California Kölsch | Ballast Point Brewing Company

BA SCORE
81
good
1,338 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:
1,338
Reviews:
423
Avg:
3.55
pDev:
13.52%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
280
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,338 |  Reviews: 423
Photo of Damasen
3.12/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Photo of boudeysbigbrew
3.12/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of
3.13/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap in the Marriott Marina Hotel, San Diego.

Poured a clear, pale yellow color. Medium, off-white head.

Primary aroma is bread dough. A bit of an acidic/unpleasant aroma comes along with it.

Taste is OK. Good balance. Biscuity with citrus/grassy hops.

Light body. Medium carbonation. Dry.

OK, but something off in taste or smell. Could be that this is not a fast mover at the Marriott. I would be willing to try again based on brewer's reputation, but not in any great hurry.

 494 characters

Photo of CJNAPS
3.13/5  rDev -11.8%
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 argock
3.13/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a clear pinot noir wine glass. Best by 02/15/13 stamped on front label. Purchased as a 6-pack at Trader Joes (Mission Beach, San Diego, CA) for $9.99.

A; Extraordinarily clear amber-copper with ample 1-2 fingers of off-white frothy head with decent retention and good lacing around the top of the glass.

S: Aromas are very crackery-bready malty with some spicy herbal hops and a very light citrus fruitiness

T: Tasted like an extremely tame APA with bready and somewhat grainy maltiness that was a little less rough on the second pour but still not as smooth as it could be, especially since, after looking at the 6-pack holder it's a Kolsch! Come on BP! As a kolsch, this is pretty average with too much graininess to really muster much support. The hops are also overly spicy and not smooth enough -- this is supposed to be a beer that reaches the top of the drinkability scale, but this beer isn't even close.

M: THere are many problems here. The carbonation is way too high and contributes to an astringent feel. THe spicy hops and graininess with a light body also equate to a overly sharp beer, almost peppery, exactly what a kolsch is not supposed to be.

O: Certainly not terrible but not all that great for the style. I downgraded them for not calling it what it is -- come on BP, in hops country, do it right.

 1,362 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.13/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear golden colour with a firm white head, good retention, some creamy lace.

S: Classic Kolsch nose of white grape and ale fruit, bready malt.

T: The malt is nice and there is a good fruit/pear-like flavour to this brew. There is a fair amount of hops in this beer, a San Diego take for sure. Hops are very green and grassy, not exactly my style, and it's too hoppy for this kind of beer.

M: Light-bodied, kind of flabby at times with a crisp finish.

D: A solid Kolsch, but I really prefer the classic Koln-made stuff in this style. Not a beer where being overly hoppy is a virtue.

 613 characters

Photo of mhewes
3.13/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A : Pours a golden color with a decent white head

S : Malty with some grass hints

T : Grainy and yeasty with some hop bitterness.

M : Thin with some decent carbonation

D : For a kolsch, it just doesn't do it for me. It is not a crisp and refreshing as I would expect.

 272 characters

Photo of pep
3.14/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of DrDemento456
3.15/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Man I knew as soon as I cracked the bottle it was old.

A - Pours a pure dead yellow with no head and mild ring lace, which seems to only cover half the glass. The sediment was low due to a slow pour but it was impossible to avoid.

S - Smells kind of grassy, kind of muddy, and kind of grainy. You get pretty much malt and grain and very muted hops (typical pilsner)

T - Wow it taste kind of belch. Like Grolsch Lager yet its an ale not a lager so age has turned it kind of sour. Second sip it taste like the carbonation wants to bring something to the field other than grain and grass but really thats all I am getting, bitter on bitter but not in a good way. Sad thing is only a few bubble of carbonation are visible.

M - Light and bitter like an ESB but it's an ale! Damn this beer is old!

D - Well apparently this company is notorious for not having dates on their beer along with getting this from a shop I knew had old beer was a lose/lose situation. It's weird since it's really not drain pour worthy yet not really exciting and full of flavor so I will pour it. Sad since even hella old the IPA still rocked my taste buds this beer is so/so at best new or old. Every beer is not a winner.

 1,202 characters

Photo of hopdog
3.15/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle acquired in trade with DarkElf (thanks!).

Poured a clear gold color with a smaller sized white head. Aromas of grass, citrus and some fruits (apples). Somewhat fruity tasting with light grass and wheat. Medium sweet with a very light hop bitterness finish. Watery body.

Notes from 6/3/05

 297 characters

Photo of Beerdudenumberone
3.15/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Bighuge
3.15/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dirty looking orange-amber color. It's got brown to it as well. Thus a dirty look. The head is ivory white and thin. Well retained though. And the lace left is nice. The aroma is quite thick and gritty for a kolsch. Very grainy. And dusty. (Like the grain room at the local homebrew shop.) Not that that's bad. Taste is average. It's quite grainy as well and not really quenching (as a kolsch should be). Dry finish. A bit of herbal and earthy hoppiness. Pretty average.

Thanks for yet another Ballast Point offering Mr. Bum.

 528 characters

Photo of beersarang
3.15/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale gold with a big bubbled head that didn't last long at all. Macro?!?

Faint aroma... not much to discern here.

Slight grainy malt flavor gives way to the tiniest of hop bitterness and flavor. Grassy if anything. Wimpy all the way.

Light bodied. Would be great on a hot day, but overall pretty bleh and plain.

 328 characters

Photo of bankboy66
3.16/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Looks and smells great with a decent head. The taste is ok but the feel is weird....there is a citrusy fizzy quality I'm not really liking. Once it goes down there is more citrus and grassy notes. If you want to try a proper kolsch try a Fruh.

 243 characters

Photo of Charles_Moran
3.16/5  rDev -11%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.16/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Golden with amber hues. 2 finger thick head.

S: bready and malty. Not getting too much of the fruitiness.

T: Wheat, mild fruit notes that I really have to search for. More like the bready nature of a pilsner than a pale.

M: The wheat beer character makes this more refreshing than many pale ales. A little bitter on initial feel

Overall: The refreshing aspect is a huge plus but this just isn't the pale ale for me. I love Ballast Point but this is just not for me.

 472 characters

Photo of Lemke10
3.17/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This pours a clear, golden yellow color with a slight white head. The aroma is fairly grainy. The flavor is very grainy with an unusual bitter finish. I know they list this as a Kolsch style ale but they should really put that in bigger font as people looking for pale ales probably aren’t looking for this taste profile.

 323 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
3.17/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Toscana Cafe. Pours clear golden with nearly no head. Aroma is light fruits like pears and white grapes, sweet pale malts, light grass and yeast. Flavor follows with some light hay, honey, sweet wheaty flavors, yeast lingering on the palate. Light bodied with medium high carbonation. Not great but plenty drinkable I guess.

 334 characters

Photo of sbw138
3.17/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought a bottle at another great trip to Pub on Passyunk East. Poured a golden yellow, with a bright white, but thin head. Left a small tracing at the top, but very little the more I drank.

Bready, malty smell. Pretty much what you'd expect from a Kolsch.

Light bready, malty taste, nice crisp finish.

Not really my style of beer, but not bad for what it is.

 361 characters

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to July2Nov for this one.

A- Pours a clear bright straw yellow and a fizzy finger worth of carbonation. Sticks around for a little while but doesn't leave much lacing.

S- Lots of crystal malts and a bit of fruitiness. There is not much of a hop presence to speak of. There is also a bready quality to it.

T- Pretty much spot on with the nose. Fruity and bready malts that is pretty balanced. Not much going on with this beer.

M- Light bodied with some nice crisp carbonation. This is a pretty quenching beer.

D- Crisp and refreshing but not much going on. A summer time beer for sure. Nothing bad but nothing to seek out.

 638 characters

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy golden yellow with one-finger, white, creamy head that lasted a couple minutes and left a nice film. Okay lacing.

S: Caramel malt, citrus, and floral.

T: Moderate sweetness and moderate bitterness. Toasted malt and bread. Light citrus.

M: Light to medium bodied with fizzy carbonation.

O: The taste was mild and a bit of a let down. Average overall.

 397 characters

Photo of Kingfireeater
3.19/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Bogdawg
3.2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of DrunkenMaster
3.2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Lahainas in Pacific Beach. Clear golden color with no almost no head. Tastes more like a pilsener than an pale. Light floral aroma with just a bit of citrus. I drank about 3 pitchers of this beer just sitting out on the patio at Lahainas on a beautiful night.

 269 characters

California Kölsch from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.55 out of 5 based on 1,338 ratings.
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