California Kölsch | Ballast Point Brewing Company

BA SCORE
81
good
1,339 Ratings
California KölschCalifornia Kölsch
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
ballastpoint.com

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Yellowtail Pale Ale and Pale Ale The Original.

There's no wonder why our Pale Ale is so popular--it is skillfully crafted in the style of the Kolsch beers of Cologne, Germany. We've chosen German hops for aroma, and rounded out the recipe with a blend of American and German malts.

While it is very much like a pilsner, our Pale Ale is fermented at ale temperatures, giving it a subdued fruitiness--a perfect compliment to the crispness of the wheat and maltiness of the Munich malt. If you like a lighter brew but also like the complexity of craft beers, then our Pale Ale is for you.

23 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-26-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,339
Reviews:
423
Avg:
3.55
pDev:
13.52%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
282
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,339 |  Reviews: 423
Photo of KoG
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

Photo of calmond72
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

Photo of jaredkc889
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

Photo of cubixrube
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

Photo of gleemonger
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

Photo of joe1013
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

Photo of OleJohnnieAle
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

Photo of Dmann
4.45/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a yard of this at O'Hungry's in Old Town yesterday and was very impressed. It poured a nice medium yellow color with a small white head that left some lace down the glass. The smell was very refreshing with a crisp hop scent. The flavor was equally as smoothe and crisp with a slight hop kick that was more balanced towards the slighty spicy malt profile. This is a great session beer and just goes to show that you can make a very light and drinkable beer and still have a great flavor.

 491 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.45/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one pours into my Sam Adam's 16 oz. glass a honey-golden color, clear and crisp with seemingly perfect carbonation. a little, lacy white crown rises shallow sticks around nicely.

This one has a very aromatic nose for the style. Sweet, clover honey in the clean and wheatie scented malt. Very earthy and herbal scented German hops, green veggies and slightly musty.

This one is a VERY crisp, very clean and refreshing semi-sweet malt that has a subtle clover-honey current with a dry- wheat and herbal hop balance. Yummy and amazingly drinkable.

 554 characters

Photo of Seanibus
4.45/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a tasty, satisfying brew, true to its Kolsch inspiration.

Pours a radiant yellow with a lovely white head and trailers of carbonation. The aroma is strong and honey-like. The flavor is grainy, smooth, and honeyish with gentle, mouth-bracing hops. It has a thin, pleasant mouthfeel.

This is a near perfect beer when you are in the mood for a light, refreshing ale with some character.

 393 characters

Photo of MichaelBigbone
4.43/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The store by me now has ballast point brews in cans.

This beer is one of the best pale ales I've ever had. I thought I just liked the sculpin, but after having them all can admit that ballast point is a world class American craft brewery. I love the classic beers, and quality.

Compare this to Blue Heron (Mendocino), Mirror Pond (deschutes) ...but still so unique and great malt but balanced. Actually probably not appropriate to try to compare .

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Photo of r12ax7
4.37/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a relatively bitter pale ale, great if your a hop head and if you like Ballast Point's Big Eye IPA. This beer was very crisp and refreshing but certainly flavorful; as perfect for a warm summer day as a snowy day in January. This is the kind of beer I could easily drink all day.

 287 characters

Photo of shand
4.35/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

I'm sure lots of people pick this up looking for an APA and are disappointed. I picked this up looking for a good Kolsch, I hope it doesn't let me down. It looks good, it's got the golden body, high carbonation, and white head that are indicative of the style. The aroma is nice and crisp, with bready malts, zesty hops, and some light citrus aspects. The taste is also fantastic, it's a nearly perfect Kolsch style. It's got nice crisp, noble hoppy sort of taste at first, that seamlessly crosses over to a wheat and bread finish. The mouthfeel is great, it's perfectly crisp. The drinkability is very good. It's a great Kolsch. A really great Kolsch. No idea why it took me so long to give this a try ... maybe finally figuring out how to read Ballast Point's date codes so I could get a fresh bottle was the kick I needed.

 883 characters

Photo of MTYBTY5000
4.34/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Easy drinker. Flavorful and mellow.

35 characters

Photo of sj660
4.34/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A thick white foam that retains and leaves laces over a yellow clear (but not perfectly so) liquid. Smells softly of fruit, but otherwise clean. The flavor is grainy, slightly sweet, low bitterness on finish and a bit of spice. The flavors are smooth.

Lower carbonation despite huge head, lighter body, very slight pucker.

Why this is called a "pale ale" I haven't a clue. If you're making craft brews, beer snobs are your audience. Tell us it's a Kölsch! Drinks easy and has a surprising complexity of flavor without all the bitterness. Definitely fills a niche.

 567 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
4.33/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured an ever so slightly cloudy light, pale amber with a med head and tiny bubbles whitch seemed perfect for this style.
Aroma is sweetly malt with a very faint citrus.
Mouthfeel is crisp from the carbonation.
Taste is first sweet malts, then sharp hops, followed with a slightly banana and lemon taste. Actually, much more balanced than it sounds. The flavor of this brew is very complex, but pleasingly so.
Aftertaste is drying hops with a lingering pleasant bitterness.
Although this probably has more of a hops signature than is usually found in this style, I found it extremely refreshing and qualfable.
I could drink these all summer long
NOTE: I just read up a little on Yellowtale brewing from their web site and found that they use 5% wheat in this beer...THAT is the crispness I was tasting...there is definately a bread thing going on in the taste and aftertaste. Wonderful!

 894 characters

Photo of seanh99
4.33/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Server from 12 oz bottle into Sam Adams Glass
A: Golden/ Dark yellow, very clear, Off White head with medium bubbles. Head disipated fairly quickly
S: Floral, malty and a little fruitiness in the background, no real hop scent.
T: Delicious, a bit sweet, simple bit of malt and some esters from the yeast with the hop bitterness being,slight and very late.
M: Aquious, crisp. refreshing.
D: This is a great drinker, I would love to sit out on the patio or out by someones pool and drink these all afternoon.

The taste on this is hard for me to describe other than to say it tastes like "really good beer".

I had this for the first time at the ACBF and when out and spent the $12.50 for six. I drank them all this weekend. I will have more in my fridge tomorrow afternoon.
I think I like Kölsch

 797 characters

Photo of Pittsburgh
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up on a whim the other day, and I am glad I did.

Pours a nice golden brown, a bit darker than other pale ales I have had, has a bit more flavor as well. Seems a bit thicker than others, but still has the bitterness necessary.

Very smooth and clean with a hint of lemon/citrus, nice and easy drinking as well, goes down smooth, could be a perfect version of a summer beer for me, it probably does skew my review a bit that its 85 and humid and this is a post 6 hour test review, but I am really feeling this beer right now.

I may come back for a follow up later to make sure I am not overly high on this, but I like the flavor on this pale ale, I think it has a little more flavor than others I've had and I like what they've done with it.

I am definitely getting this again.

 790 characters

Photo of Onenote81
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear gold with a good-sized 2-finger head on top. Decent retention leaves some pretty lacing spots and rings. Smells of grassy hops, and buttery grains.

The mouth is crisp with a medium-high amount of carbonation. Flavor is of buttered biscuits finished with a sharp hop bite. This is one of the more refreshing beers I've had this summer. This will be a regular for barbecues and ballgames.

 411 characters

Photo of rcatalano
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of milwaukee512
4.29/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pretty good for a Kolsch-style beer, but in my opinion this style of beer is just boring. Easily drinkable, with nice carbonation and a pleasant taste, but nothing that jumps out. I was expecting more from B.P., but I guess this is just how Kolsch beers are.

 260 characters

Photo of Acamusm
4.28/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jamesjmacdonald
4.28/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.27/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium clear yellow with a nice foamy head that left a little lace.

Good bready and light malt aromas, with a bit of yeast in the mix.

BIg surprise with the level of sweet malt and light fruit in this one (for a Kolsch). Nice, complex shift in flavors with each sip. Light bready flavor, then some bitter hop leaf, then some sweet maltiness and light fruit, turning to a dry end. What more could you ask?

Medium body, to medium-light. This was a bomber from around the grill, and it was perfect. Great drinkable summer beer. Went down extremely easy, and had no harsh edges. Great balance between the sweet and dry. WTF is wrong with me. I'vbe been staring at this beer on the shelves for abou a year before finally pulling the trigger and buying it yesterday. Well worth it. I will definitely explore other offerings from these guys. Buy this.

 855 characters

Photo of breadwinner
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm not sure I get the low scores either, other than frustrations over A) it's actually a kolsch-style ale, not a pale ale and/or B) it's not a big old hop bomb of a beer. Regardless, I thought this was clean and delicious and the description from the brewer incredibly apt -- "...our Pale Ale is fermented at ale temperatures, giving it a subdued fruitiness--a perfect compliment to the crispness of the wheat and maltiness of the Munich malt." The German hops natural spice and grassiness work well with that understated citrus fruit note from the ale yeast, but never cover up a clean malt base. Will be reaching for this one very often indeed this summer.

 659 characters

California Kölsch from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.55 out of 5 based on 1,339 ratings.
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