Home > Kölsch > Ballast Point Pale Ale

Ballast Point Pale Ale

Rating: 3.8

The beer that started it all for Ballast Point, this one was one of the first beers that they brewed back in 1996 when transforming themselves from a home brew shop to a brewery and as such it’s one that I knew I’d have to get hold of. I picked this one up at Brewdog’s Glasgow BottleDog store soon after hearing of Ballast Point’s recent takeover by Constelation Brands and though I better grab a can in case the quality starts to fall under the new owners. I was actually surprised to learn that this particular offering is actually a kölsch style beer rather than the pale ale promised by the can but it’s still one that I’m looking forward to trying. Coming in at 23 IBU’s and available in cans, bottles or on-tap, this one is a very highly rated beer and has won countless awards that include sevral golds at LA County Fairs, one at the LA International Beer Competition and a  silver at the 2014 Brussels Beer Challenge amongst others. Using German hops and a blend of American and Munch hops, this one promises a smooth and drinkable beer and is inspired by the kölsch beers of Cologne with a pale ale twist. This will be my tenth beer from the brewery, the majority of which I’ve sampled this year and I still have another one from them (Victory At Sea) to review after this. It is also worth noting that this one will be my 200th beer from the United States, a country I’ve been picking more and more beers up from over the last year.

Ballast Point Pale Ale

Appearance (4/5): Quite a bright and clear bodied beer with an amber colour to it that is topped with a centimetre tall, foamy white head that certainly gives the beer the look of a lager. There is a little lacing on the sides of the glass and head retention is pretty good as well, there’s even a couple of bubbles rising to the surface.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a clean beer on the nose, this one comes through with a couple of earthy notes early on before some crisp malts and a bit of pepper make an appearance. There was also some background sweetness and a slight bitterness not far behind as well as the usual grassy notes and hay you come to expect from a lager before some faint citrus rounded things off nicely.
Taste (7/10): The taste follows on well from the nose with some clean malts and a bit of grain coming through early on, there was some earthy hops thrown into the mix as well. I could detect some lemon, grassy notes and hay around the middle with bread malts and touches of sweetness backing this up before a hint of bitterness and what I thought to be some light vanilla towards the end.
Palate (4/5): A smooth and quite clean beer on the palate, this one was very crisp and came with good carbonation as well. There was some hints of sweetness on top of the citrus tang and the beer was sharp, dry and well-balanced; I’ve no complaints here.

Overall (16/20): This one was a very nice and crisp lager in the kölsch style with a smooth and drinkable palate that was also clean, crisp and easy to drink. Despite being slightly misled by the name of this one , I certainly wasn’t left disappointed with some nice lager malts, subtle hops and a few touches of sweetness all combining well to make this an excellent beer.

Brewed In: San Diego, California, United States of America
Brewery: Ballast Point Brewing Company
First Brewed: 1996
Full Name: Ballast Point Pale Ale – The Original
Previously Known As: Ballast Point Yellowtail Pale Ale
Type: Kölsch
Abv: 5.2%
Serving: Can (355ml)
Purchased: Brewdog BottleDog (Glasgow)
Price: £3.00

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