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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 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 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 drabmuh


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

On draft at Churchkey, I was not a fan of this beer. Beer is yellow to light amber, mostly clear, thin head, white bubbles, some lacing, low retention.

Aroma is weak, malty, mild hops.

Beer is light in body and low in carbonation on the palate, the beer is mostly just a thin malt syrup flavor, nothing much else. Mild hops, no bitterness, not a repeat.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2012 19:47:00 | More by drabmuh
Photo of BARFLYB


3.2/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz draft into a pint glass at The Ugly Moose, PA gets this, But I never had it.

Bell's Pale comes into the glass splashing a golden tan shade with a nice bright look. Pouring real hard, I got a decent cap to stare at, just a dead calm, some small etchings of lace as well. Smell is mostly pale malt and some grass and light aroma hops, nothing to large though. Taste is lackluster, faint hops, earthy, hay, no citrus, no real pine, no real nothing. I got more out of Bell's Amber which is saying something. Pale malt is not to heavy which is commendable. The body seems on point, light and crisp carb, it's just lacking any taste from remaining on the palat for more than a few seconds. I drank it and thats that.

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2011 03:51:25 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of AgentZero


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

A - Yellow body with a little bit of haze. Small white head, didn't do much.

S - Little bready, light malt, touch of hops. Not a ton going on here.

T - Slightly bitter, a bit sweet with a malty backbone. It's lightly drinkable, but doesn't really do much here as far as comitting to a particular direction with it's flavor profile.

M - Light, moderate carbonation.

O - Nothing special here, easy to drink, but can pass on this one quite easily.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2011 00:01:09 | More by AgentZero
Photo of PorterLambic


3.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden color, clear and bright. Decent head, dissipates quickly.
Smell is non-existent. Nada.
Taste is hoppy, light malt, vqnilla and bread notes.
Medium-full body, a tartness up front with a medium effervescence overall. Decent but a touch hoppy for me, seems more west coast style.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2011 22:03:09 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of xnicknj


2.98/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at new wave in philly

Pours a mostly clear straw yellow with some golden hues. A thinner white head fades out with some spotty lacing on the glass.

Fairly subdued nose with what seems to smell like lemon rind and grass clippings. Citrus hops as well I suppose.

Lighter citrus rind up front with some lemongrass hops. Slight bitterness with grainy biscuit backbone. Very faint sweetness and some dryer hoppiness towards the finish.

Lighter medium body, higher carbonation, dry and plain on the palate. Bells makes a bunch of great beers, and this isn't one of them. This is honestly one of the most boring pale ales I've had in a while.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2011 07:54:06 | More by xnicknj
Photo of bishopdc0


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

Pours with a thick dense white head that remains. The aroma is of pine and citrus no distinct hop nose but plenty of grains. It is a beautiful golden color and clearly unfiltered. The taste starts with a malt sweet taste and finishes quickly with a slight bitterness and a maltyness. The mouth is smooth and never harsh and it is easy to drink a slightly better then average but only slightly pale ale.

Serving type: on-tap

10-28-2010 23:32:11 | More by bishopdc0
Photo of glid02


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

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy golden-copper color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of muted pale malts with hints of earthy and floral hops. Also present are hints of diacetyl that as the beer warms become even more prevalent.

Tastes better than it smells. Smooth pale malt flavors kick things off and are quickly joined by equal amounts of buttery flavors and earthy hops. Midway through the sip the hop flavors take over a bit more, carrying through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass however I'm not sure about another.

Overall I just wasn't a fan of this beer - the buttery notes were a bit over the top for me, especially as the beer warmed.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2010 18:07:12 | More by glid02
Photo of kbutler1


3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft. Stopped in the brewery and had a little sampler of several beers. Clear golden amber color with a white head. Slight pine/citrus notes in the nose. Very nondescript taste. Straight forward and clean. Crisp and bitter ending. Med/light mouthfeel. Very easy drinking.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2010 18:35:05 | More by kbutler1
Photo of TLove

District of Columbia

2.85/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(From Notes)

Unremarkable and relatively indistinct, especially when up against the current complexity of American pale ales. As with most Bells beers I've had, the weathervane for the quality of the beer is the price per bottle. The higher the price, the better the beer. This one was pretty cheap.

Clearish yellow color and thin head. Smell is reminiscent of bud light, with a touch more complexity. Citrus malts with sharp tang on the nose and on the tongue. Not particularly drinkable and the finish isn't smooth or refreshing, but the citrus and fruity flavors carry through to the end.

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2009 23:10:11 | More by TLove
Photo of Seanibus


3.2/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is an odd mix. It is unattractive and has almost no aroma. And yet the flavor is bracing and pleasant. It pours a clear golden with almost no head or carbonation. It looks flat and flabby in the glass. But the flavor is strong,with an assertive hoppy ale character. There is a slow developing bitterness on the back end.

This is not a bad pale ale, though not one of Bell's best offerings.

Serving type: on-tap

07-15-2008 20:19:50 | More by Seanibus
Photo of Biggness

New York

2.35/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was my one disappointment last night @ Bell's. It poured a very light with no cloudiness. The smell was nearly non-existant. Then on to the flavor.... to my disappointment that was non-existant as well. Now I am a HUGE Pale Ale fan and this one definitely needs more flavor. This reminded me more of a summer ale or golden Ale, too mellow for a pale ale in my opinion. The mouthfeel was ok and its something I could drink a bunch of but for a pale ale it was lacking.

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2008 12:32:33 | More by Biggness
Photo of charlzm


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

Consumed 03/30/08 at Brews Brothers, Pensacola.

Clear amber pour with low (but still present) carbonation. No real head, just a thin foam layer atop the beer.

Aroma is piney hops.

Some bitterness up front with unremarkable mouthfeel. Citrus hops follow, mingling with a subtle malt character before a medium bitter finish. Fairly well balanced, though a touch more malt character would do this beer good.

It's fine the way it is, however, if a touch generic.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2008 02:44:38 | More by charlzm
Photo of GuinnessSmurf


3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first beer of the evening and anxiously anticipating it. Something there is about a nice bitter beer after an air flight. Arrived in my glass as the last of the head melted into the golden yellow beer. The head that remained did a good job clinging onto my glass - some stayed on the glass from my first sip. Flavor is a nice balance of sweet (mandarine oranges) and hops with a refreshing bitter finish.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2004 16:42:46 | More by GuinnessSmurf
Photo of Bierguy5


3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a very pale straw/golden color with a white foamy head. There was some lace throughout on the sides of the glass. Smells slightly grassy, with a hint of grapefruit also. Tastes slightly sweet, with some hop bitterness mainly citrusy tasting. This was pretty drinkable, but overall not very impressive. There didn't seem to be very much malt character in this brew, and the hops did not taste very fresh. I guess this was an ok beer. I will stick to stouts from Bell's.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2004 02:29:48 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of clvand0


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

Not usually being a fan of the Bell's products, I tried this one with a negative outlook. Had it on tap at the local pub. Pours a cloudy yellow color with a small head that dissipates quickly and leaves little or no lace on the glass. The aroma was very fruity - very similar to most IPA's. The taste was a little spicy, but other than that it was a fairly average IPA taste. Nothing too special in my opinion. The drinkability was run of the mill.

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2003 14:49:41 | More by clvand0
Photo of TheDM


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

This brew has a very mild aroma almost non-existent. It has a light yellow orange body with no head and great lacing. It also has a bit of an after bite. I found it impossible to describe the taste. It was an OK brew, but not one of my favorites from Bells.

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2003 09:12:37 | More by TheDM
Photo of Wildman


3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

@The Press Grille: This beer poured a hazy/cloudy yellow color(chilled glass did not help-note to bartender after I get to know him better)and had a small bubbly white head that left trace lace. It had an aroma of hops, citrus and slightly of malt. A flavor of hops, citrus and bread. The finish was light an a touch astrigent. As far as pale ale's go, this is not a good example and a rare miss for Bell's.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2003 16:56:36 | More by Wildman
Photo of rotsaruch


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

Enjoyed on tap 12/9/02. Pured an amber color with a medium head that quickly dissipated. The strong hops aroma was clearly noticable on the nose and accompanied by an overwhelming citric, grapefruit taste. The presence of malts providing any balance to this brew was undiscernible. One pint was enough for me.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2002 18:07:06 | More by rotsaruch
Photo of Viking


3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy gold body with a thick, almost creamy head. Head fades surprisingly fast, but never disappears altogether. Smell is a bit grassy, with bready caramel malt and citrus hops. Good smell, but a little weak. Well balanced flavor. Neither the caramel malt nor the hops really takes full control in the taste. Caramel malt is a bit biscuity, and the hops are bitter and citrusy. Finishes oily and bitter. Rough, oily mouthfeel for this excellent session brew.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2002 06:37:21 | More by Viking
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 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
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Bell's Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
78 out of 100 based on 1,112 ratings.