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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.

1,110 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1110
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: 1,110 | Reviews: 618 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good aroma: yeasty and fruity aroma, nice lace. Very good smooth fruity pale, with apple, grapefruit, orange and a spot of lemon. Understated carbonation as i would exepct from the style. Touch metallic, though not noticed in retry in fall 2005. Drying finish and spice aftertaste including cloves . Easy drink, not their best but a good effort.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2005 02:49:31 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly murky looking initially, clears pretty quickly. Check that, the addition of the last portion of the bottle results in quite a bit of suspended yeast. Rich banana-amber with a bone white head that is both sticky and rocky and leaves a much better than average amount of lace.

Where are the hops? Has anyone seen (okay, smelled) the hops? I'm a little confused. The label says 'pale ale' on the front and 'blond ale' on the back, and this page says APA. The only reason that I bring it up is that it doesn't smell like an APA. I'll go with either an APA that has had a hopectomy or a blonde ale. At any rate, there's a light, lemon citrusiness in the nose that's overpowered by untoasted pale malt.

The flavor is also blonde aleish to me. Lightly sweet malt countered by a mild hop bitterness without much attendant hop flavor. There might be a touch of 'white' spiciness, as in cardamom, but I'm probably reaching. I have no real complaints about the body, it's neither too full or too light, but is juuust right. Sorry, I had a flashback to a bad porridge trip there for a second.

So which is it? As an APA, I find Bell's Pale Ale to be lacking. As a blonde ale, it ain't half bad. I guess I'll just score it on its own merits, regardless of style. I've had much better beer from Bell's, but this one is still enjoyable in its own way.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2004 21:02:29 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ok now this was a good Pale Ale. Perhaps my favorite style, whether I choose to admit it or not, I was thrilled when I saw this come in a package. It had been forever since I tried a good pale that I had not had, and let alone a Bell’s I was stoked. Poured a nice very hazy golden amber with about two inches of white head on top. A nice slow fade gave way to copious side glass lace and a nice film across the top. You could tell it was nice due to ample carbonation consistently replenishing it. Great fresh aroma, with lots of floral hops and a good bit of grain in the back. The taste followed through pretty much the same. Great floral hop flavor hit you right away, but it was very light and refreshing, nothing overbearing about it at all. Nice underlying grain base had a touch of sweetness to it which gave it some good depth. Smooth, crisp finish with a nice lingering bitterness. Great light bodied feel and amble carbonation made it very light and refreshing and kept you wanting to come back for more. This was easily a session ale with no issues. Overall I was very impressed here. This was an awesome pale that was more the adequately hopped and really had a great profile. I would love to have this on tap in my house, it would really be something that would go well for a large gathering of friends or during a game. Highly recommended here.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2007 00:21:54 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail


2.85/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Matt for sending me this beer.

A: The pour is a golden amber color with a finger of white head and a TON of yeast in suspension in the glass.

S: Some floral hops are present as well as a little bit of citrus. Definitely a strong orange peel aroma to it and some sweet malt notes, primarily in the form of bread.

T: The flavor is intensely bitter without much hop (or malt) flavor to balance it out. Quite a strong herbal hop flavor as well as some floral notes. A little bit of bread and malt come through underneath.

M: Medium in body and carbonation.

O: Far too bitter without any of the good hop flavors that make pale ales enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2011 18:49:25 | More by womencantsail
Photo of BEERchitect


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

Bell's Pale Ale is your no-frills, yet standard tasting beer that's simply done the right way.

Impressingly, the beer pours a light amber, mostly golden color with the signature haze of hoppy ales. A slightly off white head caps the beer with great persistence of creamy white foam and classy rings of lace that align each draw from the glass.

Bright fruit flavors and aromas of esters and hops blend for a unique blend of appricots, grapefruit, mango, orange peel, pineapple, and regular apples. Backed by malty sweetness of thin caramel and honey, the beer is very well balanced as not to allow either the malt nor the hops to gain command.

Creamy and semi-sweet to start, but the hop bitterness and mild alcohol warmth provide a malty-dry finish of grain and light resin for a crisp and zesty aftertaste of balanced fruit and bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2005 14:56:26 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


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

G: Poured into a pint glass.

A: A yellowish-amber color with a good white head that laces fairly well.

S: Slight amount of hops, and a decent malt backbone to it. Not horribly complex.

T: Hops and a bit of fruits. Slightly sweet.

M: Light mouthfeel with good carbonation. No alcohol. Easy to drink.

D: Quite sessionable. While not the best APA out there, certainly a decent offering when looking to kill some time on the beach, and want a little more hops than Oberon has to offer.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 05:47:51 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

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

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of freshly baked cheesecake, bready malts and muted citrus hops in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of bready and grainy malts. Only hints of bitterness are perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I would have no problem drinking this beer all night long. It’s not that complex but is very sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 17:05:20 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Batch 9112. Quick, to the Bell's website! "Your Bell's Pale Ale was packaged on April 30, 2009." Okay.

Appearance: Pours what would be a clear, golden body except for all these baby sea monkey-like particles. Frothy, snow white head.

Smell: Crisp pale malts with some broken biscuit crumbs and sharp, hoppy wafts of flowers, spice, and pith.

Taste: Pale malts with an assured amount of biscuitiness to it. very light upfront sweetness present. A lick of lemon pith. Spicy, floral, nigh zippy hops with a hair above a medium amount of bitterness, though it seems to really build up and amplify itself over time. Finishes dry and bitter with some enduring floral, spicy hints.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation. Slightly crisp.

Drinkability: A decent, drinkable pale ale that provides something a bit different, both in terms of malts and hops used, than many American-made APAs. To say nothing of the sea monkeys! Though enough talk of the Pale Ale -- pass the Kalamazoo Stout already!

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2009 02:58:08 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.99/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow I sure do miss Bells back home (Mount Pleasant,Mi).Wow great head,nice subtle hop maybe to little for a Pale ale but good enough.Yeasty smell is wonderful would like a six pack now!Well back when I drank this beer I thought it was the greatest thing ever.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2002 09:57:22 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


2.75/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Well, I haven't had this yet, so my mixed sixer decision was pretty easy to make this time. It pours a clear brass topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises coriander, orane peel, slightly dank wheat, and a touch of caramel. That wheat smell just doesn't really work very well for my 'strils. The taste is a blast of vague and blunt rind-y bitterness, with a kiss of musty caramel for effect (I assume). Wow...no... The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry-ish finish. Overall, I never thought I would dislike a Bell's product this much. I never really wanna have this again. Boo.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2011 04:27:07 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.78/5  rDev +40.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The color's that of ripe apricot, the head a solid, stocky white. Aromas are explosive, spinning off citrus, primarily grapefruit, orange, lemon, and a whiff of spice. A downright friendly finish, that meets you, and greets you and treats you right. Awash in bitter, but fruity flavor, with a sensational, and long lasting drizzle of hops. Fresh, sea-foamy nose. Light body, excellent texture and mouthfeel, full of that unexplainable effervescence that permeats all of Bell's ales. It's got to be that yummy, yummy yeast. One hell of a great pale ale!

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2003 14:56:11 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.43/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Acquired via concurrent trades from both biegaman & Frozensoul327, so a big “Thank you” goes out to them. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy gold color with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of citrus, caramel and a decent amount of hops.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with flavors fruity citrus, sweet caramel and a moderate hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty but still on the lighter side. The after-taste is hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good representation of style, I could put away several of these, this is very good beer to stick with for an evening.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2007 02:03:36 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077


3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a bad pale ale, just not something I would reach for on a regular basis.

Pours a pale yellow-orange, decent frothy foam. Smell is musty cereal grain and that's about it.

Taste is slightly bitter upfront, some full malt in the mouthfeel, and residual bitterness in the finish. Subdued grapefruit and grain notes. Somewhat spicy when first poured, but later subsides.

Easy to drink, with a fairly smooth mouthfeel that is this ale's saving grace.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2007 04:44:30 | More by emerge077
Photo of russpowell


3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a little hazy straw/golden colored with a 2 fingers+ white fluffy head. Very good lacing and goodhead retention

Smell: Grassy and floral hops

Taste: Soft maltiness combines with a slight grassy floral hop taste. Finishes grainy and slighltly hoppy (floral)

MF: Light and slightly spritzy (great carbonation level)

Drinks pretty easy, a nice but not great APA IMHO

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2006 04:40:17 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. There are some floaties present. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale malt scent with some citrus hops dominating, but not overpowering. The taste is good. It has a light pale malt flavor with a very bitter hop aftertaste. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine American pale ale. It has good aroma and flavor, although they could use some body and munich malts.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2004 22:54:15 | More by WesWes
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 zeff80


3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a hazy, golden yellow color with a fluffy, small, white head. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of pine, citrus and caramel malt. Also some floral notes.

T - It tasted of smooth roasted malt, caramel, light toffee notes. It had a citrus hop kick.

M - A crisp, sharp pale ale. Also, a medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very easy-drinking pale ale. I jus wish Bell's wasn't so pricy.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2008 01:54:54 | More by zeff80
Photo of Knapp85


3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This brew poured out as a traditional hazy yellowish gold color with a fluffy white head on top. The head had a pretty good retention to it and a good lacing also. The smell of the beer had some fresh grain aromas with some hoppy aromas in there as well. The taste of the beer was average in my opinion. The flavors of grains and bitter hops seemed to be pretty well balanced here. The mouthfeel was light bodied with a tingling carbonation to it. Overall this beer was decent.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 02:24:45 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215


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

Pours hazy blonde yellow with a one-finger white foamy head that hangs on, leaving some trailing lace on the glass.

The smell is floral with some orange peel. Herbal/medicinal.

The taste is of orange peel and an annoying tea-like astringency. Floral and medicinal herbs back it up. Sweet, grainy malt gives it some body and tries to help it out. It has a very dry, astringent finish.

It is medium-bodied with a medicinal, imbalanced bitterness clinging to the tongue, though, again, some malt tries to do something to save it.

One is okay, but that's it. Strangely astringent. I think that something is just "off" here, though it is not terrible at all.

Not crazy about it, but glad I had a chance to have it. Thanks to dekker0 for including it.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2007 02:53:05 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz


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

Pours a fully clouded golden brown. Off white head. Nose is so bland, it's basically lifeless. Flavor is a slight bit of a bitter edge over deadened citrus tones. This is an APA? It seems more to me like a bad version of an American Pale Wheat Ale. Or maybe a hybrid of the two at least. Either way it just seems to come out swinging, and misses. Feel is good on carbonation and decent on liquid. Overall it is drinkable, but I say again: this is a pale ale? Seems pretty wacky to me to be in the class of APA. Oh well. It was decent, but nothing memorable as far as the style goes. Might be better promoted as a summer brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 19:50:11 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek


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

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden yellow tone with a vibrant white two finger sized head, leaving fine scattered lacing nice appearance. Aroma: Grapefruit in nature with underlying floral, spiced hops mild grassy malt notes very mellow but nice. Taste: Up front bitter with a bread malt tone, a bit one dimensional with the upfront zesty bitterness but overall a decent brew from Bell's. Mouthfeel: Is medium to light bodied steady carbonation, a bit oily from the hop resins. Drinkability: Not overly impressed by this pale golden ale from Bell's it's alright just not something I would crave.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2003 16:59:33 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellowish orange color with a thin 1/4" head. Some light lacing developed. The aroma is fruity and floral. The flavor was a tilting act between too sweet and nicely bitter, with an orange zest tone in the background.

Medium bodied and a smooth mouthfeel. The finish was somewhat dry and smooth, and the bitterness and citrus stuck out most here. Overall I thought this was a nice pale ale, and is a good tasty brew you can drink a few of.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2004 00:03:45 | More by Gavage
Photo of tempest


3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold with white lacing but floaties are all up and down in this beer. The aroma is a bit too mild with hints of citrus rind and spice. The Flavor is a big grapefruit and a touch of grassy, earthy spice around the edge. The bitterness fades to make this a tasty pale ale that's very drinkable. I'd like more malt in here, as there isn't much balance. There's a little biscuity malt, but hops run the show here.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2008 00:58:29 | More by tempest
Photo of akorsak


3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The ale is a golden color with hints of auburn orange. There is a slight haze to the beer (not from a cold beer poured into a room temp glass though). The head was thick on pour but dissipated.

S: The ale has a biscuity malt aroma that dominates the nose. Periodically, a fresh citrus hop aroma emerges from the ale.

T: The ale has a very subtle, low-key taste. The hoppiness grabs you first, giving the tastebuds a jump start with some citrus and grapefruit. The malts come next but they don't overshadow the hops, allowing for a slightly cereally flavor that is well-hopped.

M: The crispness of the hops is very pleasing, as is the relaxed malt body.

D: Very drinkable, an enjoyable beer that I was concerned about (as I bought the variety pack specifically for the sixer of Kalamazoo Stout). Well worth a look.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2006 02:16:27 | More by akorsak
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer sampled, pours light orangy, apricot. Cloudy with sediments, just a wisp of a white tiny bubble head, no lacing to to get excited about. Nose is sweet, bready and peppery. This is another nicely crafted and enjoyable from Bells. Moderate citrus hop bite, pepper evident. Quite dry in the finish. Fine sessioner

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2005 06:47:09 | More by Billolick
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Bell's Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
78 out of 100 based on 1,110 ratings.