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Midwestern Pale Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Midwestern Pale AleMidwestern Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

508 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 508
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 13.17%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pschul4 on 11-06-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 508 | Reviews: 101 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazed golden with a thin, lasting creamy head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of grain - touch of honey - hint of hay. Pretty clean. Very mild.

The taste is of sweet grain with a honey-like character - a touch of light caramel weaves in and out. Sweetness is balanced by grassy, drying, bitter hop touch in the finish.

It is pretty creamy. Smooth. It has a nice, refreshing lingering dryness.

A sweet, becoming bitter-ish, basic American Pale Ale. It is on the mild/light side of the style spectrum. An easy-drinking, balanced ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 21:32:59 | More by jwc215
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.73/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Clouded golden hue, snowy white head, settles to a slim collar.

Aroma: Large citric notes, some spice, plenty of yeast. Hops and yeast, that's what we've got.

Taste: Full-bodied, full of yeast-y goodness, with plenty of vibrant, citric hop notes bouncing on the palate. Much maltier than the average pale ale, and as it's unfiltered, so much more yeast-ier. I have to wonder, though, if this is different that the other Bell's Pale Ale? Is that retired, and this is it's replacement? Good questions. I'm searching for answers.

Without those, I'm still enjoying it for what it is. Hey, there's gobbledygook on the label, and as it's Bell's, it's probably terse, mysterious, perhaps poetic? Here it comes: "A blond ale reminiscent of the golden fields at harvest--made with Michigan-grown barley and a delicious blend of pale malts with a distinctive spicy, floral aroma and taste. We invite you to reap what we've sown."

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2014 01:44:14 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of BrewMaven
BrewMaven

New York

2.91/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2014 23:51:09 | More by BrewMaven
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

3.33/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bell's in NY is a VERY good thing. Enjoyed from a bells tulip. Bottle date of 12/19 (2 months prior to their ny debut).

Brew poured a really nice semi transparent orange yellow with a big foamy head that hung out and had awesome lacing and visible champagne like carb. Really attractive pale.

Nose is earthy and a bit grainy almost a sweet pilsner like malt.

Taste falls a bit flat from the nose. The grain is huge and over powers everything giving an almost flax like taste. Missing the sweetness of the nise.

A bit dry feel medium bodied

Overall, i love bells and i love that bells is now on the shelf in ny, that being said this beer is not geared towards me as a beer drinker so i dont envision this being in my regular rotation like some of the other bells brews that are now readily available.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2014 03:45:45 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of patpbr
patpbr

Ohio

3.51/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper with a sturdy two finger head.
S - Malts and hints of floral
T - Grains are the most noticeable part of the beer, has a bit of spice.
M - Medium body that finishes fairly smooth.
O - Nothing stands out here, Bells make exceptional beer. This is not one of them.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 01:00:37 | More by patpbr
Photo of brutusmuktuk
brutusmuktuk

Michigan

3.43/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky dark yellow, not much of a head. Aroma is light wheat. Flavor is dominated by wheat with hints of lemon. There is medium carbonation, but with very little hops or bitterness. I find this to be a pretty solid pale ale despite the lack of complexity.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 20:01:43 | More by brutusmuktuk
Photo of maxcoinage
maxcoinage

Illinois

3.29/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured 12 oz bottle (bottled 9/9/13) into shaker pint

a - big fluffly white head, golden color with some noticeable sediment

s - biscuity, malty, slight hop aroma ( might be due to the fact that it's 4 mos old)

t - light malty/bready, lemon, bitter

m - low/medium body, medium carb, bitter finsh

o - ok brew. i've had before fresher and remember it about the same. neighbor left this in my fridge from Christmas party and was getting low so figured it was time to drink it. not sure i'd buy this

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 23:17:07 | More by maxcoinage
Photo of ChrisL24481
ChrisL24481

New Hampshire

3.69/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2014 18:06:42 | More by ChrisL24481
Photo of AUGRAD06
AUGRAD06

Alabama

3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
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."

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 01:22:41 | More by AUGRAD06
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.05/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is golden hued with a half inch or so of head. Scents of bread, grain, mild hops. Pretty clean and easy drinking, though a bit bland. Not a lot of hop character here, though perhaps that is intentional. A bready, grainy beer that may be a nice counterbalance to some chili or spicy wings. Middle of the road.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 19:59:11 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of vette2006c5r
vette2006c5r

Minnesota

3.53/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cooperish color with a nice large lacing head. There is a mild grainy aroma. The taste is the same; very grainy, balanced, strong malt flavors, with hints of hops. Very drinkable and nice body, but rather light in flavor. Overall its a very mild and maltier Pale Ale, nothing to special, but its enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 01:10:04 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

2.86/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a BrewDog cervoise glass. Bottled 26 November 2013.

A: Hazy brown-yellow; darkly translucent. Very little head. Gentle lacing.

S: Lightly sour fruit...citrus? Spoiled tropical fruit? Lightly lagery yeast.

T: Hugely disappointing. Bell's is my favourite brewery, but this is a miss. Light, bland, lightly sour, lagerish. I imagine it might be good on a very hot day as a lawnmower beer.

M: Pretty refreshing.

O: I didn't like it :( -- not recommended. Will not have again.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2013 01:18:27 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of Dodo2step
Dodo2step

Pennsylvania

3.26/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

P- Als of hampden

A- a hazy dark wheat color with yeast suspended throughout. No head and no lacing so I was leary.

S- honey and caramel malts but it has the smell of a lager rather than a pale ale. I though I bought a pale ale.

F- a skunk like flavor in the mouth. the malts taste overbearing and sour. I don't get the caramel or any other flavor that comes through.

M- light bodied and carbonated as well as gassy. It bubbles all the way down like champagne with sour apple malt.

D-Eh....I could do worse but could be much better. less than average beer and I wont buy it again. I love Bells but I think they missed the mark with this one unless they were going for a Budweiser like brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 19:46:43 | More by Dodo2step
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.86/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing label art and branded 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. 5.2% ABV confirmed. Packaged 07/29/13. Reviewed as a pale ale because of the name, though the label description calls it a blond ale.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

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

Pours a one finger wide head of white colour. Disappointingly thin. Lacks creaminess and frothiness. Consistency is smooth. Complexion is decent; not particularly soft or supple. Head retention is average - about 2 minutes. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a hazy nontransparent translucent mango colour. Sort of a reddish orange - kind of hard to pin down. Average vibrance. No floating yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it looks a bit off for a pale ale. Not as light or clear as I'd expect.

Sm: Honey, caramel, pale malts, fruity tones (mainly mango and vague tropical character), a hint of graham cracker, clean yeast, sweet bready malts, and some doughiness from the yeast. Not as hop-forward as you'd expect (and want) in a pale ale.

I'm looking forward to trying it, but it's far from unique or special. I'm a bit concerned at this point.

No alcohol or spices are detectable. A clean inoffensive aroma of average strength.

T: Mango fruit, light pine, and some biting grapefruit citrus notes comprise the bulk of the hop profile. Pale malts, some caramalt, and a light doughy character provide the simple foundation. Lightly resinous. Hints of lime. Decently balanced, with a cohesive but not gestalt build.senses at different points in the structure. The bitterness/sweetness is off, but in different Very simple, lacking complexity, subtlety, nuance, and intricacy.

The doughy yeast character doesn't fit the clean feel you'd want in a good pale. There's even some (admittedly light) alcohol presence here too.

Below average depth and duration of flavour. Average intensity of flavour.

Decently put together, but ultimately quite underwhelming. I'm not a big fan and I'm not sure what they're going for with this one.

Mf: Fairly clean. Crisp, smooth, and wet. Too filling for a pale ale. A bit too heavy on the palate, with too full a body. Doesn't suit the flavour profile or the style all that well. Unrefreshing. Overcarbonated.

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

Dr: Nowhere near as drinkable as a pale ought to be, but fairly downable. I'm glad I just got a single; I wouldn't want another and wouldn't recommend this to friends. A simple swing and a miss from Bell's. Very average.

C

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 03:55:28 | More by kojevergas
Photo of tmm313
tmm313

Georgia

3.43/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Light orange body with a fair amount of unfiltered particles. Poured a thick 2 finger head. Nice lacing.
S- Mainly bready. Super slight touch of citrus and malts.
T- Taste threw me a little. Much sweeter than the nose. Bread, lemony citrus, light orange, and a touch of caramel. Almost sour at times.
M- Medium body. On the creamy side. Dry finish with a strange lightly sour bitterness.
O- This was ok to me. BMC drinkers would probably love it. In fact, it would probably be a good bridge into craft beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2013 20:20:17 | More by tmm313
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz Bottle from Wegmans Dewitt NY for $2

Appearance - Hazy gold colour with an average size white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, grass, lemons

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and hops. There is also some lemon, grass, and some hay/straw.

Overall - Not really a APA, more of a helles or some type of oktoberfest beer. Not what I was expecting. It's an okay beer, just a little boring.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 01:50:09 | More by spinrsx
Photo of Omnium
Omnium

Pennsylvania

2.9/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Hazy gold, 1 finger soapy white head, little lacing.
S - Very little aroma, some bready malt, a little pepper.
T - Watery taste, some bread and biscuit malt, rye, pepper, some other spice, very little hop character.
M - Very thin, watery, forgettable.
O - This is a really lame APA, no good display of hops, weak flavor.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2013 23:30:47 | More by Omnium
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

3.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours hazy yellowish orange with strong fluffy white head. Smell seems off, with some citrus, sweet honey, funkyness. Very little hop influence in the flavor and aroma. A bit sweet, some honey, wheaty flavors, seems slight off, a little yeast, hay. Low to medium carbonation, light to medium mouthfeel. A bit of a miss here by Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2013 02:17:14 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of utopiajane
utopiajane

New York

3.05/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours golden with an orange blush on it. It has quite a bit of sediment and it's very cloudy. The head is fat and off white and fell slowly to a ring and film on top. Left soapy lace. Nose is citrus and a sweet malt. The citrus is faded a bit but it's orange peel and stone fruits. The malt is biscuit and honey on the nose. The taste is muddled. It's got a body that is a bit thick and it travels the palate slowly because of that. It's not crisp or light. The carbonation is prickly and that's a good thing and adds to the drinkability. The fruits combine for an all over citric taste that has a bit of pith and hop floral . The cracker malt starts out strong but then that taste flattens out in the drink and there's hardly any finish. Spice doesn't come forward until mid glass and by then there is a bit of hop oil to add to the slow body. Has a some herbal in the finish. It's just ok.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2013 19:53:12 | More by utopiajane
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

3.53/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy copper hue with a two finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light piney hop and soft sweetness.

The taste consisted of a moderate hop spice, offering notes of pine and grass, atop a light grainy pale malt.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a decent pale ale. Certainly easy enough to drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2013 01:32:44 | More by plaid75
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bell's Midwestern Pale Ale is indeed "reminiscent of the golden fields at harvest" (who knew these guys were poets as well as brewers?!). Its clear, dazzling complexion is sullied only slightly by bottle sediment, the dotting of which is so tiny as to look like nothing more than dust particles. Not much head remains in the glass - most of it looks like it stuck to the glass.

You'd probably expect a Pale Ale from Bell's to be bursting with hoppiness but while this aroma is slightly tinged 'green' it's actually the wholesome, heavenly scent of malted barley that prevails. The beer has a 'bakery-fresh' smell that reminds one of the comforts of warm, fresh bread.

Some styles have flavours that change more often than people do their socks - not Pale Ales. Beers like this are as steady as a beating drum. From aroma to flavour, from the first sip to the last, cold to warm, nothing changes. There's no surprises. This has a hearty maltiness that tastes of grain and bread. Nothing less, nothing more.

Hops are not, however, without any influence. The finish is not sweet, and certainly not bitter either, but cut short by something more than just stiff water minerals. The aftertaste has a trace of herbal leafiness that is very faint and reminiscent of a weakly steeped chamomile tea.

When treading water you lift yourself up by pushing the water down; whereas many microbreweries promote themselves by conceitedly contrasting their products to those of commercial breweries - typically centering on extreme offerings aimed exclusively at the beer geek fringes - Bells is confident to also let their simple, workaday beers speak for themselves.

Although certainly one of the first breweries to re-write the rules, Bells has also won out, as their Midwestern Pale Ale proudly demonstrates, by beating the big guys at their own game. The fact that some brewers overlook is that craft beer doesn't have to be big, different, or rare - lowest-common-denominator beer should be good too. And this is definitely that.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2013 06:25:15 | More by biegaman
Photo of Mojo
Mojo

Alabama

3.8/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -> Samuel Adams Perfect Pint Glass

A - slightly hazy medium gold with some suspended yeast particles, one and a half finger soapy head, pretty good retention, and great lacing.

S - pine, floral, and resin, weak notes all.

T - caramel malts dominate with mild citrus flavors. Finish is mild bitter.

M - great carbonation with a slight bitter aftertaste

O - okay beer if somewhat unremarkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2013 03:01:04 | More by Mojo
Photo of CloudStrife
CloudStrife

New York

3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2013 01:43:53 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

My local, in-person trader, tone77, dropped this off for me and I could not be happier! It gives me a chance to riff on a number of subjects, not the least of which being the American Midwest.

First, let's see what his eminence, Larry Bell, has to say - From the Bottle: "A blond ale reminiscent of the golden fields at harvest - made with Michigan-grown barley and a delicious blend of pale malts with a distinctive spicy, floral aroma and taste. We invite you to reap what we've sown." The label depicts a "Painting of Bell's Brewery Farm [in] Shepherd, MI.

I love the midwest! It is my last bastion of hope in a dying country which I defended until retirement from the U.S. Navy. We (surprisingly) do not have much of a naval presence in the midwest, hence my infrequent visitation, but every time that I have been, I wanted to stay. I enjoy the down-to-earth attitudes which convey a simple, no-frills mentality. The people are polite, but blunt in that if they do not like you or disagree, they will tell you so without beating around the bush. Back east, we tend to be blunt and impolite, leading to fisticuffs, while out west, I am not sure that people have opinions, just random thoughts in generalities. Some of my best bumper has come from the midwest, including The Hoosiette, The Old Lady, Doll Face, and Cowgirl. I am planning a joint 21st/50th birthday party with Val Midwest to be held in her hometown of Lincoln, NE on 28 Feb 2015 and people are welcome to join us. When I finally untether the blimp of PA, I am on a beeline to the midwest, never to be heard from again. Onward!

I initially netted just over a finger of dense, tawny head with good retention, but as I noodled around in my usual inimitable fashion, it slowly fell, leaving dense, sticky lacing in its wake. Color was a slightly hazy honey-yellow (SRM = > 7 < 9). Nose had a distinctive spiciness, almost like pepper, definitely from the hops. Mouthfeel was silky smooth, notable in the style when so many try to emulate a hoppy AIPA. The taste was evocative of midwestern ladies' hips, lips and fingertips - tangy with an earthiness that can only be developed on the farm. Yum. Ah, languorous nights in coupling like freight cars ... Big, corn-fed gals who would purr like cats and give off heat like human generators. Thankfully, no corn was evident in this beer, but the hops were definitely there in force. The finish was minty, almost tea-like in its mellowness, very much peppermint and spearmint and I was suddenly rendered very sleepy. May I wake up in a barn or atop a haystack reprising Cowgirl's action.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2013 07:52:16 | More by woodychandler
Photo of Chiefy770
Chiefy770

Illinois

3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle (bottled on 8/01/2013) into a pint glass.

A rather thin, yet stable white foam head sat on top of a hazy, dark gold body.

The aroma was dominated by the malts with a front of a floral-herbal blend.

The grains stood out in the taste. A good hit of citrus in the aftertaste.

Overall: Not bad. Interesting flavor balance. The relatively light body makes this a great APA to throw back on a sunny afternoon.

Bottom Line: Good brew, nothing to write home about though.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2013 23:06:24 | More by Chiefy770
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Midwestern Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
77 out of 100 based on 508 ratings.