California Kölsch | Ballast Point Brewing Company

BA SCORE
80
good
421 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:
421
Ratings:
1,330
Avg:
3.54
pDev:
13.84%
 
 
Wants:
47
Gots:
277
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 421 | Ratings: 1,330
Photo of kflorence
3.62/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Drank from the bottle. Poured, I would imagine it to be a golden yellow/amber in color, with a fair amount of head (judging by the carbonation levels).

S: Smelled of floral hops with a more subtle sweet malt blend in there. Also of note are citrus and grass.

T: Pretty balanced palate overall, though slightly hop-dominated initially, but with a definite malt backbone that lingers on the tongue. There is also citrus in there, mostly lemon, as well a grain/bread flavor and some honey.

M: I would say this is a medium-light beer. It's heavier than most light beers, but it's not as heavy as a typical Amber. I found the mouthfeel quite pleasant, as it had some substance to it. Probably a strong point of this beer.

D: The other strong point is definitely the drinkability. Nothing exciting here, but it's pretty well balanced and very sessionable. Wouldn't turn my back on this, but wouldn't seek it out either.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into an almost vertical 'pint glass' which I appropriated from the World Famous restaurant in P.B. for the sake of measuring its volume. At 12.8 oz. it's an interesting 'pint' with perhaps 11.2 oz. of beer with a fair head atop it.

Alas, it's the closest I had to a Stange glass, so back to the beer...

Pours a touch hazy, slowly clearing to a medium golden color with a half inch of white foamy head. Retention is short and lacing is present but not much of a factor.

Malts, hops and a tinge of sour on the nose when agitated, otherwise rather still and almost lager-like. Taste is light and a bit bready with a moderate finish. Carbonation fits the beer well. Easy drinking with an interestingly dry but not chalky finish.

A go to beer for many of my non-craft beer friends when I drag them out, and a big money maker for Ballast Point; allowing them crazy folk to tinker elsewhere.

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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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

golden color with tons of bright yellow highlights that really showed off the clarity and brightness of this one. Huge head of white that towered over the glass at first settled down like a soft pillow that gently coated the outside of the glass and gave a rich, and dense color to it. Aroma is light, airy, with hints of banana and light fruit that is layered on top of bready tones and hints of light grain. Very light, cannot stress that enough as it really was coming through quite well on a 90 degree afternoon. Warming brought out a touch of almost citrus like smells across the nose, but then you go in for a taste and its over. Light and refreshing taste just overwhelms the palate.

very drinkable in deed.

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Photo of Ezekiel81923
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another bottle I picked up at the Charleston Beer Exchange while on vacation. Tried this one the same night as the Calico, in a similar pint glass.

Appearance: Light amber/gold in color with some haziness to it. About a one finger head of foam that leaves ok lacing.

Smell: Yeast and malt with some fruitiness coming through from the hops, but not much. Kind of a let down in the aroma category but as long as it tastes good I won't mind.

Taste: Has some fruity and floral hop flavors to it, but the malt flavor is more pronounced.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with pretty even bitterness throughout the experience. Dry in the finish as well.

Drinkability: High thanks to the low ABV and light flavors. The malt and hops are pretty well balanced so it won't tire you out.

Decent, but for what its worth I haven't had too many Kolsch styles that have blown me away.

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Photo of TCgoalie
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Al 6-pack bottle #5.

Pours a golden yellow with a one finger white head. Some lacing sticks to the glass but not much.

Wheat and a faint grass hop come out of the scent. Mildly sweet but not too complex.

The wheat flavor really comes out in the taste with an essence of lemony grass hops.

The carbonation is low in this beer, but I think it works for it. Light in the mouth with a slight drying in the end.

This is very drinkable and a solid session beer.

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Photo of WillCarrera
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, has a bottle code but I can't figure it out, poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a hazy golden orange color, topped with a big fluffy, sticky white head, leaves excellent lacing.

S- Lots of bready malts, mild citrus and grassy hops.

T- Light, bready malts, which actually taste pretty nice, some grassy hops, grain, and lemon zest add some character.

M- Light-bodied, moderate carbonation, has a creamy feel with a smooth, slightly dry finish.

O- I really enjoyed drinking this, it isn't the strongest offering from Ballast Point, but for what it is, a very simple, easy-drinking beer, it's not bad at all, I would definitely buy this again next time I want a nice summer beer.

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Photo of GJ40
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle purchased from Apex Beverage Co in Apex, NC. No noticeable best by date.

A - Light yellow with great clarity and a moderate white head that sticks around for a while. It leaves some decent lacing behind.

S - Some grassy hops with a touch of lemon and black pepper.

T - A light fruit flavor with clean and crisp finish. Toward the dry side but not dry.

M - Moderate consistency with a moderate to high carbonation.

D - This beer is enjoyable, refreshing and very easy to drink but not all that interesting.

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Photo of GuzzLah
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Well, I bought this thinking it would be a citrusy and medium hoppy APA since it says Pale Ale on the bottle and Ballast Point brewed it.

Come to find out, this is a Kolsch made with Euro hops. OK?

I suppose it tastes pretty good for a Kolsch, but I feel as if I have been duped.

False advertising!

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice pure strong golden color with a frothy white head that is nice and sticky and white.

S - Strong fresh grain aromas come up fast. Nice fresh baked bread with some nice grassy hops on the back. Aroma is refreshing and straight forward but delicious.

T & M - Taste starts off bready and with earthy grains. There is also some nice slight sweetness to it with some nice fresh grassy hop notes. The hop character is very european and crisp. With some slight spice and refreshing but bitting bitterness. This is a great Kolsch and a delicious beer that can be drank for longer periods. Body is nice and crisp with clean malt and hop flavors.

O - Good beer. Delicious and easy to drink with a lower ABV.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice yellow, straw color with a rocky, puffy head. It also had a musty smell to it. The flavor was some must, subtle fruitiness, and the mouthfeel was crisp. I could see drinking a couple of these while doing yard work. Then again, I would probably just buy the Big Eye IPA instead.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7/20/08. Bottle. Pours a light orange with a small head. Aroma of light wheat and Kolsch malts, some light fruits. Flavor starts off with a sharp, spicy initial bite followed by Kolsch malts, apple, pear, rhubarb, champagny notes. Very light, very tasty. Good beer, although as noted below, the name is quite misleading.
7/4/7/4/14 (3.6/5)

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Photo of Loadedgunz
3.64/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer definitely resembles the kolsch beers from Cologne, Germany.

A - Clean, pale gold appearance topped with a good head layer that retained fairly well.

S - apple, pear, and hint of citrus.

T - apple and pear front notes with a crisp and mildly hopped finish.

M - crisp and refreshing. A great summer beer, in my opinion. I think this beer resembles more of a pilsner than anything else.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear golden color, forming just a small amount of white head. Aroma is bready with some citrusy hops. Reminds me of a good helles lager. Taste follows the nose with the same helles vibe, just a bit more bitter and hoppy. Body is really smooth. Very nice, easy to drink beer. Fits its description perfectly.

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Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Abe's.

Well it's a good thing they're calling this a kolsch, because it wasn't much of a pale ale. This beer just has a clean pale malt flavor with a touch of sweet biscuit and a hint of hops. The aroma has sort of a bland light malt smell, but not much more. Still a tasty beer, nothing wrong with drinking this if you want something lighter.

UPDATE: 5/13/10: I'd just add that there's an interesting popcorn aroma and pleasant mineral character to the flavor and water.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a frothy white head that leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass.

Smells of bready, pale malts and some fruitiness.

Tastes of the bready malt upfront followed by a slight hop flavor. Wish there was more of that herbal hoppiness, but there is in fact very little. Finishes dry and a little sweet. Some fruit notes are brought out at the end by the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium light with a good amount of crisp carbonation.

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Photo of Strat58cat
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Very good pale ale. It is light, balanced, refreshing and delicious. That's what I want in a pale ale.

It's a clear, golden color in the evening light of my house. Lots of head will come if you work at it by splashing it into the bottom of the glass, but it cannot retain for long. This beer does not lace at all in my glass Samuel Adams glass.

The smell is delicious and balanced. It's very reminiscent of a Boston Lager, but a little more subdued.

The taste is crisp, clean, refreshing, balanced. Again, the balance is along the lines of a Boston Lager although this is an ale. There is not as much going on, but this ale is light and very refreshing.

The feel is medium bodied. It's not at all thick. This ale was neither watery nor heavy.

Overall, a great, light, refreshing ale. My feeling is that lighter beers are the forte of Ballast Point. I do think their famous IPA is a misfire, but their original pale ale is an excellent choice for a very low-maintenance brew.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden orange color. Frothly white head becomes a nice film.

Smell: Has an aroma of florals and spices.

Taste: Mild taste of semi-sweet floral malts, with a bit of spices and some very light hop bitterness. Maybe a bit of bread too.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with soft carbonation. Light- to medium-bodied.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, physically, though it doesn't fully keep my interest.

An enjoyable beer, but nothing that particularly stands out. A bit too sweet for a beer this light, at least for me. But it's certainly worth trying.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to barleywinefiend for this one.

A - Fairly clear golden yellow with a thin white head that quickly fades without any lacing.

S - Floral and fruity with vinous malts.

T - Fruity and floral, sweet, slightly malty with a grapey flavor, slightly estery from the yeast.

M - Refreshing with a bit of spice on the tongue. Grainy feel and not as crisp as other Kolschs I have had.

D - Nice and refreshing.

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Photo of wknight167
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apearance - Pours slightly darker than golden with a 2 finger white head that hangs around for a bit, and leaves some lacing behind.

Nose- Pale malt, a little citrus and a touch of bread.

Palate- Mostly sweet pale malt, but there is some spicy hops and some very light fruitiness.

Mouthfeel- Just north of light bodied and just south of medium carbonation.

Drinkability- Very easy drinking, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of veinless
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mustard-yellow pour, with some soapy white head that dissipates quickly with moderate lacing.

Smell is of dough, as in bready yeast or something like that, malt character is pretty strong. Hops and fruit also there, though not nearly as much.

Very, very clean crisp feeling upon first sip, and a lot of funky malt too. Bitterness from hops hits at the back-end, along with some citrus, and a slight phenolic taste.

This beer is decently drinkable, but the carbonation is just a bit too high for my taste and holds it back. Body is very nice and light though, considering the more-than-expected malt character in this guy.

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Photo of McStagger
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought it cuz of the brand name. Was not aware it's a Kolsch until now. Haven't brewed a Kolsch since the Island Blonde debacle. Let's see if San Diego can do it better than Carpenteria.

A: Murky and hazy yellowish orange with ample bleached head. Carbonation is moderate to vigorous, with two fingers head that recedes fairly quickly. Good lacing.

S: Earthy, caramel and hay like maltiness mixed with a touch of stone fruit.

T: Funky flavor that can only come from....wheat malt. Throws me off, the almost nuttiness of wheat malts in a beer. Earthy, with a rounded, slightly sweeter edge.

M: Good, ample carbonation. The ale yeast keep the body of this softer and rounder. Kinda leaves the beer feeling a little flabby. I guess I miss the crisp lager finish.

O: Yeah, it's a pretty good Kolsch. I just can't seem to get into this style like I used to. Ah, well.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.66/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into an alt glass.

Pours a very golden amber with a lot of carbonation, a nice tight little head with good retention. Nose is a bit wheaty/malty with a bit of hoppiness but it's similar to a marzen.

Mouthfeel is a little bit ligt/watery, but still good and easy drinking. Has a toastiness with some subtle wheat and nice earthiness to it. for a so-called pale ale, I'd like it to be a bit hoppier, but as a Kolsch it's just about where it should be.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Common Table in Dallas. The beer pours a cloudy orange color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the toffee with some orange citrus and some light grass notes. The flavor follow suit. I get a lot of toffee and caramel malt as well as some citrus and pine notes from the hops. The malt is much more prevalent than the hops, but there is still a light bit of bitterness and some hop flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of WesWes
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a light pilsner malt scent along with moderate hop aroma and clean finish. The taste is decent as well. It's crisp and clean with a touch of hop bitterness and a solid pilsner malt composition. It's not a complex brew, but it's an easy drinker. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great summertime brew; light and refreshing.

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California Kölsch from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.54 out of 5 based on 1,330 ratings.
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