Wavehopper | Big Bay Brewing Co.

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75 Ratings

Brewed by:
Big Bay Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerFMAndy on 12-14-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 75 |  Reviews: 34
Photo of robbyc1
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of TylerDYoung
3.25/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of Profane
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.09/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from session notes.

Somewhat hazy golden straw color with a receding foam collar for a head, no real retention or lacing left behind. Smells of wheat malt mostly and has a touch of grassy herbal aroma. Taste is on the sweeter side for my personal preferences in a Kolsch, but not terribly much so. Tastes of perhaps a mixture of wheat and crystal malt sort of flavor, with a twist of lemon peel. The grassy herbals from the nose do not unfortunately make an appearance in the flavor. Body is on the thicker side of light-bodied, dries out somewhat in the finish but just barely misses the mark of being 'crisp' for me.

 628 characters

Photo of morimech
3.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy straw color with half inch of head that did not hang around for very long. The head settles to a thin cap. Surprisng amount of sticky lacing is left down the glass however.

Has a sweet, grainy aroma. There is a faint Noble hop aroma as well.

We have been getting dry, aggresively hopped Kolsch's lately, this is not one of those. This is a sweeter, milder version. Tastes more like a pilsner than an ale as in not having much of a yeast influence except for a touch of diacetyl.

Light body with nice carbonation.

Certainly respect the easy drinking and low ABV. I just prefer my Kolsch drier and more aggressively hopped.

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.03/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer pours a slightly hazy golden color with large visible floaties. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is heavy on the butterscotch to such an extent that nothing else comes through. The taste is similar to the aroma, but not quite as strong. The mouthfeel is light bodied with a watery texture, and high carbonation. Overall, this is a pretty bad beer that I will not drink again.

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Photo of minneapolitanjim
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Zachtheporter
3.8/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz bottle

A- a rich golden yellow with a nice thick frothy white head. very bubbly and with a good amount of light penetration.

S- smells clean and wheaty. Like spring air near a hay filed barn.

T- Has a light wheat taste and is very crisp and clean. has a almost grainy breadiness that lingers at the end. Very tasty.

M- The head which lingers for almost the entire beer, feels delightfully fluffy. It is unlike the head of many beers I have tried before. The beer itself is very crisp while at the same time seeming somewhat almost thick. very smooth.

O- One of my favorite Kolsche's yet! very drinkable while still being a full bodied delicious beer. I could easily see this being session-able while at the same time it could also be great having just one! Very surprised by this beer! Something to make Shorewood proud!

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Photo of gatornation
3.88/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from a 12 oz bottle

A- pours a clear pale yellow color with a fresh 1 finger white head with a good amount of lacing thru-out

S- was lemon citrus baked bread with a nice amount of crisp noble hops

T- noble hops first crisp,floral with lemon citrus , next were light caramel baked bread malts

M- crisp and sweet with a dry finish of sweet malts and noble hops

O- very fresh and delicious tasted like euro pils

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Photo of Strix
4.2/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale yellow, frothy initial head that leaves some lacing.

Grassy and pilsnery hops, quite fresh smelling, the slightest hint of a skunkier note, but hardly noticable.

Pilsnery malt highlighted by some grassy herbaly hops. Lemon. Cheerios. Grass. Very crisp.

Medium-full mouthfeel, crisp carbonation.

Maybe I was just in the mood, but was really refreshing and drinkable and just hit the spot. Balanced and tasty. I'm impressed, I'll have to seek out more Big Bay.

 469 characters

Photo of FlandersNed
3/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of wallrock
4/5  rDev +19%

Photo of beagle75
4.32/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a becker glass.

A: Clear, pale golden color with two fingers of white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass and scattered solitary bubbles rise frequently in the column.

S: Powerfully grassy noble hops are allowed to spread expansively in the nose, fairly dripping wet herbaceous qualities. Malt is very light and bright, accommodating to the featured hops in a traditional way. The smell is clean, save for a trace of sulfur with questionable origins.

T: Begins off-dry, with refined pilsner malt that lends a breath of sweetness, as well as mild hop aromatics that hay. Acidity is moderate, adding an accent of brightness that joins other similar layers. Short-lived herbaceous aromatics are greener during the middle, as malt begins to crouch for a late pounce. The finish, while very mildly bitter, shows resonating husky malt that stays light but leaves a bold presence.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, balanced and lively on the palate, with brisk carbonation.

D/O: As an introduction to Big Bay Brewing Co. this beer makes an outstanding first impression. Hops are allowed to shine, while the beer remains balanced and even aggressively malty at times for such a typically-understated style. A Citra- or Amarillo-hopped version of this beer could be a Gumballhead-killer.

 1,320 characters

Photo of tapman
3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light dusting of conditioning yeast on the bottom of the bottle, but brew is very clear, a pale yellow, light straw color with a white head that subsides to a thin smattering of lacing.

Nose is earthy and bready; lots of hops for a Kolsch, but I ain't complaining! Mildly sweet pilsner malt aroma with some dry grass, straw notes.

A decent malt backbone, though the hops remind me of cheaper euro lagers. Taste is not clean in the finish as a thin skunkiness sticks momentarily to the palate. Bitterness is moderate and a little high for the style IMO, but I don't mind it too much.

Sticky, yet a little biting. Fits the style.

A decent Kolsch, but a little young tasting compared to traditional examples of the style.

 722 characters

Photo of u2carew
3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz longneck. Pick this up on a summer road trip through Milwaukee.
A) Pours with a two finger head - fluffy and white. Slowly settles. Clear straw colored body. Fairly sticky lacing on the drink down.
S) Grassy with notes of lemon and "wet dog".
T) At first not much flavor but as it moves towards the finish grainy notes and subtle citrus fruit come to the front. Nutty finish with some sweet malt and linger hops.
M) Crisp. Light bodied. Dry and with tannin in the finish and aftertaste.
O) A well crafted brew with true profile characteristics. I'd have another one.

 571 characters

Photo of FightingBob
3.54/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Tall Stange glass
A: Clear like a Kolsch should be with a straw/yellow hue.
S: mild hop aroma, much less than expected for the style.
T: Very mild malt flavors with an almost fish/salmon-like after-taste.
M: thick and bright

I've had better Kolsch-style beers, the hop flavor is not overwhelming in line with the style, but I would like to have a more prominent hop aroma and bitterness.

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Photo of Garwood64
3.96/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 oz. Kolsch style glass:
Appearance- nice straw color with bright white head, good foam retention and lacing.

Smell- subtle but good notes of malt, wheat, hops.

Taste- a little thin in comparison to some of the German Kolsch tasted but nice balance with a touch of sweetness coming out in concert with the hops.

Mouthfeel- good, no residue or grain textures

Overall- potential for a "go to beer" when not feeling adventurous

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Photo of hwwty4
2.14/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured a 12oz bottle into my La Chouffe tulip.

This beer pours a crystal clear straw with a massive 3 inch head that leaves a good amount of lacing. I'm surprised about how filtered this beer is. When I think of a Kölsch , I normally assume they are going to be a clear with just a hint of haze. This looks like its been filters 27 times. The aroma is weak. Its all encompassing cracker like malts. That's all. The flavor is just as weak. Lightly toasted crackers, almost like a unsalted saltine cracker with just a hint of artificial lemon. The mouthfeel is light and a little dry. Once again, it reminds me eating saltines. Overall, I'm just not impressed by this beer. Maybe, if you have a friend looking to get into beer and needs a gateway or like bland Americanized versions of German beers then this might be for you.

 826 characters

Photo of mynie
3.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Asked what it was--since I couldn't see it too good, in a glass case behind the bar. Barrtender said "Wavehopper." Knowing the mindset of upstart breweries as I do, and seeing the word "hopper" in there, I figured it was an A or IPA. But then, to make sure, I said "you know what kind of beer it is," and she said "it's like an ale, I think." So, okay, figured it was an APA, and since I already felt like a bit of nerdlinger for having asked so many questions, I didn't bother to read the bottle before pouring it into to the glass I had requested.

First sip, hated it. Expectations mean so much, don't they? If blindfold you and tell you get ready for an APA but then I pour you some New Glarus Belgian red, you'll probably be unhappy. And, well, Kolshes are just kinda weird, with their fizzy beginnings and ashen backends. You have to prepare yourself for them.

So I took a few more sips, began to tolerate and finally appreciate it. It's a solid Kolsch. It starts out with gentle nodes of lemon and biscuit malt, and finishes with some bittersweet nodes of ash and peat.

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Photo of Soneast
2.33/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a not-quite-clear, pale yellow color. Grows a mediocre, watery head that recedes rapidly.

Aroma is about what I'd expect with some mild graininess and a light fruity note, with some sulphury, skunk-like aromatics.

The flavor is somewhat muddled. Malty grain characteristics are evident with some unpleasant acetaldehyde and the finish is unrefined and un-balanced. The mouthfeel is a little thick, could use some more carbonation, and I think a bit more carbonic acid would help balance the finish as well, adding to the overall lack of bitterness.

I think this beer needs a little work, the basics are there, but my favorite kolsch's are a lot more crisp, refreshing with a semi-dry finish and a decent noble hop presence. This beer pretty much falls short on all counts.

And oh yeah, their logo looks like cock & balls. WTF!

 836 characters

Photo of uwmgdman
3.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours clear straw yellow with a thin white head that leaves just a bit of lacing. The aroma is medium-low grainy, grassy malt, a bit sweet and fruity. The flavor is moderately sweet, slightly grainy, and balanced by medium-low hop bitterness and a slightly dry finish. The carbonation is moderate and body medium-light. Overall a refreshing beer, yet still flavorful beer that is great for the summer.

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Photo of MrPhield
4.75/5  rDev +41.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

served in signature 16oz Kolsch glass, with big fluffy head crowning almost an inch over the brim of the glass. a pale straw color, very subtle fruity notes from kolsch yeast.
Taste is amazing! a creamy start, with a little hoppy punch, from Perle and Hersbrucker, not too much thou because the body of the beer is light, just the right amount!!
mouth feel is bigger that the beer looks, because of the wheat. it was a nice surprise.
over all i love this beer, and this is coming from someone that likes having a bruised tongue after drinking a beer. this beer has great flavor notes that work with each other. so instead of bruising my tongue after one i can bruise my liver after having 6.

I had it again, This time I bought a 6pk from Woodman's. I stand by my Earlier statement. This will be a great everyday beer all year round for me.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
3.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pils glass.

Pours a champagne clear with active carbonation rising the glass. Modest one finger head recedes to a cap.

Aroma is slightly fruity, a bit weak but crisp. Vinous and light.

Flavor is crisp, grape and light crackery malt. Middle yields to a smallish hop flavor, then comes the green apple. Finishes dry and tart, but light on the grainy malt flavors I usually get from a Kolsch. Huskiness in the grain along with the dusty yeast flavor that I am accustomed to in Kolsch is not very present. The malt profile is thin here could use more.

Mouthfeel is light and crsip, very refreshing. Carbonation is good.

Very drinkable, just a bit thin in the malt department.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.22/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz single, Why oh Why did i buy

appearance: served in a shaker pint, macro-clear straw body, light white film - rather unappealing

smell: light biscuit notes, light lemon peel, distant floral notes

taste: unsettling bittersweet finish - otherwise dry with lemon, dough, tea leaves. better than the amber, but neither are worth spending money on

mouthfeel: awkward finish - not crisp/fresh as it should be

drinkability: ok

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Photo of crossovert
3.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, new brewery out of Milwauke, they brew 2 pedestrian beer styles.

This one pours crystal clear straw with a bright, foamy white head.

The smell is light and airy, with some grains and hops.

The flavor is interesting, it has a nice crispness and a higher hoppiness for the style. The yeast gives it a subtle frutiness. It has kind of a crappy malt flavor though.

If you like Americanized versions of German beers you might like this one.

The brewery has a nice beer out of the gate, I would love them to brew a different style though, this doesn't touch the German ones.

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Wavehopper from Big Bay Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.36 out of 5 with 75 ratings