California Kölsch | Ballast Point Brewing Company

BA SCORE
81
good
1,356 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:
1,356
Reviews:
426
Avg:
3.55
pDev:
13.52%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
292
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,356 |  Reviews: 426
Photo of Melissaw1126
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of NicholasMiller
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I first had this beer at a pasta cafe on coronado in san diego and man was I in love. although it isn't the typical english style pale ale but a german kolsch style, I thought it was so good they could of called it a porter. everything about this beer is good to great. I drank so much of it this summer that my local bevmo started stocking it in the fridges there. I recommend this beer to everyone.

 400 characters

Photo of jweaver95
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I actually enjoyed this one. It's nothing like the pales out here in the Midwest, but it's good nonetheless. It almost tasted like a Pilsner mixed in with a few subtle hops to me. It was very smooth and refreshing and I'd definitely drink it again.

 248 characters

Photo of Stevie_Janowski
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of BigTrubble
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of GFD400
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of eulerthegrape
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of BeerRun13
4.23/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a super clear golden copper color. Has a small white head that stays, as it is being fed by a constant flow of bubbles rising to the top. Good lacing.
Smells crisp and clean. Malty, biscuit aroma, and German hops?
Wonderful flavor. Nice balance between the malt and hops.
Light bodied. Good carbonation. Smooth AND CRISP FINISH.
What a good refreshing beert. Highly drinkable, and perfect for a hot Summer day.

 420 characters

Photo of vlt_for_beer
4.21/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JBudraux
4.21/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Hos
4.19/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dinglehacker
4.19/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into stange.

Appearance: Nice thick white head. Dull gold color.

Nose: Grainy, with slight creaminess.

Taste: Lots of smooth grain, with crisp hop on the finish.

Mouth: Smooth, but a bit full. A little dry on the finish.

If you're looking for a lighter German-style ale, a great place to start.

 306 characters

Photo of AllanPatchin1016
4.19/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of IDABEERGUY
4.19/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tugdriver7
4.18/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was a pleasant surprise. Poured a hazy yellow in the glass, with a nice light yellow foam. Mostly malt in the nose, with enough hops presence to provide a burst of freshness. Taste was very well balanced and wonderfully drinkable. Some Kolsch offerings tend to be bland or boring. This was quite the opposite. For the style, a very good choice. You could put a few of these away and enjoy every drop.

 407 characters

Photo of sozz2
4.18/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of mactrail
4.18/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted this at a German restaurant in Ocean Beach, where it is a house draft called "Kaiserhof Kölsch Pale Ale."

Crisp and slightly hoppy. Such a nice clean taste. Very light body. Pale golden color in the mug, nice lacing. Like a lager with a rich tangy flavor. Flowery nose. Malty, yet delicate. Best Kölsch I've tried in a long time, not knowing what the heck it was. Score one for the local lads, but it really is a highly decent drinkable light beer and well worth a try.

 480 characters

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.18/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of gabeerfan
4.18/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thought I would crack this open on the first hot day we've had this year.
Pours a slightly hazy gold color with a somewhat fizzy head that only leaves a very thin ring.
Very subtle aromas. Some lemon and orange juice, very light grassiness. It took several whiffs to even get that much.
Flavors are stronger than the aroma would let on. Lots of lemon juice, little bit of honey, saltine crackers, and grassy hops.
Light bodied. Nice carbonation.
Very drinkable. Light bodied, good flavors and a somewhat low ABV make this a great summertime beer.
Too bad this isn't available in GA yet, I would get this beer all throughout the summer. Definitely recommended.

 660 characters

Photo of NickTheGreat
4.17/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L (4.25) - A bit more of an orangey yellow, and has a nice white foam on top.
S (4) - Not a lot of aroma, but a little bit of hops are noticed
T (4.25) - I find this very well balanced between hop and malt. If you think about the malt, you notice that, but start considering the hops and they pop out. Very well balanced.
F (4) - Easy drinking beer, carb'ed about right.
O (4.25) - All in all, I liked this beer. I'm kinda hit or miss on some BP stuff, and this is much more "hit."

 484 characters

Photo of trocketsauced
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Brolo75
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce can poured into a pint glass

A: Pale, golden straw color with a white head, lots of carbonation streaming off the bottom, slight lacing, a really good looking beer.

A: Straw, hay, malts, slight bitterness, slight fruit aroma, smells pretty good.

T: Hay, grain, malts, dry, slight bitterness, there is a hint of pears, finishes dry and malty, fairly complex for a pale ale.

M: Smooth mouthfeel, easy drinking, dry finish.

O: This is a quality beer, a little different than other pale ales I've tried but good, more grainy and malty than it is citrus and easy drinking, another great beer from Ballast Point and new beer I will definitely reach for.

 662 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At long last, nepotism rears its ugly head on The CANQuest (TM)! For those not in the know, I write for Ale Street News (and others) while my cousin, Colby Chandler, is the specialty brewer at Ballast Point B.C. It has been a closely-unguarded secret for some time and I have written about our relationship as well as making appearances with Colby at various venues and events. He knows of my affinity for CANned beer and especially craft CANs, so when they began CANning their beers, he knew precisely who to send some for a fair and balanced review.

From the CAN: "Handcrafted & CANned in San Diego, California"; "Dedicated to the Craft"; "The Beer That Launched Ballast Point"; "Our original Pale Ale is a rich golden brew, crafted with aromatic German hops and rounded out with a blend of American and Munich malts. While it's hopped like a lager, we ferment it like an ale to create a smooth, bright taste that has just a hint of fruit and spice. It's extremely drinkable, like a Kolsch should be. And complex, like a good craft beer demands."

The Crack revealed yet another brimful craft CAN and I was ready to see what was inside. An inverted Glug later, curtailed midway through as it threatened to overflow the sides of the glass, and I had a massive finger-and-a-half of French Vanilla-colored head with good retention in the face of today's humidity. Color was a deep, rich gold with NE-plus quality clarity, allowing me to see into the future.

I will be returning to the site of the creation of the term, "NE-quality clarity", which refers to one being able to read the Sunday comics through it, a level of clarity used by the brewer at Empyrean BC in Lincoln, NE to describe the kind of beer his patrons wanted in 2006 when I visited. I will be going back in late-February 2015 for a joint birthday celebration with Val MidWest who turns 21 y/o on Valentine's Day of that year while I will hit the big 5-Oh on the 25th. The party is planned for Yia Yia's and Old Chicago on Saturday, 28 Feb 2015 if anyone wants to join us.

While I was typing, the head fell, allowing me to lean in for a good whiff. The nose had a distinct biscuit malt/bready yeast quality, like freshly baked bread or biscuits. Yum! Mouthfeel was medium and the initial flavor was of mixed fruit, but followed with a subdued yeasty spiciness. It was like JuicyFruit gum, but with a bite. Finish was semi-sweet and highly refreshing on this hazy, humid day. Of the two so far (Longfin Lager) and this one, I am giving the majority of the cooler space to this, but neither really trip my trigger the way that the next two CAN.

The following is my original Bottle review dtd 12-31-2009

It arrived with a finger of bone-white head with good retention. Color was a bright golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity (although that is redundant when using the term "bright" to describe a beer). Nose had an interesting tang, a little sweet, as though the hops and yeast were fighting it out. Mouthfeel was medium with a sweetish, spicy black pepper taste on the tongue. Finish was dry, but not overly so.

 3,082 characters

Photo of BOSMECH
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

got this before making dinner and it was very good and smooth.
A lite to dark amber in color and the head was about 1 inch then weny away.
S has a malt smell and then a hint of hoops but mostly malt.
T very smooth with the malt going down.
O very nice beer to have with any kind of party or function and very smooth to drink.

 325 characters

Photo of mjurney
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance:
Dark gold color, slight haze. Medium carbonation. Small head.

Aroma:
Cut grass, grainy, slight herbal, crisp, clean.

Taste/Finish/Body:
Semi-sweet, grassy, grainy, hay, touch of toasted malts. Just a little fruity yeast. Hop bitterness is mild, mostly spicy-herbal. Finish is dry and crisp. Light-medium bodied, crisp, refreshing, highly drinkable.

Overall:
It's a very good Kolsch!

 403 characters

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