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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.

1,135 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,135
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: 1,135 | Reviews: 618 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Naerhu


3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Panichi for bringing this beer all the way to Japan.

A - Hazy honey colored body with small pure white head.
S - Yeast and apricot on the nose. Some orange.
T - Full of yeast with overly restrained sweetness. A fruitness that is not held up by the saltine dry malt. medium polite bitterness.
M - Medium bodied. Nice carbonation and smooth.
D - A decent beer, but decidedly too dry.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2006 14:01:53 | More by Naerhu
Photo of pvsob


3.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A nice pale golden color with a one finger head that fades slowly and leaves a nice film and decent lacing.

Smell: Personally, nothing really jumped out at me on this one besides a faint hop aroma.

Taste: It starts off with light hop bitterness and ends very dry. A little bitterness sticks around until the next swallow, but quickly fades.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thin with medium to high carbonation.

Drinkability: If you really had too, I imagine this would make a decent session beer, but there are better APA's out there. This is by no means a terrible brew, but personally it didn't impress me like some of the other APA's that I've had.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2006 00:33:08 | More by pvsob
Photo of ultralarry2006


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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves a one finger head with good retention, and lots of good lacing. Body is a slightly hazy, but mostly clear, bright gold. Looks good. This will also be this ale's high point.

Smell - Grassy and spicy hops over a weak saltine-cracker-like, slightly toasty malt. Not mouthwatering, not that it's off-putting, it's just not inspiring.

Taste - pretty much the same as the smell. Crackers, and sour grassy, herbal hops. Doesn' t really impress the palate.

Mouthfeel - full to medium bodied, smooth, slight slickness.

Drinkability - not a great beer, not bad either, but not good enough that I'd want another serving after I finish this 6-pack, especially since I can get ( and will, of course ) so many other excellent offerings from the normally excellent Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2006 20:31:59 | More by ultralarry2006
Photo of pmcadamis


3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy light blond ale with a thin cap of soapy suds and decent lacing. Not all that great looking in the pint glass, but I love Bell's bottles. They are very refined and classy.

Smells a bit lagerish and dull to me. Bready and biscuity, but rather weak.

Tastes very mild, sweet and lighty hoppy with a nice bicuity lemon finish that is slighty on the dry side. This could use more hops IMO.

Decent carbonation and light bodied watery feel make this brew less of a winner that I was expecting from Bell's.

Good sipping beer, but nothing much to write home about.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2006 22:24:07 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of frazbri


3.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bell's Pale Ale poured golden with a tall white head and a little yeast sediment. Aroma mainly consisted of citrus and pine. Flavor was solidly bitter, bready and yeasty, with a little citrus zest. Medium body and carbonation with a dry finish.

This was okay, but not as good as I expected from Bell's. The yeast charactor was a little too prominent.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2006 02:47:32 | More by frazbri
Photo of Beaver13


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

12 oz bottle, batch 7163 (11/28/05). I guess this beer is a little old, but my Dad just bought it in MI 3 weeks ago, bummer. Pours a hazy, glowing golden orange with some suspended yeasties. It has a fluffy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is bready malts, some citrus, grassy floral hops and a little DMS.

The flavor is very sweet and fruity malts at first, followed by a decent hop bitterness which lingers through the aftertaste. There is a touch of sourness. The sweetness and bitterness are not well balanced. The mouthfeel is medium and slightly watery, yet bubbly.

Overall, a decent pale ale. It has good bitterness, but is not well balanced. I wonder what this tastes like fresher.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2006 02:49:32 | More by Beaver13
Photo of mjd83goblue


2.42/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, Batch 7556, packaged about a month and a half ago, so it is fresh...

A: Pours yellow-orange with a small head. Lots of yeast floating about that is 'suspended', and never really settles.

S: Smells like oranges. Old sour oranges.

T: Basically tastes like watered down Oberon with some bittering hops at the end. Bitter orange peel aftertaste. I don't get it.

M: I guess its alright.

D: It can't be that drinkible if I don't like the taste right?

What the hell happened Larry? I just do not like this beer. And I've had it from at least 3 batches, so it wasn't a bad bottle or anything. It amazes me that I love their IPA (2-Hearted) so much, but disliked this. I know some people have liked it from the reviews, so its a decent beer, but I personally will avoid it.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2006 05:11:38 | More by mjd83goblue
Photo of beachbum1975


3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this last night in a 12 oz. with friends at the Dilly Deli – no freshness date to speak of…

Appearance: Like all Bell's beers, quality seeps from the bottle. When pouring any of Bell's beers, you know there's fine craftsmanship involved. This poured a medium to thick bodied beer into my traditional pint glass. The beer poured an attractive yellow, almost copper-ish ale which was cloudy in color. There was a small white foamy head that had good retention, leaving stringy lacing as I drank it.

Smell: Sweet! First and foremost, I got a sweet punch of citrus flavors, especially grapefruit and light hops. Not the smell I would expect from an American Pale Ale, but pleasing, regardless.

Taste: I consider this the best part of the beer. As mentioned above, Bell’s well made. This was a solid and sweet, “malty” flavored brew. Definitely medium bodied.

Mouthfeel: Quite enjoyable actually – good amounts of carbonation on my tongue. Not what I will instantly think of as a Pale Ale, (or a lightly hopped, sweeter version of one), but unique the whole time.

Drinkability: I will definitely have again. Surely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2006 22:03:24 | More by beachbum1975
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Dertbert for the sample.
Pours a hazy gold, yellow, orange. Nice white head that retains well. Spiderweb lacing covers the glass.
Aroma is earthy and spicy. Where are the hops?
The flavor reminds me a lot of a wheatbeer. Bready, buscuits, lemon and other citrus flavors. There is a bitterness, but it's not a typical APA hop bitterness. It's almost a spicy makes your mouth burn bitterness.
Mouthfeel is fair. There is a zest in the mouth and a burn.
Overall it's not a bad offering, but Bell's has set the bar so high. I would go with one of Bell's other offerings.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2006 03:36:36 | More by wcudwight
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

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

Incredible how much quality Bell's put into even their lesser beers. A dense clouded colour capped with good head and lacing. Hops hit the nose like fireworks in the air, an explosive aroma. Hops only in the nose, void in the body. Taste falls flat in comparison, a big let down. Not much interest offered in the flavour. Stale wheat character. One dimensional, mouthfeel dull. Against other U.S micro pale ales this one doesn't compare, a surprinsgly (slightly) comprimised offering from Bell's. All the same, much prefered over anything commercial and I still can't say I've had a bad Bell's beer. Thanks Sammy.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2006 17:09:10 | More by biegaman
Photo of GimpyCane


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

appearance: pour a nice amber w/ small white head which fully diminished after a few minutes. Seem unfiltered, had small particles on bottom.

smell: I got a light malt and hop scent w/ a hint of lemon and allspice. Smells nice.

taste: After allowing the beer to sit for several minutes, my first sip had a moderate bitter taste w/ a light acidic aftertaste. Which was pleasant to my tastebuds. The lasting taste was average.

mouthfeel: The beer was a tab dry yet the fizzy carbonation made the beer feel watery (strange). The body was light to medium.

drinkability: Overall, for an APA this beer is what I expected to have. A good beer indeed and I would drink a six pack.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2006 03:46:43 | More by GimpyCane
Photo of scruffwhor


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

Batch 7373

A perfect hue for any pale ale. decent bubbling and some lacing to boot. Lots of amber and hints of light rust. The aroma is a good Saaz hop presentation mixed with a little alpha acidy Northwestern hops. But les not forget a biscuity bread aroma mixed with that bitterness. The taste starts out with some interesting, funky malts. But then lets the resiny hops get some attention. The palaste is a tad dry but still refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2006 03:06:16 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of bozebus17


3.2/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy gold out of the bottle. There is a small white head that doesn't last very long.

Smells of citrus hops and fresh grain. The scent reminds me of a hefe.

The taste is all citrus hops. They come cutting through and don't really leave room for anything else. This beer really isn't balanced very well, even for a pale. After swallowing the carbonation continues to tingle on the inside of the mouth.

This beer is okay but nothing to write home about. I don't see buying it again since Bell's has many better products out there.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2006 00:16:14 | More by bozebus17
Photo of Fish113d


3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale gold color with a foamy, white 1cm head that sticks to the glass and seems to not want to dissipate at all. Unfiltered look to it with lots of sediment floating throughout...the bottle has sediment on the bottom telling me this brew had been sitting for a while unopened.

Mostly grainy to the nose with a bit of citrus (grapefruit); sour smelling actually. Nothing much else happening. Kinda boring.

Large citrus flavor along with some interesting bitter hops. The grapefruit hits my palate along with a good shot of carbonation. As I swallow, a bit of pine comes through with the hops, but mostly bitter and floral on the finish. Decent.

Again, the carbonation hits like a ton of bricks, but it makes this seem crisp and refreshing in some ways. However, it balances out well toward the swallow. Nice.

Enjoyable brew really. Not the best pale I've ever had, but a worthy brew worth trying. enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2006 00:28:52 | More by Fish113d
Photo of dirtylou


4.05/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz single, Batch 7373, bought a 6 pack at rileys for 8.99 for a poker game last night (won big!). This is the leftover

appearance: pours a pale golden straw color into a great dane imperial pint glass, big frothy white head with outstanding retention/lacing left behind. a pretty attractive pale ale, with a lighter body than some of its rivals

smell: smell is clean and fresh...lemon zest dominates, with a very wheat-esque aroma that was a little surprising, hops are gentle and floral-citric, lightly toasted wheat malt

taste: very interesting pale that approaches a white at points...very fresh and clean, zesty lemon wheat flavours, light citrus hop profile, toasty, grain and malt backbone...A great summer APA

mouthfeel: super creamy, medium body, very pleasant

drinkability: super session

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2006 00:08:40 | More by dirtylou
Photo of rabsten

West Virginia

3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First Bell's product Ever. Went to get a Two Hearted, but it was sold out. Thought I'd try the Pale Ale.

Bottle into a pub pint glass, cloudy pale amber (blonde, like the bottle says, come to think of it) with thin head, some lacing.

Aroma is malty and wheat-y. Smells like a white ale, or a heffewiesen without the fruitiness.

Tastes surprisingly white/wheaty. Well, not a surprise, given the looks and smell of it, I suppose. More like, "man, this isn't like any Pale I've ever had." Fresh malt dominates over a lightly toasted wheat. Minor hops. Slight bread aftertaste starts to show itself after the pint has sat for a while and warmed in the summer heat. Lingering spiciness.

Pleasant astringent mouthfeel. Like a saison. Hmmm, feels like a Unibroue product, come to think of it.

Drinks pretty well. It's relaxing.

As I said, this bottle was my very first Bell's. This would be a really good Wheat/White/Wit, which I generally don't really care for. But it's labeled a Pale Ale and I'm not going to argue with a brewer that generally gets good marks. Not what I was looking for and not my preferred style, but pretty good, nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2006 02:29:37 | More by rabsten
Photo of AaronHomoya


3.2/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle.

Poured a nice, light amber color with good head. The aroma was somewhat mild and consisted of some malt and a bit of sweet hops. The taste was malty with a hoppy, bitter finish and something of a stale, banana flavor. Maybe an old bottle? Mouthfeel was fine. Drinkability suffers due to the underwhelming aroma and funny taste.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2006 01:38:33 | More by AaronHomoya
Photo of MeLikeBeer


2.68/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.
This was my second round with this particular beer because I wanted to verify my thoughts...

Pours a thick, hazy yellow with numerous yeast particles floating within. Thin white head that quickly dissipates.

Smells vaguely of malt and yeast. I could detect some citrus...but I was really trying for it. Disappointing, really.

I was expecting at least some bitterness...but it was hard to detect even that. Sweet honey flavor, I certainly taste the yeast.

Finishes smooth enough, with an awkward, tangy, aftertaste.

Bell's has had some pretty good offerings, this wasn't one of them, IMO. I'll leave the rest of the 6 pack in the fridge for others to try.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2006 00:33:13 | More by MeLikeBeer
Photo of Prufrock


2.8/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle into a pilsner.

slightly hazy golden yellow with a few floaties from a careless pour. half an inch of foamy white head.

weak aroma. some biscuity, cookie-sweet honey malt aromas and the barest hints of some spicy, flowery hop balance.

light feel with a stinging, tight carbonation. toasted malt and honey sweetness with a touch of spicy hop balance, but not enough. finishes with a weak, generic bitterness. somewhat bland and very forgettable.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2006 17:01:59 | More by Prufrock
Photo of Cresant


2.73/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured 12 oz. into an Stone IPA glass. Sediment/yeast everywhere! Looks like a bar of oatmeal soap. Cloudy orange yellow color. Head was modest and faded to a ring.

Smelled yeasty. Crackers.

Taste builds hoppy but drops off sweet. Citrus rinds linger.

Peppery. Very mild carbonation. Thin yet filmy in the mouth. Not bad, but not good either.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2006 01:28:56 | More by Cresant
Photo of trep

West Virginia

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

Pours from the bottle a hazy orange that's completely unfiltered. Creamy white head fades into a thin layer.

Alot of light malts and some wheat I believe. A little earthy biscuity aroma as well.

A little hop bitterness up front that fades into a caramel maltiness. Nothing special here.

Thin on the palate, carbonation is about right though.

Pretty easy drinking although it's probably not a beer I would go out of my way to drink.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2006 00:58:29 | More by trep
Photo of Oxymoron


3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Does that monk look pregnant? Pours a bright yellow clear color with a white head. Good retention and good lacing overall. Pale or golden?

The smell is malty with a background sudsy smell. The malt is basic with some lighter bready notes. Limited hops but well articulated in citrus and lemon zings.

The taste is more represented then the nose. The malt has more of a grainy taste, ample two row. The hops are more defined as well. A good citrus right up front with a touch of floral bitterness to mellow it down.

The body is light and really a very mellow beer overall. The taste is good but I wish there was more to it. Rather basic indeed, even with a pregnant padre.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2006 02:33:22 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of nicksta


3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a light gold. It sprouts a big foam head that leaves just as quickly and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. It is very bright; like no APA I've ever seen before. The smell is just like an APA. The biggest smell is floral hops. It also has hints of caramel and apple. The taste reminds me more of a AIPA, because it oily, with some spice, and very bitter, on top of normal APA flavors. It also contains some never before encountered in an APA, sweet and sourness. The mouthfeel is fair, and drinkability is killed because of the sweet/sour taste. Not like any other APA, but that doesn't mean it isn't good.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2006 05:55:18 | More by nicksta
Photo of russpowell


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

pours a little hazy straw/golden colored with a 2 fingers+ white fluffy head. Very good lacing and goodhead retention

Smell: Grassy and floral hops

Taste: Soft maltiness combines with a slight grassy floral hop taste. Finishes grainy and slighltly hoppy (floral)

MF: Light and slightly spritzy (great carbonation level)

Drinks pretty easy, a nice but not great APA IMHO

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2006 04:40:17 | More by russpowell
Photo of jokelahoma


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

Poured from the bottle a bright yellow-gold, with a touch of haze. Small snowflakes of sediment made their way into the glass, in spite of a careful pour. The head fluffed up nice and white, but quickly devolved into a skiff of foam that clung to the side of the glass.

There's not a great deal of aroma to this one. A faint whiff of pale base malt, a hint of what may be citrucy hops, but otherwise, not much going on here.

On the initial sip I notice a pleasant taste, with a fruity bitterness to start out. That bitterness pretty much dominates the flavor. There's some malt sweetness in there, but just barely insufficient to counter the hops. Subsequent sips allow a little more of the malt to show through in a slightly grainy, barely chewy sweetness, but this is a hop driven beer, to be certain. Not overwhelmingly bitter, definitely nowhere near sweet, just a pleasant bitterness that doesn't quite have enough malt to balance it out. The back label says it's a blande, while the front says it's a pale. It has a blonde body (can we say that?) with a pale's hoppiness. A pale blonde ale?

The mouthfeel is just this side of what I'd consider light. It isn't watery, or that thin. But it isn't substantial in any way, shape or form. It's beer, plain and simple. I'd expect more from a pale, but less from a blonde. It's about right for the indecisive nature of this brew.

This is drinkable. I think I'd be happier were it to make up its mind about being a blonde or pale, and commit one way or another. Hoppy or balanced? Malty or balanced? Thin or medium body? It wavers a bit much for my tastes. But all in all, it's not a bad beer. I'd have another, but it wouldn't top my list.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2006 02:42:06 | More by jokelahoma
Bell's Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
78 out of 100 based on 1,135 ratings.