California Kölsch | Ballast Point Brewing Company

BA SCORE
81
good
1,340 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:
1,340
Reviews:
423
Avg:
3.55
pDev:
13.52%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
286
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,340 |  Reviews: 423
Photo of MmmIPA
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great beer from Ballist Point.

Murky,golden yellow body with a small head(I babied it).Nice carbonation.

Malty and fruity,from the yeast I suppose.

Sweet up front with some breadiness and that leads to nice german bitterness,its very crisp.

Mouthful is a bit attacking but I think it suite the style.So Im ok with that.

Great beer that Im glad I tried.I will buy it more often.Thanks for coming to Pa.

 414 characters

Photo of coopdog1000
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of JimiTheBastard
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A good Pale Ale

Great color... easy to drink... nothing offensive in anyway

In being critical... it lacks a defining character... it's a bit plane... but that is a common charateristic I find in most Pale Ales

It's a pleasant beer you just want to drink... without having to feel the need to taste and analyze every sip... it goes down smooth... easy to put down a six pack

 377 characters

Photo of TylerJones62
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap last weekend in a bar down in San Diego. Now, being a fan of their IPA I figured their APA would be to my liking as well. So after complaining about this beer to a friend I was informed that it is in fact not an APA but rather a Kolsch. So while not being familiar with this style (i.e. nothing to compare it to) here's my review.

Didn't see the actual pour but as the pint arrived at my table it appeared to have all the characteristics of a APA. Nice thin white head which didn't stick around too long, brilliant pale amber/straw color. All the makings of a great pale ale. The smell is where it turned for me. After learning a little more about the style, I realize the abundance of yeast/bready qualities I normally dont find in pale ales was very present in this beer. At the time I thought it was strange but apparently thats how its supposed to be? Tasted much like the smell did.

So, take this review for what its worth. I would definitely like to try more beers of this style because it wasn't bad.

 1,028 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark golden yellow color with a 1" head that lingers a while. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: grass, hay, and some malt sweetness is detectable by the nose.

Taste: grainy malt base with grass, pears, and mild bitterness. Very simple kolsch style that is refreshing.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Medium bodied beer. Clean aftertaste.

Drinkbaility: definite session beer here. I was surprised the label states pale ale but the liner notes explain this is a kolsch. Tasty and worth a try.

 523 characters

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clean and crisp brew that really hits the spot. The golden-hued body has a nice head and laces well. The nose is malty and bready with a good sense of grain. There is nice flavor from the malting and the feel is quite light and crisp, giving a very nice snappy finish. Easily drinkable in some volume.

 303 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold with a white-ish head that wastes no time in falling. Flavor is a bit sweet and smooth. Noticeable grain attributes. But that sweet aftertaste sticks with you for quite some time. Feel has a biting carbonation. This is pretty easy to drink. I have to say this kölsch style is growing on me lately.

 317 characters

Photo of Tballz420
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew is a slightly hazy, straw gold color. Nice sized white head floats above. Light malt on the nose with a touch of hops. Mostly light malt on the taste, a nice kiss of floral hops. Very refreshing brew. Too bad they don't offer these in six packs around here, you could put down quite a few of these on a nice summer day.

 329 characters

Photo of bump8628
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glowing, clear gold with a fluffy mat of stark white head.

Clean and grainy with a definite crusty bread character. Spicy hops hang out in the background and are gone with crisp lager-like finish.

Not much to it, which is kind of the point of a Kolsch. Well-done in all aspects. I just wish they wouldn't call it a pale ale.

 326 characters

Photo of jakeusa
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of vande
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - a nice clear, crisp looking golden pour with a thin layer of lacy head left atop

S - not your typical pale here.. some malty-bready-biscuity characteristics going on here... light, somewhat subdued hops intermingling with the rest

T - unique but tasty. Definitely German presence with the hops & malts used, yet crisp and clean like a pils.. bready-biscuit type flavor follows the nose...light grassy quality

M - clean, crisp, easy to drink

0 - different. Kolsch is not my style, but this was actually pretty good..

 523 characters

Photo of uberabr
3.87/5  rDev +9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 into a pint. I'm going to go ahead and review this one as a Kolsch and not a PA, otherwise we'de have some problems...

Minimal head even after a hard pour. The serious hop oil up top is probably the culprit. Lacing and carbonation are great, however.

Appearance is a light yellow amber, faint red and gold hues. Not getting much out of the nose...smells like a lager. Spicy malt and a hint of bitter.

Taste is deep and rich for such a light beer. The bitterness is subtle but complements the sweet malt very well, although there is a slight grassy effect. Lots of bread and butter, some sweet honey, oats and rye. The body is quite full and i'de rank the drinkability as solidly quaffable.

This is a great Western take on a traditional European style. It's really quite good. The name is confusing though, as this is definitely not your typical california Pale Ale, and the text on the label clearly calls it a golden Kolsch. Weird. I probably won't drink it again, but if you're into this style I'de highly recommend it.

 1,054 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.87/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a fluted pilsener glass.

The beer glistens with a crystal clear copper body with constant rising bubbles. The light cream colored head is thick, almost meringue-like, and basically never recedes. Random spots and patches of foam lacing remain. The aroma is grassy, and covered with citrus and faint peppery spice. The taste is much like the aroma, but a bready, semi-sweet malt component comes out a little more. The finish is citrus (lemon peel) and white pepper. The beer goes down clean and crisp.

Overall, this is really clean and easy to drink -- great for a summer weekend. I'm having it in the dead of winter and still appreciate it.

 655 characters

Photo of atone315
3.87/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of LADaveBN
3.87/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of flyingpig
3.87/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

355ml Can from Brewdog DogHouse, Glasgow (£3.00):
This one was a very nice & crisp lager in the kölsch style with a smooth & drinkable palate that was also clean, crisp & easy to drink. Despite being slightly misled by the name of this one , I certainly wasn't left disappointed with some nice lager malts, subtle hops & a few touches of sweetness all combining well to make this an excellent beer.

 400 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.86/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden brew with lots of carbonation.

Smell is sweet grain and a mild perfume smell.

Taste is sweet with lots of grain. There is a tartness to this gives it a different flavor. The hop bitterness is in balance with the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is good.

A super drinkable brew, very mild brew.

 314 characters

Photo of Bulabeers
3.86/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

L: Slightly hazy orange gold with a big white head with good retention
S: smells like the forage hay we feed our cattle. some grassy hops.
T: grassy hops and crackery malts
F: Crisp refreshing light
O: Good on a hot day. It's a good lunch time brew.

 251 characters

Photo of vabeerguy
3.86/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a pilsner glass. Noticed immediately that a straight hard pour produced too much foam but it dissipated quickly. The first taste produced noticeable lacing. The color looks like it could be your average pilsner or kolsch. The name indicates it is a pale ale but it does not seem to fit into that category. That said, the beer is very tasty and refreshing. If you are looking for a hoppy or bitter beer (like an APA or IPA), than this would not be the one. If you are looking for a beer or two (or more) for a hot summer day, this would be a good selection.

 590 characters

Photo of Brenden
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color is a medium yellow with a deeper amber hue to it. A frothy, thick pure white head starts at 2 fingers tall and eventually falls off to a sturdy foam that drops patchy lacing well down the glass.
It's not until I smell it until I decide to read the description, and it makes a lot more sense. There's a Saaz-like note of mildly sulfuric hops, verifying the brewery's claim; it is indeed like a pilsener in many ways. There's a touch of malty sweetness along with drier malts as well, and the aroma showcases a nice depth as well as proving that a gentler style can have a lot to it.
The flavor showcases those same dusty, earthy and grassy Saaz-like notes as the aroma, with a very gentle bitterness among the malty sweetness. The only thing detracting is that is goes strongly grainy.
The feel is lovely, crisp up front and continuing all the way in a flowing light but deep body with a nice, creamy smoothness that keeps me wanting another sip.
Another good one from Ballast Point.

 992 characters

Photo of MrKennedy
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber split with the guys from work and poured into a 7oz glass. Thanks to ADZA for the trade!

Pours a very clear, bright golden colour with a nice white fluffy head of foam that levels out just above film later on. Decent head retention and the clearness of this is quite impressive.

The smell is of bready malt, clean, consistent and inviting.

Taste is very malt driven, with just a shade of Euro style hop grassiness to break it up. Like the smell, the taste is consistent and pleasant. Just a little bit of honey comes through to sweeten it up a shade.

Mouthfeel is decent, good body for the style, just a touch cloying at the end, but otherwise ok.

Overall, a clean, decent, not earth shattering Kolsch that would be a decent go-to beer on a sunny, mild to warm day.

 777 characters

Photo of StevenMilligan
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GbVDave
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a pale golden color with a small bright-white head. Major chill-haze at first that finally settles down to something approaching crystal-clear. Absolutely no lace.

S: Right out of the fridge it smelled crisp and bready. As it warmed notes of sweet malt, fruity yeast, and vegetables emerged.

T: See above. Pretty toasty/bready with creeping flavors of caramel, candy, apples, and some noble hops. Slightly soapy, but in a nice way.

M: Crisp and toasty with a nice fruity/sweet edge that adds depth.

D: Quite refreshing for when the temps get up there. Don't know if I'd buy it again, but I certainly wouldn't turn it down at a party/BBQ.

 738 characters

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Zorro and BIF 41 for this bomber.

Pours a clear golden color with a white two finger head that quickly recedes to a ring. Moderate lacing remains. Bubbles rise steadily to the top.

The aroma contains citrus fruits, light doughy bread and hints of cinnamon (or something close to it). Smells good, but it has a very light scent to it.

Crisp taste. Some spicy citrus, caramel, bread, and lighter floral qualities at the end. Nice balance between the sweet and spicy. More malt and yeast flavors than were noticed in the smell.

Medium body with crisp, refreshing carbonation. The ABV makes this very sessionable. Ballast Point hasn't let me down yet. Nothing absolutely outstanding, but every one very solid.

 727 characters

Photo of bkkt
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

California Kölsch from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.55 out of 5 based on 1,340 ratings.
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