1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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

1,132 Ratings
THE BROS
63
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,132
Reviews: 618
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.96%
Wants: 18
Gots: 35 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,132 | Reviews: 618 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of abents
abents

Wisconsin

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

Pours cloudy yellow color and chunky white head with great lacing. Very big on the citrus hops right off the nose. Taste is very citrusy up front with nice yeast flavor mixing around in there. Very crisp beer that's almost a creamy texture. Goes down really smooth, a very drinkable pale, but nothing incredible here.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2004 20:19:44 | More by abents
Photo of JackTheRipper
JackTheRipper

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Live life unfiltered, indeed. Pours a cloudy yellow color with a thin white head and scant lacing. Lots of sediment noted in the glass, I loved unfiltered beers. Chunky stuff used to scare me, now I find myself looking forward to it.
S: First impression is a citrusy hop aroma. After warming just a bit, some nice yeasty/bready smells come forth.
T: Nice hop profile up front. Moderately bitter without being too over the top. After the initial flash of hops, a very nice sweetness hits you. Finishes a lingering bitter hop.
M: Carbonation seems a bit too high for this style. Body is medium with a slick sort of mouthfeel. ETOH seems a bit higher than the stated ABV%.
D&N: Another fine offering from Larry. Very nice tastes and smells, and the fact that it's unfiltered lends it an interesting look. Nicely done.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2004 20:54:45 | More by JackTheRipper
Photo of marcellaproust
marcellaproust

Washington

3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, hefeweissen yellow with a great coarse and fluffy head. Very slight smell, floral and I could swear a hint of stale marshmellows. Great taste, like a Bell's Two Hearted which decides to take the afternoon off. To 2hearted's grapefruit on viagra, we have sour citrus fruits underwritten by vegetal hints which make for a more complacent hoppiness. Flavors bow out half way through to a long, bitter finish. The carbonation is as spunky as 2heartd. I might just prefer this pale ale if I'm not in the mood to pucker my tongue for the night.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2004 03:14:54 | More by marcellaproust
Photo of UncleJimbo
UncleJimbo

Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz longneck bottle.

This pale ale poured a hazy, golden (peach) color with creamy, smooth, white foam that clung to the glass a bit. The smell was fruity and malty, with a nice, mild hop aroma and traces of grain and yeast. The taste was a sharp malt and hop flavor (almost lager-like) with some floral hops and a bit of soapy hops in the finish. The mouthfeel was sharp and crisp and dry and hoppy with medium body and moderate carbonation. This was a decent pale ale overall.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2004 08:47:48 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of GreenWBush
GreenWBush

Oregon

3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Subtly artistic label suggesting a balance betwixt hop and malt.

Glugs slowly into my glass with an impressive and characteristic soapy head that quickly falls to nothingness and leaves only a tiny lace. Delicately light bronze.

Milkiness is the first unflattering note detected on the nose, followed by a slightly tart citric hop character. Then the oft-overzealous Bell's house yeast sneaks into the nostril. Sweet grainy metallic notes follow.

Refreshingly, the taste does not suffer the same fate as the aroma. Nice sweetly thick malt character with heavy oaty bread textures is cut by clean lemon hops. A full mouthfeel that borders on the cloyingly milkshake-ish.

I had no problem with this one, but wouldn't reach for another too quickly.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2004 01:15:39 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of PSUDREW
PSUDREW

Pennsylvania

2.9/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was not overly impressed.

pour a hazy orange, with lots of sediment and a quicly dissapating head. It has a rather "hearty" smell, with some interesting over tones.

the best way to describe it is hop-tastic, becuase that is all you really taste. I found no malty goodness, just the citrusy and bitter flavor of hops (not that it is a bad thing)

Not bad. Not bell's best, but not bad

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2004 04:10:24 | More by PSUDREW
Photo of elmocoso
elmocoso

Virginia

3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy gold with little bits of sediment floating in the drink. The head is a finger high and leaves great looking lace as it collappses unto itself.

The hop aroma is earthy, and mixed with the yeastyness the beer smells very hearty. Cant wait to sip it.

And it is good. Bitterness abounds and along with hop flavor stays on the tongue long after the swallow. There is a good malt taste in the front of the drink but it soon dissapears under the bitterness.

Mouthfeel is generally good and drinkablity is good.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2004 20:21:40 | More by elmocoso
Photo of anders36
anders36

Sweden

3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This Bell's beer pours a golden hazy colour into the glass. It even looks a bit cloudy. Doesn't pour much of a head. It has a big hoppy smell with some hint of citrus. And a bit fruity smell too. The taste is fruity and very hoppy, with some malty taste too. It has some fruity aftertaste with some hint of citrus. This is the first beer from Bell's i taste. It is not so bad, but i think they have better ones.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2004 01:02:15 | More by anders36
Photo of chilidog
chilidog

Ohio

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

One nice Bell. It pours a hazy dirty gold with a nice white inch high head with plenty of lace. The aroma is soft floral hop. The taste is also soft, crisp, floral citric with a hop note that sticks around in the mouthfeel. A buttery oil feel coats the mouth while the final finish is abit dry. A nice, easy drink'n Bells. Great on a hot day or with a meal.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2004 21:46:55 | More by chilidog
Photo of jimdkc
jimdkc

Missouri

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

Hazy yellow pour... looks almost like a wheat beer. Small white head leaves random small patches of lace. Smell starts similar to a wheat beer, too... grainy with a bit of lemon, but followed by floral hops. Taste is dominated by piney hops with a little grapefruit bitterness. Any malt flavor gets steamrollered by the hops... not very balanced! Medium body. Kind of middle-of-the-road: hop-haters would think this is too hoppy, and hop-heads will want more hops!

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2004 13:16:08 | More by jimdkc
Photo of pezoids
pezoids

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured a hazy pale yellow with plenty of suspended particulates and fine static bubbles. The aroma gives off a grainy sourness along with something like a sweet lemon cough drop. A pleasant yeastiness rises to meet the nose.

The taste is light and flavorful. A very soft floral hop bitterness laps over the tongue and remains in the back of the throat. Solid body of pale malt sweetness is evident. This beer grows on you. I wasn’t that impressed at first, but am enjoying it more as I drink. Butter candy texture starts to come through as the beer warms up.

A nice pale ale. Nice blend of bitter soft hops and sweet malts and has a candy like quality about it.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2004 21:18:10 | More by pezoids
Photo of GuinnessSmurf
GuinnessSmurf

Missouri

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 merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, golden yellow color, with a small, offwhite, frothy head that is billowy, and retains well. Some nice sheet lacing is noted. Body has an odd appearance, as if bubbles are in suspended animation. Actually, closer examination reveals these to be "floaties", and they're everywhere. A few bubbles fight through the mess, as they surge to the top. Aroma is lemonrind, with some peppery spice. No floral hops are noted, in spite of the label's claims. Carbonation seems weak for style, but some herbal hops bite the tongue. Floral hops(lavender) show up in the taste, as well, but it's pine cone that runs the flavor profile. This has a fresh green hoppiness that I like, and the finish is dry and bitter.
Very flavorful, overall, with pine cone hop flavor obliterating the pale malt. I enjoyed this quite a bit, but found all the "floaties" a bit disconcerting.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2004 10:47:52 | More by merlin48
Photo of silenius
silenius

Illinois

2.2/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Geez, why did I buy a whole six pack of this before trying out one first!?!?

Bell's is so good with anything but pale ale it seems. I was disappointed with their Third Coast and I'm disappointed with this beer.

The beer pours with a short-lived head and so many yeasty floaties that at first I thought they were carbonation bubbles in the glass. The beer itself is a light brass.

I smell barnyard on the nose and some citric hops. I don't find barnyard offensive since I drink enought Cotes-du-Rhone to find it "interesting."

The taste is underwhelming with mostly an off-bitter component that fails to satisfy.

Mouthfeel is fine, nothing notable about it really.

I certainly won't be buying another one of these. This is better than, say, Coors, but that's about all the compliment I can give it.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2004 21:52:42 | More by silenius
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

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 yankeeheel
yankeeheel

Maine

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

Pours a murky light blonde with a small whit ehead. I tried to keep the yeasties at bay but I was overrun.

Smells quite tart with a fair amount of lemony hop citrus.

Tastes very hoppy. Just a hint of malt and bam, you're up to your oropharynx in hops. This to me is bordering on IPA territory. Finishes with a bit of mouth puckering twang.

Mouthfeel is moderate and carbonation is acceptable.

Pretty drinkable, but it's not really my thing.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2004 00:56:19 | More by yankeeheel
Photo of stewart124
stewart124

Ohio

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

Blonde ale with a creamy white head topping it off. Nice floral aroma along with a spicey note of hops. The spices standout and are quite noticable without being overpowering. The taste is again a nice blend of floral and spicey hops with a dry pale malt bite. Very good taste. The aftertaste is a lingering spice that remains tasty. Not an exceptional beer but still a one to enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2004 19:13:24 | More by stewart124
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

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

Hazy gold color, with a big white head that quickly dissapears. Smells of hops, but nothing that strong. This is a pale ale that is not nearly strong enough for my tastes, I need more hops. Not that bad, but nothing to write home about. Maybe it's because I just had chili, who knows

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2003 02:46:01 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of ngandhi
ngandhi

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

American wheat nose. Lightly citric taste. Calm bitter orange rind (and pith) finish. Touch of sweetness, yeast (very minimal esters), and a hint of pilsenery grain. A great session ale with some very interesting qualities. At times, you can see where Amber, Oberon, and Two Hearted (there's an afterthought of roses to this brew) come from.

Relax, relax.
ng

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2003 21:15:12 | More by ngandhi
Photo of beergeek279
beergeek279

Pennsylvania

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

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is golden, with a bit of white head. The smell is very slightly hoppy. The taste is a very dry hoppiness, with a slightly off bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth. Drinkability-wise, could have a few.

Not bad, but defnitely not amongst Bell's best. Still, a decent if uneventtul pale ale, and I'd probably have one again.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2003 03:53:59 | More by beergeek279
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

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 Ellbert
Ellbert

Ohio

3.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance wasn't that good for this brew. It wasn't just couldy it had a bunch of chunks from the yeast floating in it. it was like a speckeled yellow wonderland. It may have been my pour but I made sure to be delicate in my pour, especially since it was my first beer of the night.

The smell was very good and hoppy.

The tast was the same as the smell. Very good.

The mouthfeel was good, nice and thick with a very good amount of carbonation.

Very drinkable, especially at 5.0, another please.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2003 05:44:56 | More by Ellbert
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

3.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a somewhat nebulous golden yellow with a persistent frothy white head that erodes and leaves behind a fine sheet of lace. Sweet and kind of biscuit like aroma at the front, crisp, fresh and lightly hop floral, appealing this nose, sweet malt start, top moderate in body. Finish is pesky in its acidity; hops are delightful in their muted presence with the aftertaste dry and lingering. I certainly wish we had a local source for this great breweries beer, maybe I need to lobby the distributors here more than I already do.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2003 17:03:15 | More by Gusler
Photo of ManekiNeko
ManekiNeko

Virginia

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

Served chilled from a bottle at a Bell's beer tasting held at the Brickskeller. Approx. a 4 ox sample, but I finished off my girlfriend's cup.

Appearance: Hazy honey color with a frothy white head. Well carbonated, helped keep a small film of bubbles at the top of the beer. Great lacing, and on plastic no less.

Smell: Sweet pale malt with some herby/grassy hops on the background. Slightly grainy smell.

Taste: Pale malt sweetness with some pronounced grassy hops on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium in body, slightly astringent.

Drinkablity: Hops on the taste, but not the nose. A nice little beer. Great prelude of what was to come.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2003 03:33:11 | More by ManekiNeko
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 ouncer, long neck brown bottle. The single obverse main label is a Brown Café ‘orange’ color intended to imitate a wall, which in turn has an arched window that reveals a Monk swinging on a rope. No freshness date or strength listed.

Appearance: This immediately reminded me of a Belgium Tripel. Hazy golden color, lots of streamers fill the Goblet and rise to the underside of a frothy, pillow like bleach white head. Immense carbonation lends excellent conditioning to the beer & a swirl soon induces a chaotic mass of small bubbles, that soon settle down into an ordered “whish” that continue to support the velvety smooth head. Very good appearance!

Nose: I expected more spices here, but they were very restrained. In fact the nose as a whole was very restrained - Shame. Some toasted Pale Malts and a light hoppiness, but I did not get much else.

Taste: Slightly Bitter, Slightly Citric, Slight Hoppiness, Slight Spices –
- Just too many “Slights” for me, don’t get me wrong this is a quality made brew, which drinks well, but it is just far too restrained to convince me to open my wallet to part with the green stuff. Sure it’s only 5.0%, but there again, so are many tasty UK Cask beers. Needs an injection of strength or elevation in the taste department.

Mouthfeel: It’s a 3.5, mainly because there is a very nice lingering bitterness with a feint spicy feel, which appeals to me. The body is average.

Drinkability: Well, this is a palatable beer, which is easily imbibed, but I feel as though I am always searching for the tastes to break through at any time. With its Belgium Tripel looks and so many hints at Spices, Hops and Pale Malts that are basically too weak to ever fulfill my expectations. In turn, this leads to a beer that is always “wanting”. It is basically a one bottle every now and again type of beer - rather than a session beer.

Overall: A decent drinking beer, more of a Pale Tripel Ale to me, but I wish it had a little more in the taste department, especially spicy hops, it wouldn’t hurt at all if it had.

Thanks to FM for supplying this one, much appreciated.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2003 03:30:47 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Bell's Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
78 out of 100 based on 1,132 ratings.