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:
290
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,356 |  Reviews: 426
Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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 GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear yellow-gold color with a 1 inch white head that settles to a thin film. Broken rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is good but basic with malt and floral hop aromas. Taste is of sweet malt and some floral and herbal hop flavors. Mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good carbonation level with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a solid beer from Ballast Point. Nothing too special but nice and easy to drink for what it is.

 492 characters

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

somewhat of a hybrid of styles here between a true german kolsch and an american pale ale, a neat and subtle fusion. this is a little darker, slightly more copper hued and robust on the malt front than you might find in a traditional kolsch, but it has the right yeast and the right fermentation temperature, just a but more body and flavor from the malt, pretty cool evolution really. the flavor is quite a bit more hoppy than you would be likely to find in an import, this is where the american pale aspect comes in, notes of citrus and a substantial bittering component as well, mostly in the finish. the various elements, including the european flare, really mesh well together here, its not overdone, and seems unique without trying too hard to be. a little bit of an apple juice fruitiness to it before the finish, and a bit of body to go with it, but overall quite light and drinkable, even if it lacks the refreshment value of a more traditional kolsch type. i liked this pretty well, especially with spicy pork green chili, surprised it isnt rated more favorably here...

 1,079 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of djrn2
3.23/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Knapp85
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a nice looking golden color, kind of hazy. The head was a little fizzy but ended up sticking around for a little while. The smell of the beer was pretty nice, giving off some decent hop aromas and malts. The taste of the beer has a nice crisp bitterness that faded into a sweetness as is settled on the tongue. The mouthfeel was crisp and sharp, nicely done. Overall I pretty Solid pale ale.

 415 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.05/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Name says its a pale ale.. on the bottle it calls it a Kolsch.. confusing eh?

Anywho, a decent drinker. Weird my package store just got this in as it doesn't seem like a winter type brew.. in fact it's the exact opposite. There's intense carbonation in this bad boy, I had trouble pouring it without the head spilling over (maybe my bottle was old/infected?). Very light bodied with a nice crispness to it. Some slight hops are there but it drinks like a pils/kolsch as the bottle states. Pale ale.. nah not enough hops for that. Not something I'd buy again but decent.

 570 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

 708 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.41/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 16oz American pint at the Waikiki Yard House, dubbed 'Yellow Tail' on the menu.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium golden straw colour, with one finger of foamy and somewhat creamy ecru head, which leaves a solid wall of painted lace around the glass as it slowly slips away.

It smells weakly of bready, doughy malt, a bit of aged lemon juice, and mild leafy, grassy, and earthy hops. The taste is more bitter up front, sort of indeterminately - kind of leafy, kind of citrusy - with a still-strong pastry-esque maltiness providing a wholesome balance.

The carbonation is a bit peppy, the body a spare middleweight, and haltingly smooth. It finishes with more of the same - timidly bitter hops, and solid bready hops.

A decent pale ale, a bit of necessary moderation at the moment - for the rest of you - drink at will.

 830 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.95/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

650ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high based on the rating average here on beeradvocate. I usually quite fancy kolschs, so I'm excited to try this one. Here we go!

A: Pours a three finger head of no cream, fair thickness, and average (~2 minute) retention. Colour is a semitransparent yellow.

Sm: Light barley and subtle bright fruit notes. A mild strength aroma, but a pleasant one.

T: A touch creamy over top a clean barley foundation. Too malty. I don't detect the wheat the label mentions at all. A very simple beer. Boring but pleasant. Built decently but without boldness or inspiration.

Mf: Smooth and wet - overly so in fact. A bit thick for a Kolsch as well.

Dr: They got the style wrong, but its a pleasant simple beer, with muted flavour. It's too restrained to be truly good, but if you're not expecting much, it's a highly drinkable beer. It's certainly sessionable. I'd try it on draught on a rainy day, but it won't be coming up in conversation anytime soon. Nice try, lads, but you didn't do anything interesting.

***
12/29/15 2nd impression:

C+

 1,205 characters

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear pale golden color with a marshmallow cap; decent retention and a touch of lace

Smell: Bready, with lemon floral tones

Taste: Opens with sweet malty elements that have a considerable lemon character; after the swallow, the contrasting flavors persist and are joined by a hint of wheat and a dollop of husky grain

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A little maltier than would be expected for the Kölsch style; when I reviewed this on tap I was overly critical as I thought it was a pale ale

 557 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of zeff80
3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a fizzy, somewhat cloudy, golden yellow color with a foamy, soapy, white, two-figer head. There were some rings of lace.

S - It smelled of citrus and was quite floral.

T - This was pretty sweet with a nice barley and grain taste. It also had some spicy hop presence.

M - It was sharp and very crisp. A light-bodied beer.

D - This is one of the best Kolsch-style ales that I've ever had. I liked the hop kick that it had.

 439 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.11/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

 535 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of largadeer
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 5/30/2014. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy golden color with a 2 finger dense and rocky white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, bread, herbal, straw, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, bread, herbal, straw, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light earthy herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, bread, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness and balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. A fairly clean finish as well with no overly estery yeast notes present. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with no warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice kolsch style. All around good balance and robustness of pale malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,377 characters

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +12.7%

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