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Bell's Pale Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Bell's Pale AleBell's Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,112 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1112
Reviews: 618
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.96%

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: SheepNutz on 12-11-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,112 | Reviews: 618 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of MJCF26

New York

2.75/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Nothing incredibly special about this brew. It has some bitterness to it that gives it some depth, but for the most part it comes across somewhat hollow and leaves me a little underwhelmed...ESPECIALLY in comparison to the vast array of Bell's other delicious beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2014 02:52:11 | More by MJCF26
Photo of jdb288

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Bells. Pours gold with minimal head. Aroma is pine, hay, citrus. Taste is sweet orange and toasty malt. Not anything to complain about here. Probably the most popular of our testers.

Review is actually for Larry's Latest Pale Ale which is not on BA yet.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2014 18:50:38 | More by jdb288
Photo of Axnjxn

North Carolina

3.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at bottle revolution in raleigh.

pale yellow color...big head. not much of a nose at all. taste is incredibly boring and plain. not much to write home about. medium bodied with medium carbonation.

overall a bland pale that I wouldn't recommend. I had it free, so I can't complain, but I wouldn't return to this.

Serving type: on-tap

06-17-2013 22:53:08 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of carolinared

North Carolina

2.96/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

First impressions was positive with a thick, creamy head and very nice malty aroma.

But, taste was only OK. To me, not well balanced between malt and hops - on the bitter side, and nothing complex to enjoy. Seemed a bit astringent and even metallic. Hazy, darkish color in glass again pretty ordinary.

OK beer, but nothing really good I could say about it.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2013 14:09:11 | More by carolinared
Photo of patpbr


3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

New packaging since my original experence with the beer. Hazy golden color and a grainy aroma? A bit of malt character that finishes with a bitter bite. Grainy malt and some sweetness. Not one of the better bells offerings and maybe priced higher because of the bells name? Worth a try, goes down easy.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 23:05:14 | More by patpbr
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very hazy medium to dark golden yellow in color with some light amounts of orange highlights, a light to moderate amount of small light yeast particles in suspension, and light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a almost two finger tall creamy off-white head that slowly reduces to a medium thick patch, a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer, and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aroms of bready and grainy malts with just a touch of citrus/orange rind hops.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of bready and grainy malts with just a touch of sweetness. There is a a light presence of citrus/orange rind hops that contribute very little bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: This is a very sessionable APA that I would be happy to put down all evening long, enjoyable but not overly complex and the hops are not as big as in some other offerings in the style. Easy to drink with the less intense flavors/aromas and well hidden alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2012 02:22:44 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Goblinmunkey7


2.88/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pale gold. Perfectly clear. Head is small, bright-white and drops to a super thin cap in short order. Some minor lacing. Moderate carbonation pulls for the duration.

Smell: Super pale malts. Vaguely bready and biscuity. Some cracker like malts as well. Dustings of citrus with a minor earthy element. Orange rind. Slightly grassy. Very mild. Runs closer to my idea of a blonde than an American pale.

Taste: Pale, pale malts. Mild white bread and snappy cracker. Nice backing of citrus rind, again mainly orange, with some herbal undertones. Vaguely grassy and some mild spice. Incredibly mellow. Some raw grain and huskiness as well. Floral.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Lingering dryness that pushes close to aspirin. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: It's pale and it's an ale.

A rather unexciting take from Bell's. Pale and pushes toward a typical APA, but ultimately falls a little short. It's still decent to drink, but there are better options for the same price.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 22:08:49 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of nUgZ

North Carolina

2.98/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy yellow color with a 1 finger head and decent lacing.

S: Very light aromas of hops and malts. Not a whole lot going on here.

T: The flavors are just as light as the aromas. Faint hops and malts...grainy for the most part.

M: Medium bodied with too much carbonation.

O: I have to say I'm quite disappointed. I expected much more from Bell's. It's not a bad beer, but there's nothing impressive about it. Bland smell, bland taste, and too much carbonation. I won't be buying this again.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 00:36:32 | More by nUgZ
Photo of Mavigo


3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint, let's see how this goes.

A: Pours a cloudy, honey yellow color, with a short off white head that lasts a while along with good amounts of lacing.

S: Smells grainy, like wheat, bit of malts and hops, very light aroma, really have to sniff around

T: Light flavor, basically grains, bread, wheat, that's about it

M: Over carbonated, not a fan of carbonation, its pretty crisp and refreshing but too much carbonation, just too much for me

O: It's pretty decent, I'd opt for this over almost all mainstream beers, but from what I've experienced from Bell's, I expected much more, but not terrible, not at all.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2012 01:55:19 | More by Mavigo
Photo of tronester


3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden orange with a creamy, thick, off-white head. Aroma is quite bad, skunky smelling. Taste is much better, a light cracker malt, followed by some pine and citrus hops. Mouthfeel is good. Overall a decent beer, that would be much better without the bad aroma.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2012 00:04:09 | More by tronester
Photo of AmitC


3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Fairly average stuff.

Pours a pale golden color. Little head, less than a finger thick. A good amount of carbonation. Not to my liking. Yeast clouds throughout, especially at the bottom.

Smell : Pretty average pale ale stuff. In fact much lighter on the hops. Little floral and a lot of grains.

Taste : Very much the same as smell. Nothing great to write about. Not very bitter. Regular grain stuff. Decent amount of hops for a ale ale. But then, there are much better beers in the same style.

Mouth feel : Medium bodied feel. Carbonation kills the likability.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2012 01:52:40 | More by AmitC
Photo of SolipsismalCat


3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy golden yellow with lots of small particles and three-finger, off-white, creamy, foamy head that lasted many minutes. Excellent lacing.

S: Citrus hops.

T: Light sweetness and moderate to solid bitterness. Other than that, a mild taste.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Super smooth, probably from all those particles.

O: I thought this was a pretty good pale ale. I like how there were so many particles and the head was excellent. The taste was a little dull though.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2012 23:25:46 | More by SolipsismalCat
Photo of obywan59


3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dirty yello with a receding, but nicely chunky head, and substantial carbonation. and lacing

The aroma is sweet and toasted grain. Simple, but nice.

Mostly bitter in the taste, with bare hints of citric hops, and sweet malt.

The beer seems medium to medium light in body, and gives a light carbonation burn in the fhroat. Fairly drying in the mouth.

This beers not all that complex, but it's a decent session brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2012 01:41:39 | More by obywan59
Photo of BeerKangaroo


3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass:

A: golden amber colored body and left a one finger white head that left in about thirty seconds. Some spotty lacing was left behind.

S: some floral hops and a bit of citrus in the front and a bit of bready maltiness coming in slightly in the back, more so as the beer warms.

T: basically the same with an added herbal-ness to it.

M: medium with nothing harsh on the tongue. There is a dry aftertaste.

O: its just as I remember it when I lived in Michigan. I'm glad to have sampled/re-reviewed an old favorite. This is solid in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2012 03:21:49 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

3.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Lost Dog in Virginia.

Pours a golden amber color with a finger of white head that dissipates leaving some spotty lacing.

Aromas begin with some floral hops and a little bit of citrus. As it warms you also get some sweet notes, primarily in the form of bready maltiness.

The tastes begin with mainly generic bitterness without much hop (or malt) flavor to balance it out. As it warms you get quite a strong herbal hoppiness as well as some floral notes. A little bit of bread and malt come through as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is mainly dry and generically bitter.

Overall this is just too generically bitter without any of the good hop flavors that make pale ales enjoyable. Fine to have on draft with lunch for $5 but nothing I would want in a 6 pack amount.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2012 16:49:30 | More by claspada
Photo of angrybabboon

Rhode Island

3.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me a bottle

Consumed 9/14/12

Appearance: Mostly gold, with some light amber - mostly clear, slightly hazy - pours with a bubbly white head, leaves a bunch of spots

Smell: Pale, pale malts and some grass - malt profile smells like a blonde ale - herbal, grassy hops, with some touches of light citrus, mostly orange rind

Taste: Very pale malts - raw grains with some undercooked crackers - some bitterness from a less than endearing hop profile - herbal, grassy, lightly spicy - some touches of light citrus, but mostly just spicy, lightly sweet grass - slightly watery and seltzer-like

Mouthfeel: On the heavier side of light, a touch overcarbonated, kind of a weird grassy aftertaste

Overall: Good, but I'd call this a blonde

While I would like to pretend to myself that I don't frequently whine about styles, this has some style issues. This smells and tastes like an American Blonde Ale. And it's not great, even for that style. It isn't bad, though, but typically when I drink a beer from Bell's, I start to feel sad that I can't get it on the East Coast. I won't be sad to not drink this again anytime soon.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2012 20:01:41 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of tigg924


3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1 inch head, gold in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: honey, grass, and sweet malt

Taste: toasted pale malt, sweet meadow, caramel, and grass

Mouthfeel: moderate-high carbonation, light bodied, sweet start that goes bitter fairly quickly

Overall: A solid, clean, and enjoyable pale ale. One at a session is good for me, however if you are looking for a pale, this is certainly worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2012 17:57:10 | More by tigg924
Photo of Alextricity


3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: For aggressive pourers, beware -- this thing forms a gigantic creamy looking head you wouldn't believe. It also has some really nice lacing. The beer itself is a cloudy yellow/orange color.

Smell: Very faint... just very slight floral notes as well as spice.

Taste: Much like the smell, but heavier on the spice. The best part about it is the aftertaste. Overall though, it tastes a bit watered down.

Mouthfeel: As I just said, feels a little watered down. Leaves me wanting more, even from a pale ale. As a pale ale, it's an average one at best.

If someone were to tell me this were Bell's, I wouldn't have guessed it, based on some of their others beers I've had. Regardless of that, it's still a solid beer I'd very gladly have again.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2012 00:01:03 | More by Alextricity
Photo of VoodooBear

Puerto Rico

2.78/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle, bottling date on the back label. Served in a seidel.

Appearance: Rich gold color, fairly cloudy, but not too much. One finger of head that leaves strong thick lacing all over the glass even at the bottom when you finish up, it's beautiful. Very much alive, when swirled it brings up the aromas and a strong amount of foam to the top.The strongest point of this beer.

Smell: Not much smell from this one. Just a plain scent, mostly of grain with a bit of hops and a floral hint.

Taste: Very strong in the hop department. Some floral taste can be perceived and a certain spiciness as well. It's quite bitter, a bit too much from what I've perceived in this style (APA). It leaves a spicy taste in the back of the tongue after every sip.

Mouthfeel: It's full and strong, not what I've grown accustomed to with Pale Ales. I wish I could say it's a "nice" surprise but it's not. There's a good amount of carbonation and the finish is smooth.

Overall: It's a decent beer, but not a very good American Pale Ale. I can't say I disliked it, but it didn't blow me away either. I'd recommend this to people that find most Pale Ales lacking a certain "kick", but not to the average beer drinker.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2012 06:05:14 | More by VoodooBear
Photo of clemtiger8202


2.8/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle to glass. Poured a great gold color, slightly cloudy with a solid white head. Good lacing with some head remaining throughout the drink. Good hop aroma, slight grainy smell as well, but had my mouth watering! The taste wasn’t as good as the smell, malty, bitter, but nothing special. Body was good and finished quickly. Not a first choice, but definitely will drink again!

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2012 02:13:41 | More by clemtiger8202
Photo of Jamesthebrit


3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a amber color which is a right in the middle in terms of lightness. Little head.

S: Light yeasty with some citrus notes. A little lemon, a little orange.

T: A big yeast after taste, goes down light with a little bitterness that seems slightly out of place and not very sharp. Some citrus notes but nothing spectacular.

M: Sits pretty good with a nice medium body and the carbonation is very smooth. Some of the nice citrus notes develop here. Certainly the best aspect of this beer.

A pretty nice beer but nothing spectacular. That bitterness really it what brings it down as it is dull and a little musty. It's not bad.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2012 21:14:05 | More by Jamesthebrit
Photo of rlee1390


3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Cloudy yellow orange, one finger head.

S-Bread/biscuit malt/ Almost skunky (but it is two months old) and it is lacking a hop profile.

T-More bread notes, some slight grass along with a little citrus. Not much bitterness.

M-Light to medium bodied, some carbonation but easy drinking.

O-I didn't think Bell's could make a beer this more, it doesn't have the malt or hop profile of an APA. It is an ok beer but fell very short for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2012 14:19:22 | More by rlee1390
Photo of schoolboy


3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am pretty sure that this APA has been around a while and may be one of the pioneers of the style. As such, it doesn't have to taste like all the others and it does't. It is one of the easiest drinking, smoothest APA's.

It's like a regular pale but with less dark hops. I has a creamy mouthfeel that is great but not what I expect. Overall, it's a good brew that everyone should try and should not be refused, but it is a bit understated.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2012 23:17:50 | More by schoolboy
Photo of TheCondor


3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up at world market the other day while buying a we computer desk. Side poured from the Bottle into a Boulevard pint glass. Bottled in February 2012.

Appearance - pours a pretty standard, golden color with a pretty puny, one finger soapy whitehead that quickly dissipates, but does leave good lacing. Normal Bells packaging for the bottle, nothing fancy. One side note, there is an extraordinary amount of sediment inside the glass, I seriously thought there was something amiss. There may be. It looks like someone ashed a whole cigar into the beer.

Smell - Pretty standard pale ale aroma, although I was somewhat take aback by the skunkiness of the smell. Not very inviting. I could smell it as I poured it. Other than that, a little Hoppiness, a little grainy backbone. Not much going on here.

Taste - Much the same as the nose. underwhelming, with a definite funk. A little hops, a little chewy grains, other than that, not much going on at all.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, high carbonation level. Finished fairly clean.

Overall - This is the same brewery that made Two Hearted and Kalamzoo Stout? I never would have guessed. This beer is a miss on a lot of levels. I thought it may have been because of the ge, but it isn't that old, five months. I see a lot of BA's are disappointed. Not a good APA at all, not a good beer. Kinda reminds me of Corona, seriously. Not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2012 02:43:00 | More by TheCondor
Photo of AleWatcher


2.88/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle dated 05.04.12
Served in tulip pint.

Pale golden color. Very clear and fizzy. White head of 2 fingers settled quickly to a thin cap of white foam. Spotty lace.
Smells of a lightly toasted grainy malt with a little grassy and lemony hop note.
The flavor is dry and grainy malt with a little earthy character. Lemony hop note on the back end are the most prominent. Very mild bitterness.
Good carbonation level, medium-light body.
Overall-- APA is my favorite style... And this is a pretty average take on the style. Surprising disappointment from such a great brewery.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2012 02:34:21 | More by AleWatcher
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Bell's Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
78 out of 100 based on 1,112 ratings.