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 tone77
3.42/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

 324 characters

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

Appearance: pours a dark golden yellow color with a 1" head that lingers a while. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: grass, hay, and some malt sweetness is detectable by the nose.

Taste: grainy malt base with grass, pears, and mild bitterness. Very simple kolsch style that is refreshing.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Medium bodied beer. Clean aftertaste.

Drinkbaility: definite session beer here. I was surprised the label states pale ale but the liner notes explain this is a kolsch. Tasty and worth a try.

 523 characters

Photo of Sweffin
3.1/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of ShanePB
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.39/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Abe's.

Well it's a good thing they're calling this a kolsch, because it wasn't much of a pale ale. This beer just has a clean pale malt flavor with a touch of sweet biscuit and a hint of hops. The aroma has sort of a bland light malt smell, but not much more. Still a tasty beer, nothing wrong with drinking this if you want something lighter.

UPDATE: 5/13/10: I'd just add that there's an interesting popcorn aroma and pleasant mineral character to the flavor and water.

 497 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.03/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at The Hopping Pig in San Diego

Expected an APA with this one and didn't realize this was kolsch. A little dissapointing as I wouldn't have ordered it had I known it was not an APA.

A - Straw yellow with a small amount of white head.

S - A very light overall nose. Some grainy/bready notes and light bitterness but not much going on overall here.

T - Bready/grainy malts with a slight hop bitterness. Seems like a pils, not a pale ale. I don't get a lot of hops at all and the malts are very subdued as well.

M - Light body, moderate carbonation.

O - I can't really change my review to reflect the fact that this is a kolsch. At the time, I reviewed it as a pale ale and it didn't meet my expectations. They should change the name of this beer.

 760 characters

Photo of brandoman63
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of WesWes
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a light pilsner malt scent along with moderate hop aroma and clean finish. The taste is decent as well. It's crisp and clean with a touch of hop bitterness and a solid pilsner malt composition. It's not a complex brew, but it's an easy drinker. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great summertime brew; light and refreshing.

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

Thank you Cost Plus World Market for carrying this in your vairety pack! On to the beer:

A soapy head forms on top of this golden ale, albeit one that doesn't last too long. But it does the job on a pleasant warm day. It's semi-sweet with some hop grape and bready flavors. The crispness is light and finishes a touch dry. A great beer to have when the weather is too much to have something big.

 398 characters

Photo of Nichols33
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of tobelerone
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

App: Very clear golden color with a good sized fluffy white head, good retention, fair lacing.

Smell: Slightly grassy hops and biscuity malt. Nothing too big, just a modestly bitter and malty aroma.

Taste: Lightly grainy and malty, with a more traditional-feeling European hop profile, bitter but balanced between the two elements. Grassy and floral, maybe a touch lemony. Malt isn’t particularly profound, again on the light side. Not a west coast super-hopped pale or an IPA in disguise at all. Very mild.

Mf: Light bodied with a short, dry finish, just a touch of lingering bitterness. Medium-high carbonation.

Overall: Easy drinking but somewhat bland, even for a kolsch, which is for me not the most exciting style to begin with. Lacking any particularly distinctive characteristics.

 795 characters

Photo of Whiskeydeez
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Common Table in Dallas. The beer pours a cloudy orange color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the toffee with some orange citrus and some light grass notes. The flavor follow suit. I get a lot of toffee and caramel malt as well as some citrus and pine notes from the hops. The malt is much more prevalent than the hops, but there is still a light bit of bitterness and some hop flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 448 characters

Photo of redfox405
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of BillRoth
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

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

Pours a light gold in color. A pale ale or a Kolsch? Make up your mind Ballast Point! This brew leans more to the kolsch side, making it a good summer option. Light floral hops, no real bite. Crystal and pale malts. Tinge of lemon. Fairly bitter, and very clean at that. Easy to drink but just a run of the mill kolsch style beer.

 330 characters

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

Photo of puboflyons
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Probably from 2014. Sampled on February 23, 2015.

The pour is mostly yellow, clear, and bubbling up to a decent white head that lingers some and then becomes a ring.

There is a nice grainy malt character in the air, which is how I imagine a Kolsch to be, along with a grassy, clean hop ester.

Medium body.

Quick drinking thanks to its pale malt-grassy hop balance. Refreshing.

 411 characters

Photo of eawolff99
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Eziel
3.49/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of enelson
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of BARFLYB
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

 972 characters

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

Yellowtail is, in fact, yellow (but a rather dulled shade of it at that). It is actually so dense that I had thought its natural haze was condensation built up on the glass, but no, that's just what happens when you use the right amount of malt in your brew. Its head is incomplete but does make the 5-inch or so trip round the whole circumference of the glass.

The aroma showcases a very assured, wholesome maltiness that is so thick as to be almost doughy. It smells like crackers or biscuits and is deliciously aromatic, even despite its paleness. With quality malts like this I don't even want hops or yeast to interfere and I'm quite happy they don't (although others might detect a subtle fermentation-driven fruitiness).

You don't need a million different flavours for a beer to be flavourful, sometimes you only really need one. This kölsch, like most golden beers in this alcohol range - and in particular the German-style ones - is not terribly complex, but it is extremely flavourful. Cracker-like, noticeably biscuity maltiness is all you taste, but it's really all you need. These malts are highly-attenuated and very rich in flavour yet incredibly simple and clean too.

I could have a beer like this every day with lunch and be a very happy man. (I'm not sure the bomber would fit in a lunch box but this is definitely the kind of thing you'd want alongside a big sandwich.) Despite being so approachable and easily quaffed, it is still a considerably hearty and flavourful beer so far as its maltiness is concerned. A beer like this makes me think that if I never saw another DIPA again I wouldn't miss them one bit.

There's not one beer style that Ballast Point does badly. In fact, I have yet to rate even one of their beers as 'just alright'; all of their brands are exceptional examples of their respective styles and Yellowtail is certainly no exception. I don't think any other brewery makes as many of my #1 favourites when it comes to examples of different styles.

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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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