California Kölsch | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
81
good
375 Reviews
California KölschCalifornia Kölsch
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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
Reviews:
375
Ratings:
1,052
Avg:
3.54
pDev:
24.01%
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
179
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 375 | Ratings: 1,052
Photo of Floydster
3.21/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle purchased from Cooke's in El Segundo for about four dollars, split with my friend last night, poured into a pint glass

A-Golden yellow color, can see right through this bad boy, one inch foamy white head, did not stick around for long, not much retention or lacing

S-A bit skunky surprisingly, grassy accents, straw and hay, dry hoppiness, some slightly bready malt, all aromas are weak and barely distinguishable

T-This beer was incredibly light and it was hard not to drink really fast, started off with some faint hops, some malt in the middle but not a very noticeable amount, more hops in the finish, scary how easy this stuff went down, especially as it warmed, taste faded mostly by the end but still not bad, would have liked to have more of an aroma and flavor to make this beer stand out, although it never did taste bad, just not too complex

M-Crisp, slightly dry, and slick mouthfeel, thirst quenching, thin body, large amount of carbonation, taste did not last long

D-Could drink a lot of this stuff mainly because it is so light and the ABV is below five, of course there is no booze, would make a nice session, smooth and crisp at the same time

Surprisingly had never tasted this one until yesterday, not one of Ballast Point's best by any means but not bad for its style, might drink again, especially in the summer time, worth trying

 1,372 characters

Photo of orangemoustache
3.21/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yellowtail pours a tarnished gold with a bubbly bleach white head that retains pretty well,but leaves very little lacing as it recedes to a paper thin covering. The nose seems a bit understated and one dimensional,grainy,with the slightest amount of floral hops. Not realizing that this was a Kolsch style PA I thought it was a bit underpowered in the hop department. Upon reading the label and realizing the style being attempted I find this to be quite nice and balanced. A touch of grainy lightly toasted malt is backed up by an equal balance of earthy,grassy hops. Subtle lemon and spice. A slightly slick mouthfeel followed by dry,prickly cabonation and a slightly bitter finish. Yellowtail Pale Ale was not what I expected,it is balanced and very drinkable.

 763 characters

Photo of DrunkenMaster
3.2/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Lahainas in Pacific Beach. Clear golden color with no almost no head. Tastes more like a pilsener than an pale. Light floral aroma with just a bit of citrus. I drank about 3 pitchers of this beer just sitting out on the patio at Lahainas on a beautiful night.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to July2Nov for this one.

A- Pours a clear bright straw yellow and a fizzy finger worth of carbonation. Sticks around for a little while but doesn't leave much lacing.

S- Lots of crystal malts and a bit of fruitiness. There is not much of a hop presence to speak of. There is also a bready quality to it.

T- Pretty much spot on with the nose. Fruity and bready malts that is pretty balanced. Not much going on with this beer.

M- Light bodied with some nice crisp carbonation. This is a pretty quenching beer.

D- Crisp and refreshing but not much going on. A summer time beer for sure. Nothing bad but nothing to seek out.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy golden yellow with one-finger, white, creamy head that lasted a couple minutes and left a nice film. Okay lacing.

S: Caramel malt, citrus, and floral.

T: Moderate sweetness and moderate bitterness. Toasted malt and bread. Light citrus.

M: Light to medium bodied with fizzy carbonation.

O: The taste was mild and a bit of a let down. Average overall.

 397 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
3.17/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Toscana Cafe. Pours clear golden with nearly no head. Aroma is light fruits like pears and white grapes, sweet pale malts, light grass and yeast. Flavor follows with some light hay, honey, sweet wheaty flavors, yeast lingering on the palate. Light bodied with medium high carbonation. Not great but plenty drinkable I guess.

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Photo of sbw138
3.17/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought a bottle at another great trip to Pub on Passyunk East. Poured a golden yellow, with a bright white, but thin head. Left a small tracing at the top, but very little the more I drank.

Bready, malty smell. Pretty much what you'd expect from a Kolsch.

Light bready, malty taste, nice crisp finish.

Not really my style of beer, but not bad for what it is.

 361 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.16/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Golden with amber hues. 2 finger thick head.

S: bready and malty. Not getting too much of the fruitiness.

T: Wheat, mild fruit notes that I really have to search for. More like the bready nature of a pilsner than a pale.

M: The wheat beer character makes this more refreshing than many pale ales. A little bitter on initial feel

Overall: The refreshing aspect is a huge plus but this just isn't the pale ale for me. I love Ballast Point but this is just not for me.

 472 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.15/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Man I knew as soon as I cracked the bottle it was old.

A - Pours a pure dead yellow with no head and mild ring lace, which seems to only cover half the glass. The sediment was low due to a slow pour but it was impossible to avoid.

S - Smells kind of grassy, kind of muddy, and kind of grainy. You get pretty much malt and grain and very muted hops (typical pilsner)

T - Wow it taste kind of belch. Like Grolsch Lager yet its an ale not a lager so age has turned it kind of sour. Second sip it taste like the carbonation wants to bring something to the field other than grain and grass but really thats all I am getting, bitter on bitter but not in a good way. Sad thing is only a few bubble of carbonation are visible.

M - Light and bitter like an ESB but it's an ale! Damn this beer is old!

D - Well apparently this company is notorious for not having dates on their beer along with getting this from a shop I knew had old beer was a lose/lose situation. It's weird since it's really not drain pour worthy yet not really exciting and full of flavor so I will pour it. Sad since even hella old the IPA still rocked my taste buds this beer is so/so at best new or old. Every beer is not a winner.

 1,202 characters

Photo of hopdog
3.15/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle acquired in trade with DarkElf (thanks!).

Poured a clear gold color with a smaller sized white head. Aromas of grass, citrus and some fruits (apples). Somewhat fruity tasting with light grass and wheat. Medium sweet with a very light hop bitterness finish. Watery body.

Notes from 6/3/05

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Photo of Bighuge
3.15/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dirty looking orange-amber color. It's got brown to it as well. Thus a dirty look. The head is ivory white and thin. Well retained though. And the lace left is nice. The aroma is quite thick and gritty for a kolsch. Very grainy. And dusty. (Like the grain room at the local homebrew shop.) Not that that's bad. Taste is average. It's quite grainy as well and not really quenching (as a kolsch should be). Dry finish. A bit of herbal and earthy hoppiness. Pretty average.

Thanks for yet another Ballast Point offering Mr. Bum.

 528 characters

Photo of beersarang
3.15/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale gold with a big bubbled head that didn't last long at all. Macro?!?

Faint aroma... not much to discern here.

Slight grainy malt flavor gives way to the tiniest of hop bitterness and flavor. Grassy if anything. Wimpy all the way.

Light bodied. Would be great on a hot day, but overall pretty bleh and plain.

 328 characters

Photo of
3.13/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap in the Marriott Marina Hotel, San Diego.

Poured a clear, pale yellow color. Medium, off-white head.

Primary aroma is bread dough. A bit of an acidic/unpleasant aroma comes along with it.

Taste is OK. Good balance. Biscuity with citrus/grassy hops.

Light body. Medium carbonation. Dry.

OK, but something off in taste or smell. Could be that this is not a fast mover at the Marriott. I would be willing to try again based on brewer's reputation, but not in any great hurry.

 494 characters

Photo of argock
3.13/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a clear pinot noir wine glass. Best by 02/15/13 stamped on front label. Purchased as a 6-pack at Trader Joes (Mission Beach, San Diego, CA) for $9.99.

A; Extraordinarily clear amber-copper with ample 1-2 fingers of off-white frothy head with decent retention and good lacing around the top of the glass.

S: Aromas are very crackery-bready malty with some spicy herbal hops and a very light citrus fruitiness

T: Tasted like an extremely tame APA with bready and somewhat grainy maltiness that was a little less rough on the second pour but still not as smooth as it could be, especially since, after looking at the 6-pack holder it's a Kolsch! Come on BP! As a kolsch, this is pretty average with too much graininess to really muster much support. The hops are also overly spicy and not smooth enough -- this is supposed to be a beer that reaches the top of the drinkability scale, but this beer isn't even close.

M: THere are many problems here. The carbonation is way too high and contributes to an astringent feel. THe spicy hops and graininess with a light body also equate to a overly sharp beer, almost peppery, exactly what a kolsch is not supposed to be.

O: Certainly not terrible but not all that great for the style. I downgraded them for not calling it what it is -- come on BP, in hops country, do it right.

 1,362 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.13/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear golden colour with a firm white head, good retention, some creamy lace.

S: Classic Kolsch nose of white grape and ale fruit, bready malt.

T: The malt is nice and there is a good fruit/pear-like flavour to this brew. There is a fair amount of hops in this beer, a San Diego take for sure. Hops are very green and grassy, not exactly my style, and it's too hoppy for this kind of beer.

M: Light-bodied, kind of flabby at times with a crisp finish.

D: A solid Kolsch, but I really prefer the classic Koln-made stuff in this style. Not a beer where being overly hoppy is a virtue.

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Photo of mhewes
3.13/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A : Pours a golden color with a decent white head

S : Malty with some grass hints

T : Grainy and yeasty with some hop bitterness.

M : Thin with some decent carbonation

D : For a kolsch, it just doesn't do it for me. It is not a crisp and refreshing as I would expect.

 272 characters

Photo of beerguy101
3.12/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium yellow color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and sweet. A medium bodied ale. Malts are mild, fruity and kind of sweet. Hops are present, but kind of hidden. They pop out at you every once in a while. Very smooth. More of a Kolsch than a pale ale. It's a great hot day/lawnmover beer. Mild and interesting. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.11/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big white head settles to a very big lacing that crawls up the edges of the glass above a clear pale straw golden golden colored beer.

Sour lemons and slightly soapy aroma.

Wet slightly sour grains taste with a little bit of lemony hops that is also probably adding to the sourness of the taste.

Wettish yet slightly dryish aftertaste with a bit of the lemony sourness remaining behind with this light to medium bodied drink.

A bit to much on the sour taste for a pale ale for me, not really what I think of when I grab a pale ale.

 535 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.11/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light amber color with a slight haze. Good lace. Modest head, but lasts.

Slightly stinky, but not skunky. Dry malt and slightly grainy. Very low hop.

Astringent is the first word that comes to mind. Flavorful, but dry. Smooth mouthfeel but not overly rich. Nice hoppy finish with good aftertaste.

This wouldn't be the first beer I'd reach for, but it is innocent enough to enjoy. No flaws but no curiosities either.

 418 characters

Photo of stephendr
3.1/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle- color of honey yellow , with a decent frothy off white head - nose of citrus (orange) , sweat , slight hops , and malts – taste of grapefruit , dough , hops , and slight minty-ness - body is medium , dry chalky-ness, and with medium carbonation – aftertaste of stale hops , sweat , and salty

 308 characters

Photo of ncvbc
3.1/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale golden with medium fizzy head, not as good as you'd expect for lacing or retention. Big, slow bubbles of carbonation rising up. Smell is a bit too sweet and grainy. A little sour lemon. Taste is pretty good. Not as sweet as the nose suggests. Some earthy hops come in with big biscuit and grain. A bit of lemon again and a touch of honey. Still a decent sweetness all along. Light mouthfeel with a little dryness in the finish. Sweet and bready. Not extremely drinkable, a pint or two maybe. Every time I try a Kolsch I think of a Charleston classic. Tough competition.

 574 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.1/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber. Pours with a small bubbly white head. Well carbonated. Slightly cloudy dark mustard color. Very light grassy sour aroma. Starts sweet and tart, quite light, refreshing. Flavor is mild but pleasant. Notes of apples, pears and lemons. Overall easy to drink but not terribly interesting.

 298 characters

Photo of levifunk
3.08/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

sample pour off of a 22oz bomber.

a - yellow with a white head.

s - bread yeast, grain.

t - some bitterness, which was surprising. and there was a sour/funk lightly on the finish.

m - light body. a bit creamy.

o - not the best beer, even for the style. very drinkable, but so are most pale ales.

 300 characters

Photo of emmasdad
3.08/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle of this one at the Ballast Point Brewery/Home Brew Mart in San Diego. More along the lines of a kolsch, rather than a pale ale. Poured a clear yellow color with a good white head. Very mild on the nose, a little biscuit and a kiss of hops. On the palate, this one is light bodied and easy to drink, yet not very interesting in the least. Flavors of light malt and a bit of hops.

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Photo of bbb099
3.08/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a pint glass at Burgers & Brew (CA).

A - Clear, golden color with minute amount of white head. No lacing.

S - A little fruity and malty, not much. Possibly because of the food aroma all around.

T - Sweet pale malt, wheat and some citrus (lemon). Traces of hops, but overall the flavor was quite weak.

M - Medium bodied. Unusually high amount of carbonation.

D - Would have been decent if it wasn't so highly carbonated. The amount of carbonation was so much that it dulls the tongue and prevent you from drinking a large amount at once.

 552 characters

California Kölsch from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.54 out of 5 based on 1,052 ratings.
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