Beer Review: Ballast Point’s Yellowtail Pale Ale


Today was another bullshit day in the week from hell. In addition to the 12+ hour work day, I went to try my DIPA and Black IPA that had been bottle conditioning but when I popped the tops they had no carbonation. After two weeks they should’ve at least shown some signs of carbonation considering all my previous beers were just about ready at that point.

I’ll talk more about that tomorrow in a post, but needless to say I needed a pick-me-up beer. So I reach for one of the cans that Tyler had sent: Ballast Point Pale Ale.

From Ballast Point:

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.

Bitterness 23 IBUs
Alc. by Vol. 5.2%
Serving Temperature 40-45 degrees F

Ballast Point Pale 3

Beer Advocate: 80, 88
RateBeer: 42, 63
Untappd: 3.29

Appearance: Light orange to straw yellow with a big white head that doesn’t linger. Very clean and clear.

Smell: Not a lot happening on the nose. Maybe a tinge of caramel with bready maltiness. Some slight hints of yeast character and hops. Which I guess is the same as saying it “smells like beer,” just not very strongly.

Taste: Good balance between malt and hops, but far less better than you’d expect from a Pale Ale from California. A pleasant, light and crisp flavor. Something like a less hoppy Sierra Nevada. There’s a hint of spice in the finish. A little malt sweetness, too.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp with decent carbonation. It feels “like a beer.”

Final Verdict: 3.5 out of 5. Try it.

Ballast Point gets the rounding error from 3.25 up to 3.5 here. There’s nothing wrong with this beer, but there’s nothing really remarkable about it either. This is really more of a Kolsch than a Pale Ale, and it’s a good Kolsch. But Kolsch is rarely a memorable style.

Ballast Point Pale 1

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