1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Not Rated.
Bell's Pale AleBell's Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

1,150 Ratings
THE BROS
63
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,150
Reviews: 618
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.66%
Wants: 17
Gots: 37 | FT: 1
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,150 | Reviews: 618 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bahumutx
4.22/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy gold/straw with a small head.

Smell: A grassy and citrus hop aroma with some malt also present.

Taste: Starts with a citrus hop flavor and then ends with malt sweetness and slight hop bitterness. Very balanced.

Mouthfeel: Smooth Mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I could have a few of these in a sitting.

Yet another great beer from Bell’s Brewing Company. Keep up the great work!!!

bahumutx, Feb 01, 2006
Photo of bruachan
3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

at the lizard

poured a golden light amber with some lacing and a thin layer of persistent foam

the hops provide a mild resiny bitterness as well as a floral, slightly citrus aroma. this doesn't dominate however and caramel shines through. i also get a little lemon zest in the flavor from hops

it's not bell's('s?) best offering, but i can dig it

bruachan, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of danielocean03
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy, straw-colored golden color. The cloudiness is caused by a light sediment, this pale ale had a one finger white, fuzzy head that falls quickly to moderate to light white lacing. Smells hoppy and of sweet grain, almost like honey-wheat bread. Tastes very similar, appreciatively bitter, an overall enjoyable brew. Perhaps a little more carbonated than I enjoy, however not to the point of dislike. Drinkability fairly high, crisp and clean, slight bitterness in the aftertaste, not bad at all.

danielocean03, Jan 13, 2006
Photo of connecticutpoet
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This clear yellow beer had a two and a half finger foamy head. Looked like a good pale ale.

Aroma was of floral hops, slightly grassy, with some light malts thrown in there to balance the hops out.

Taste was somewhat bitter and floral, with light malts. Aftertase was somewhat bitter. Being a hophead, this did not bother me in the slightest.

Mouthfeel was a little better than average, not thin, but not rich and full either.

Drinkability... definitely one I wouldn't mind having again.

Thanks to Frozensoul327 for the trade.

connecticutpoet, Jan 11, 2006
Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.05/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Forewarning, this one is a couple years old. Its been sitting in my fathers beer fridge for 2-3 years, I thought I might as well grab it and give it a whirl. I will definitly try and rate this one again when I get a chance to get it fresh.

Pours a cloudy, dusty, golden amber color with a nice, long-lasting head. Leaves incredible lacings everywhere.

The smell is very soft, very faint. A bit fruity, maybe bananas.

The taste is mild at first sip, but does have a fruity sourness in its finishing flavor. The hops are definitly present. After a bit of warming, this tastes awesome. I'm very impressed considering the aging this beer has withstood.

It really does have some interesting flavor the more I get into it. Cant wait to try it fresh.

Cheers!

jasonpeckins32, Jan 05, 2006
Photo of blackie
4.53/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: The head is white as I pour the beer off the sediment. The beer is a golden, light amber and there is some haziness.

smell: I notice a nice and clean floral hop aroma, in a nice amount. There is some malt sweetness and a slight spiciness. Some herbal notes and maybe some fruit (cherry?). Smells awesome, and is complex for an APA.

mouthfeel: The beer is well carbonated and is medium in body.

taste: The hops and malt are perfectly balanced. The taste is clean and crisp, but with loads of flavor. The finish is clean and slightly bitter.

drinkability: refreshing and drinkable

Great APA, the best I've ever had. Batch # 6882. Traded from Reavis after his trip to see dirtylou in Chicago.

blackie, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of Schwarzbart
4.08/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Unfiltered and a light honey color. Quite a bit of debris chunks and only a small amount falls to the bottom of the glass. Not much of a head when poured, but good lacing was provided while drinking.
Smell: Smell was of sweet malts, floral hops, yeast, citrus and some spices. Surprisingly big floral notes. Sweet candy like aromas like lemon candy. Exotic smelling fruit like starfruit.
Taste: Taste is dominantly hops and a pleasant floral chewy taste. Hops are earthy and citrusy. Pale malts and some citrus hints are noticeable.
Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel and a little chewy. Could be all the debris. :-)
Drinkability: I could easily session this beer. Quite tasty.

Schwarzbart, Dec 22, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from deejaydan as part of the WTF ASAP BIF. Thanks for the opportunity. From their website: The Batch ID that you entered '7038', is a Bell's Pale Ale. Your Bell's Pale Ale was packaged on August 25, 2005.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" white head above the golden brew. Head lasts pretty well, with average to good lacing. Aroma is kind of a corny sweetness. Taste is well-balanced, somewhat generic, with that same sweetness coming in at the close. Mouthfeel and drinkability are okay, but this is not one of the Bell's brews I would be knocking myself over to revisit.

ppoitras, Dec 08, 2005
Photo of CortexBomb
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out straw yellow with a smallish white head. Smell is mainly softly malty with some yeast...not overly distinctive, but not bad.

Taste starts out softly malty and then gives an interesting slight twang of citrus. A top of the mouth hop bitter kicks in about there and seems to grow. The finish is a slight hop kick. Decent...but nothing that really stands out from the pack.

The mouth gets mild marks for the hop action while the drinkability is good...fairly standard for a beer of this type.

Like most Bell's year-around beers the Pale doesn't blow me away, but works as a solid representative of its style.

CortexBomb, Nov 06, 2005
Photo of battlekow
2.48/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The store just started carrying Bell's and Founders pale ales, so I thought I'd give them a whirl.

Bell's version is a very cloudy amber yellowish color, capped by a generous, soapy head. Big chunks of foam stick to the side of the glass as the head dies down. Not nearly as heady as the Bell's Best Brown I had a little while ago, but "generous" was the right word.

I accidentally inhaled a bunch of foam while sticking my nose in the glass and it smells like tortilla chips. The beer doesn't smell THAT toasty unless you put it up your nose, but the scent is primarily of toasted malts, as opposed to other APAs' lightly hoppy aroma.

Tastes a bit of wet dog. This is a fresh batch: "The Batch ID that you entered '7089', is a Bell's Pale Ale. Your Bell's Pale Ale was packaged on September 28, 2005," but I have no idea where the hops have gone. The only hint of them is the bittering in the finish; there is no hop flavor. It doesn't taste bad, but it also doesn't taste like an APA. Very disappointing, especially when compared directly to Founders' superb version of the style.

battlekow, Oct 27, 2005
Photo of ghostwalker
3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle serving.

Yellow/orange pour, lots of suspended chunks of yeast sediment.

Very little head, disappears fast, leaves some nice lacing.

Mild nose, yeast, malt and hops in balance.

Typical APA flavors, but not nearly as strong as many examples of the style. Somewhat hoppy, but in balance with the yeast and malt. Fruity highlights, some citrus, apricot. Nice flavor overall, just a little too mild for me.

Drinkability is good. These could probably go down easy. However, I could only find this in 6 packs, and only in MI. The price was high for what it is, too. In the future, I will spend my beer $ on something with a little more zip.

ghostwalker, Oct 02, 2005
Photo of longarm
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy yellow with chunks floating in solid carbonation.

Corn adjunct with mild hops in aroma.

Hops more prevalent in the taste. Earthy and spicy hops balance bitterness to a sweet malt profile. Some esters...slight fruity character.

Has a moderately dense mouthfeel and syrupy finish. Drinkability is moderate on this. A little disappointing considering the rest of Bell's line-up.

longarm, Sep 25, 2005
Photo of karst
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

packaged on June 27, 2005
returning to this blond ale considering a clone homebrew. Recipe calling for Hallertau for bitterness and flavor with grain (8.5 lb) Pale 2-row and half pound of Victory. I think the trick will be using Bell's yeast.
Not much of a head (< 1 finger) over the murky apricot brew with lots yeast particles. Signature Bell's yeast aroma. Grapefruit hop nose. Malt character well balanced by hop bitterness. Slightly leafy hop flavor. The finish is very clean with a pleasant nuttiness from the minor addition of Victory malt and mild Hallertau bitterness. There has to be cascade hops in this beer - no way the yeast will give that much grapefruit esters. Love the favor of this beer! Looking forward to a trip to the brewery.

karst, Sep 10, 2005
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.2/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear yellow with large white yeast flakes settled in the bottom.

Smell: Kind of bland, a little yeasty.

Taste: I don't know, I didn't really like this flavor. It wasn't bad, it was just an average pale ale flavor to me...

Notes: I prefer Two Brothers The Bitter End to this one for a pale ale with a large yeasty component.

TurdFurgison, Sep 10, 2005
Photo of whynot44
3.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Straw colored with a decent white head that actually persists for a while leaving a bit of lacing behind.

The aroma is fruity, citrusy with a bit of sweet malt background.

Medium bodied, definite hops bite up front, slight grapefruit citrus taste, followed by a bit of caramel and fruit - apple or pear, with a strong but pleasant hops finish and aftertaste.

Altogether very nice, worth a try.

whynot44, Sep 08, 2005
Photo of Backer2004
3.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

According to Michael Jackson's Pocket Guide to Beer, a "Pale Ale means bronze or copper colored." Even though the bottle said this would be a lighter colored brew, the appreance alone turned me off to this one, a first for Bell's. Starw colored with mild hops, little carbonation, and grassy smell, this almost seems like they bottled this one wrong. Too many great Bell's and too many great Pale Ales to choose this one again.

Backer2004, Sep 07, 2005
Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.9/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A very mellow APA.

Crisp carbonation and a healthy white head. Plenty of good flakey stuff floating around like one expects from Bell's.

The malts are mild and sweet.

The hops have some spicy flowery notes.

Very dry finish.

This beer was ok and I should note that my mom loved it but I expect more from Bell's and wasn't too enthused over this.

DaPeculierDane, Sep 06, 2005
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.

BEERchitect, Aug 05, 2005
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.15/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 6821. The Bell's Pale Ale pours from the bottle into my glass a golden honey like the warm summer sun. A creamy froth of white appears on top with big airy bubbles. Aromas of sweet pale malts touched with caramel intertwine with herbal, fresh wildflower hops and light citrus spice.

First sip brings a refreshingly sweet pale malty backbone enlivend with bold flowery, herbal hoppiness that takes hold mid palate. Hints of citrus fruits and mellow spice as well. A refreshing pale ale with an interesting hop profile. It's nice to see something other than the normal citurs/grapefruit hops used in most pale ales. Lingering bitterness on the finish with wildflower hop burps!

Mouthfeel is nearly perfect with enough grist to make it feel full in the mouth. Another easy drinking brew from Bell's. I could see a sixer disappearing from my fridge quite quickly. Thanks to kmpitz2 for the single.

orbitalr0x, Jul 30, 2005
Photo of alewarrior
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle conditioned pale ale, nice head, sticks around nicely, hoppy and floral nose, slightly malty, more tilted to the hoppy side in the nose. This is a pretty run of the mill, boiler plate american pale ale, hoppy on the get go, with a nice malty middle and a hoppy, drying finish. A good beer for a 6 pack on the beach or a bar b que, worth a try, but somehow I have come to expect more from bells.

alewarrior, Jul 30, 2005
Photo of schoolcb
3.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very pale straw color. Slightly hazy. Nice 2-finger white foam head that persists. Aroma of American hops. Flavor is grassy/floral hops that dominates over the pale malt base. Medium bodied. The hop bitterness lasts a long time, and {burp} keeps repeating. Overall an ok American Pale Ale.

schoolcb, Jul 20, 2005
Photo of Jacobob10
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out yellow/orange and very hazy. Nice white fizzy head with good retention. Citrus aroma with some slight spice. All I could taste was lemon and pepper. It was light to medium-bodied and the spiciness left a slight tingling sensation on your tounge. Very drinkable nonetheless.

Is this an American Pale Ale or a Wheat Beer? You could have fooled me. Very similar to Sam Adams Summer Ale in some respects. I guess you could say this beer is original, but can you call it original just because you don't feel it fits the style?

I used some of this brew in a marinade for flank steak and the end result was beautiful. Added a nice fruity touch to the soy sauce i also used.

Jacobob10, Jul 18, 2005
Photo of neonbrown82
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was not one of my favorite examples of the style. It poured to a light golden color with a bit of a haze and some chunks of sediment. The head was minimal, but lasted the whole way down the glass.

The smell is decent. A bit of a spicy hop profile backed by a huge grainy aroma.

The taste is a bit malty with a dry spicy hop finish. It tastes similar to cascades, but has more of a noble hop bite to it in the finish. The malt is a bit caramel-ish. The body is full and creamy.

I might drink this again if it was fresh from the brewery, but I don't reckon I'd try it again otherwise.

neonbrown82, Jul 18, 2005
Photo of Sammy
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.

Sammy, Jul 08, 2005
Photo of niknar
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a straw color not too distant from the typical color of a macro. Here is where the similarities stop, however. A thin, white head that quickly disappears leaves a decent amount of lacing. Notable "floaties" in the body of the beer, but I'm not particularly scared away by such things. Aroma is strongly citrus with hops and pine serving as a background. From the appearance I expected this offering to be overcarbonated, but I was wrong. The taste is fairly typical of the style - strong hop notes with a dry finish. Nothing that breaks the mold, but still a very pleasant beer. Mouthfeel is slightly weak in the body compared to many others in the style, but not enough to be a deterrent. Drinkability on this one is pretty good, as long as you have a love hops.

niknar, Jun 07, 2005
Bell's Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
78 out of 100 based on 1,150 ratings.