California Kölsch | Ballast Point Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
California KölschCalifornia Kölsch
1,372 Ratings
California KölschCalifornia Kölsch

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,372 |  Reviews: 429
Photo of einman
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of CJNAPS
3.13/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a huge fan of this style, but this one surprised me.

Most of the reviews on this are the same so I'll just add that it was a delicious beer one that I'll have again.
Really drinkable you could drink these all night.

 220 characters

Photo of taospowder
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of sgregory
3/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.45/5  rDev +25.7%
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 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 TheBigBoy
2.5/5  rDev -29.4%

Photo of Onenote81
4.3/5  rDev +21.5%
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 aquazr1
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of InfernoBoss
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

 397 characters

Photo of matjack85
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
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 Burkbom23
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of bsp77
3.44/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy yellow-gold with thin white head and not much lacing.

Smell: Wheat malt, citrus, apple and spicy, floral hops.

Taste: Malty mix of wheat, apple, lemon and orange. Some spicy counterbalance from the noble hops. Would have liked more Munich malt than Wheat, but still quite good.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, creamy somewhat full body and semi-dry finish expected for a Kolsch.

Drinkability: Very refreshing and enjoyable Kolsch. Not quite as dry or spicy as I prefer, and too much wheat.

 574 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
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 bigpoppa67
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of alcohline_trip
3.49/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kristougher
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of NickMunford
3.99/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 397 characters

Photo of T_Hass
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
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 ryan1788a5
3.91/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

120z bottle poured into a Pilsner glass.

A: Pale, clear golden-yellow color. Three fingers of rocky white head cap the beer, and it doesn't budge an inch. Thick collars of lacing form on the glass. Perfect appearance for the style.

S: Floral hops, very slight herbal edge, ghost-like hint of light fruits (grape skin?). Malts are grainy with a touch of musty bread.

T: Hop tastes wash over the palate with a very mild bitterness. Floral, green and slightly oily. Subtle hint of herbal spice. Doughy malt tastes shift as the beer dries toward the finish and shift into grainy tastes and hints of cracked wheat. Light fruity notes. Dry finish of grain, bread, and a fading hop bitterness.

M: Light in body. Some firmness of malt texture. Creamy and somewhat full. Active, scrubbing carbonation.

O: This is a very good representation of a Kolsch. It should have broad appeal, owing to the care with which it was crafted and the nature of the style itself. I find it curious, however, that Ballast Point chose to call it a Pale Ale on the label. That's bound to cause confusion when someone purchases it expecting a hoppy American Pale Ale or something of that ilk.

 1,167 characters

Photo of Overlord
2.85/5  rDev -19.5%
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 -8.2%

California Kölsch from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.54 out of 5 with 1,372 ratings