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 Gkruszewski
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

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

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First things first the label is misleading, this should be labeled a Kolsch or a golden ale. When you see Yellowtail Pale Ale from San Diego, my Pavlov's dog in me starts to salivate. When I get home and pour a pale golden crystal clear beer with a bright white head forming thick, it's definitely not what I was expecting. Aroma has sweet biscuit malts slight honey sweetness with some herbal hops lingering a nice cereal grain presence with a mild metallic mineral water accent and hints of grassy/citric hops in the backend. Flavor is grainy light toasted malts bringing biscuit to minds with a touch of citrus/fruit esters very mild hops in the finish. Not even great German style brewing going on just pretty much a dissapointment as a whole. Mouthfeel light bodied easy going, easy drinking, care free crossover style golden ale. Drinkability, okay but I'm shocked at how light on flavor and color their labeled "pale ale" is. Crappy pale ale, okay kolsch.

 962 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.74/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of WoodBrew
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of rolltide8425
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ejimhof
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of chippo33
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold with a white-ish head that wastes no time in falling. Flavor is a bit sweet and smooth. Noticeable grain attributes. But that sweet aftertaste sticks with you for quite some time. Feel has a biting carbonation. This is pretty easy to drink. I have to say this kölsch style is growing on me lately.

 317 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a make shift Stange, my old collins glass.

A nice simple pale lemon with green hues on the edges hints of dark buttery gold for the body. Some orange colors also A very large even foamy head of pin sized bubbles is produced which takes much time to receed but doesn't leave much lacing either.

Bouquet is subtle but nice if unexpected. Faint grain, very light and airy and dry smelling. A small toasty bread sense, some gas, even a hint of faint spritzy lemon.

Taste is strange... dry and powdery sensations of flour mostly. Powdery with some sweetness in the finish, missing bread action

Overall a real unique and nice nose, but taste doesn't deliver as much. This is not bad but I think I'd grab a different Kolsch if I could.

 761 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber, no freshness info offered. Pours light and clear, under a fairly thin off white tiny bubble head, that leaves plenty of sticky, fine sheeting. Resiny hop nose. Easy drinking, snappy, hopped up offering. I personally find it confusing when a brewery puts out a "pale ale" that actually is a Kolsch beer. Anyway, this beer is a pleasant enough light sipper. Nothing special going on here.

 403 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours straw golden yellow with a thin white head that holds up for awhile before becoming a vanishing patch.

The smell is sweet grain with a hint of Continental-type/floral hops.

The taste follows the nose. A touch of "wet cardboard". A bit yeasty, though with some crispness. Sweetish, turning to a dryish finish. Appropriately light-bodied.

A decent attempt at the style, though not quite as crisp and refreshing as some more classic examples of a Kolsch-style beer, IMO.

 476 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.57/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden-hued and clear, below a small white head.

Citrus-y aroma, fresh orange and lemon zest...light spices....fragrant and lively.

Fresh on the tongue, with plenty of hop zing blasting the palate. Then all is smooth and lovely. Light bodied, light hops, tasty malt below...a kolsch, but called a "pale ale" on the label..."I guess"...but, it works, it's a lighter easier-drinking ale, no chore to toss back,but full of flavor.

Should be offered in 6-packs, though, not 22 oz bombers. Just not spectacular enough to warrant the size or the price. A good beer, don't get me wrong, just doesn't push my buttons...

...searching....searching....no, that's all I have to say on this...

 693 characters

Photo of dvmin98
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of GarthDanielson
2.88/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured on-tap at the brewery, the beer was served in a pint glass. The beer was semi-hazy, bright, and a vibrant yellow-gold with a ring of filmy head. Mellow nose, with very slight hops characteristics. Watery flavors initially, but heavy toasted flavors on the tail end, with only a hint of hops. Slightly pale/hoppy and sour aftertaste, with a musty, lingering finish. Overall, it was a bit watery throughout.

 412 characters

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of malfunxion
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Photo of t2grogan
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

05/24/08- Purchased at City Beer in San Fancisco, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Pale yellow-golden pour with a 1/2 inch seltzery head. Leaves behind decent lace sheets.

Smell- Light scented sweet toasted malt and a handfull of hops.

Taste- Sweet malt with a lemony flavor. Hops are present and are lemon-grapefruit in flavor. A bit grainy as well.

Mouthfeel- Mid to high range carbonation level.

Drinkability- Haven't had many of this style, but it went down easy enough. Decent enough to try.

 568 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Tasted in a 16 oz snifter from draft at O'Tooles on December 28, 2016. Look is bright gold with a thick foamy head and sticky lacing.

134 characters

Photo of sendbeer
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of VeganUndead
3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe