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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:
265
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 417 | Ratings: 1,316
Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
3.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a mixed 12-pack of Ballast Point beers at my local Trig's Cellar 70, and this was one of them. The packaging states that this one is good for another four months. Poured right from the fridge into my Lowenbrau Willi Becher glass.

L: Pours a golden amber--crystal clear--with about a half-inch of eggshell head that persists for a good long while and leaves very little lacing on the glass. There is a flaky particulate present, along with the profuse visible carbonation.

S: Bright bread-like grain notes in the nose--pilsner malts are clearly present. There are also some nice fruit notes of citrus and subtle banana. A bit of grassy hop notes coming through, as well.

T: Sweet bready malts with a definite pilsner profile are foremost on the palate. There are subtle notes of banana and lemongrass playing around the edges. The middle has a good deal of sweetness, with just a bit of that lemon-citrus and grassy quality continuing. The close has more of the sweetbread malt, along with a bit more of that grassy hop flavor and something a bit more astringent, leaving a bit of bitter lingering on the palate.

F: This one is on the lighter side of medium-bodied, with some nice creaminess thanks to a solid level of carbonation. There's just a bit of a watery quality that comes through toward the end of the glass.

O: I've had only a handful of Kolsch-style ales before, so my review should probably be taken with a grain of salt. I will say that I enjoyed the malt bill on this one--it's sweet and easy-drinking. The hops aren't too assertive, but they supply a nice counterbalance to the malts. While this probably won't be a beer I go out of my way to find again, I did enjoy it.

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Photo of MiScusi
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy golden straw color with no head, smell was pale malt. I was expecting it to be clear, but realized the cloudiness is from using some wheat. Taste was light bready malt and slight hops, that combine with a medium carbonation to give it a bit similar to a pilsner, although the body is a little heavier. It was still crisp and clean.

This was an good tasting Kolsch style beer.

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Photo of MerkinMan
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium gold and very clear. Fluffy white head that has some staying power (settles in slowly).

S: Cracker-like grain presence with a touch of sulfur in the nose. Some earthy hop aroma (light). Dominant scents are grainy and sulfur. Just a touch of DMS, but not in a bad way. Very slightly buttery.

T: Starts with a cracker like grain flavor followed by balancing bitterness with a little bit of a banana flavor in the finish. Finishes otherwise pretty dry with lingering bitterness. Balance is a little toward hop bitterness without much hop flavor at all.

MF: Medium light bodied and well carbonated. No creaminess - somewhat prickly on the the tongue. No heat or astringency.

O: A good standard American pale ale with a small interesting twist which is the slightly fruity, but not very long facet of the finish. The label does say in small letters "Kolsch Style Ale", and I wonder if this was added to account for the fruitiness, or if this was intentional. I'd drink more of these, but might not seek it out.

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Photo of JMC_TM
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This refreshing Kolsch pours a light straw color, with a nice frothy white head that leaves healthy lacing. The nose give off some hints of yeast, light malty breadiness, and an even fainter hop aroma in the background. When you first sip this brew there is a nice sweet, but light maltiness that is followed by a near perfect hop balance. This very drinkable Kolsch finishes fairly dry, with a light abv of 4.60%.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Poured from a 12oz into a pint. Pours an orange/gold with a 1/2 inch head and some pretty decent lacing.
Smell: Very light. Slight sweetness and a bit grassy and citric. Not much going on.
Taste: Interesting. Pale malts, citrus hops and something else I can't quite figure, not unappealing at all. Still very light on the taste.
Mouth: A nice light-medium. Goes down easy.
Drink: Good summer brew. Not heavy, easy to session.
It's a solid beer but not very unique. I'm still pretty happy with Ballast Point so far (3rd offering I've had).

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Photo of JMD
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy light copper, with auburn tints. Big frothy head that laces the glass.

S: Bread, cookie dough, some grass and yeast. Faint wiff of floral hops.

T: Very bready and doughy. Some carmel and lemon. Finishes with some hop bitterness.

M. Moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy. I find the texture of this beer to be its most appealing aspect.

D: I really like this beer. All the flavors are subdued, but they work very well together. This beer does down easy and is very refreshing.

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Photo of SDtastentune
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Yellow and fizzy, poured a head but is quickly dissipating.

S - Grains, bread, and a little malty smell.

T - Bread, malts, not to bitter, not much aftertaste other then malts.

M - Kinda fizzy over carbonation, but a pale ale needs that. Medium to light body.

D - Easy drinker for the not so brave, easy entry lever craft beer. I like more of an IPA true bitter beer or double stout, So this tastes like a light beer to me. Over all pretty balanced and good.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.74/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours crystal clear and light golden yellow.

Light sweet maltiness, slightly earthy and spicy noble hops, and toast.

Biscuity, toast, earthy hop bitterness.

Light-bodied, medium-high carbonation, crisp, clean.

Overall, a very subtle beer but a nice crisp and clean refreshing brew.

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Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is crystal clear golden yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that quickly died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderately strong aromas of biscuit and cracker malts are present in the nose along with some hints of white grapes.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell, except that there are stronger notes of grapes and a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little dry and chalky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and is a good American representation of the German Kölsch style.

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Photo of beergoot
3.74/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Gold colored body; gently rising carbonation; sticky, fluffy, white head; strings of lacing along the glass. Cracker and biscuit aroma. Toasted grain flavors; nice hop bitterness. Medium body; warm and soft on the palate.

A straight-forward kölsch-styled ale that hits the appearance, scent, and flavor of this classic German-styled beer. It has a crisp, clean taste, seems well-balanced, and is definitely an easy drinker. Very enjoyable...

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Photo of DaveHS
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm a big fan of all the other Ballast Point stuff, so I'm expecting this to be pretty decent.

A-Pours a light amber with a quarter inch of eggshell white head. Leaves a bit of streaky lacing.

S-Grains, pale malts.

T-A little heavier than I'm used to from the kolsch style. The malt character is one-dimensionally sweet. Reminds me of malt liquor for a hot second. Then the sweetness is overtaken by flavors of earth and grassy hops. The finish is crisp.

M-Light bodied, but bigger than your average kolsch.

D-The kolsch style is pretty friendly in general, and this beer is no exception. However, it isn't one of the more successful American micro versions of the style.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours cloudy lemon yellow with an orange tint. A hell of a head of foam that stayed forever to a cap and collar. Great lace. Nose is dank and yeasty up front with light bread. Hops are perfumey and floral, There is a light apple smell and sweet grain with grass. Taste is smooth. Light with the apple and cracker malt. The malt is just awesome in this. Hops are noble, floral and reserved. There’s a pleasant sweetness from the malt but nothing you could point at and name and say "honey" or "caramel;" and a little sour from the yeast. A faint touch of spice and straw. The finish was dry and had a nice bitter twang. Finished malty. This is actually a kolsch and tastes like a kolsch. I t derived it’s dryness form the malt more so than from alcohol or hop bitterness. It was a cereal dryness.

I like it. Its not loud, it’s not really fruity. It has a small pucker from the sweet apple and that’s where it gets it’s sweetness. The malt sweetness is understated and behind that. A good kolsch reminds you that malt is sweet in and of itself without caramel, toffee or sugar . The malt stayed dry and breaddy . Very impressive.

 1,138 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz single bottle into a regular kitchen glass. 1st time trying this.

A- Yellowtail has a yellow appearence with some white gold specs here and there. A semi aggressive pour popped up a inch of nicely layered white foam. Sadly no legs on the foam as it died quick leaving no lace. Some sediment.

S- not getting much hops in fact none, I am getting some toasted malts. A big scent of straws with some fruit hidden beneath. Not so bad.

T- Light toasted malts and some earthy grass plus straw. Pretty tame but this is a simple style. Some faint fruit on the aftertaste. No bitterness at all as hops are not a factor.

M- Light carb and a light body. Not much of an aftertaste except for some fruit. The malts are soothing going down making this enjoyable.

D- Sessionable and good for a go. Im not sold on the Kolsch style yet as i've only tried two in the style but this does not make me jump for more. A good summer beer and I could see myself taking a case to a party.

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Photo of ZAP
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

If it's a Kolsch why not call it one instead of a pale ale. I expected a lot more from this in the way of hops but now reading what it is I understand. I'm still pissed though as I wanted a true APA from BP...As a Kolsch it is decent enough...some malt sweetness....relatively clean...some bready/cereal notes....light fruitiness (apples/pears)...decent for the style but still pissed this is not an APA..I'll rate for style though

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Photo of patpbr
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Golden clear with a small white head
S - Malts and yeast
T - Much like the smell with some spice and hops showing up.
M - Medium body and just a little hop bite.
O - Not bad its easy to drink

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Photo of chargerfanjess
3.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad. Crystal clear clear clear yellow pale straw. Fair size head that left bunch of white lace. Very light hop nose and malt as well. First sip light corn flavor and grain. Very crisp finish and very full mouthfeel for this type of light brew. No aftertaste which was nice for this type. Good drinkable beer on and on

 347 characters

Photo of RyanK252
3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours golden yellow with a frothy off white head that settles to a nice layer and laces well.

S: Floral, a little spice, light fruity notes, faint citrus, a little grainy, and a hint of sweetness.

T: Kinda fruity, floral notes, lemon zest, a touch of spice, and light crackery malt.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, pretty crisp and refreshing.

O: Slightly misleading label, but a very solid kolsch.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Advertised as a kolsch-style, one should expect this to be less a "west coast" pale than Ballast Point's other offering. The beer is a clear, very light copper in color, with a very thin head. Aroma is mild, wheaty and suffused with German hops. The flavor is surprisingly rich for such a crisp-feeling body, with a raw grainy malt and an earthy/herbal hop very dry finish. A refreshing yet substantial beer, and a nice entry in a style which, admittedly, I tend to find a bit uninspiring.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: clear full gold, decent white head.
S: bready, crackery malts and grassy, spicy noble hops,
T: saa, malts are lightly sweet and well-balanced by a smooth hop bitterness. Finish is crisp, clean, and dryish.
M: just over light bodied, frothy.
O: a fine kolsch, but as has probably been said 1000 times, why call it a pale ale? I forgot this was a kolsch and got it wanting an apa.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

BOD 177/14. Pours a clear light amber (golden). Above average head volume, excellent lacing and retention. Light nose of fruity esters and yeast over a biscuit base with a hint of spice. Almost light medium body with a nice slick texture. Slightly below normal carbonation with just a touch of effervescence in the finish. The flavor profile is quite nice for a Kolsch. Above average intensity for the style, well balanced and fairly complex. It begins with a mix of light fruit (banana, pear) that flows into a somewhat crisp biscuit sweetness. The middle is a very mild hop bitterness that is herbal in nature that yields to a slight note of pepper like spice. The finish is a slow fade of herbal bitterness and biscuit that ends with a touch of dryness.

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Photo of BeerAmbassador
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice two finger head with good lacing. Pale yellow color. Looks a bit like a domestic lager.

S: Bread-like aroma with some yeasty smells and a bit of citrusy fruitiness.

T: Very malty and buiscuit-like flavors with a nuttiness that I can't quite place. Finishes with a small amount of citrus and floral at the end.

M:Nice tight, bright carbonation. Although head has dissapaited.

D: Very Smooth and drinkable, something that I would drink for a thirst quencher when I wanted something a little more complex than your run of the mill macro.

Overall I really like this beer, it has a really pleasant nutty malt. And for an ale it is really smooth, bordering on a lager. This is my first of the style so I dont have anthing to compare it to but i really like it.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice hazy, carbonated, golden yellow with a good head. Floral, citrus, grassy, woody, and brown sugar were all evident in the nose; fairly impressive. The flavor was a little less so, but very good nonetheless, with all of the aforementioned flavors. The finish was a dry grassy-ness. Impressively complex from sip to sip, sometimes tasting like a weak barleywine. Mouthfeel had a nice carbonated balance. Definitely good for a session.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz can into glass. 5.2% abv

Appearance- Pours a cloudy light-,edium amber with a foamy white head that lasts.

Smell- Toasted grains, fresh toasted biscuit aroma.

Taste- A nut-like flavor hits the palate at first followed by a toasted malt similar to a cracker. The sweetness gives the slightest hint of citrus. Also has a buttery quality to it. Some hop bitterness plays into the finish with a lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body, Lively carbonation and very smooth.

Overall- Outstanding due to the full flavor and smoothness. The maltiness and sweetness compliment each other very well. This beer should just be called Kolsch as Pale Ale is a bit deceptive due to the style. Nevertheless a high quality beer that should be tasted.

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Photo of seaoflament
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer a few times already, from tap and bottles, just never gotten around to review it since it's so widely and easily available. I ended up with an extra bomber so I thought it was a good opportunity to sit down and write up a review.

Unfortunately I don't have a strange to pour this beer into so I opted for my mug. The color is a light apple juice color with great clarity and about an inch of white foam that retains for a few moments.

The beer opens up with a combination of yeasty esters, bread, a bit of sulfur, a slight mineral water quality, and light noble hop aromas. I'm really liking the cracker and bread-like aromas on the nose. Light fruits like pears, apples, and a hint of cherry. Almost has a slight toasted malt quality in the background. Notes of apple juice and some spicy hop aromas.

The taste is very similar to the aroma with some bread and cracker malt upfront followed by some yeasty and fruitiness in the middle, some mineral and slight sulfur near the end, and a nicely attenuated dry finish with some bubbly carbonation. A tad of alcohol flavor seems to be apparent in the finish but I'm not sure if it might be some other yeast fermentation by product that's creating a similar flavor. Hints of earthy hop bitterness in the finish, slightly floral tasting too.

Medium-high carbonation with a medium body on the palate. A clean and dry fiinish makes this one very drinkable. Enters smooth on the palate and finishes nice and crisp. Hmm, after a few sips I seems to get a little rough and grainy/bitter sensation on the palate, but doesn't happen on every sip. Nice beer actually, and an interesting take on the style.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.81/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours golden, perfectly clear, but seems a little low on carbonation
Scent of rich grain, freshly cut grass, and a hint off citrus; not much else is needed. Fresh grain, grassy hops, oats, and a hint of hemp in the finish. The body is a little low in carbonation as well. A clean and supremely drinkable beer.

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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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