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California Kölsch | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
81
good
379 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:
379
Ratings:
1,064
Avg:
3.54
pDev:
24.01%
 
 
Wants:
39
Gots:
187
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 379 | Ratings: 1,064
Photo of RDB51
3.84/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Yellowtail is an excellent beer. It is a perfect selection for a fresh, on tap product, here close to the brewery. Its appearance is slightly darker than a golden color. (I am color blind so I guess there is a red or brown tint.) The fresh draft product is lightly carbonated and the head is firm but less than most beers. Yellowtail is a very popular beer in San Diego bars, so it does not rest in the tap lines long. It is very accessible to those who drink beer occasionally or who are deviating from their domestic lager rut. It seems slightly sweeter than other pale ales.

While I would normally select a IPA for one or two beers with a meal, when I order a pitcher of half priced brew, I normally select Yellowtail. This smooth, low carbonated product is a great pick for watching 2-3 hours of sports in a bar. (Go Blackhawks!)

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy orange/copper appearance. Has a one finger of foamy head. Looks like a typical adjunct lager head. This has some carbination, but it's not real noticeable. Looks like a slightly paler version of a kolsh.

S- Malty sweetness. Fruity hop spice. There is also a lemony element here. Has a lager type graininess.

T- Follows nose. Malty sweetness. Fruity hop spice. Lemons. Lager type graininess.

M- Mild. Crisp, clean and refreshing. Finish starts out with sweet, but ends fairly dry. Easy drinking beer for sure. No complaints here. It just about drinks like a lager.

Overall this beer is very good. It's what got Ballast Point going. And I'm glad they stepped up their game in just about everything else they've done. It's an above average beer for sure, just not anything that blew my socks off. This would be excellent with seafood like mild whitefish, shrimp, or crab. I'd say try this if you are new to the craft beer scene or if you just want something that is light and extremely flavorful. You won't be disappointed.

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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 garymuchow
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Noted as "pale ale the original" on the bottle.
Soft mixed aroma of pale malt, light hops and some yeast. Yeasty qualities become stronger in time.
Huge white head caps a very clear golden body.
Again with yeast flavors first, then the paler malt (pretty clean with a slight sweetness) and mild bittering/very soft hop flavors and rather light dryness on the finish.
Nice refreshing quality and probably closest to a lawnmower beer than anything?
Goes down easily and pretty clean for an ale. Nothing offensive. Good for summer.
Received as part of xmas exchange.

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Photo of JimiO
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A good Pale Ale

Great color... easy to drink... nothing offensive in anyway

In being critical... it lacks a defining character... it's a bit plane... but that is a common charateristic I find in most Pale Ales

It's a pleasant beer you just want to drink... without having to feel the need to taste and analyze every sip... it goes down smooth... easy to put down a six pack

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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 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

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Photo of Sacrifice
4.94/5  rDev +39.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

newer bottle design, 5.2% ABV. almost as good as their sculpin IPA, which is how i came to sample other ballast point beers. clear taste but nice for cold as well as warm weather.

ballast point is now my favorite san diego brewery - better than stone, even

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Photo of MichaelBigbone
4.43/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The store by me now has ballast point brews in cans.

This beer is one of the best pale ales I've ever had. I thought I just liked the sculpin, but after having them all can admit that ballast point is a world class American craft brewery. I love the classic beers, and quality.

Compare this to Blue Heron (Mendocino), Mirror Pond (deschutes) ...but still so unique and great malt but balanced. Actually probably not appropriate to try to compare .

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Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear straw golden orange with a lot of rising bubbles. About two fingers of white head that slowly recede into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A crisp, bready, and fairly sweet German style aroma with citrus undertones. Upfront pale malts with hints of cereal grains, wheat, straw, biscuit, crackers, and yeast. Citrus fruit hints of orange, lemon zest, and pineapple. Earthy hop hints with a Noble presence. Slight hints of spice. A pretty decent Kolsch style aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma, a crisp, clean, bready, and fairly sweet Kolsch style taste with some citrus notes. Upfront pale malts with notes of wheat, cereal grains, straw, crackers, biscuit, and yeast. Juicy citrus fruit notes of orange, pineapple, and lemon zest. Earthy presence of European hops linger around. Subtle note of some kind of spice. Very grain forward. A pretty decent lager like taste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Crisp, clean, and very smooth.

Overall: A pretty decent take on the German Kolsch style. Has the crisp breadyness you expect.

 1,185 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
3.17/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.11/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big white head settles to a very big lacing that crawls up the edges of the glass above a clear pale straw golden golden colored beer.

Sour lemons and slightly soapy aroma.

Wet slightly sour grains taste with a little bit of lemony hops that is also probably adding to the sourness of the taste.

Wettish yet slightly dryish aftertaste with a bit of the lemony sourness remaining behind with this light to medium bodied drink.

A bit to much on the sour taste for a pale ale for me, not really what I think of when I grab a pale ale.

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Photo of KYGunner
2.93/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

With a name like Yellow Tail Pale Ale, I was expecting a pale ale, not a pale yellow adjunct but that is exactly what this portrays. The body, the scent and even the taste is all adjunct despite the claim it's a Kolsch. I smell corn, I taste corn and the pale yellow body screams adjunct. As I finish it there's the metallic aftertaste that seems to always accompany an adjunct. Ballast Point is such a great brewery but this is easily their worst effort.

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Photo of tronester
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden, with a big creamy white head. Smells of mild grain. Taste starts with some initial light caramel sweetness, then some grain husk, finishing with a flowery, earthy hop finish. Mouthfeel is medium. Carbonation is a bit high, but not too bad. Overall a good beer.

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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 ExaltedNecrosis
3.56/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Clear light golden straw color with a finger and a half of white head.

S - Smells like wheat, straw, and sweet corn.

T - I get wheat, lemon, corn, and a bit of straw. It is sweet and not very bitter; quite refreshing.

M - Thin body and moderate carbonation. This is a crisp, easy drinking beer that's perfect for summer.

O - A good take on the kolsch style. Nothing spectacular, but a solid brew that I could drink multiples of.

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Photo of JackieTH
3/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Meager yellowish ale pours smoothly kicking up a white foam cap. Sticky and leaves substantial lacing. Sweetish, bready, lemony and yeasty odor. Tastes of crackers, lightly sour- lemons, and yeasty. Mildly sweet. A bit of wet earth. Body is light. Definitely has kolsch elements, it's just not my style of pale ale.

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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 Huhzubendah
3/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is clear and ligh golden with a small white head. The aroma brings grain, earth, hops, malt. Some sweet corn character in the flavor. A balance of malt and hops with some wet earth character. Dank hops and lingering bitterness. This is neither a good kölsch nor pale ale. It certainly lacks the attributes of either style. Too sweet. One beer was more than enough. Not again.

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Photo of ISmith87
3.28/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A - golden/amber clear color with a thin head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

S - Nothing. Rice, wet cardboard, corn, light banana.

T - slight bitterness, rice, corn, light banana, wet cardboard, wheat, etc. c

M - light, aftertaste is basically nothing. Alc hidden.

O - yea it sucks, closer to Rolling Rock than it is to Dale's Pale Ale or any of the other greats.

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Photo of GPHarris
3.24/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

a - poured a one finger thick off-white head into an english pub glass. the body was an orange-golden color. not much lacing and sheeting here unfortunately.
s - citrus hops
t - citrus hops balanced by pilsner and bready malts.
m - moderate, a little on the thin side.
o - i had high hopes for this one and while it's a decent pale ale it fell short.

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Photo of vkv822
3.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz : tulip
best by: 10/28/13

The label is a bit misleading, as it just says "Pale Ale", which led me to expect an American Pale Ale, but it turns out it's a Kolsch! Anyways. . .

Pours a fairly clear, golden with a foamy, bubbly white head.

Pale, malts upfront with some grainy notes, grassy hops, and light floral/fruity notes as well.

Medium+ body, foamy carbonation.

A well done Kolsch, easy drinking with a subtle, but tasty hop profile.

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Photo of JWeldon
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip at 46F

A: Pours gold with a fleeting white head

S: Hops, lemon, grass, bread, hint of apple

T: moderate hops, good citrus, grass and a dry, gentle hop finish

M: light bodied, unexpectedly creamy, light malt, high refreshing carb. Well balanced.

O: Refreshing and thirst-quenching, but not what I expected from a beer labeled “pale ale.” I had heard it was more of a kölsch styled brew before I drank it, but my eyes read “pale ale,” and I wanted a pale ale when I cracked it open. (Strangely, I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had been labeled “kölsch.”)

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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 rhoadsrage
3.03/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a bowtie glass)
Best by 09/21/2013
A- This beer pours a clear glowing yellow body with a thin white film of heat that breaks up after a few sips and a slow carbonation pushing toward the surface.

S- The green bitterness of Noble hops and some dry field corn notes is all that come through this lagered clean aroma.

T- The dry pale malt has some stronger field corn taste that leads to a soft Noble pungent bitter note that lingers with a slight almost sulfury dryness. The taste also has a lagered cleanness to it.

M- The light mouthfeel has a tight scrubbing fizz in the finish.

O- The clean beer has lots of qualities of an American adjunct lager with lots of field corn qualities and Noble hop hints. It was a bit of a let down.

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California Kölsch from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.54 out of 5 based on 1,064 ratings.
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