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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.

1,150 Ratings

(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
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Ratings: 1,150 | Reviews: 618 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bruiser81
3.75/5  rDev +10%

Color was a murky orange-gold color with a small white head which was quick to dissipate. Minimal lacing but not totally void of decoration.
Smell consisted of citrus, grass/hay, and floral hops. It seemed as though some alcohol was trying to peek through but was having a tough time.
Taste started out with a minute amount of pale malt followed by a big hops bitterness. I've had pale ales that were big on hops but not bitter, this one was the opposite. There was not a strong hop flavor just a large amount of bitterness. A little bit of grapefruit was discernable amidst all that bitterness but not much else. It wasn't bad just different from what I'm used to in a pale ale.
Sharp mouthfeel especially in the back of the throat. A pretty drinkable beer overall.

Bruiser81, Sep 03, 2003
Photo of SheepNutz
3.75/5  rDev +10%

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. It pours a light orange, slightly hazy with lots of floating yeast. There are three huge fingers of head that die slowly. There is lots of lace left. The smell is full of citrus and hops. The aromas fill the nose nicely. The taste is a bit malty and yeasty at first, then it moves on to a fruity finish with only a hint of hops. The mouthfeel is a little light, but not too bad. The drinkability is nice though, and this is a very drinkable pale.

SheepNutz, Sep 02, 2003
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Pours a translucent tangerine (matches the label coloring!) with a lot of suspended particles. One finger head that dwindles to a pocky covering.

Light yeasty smell with steady floral accents.

Floral and hoppy taste right out of the gate. Lots of carbonation. turns to a mild, restrained hop finish. A little unusual, it's like the hops want to express themselves but all you get is a muted version. Hmm. Anyway, the aftertaste is grapefruit-like and a bit dry. Overall, a different Pale, but about average.

Mouthfeel is on the crisp side, surprisingly clean and non-oily given the hoppage.

Refreshing and tasty, but just a bit above lawn mower class.

brewdlyhooked13, Aug 28, 2003
Photo of marcobrau
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%

I''ve been on a Bell's beer kick lately. Maybe I've just been getting lucky and getting good fresh bottles, but for me the Bell's products have been pretty good lately.

However, this particular bottle is just a little off, with a light aroma of cooked veggies. It is otherwise a maize colored, fairly clear pale ale with a good (but not overwhelming) spicy kick of hops. A lighter beer than you'd think, but this just makes it more quaffable (and in my mind) more enjoyable on a hot summer day. This may not be as hearty and full-bodied as some other pales ales, but iI still like it. It's a bit expensive for such a light bodied pale, but as a homebrewer I harvest the yeast sediment for some of my own brews, which makes the expense worth it.

marcobrau, Aug 27, 2003
Photo of clvand0
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%

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.

clvand0, Aug 26, 2003
Photo of Fabric8r
3.4/5  rDev -0.3%

Poured a very hazy yellow. I thought it looked just like an unfiltered hefe. Smelled like a normal pale ale and tasted normal as well, although the sediment in the bottom explained the slight yeasty flavor, and I thought to myself it would be better beer, if it was filtered. Bottle conditioned is OK, but just seemed to detract from this beer.
Thanks to tavernjef for sending several Bell products.

Fabric8r, Aug 11, 2003
Photo of Tballz420
4.05/5  rDev +18.8%

This is a pale gold color beer that is clouded by a slight presence of sediment. On top of that is a bubbly white head, which leaves a nice lace trail. This beer has a pretty fruity/citrusy taste, topped with a spicy hop precence. This is a pretty good drink, not my all-time favorite, but worth a shot if you run into it.

Tballz420, Aug 06, 2003
Photo of Mitchster
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%

Carefully decated, this brew pours out to a brilliant deep golden, forming a thick white head with excellent retention and gorgeous lacing. Adding the yeast turns this beauty into a milky pale golden, like a ripe peach-skin. Carbonation is moderate, forming lazy streamers. Aroma is fruity with a dry crispness, very akin to Oberon with a hint of more hops. Previous batches, prior to the new brewing facility, had a stronger peach note. Mouthfeel is very soft and smooth, with a medium body and dry finish. Taste begins with a moderately strong floral hop bite, followed by husken, lightly toasty pale malts...a moderate herbal bitterness, tannins, and some floral American/German Noble hybrid hops contribute to the dry finish. Alcohol is barely perceptable, but adds a peppery note in the middle. Think Oberon mixed 70/30 with Sammy's Boston Lager.

This is the least exciting of Bell's line-up, but it still beats the pants off most Pale Ale's out there. Extremely easy to drink. I love the look of the yeast, but I think it tastes better decanted.

Original Gravity: 1.05
Alcohol by Volume: 5.3%

Mitchster, Aug 03, 2003
Photo of mikeys01
4.03/5  rDev +18.2%

Served from a 12 oz bottle, courtesy of tavernjef, who sent some much needed Bell's to me in CT. Fairly golden in color this pale, only a bit of haze. Little bit of white head, nothing significant, low to moderate carbonation. Aroma is fairly yeasty, with a bit of spice. Taste evolves as this pale warms a bit, starting off a bit yeasty, but with good hoppy bitterness jumping out from the back of your tongue. Loving the bottle conditioned smoothness. Finishes with notes of citrus and spice, fairly dry. Good example of an intelligent pale ale, excellent artwork on the bottle as well...

mikeys01, Aug 02, 2003
Photo of Todd
2.68/5  rDev -21.4%

12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.

Pours a pretty chill-hazed dirty blonde/straw beer with a thin white wispy lace. Aroma is pretty clean with notes of grain, but that's about it.

Chewy, solid medium body with rough grain edges / husk tannins; a mouthful of raw malted grain is what you get! Carbonation is crisp. Malt character is a bit sweet with mild fruit flavours, touch of honey. Hop character is very herbal and spicy, backed by a quick citric twang and floral flavours. Finish very dry, with an overwhelming amount of tannins on the palate.

If it wasn't for the dominating grainy tannins, this would be a pretty decent beer. However, as it stands, this is a one beer beer. Glad I gave it a try though ...

Todd, Jul 31, 2003
Photo of granger10
3/5  rDev -12%

Pours a flourescent orange color with little head that soon left and there was no lacing to be found. The yeast was strong flavored here and provided a citrusy aroma and taste. Hops seemed to be more floral in taste and definitely strong. Finishes with a mouth puckering hop kick. Everything about this beer tells me it's average for a pale ale.

granger10, Jul 25, 2003
Photo of MJR
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%

Appearance: Pours a burnished gold with some copper highlights. The body is surprisingly clear, being a bottle-conditioned beer. It's off-white head starts small and holds at a mostly complete cap.

Smell: The aroma is floral and spicy from the hops, with some crackery malt. Lots of yeastiness in the smell as well.

Taste: Starts off a bit grainy and crackery, then moves to a firm bitterness, complete with a bit of floral and spicy hop flavor. The yeast adds a significant amount of breadiness and mustiness to the flavor profile, throwing off the balance some. A touch of acidity appears on the finish, which is fairly bitter and spicy.

Mouthfeel: The bottle-conditioning brings a bit of creamy richness to the mouthfeel. Medium in body, with a dry, acidic finish.

Drinkability: This is a decent pale ale. It doesn't match up to many of the other brews in Bell's line-up, and it's a bit off-balance. I couldn't see myself buying an entire sixer of it, but I wouldn't turn it down if offered .

Thanks to 'Realale' for the fresh sample.

MJR, Jul 18, 2003
Photo of DrewS
3.83/5  rDev +12.3%

Finally got around to reviewing this one and overall I'd say it's a solid pale ale. It pours out a clear golden yellow with a small white head that fades to almost nothing. Malt dominates the nose and has a sweet bready, almost biscuity aroma with some help from the yeast. Hops are there but barely play a supporting role. Good texture on the tongue and a proper medium body. Again, malt takes the stage with bread and some fruit. Hop flavor is very detectable with some earthy tones and a nice lingering bitterness. Not a whole bunch going on here with this beer but a good pale ale needs not be overly complex. I could drink this all night if I could only get more of it here in Virginia.

DrewS, Jul 15, 2003
Photo of Realale
3.1/5  rDev -9.1%

Slightly hazy medium gold with just a touch of copper. Fine, fluffy 1" head settles slowly to a thin rocky complete cap leaving nice lacing.

Nose is crackery malt, with a good dose of spicy/earthy hop and some yeastiness. Not terribly complex, and the yeastiness is a bit much for style, despite a careful pour.

Medium-light on the palate, with a good solid, but very short, graininess. Little hop flavor, but a shortish bitter finish. Also a bit acidic for what it is.

Quite low in carbonation, this bottle-conditioned beer is thirst quenching, but the lack of carbonation makes it seem heavier than it is. Frankly, its just not a very interesting, or well-balanced beer.

Purchased at the Brewery General Store on July 3, 2003.

Realale, Jul 12, 2003
Photo of hotstuff
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

This beer poured virtually no head. The lacing was good on the sides of my glass. The hue of this beer is light yellow and the nose is spicy. I was disappointed in this brew as I thought it would be much better than it was. This is another one of my "not a Bell's favorite of mine".

hotstuff, Jul 11, 2003
Photo of beernbbq
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%

I know that most folks here don't have much regard for this style, but I always searching for a good version of this style for "daytime" imbibing, as I find most lagers, domestic or import, other than Great Lakes Dortmunder, boring.

That said, this beer definitely fits the style profile to a tee, which I consider to be a modern-American version of a bitters. Biscuity malt with the citrus hop and moderate alcohol profile that enables you to enjoy a few in numerous settings, beaching, BBQing, sitting at a pub, etc. My batch had May 14, 2003 on the box and I am pleased to say that the QC issues they were having were not present in this batch.

Overall, a good drinking brew. Welcome back, Bell's.

beernbbq, Jul 10, 2003
Photo of aaronh
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%

Another questionable bottle of Bell's beer. Pours a cloudy gold/orange color, topped by a loose, off white head, and highly sedimented. The aroma is nice, with strong malts and a nice floral aroma. Notes of orange in the nose as well. Actually very nice and fruity. The taste is more lager-like than ale like, with a sharp malt taste finished by a crisp hoppiness. Lingering bitterness on the finish. No souring or wet cardboard flavors to hint at an old or spoiled bottle. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, with agressive carbonation. Drinkability is average. Best part of this beer is the nose.

aaronh, Jul 05, 2003
Photo of TheDM
3.23/5  rDev -5.3%

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.

TheDM, Jul 03, 2003
Photo of jcalabre
3.95/5  rDev +15.8%

Appearance: Unfiltered hazy, dark yellow with a long lasting, small bubbled white head
Aroma: A little flowery & a little spicy
Taste: mouthfeel is light/medium with some hoppiness that doesn't dominate, but you know it's there. All in all, a great session beer. Hopefully, with all of these great beers, Bell's will distribute out my way one of these days

jcalabre, Jun 26, 2003
Photo of BierReise
2.95/5  rDev -13.5%

Looks just like a wheat beer, cloudy deep golden color with small white head of foam. Smells kind of yeasty with a slight floral aroma. Very crisp and effervescent. Flavor is a little stale with a slight bitterness. Not one of the best pales I've had. Would prefer a little more hop presence. Reminds sme of one of my homebrews I used to make. Not as good as some of their other brews. This brewery seems to be inconsistant in my opinion. They have some stellar brews and some like this one. Just doesn't impress me.

BierReise, Jun 19, 2003
Photo of dwarbi
4.75/5  rDev +39.3%

What a spectacular looking beer! Pours a creamy head. Looks like a mogul-covered ski slope. Except it's not downhill. It looks like there is a storm in the cloudy peach-colored beer. The head refuses to settle. It's there as I drain the glass. Smells wheaty and slightly of apricot. Tastes fantastic. This may be best traditional pale ale I have had. Very complex. Somewhat bitter aftertaste. I think I need to head to Kalamazoo. I'll bring my kazoo.

dwarbi, May 27, 2003
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%

Presentation: 12oz. amber bottle with no apparent freshness dating.

Appearance: Poured a very fizzy dull golden color with a "soapy" head that dies quickly yet manages to plaster the glass with sticky white lace.

Smell: Very nice...sweet honeysuckle with citrusy notes, with a dash of grassy thrown in for good measure. Very different and very pleasing.

Taste: I wasn't sure how the smell would translate into the taste, but it certainly was good! Very "yeasty" and "bread-like", with all sorts of floaties in the beer broken loose from the bottle of the bottle. Nice input from the hops in the form of a slightly earthy/grassy and citrusy flavor. Throw in a smattering of bitterness and you've got a good beer in your glass.

Mouthfeel: Given how active the beer was after the pour, I'd expected a much fizzier mouthfeel. I was rewarded with a very creamy and smooth coating of the palate.

Drinkability: Very easy to finish this one. Not much in the way of a bitter aftertaste and certainly easy on the tastebuds as a result of the relative lack of hoppy bitterness. I'd gladly try this again.

Notes: Judging from several of the other reviews, it appears that some question this being a pale ale/bitter. I also found it very mild in the bitterness category, but I also really enjoyed the taste of this beer.

OldFrothingSlosh, May 13, 2003
Photo of BeerBuilder
3.95/5  rDev +15.8%

Pours to a orangish-copper color with an off-white head. Has a huge blast of fruity, citrus hop aroma. Has a different flavor, almost nutty, with fruitiness. It flows to a very dry and bitter finish. It is medium in bodied and highly drinkable. Another tasty brew from Bell’s.

BeerBuilder, May 13, 2003
Photo of Dogbrick
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%

I have to say I was a little disappointed in this beer, especially after being so impressed by most of the other Bell's brews I have tried. Pours an almost sickly looking light orange color with a thin and foamy white head. Very floral hops aroma, with light citrus notes as well. Flavor is mild, with perfumy hops and light malt. Finish is crisp and light, with a nice hops presense lingering. Okay, but gimme an Expedition next time.

Dogbrick, Apr 22, 2003
Photo of tavernjef
4.13/5  rDev +21.1%

The color of this is quite nice, its pale, slightly cloudy yellow, getting close to orangeish, almost looks like weak orange juice. Upon closer inspection, I see very small, dark particles floating around in there. Hmmm, I wonder. Head was small and white with very light lace patches.
Smell is wonderful, fruity and clean, lightly crisp and spicy of a lemon-like zesty yeast and has a grassy note in there.
Taste is much like you'd think from the smell with a great zest of citrusy lemon hop and yeast thats balanced in with a good, lightly caramel malt. It doesn't have that usual piney type of bittering thats associated with many of this type of ale, if you've had the Two-hearted Ale, this is somewhat lighter as far as the hop bite and bitterness.
Feel is zesty bright but mild and tamed down for a nice lemon-like coating in the mouth. I really notice it on the roof of my mouth, almost the same sensation of when it gets slightly burned. It gets in there and really opens up to a souring tone that's very easy to handle, more so then those sour patch gummi bears.
One really nice pale and quite unique.

tavernjef, Apr 21, 2003
Bell's Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
78 out of 100 based on 1,150 ratings.