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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.

1,138 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,138
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
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Ratings: 1,138 | Reviews: 618 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hero27


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

12 oz bottle.
Batch 7701.

Hazy golden yellow. Many flecks of small sediment visible through the clear gold liquid.
Aroma leaves something to be desired. It was hard for me to pick up anything other than pale malts and a very light touch of hops.
I actually thought the taste was quite good for a pale ale. Nice floral hops..not overdone & not too grassy. Spices are noticed quite a bit also. Caramel pale malts round everything up well. Very well-balanced all around.
Plenty of carbonation..might want to tone that down a little if it were up to me. But it does slide down rather smooth. Certainly a sessionable beer as well. Yet another Bell's brew worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2007 04:36:06 | More by hero27
Photo of wagenvolks


3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Light golden color, semi-clear and slight bubbling. THICK white head that leaves decent lacing. Some small, dark yeast or spice particles swirling throughout. Aroma is light and airy, with fruity cantelope, citrus, and vanilla. Some synthetic, perfumey floral notes as well.

Taste is of spiced hops with a good malt balance...otherwise unremarkable and underwhelming. Feel is good; crisp and springy on the tongue, nice hoppy aftertaste. This is not the most complicated of beers, nor overly refreshing, but it's tasty and easy to drink. Have one.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2007 03:02:08 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of VipertheIV


3.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the first Bell's beer I tasted and enjoyed it very much. It has a golden cloudy appearance and a nice head. The aromas smelled while drinking it are citrus and the tast is citrus with a subtle hoppiness. Drank it out of a standard pint glass.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2007 15:11:17 | More by VipertheIV
Photo of BeerHonky

New York

4.38/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a traditional pint glass. Beautiful golden pale orange with a frisky, fluffy white head that laces itself all over the glass and top of your remaining beer. Trademark Bell's yeasty suspension as well. The nose is partially full of light, fresh citrus aromas and dry spice. Imagine the misty aroma you get when you bend the peel of a lemon or orange. Not a whole lot of hops present in the aroma, although they are slightly detectable. There is also a slight whiff of dry malt. A light and smooth body carries, what you can tell is, a brew that has been created by a smart brewer. Light hop flavor hints of aromatic citrus fruits as mentioned above. A well balanced, and again very light, malt sweetness supports the hops and does not overpower. Finishes super clean with a nice dry, fresh husk flavor. This has got to be one of the cleanest and freshest beers I've ever tasted. One could easily have a fantastic session with this beer on a very hot summer day.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2007 04:14:44 | More by BeerHonky
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 7759. They just recently added 3 more Bell's beers to the lineup at Raleigh's Flying Saucer. Poured from a bottle a very light orange with a decent head that was mostly diminishing. Aroma was very weak. Some citrus hops trying very hard to be noticed, but barely achieving. Taste was an improvement on the aroma but still not much more than average. Good blend of mild hops and pale malt. There was a pleasant sweetness on the final sip. The peer possessed a decent carbonation and alcohol was hardly noticeable. This would be a decent session beer, likely better suited for the summer.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2007 03:37:23 | More by atsprings
Photo of arguemaniac


3.95/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not bad, but not amazing either. The palate features a really nice malt sweetness, with a pleasant hint of honey, which, further into the sip, transitions into a nice balance of tasty grain and a fairly assertive hop spice and flavor. Not mind-blowingly rich, but it’s got good flavors and great drinkability. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2007 02:09:18 | More by arguemaniac
Photo of daliandragon

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-cloudy golden color with bits of sediment visible throughout the body. Nice touch. Head disappears quickly but does leave decent lacing behind. Nose is only medium strength but does provide hops with a piney, almost spicy nose to them.

Taste is broad and bitter with active, piney hop flavors that mellow and finish mostly cleanly. Rather dry for an APA. Mouthfeel isn't bad but could stand some straightening. Not a great beer but definitely a serviceable one.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2007 02:43:46 | More by daliandragon
Photo of Wasatch


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

Thank You CRJMellor.

Batch 7686

Pours a cloudy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, small foam white head, some islands and sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is of hops, and slight citrus. The taste is hoppy, but not what I would think of an APA, nice little bite in the finish. Light-Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad APA at all, could use more hops though.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2007 01:29:58 | More by Wasatch
Photo of gmfessen


4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a golden-yellow color with particulates floating throughout the beer and has a sparkling foamy white head. Smell is not overwhelming, but is of floral hops and grainy malt. The taste is neither sweet nor bitter, but is incredibly smooth and well balanced. The beer is light in body and has gentle fizzyness about it. This is an exceptionally drinkable beer, goes down very easy and could be consumed in mass quantities easily.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2007 06:04:01 | More by gmfessen
Photo of RBorsato


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

Hazy blonde-ish light gold with lots of suspended sediment, a nice off-white head, and decent carbonation. Very malty Blonde Ale type aroma with little hop character and mostly a fruity ale character. Fruity ale character dominates the flavor with a touch of grain and less hop character; not sweet though. Light-medium bodied balanced American Blonde Ale....

A nice Blonde Ale ... not sure about an APA.

Per Bell's website:
OG: 1.05
ABV: 5.3%

Batch # 7756 ('6329' lasered on bottom)
Tasted: 01/08/07

($7.99 / 6-pack)

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2007 22:57:56 | More by RBorsato
Photo of MuddyFeet

North Carolina

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

Pours a fuzzy looking gold in color. Thick head with some great retention. Lots of lacing around the inside of the glass. I use the word fuzzy because there are lots and lots of itzy bitzy specks just floating in the beer like it is zero gravity.

Nose of this beer is mostly malts with just a slight peppery hoppiness to it. Flavor is straightforward leaning heavuly on the malts but balance decently with minty hops. Slight pepper tang to the overall flavor. Kind of an orange citrus fruit thing going on as well. Medium body that is slightly oily. Bitterness lingers a bit too. Nie and drinkable. It will ecome a great choice to drink during a game.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2007 03:59:45 | More by MuddyFeet
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 GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass hazy pale golden with a low white persistent head which lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity and citrusy. The fruit had a bit of pineapple sweetness coupled to some light caramel. The citrus presence was lightly orange and hop derived.

The flavor was malty with a nice presence of caramel which was well balanced with hop bittering. The bittering was pleasant and the hop flavor was citrusy. Nothing about the flavor was overdone, just a basic malty pale ale balanced with some citrusy and lightly grassy hops.

The finish was dry with lasting light malt and hops into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a moderate carbonation and an almost creamy texture to the mouthfeel. The dryness was spot on and left me wanting to take another drink. A really nicely achieved pale ale.

12 ounce bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2006 23:05:53 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of Grundle20


2.93/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is straw gold in color with a touch of haze. There is an ample eggshell white head with splotchy lacing and some good retention.

This beer smells funky which is surprising because it's fresh. The scent is very similar to that of a compost pile. There is some minor floral hop notes but they are completely overpowered by whatever that awful scent is.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Again the taste is rather gross. The beer doesn't taste infected. It more or less tastes as if I was chewing a mouthful of straw with a mild hop bitterness. The beer also drinks a little flat but the mouthfeel is about the only thing decent about this beer. Quite the shocker I must admit coming from Bell's.

The smell and taste just aren't up to par for extended drinking or session drinking.

Bottom Line:
Any indicator of this being a bad bottle or old bottle are out the window, this was simply an unimpressive beer. Pass.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2006 23:31:54 | More by Grundle20
Photo of Neehan

North Carolina

2.53/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A light and hazy pale orange-yellow with a moderate head and some lacing. Looks more like a wheat beer than a pale ale. The taste is just very lacking in flavor. It enters the mouth with promise but has a pleasant mouthfeel that doesn't scream of over-carbonation but very carbonated in flavor. I was disappointed in this particular beer, mainly because this company's other brews are outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2006 04:42:38 | More by Neehan
Photo of jpkoch1962


2.6/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

This is one of thier weaker beers. The ale poured a cloudy bright orange with decent head and lace. Unfiltered with plenty of chill haze. Aroma was neutral with some floral hints. The front end had mild malt aroma, some bitterness took over in the middle, but finished a bit sour. Mouthfeel was watery at best. Carbonation levels weren't bad, so I'm assuming this low gravity ale just needed something to give it character.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2006 20:10:50 | More by jpkoch1962
Photo of mmmbeer


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

12 oz. bottle, batch 7701 - packaged 11/01/06. It pours a mildly-hazed gold with some floaties and a finger of white head that leaves light lacing. The bouquet consists of pale malts, spicy/floral hops, and maybe some yeast. It tastes of a pale malt background - mainly for balance - with a nice mix of piney/grassy/spicy hops and hints of grapefruit/perfume, combining to deliver a medium bitterness. It feels nice on the palate, with natural carbonation and a lightly tingly, dry body that leaves a medium to long finish. Overall very reminiscent of SNPA except with more bitterness and less of a malt profile. Definitely sessionable if you can get it.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2006 08:40:45 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of dedrinker


3.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This unusually plain pale ale is a pee yellow, and has an aroma of musty basement inhabited by a cat. Flavor is better with a restrained malt and hop presence. It is a little less than ideal for a standard American Pale Ale, but will certainly do in a pinch when decent beer is needed for mindless television watching. Having tasted the Bells Two-Hearted Ale, ans some of their stouts, I am a little let down by this rather average offering, yet I admit that most American Pale Ales that really knock my socks off could actually qualify as IPAs in disguise, much like a 20 year old senior on the Highschool Varsity football team.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2006 04:59:41 | More by dedrinker
Photo of becktone


3.1/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

When decanted Bell's Pale Ale is a lemon yellow in color and is fairly cloudy. It looks very alive as carbonation bubbles float to the top. I can also see sediment falling out of the beer settling to the bottom of my glass, this beer was been bottle conditioned. The head starts off fluffy, creamy, and pillowy white, but receedes from two fingers to a much thinner version of its previous self. The lacing it leaves behind is quite appetizing.

The aroma of this beer is pretty neutral. Very clean, no hop character jumping right out at you, and no pronounced malt backbone. I believe that this beer's aroma could be improved if it had more of an aroma, smells much like a lager. More hop aroma would give more aromatic character to this beer. Don't get me wrong there is a definite hop aroma-herbal and flowery-, but it is not very pronouced. Underneath the quasi weak hop aroma is an even weaker malt aroma, lightly kilned pale malt aromas support the hops.

Right away hop bitterness hits you, then it backs off and is replaced by lightly toasted and pale malt flavors coupled with hop flavor-floral. The initial bitterness is lingering staying quite a long time after one has swallowed a sip. Malt flavors consist of a light caramel and light toasted flavor. There is an overall metallic tang in the flavor of this beer that lingers with the bitterness after it has been swallowed.

The beer fells good in the mouth, light bodied and somewhat creamy as the head suggested. Carbonation does not interfere with the flavor of this beer. This could be a good session beer, however I think that there are better representations of the style out there. this one is alright, but I'll definitely be trying others before I come back to this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2006 19:39:42 | More by becktone
Photo of dickroop


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

I was out in Illinois recently and was able to score a single of this beer. With new restrictions for carry-on articles, it had to come home the risky way, in my checked luggage (whoa!!). But it arrived safely and now has come into my mug - wotta treat.

The ale pours dirty golden, cloudy, & bubbly. The cloudiness is a promising sign - is it unfiltered? laden w/ nutritious dead yeast? who knows! The head wasn't much to start but was retained as a fine foamy ring and slight foam presence. The smell was malty and bready, but little hop aroma.

It tastes pretty good, some spicy hopiness without any really distinctive flavor notes, and good balance with the malts. I guess it's sorta floral. Substantial flavor and a nice clean and bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium to light, mildly astringent, pleasant to sip and savor.

And that all adds up to solidly good drinkability. This would be sessionable, I'd love to try it on tap. I'd have no qualms about scoring a sixer of this, I think it's more representative of the more reserved, English-style PA than the raucous APA, but wot do I know? Pretty good brew, recommended. But I want more hops.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2006 22:57:48 | More by dickroop
Photo of mynie


4.22/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional pour, especially for the style. A bright golden orange that's a shade uncommon to beers but very sparkly and pretty and covered with a remarkably retentive white soapy head.

Smells like crisp grain. Nice and crisp, but whoa where are the hops? This is supposed to be an APA, right?

The hops come through a little bit in the taste, thank god. The grain starts things off, sunshine fruity with hints of hay and flowers. The hops come in near the back, light and dry, and are followed up by an end of very crisp fruit yeast. Wow, that yeast is really great, like something you'd normally find in a Belgian only not bogged down by hops or alcohol. Bitterness is present in the aftertaste.

Nice. Certainly not what I'd expect from an APA, but an interesting take on the style.


As I came to know this beer, it's smell proved only to break my narrow expectations of the style, not to be anything less than wonderful.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2006 03:05:29 | More by mynie
Photo of BeerBelcher


3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is a yellow-orange and hazy. Head is abundant and fairly tacky (meaning, seems to stick).

Odor is phenolic and sour. Taste is spicey-yeasty, and not what I expected. I was expecting something more hoppy and more like a Two-Hearted. Still, though it is fairly straight-forward, not bad. Not sour nor hoppy.

Bottle purchsed at Breeze-Thru in Milwaukee.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2006 20:40:14 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of rhoadsrage


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

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a warm yellow crystal clear body with a ton of tiny little bubbles racing in every direction. There is a thick bubble snow white head that last for a good bit.

S- The smell of light green hops has a perfumed soap hop smell to them with a faint pale malt hint and more of a raw grain note as it warms.

T- The taste of bitter green hops has a bite to it with a light grapefruit rind note in the hops aswell. The light dry pale malt comes through a bit after my tongue gets used to the hops. There is a spicy note that comes to the hops in the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a fizzy finish.

D- This beer has a bitter punch from the hops but not that much depth in the aroma or flavor of the hops. The malt is very faint and it would be nice to taste it a bit more to contrast the bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2006 18:04:16 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of tgbljb


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

Poured a cloudy orange-amber color with moderate white puffy head. Impressive lacing.
Smell is light and summer fruity, with some bread-loke malt tones also present.
Taste is initially blonde ale sweet, but a very firm hop bitterness begins to dominate.
Finishes with more dryness and very refreshing.
Great drinkability.
I would have enjoyed a little more malt and a bit less hops, but still a very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2006 20:18:16 | More by tgbljb
Photo of Phatz


4.4/5  rDev +29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is quite possible my favorite Pale Ale to date.

Appearance: Pours a golden orange color with a huge white fluffy head and loads of lacing.

Smell: It has a rich nose of malt, yeast, orange an other citrus flavors along with a hint of honey and flowers.

Taste: It has an interesting sweet banana yeast citrus flavor that remind me of Oberon on the very front but then it instantly gets more grapefruit. It is completely unique and I would have a hard time classifying it as a pale ale. It is buttery and creamy; but what do you call Oberon meets an IPA and a Blonde ale? The aftertaste has a lingering bitterness that keeps me salivating.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally smooth with a citrus dry tingle and bold finish.

Drinkability: Wow! I am not always big fan of Pale Ales but this one is certainly and exception. I may end up with another case of this stuff. =)

Hope this is helpful.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2006 21:09:44 | More by Phatz
Bell's Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
78 out of 100 based on 1,138 ratings.