Schooner Fresh Hop Ale | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by augustgarage on 10-22-2009

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 73
Photo of smcolw
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Golden color with no haze. Lasting head that leaves several streaks of lace.

Light caramel and mild hop.

Mild start but it grows to be earthy and lightly hoppy. Good body that is eventuated by the low carbonation. Relatively short aftertaste.

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Photo of lujones
4/5  rDev -0.2%

At the new brewery in Mira Mar. Hops good but not overpowering. Medium body; medium malt. Being fresh hopped I expected more of a hop kick. Maybe the hops are losing their freshness. Still a very good beer.

 210 characters

Photo of Axnjxn
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

draft at sams in Durham.

dark copper, mild head. smell is HUGE on hops. taste is a completely different thing. huge fruity flavor and huge on hops, but no bitterness. like a zombie dust but fruity. amazing...light bodied, mild carbonation.

overall amazing.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The wifey picked up a growler of this for me today at the Linda Vista Road location ($14.00). Poured into a Modern Times branded pint glass.

Pours a fairly clean copper hue with golden edges when held up to a light source, thick fluffy tan head - good retention, nice lacing coating my glass from start to finish. Big Cascade hop aroma up front, light citrus, fruity esters and fresh milled grain. Flavor is extremely fresh and tasty - earthy bitter hoppiness coats the palate - very dank and resinous, black tea, milled grain, faint taffy and apricot on the back end. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied, finishing crisp and dry with a lingering bitterness from the hops. Overall an outstanding fresh hop ale that I look forward to having from Ballast Point each year - the 2013 batch is especially nice!

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Photo of Adamah_Adonai
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

The color was an opaque orange copper color with thick full head.

The aroma is hop forward with some nice pine and citrus.

The taste is balanced and surprising in comparison to the nose with some nice bitterness and sweetness throughout. Some light tropical sweetness hits you in the back of the throat at the very end (others said it was mango or passion fruit, seemed like apricot to me). Regardless an interesting finish to a very good beer.

The mouthfeel was a medium bodied and smooth.

Overall this beer was really good and surprising. The bar I had it at didn't label it as a fresh hop ale so I was much more excited about it after the first sip. Glad I had a chance to try it.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a clear golden hue with a finger of frothy white head. lots of visible carbonation bubbles shooting up the glass, nice lacing left behind. lots of grassy/pine aromas from the hops, some grapefruit, caramel.. really nice hop aromas. a delicious pale ale, lots of almost honey-like sweetness from the malt, slight breadyness to it as well.. the hops are very subtle but make their presence known. a very well balanced pale ale. lighter medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation.. slight creamy feel to it.

as far as pale ales go this is a really nice hoppy example. lots of west coast hop flavor, but not so aggressive as most usually are nowadays. very sweet malty backbone makes this very drinkable.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had: on tap at Brickwall Tavern, Asbury Park, NJ

Clear golden color with a frothy white head that retained well and left layers of lacing on the glass. Fresh, ethereal hops in the nose, citrus and floral. Light flavor, citrus pith, toasted grains, good balance of bready malts and citrus/floral hops with the hoppiness taking a slight edge in dominance; bitter but not over-bearing. Body was light-medium, crisp; overall a simple, easily-drinkable brew.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Brien's

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a thin of white head. No real retention, but looks good enough.

S: Lots of bright citrus notes with a bit I a
minty hint as well. Lots of grapefruit, orange and orange zest. Pretty awesome.

T: Doesn't quite match the smell, but a good beer, nonetheless. A nice hit of floral and citrus hips without too much bite. Some bready malts hold the hops back before they can get too intense. Definitely pretty drinkable. A solid wet hopped pale ale.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler pour straight from the brewery

A - Pretty damn clear with a dark yellow/golden orange color. Hardly any head on this one and no visible carbonation.

S - A nice balance between light pungent fresh hops and malty sweetness. The hops have an earthy resin aroma to them but not too heavy.

T - Definitely a wet/fresh hopped beer but being an APA keeps the balance in check. The hops are light earthy and just a hint of floral. The malts balance all the way through and carry a residual sweetness throughout.

M/O - Well balanced all the way through with a medium-light body and slightly under-carbed. Leaves a light sticky feel on the palate with a resin-like aftertaste. For an APA it's extremely well balanced with great earthtone flavors backed by malt sweetness.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed a pint of this on tap at the brewery a few days ago. This review is from notes.

Pours a slightly hazy glowing gold with a creamy pure white head that lasts forever. Loads of foam stick to the glass. The aroma is pure grapefruity Cascade hops. Wave after wave of sticky resinous hops in the taste. Mostly dense layers of grapefruit flesh and zest, but also floral and piney notes. The mouthfeel is thick and mouthcoating with hop oils. Carbonation is pretty busy but not prickly. The finish is long and hoppy, not so much bitter, but very leafy and aromatic.

This is the best fresh hop ale Ive ever tried. So fresh straight from the brewery, sublime hop aromas and flavors. Essentially flawless. Seek this out.

 719 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Gold and amber with a thin white head that leaves the glass messy with sticky spiderweb lace.

Pungent tropical aroma consisting of apricot, orange, and tangerine. This is sharply citric, and I really enjoy it. There's a bit of breadyness to balance.

Strong flavor of citrus (apricot and tangerine), balanced nicely with caramel and bready malts. Incredibly drinkable.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

A great fresh hop pale ale. I can't wait to have this again.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear light yellow color with a 1 inch foamy white head that fades to a film. Thin broken rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is pretty subdued but I get some tropical fruit and citrus zest aromas. However, the taste on this beer is amazing with lots of peach, apricot, mango, and tropical fruit flavors. A mild bitterness on the palate after each sip reminds you that this is a fresh hopped beer. This beer has a good carbonation level with a crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a great pale ale in taste even if the smell is somewhat lacking. This reminds me of how Sculpin used to be on tap back in the day with all of the juicy fruit flavors. I loved this one.

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Photo of mactrail
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sensationally spicy, clean, and crisp mouthful. Rich flavors, lots of malt, yet well balanced with a tart flavor. Plus the rich hops that give great fragrant spiciness. Such a pleasant restrained bitterness with a big hop aroma. Fragrant like a Kolsch but with some extra hops.

This one showed up on tap in San Diego at Sessions Public. It seems to be established as a Pale Ale, but to me it's more of a Pilsner. Great flavor in a lower alcohol beer.One of the tastiest, most drinkable "light" beers I've had this year.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


On tap at Home Brew Mart.

A: Translucent straw gold with a finger of white froth.

S: Aromatic orange, peach, tangerine, and grass with a dash of mint. There's a light breadiness quality with a graininess.

T: The flavor is mild, with orange and tangerine flesh accompanying a little grass. Malt is grainy and lightly sweet. Bitterness is smooth and tame.

M: Upper low body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry and sticky.

Overall. A smooth and easy drinking fresh hop pale ale with ample hop character. This grew on me.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at The Bruery Provisions,

A: Pours a medium gold with a frothy white head, good lace.

S: Strong fresh hop scent, lots of orange, tangerine, pineapple very nice, floral.

T: Very mild malt. Citrus dominated hop profile with a lot of orange. Tasty, a lot of complexity in the 4.5%

M: Light-bodied, thin finish. The beer is listed at 4.5%, and I've found when you try to cram so much hops into a low ABV brew problems arise. Carbonic acid comes out too much at the finish, I want to taste hops not seltzer water.

D: Aside from the mouthfeel problems this is a good beer. Nose is spectacular, good hop flavour all around.

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Photo of Bubba83
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally upping my review from SD Beer Week where I had this beer alongside the infamous Kegatron.

Appearance is a light golden organge with a bright white one finger width head. Tiny bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass with good lacing.

Lots of floral hop smell with some citrus and grassy aromas as well. There's also some slight breadiness along with grass, straw, and hay.

Tastes much like it smells, with lots of cascade type hop flavors upfront that bleed into some heavy bread which surprised me based on the 4.5%. Orange and lemon finish up.

Nice, bright, vibrant, and smooth.

Very drinkable, it's pretty damn sessionable yet has lots of flavor, Ballast Point seems to do no wrong.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Ballast Point Linda Vista 11/11/09. Part of the "Hapy Hump Day" event during San Diego Beer Week. ABV was listed as 4.5%

Pours a clear gold, topped with a 1/2 finger of tight bright-white head. Frothy and foamy look to both the retention and lace. Cascade hops just blow up in the nose, with an EXTREMELY floral, citric, (and a touch spicy) blast of flavor right up the nostrils. Luckily the malts that are present have a good bit of sweetness going on with them, which really helps pull this hoppy bouquet back a notch.

The taste is a bit more even, with a more mellow feeling to the mix of citrus and toasted bread. Fresh spicy bitterness really comes through in the backend of this, with a very drying finish to boot. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied, with an extremely easy and creamy feel going on with it. Very smooth in the mouth.

Nice! They've packed a surprising amount of flavor, into a sub 5% beer here. Fresh and pleasant hop flavors mixed with a super sessionable body, this would have me coming back again and again for a thirst quenching quaff.

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Photo of Overlord
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange. Smells like ... floral hops. Hmm...kind of a meek smell for a fresh hop ale.

Tastes like pine, with citrus, some toastiness, and nothing very special, really. I don't expect pale ales to be a flavor bomb, but this is a bit one note.

Not a bad beer. Decently put together. Just for what it costs, better offerings from this same brewery abound.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Ballast Point night at Blue Palms in Hollywood. Was told this was the "wet-hopped" version, though the menu stated this was the "dry-hopped," so I don't know. Served in a 20oz nonic.

Saffron liquid with a solid seashell draft head with average retention.

Aroma reveals a little DMS, but otherwise a mellow mix of malt and hops. Somewhat nondescript; a touch of honey.

Flavor is much better than the smell, with marshmallow, lightly toasted malt, ambrosia apples, and fruity, melon-like hops with a touch of cardamom in the finish. A rather delicate concoction but without relinquishing complexity.

Light bodied, with average carbonation - a very nice depth of flavor, though the DMS reduces the drinkability slightly...

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Schooner Fresh Hop Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 73 ratings.
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