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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.

1,160 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,160
Reviews: 618
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.66%
Wants: 19
Gots: 39 | 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: 1,160 | Reviews: 618 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gusler
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.

Gusler, Oct 25, 2003
Photo of ManekiNeko
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.

ManekiNeko, Oct 23, 2003
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
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.

TheLongBeachBum, Oct 18, 2003
Photo of maxpower
3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy and hazy light orange color, has a decent white creamy head that leaves a sticky lacing in my glass, light citrus and bready aroma. Medium body with a creamy mouthfeel, flavors of bread, butterscotch and grapefruit, finishes clean with a light bitterness.

maxpower, Oct 17, 2003
Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Bell's Pale Ale was disappointing in appearance. Although the body was a clear light amber/gold the head was less than one finger high anf the lacing was virtually nil. The nose was light but gave botha small hop sense and then a stroger malt backbone was revealed as the brew warmed. The taste was OK, but not impressive, being bitter without a nice cirtrus sense nor other discernible flavor. The feel was good and the drinkability was quite obvious although more from the feel than the flavor.

AtLagerHeads, Oct 08, 2003
Photo of budgood1
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours out a very cloudy and very pale straw yellow....thick and rocky head....lots of lace after the fact. yummy aroma of heavy juicy fruit hops. big hop bitterness in the taste. a sparingly light malt body...yeast kicking in. as far as being bitter...this is a big and bold pale ale....not sure what all the hating is about in some of the reviews. seems to me that this brew is all about the hops and the zesty bitterness that accompanies it. bitter from start to finish...it could use a little more malt balance....not the best pale ale i've tasted, but if you like your hops citrusy and bitter to boot...this bell's is a good choice. i liked it a lot!

thanks go out to feloniousmonk for the sample.

budgood1, Oct 04, 2003
Photo of cerevisiaephilus
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was a little disapointing, I had heard so much about Bells, I guess I should have got one of their bigger beers. It was awfully pale in color. The smell was nice, with the hops sneaking out to say hello. The hops come through in the taste as well, with a nice yeasty flavor to balance it out nicely. Bottle conditioned too, which I thought was a little odd for such a light beer, but I guess SN pale is as well.

cerevisiaephilus, Sep 20, 2003
Photo of dmarch
3.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale golden-orange in color with a white head that diminishes into a thin lace. Lots of sediment floating around in the glass (ok, so I can't pour. I won't blame them for that.) Lots of citrusy hops in the aroma, but not overpowering. The taste is citrusy and yeasty. I didn't expect all the yeast flavors from a pale ale, but it still tastes good so I'm not complaining.

dmarch, Sep 15, 2003
Photo of indiapaleale
4.22/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very drinkable, smooth and perfectly hopped pale ale. It does not jump out as too hoppy and has a clean light orangish color to it. The light citrusy cents blend well with the hops. Smooth and not too carbonated but enough to be refreshing. Bells does a great job with their beers and the Pale is no exception.

indiapaleale, Sep 10, 2003
Photo of Morris729
4.13/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange color with a tall pillowy white head that leaves spider webs of lace across the glass as it slowy dissipates. Very aromatic with notes of floral hops, citrus zest, and a touch of spice. Taste is dominated by bitter grapefruit rind hops with some biscuity malts in the background. As the beer warms, some notes of grain husks become apparent. Solid mouthfeel. This was a nice pale ale and good choice as a session beer. Just don’t let it get too warm or the grain tannins become overpowering. Thanks to feloniousmonk for the sample!

Morris729, Sep 10, 2003
Photo of Bruiser81
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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%
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.

clvand0, Aug 26, 2003
Photo of Fabric8r
3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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
Bell's Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
78 out of 100 based on 1,160 ratings.