchill
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Ballast Point Tasting Room and Kitchen.

Clear, dark red-brown with a good tan head. Decent lacing

Feel: near medium body; Soft, medium carbonation.

Smell: Nice mix of hops that is about equally fruity and herbal.

Taste: this is a rathe hoppy brown ale, although some of the spicines no doubt comes from the "rye and coriander".

O: a refined spiced brown.

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Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ O'Briens pub (San Diego, CA) on 11/14/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear, deep amber, with a finger of smooth off-white head. This stays thin but creamy, leaving some strong looking thick lacing behind. The rye is really out there in the aroma, with strong notes of toasted caramel malts and extra spicy qualities about it. Floral and citric hops round this out.

The taste is sweet and bready, with a nice sharp spiciness to it. Tight hops gives that a firm bitterness that runs the whole way through. Finishes spicy and drying. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a strong prickly feel from the hops, rye, and additional spicing in this.

Another really solid entry here from Ballast Point. Good bit of rye character is here, with plenty of spice from it and the extra coriander that was present. Flavorful and very easy drinking, this was some good stuff.

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Photo of mactrail
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A sweet intensity that is really pleasant if you're not expecting the big hops. I keep thinking chocolate. But there are some intriguing hops here, and it's another "what hop is that." Aromatic but woody, even mushroomy. Like it was aged in a barrel.

Nice head on the ruby-brown ale. Interesting beer with a mouthful of malt and totally drinkable.

The bartender at Sessions Public in San Diego said it was like Hop Rod Rye, only better. But it's not really the same style, certainly way less hoppy. A better comparison would be with the Karl Strauss Full Suit Belgian brown.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a Nonic of this at Al's of Hampden on 12/10.

A dark bronze, translucent cocoa color with thin tan cap and tiny bead, there is a speckling of lace left on the glass. The smell of toasted grain and caramel malt is moderate with subtle spice whether from the yeast or malt I am not sure -slightly earthy and woody aromas. The feel is dry and toasted with slightly creamy middle and gently bittered with a moderately carbonated mouthfeel.

The taste has very good malt flavor with mild hop accent and balance flavors overall with slight spice in the taste. The yeast gives a creaminess to the flavor with bready tinges and mild tang, the dry toasted notes are dominant overall. The drinkability for this ale is good, a pretty decent brown ale with some rye flavor, but could possibly use a boost from the hops or not, depends on taste- it comes off slightly one note, but enjoyable overall.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber, ruby brown color with a light khaki tan head forming thick. Aroma has caramel malts with earthy citrus hop components coming forth. A nice roasted malt profile with spicy rye in the forefront. Flavor has some semi sweet notes with ample hopping especially for the style, citrus notes with spicy rye pair well and becomes reminiscient of a lighter Hop Rod Rye or heavier Red's Rye. Mouthfeel was medium bodied mellow even carbonation carries the beer so well...overall incredible session beer from the West Coast that I'm proud to procure in the Burgh at Smokin' Joe's I believe.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at the brewery, this brew was served in a pint glass. The beer was a caramel-brown coloring with a thin ring of head around the glass. The aromas were all sweet, and included nutty, dark cherry, and dark caramel characteristics. Mid-round bodied, the beer had nutty flavors, but also some strong vanilla notes similar to chewing on a whiskey barrel, which was good for my wife and I. There was a tartness to the finish, with nutty and sweet aftertaste. The body was slightly dry and light for the style, but it carried the flavors well. Good, unique brew.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ballast Point : Reef Rye Brown

Pours a medium brown color, slight off white head. Aroma of nutty, roasted malts and some hops. In the taste, nice cocoa flavor, nuts, mild caramel and roast flavors. Hops are tame with just a mild herbal pineyness. More chocolate, nutty and biscuit flavors last into the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and creamy. Overall, I found this to be a tasty, sessionable brown ale. Would certainly have again.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


10oz on cask at Ballast Point Old Grove. Brown ale brewed with 27% flakes rye and dry hopped with coriander. 

A: Murky brown with a reddish orange tinge and a creamy beige head.

S: Toasted and bready with caramel, chocolate, and some coriander. Rye is evident and there's an earthiness and a little orange.

T: Lightly sweet up front but quickly dries out. Toasted and bready with notable rye and a subtle spiciness. Chocolate and caramel are both evident, and spiciness increases in the finish which displays a lower moderate bitterness with earth, citrus, and a little alcohol. Orange lingers on the palate for some time.

M: Medium in body with lower moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and creamy.

Overall: A nice rye Brown Ale.

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Photo of maximum12
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

Review live from Petco Park between innings. On tap from th Ballast Point tasting room.

Pour is reddish brown, filmy. The nose runs of light sweet malts and vague spices. Quiet.

Reef Rye tickles my rye need. More brown though. Nice maltiness is immediately jumped by a big mouthful of spicy rye.Nutty, bit of earthiness, almost woody, mid palate. Spicy rye starts to make the lips tingle, and mounts the finish vigorously.

Definitely grew on me as it warmed. Not in the stratosphere of their hoppy offerings, but a good, solid brew.

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Photo of Brenden
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Looking very much a rich cherry wood sort of color, it's about medium brown but definitely so along with deep, shining red highlights. The head is creamy, a light brown cap just taller than one finger that remains that way for a good while. The lacing shows impressive stick and high volume on the walls of the glass.
The rye impresses early, right out in the aroma with earthy spiciness beneath a heavy, bready malt strong enough to hold it. There's a hint of roast and a bit of a leafy hops addition for good balance.
Rye comes up front and stays the main event for the long haul, and this beer has me thinking maybe a brown ale is the perfect base beer to showcase what rye has to offer. Along with earth and spice, it gets a bit nutty and has a light sweetness of cocoa. A hint of caramel joins the bready malt base on the tongue. All in all it's delicious, really drinkable, and easy to put back.
The body is medium with a low to moderate carbonation holding steady. Smoothness and crispness are even, both working well in the feel of this beer.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing, mjyoung!

Pours a deep, clear, raisin brown with a faint bubbly collar of a head. Rye, red grapes, caramel and a hint of hop and milk chocolate come through. The mouth is clean with a medium-thin body and bubbly carbonation. A tad watery but easy to drink. I thought the rye was a bit low, and this beer could have used more flavor all around, but what was there was good and I enjoyed the glass I had. Thanks Matt.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On one of the handpulls at Al's of Hampden on 12/9/10. Dry hopped with Willamette and Palisade hops.

A - Emerged from the handpull as a clear, coppery bronze liquid with deep amber hues and a finger's width of creamy tan foam that reduced to a thin film but yielded lots of stringy lace.

S - Spicy rye presence with a hint of chocolate and a mild leafy, green herbal tea-like hop character, the latter of which really opened up as the liquid reached room temperature.

T - Spicy rye malt presence up front with a hint of chocolate in the middle. Finishes with a moderate earthy, herbal tea-like hop bite with a faint catbox character.

M - Light bodied for a brown ale with a smooth, albeit a tad thin, texture. Finishes with moderate bitterness on the palate.

D - I likes me a hoppy brown ale... hoppy anything, really. This one was nice and dry with a moderate bitterness. While it could have benefitted from a more full-bodied mouthfeel, this was a solid effort.

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Photo of Deuane
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On the hand pull at Al's of Hampden.

A-Slightly hazed dark brown tinted copper, with a medium light tan head that reduced to a thin cap and left thick lacing.

S-Spicy rye notes and sweet toasted caramel malts up front with a touch of earthy citrus in the background. The aroma is pleasant but rather light.

T-Spicy, sweet and chewy with a good biting hop kick along with the rye zing gives this one a pleasant sharpness.

M-Medium bodied, sharp and biting with good lingering flavour and bitterness.

D-Really nice stuff and with a fairly low ABV this one is easy to enjoy multiple times over.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled this one on tap at the Ballast Point Brewery/Home Brew Mart in San Diego. Poured a medium reddish-brown color with a nice off-white head. Aromas of light hops, chocolate, nuts and pumpernickel. On the palate, this one is medium bodied, with flavors of nuts, pumpernickel, chocolate and a light background hop note.

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Photo of charlzm
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, Ca on March 14th, 2011.

Clear, caramel colored affair in the glass crowned by an incredibly smooth one-finger off-white head composed of very tiny and uniform bubbles. Lovely.

Aroma is strong rye.

Lots of rye flavor; the most I have ever tasted in a beer. Low bitterness, mostly notable at the finish. And that's about it for flavor.

Evaporative finish that just vanishes right off the tongue. Very easy to drink. if this is to be taken as a brown ale, however, it is lacking in the traditional flavors.

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Photo of Gatch
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Boulders on Broadway in Tempe, AZ.

A: Beautiful ruby red with shades of burnt sienna (oh yeah). Tan head is minimal and builds quickly while fading quickly. Not much lace or retention.

S: Amazing floral smack in the face. Lightly toasted malt and rye give it some sweetness, too.

T: Great rye flavor up front. Earthy, roasty, smoky. Dry but crisp and refreshing.

M: A little spicy with some good carbonation.

O: Fantastic rye beer. One of the best I've had. Try this!

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Photo of StormKing47
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed via the handy at Al's of Hampden. Damn the Mecca of beer in South Central PA. Let's investigate this one...

A- A very interesting dark brown color that has a slight tan/copper hue. Very interesting, but not very appealing to me. Appears a bit thin and not too interesting. There is a nice amount of carb leading to the off white fluffy head courtesy of the dry hopping.

S- Right away very underwhelming for a dry hopped firkin beer. I am picking up some nice pepper and spice from the rye with an abundance of earthy hops accompanied with a slight touch of citrus hops, a faint grapefruit smell. As further warming continues I can pick up the malty sweetness in the form of caramel. Overall not bad, but not the best I've smelled.

T- Instantly greeted with the peppery zest of the rye and it's enjoyable, but in my opinion the hops are somewhat messy. I am getting a nice citrus taste with a fair caramel sweet finish. Not overwhelming, but nice and enjoyable.

M- Has a nice, somewhat chewiness to it with a good coating that I enjoy, but there just isn't too much there. It becomes a little old after awhile to the point of almost
watery at the end of the glass.

D- It's a nice brown ale with a decent hop bite, but just not for me. The low abv makes it right near the session border. If your into browns with a rye twist give it a shot. The dry hopping and rye save this one from being bad.

I expect more from these guys, hopefully next time.

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Photo of mschantz
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at BP Miramar. Pours a nice clear reddish brown with a finger of head. Smell is just a bit grainy with little else happening. Flavor is that of a light rye bread with just a touch of honey. The sweetness is nicely balanced with the hops. Clean and pleasant finish on this beer.

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Photo of davexisxrabid
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Ballast Point Brewing on Old Grove Rd.

Nice dark brown color with an off white head that sort of fizzled down after a bit. Not much lacing on the glass.

Good aroma of caramel malts, some sweetness (maybe fig, hard to tell) and a slight floral hop aroma.

Bold semi-sweet, semi-spiced malts hit the tounge and wont let go. Some nutmeg and coriander mix in the good smooth caramel flavor of this brown ale. Light hop bitterness at the end balancing this out nicely.

Pretty full-bodied for a brown but a low enough abv to be able to chug away all day. Adequate carbonation make this beer feel light on the taste buds.

Excellent drinkability: good flavor, not too filling, and just the right amount of carbonation and aftertaste make this beer a keeper! Too bad Ballast Point is only doing growler fills right now. If this stuff was bottled, I wouldn've bought them out!

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Reef Rye Brown Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 77 ratings.
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