California Kölsch | Ballast Point Brewing Company

BA SCORE
81
good
1,347 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:
1,347
Reviews:
426
Avg:
3.55
pDev:
13.52%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
288
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,347 |  Reviews: 426
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 Kiniey01
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of Jspriest
2/5  rDev -43.7%

Photo of Kendo
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Consumed on 12/14/12. Bottle has an "enjoy by" date of 1/31/13.

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is light honey/golden with a small whitish head.

S: I thought there was something "off" about the smell - toasty malt and sweet malt predominate. No hops discernable at all.

T: Sweet malt, fruity malt and a touch of earthy spice.

M: Call it light-to-medium in heft, closer to medium. Good amount of visible carbonation is modestly active on the tongue.

O: A note to brewers: label your beers with the correct style. When I drank this, I was expecting an APA (the label does say "Pale Ale," after all) and was disappointed. On my notes regarding the taste, I wrote: "British style?" - because it didn't seem to have enough hops for an APA. Then in my notes for the "overall" category, I wrote, "Not what I'm looking for in an APA." I've modified my scores knowing, in hindsight, that this is a Kolsch and not an APA (originally I gave it closer to a 3.25). But at the time I drank this, I thought it wasn't a good APA at all, and my initial scores reflected that. I may have felt better about this beer had I known when drinking it that it wasn't an APA and was instead a Kolsch.

 1,204 characters

Photo of BB1313
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours golden with a subtle haze and solid clarity; small white head that falls leaving solid retention and little lacing. The aromas have lots of caramel and fresh bread. Malts are there. The flavors seem to follow the nose. Lots of caramel notes along with some cracker. Lots of grains. Very solid malt backbone. Very subtle bitterness. Earthy with some grass notes. There's some subtle hints of citrus in the mix. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is nice. It's light with active carbonation. Very smooth and easy to drink.

This is a solid kölsch. It's crisp and refreshing. Enjoyable stuff.

 629 characters

Photo of Floydster
3.21/5  rDev -9.6%
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 ssimpson89
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of aquazr1
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Tiernan
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of Uconnelmo
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of emmasdad
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

 397 characters

Photo of Mikeypnh
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of matjack85
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Roommate brought a few of these home to share so not sure of the price. 22oz. (650ml) brown bottle with an expiration date and blurb about the beer on the front label.

The beer poured a slightly hazed straw color, but for some reason it produced absolutely no head and zero lace. Hope this isn't a bad bottle.

Big pineapple smell along with some wheat.

The main flavor is like a can of fruit cocktail. After that it has a lemony flavor with a bit of bready malt, wheat, and a kiss of honey sweetness. There's also a bit of bittering hops.

Light bodied with moderate to medium carbonation.

Light, crisp, and refreshing, yet still not one of my favorite Kolsch's.

 666 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.3/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ballast Point- Yellowtail

A- Bright clear yellow with a thick fluffy white head.
S- Sweet lemon and hay/straw. Slight citrus twang.
T- Sweet lemony citrus. Slight grassy hay/ straw.
M- Very sweet and a slight grassy hop dryness.

Overall- A good Kolsch that's a decent beer on a warm day.

 289 characters

Photo of cmbeddoe7997
3.84/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kristougher
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of NickMunford
3.99/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of alcohline_trip
3.49/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of beerguy101
3.12/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

 397 characters

Photo of MickeyHops
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ballast Point's Yellowtail Pale Ale has a bright golden body with a very white head that is about a finger tall. The retention is ok and some scrappy lacing is left behind.

The aroma has some pale malts and some ale yeast fruitiness. Not a bad aroma, but it lacks any punch.

Yellowtail Pale Ale tastes OK, but I don't really notice much of a hop presence. A decent amount of pale malts are sweet and cracker-like. The ale yeast provides some nice fruitiness. I would like at least a little more hops. I know Kolsches aren't supposed to be hop bombs or anything, but they shouldn't taste like they are all malt either.

The body is probably a touch over medium for a kolsch, and the carbonation is middle of the road.

Drinkability, is pretty solid, which is something I will say for the kolsch style in general. Yellowtail Pale Ale is solid, but not great.

 858 characters

Photo of Overlord
2.85/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow, what a disappointment after being blown away by the Dorado and Marlin offerings from Ballast Point.

No real head, the mouthfeel is flat and thin, and there is a sour aftertaste that is neither pleasant, nor well integrated with the flavor of the beer. And the beer, itself, has no real hops, no malt-backbone, and other real flavors to speak of. Just not good, at all. Pours a yellow with a hint of amber/orange.

 418 characters

Photo of jsprain1
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

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 Furley80
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

California Kölsch from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.55 out of 5 based on 1,347 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More