1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Midwestern Pale Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Midwestern Pale AleMidwestern Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

769 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 769
Reviews: 132
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 7
Gots: 94 | FT: 2
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:
Beer added by: pschul4 on 11-06-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 769 | Reviews: 132
Reviews by magnusdave:
More User Reviews:
Photo of dankjohn
2.5/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Only leaving a review because of BA's onerous and unnecessary outlier requirements.

Photo of tectactoe
2.76/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

One that I've been reluctant to purchase... or even try, just based on the relatively poor reviews it has. But hey, it's Bell's, so it can't be that bad, right? ....Right?? Midwestern Pale Ale pours out like a foggy pear skin; muddled and overrun by a jungle of small and sifting sediment particles. The porcelain head looks like a cloud, overcasting the unfiltered brew and taking its sweet ol' time to finally settle itself.

The aroma is kind of confusing. And not really in a good way. Mildly sulfuric, toasted bread, pale malt, and a touch of meek, musty hops, reminiscent in my mind of Saaz, or at least some kind of Noble hop. I get a chunky, crisp lager whiff, too, very akin to lagering yeast. Really, this smells like more of a lager than an ale, but not even a *good* one at that. Kind of boring and plain, and not really fitting of the "American Pale Ale" namesake.

Equally disappointing is the flavor, starting off with a combo of light DMS, sulfur, and off-beat graininess - this beer almost tastes like it has been sunstruck... so much for the brown bottle. Metallic notes, musky, and earthy hops that are far too faint with a finishing sucker punch of dirt, crisp yeast, and unexciting pale malt. Light bodied, not a whole lot in terms of palate presence, though the carbonation is crispy and dry, again, giving me that "lager" feel.

Bleh, wow. I'm pretty upset with Bell's on this one. Not at all what I think of when I hear the term "Pale Ale". For a brewery that has released stuff like Two Hearted, Hopslam, and Expedition Stout, you kind of expect more out of their constant rotation pale ale. Instead, we have this boring, bland, mildly off-putting, almost lager-ish but not as good, confusing mess of a beer. Good thing they have so many other great offerings - this one won't be missed.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.8/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #74 (Mar 2013):

Brewed with barley from their own farm, it has a noticeable terroir of sorts—a trend that we hope sticks, as it’s adding dimension to the beer world. Balance and dryness amp up the drinkability to 10. The Earth doesn’t shake, but we’d make this a mainstay in our beer fridge. You can’t get much more American than this.

STYLE: American Pale Ale
ABV: 5.2%
AVAILABILITY: Year-round

LOOK: Hazed pale amber, amazing lacing

SMELL: Orange pith, Asian pears, cracker graininess, mineral, floral, grassy

TASTE: Crispness pops; smooth, grainy, medium body, ample hop bitterness, herbal, dried hay, nutty, dried apricots, peppercorn, very dry finish

Photo of generallee
4.18/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The label on the back has a brief description of the beer and it lists the abv at 5.2%.

Appearance: Midwestern Pale Ale has very thick and creamy off white head which hangs on well. It sits on top of a deep golden/light amber body with some hazing and yeast sediment floating around. As I drink it makes lots of cool lacing on the glass.

Smell: It has a sweet bready and malty character with a light herbal, almost mineral like hop note for balance.

Taste / Palate: Up front it has sweet honey and orange marmalade flavor with a smooth bready base underneath. Light herbal and floral hop notes move in and a good balance of hop bitterness to the finish. It has a solid medium to full body and the palate feels smooth and balanced with carbonation.

Photo of MattyG85
3.83/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: Pours a pale and hazy golden orange with lots of rising bubbles. Big four finger white head with good retention. Leaves a lot of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A bready malt forward aroma that is fairly floral. Sweet pale malts and wheat grains with hints of biscuit, yeast, hay, and crackers. Lightly grassy scent with lemon zest but the hop presence is pretty light. There is a nice floral aroma mixing with the malts. Laid back but decent Blonde style aroma.

Taste: Like the smell indicates, a malty and grainy pale taste. Pale malts and wheat grains with a taste of biscuit, yeast, hay, cereal grains, and crackers. Fairly musty and grassy with some citrus lemon zest. Floral with a very laid back hop bitterness. A nice taste for a lighter wheat style beer.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Crisp, smooth, and slightly drying.

Overall: A decent beer, but its a lot more in the Blonde wheat style than American Pale Ale. Nice floral taste.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured into DFH signature glass; translucent yellow-orange with a thin white head that leaves sticky fine lacing as it fades into a nice ring of foam with lively bubbles feeding it.
Smells of crackery toasted malt, grainy, bit of diacetyl, metallic, slight hint of crisp hops.
Taste is crackery-sweet malt, toasted grain, slight crisp generic hop flavor and a slightly odd flat bitterness.
Mouthfeel is thin and lightly carbonated.
Overall, this is a bit boring. They could have upped the hops considerably without going too bitter, and it would have really expanded the flavor of this one. The simplicity of this beer would make it a good bridge for macro drinkers working their way into craft, though.
It's that type of session beer that you'd drink during a party, when you don't want to have to think about what you're drinking, but still want to drink something palatable.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great looking beer creamy textured soft off white cream colored head settles on a semi clouded amber copper colored body, with thick creamy bands of chunky lacing left sporadically not in any ornate patterns. Aromatics contain pleasant bready malts, a hint of earthiness, toasted nuts with a simple single dimensioned mild citrus hop edge. Pretty pleasant straight forward mildly hopped pale ale, this is trying to showcase their Michigan grown malt and it's tasty no complaints filed here. Bready grains hints of caramel and ample bitterness in the backend to balance it out, earthy herbal flavors from the hops not much else going on here. Mouthfeel is medium to lighter bodied with natural flowing carbonation each sip is inoffensive on the palate as the next. Overall a nice session beer, one meant to be enjoyed more than one at a time and still not exhaust your live or palate.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
11/26/12 on bottle
A- The hazy deep orange body supports a beige sticky film and a carbonation of big bubbles pop of the base of the glass.

S- The pale malt has a hint of hair perm with some pine hops in the finish and a light raw silage aroma grows as the beer opens.

T- The pungent bitterness has a sulfur hint and a pils male with a dry hop spice that starts to come through as the beer opens. The pine hint is a bit stronger in the dry finish and has an astringent quality to it.

M- The light mouthfeel is finished with a tight little fizz

O- This beer is light on hops and is a bit too dry in the pale malt flavor. It is kind of blah tasting and a bit boring to drink.

Photo of Brenden
3.62/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one is a hazy dark yellow, just a bit lighter than amber. On top rests an off-white head somewhere between one and two fingers tall with good retention. Lacing is deposited in thick patches and in pretty impressive density.
Grassiness is big in the aroma, though some floral notes are part of that. There's a mineral edge that reminds me of particular English varietals, though I imagine that's just how it all plays together. There's a bit of sweetness lent from a citrus element and a pithy sort of dryness coming out with a note of rind.
Much the same can be said of the flavor with a few exceptions. This isn't an especially hoppy pale ale, but bitterness picks up in mostly floral and herbal notes. An underlying grains note remains stronger underneath, and a bit of peppery spice from the hops is also more noticeable. There's a touch more sweetness from notes of fruit.
Crispness comes out strong right up front and stays strong. There's also a moderately smooth feel in the light-medium body. Carbonation may have a little too much bite to it, but it works together fairly well.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Packaged on 10/03/13.

A: Pours a hazy golden allowing just a bit of visibility. A white head sits on top of the brew. Lots of tiny bubbles can be seen rising to the surface. Leaves some spots of lacing.

S: Malt forward aroma from the barley in this one. A good amount of grain with a emanating sweetness. Hops are difficult to find.

T: Quite a malty pale ale. Starts with a heavy dose of malt that transitions into a sweetness. A splurge of hops hits you once you swallow bittering the back end.

M: Medium body with average carbonation. Leaves a touch of stickiness after you swallow.

Overall not a very impressive beer but it would be a good transition from macro brews. Glad I got a single bottle.

Photo of mbratt93
3.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A fine pale ale. Not too much of anything. Pretty Midwestern if you ask me.

Photo of dacrza1
3.3/5  rDev -1.5%

DATE REVIEWED: August 24, 2014... GLASSWARE: Barley Creek pint... OCCASION: O’s avoiding a sweep? (NO)...APPEARANCE: fizzy, fuzzy, pocked white head sits atop a noticeably hazy orange-yellow head; lacing is tangible but random... AROMA: funky lemon grass and some resin; bready malts balance the aroma... PALATE:medium-bodied, reasonably lively, and balanced in its mouthfeel--certainly a pale ale... TASTE: a rather straight-forward pale, with enough malt and hop resin to be noticed; beyond that, a rather flat profile that whispers floral notes ...OVERALL: the dude from Pletcher’s suggested this was the weakest of the four casemates, and though this is true, its fourth-place finish is nothing to be ashamed of; a sessionable pale ale that would compliment a variety of foods, seasons or settings...

Photo of BrewMaven
2.91/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Last of the mixer sixer pours a nice looking hazy deep gold. Minimal head that regressed to a ring after a minute or so.

Smell was primarily husky grain and a bit of skunk..Old bottle?

Taste wasn't much better than the smell. Musty with a bit of grainy sweetness and some skunky hops tailing off at the finish.

Medium bodied with pretty dense carbonation.

Not a beer I'd seek out again but still better than the macro garbage.

Photo of tdm168
3.46/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A - orange with a big, soft, pure white cap of dense head that has great retention

S - bready, doughy malt

T - bread, faint toast, citrus, mild hop bitterness; very light flavor

M - light to medium bodied, well carbonated

This is a disappointing pale ale. The flavor is very mellow. It's predominantly malt with a faint hop presence, but there is little to get excited about. It's really easy to knock this back, but it's boring all the same. This won't be a beer I'll pick up again.

Photo of secondtooth
4.23/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy golden with a superlative white head and attractive tree-line lace. Lovely!

Nose is crisp malts and a snappy citrus hops presence. Seems balanced and enticing.

Taste is nicely hopped, but not overly so given the style. I get a complementary malt bill alongside the hops. Overall, a perfectly balanced and exemplary pale ale. Top marks for the style.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an ok beer...nothing to rave about. Probably would be better as a mid summer beer than mid winter. It poured clear gold with thin white head and not much lace. The scent was more grainy with tinge of citrus. Mouthfeel is light and fizzy. Overall...ok

Photo of dbossman
3.71/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Light apricot hue with a large 2-inch, foamy head; nice retention and decent lacing

S: Some floral and citrus hops but mostly loads of bready and toasty malts; they (hops and grains) play well off each other but it's pretty subdued overall

T: More citrus hop bitterness in the flavors--lots more--lemon rind especially; the bready slightly sweet malts them come in and balance things out

F: Medium body and fairly creamy

O: A decent, easy-going pale ale; nice amount of hop bitterness to balance the malts but I wish there was more aromatic hops to put this over the top and make it more than what it ends up being: a decent little beer that is easy to put down and non-offensive but nothing that turns heads either

Photo of russpowell
3.65/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Packaged 11/05/12, qish I'd seen that, shame on Missouri Wholesalers, they let stuff pile up in wharehouses until stock is shifted...

Pours an effervescent amber with 2+ fingers of cream colored head. Slightly hazed, goof head retention & nice lacing

S: Grassyness & lemon peel & a bit of floral hops, the nose was the best part of this beer

T: Light biscuitty malt, grassyness & whispers of lemon up front. Grassyness & wheatyness as this warms, slight peppery spiceyness too. Finishes grassy, a little grainy with lemon zest notes

MF: light/medium bodied & crisp carbonation, decent balance

Refreshing & easy to drink, but nothing special. I'd rather have Boulevard PA which is $2 a sixer cheaper than this & way more flavorful

Photo of ChrisL24481
3.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a golden color and is slightly cloudy. Yeast particles float throughout the glass. A thin, off-white head sat atop the glass. Some lacing remained around the glass.

Aroma - Reminded me of being drinking a SN Pale Ale while playing a round of golf in late spring/early summer. However, the beer does not compare to SN Pale Ale. The smell brought undertones of malt, floral hops, and a little bit of spiciness.

Taste - Similar to the smell; malts and spice with a hint of floral hop flavors in the background.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation. Some bitterness at the end from the hops, but not strong.

Overall - A nice, refreshing pale ale. A decently crafted brew. The appearance was not great, but flavors were there and what I was expecting to get out of the beer. I still prefer the classics like Dale's Pale Ale and SN Pale Ale, but glad I tried this one from Bells.

Photo of hophugger
3.56/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden color, semi-cloudy. Nice head and very nice lacing all around. Aroma is slightly piney and citrus, with a touch of malt. Taste is well balanced between the hop bitterness and citrus and the malt takes a background position as you drink. Carbonation is good and mouthfeel is pleasant and crisp. A touch of grapefruit with this one, nice !!

Photo of morimech
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden color with an attractive two finger head that had good retention before settling to a thin cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left down the glass.

Strong malt aroma that is grainy and slightly musty. A touch of lemon grass as well.

Malt forward flavor. Slightly toasted and bready. A touch of peppery hops add some flavor but this is a malty first beer. Dry character.

Solid body and carbonation. Nice drinkable texture is a nice feature.

Not sure what Bell's was trying to achieve with this beer. Certainly is not going to appeal to beer geeks but I enjoyed the malt profile and I even liked the hops used. Just wish there was more hop balance.

Photo of AUGRAD06
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice Pale Ale by Bell's. Beautiful light golden color with a nice barley, malt smell. Just the right amount of carbonation to leave a slight tingle on your tongue. Taste lingers a little on your tongue which is a pleasant bread flavor without feeling you feeling over stuffed. Overall a great "light beer."

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, some caramel, a bit of hops. Taste is malts, a bit of hops, balanced and easy drinking but not overly flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Dense orange with a strong show of effervesce. Whipped, frothy light tan head remains strong throughout. Lacing is generous.

S: Midwest pale shows an almost midwest flair of fresh barley, dried corn, green corn ears, and pilsner malting.

T: Flavor was bready, nobel hop flowers, faint citrus-straw, light floral lacing on the tongue. Semi-dry citrus flower, hint of stemmy briary, earthy grapes, sweet flashes of grains.

M: Mouthful was bready, lightly powdery pils malting on the tongue. Frothy textured, good carbonation.

O: Overall there is something earthy and midwest, bready, and unique about the hopping here that gives this a midwest feel. Very soothing, laid back, midwest style. A refreshing breaking from the west coast assualt of hops. solid good.

Photo of emerge077
3.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Packaged 10/27/12, so just under two weeks old. It pours into a large mug with a billowing head of white foam, copious tendrils of sticky lacing coating the walls of the glass. The head maintains itself for the duration of the glass. Color is a hazy gold with suspended micro sediment giving in a moderate haze.

Sulfuric aroma when first poured, pretty off putting, although when allowed to sit for a couple minutes the skunkiness dissipates. Left behind is a yeasty chalkiness, raw grain aromas, and some sweet malt presence. Can't say it appeals really.

Smooth feel, light carb and a mild astringency, mild hop bitterness in the aftertaste with some florals and grainy, nutty notes of basic barley malt in the middle. Pretty simple and straightforward as intended, though not especially exciting. The language on the back label calls it a Blonde Ale, despite it's name, which is more fitting for it's stripped down character.

to view more.
Midwestern Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
77 out of 100 based on 769 ratings.