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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749 Ratings
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Ratings: 749
Reviews: 316
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.98%
Wants: 24
Gots: 41 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: proc on 10-16-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 749 | Reviews: 316 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brunite
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a medium straw yellow with a white pillowy head. A Almost no lacing.

S: Bready...sweet...slight hop aroma.

T: Malty....some hoppiness. Neither is overdone. Very nice balance.

M: Light body...lightly carbonated.

O: This is likely the best APL that I have come across. A pretty boring style that allows no flaws. This is a great job of balance & style adherence. A no-brainer replacement for the BMC crowd.

Photo of foamfoot
2.78/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bell's is one of my favorite breweries and I admit I came into this with high expectations.

I was not overly impressed.

Appearance was a cloudy yellow with nice head. A clean flavor quickly turns to a strong finish. I would not recommend this to someone who usually drinks American domestics.

Granted, I like it better than the mainstream lagers, but there just isn't much to get excited about. It's not terrible, but far from solid. A very average beer.

If you have never given Bell's a chance, don't let this style be your first. I'm probably being overly harsh, but this falls well short of the many great styles to come from this Michigan brewery.

Photo of Lauthaha
2.63/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Beer is very pale straw color with some mild carbonation visible through the glass. Head is angel white and recedes quickly leaving only a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Some decent hop flavor, with a tinge of corn added for bad measure. Grassy malt tones.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer tastes like grass clippings brewed into a tea then refrigerated overnight. Body is light- to medium-bodied, and carbonation is mellow with a slight rush in the middle of the taste. Beer goes down leaving a super bitter flavor that is neither pleasurable nor displeasing.

Overall: An average beer. Not a good pale lager, not a good beer. Getting a little tired of Michigan beers not living up to their state's great reputation.

Photo of aasher
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a very bright and very clear straw gold in color with a light white lacing around the glass. It smells of crisp pale malts and adjuncts, nothing noteworthy. The flavor is of clean and crisp pale malts. It has a light bitterness and is just really light all around. That said, it tastes of a quality lager. It is what it is. It drinks light and is crisp and refreshing. This is actually really good for the style. I'm a fan. It's an undervalued style but this is one of the better ones.

Photo of clint1019
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Has a straw color to it and it pours with a clean white head that dissapates very quickly. Not really much lacing.

S - Has a clean malt aroma and a slight spicyness.

T - Clean, Crisp Malt flavor and a slight, slight spicy hop flavor.

M - light bodied, very thin feeling, with a light carbonation.

O - A decent lager. Not great, but very refreshing and very clean tasting. Would be a nice beer for out fishing on the lake on a hot summer day.

Photo of mdfb79
2.95/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

Photo of drabmuh
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Photo of shand
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

This is a great looking lager, it pours a transparent pale gold color with a big head that retains quite well. Looks very refreshing. Aroma is good, there's some nice grainy, sweet, and light malts over a bit of noble hops. A bit watery. The taste is that of a very clean, high quality lager. There's a solid amount of bittering hops on the finish. There's really no way to better describe it. The mouthfeel is good, it's crisp at first, but ends semi-dry. The drinkability is also good. Overall, a solid, well-orchestrated lager.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler purchased from Ale Yeah in Atlanta.

Pours a clear golden color with a bright white head that leaves solid lacing.

Smells of crisp pilsner malts with hints of lighter malt sweetness and floral and lightly earthy hops.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Smooth pilsner malts with moderate amounts of bready sweetness up front are joined quickly by light leafy hops. Midway through very slight herbal hops come into play and fade into a mildly bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with decent thickness.

Overall I was very happy drinking a growler of this beer. Easy to drink and worth a shot.

Photo of Blueribbon666
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Yep...smells like a lager. Poured into pint glass a golden straw color w/thin lacy white head. Being a fan of Bell's I was interested in trying this one. However, I was surprised @ the bold almost bitter taste on the front end followed by an average to underwhelming finish. 1st impressions as the rest of the sixer grew on me, however I would by other offerings from Bell's before returning to this crisp, yet slightly bitter offering. Worth the try, but not high on my return to list.

Photo of zoso1967
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lager of the Lakes pours a very pale gold color that is very akin to the fizzy yellow stuff that most of our country drinks. The head gives away this beer as a craft offering though, with its tightly packed white bubbles and excellent retention and lace.

The aroma is predominately bready malts with a bit of herbal hops mixed in as well. Overall the aroma is pretty subdued, if not clean.

The flavor is similar to the aroma except that the malts seem to have a bit more going on with some toasted, grainy character. The hops also seem to come through more and have a very nice noble flavor to them. This beer tastes very clean and very “soft.” I don’t think I have ever described a beer as soft before, but this one strikes me as being such.

As one would imagine with a beer like this, the body is on the light side. Carbonation seems to be at just the sweet spot and is not too bubbly. The finish is overall dry with some nice hop character lingering on my palate.

This lager is a well made beer that goes down easily. It is refreshing, crisp and clean. It is also ultimately not that interesting to me. Not one I would seek out again, but also not one that I would avoid.

Photo of goldennectar
4.43/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: 1 finger of head that settled nicely


Taste: Balanced - fresh crisp & smooth

Mouthfeel: Crisp and Balanced.

Overall: Very drinkable. Very flavorful. Refreshing. a knockout in my opinion. My favorite lager I will be buying more of this.

Photo of TheHoppiest
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Lizardville in a pilsner glass. Pours a straw yellow with a 1" head that reduces to a thin soapy lid, with decent retention down the sides.

Has a grainy, almost oaty smell, with straw, corn(!) and malt. Smell is thicker than I would expect given how light this looks.

Starts crisp, with a forward profile of grain, malt and grass. Has a slight hop turn as it finishes, with an aftertaste of, I have to admit, corn. I find it very difficult to believe Bell's would use corn in any beer, so it must simply be an artifact of the barley used.

Medium bodied, this lager is more than meets the eye, mouthfeel-wise. What helps save it is a healthy enough helping of hops to give it a decent bitter at the end. However, I have to wonder if this was truly "lagered" in the German tradition if it would retain any of that bitterness.

Decent lager, which I know I've had in a bottle before, and if memory serves, is much better on draft. Still, it is decent at best; have it after you've had your first and secnod choices of the evening.

Photo of nickthegun12
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

not bad...

the appearance is ok....absolutely no head on this beer....maybe i got a bad bottle i don't know!...the lacing is non existent...

the smell is alright...i get a peppery...slightly citrus smell...

the taste is pretty decent...almost comes across as an ale....fruity drinkable...and nice hop presence

the feel is nice although no head it is def carbonated...

overall this is a pretty drinkable session beer...but def worth the price....9.39!...yea american dollars

Photo of bsp77
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Pilsner glass. Bottled on May 11, 2011.

Appearance: Clear pale yellow with fairly thin white head and not much lacing. Almost a strong appearance, but the lack of head and lacing is a minor problem.

Smell: Pepper, citrus and some other light fruitiness. Quite strong hay and straw characteristics as well. Almost a great aroma, but it didn't last.

Taste: Semi-sweet fruity malt backbone that is enveloped by lemon, pepper, straw and a nice lingering bitterness. Almost a really great tasting lager but is dampened by a metallic and grainy aftertaste.

Feel: High carbonation, light body, with a crisp, mostly dry finish. A little too tingly. Almost.

Overall: This really is a beer of "almosts". This is so close to a world class lager, but just misses the mark in every category.

Photo of DannyDan
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Pours out a yellow body with a thin white head that has good retention and lacing. Also has good carbonation.
S. I get some cereal grains and lemon in the aroma
T. The taste starts out with a biscuit taste, followed by some more cereal and sweet grains with a lemon taste in the back.
M./O. The mouthfeel is nice smooth and crisp and overall it is a nice easy drinking beer for the nice summer weather.

Photo of wordemupg
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass 24/6/11

A pale golden yellow with only a few bubbles but somehow a long lasting dense thumbs width of foam that leaves lots of unorganized lace

S grainy lemon with some floral hops

T much more floral in the mouth with some sweetness and cereal

M light with a clean finish more bubbles then I could see in the glass

O a decent beer but that's about it, no real flaws but pretty basic stuff

something I'd drink again I'm just not going to go looking for it, and if Bells were on the shelf I'm sure I'd be buying some of their other stuff

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a fizzy gold, capped with a short-lived with wisp of froth. This beer is more herbal-hoppy in the nose than an average APL or general Lager, but otherwise it is straightforward as they come. Pale grain, faint sweetness, light earthy and floral notes, and a refreashing, light body comprise this brew. Not bad, not great either.

Photo of BBP
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a clear pale gold. Above average carbonation. Slight head which quickly fades away into a film which remains for the duration of the drink.

S- very grainy. Slight herbal hop hints.

T- grains in the front. A hint of butter. Some hop bitterness. A bit of citrus. All is good but the finish wasn't entirely to my tastes. Nicer than the average lager.

M- fairly creamy but a but overcarbonated imo. Dry, slightly sticky finish with a body that is a bit heavier and thicker than the norm.

D- a good drink but nothing to blow you away. Bells took a what I think to be a boring style and improved it a little. I give them extra credit for doing that and having a sub 5.0%abv. If you enjoy a lighter beer I'd check it out.

Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance-Very pale and light golden body. I'm watching the Giants/Cardinals game through it. Off white soapy 1 1/2 finger headwith decent retention and some big bubbles. Nice lacing.

Smell-Smells like a lightly cleaner version of a BMC. Lots of grain. Not funky or skunky at least.

Taste-Like noted in the smell, its just a cleaner, more refreshing version of a BMC...I guess thats what happens when you put a little effort into a beer. Crisp, Smooth and very refreshing. Light citrus, light hops, and pretty grainy.

Mouthfeel-Light bodied, pretty close to high carbonation, not even close to as bad as a BMC.

Overall-This was a very hard difficult to review. Would I drink this again? Probably not. I'd definitely prefer other sessionable beers, but for the style it's good, clean and refreshing. I would like to give this to my Dad and see what he thinks as a BMC drinker.

Photo of Erish
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint. My Bell's Brewery batch finder tells me that this beer was brewed on June 23, 2010. I should have known better when I bought this single bottle at Trader Joe's! I will re-rate this beer when I get a fresher one.

A: hazy pale golden color, off-white colored head quickly falls into a decent cap with good lacing.

S: trademark lager sulfurous aroma, the malt is cracker-like, and the hops have a touch of citrus to go along with a snappy herbal top note and an earthy bottom note.

T: the malt is subdued and somewhat dry, there is a mild citrus/herbal taste in the middle, and the finish has a mineral dryness along with a faint herbal hop character.

M: light-bodied, silky texture, abundant carbonation, and a mineral-dry finish.

O: I'm sure this beer will rate a little better when I get my hands on a fresh one, but honestly I thought this beer held up pretty well for a 10 month old low ABV lager.

Photo of KYBrewgrass
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- 3 Very average light golden yellow color with minimal head but smooth lacing. Watery.

S- 3 Malted barley, grain, little hops. Not much going on.

T- 3.5 It is balanced in taste between malts and grains. I get a wheat bread like taste that leaves a dryness.

M- 4 Crisp, clean and smooth like a lager should be, it goes down light and easy. It is just above light in body with a good moderate carbonation.

D- 3.5 Though I could drink plenty of this I probably wouldn't want to have more than a couple. It just doesn't have that much going for it. Rather bland for Bell's as I have come to know it.

Photo of clarkkr
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle -> tulip glass

A - Pale golden straw with a solid finger of bright white head. A lot of lacing around the glass that lasts for a long time. Pretty heavily carbonated.

S - Very mild hops aroma along with some light malt (maybe a hint of wheat?) scent. Overall, a very mild pilsner-esque scent.

T - There isn't much body, but it delivers a very refreshing, clean pils/light malt flavor with some bite! The mild hops hit the front of your tongue and spices (coriander?) come later in the taste on the back end. It's very well-balanced, complex bitter flavor.

M - It's got a pretty thin, mildly oily texture that's very pleasant with the substantial carbonation

Photo of TMoney2591
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bell's lager has a crystal clear, dull golden-colored body with a good bit of active carbonation bubbles. The head is small and white, and despite the plethora of bubbles it doesn't stick around for very long; it does, however, manage to leave some lacing behind.

The aroma is lacking. It isn't unpleasant, it's just very weak. Light pale malt sweetness and that's about it.

It does taste better than it smells, which is good. In fact, it tastes pretty good period, without a comparison to the aroma. Moderate to high amounts of hops from the beginning to the end. Grass, lemongrass, hints of lemon and a good amount of bitterness all come from the hops. The finish has a maltiness to it, but it is surprisingly not a standard pale, pils malt that I thought I smelled in the aroma. Although some of that is in there, the dominant malt characteristic is a lightly toasted flavor. After reading the bottle I realize that this beer is brewed with pils and Munich malt. The Munich malt explains the toasted flavors.

The bitterness from the hops is prickly on the tongue and the carbonation is high. The body still feels that it is in the medium to high range for the style, and overall the beer manages to be smooth and crisp.

Although the look and the smell weren't promising, Bell's Lager proved to be a quality lager with a good bit of hops. Refreshing and easy to drink.

Bell's Lager Of The Lakes from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 749 ratings.