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

Bell's Lager Of The LakesBell's Lager Of The Lakes

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

609 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 609
Reviews: 308
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.26%

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: 609 | Reviews: 308 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BEERchitect


3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2007 19:01:26 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of orbitalr0x


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

My one and only bottle of this brew since Bell's is no longer available in Illinois. Pours into my glass a wonderfully clear goldenrod hue with plenty of active carbonation and a half inch of white foam. Aromas start out with crisp malts, pils stands out. Lightly toasted grains alongside a quite pronounced grassy, herbal hop aroma. This brew even smells refreshing.

First sip brings a crisp pilsner maltiness right off the bat that has a mild toasty flavor as well. Slightly grainy, it flows down with plenty of herbal, grassy hop tones that bring in some good bitterness to the mix. Finishes off crisp and clean. A tasty, easy drinking lager by all accounts.

Mouthfeel is smooth and easy drinking. Nice body that's not too light but not too heavy. Steady carbonation throughout. Nearly perfect IMHO. Drinkability here is quite huge. I could see myself taking down a six pack of this on a hot summer day without blinking an eye. A solid, tasty lager from Bell's that doesn't fail to impress me with its subtle nuances. If I could get it again in IL I would!!

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2007 06:30:09 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of neonbrown82


4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a good lager new in at John's. The beer pours to a very clear light yellow with a huge white head. Retention is not all that great considering the carbonation is very active and shimmers like a precious gem. Lacing could be better as well.

The smell consists of pilsner malt with a hint of bready munich malts. Also has a nice spicy, herbal, and floral noble hops bouquet. The taste is just as I would have expected from the nose. Has a nice bitter, lingering finish. Very crisp and clean and fairly dry. One of the better lagers I've had. I could drink it all night. It will make a good substitution for Victory Prima Pils, though not a replacement.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2007 02:18:11 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of ppoitras


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

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Batch 7613.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4 bright white head over the clear light gold (yellow?) brew. Head fades moderately, with reasonable amounts of sticky delicate lace decorating the glass sides. Aroma is sweet pale malt coupled with a slightly tangy grassiness. Taste follows along the nose's guidelines, with the grassy hops melding pretty well with the grain character, and a crisp clean close. Mouthfeel and drinkability are pretty good as well. Wouldn't mind having this one as a local everyday drinker.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2007 23:55:00 | More by ppoitras
Photo of brewcrew76


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

Batch 7613

A - Pours a brilliantly clear pale yellow with a thin white head.

S - Pale pilsner malt and a herbal hoppiness.

T - A bit of sweetness, munich malt and a spicy hop finish.

M - Medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation.

D - I am not a big fan of this style but Bell's has made a nice tasty version of this style.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2007 21:39:55 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of ndekke39


4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a single 12 oz bottle of this. Comes from batch 7613, packaged on October 5, 2006. Pours clear golden with a bright white head, very little retention. Smells like a crisp pale lager. Nice clean hoppiness to it. Hints of honey. Tastes clean and crisp. Seems the standard taste of an All-Malt Lager. Nice grainy aftertaste, very strong, comes in waves. A touch of bitter in the aftertaste, too. Nice fizzy bite to the mouthfeel. Very clean, sharp, easily drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2007 22:39:40 | More by ndekke39
Photo of Cresant


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

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a becker glass. Coded 7613. Received a soapy, fluffy bubbles, large head. This one had a clear rich golden body. Head left strings of lace down the sides of the glass.

Smell was of fresh grains. Husky pils hops. Minty. Fresh and compelling.

Taste reflected the aroma with fresh, fresh grain. Peppery. Refreshing and drying.

Mouthfeel was smooth and rounded with a drying finish. Medium/light body. A very nice, classic malt-lager. I will seek this one out again.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2007 03:30:50 | More by Cresant
Photo of MDekker


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

Pours out a crystal clear with a light copper color, some white head. The aroma is dry, with notes of bread and yeast. Not bad. The flavor is simple, as you'd expect with a lager - crisp, and with a wave of bitterness at the end. It was similar in the mouth - sort of refreshing and clean, but nothing spectacular. It was relatively easy to drink, with no lingering aftertaste. Overall, it was fine - nothing offensive, but nothing that's really urging me to be it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2007 13:55:42 | More by MDekker
Photo of PeatReek


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

Pours quite pale, crystal clear & straw-colored with a thin & tight bright white head. Smells... lager-ish, with some old-fashioned American hops, and a nice grainy aroma. Body is quite light and crisp, with a bitterness that sneaks up on you and an explosion of hop flavor at the end. While the body is light and fizzy, the taste is nice and chewy and gives you something to come back for.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2006 02:30:41 | More by PeatReek
Photo of CharlesDarwin

Rhode Island

2.63/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally reviewed on October 29, 2006. Light rotting corn ester and fusel destruction in the aroma. The malt is stinky. A light waft of hop field grass blows in from over the hill. Pours a crystalline clear pale yellow. Very thin rim of head. Flavor is a more piquantly hopped version of the aroma, a biting terse grassy overtone plays over all the off corn sugar flavors. The malt disagrees with my tongue in more than one way. It’s not possibly skunked, as it’s fresh off the delivery truck. There’s a light edge of creaminess to the grain sugars, but mostly a fusely off-note. Some light sweet orange rises from the hop smack in the backend. This beer is a sellout. Not even a good pilsener.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2006 23:57:17 | More by CharlesDarwin
Photo of sullysbeer


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

Aroma: Delicate sweetness from the Pilsner Malt and a gentle hop aroma, slight corn aroma.

Appearance: Crystal clear. Light yellow, like a Bud Light or Miller Lite. White head that rings the glass.

Flavor: Light and refreshing, smooth, malty flavor and hopped gently like a pilsner making you take another gulp to put out the bitter sting.

Mouthfeel: Light body not as much carbonation as I thought there would be.

Overall Impression: First off, I would have never know this was a Bell's beer. Not only being a Lager but this is the clearest Bell's beer I have ever seen. Clean fermented and you can tell this was lagered for sometime as this is a crisp refreshing, thirst quenching beer. Anheuser-Busch look out!

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2006 20:54:05 | More by sullysbeer
Photo of mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

2.7/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - A pale gold color with a very small head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S - A lot of slightly sweet light malt and grassy notes over a faint soapy yeast smell.

T - A lot of light malt and potent grassy hops with a faint lingering sweetness and a mild grassy bitterness on the finish. There is a bit of a not-so-pleasant funny metallic (iron-like) taste as the sweetness subsides.

M - Smooth, thick and a little refreshing.

D - It has a bit more character than the average lager, but offerings like Brooklyn Lager just make this not worth it. Honestly, the way the grassy hops mesh with the metallic taste is just unpleasant enough that I would likely turn this one down in the future if it was offered to me. It could be sessioned, but I'd rather not. This one just didn't work for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2006 02:19:09 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of blackie


4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour into my pilsner glass producess a big, meringue-like white head. Loads of bubbles rise from the bottom to feed the head, making me wait awhile to finish pouring. The beer is a clear golden in color, and some nice lacing is left behind on the glass.

smell: The nose is of pale malts and a big, sulfuric, grassy noble hop presence. Pretty straightforward and pretty pilsner-like. Well done.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is between medium and high, and the body light while avoiding thinness.

taste: Clean, mildy sweet flavors of pale malts blend with a big papery hop flavor. Considerably sulfuric it seems, and the hops really take over in the finish with a moderate bitterness cleaning everything up. Well balanced and interesting enough.

drinkability: pretty easy

single 12oz. shipped down from dirtylou...batch # 7613

reviewed 5-31-08:

a: pours a one finger bone-white head that shows light retention, the beer is a clear straw golden color

s: crisp German grains give the aroma of a malty pilsner, muted, clean hop aromas

m: soft, medium carbonation and a light-moderate body

t: clean pilsner and pale malts give a clean, lightly sweet grain flavor, the pils adds a lightly spicy note to the finish, bright and crisp hop flavors give balance, light bitterness in the clean finish

d: a tasty lager, could handle quite a few with ease

single bottle from Whole Foods Cary, no batch number

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2006 00:25:45 | More by blackie
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2006 14:09:36 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of benito


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

A few weeks ago there was a thread someone started by asking whether or not Boston Beer should make an all-malt lager. The BA response, from what I remember reading, was a resounding no. Well, step in Bell's, whose latest release is just that, and we've got both a question to answer and a beer review on our hands. First, the beer.

Bell's "Lager of the Lakes" comes from a beautiful bottle with a French-language map of old Michigan and the Great Lakes. Whether you hang out at Niagra, South Haven, or somewhere (as I do) along the Superior shore, the marketing folks at Bell's do a fine job of conjuring up fair weather afternoons along your special lakeshore. Enticing.

As it should be, this brew is a good-looking fizzy yellow with nice carbonation and a good head that dissipates quickly. It has a clean, light, malty start with a crisp hop finish. The malt body puts this squarely in the American lager category, as it is too quick for a pils (even though pilsner malts are used). The overall impression is light and snappy; it's about the best Budweiser you've/I've ever had. I should add that I believe that in good Bell's tradition, they're opting to choose a style and do it as well as it can possibly be done--no bells (no pun intended) or whistles--just a solid beer for this style. Hence my rating.

That said, Bell's Lager begs that larger question that the Sam Adams thread asked a few weeks ago--is it worth it for a major craftbrewer to produce this sort of beer? The implication seems to be that microbrewers need to stick to experimentation, but for my part, I'm happy that Bell's is mounting a full on charge against American macros' domination of the light lager market.

Will this beer appeal to hardcore Bell's fans or BAs? Maybe to some, but probably not often. I do believe that this beer can introduce macro lovers to a new brand (Bell's) and from there, maybe they'll move on to more "mature" products from Bell's. If not, that's okay too. The Expedition Stout will still be there for the rest of us.

If nothing else, this is good beer for thought.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2006 22:27:55 | More by benito
Photo of ZAP


3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light golden color....nice bready malt aroma..taste is very dry...more German Pilsnerish than anything....cracker like maltiness and German noble hop style hoppiness....crisp mouthfeel...a little too dry in my opinion....not one I will seek out again

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2006 22:41:07 | More by ZAP
Photo of schusterbauer


4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a -- pristinely clear; expected lager color with a noticable white head

s -- grass, slight hops, corn, malt; smells very fresh

t -- in the land of standard lagers, this beer is king. it tastes as clean and fresh as it appears, allowing faint citrus and grass notes to be noticed, all supported by a noticable maltiness; finish is very quick, and leaves an unexpected hoppiness in the mouth, which is a pleasant surprise.

m -- about as clean/crisp as you could hope for.

d -- i think this might be about as drinkable as beer can get. every sip is delicious and refreshing, without diminishing returns. this could be an absolute staple beer for sessioning.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2006 03:57:58 | More by schusterbauer
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2006 01:54:12 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of BeerBuilder


4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a bad looking lager. It is clear golden, with a thick white head. It has a steady flow of carbonation. The lacing is pretty good too. The aroma is clean, fresh, and grassy. Has a slight breadiness to it as well.

It is clean and crisp tasting, with a bit of apple peal and bready malts. A nice full maltiness throughout balance by a light hop bitterness that is barely noticable. A very nice taste compaired to a lot of american lager beers.

It definitely has a lot more body than most lagers. Clean, crisp, flavorful and easy drinking. A very nice lager.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2006 01:18:28 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of dirtylou


4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12oz single, Steve's on University, batch 7613

appearance: This is a great label! old school map of the michigan/wisconsin region and all the surrounding lakes, with some sweet nature icons up and down the sides of the label. pours into great dane imperial pint glass...very light pale golden body, crystal clear, definite all-malt lager appearance

smell: rather fresh, grassy, zesty lemon, light citrus splash, nice spicing, bready

taste: for the style, this comes off terrific to me. very light and refreshing...sweet zesty lemon compliments a nice crisp malt body...lightly hopped, active spicing, grassy... a terrific version of the style

mouthfeel: light and crisp, refreshing

drinkability: very high

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2006 01:31:14 | More by dirtylou
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2006 11:19:06 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of terrabyte


3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very clear, very light yellow with a small white head.

Aroma has a light, sweet, grassy malt quality to it.

The flavor is pretty weak up front. However, it really opens up in the middle with a somewhat tinny beer flavor. The aftertaste really changes with a corn husk grain, an extremely dry finish, and a very unique bitterness.

Mouthfeel seemed fine. Quite dry, back of the mouth can pucker up from the bitterness.

Drinkability is pretty good. At first it seems simple, crisp... a pounder. But the dry bitterness could slow you down, although to be honest, it kind of made me more thirsty. More beer please!

Not a favorite style of mine, but interesting.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2006 04:46:21 | More by terrabyte
Photo of alexgash


4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

“Lager of the Lakes,” declares the mappy, lake-ridden label. Pale yellow, straw, clean, clear. Fat cushion of lake foam white head. Crisp, snappy hop aroma. Cat pee, sea air, and rancid honey. Underbelly of sweetish, clean, biscuit malt. Toasted, bitter, spicy hop taste up front. Mellow honey and bread malt middle, with noble, herbal, hop bitterness increasing to a smooth, refreshing finish. Moderate body with a lively, yet creamy feel. This is a stand-up example of an all-malt lager. All those little cabin-supported taverns in N. Michigan should have this on a permanent tap.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2006 02:12:48 | More by alexgash
Photo of Bighuge


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

Clear golden body. Thin, airy white head. Lace comes in rings. Nice mix of malt and hops on the nose. Bready malts with crisp, floral hops. Medium-full body. Active carbonation. Malts are bready and cracker like. Hops add some bitterness and a little bit to this beer. Goes down pretty easy after a workout.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2006 03:11:12 | More by Bighuge
Photo of treedoctor5002


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

AKA "lager of the lakes"
Pours a pretty typical color for a lager with 1" head. Kind of a straw yellow I would say.
This beer is very smooth. The hops and the malt are just exactly how I like a lager to be. This thing has a great malt flavor to it, very much like bread or a biscuit. Very refreshing. I really like this and could probably drink this all day. Highly recommend.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2006 19:28:42 | More by treedoctor5002
Bell's Lager Of The Lakes from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 609 ratings.