Reef Rye Brown Ale | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Very Good
78 Ratings

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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 78 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of gshackles
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of theempire
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of scottfrie
3.83/5  rDev 0%
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.

 435 characters

Photo of BoRaeCho
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of sparrowem
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of teleman
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
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 BlueFeetAndBeer
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

 585 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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 oberon
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
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 ineva
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of Gatch
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
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!

 482 characters

Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Popp24
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of imyourhero21
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of mactrail
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
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 emmasdad
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

 322 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

 569 characters

Photo of charlzm
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

 549 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
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 StormKing47
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

 1,461 characters

Photo of ffejherb
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
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 Slatetank
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
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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Reef Rye Brown Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 78 ratings