1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

658 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 658
Reviews: 309
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 22
Gots: 25 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 658 | Reviews: 309 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PhageLab


3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Pale tangerine coloration, small head, no retention or lacing. Not too impressive.

S - Apples. That is all.

T - Slightly acrid pale malt body, faint hop backing, decent balance, but this is really bland. It's not even remotely memorable.

M - Light bodied, mild carbonation.

D - Forgettable, this one was completely average. Bell's can do much better. I guess if you didn't want to think about what you were drinking, this wouldn't be bad.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2008 20:19:12 | More by PhageLab
Photo of BoitSansSoif


3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light honey-gold w/thick white head that slowly faded into a think cap, and left thick traces of lacing. There is also a suspended haze. Smell is of rich, grainy Pilsner malt, light hops, spice, and faint citrus. Taste and mouthfeel is full and dry, with nice malts and slightly discernible rye, bitter citrus and spicy hops, and faint herbaceous notes. I really enjoyed this lager's simplicity, and light, yet rugged character.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2008 14:56:07 | More by BoitSansSoif
Photo of oelergud


4.3/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Classic brown 12oz glass bottle. Old map of the great lakes on the label. Batch 8124.
Orange golden clear body. Medium size white part creamy part airy rocky head. Good retention and a little lace.
Bread and grainy scent with abit of anise and piney hops.
The flavor is like the scent only stronger and better. Spiced and delicious hoppy flavor with plenty of complexity and a lingering aftertaste of anise, spiced hops and bready malts.
Medium body that leaves only slight coating yet is slick, hydrating and finishes dry.
Great lager and great drinkability.


Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 02:07:20 | More by oelergud
Photo of ROMER79


3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour was a golden color with a slight white head. It had a citrus smell laced with a hop aroma. The citrus flavor was made present in this beer, but hops and wheat came through as well. It was almost like a Bud meets a Rolling Rock. It was easy to drink and it could definitely be a session beer for many. The mouthfeel was good but it was lacking something that should have been there. There was no bite.

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2008 02:14:54 | More by ROMER79
Photo of Redwood21


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

A: this beers head...ha...byebye. the color on the other hand is pretty nice, amber wheat color. I have to knock it for the terrible head retention, even for a lager

S:not much here, a some what fresh bread malt type aroma

T: a bit meatier than many lagers but a bit too bitter? not sure if its biter or not but there is a distinct finish that i am not sure i am keen on.

M/D: this has an easy drinking feel, the mouth feel is a bit crisp and i cold enjoy a few, but would not be my first choice for this style

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2008 19:02:19 | More by Redwood21
Photo of pweis909


4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale gold color. Clear, except for some whitish particulates that are floating about. Possibly chill haze? Small amount of white foam does not persist long, although the beer is well-carbonated. The initial whiff presents sulfide, which gives way to familiar pilsner malt aroma and light hops that are both spicy and citrusy. The taste is gently sweet up front, with a crisp finish. This beer is maltier and hoppier than American macro-style lagers, making it an interesting option as a thirst quenching spring or summer brew. The mouthfeel is smooth, with a slightly creamy texture. It's balanced flavors and moderate alcohol content make this a highly drinkable brew. A personal favorite among US lager types.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2008 23:56:11 | More by pweis909
Photo of dreadnatty08

District of Columbia

4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed as a Dortmunder Export as catagorized in BJCP
Bottled 12/20/07
Pours a gorgeous clear, sparkling rich golden color with plentiful brilliant white head. Really nice tracing as well. Trully one of the most beautiful lagers I've seen. Aroma is mostly coming from the Munich and Pils malts, a slight sulfur touch, and a little DMS. It finishes with some hop aroma and a little caramel. Incredibly bready on the palate, malts are very complex, ranging from whole grain crackers to whole wheat bread to fresh biscuits. The hops are certainly in there; not so much in flavor but with a quite bitter finish. Stylistically, it is lower in abv as a typical DME, and I would imagine on the high end for hop levels. It finishes also with a bright citrus flavor, coming from either Hallertau or Styrian hops, and a fruitier than normal yeast flavor. Overall, I thoroughly enjoy this beer like most from Bell's given its strong malt backbone and bitter Noble hop bite.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2008 16:14:30 | More by dreadnatty08
Photo of mobyfann


3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Paid $8.99 for a mixed 6'er at Party Source...

The beer pours a clear golden base with a large white head, long-lasting head retention and very nice waves of lacing throughout the glass. The beer hints of malt and partial alcohol (smells like a nice macro lager to be blunt).

The taste is good for it's style, subtle malt flavor, crisp and clean aftertaste, what more do you want? The beer stings you with a little sharpness but the head eases it a little, and this is a very drinkable beer for its class.

Final Thought: Not worth the price, but a classic example of what PBR can become if they substitute more malt for corn.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2008 00:15:11 | More by mobyfann
Photo of HardTarget


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

Aroma: Bready yeast with a mild green apple note. Some mild sweetness

Appearance: Lightly hazed bright yellow with a thin white cover that left some impressive lace.

Flavor: The same yeasty note is the strongest flavor, again with a bit of green apple (acetaldehyde?) with a mild earthy hop.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and light, but heavier than a macrobeer.

Overall Impression: Hard to get excited about this style. It's a hard one to do well, and this is better than many I've tasted. It's pretty well balanced. Eh, it's an American Lager.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2008 04:43:01 | More by HardTarget
Photo of morimech


3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours straw colored with a nice two-fingered white head that had some staying power. There also was some heavy lacing left on the glass during consumption.

Smell is mostly cereal grain with some floral hops hidden in the background. Smells better than the typical macro.

A light taste mostly of sweet malt. I didn't pick up any hops. Since it is a lager best served cold I didn't let it sit long to warm up which might reveal some more flavors, both good and bad. It feels light with adequate carbonation. It goes down fast and with a decent taste makes a 6-pack disappear quickly. But it is sold at a typical Bell's price which is a bit much for this beer. I could buy 2x more macro product that doesn't suffer from that much less taste. A good beer by style but what is the point at this price?

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2008 23:14:51 | More by morimech
Photo of ElGrecoVerde


3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At first it looks like your average American lager... golden yellow with a small white head. But looking closer, you can see the left over particles floating around that were left unfiltered. That may sound bad, but I looked at it as a sign that this wasn't going to be just another lager.

The smell was nothing special, but different from macros in that it has more of a grainy bread smell than usual. None of that thick corn smell you get from macro beers.

The taste was suprisingly good. Again, I say that because you can't help but compare this to the big name lagers. A lot of grain, and maybe citrus tastes at times.

I felt it was a bit flat. Maybe it needed some more carbonation? I'm no expert, but it was lacking somewhere in the feel depaartment. I don't want to feel like I'm drinking pop rocks, but a little crisper finish would have been nice.

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2008 01:50:08 | More by ElGrecoVerde
Photo of berserker256


3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much darker than macrobrews but still relatively light. Moderate white head that goes away sort of quickly. There's an earthy cereal grain kind of odor that dominates the smell. It's decent but there's some undescribable strange chemical funk that I'm picking up... Yet I don't hate it. It's a decent lager. Way better than your typical Millers and Budweisers but not as good as German Lagers. Not a whole lot of sweetness either. Nice fizz and easy to drink, however. Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2008 23:03:29 | More by berserker256
Photo of Monkeyknife


3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a clean, clear straw color with a frothy white head and plenty of lacing.

I was surprised to find a sour and somewhat sulphur-like aroma with this lager. There is a hops presence, but it is secondary.
The taste is sharp, bitter, and without much flavor. Disappointing.

Light mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

I'm a big fan of Bell's products but I'm not too impressed with this one. Sorry.

REVIEW REVISED. Had again in December 2009. Much better this time with a nice balance of malty grains and floral hops. May have had an older or bad bottle earlier.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2008 20:32:44 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of AltBock


3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle that has a label of a vintage map of the Great Lakes. Around the vintage map is 10 small pictures of a compass, two crossed paddles, a trout, pine tree, sailboat, tennis rackets, maple leaf, Golden Gate bridge, a woman water skiing, and a anchor tied to a hop bud. The back has a small paragraph about the beer, US Government warning, barcode, refund values, and a Bell's bottle code that you put into their website so see when it was bottled. I believe mine was 8093. It was hard to tell what it was because a sticker was on top of the bottle code.

Appearance: It was poured into none other than my Bell's Brewery American pint glass. This Bell's poured a disappointing clear and bubbly straw colored beer with a 1/2 inch head of white foam. After about a few seconds, the head of foam dissipated into a small whie film, a few white foamy rings, and streaks of white lace. It just had your run of the mill typical Lager appearance.

Smell: The aroma was nothing out of the ordinary. Like the appearance, it was just like your run of the mill typical Lager. This Lager had an aroma of toasted malts, juicy fruits, some sweet buttery goodness, and a pinch of crispy floral hops. Maybe it wasn't a typical Lager aroma because I didn't smell any corn or rice.

Taste: To be honest, when I saw the beer's color and I got a whiff of the beer's aroma, I was expecting ths beer to be filled with malted grains, crispy hops, and water. That wasn't the case with this beer's taste. Instead, the beer was filled with toasted malts, juicy fruits, and crispy floral hops. There was nothing out of the ordinary, but it wasn't the size of the flavors, but the impact they had on my tastebuds. The impact was just right!

Mouthfeel: It was a light bodied beer with a medium sized carbonation level and a aftertaste of toasted malts and crispy floral hops. This was the last chance for the water and corn to show up, but this beer stuck to its guns and didn't give in to the water and corn.

Drinkability: This one had session Lager written all over it. After the disappointing appearance and aroma, I had my doubts that this wasn't going to be a very good beer, but it made up for itself where it counts. Not one of my favorite Bell's beer, but I wouldn't pass it down if I got another shot at it.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2008 23:08:16 | More by AltBock
Photo of GRPunk


4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (Batch # 8124) poured into a pint glass.

A- It was a clear golden-yellow with a 1 finger foamy white head that turned into a fine lace that left nice sticking.

S- Quite doughy with some fruity tones and light floral hops.

T- Again it had a lot of doughy flavors with a little spice and some earthy hop tones. It was very clean.

M- Quite smooth. It had a solid feel with medium carbonation and light hop bite.

D- It was a very drinkable.

Overall- The fresh taste would make for a good summer beer. It was a good example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2008 01:04:01 | More by GRPunk
Photo of jeffmonarch


3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle in a pilsner glass.

A - Nice crystal clear yellow, kinda like white grape juice. Nice thick white head that gets small fast but that little bit then stays for a while.

S - Like a cirtusy malt scent.

T - Sweet, crisp and refreshing. Nice and light.

M - Very light body with good carbonation.

D - Great. I can drink this all day. Most of my friends don't understand my obsession with beer and don't like most of the beers i make them try. They mostly drin BMC's variety of beers. I don't understand how they can drink those and not stuff like this.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 07:50:57 | More by jeffmonarch
Photo of CDBeerDisappear


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

Clear golden color with a 1 inch coarse head. Plenty of lacing and retention. Aroma of mown hay wonderfully represents the style. Taste is crisp and clean, finishes bitter to dry. All in all very refreshing – a lager you can really taste. I am enjoying it as a stand alone but it begs for pizza.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2007 22:53:04 | More by CDBeerDisappear
Photo of montageman


4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Batch 7761 bottled on January 11. 2007.

A: Partially cloudy golden yellow color with lots of carbonation bubbles. Head dissipates quickly leaving a layer of lacing.

S: Slight citrus at first. A little grass and bread as well.

T: Sweet and crisp. A very refreshing full bodied flavor. Very malty.

M: Heavy carbonation leads to very crisp & dry from start to finish.

D: Easy, easy drinking here. A perfect session beer. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2007 20:12:07 | More by montageman
Photo of wspscott


3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle in Sam Adams glass (batch 7869 brewed 5/4/07)

A: Light gold color with virtually no head/lace
S: Slightly lemony with hints of bready malts
T&M: Crisp bready malts, kind of drying, nice amount of bitterness, needs a little more carbonation
D: A nice beer and better than BMC but nothing really memorable. Probably not worth the price given that there are better Bell's beer out there. This is definitely not my style of beer so this is hard to review.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2007 22:44:22 | More by wspscott
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden color with two fingers of head, leaves a touch of lacing on the edges. Nose is strong on grain, light citrus. Flavor is likewise - lots of citrus, some niver roasted-ness offset. Some almost bitter grain later on, giving it some added complexity compared with standard macros. Body is medium with good carbonation. This one's definitely a step up from most lagers out there, but not one of my favorites from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2007 20:17:00 | More by soupyman10
Photo of baos


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

12 oz. into my smaller Trappist glass.

A: Cloudier than I was expecting, with a nice 3 finger head that was retained very well. Nice lacing.

S: Not much there very fresh and clean smelling. Maybe a bit of grains there. Tiny malty aroma.

T: It seems it had the slightest aspects of both a wheat beer and a Belgian ale. Kind of bitter and metallic tasting to me. Not as crisp and refreshing as I was hoping, but I haven't much experience with 'crafted' lagers.

M: Pretty nice. More body than I was expecting.

D: Pretty nice I was washing down some whole dried anchovies with slices of fresh ginger with it, and I had steak with it the night before. this beer goes good with food. I give her a B.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2007 20:59:23 | More by baos
Photo of sacrelicio


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

Nice lager from Bell's. Crisp, clean, hoppy, like a German pils. Golden straw color, nice white head, herbal and vegetal notes in the nose and on the palate. Very refreshing, dry, some citrusy fruitiness, plenty of character, a real sleeper hit. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2007 01:53:16 | More by sacrelicio
Photo of shadow1961


3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bells Lager pours a lofty head over a clear deep yellow brew. Carbonation is
hyperactive- the nose all the CO2 brings up is lager yeast and light malt. The
flavor is firm malt and a nice assertive herbal hop finish. This brew actually has
as much flavor as some good Pilsners I've had. The mouthfeel is crisp, light,
refreshing, and balanced. They got the big rep for a reason. Tasty.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2007 07:58:01 | More by shadow1961
Photo of jkrich


3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with batch id: 7932 which website states bottled on June 19, 2007. The pour revealed a gold color with a quickly dissipating white head.
Smell: bready aromas with slight european hop odor.
Taste: The first body tasted fresh and hoppy with a little sweetness, similar to a classic pilsner. On the first sip of the second bottle the taste was noticably restrained without the crispness of the first body. Sweetness dominates the flavor, though it is never cloying. I am not sure if the bottle was incorrectly capped. The level of carbonation is the same as the first, but something is missing.
Based on the taste of the first bottle, I was ready to highly recommend this brew; however, there may be a lack of consistency with this one which is surprising coming from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2007 23:24:24 | More by jkrich
Photo of mmmbeer


4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, batch 7761 - packaged on 1/11/07. It pours crystal-clear gold, with a few floaties, light carbonation, and a loose, white, three-finger head that leaves decent lacing. In the nose there is lemon, citrus rind, spicy hops, and a touch of malts - fairly mild, but you can tell that there's some good stuff down there. And the flavor is where you can tell that this is true; lots of lemony, grassy, spicy/skunky, and earthy hops deliver a medium bitterness, backed by lightly toasted and pale malts, and a slight sea-saltiness - all of which combine to impart a pleasant, lingering finish. The body is light to medium, with an initial crispness that is quick to even out, gliding easily across the tongue, drying the palate a bit as I drink. Damn that is a tasty lager. It is a supreme session beer whose taste and mouthfeel combine to create a great beer experience - a wonderful example of just how delicious a plain-old American lager can be.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2007 20:31:16 | More by mmmbeer
Bell's Lager Of The Lakes from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 658 ratings.