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California Kölsch | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
80
good
417 Reviews
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
Reviews:
417
Ratings:
1,316
Avg:
3.54
pDev:
24.58%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
266
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 417 | Ratings: 1,316
Photo of Gusler
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer after splitting from the 22 ounce bottle pours a translucent and lustrous gold with the head large and bright white with a pleasing creamy texture, lace a fine silky curtain to cover the glass. Nose is dominated by the sweet malt, crisp and fresh, with the start nicely malted, lightly sweet and the top fair in its feel to the palate. Finish is equable in its acidity, the hops are pleasing but a bit mild, the aftertaste quite dry and a fine session beer it will make.

 479 characters

Photo of beagle75
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Draft service into a chilled mug at Whole Foods in Tustin.

A: Clear, medium (slightly brassy) golden color with one finger of diminishing white foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Very mild, with sweet and tart apple detected most clearly. There is also a nebulous thread of honey and very pale grain, but it has to be searched for in order to be found.

T: Begins dry, with honeyed pilsner malt and crisp Golden Delicious apple. Acidity is initially muted, but becomes more apparent later. Malt becomes more husky in the middle, developing a faint citric quality that becomes tart for the style in the finish. Grassy bitterness and elevated sweetness also emerge at the end, but the palate is ultimately left tasting of honey, apple, and citric acid.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet and slightly sticky on the palate with snappy acidity, and with very low carbonation.

D/O: Possibly one of the most poorly-marketed beers currently bottled, this "pale ale" offers an experience that is nothing like all other similarly-labeled beers. If Ballast Point needed a synonym for kolsch, it seems like blond ale would have been a more apt selection. Compared to other kolsches, this beer is full-flavored but a little unrefined, coming across as heavy-handed. Early fruitiness has a definite inauthentic resonance to it, leaving behind a sense of artificial flavor. Hoppy bitterness in the finish is bold for the style, although one would never mistake this for IPA-level bitterness in quantity or quality. However, it is effortless to drink, serving as a superior form of refreshment and really holding up well when served too cold.

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Photo of vicsju1991
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass
A - yellowy amber colour, fairly opaque, small white heaad goes away quickly, medium carbonation
S - mostly malty,
T - crisp and refreshing, mild fruity notes at the end, but not too strongly flavoured
M - crisp, easy to drink, pretty average
O - good beer, but nothign special

 314 characters

Photo of FLima
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured nice golden orange colorr. Kinda of dirty and hazy. Head was at first fairy big but died down quickly. Aroma is kind of earthy and malty. In the taste department theres not enough hops to be a kolsch. This tastes mroe like a belgian pale to me. Really yeasty. Its decent, but i don't think its a kolsch.

 310 characters

Photo of tone77
3.42/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a light golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts are present. Taste is crisp, malts, a touch of hops, a bit of wheat, pretty refreshing. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a pretty good summertime beer.

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Photo of WoodButcher
3.42/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Ok, round two of my intro to Ballast Point. Poured from a bottle, a hazy blonde that's a bit darker than traditional Kolsch styles. Tight head that quickly dissipated. Nose was yeasty, mild spiciness. Taste was yeasty, hint of cloves, a bit of fruit/banana sweetness and slight malt, and a modest bitter late in the finish and the mild lactic taste characteristic of the style. Mouthfeel was nice with fine but moderate carbonation.

Overall this is a pleasant drinking beer, good for a session and hews close to the Kolsch style. Pro hone of the better American examples. Now, if they can do something about their stupidly high prices. This is a good beer, but there are others as good and for much less. I can't help but feel like Ballast Point's following is a bit cultish.

 778 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.42/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Golden in color, ample clarity 1/2" white head. Aroma was grain, kolsch cleanliness yeast wise.

Taste brought more malt and hop substance than your average kolsch. Nice and dry, good in hot weather. A decent offering. Wheat very noticeable.

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Photo of thomda11
3.42/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I think this is pretty well done for its style. I was taken a bit off guard at first, as I was not expecting a Klosch Style Ale, but rather something along the lines of a American Pale Ale (I failed to see the small print that denoted the beer as "Klosch Style"). Overall, I would say it is a pretty decent beer that can appeal to a wide audience. It would be a fantastic beer to drink by the pool on a hot day.

 411 characters

Photo of LordofTime25
3.41/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a dark cloudy yellow with a thin white head.

Smells like sweet malts with honey and maybe some grassiness from the grains.

Tastes kind of grain at first, but then there is a sweetness I belive from honey. Then you get a slight bitterness.

Very crisp form carbonation and light.

A good brew worth a drink or two every now and then.

 344 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.41/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 16oz American pint at the Waikiki Yard House, dubbed 'Yellow Tail' on the menu.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium golden straw colour, with one finger of foamy and somewhat creamy ecru head, which leaves a solid wall of painted lace around the glass as it slowly slips away.

It smells weakly of bready, doughy malt, a bit of aged lemon juice, and mild leafy, grassy, and earthy hops. The taste is more bitter up front, sort of indeterminately - kind of leafy, kind of citrusy - with a still-strong pastry-esque maltiness providing a wholesome balance.

The carbonation is a bit peppy, the body a spare middleweight, and haltingly smooth. It finishes with more of the same - timidly bitter hops, and solid bready hops.

A decent pale ale, a bit of necessary moderation at the moment - for the rest of you - drink at will.

 830 characters

Photo of bmwats
3.41/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a stange.

A: Golden hue. Heavy carbonation. Continually rising effervescence. Pours about a 2 finger, bubbly, white head. Craters unevenly, and slowly. Pretty nice, albeit sporadic, lacing. Head regenerates fully and effervescence renews with each pour.

S: A little Italian bread, fresh flora, and dish soap.

T: Slightly bitter bready malt flavor with some slight sweetness. Pecan shells and basil.

M: Light and crisp.

D: Easy drinkin'.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Nice appearance including a really strong head, and some persistent lacing. Nose is simple, but comes across as fresh...light planty malt. Light and crisp combo of light malt tones accentuated with a little sweetness and some bitterness. Overall, this is a good quaff.

 770 characters

Photo of TH28
3.41/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. 11/15/15 bottle date. Appearance: Crystal clear light golden, with thick white head and nice lacing. Aroma: Grainy, cracker, subtle pear like fruitiness. Taste: Light, cracker like malt sweetness that turns to a strong spicy bitterness that lingers long after the swallow. Mouthfeel: Medium body with a light creaminess and moderate carbonation. Finish: Fairly dry on the finish with a strong spicy bitterness that lingers. Overall: Has the look and smell of a true Kolsch, but seems to have the bitterness level of an APA. Still a pleasant, easy drinking beer, but balance shifts more towards the hoppy side than any other Kolsch I’ve had.

 656 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.41/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale yellow gold body, good clarity, topped by three fingers of loosely bubbly, sticky, level white foam with plenty of "snap, krackel, pop".

Mild fresh grass/hay aroma with a hint of bakery.

Mild sweet beginning runs down the center of the tongue. Tingly hop snap at the swallow. Semi dry finish.

Light tingly mouhfeel. Very refreshing drinkability.

Refresing with a nice afterglow. Not really memorable on the tongue though. Probably not a bomber type beer. Nice try, but maybe not their style.

 500 characters

Photo of weazal
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Yellow hay color. Light head...I hate to say it, but kinda urine looking.

Smell: Light, sweet. Some alcohol at the end.

Taste: It tastes like it smells, but more intense and earthy. It has a dry nuttiness and hoppy flavor. Surprisingly clean and brisk with a little tang at the end.

Light, sizzly carbonation on the tongue. Quick and easy to drink.

 363 characters

Photo of nvsblman
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pale yellow with about a half finger of white head. Grassy, earthy hop aroma with a light biscuity background. Well balanced hop/malt flavor. The grassiness plays well with the caramel malt. The medium mouthfeel and slightly dry finish makes this really refreshing and enjoyable.

 279 characters

Photo of riversider76
3.39/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a honey gold with a thin white head. Good retention, and a nice lace. Aroma is of toasted grains, and malts. Nice, but very weak.Body is on the light side of medium, and quite carbonated.
Taste is of bready malts. Hops comes through in the finish. A nice brew.

 267 characters

Photo of Soonami
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is very misleading because I tried this on draft and did not know that this was a kolsch, but rather thought it was a APA like I would expect from Ballast Point that makes Big Eye and Sculpin. It's false advertising and you definitely do not get what you are expecting. There are some tell tale signs. The color is a golden pale clear color with finely knit white foam and lace. The flavor is very malty with a distinct grain tannin and sulphurs from the yeast. The finish is very dry and clean with little fruit flavor.

 530 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. My label is a bit different than the one pictured and says only Ballast Point Pale Ale, "the original", and lists a 5.20% abv instead of 5.00%. I think this is my second beer from Ballast Point.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a hazed lemon colored body with just under a finger of soapy white head that fizzles to a bubbly ring quickly. Some spotty sticky lacing.

S - Smell is of buttery diacetyl, bready malts, a bit of honeyed graham cracker, some soapiness, corn, and some musty yeast. Otherwise, the smell is pretty lame and boring.

T - Taste is of buttery caramel malts, corn, grains, herbal earthiness, crisp fruity yeast, grainy pilsner malts, and subdued indistinct fruitiness.

M - Feel is crisp and clean, light-bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, a fairly boring, uninspired beer. Poor duration of flavor, but light-bodied, refreshing, and drinkable. Inoffensive, but it doesn't really do anything for me. This would be a great stepping stone beer for those looking to get into craft beer, though.

Ballast Point Pale Ale ---3.5/5

 1,123 characters

Photo of PDXHops
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a La Chouffe tulip. See-thru golden body with a modest fluffy white head and some drippy lacing.

Smells very mild, but pleasant- light grains, a little bready, a little fruity.

Tastes quite fruity and sweet right away, a little reminiscent of white grapes and pears. The fruitiness lasts for a couple of seconds, and then is chased away by crisp grains and a momentary, but substantial sting of grassy bitterness. Finishes a bit oily/sticky, with lingering pear notes.

Overall impression: An unexpectedly bold, but enjoyable take on the style.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is a slightly hazy pale gold. Three fingers of foamy white head developed and dissipated slowly to leave a finger thick cap, which itself slowly dissipated to a nice spotted lacing that remained throughout the pint.

Smell: Starts off smelling like a sweet adjunct loaded with corn, but it improves as the pint warms. The adjunct aroma doesn't disappear, but there are caramel malts, lemon, and citrus hops.

Taste: Follows the smell. Corn adjunct, some light caramel malts, lemon, and a nice bite of citrus hops at the end to keep things interesting. It's like a weak British pale ale.

Drinkability: Maybe my taste buds are off tonight because I remember it tasting much better last night. It's a hybrid lager-ale, but it's trying to be more like a lager...a macro lager. It's sad, really.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Dogfish Head pint glass.

The color is a clear yellow/gold with a finger of foamy white head and some hints of a thin layer of lacing left on the glass.

The smell is malty at first with a crisp dough flavor. There is some fruit aroma here in the nose that is just a touch of white grape and tangerine. There also seems to be a slight grassy aroma here as well.

The taste is fruity with a slight orange rind flavor that is brief before leading into a green grape flavor. There is some nice sweetness that fills in the gaps here and there. Some slight Belgian malt flavor comes out towards the end that is tasty.

The feel of this beer is smooth with a nice drinkable feel that goes down easy and really works well with your palette and lets it’s silky body let it glide down. A great drinker and one that would great any time.

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Photo of kellog
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale yellow, straw, some sediment present

A: fruity, apple juice, lemon, dandelion, slighty metallic/coin smell

T: mellow apple blends wih faint hop bitterness

M: Low carbonation, silkly

Average beer overall. Some off flavors were present, but I think it would probably be better fresh. Lots of variety at Total Wine, but hard to keep up on dates.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a nice looking golden color, kind of hazy. The head was a little fizzy but ended up sticking around for a little while. The smell of the beer was pretty nice, giving off some decent hop aromas and malts. The taste of the beer has a nice crisp bitterness that faded into a sweetness as is settled on the tongue. The mouthfeel was crisp and sharp, nicely done. Overall I pretty Solid pale ale.

 415 characters

Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.37/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Straw and golden haze some thin head laces out to the sides.

Light malty nose. Citrus and wheat, light fruit.

A bite upfront that turns faintly fruity with a little light wheat.A sweet touch of some honey most likely from the wheat. Grassy bitter finish.

Light body. I was satisfied splitting a 22oz bottle with a friend.

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California Kölsch from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.54 out of 5 based on 1,316 ratings.
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