Bell's Lager Of The Lakes - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Lager Of The LakesBell's Lager Of The Lakes

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329 Reviews
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Reviews: 329
Hads: 844
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.68%
Wants: 33
Gots: 79 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: proc on 10-16-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 329 | Hads: 844
Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Thirsty Monk, Asheville, NC

A: The beer is crystal clear light yellow in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that died down, leaving a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of corn and pale malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has some faint hints of malty sweetness.
M: It feels light-bodied and clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This isn't a bad beer for the style considering that adjunct-like flavors do not prominently stand out. (579 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

G: Poured into a pilsener glass.

A: Pale goldish-straw color with a decent bone-white head. Head has a decent amount of foam bubbles, and there is a lot of carbonation visible through the nearly-transparent brew.

S: Definite malt character. Slightly sweet; not many hops.

T: Good taste. Mostly malt but some hops there. Slightly sweet and a little bit bitter.

M: Decent amount of carbonation with a light mouthfeel. Not much of an alcohol presence.

D: Definitely drinkable, but not the best example of the style--after one, I think I'd probably opt for a different beer. (576 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the table with a clear golden color and a modest head that leaves dots of lace

Smell: Grainy aroma with a hint of noble hops

Taste: Grainy flavor with a crisp finish that betrays the noble hop flavors, particularly as the beer warms

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Refreshing and well-crafted; right for the style (379 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

not the most compelling beer from bells, thats for sure, but a suitable lager, fine for summer, and very much a helles type in its grain complexion. i found it to be a bit generic though, and that was a surprise because all of their basic styles (like the amber for example) are so well done and distinct. this didnt have much head on it from the tap, but had a fine yellow shine to it and plenty of bubbles. the nose and taste are similar, with some sweetness from the grain coming though in both, and being sort of the oddest feature of this lager. it just doesnt resolve in the finish, the yeast never completes the job it doesnt seem, and thats my main takeaway from this beer. i like the high level of carbonation, it helps keep it moving, and i like that it has some real body to it for the style, not watery at all. i would drink a fair few of these, and thats probably the point, but i know bells to be capable of a lot more than this, so it was a letdown overall, even though the beer is plenty drinkable and a fine lager on the whole. (1,044 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, it is what it is--A lager from Bell's. The name is plain and simple, just like the beer. Basically average on all flavor profiles, but with a well formulated recipe and precisely executed brewing technique, the balance rises beyond just average. The aroma, look, flavors, and feel are what you would expect from other very good lagers. But with no identifiable characteristics, is difficult to praise. Delicate and very drinkable beer--one to drink all night or to chase a pizza. (485 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 12 oz bottle received from Dyan, into a trusty pint glass. This is my 10th Bell's beer, I believe; God bless beer trading. Perfectly clear golden-yellow in color with a small but long lasting head of pure white. Minimal lace.

Smell: Signature lager aroma here: light grainy sweetness from the malts, a touch of cracker-like lager yeast, faint floral hops. Pretty subtle, but nice for the style.

Taste & mouthfeel: Pale malts up front, bready and semi-sweet. There's a bit of floral/herbal hop flavor as well, but not to the extent that you'd find in a pilsner. Light and quaffable, but still full of flavor - this is what American macro lagers should taste like. There's a bit of soda cracker-like flavor near the finish, followed by a pleasing dryness with firm but light hop bitterness. Nice stuff, I could session the hell out of this were it locally available. (878 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pristine polished gold with a lively appearance thanks to all the uprushing bubbles. Their destination is an eggshell cap that could only have come from a quality brewery. The head was two fingers to start and isn't giving ground willingly. When it finally does relent, a better than respectable amount of lace can be seen on the glass. Clean and bright; a good look.

Other than the unmistakably earthy aroma of Munich malt (which I don't typically care for), I like the nose. There's a fair amount of musky, herbal hoppiness present, although I'm not sure that there's a 'pronounced hop character' as the brewery claims. Perhaps there will be on the palate.

I'm going to admit my bias right up front. I recognize Bell's Lager as good beer and as a fine representation of the style. The problem is that I don't like Munich malt and this beer tastes incredibly Munich malty to me. In fact, with a little more toasting time, it could be a light, easy drinking Oktoberfest with no trouble at all. If you like the distinctive flavor of that particular malt and that particular style, then you'll love this beer. I don't.

It is more hoppy on the palate; impressively so on the finish. There isn't a great deal of sweetness early in the mouthfeel and things quickly progress to snappily bitter and crisply dry. If the brewery would have gone with 100% pils malt, I'd be in lager heaven right now.

The mouthfeel is vintage Bell's. In other words, quality from start to finish. The beer feels substantial in the mouth while being no more than light-medium in actuality. The fact that there's a perfect amount of enlivening carbonation doesn't hurt either.

Despite my intolerance for Munich malt, I'm finding that I'm feeling better about Bell's Lager as the ounces disappear. There's so much hoppiness that I'm able to focus on that characteristic and ignore all the rest. In fact, I'm going to bump the flavor score to the more deserving number. From where I sit, this is good beer that could be great beer with one small recipe change. (2,046 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

"Lager of the Lakes"

Into a tulip glass, this lager generates a couple fingers of bone white foam. It gets right to work forming a sticky crown of intricate lacing. Body is straw gold, with very little visible sediment in suspension. Head retention is good, it remains for the duration of the glass.

Grassy, clean noble hop aroma, with some light honeyed saltine cracker.

Crisp bite, with some ghostly herbal hop flavor appearing in the background. Grainy and simple, some pilsner malt, and very mild hop flavor. Feels a bit flaccid, but the crispness saves it from being too bland. Pretty clean with no off flavors, just a simple straightforward lager. More of a lawnmower beer perfect for hot weather and barbecues. (722 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bright golden amber with a nice frothy and fizzy white head that quickly faed leaving behind simply an average looking macro like lager. The aroma was full of grain, tons of it and that was about all there was. A hint of corn in the back, but a predominant musty breadlike aroma. The taste was pretty bland to be honest. Not horrible mind you, just terribly average. Lots of corn and grain and bread again. This was your typical macro kinda lager, nothing really great at all, better then a bud light but I think I will pass. (534 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner a dull light golden with a nice formed but quick to fade white head leaving no lace behind,bready malt and wet grain aromas mainly and not much hop presence.Flavors are malt tilted very bready and toasty with a touch of honey-like sweetness with just a light smattering of floral hop in the finish.A solid malt tilted lager here not wimpy by any means,pretty good. (386 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks for sending this one my way, Matt.

A: The pour is a clear straw color with a short lived white head that's about a finger and a half tall.

S: Lots of toasted, almost burnt, grain and malt. Definitely some corn aroma, maybe a bit of grass and straw. Maybe a little bit of bread in there, too.

T: Surprisingly bitter with a fair amount of pine, maybe a little bit of skunk. Corn, which provides some sweetness, and there's a definite grainy character to it as well. Pretty simple flavor profile here.

M: The body is light to medium with a moderate carbonation and a lingering bitterness and/or astringency.

D: A pretty rare miss from Bells, at least in terms of their regular lineup. (693 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.87 at Ale Yeah! in Decatur, Georgia. Batch #10006.

Appearance: Pours out a crystalline, yellow body with a sudsy, snow white head. Small smattering of lace on the way down.

Smell: Lightly sweetish cereal grains on the aroma with the seemingly noble hops imparting hints of lightly spicy dried herbs.

Taste: Pils malts stirred up with a handful of day-old toasted biscuit tops. Lightly sweet, lightly grainy upfront. Spicy, zesty, faintly floral hop character, adequate, in terms of bitterness. A single, solitary drop of lemon. Increasingly drying as you reach the finish with a small bit of bitterness holding on for the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: No fancy tricks, no barrel-aging, no over-the-top hop profile, just a fine, serviceable, quaffable lager. Exactly what I needed on this mid-afternoon! (869 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Figured I'd start the drinkin' day with something on the lighter side. It pours a very lightly hazy pale straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises wheat, light lemon zest, coriander, and a very mild touch of orange sherbet. The taste musks things up a bit, dirtying up the wheat and adding a pinch of black pepper (which, in these surroundings, goes a pretty long way). According to the label, this isn't an out-of-date bottle, so I'm not really sure what to think here. The body is pretty light, with a moderate carbonation and a wet feel. Overall, a pretty nice pale lager, though I'm not too big a fan of the taste profile I got. (694 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bell's never seems to disappoint (that I can recall), and this is no exception. As a lager, it's a bit too rustic for my personal tastes, but it definitely works. I have to wonder what this would be like on cask with the character it is presenting. Regardless, this is another good beer from Bell's. (299 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly clouded yellow golden body with a bright white two fingered depth head creamy textured with specks of yeast floating in it. As the head dwindles it forms speckled even lacing with each sip. Aroma is full of biscuit and bready cracker like malt sweetness nice cerealg grains with a zesty dose of citric hops and a semi metallic mineral edge with an herbal grassy hop nose as well. Flavor has some lively carbonation more biscuit and bready malt flavors with ample bitterness from the grassy and citric hop edge a very nice agressive but sessionable lager full of flavor and thirst quenching characteristics. Mouthfeel is lighter bodied but not watery, carbonation is natural and the unfiltered yeast adds some nice textures crips clean finish perfect balance. Drinkability is dead on for any season I could make this a go to beer if I had more readily available I've never seen this one with all of the Bell's I've drank since 2001. (948 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.11/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with classy understated label art and unbranded pry-off pressure cap acquired at Zipp's Liquor in Minneapolis, MN for $1.79 and served into a stem-tulip. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery. 5.% ABV confirmed. Packaged 09/06/13.

Served cold - straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Some foam gushes out upon opening.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of white colour. Not as thick as I'd like. Could be creamier. Complexion is somewhat soft. Decent consistency. Head retention is above average - about 3 minutes. Nice even lacing coats the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a clear dull copper. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible. Clean and appealing. I'm looking forward to trying it, but it's not unique or special. Standard fare for a lager.

Sm: Pilsner malts, munich malts, floral hop character. Straw. Perfumey spritzy hop character. A biteen bready. A clean appealing aroma. Perhaps a bit sweeter than would be ideal. Simple and straightforward. I'm looking forward to trying it. Quite mellow.

Average in terms of strength. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T/Mf: Crisp clean barley feels full and comforting on the palate and is joined nicely by complementary munich and pilsner malts. Hop character is almost entirely floral. Straw. It's quite simple - lacking complexity, subtlety, intricacy, and nuance, but it's pretty well balanced and has a cohesive flavour profile, albeit not a gestalt one.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. I do like it, but it's a bit underwhelming. Also a bit too far towards the sweet end for my tastes.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Smooth, wet, somewhat refreshing, and crisp. A biteen thick and too full-bodied for a lager. Nice presence on the palate. Suits the flavour profile nicely, but doesn't seem custom-tailored specifically to it. Very overcarbonated, which may be the beer's biggest flaw.

Not oily, astringent, harsh, gushed, hot, boozy, or rough.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but largely unremarkable. I wouldn't buy it again, but you could do worse for a straightforward simple lager. I'm glad I got to try it, but wouldn't recommend it to friends. I could drink a 6 pack in a night, but wouldn't want to and would be bothered by the accosting overcarbonation. Above average for the style, but not up to par with Bell's' best offerings.

C+ (2,528 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Paddle, trout, pines, sailboat. Waterski, bridge, leaf, snowshoe. Lacs Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario. This is the Lager of the Lakes. Let's partake.

Clear golden tone, fuzzy white head. Nice lager look.

Nose is slightly sweet and malty, thoroughly clean, minutely hoppy, light hints of apple and pear. Pleasant enough.

Taste: clean again, sheer and sure, gleans off the palate once upon entering it. In and out, refreshment. A small scale scintillating delight. Nothing to take offense at, and just enough flavor to keep the tastebuds happy. Crisp, dry malt base, tidy hops, solid execution.

Light body, long, if clean and rudimentary finish, meager texture. Crackling cereal malt, nearly sweet, but solid, very solid.
I mean not to pan with faint praise. It's quite a fine lager. Problem is, I'm just not moved by them, no mater how good they are...though this hits it, and I really hope they have success with it. Certainly would be my choice if a gun were cocked and set next to my temples and I was told I had to drink a lager. (1,057 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
2.93/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my new Bell's tulip because I can! Batch #10381, packaged on 06/13/11.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent bright yellow color with three inches of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. No lacing or real head retention, looks like a BMC adjunct a little bit.

s - Smells of wheat, grain, light bready malts, and light vegetables. Also a bit of skunkiness to it. A little weak and not a ton going on; little bit below average.

t - Tastes of grain, light bread, vegetables, and wheat again. No skunkiness like the nose, so a bit of a step up, but still pretty average.

m - Light to medium body and moderate to high carbonation. A little bit too carbonated.

o - Overall not one of Bell's better beers. Seems very average and the smell wasn't great. Wouldn't seek it out again considering all the other great beers they make. (870 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a Bell's pint glass. At the time of this review, this is the #10 American Pale Lager on best of lists.

Beer is yellow and mostly clear but has nearly no head, low carbonation, no lacing.

Aroma is grainy and almost vegetal.

Beer is thin and biting, it gets better the more I drink it but the finish is dry with a mild bitterness that is a little harsh. I don't really like it or understand how this could really be the #10 lager but I guess it is an indication that this style sucks. I won't have it again, I semi-regret having it to begin with. (590 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, bottled on 8/87/2015. Pours slightly hazy golden straw color with a 1 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, cracker, toasted bread, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. A bit too fruity/estery in the nose, but not overwhelming. Taste of lemon, cracker, toasted bread, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Moderate amount of herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, cracker, bread, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness and balance of pale malt and earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Very clean on lager flavors with minimal yeast ester notes noticed in the flavor. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth crisp, and lightly sticky/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 5%. Overall this is a very nice Dortmunder lager style. All around good balance and robustness of pale malt and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering. (1,456 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours yellow with a thin white head that lasts for almost the whole time.

The sweet is of sweet malt, some grassiness. Something funky/musty in the back.

The taste is of sweet grain. Enough spicy/grassy hops to balance out the sweetness. Crisp, dry finish.

It's smooth in an appropriately light body. Crisp and clean.

Something blandish about it, but a decent, pretty simple/basic, lager.

Thanks to dekker0 for this one - Glad I got to try it. (458 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear medium yellow in color with some golden yellow highlights and moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall white head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of bready malts with some light amounts of grains. Very light hints of grassy hops.

T: Upfront this beer is quite malty but not sweet - bready malts with some additional graininess present. Light amounts of grassy hops but not very much bitterness is present and it fades quickly.

M: LIght to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp upfront with some light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: This beer is very well balanced as it does not exhibit the sweetness that you often find with the more malty beers but it is not overly hoppy or bitter either. Easy to drink and definitely sessionable. (973 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thin white head that fades to spotty lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a light, pale malt, lager yeast, and German hop aroma. It's crisp and refreshing with a mild hop spiciness. The taste is decent as well. It has a crisp, pale and Munich malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes clean and refreshing. There is a mild hop bitterness in the finish as well as light Munich presence in the malt profile. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. It's an above average lager, but nothing too special. (601 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 7613, Packaged October 2006, Sampled November 2006
Pours with a brilliantly clear, full gold color and is topped by a frothy, though quickly disappearing, initially one-finger thick, pale white colored head. The aroma is a mix of pale malt aromatics and spicy hops. Notes of soda-crackers, sweet grain and a herbaceous hops notes mix to form a bulk of the notes here. If you dig around a bit a dry, toasty, biscuit like note becomes a bit noticeable as does a touch of honeysuckle.

The taste has a reasonable fullness to it, at least for something with a name like this, it could have been like water, which it certainly is not. Still, this is light and quaffable. It has a dry perception to it that is driven by cracker-like malt notes and a nice contributing bitterness that is found throughout the flavor profile of this beer. A herbal hop character is also quite noticeable and almost takes on a minty note. This is certainly a nice beer, quite a bit more flavorful than I was expecting (I will admit to expecting it to lean more towards the macro side of things). Nicely quaffable, yet still has a certain fullness to it that allows the malt to stick to the palate. In fact the lingering notes that stick to the mouth are that of caramel and a hop bitterness. This beer strikes a nice balance between malt and hop throughout the flavor profile of this beer. (1,372 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at World of Beer Raleigh. Served in a pint glass.

A - transparent gold with no head

S - lemon, faint cereal grains

T - lemon, cereal grains, grassy, noble hop notes

M - light bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a decent, light, easily drinkable beer. It is brewed to style so there is nothing that jumps out at you. It's just a refreshing, lighter offering that is rather enjoyable on a hot day. (411 characters)

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Bell's Lager Of The Lakes from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 329 ratings.