California Kölsch | Ballast Point Brewing Company

1,356 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,356 |  Reviews: 426
Photo of jscheuf
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of Fcip78
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Niners49
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Skendawg
3.59/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I haven't had this in about a month, but it has a special place in my heart so I thought I'd write a review.

A friend of mine works for the Ballast Point Brewing Company, so whenever I need a keg of beer for when I'm having friends over he supplies us with our pick from BPBC. I love the company and I think all their products are made with great care and the staff at the brewery are a delight.

This beer is a great choice. On tap this makes for an absolutely wonderful beer to have around a party. Not too heavy, but enough taste to start plenty of conversations about what a great beer everyone is enjoying.

A nice yellow head on the beer at first sight lets you know you are dealing with the real deal.

The aroma follow up leaves something to be desired, but then again it is a Pale Ale so not too much can be expected of it.

Great taste. Sweet to start but a mildly bitter end, which is just fine because it sets you up great for the next swig.

A nice tingle in the mouth and feels refreshing. I getting a sip of this in my mouth.

Overall, I've got to say I really do like this beer, and maybe I'm biased based upon the amount of fun I have had drinking this Pale Ale, but I would still recommend this to any of my friends for a warm summer evening.

 1,263 characters

Photo of SavageHopHead
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of jeffthepony
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of WoodBrew
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of puttinforbird
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of FLima
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Golden color with a thick head with good retention and leaving some laces.
Predominant aroma of papaya and bread.
Fruity flavor with a light spicy feeling. Hints of orange, apple and papaya with lemon drops light sourness, green pears, floral and herbal hops, wheat and pale malt and yeast. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness.
Light body with low carbonation.
I was expecting an American Pale Ale but this is actually a Kolsch with a distant APA background. Still faithful to style and well crafted.

 504 characters

Photo of Icarus
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of garymuchow
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Noted as "pale ale the original" on the bottle.
Soft mixed aroma of pale malt, light hops and some yeast. Yeasty qualities become stronger in time.
Huge white head caps a very clear golden body.
Again with yeast flavors first, then the paler malt (pretty clean with a slight sweetness) and mild bittering/very soft hop flavors and rather light dryness on the finish.
Nice refreshing quality and probably closest to a lawnmower beer than anything?
Goes down easily and pretty clean for an ale. Nothing offensive. Good for summer.
Received as part of xmas exchange.

 564 characters

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 normanbeats
1/5  rDev -71.8%

Photo of trevordglenn
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of superdoopersauce
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of Bricelyn
4.75/5  rDev +33.8%

Photo of jbuckley1972
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of koakley
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of staaaaalin
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of heffIPAlover
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of taospowder
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of get_bentley
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of Mattsk1
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of rickcrip76
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

California Kölsch from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.55 out of 5 based on 1,356 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.
  • Our Events

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

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