Pale Ale
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Pale AlePale Ale
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Pale Ale - American
3.43 | pDev: 14.58%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Pale AlePale Ale
Reviews: 622 | Ratings: 1,203 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From old, undated notes. Poured from the bottle.

Very malt forward, both in scent and taste.

Almost has a burnt chocolate smell in fact!

Lager-ish light golden color; pretty murky.

Nice lacing!

Thin mouthfeel; nice slight carbonation bite.

A bit of a corn-like flavor seeps in.

Nice enough on a summer day but not going to blow anyone away.

Jul 05, 2019
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.22/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

When I looked at the style information on this website, I looked to see if it went as an English pale ale. That really tells you where this review is headed doesn't it?

So, back in 2001 when I arrived in the Midwest, there were a few beers that could rock the hopwagon. For whatever reason, Bell's was putting all their hoppy eggs in the Two Hearted and Hopslam baskets. This shit was like an afterthought. Poured a honey like color that revealed a bit more malt than you standard pale ale or even ipa in this day and age. Was the malt toasted more, did they go Golden Promise, did they use the similar colored honey malt? All three? Who knows, but the bottom line, this beer was decidedly on the maltier side of balance compared to those hop monsters from the turn of the century in Kalamazoo.

So where did this beer find its niche? Well, it wasn't overly bitter, it did showcase a decent grain collection, get your loving imagery of the grain elevator and shit in the heartland and bam here you go. What was this hopped with? Liberty or something similarly tame? Either way, it was a pale ale that leaned away from the hops like its brothers.

Dec 26, 2018
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TryThemAllOnce from California

2.39/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, packaged date 9/92015 - (over 4 months ago... uh oh.) Poured into a snifter glass.

Never tried any products from Bell's until this one, apparently a poor choice. It does little in any area to impress, very quickly disappearing head, little aroma, a bit over-carbonated, and worst - just does not taste great or even interesting. One of my worst recent buys. Sad that there are 5 more bottles to not enjoy. Will someone take them away?

Jan 26, 2016
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.59/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

{from notes}
A good looking pale ale with a hazy, yellow-golden body topped by a good head.

The aroma is, perhaps lightly mild for a APA and slightly more yeasty. The flavor is mildly fruity and spicy. The hops mainly come out in the finish and aftertaste.

Feel: a bit too light bodied but well set carbonation level.

O: very good.

Nov 13, 2015
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VABA from Virginia

3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours an amber color with a nice head and lacing.
A-Aroma has abundant pine and malty hints
T-The taste follows the nose with pine and malty flavors
M-A medium bodied beer with a nice amount of carbonation
O-A well made beer.

Aug 16, 2015
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

3.26/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

(on tap at Pistola's - served in a shaker pint)

A: fairly cloudy with dry hop residue... sun-baked golden grass color... lazy stand of head, falls flat... looks messy, raw, amateur

S: a bit flat - old dry malt, farmyard grass... dried flowers, dried citrus peel hop aromas peeking through

T: grassy-sepal, green tea-like hop bitterness - unmistakable dry hop source... hop flavors are pretty straight-up wildflower with a tinge of citrus... they weren't lying, the malt is full, bread loafy, and bold - the bitterness cuts through over it, but still some sloppy balance is maintained

M: nearly medium-bodied, added roundness from hop polyphenols, etc... tannic bitterness shocks the tongue a bit... protein-grainy flow

O: kinda like a pale ale done like a rustic, homespun saison - reminds me of Hof Ten Dormaal's Blond that I had recently, just with slightly different yeast character and more biting hop bitterness

May 21, 2014
Photo of MJCF26
MJCF26 from New York

2.76/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Nothing incredibly special about this brew. It has some bitterness to it that gives it some depth, but for the most part it comes across somewhat hollow and leaves me a little underwhelmed...ESPECIALLY in comparison to the vast array of Bell's other delicious beers.

Feb 21, 2014
Photo of jdb288
jdb288 from New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Bells. Pours gold with minimal head. Aroma is pine, hay, citrus. Taste is sweet orange and toasty malt. Not anything to complain about here. Probably the most popular of our testers.

Review is actually for Larry's Latest Pale Ale which is not on BA yet.

Jan 17, 2014
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Axnjxn from North Carolina

3.05/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at bottle revolution in raleigh.

pale yellow color...big head. not much of a nose at all. taste is incredibly boring and plain. not much to write home about. medium bodied with medium carbonation.

overall a bland pale that I wouldn't recommend. I had it free, so I can't complain, but I wouldn't return to this.

Jun 17, 2013
Photo of carolinared
carolinared from North Carolina

3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

First impressions was positive with a thick, creamy head and very nice malty aroma.

But, taste was only OK. To me, not well balanced between malt and hops - on the bitter side, and nothing complex to enjoy. Seemed a bit astringent and even metallic. Hazy, darkish color in glass again pretty ordinary.

OK beer, but nothing really good I could say about it.

Jun 01, 2013
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patpbr from Ohio

3.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

New packaging since my original experence with the beer. Hazy golden color and a grainy aroma? A bit of malt character that finishes with a bitter bite. Grainy malt and some sweetness. Not one of the better bells offerings and maybe priced higher because of the bells name? Worth a try, goes down easy.

Dec 19, 2012
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larryarms847 from Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow. Nothing to look at.

Aroma matches appearance in that it doesn't look very good, and the subtle grainy, bready aroma does nothing to entice.

Flavor is totally lacking. Malt forward but not even good.

Light-bodied, medium carbonation, crisp, grainy.

Overall, a swing and a miss for Bell's.

Dec 09, 2012
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very hazy medium to dark golden yellow in color with some light amounts of orange highlights, a light to moderate amount of small light yeast particles in suspension, and light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a almost two finger tall creamy off-white head that slowly reduces to a medium thick patch, a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer, and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aroms of bready and grainy malts with just a touch of citrus/orange rind hops.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of bready and grainy malts with just a touch of sweetness. There is a a light presence of citrus/orange rind hops that contribute very little bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: This is a very sessionable APA that I would be happy to put down all evening long, enjoyable but not overly complex and the hops are not as big as in some other offerings in the style. Easy to drink with the less intense flavors/aromas and well hidden alcohol.

Dec 04, 2012
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
Goblinmunkey7 from Massachusetts

2.85/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pale gold. Perfectly clear. Head is small, bright-white and drops to a super thin cap in short order. Some minor lacing. Moderate carbonation pulls for the duration.

Smell: Super pale malts. Vaguely bready and biscuity. Some cracker like malts as well. Dustings of citrus with a minor earthy element. Orange rind. Slightly grassy. Very mild. Runs closer to my idea of a blonde than an American pale.

Taste: Pale, pale malts. Mild white bread and snappy cracker. Nice backing of citrus rind, again mainly orange, with some herbal undertones. Vaguely grassy and some mild spice. Incredibly mellow. Some raw grain and huskiness as well. Floral.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Lingering dryness that pushes close to aspirin. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: It's pale and it's an ale.

A rather unexciting take from Bell's. Pale and pushes toward a typical APA, but ultimately falls a little short. It's still decent to drink, but there are better options for the same price.

Dec 03, 2012
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nUgZ from North Carolina

2.98/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy yellow color with a 1 finger head and decent lacing.

S: Very light aromas of hops and malts. Not a whole lot going on here.

T: The flavors are just as light as the aromas. Faint hops and malts...grainy for the most part.

M: Medium bodied with too much carbonation.

O: I have to say I'm quite disappointed. I expected much more from Bell's. It's not a bad beer, but there's nothing impressive about it. Bland smell, bland taste, and too much carbonation. I won't be buying this again.

Nov 28, 2012
Photo of Mavigo
Mavigo from Michigan

3.48/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint, let's see how this goes.

A: Pours a cloudy, honey yellow color, with a short off white head that lasts a while along with good amounts of lacing.

S: Smells grainy, like wheat, bit of malts and hops, very light aroma, really have to sniff around

T: Light flavor, basically grains, bread, wheat, that's about it

M: Over carbonated, not a fan of carbonation, its pretty crisp and refreshing but too much carbonation, just too much for me

O: It's pretty decent, I'd opt for this over almost all mainstream beers, but from what I've experienced from Bell's, I expected much more, but not terrible, not at all.

Nov 17, 2012
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tronester from Oklahoma

3.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden orange with a creamy, thick, off-white head. Aroma is quite bad, skunky smelling. Taste is much better, a light cracker malt, followed by some pine and citrus hops. Mouthfeel is good. Overall a decent beer, that would be much better without the bad aroma.

Nov 16, 2012
Photo of AmitC
AmitC from New York

3.25/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Fairly average stuff.

Pours a pale golden color. Little head, less than a finger thick. A good amount of carbonation. Not to my liking. Yeast clouds throughout, especially at the bottom.

Smell : Pretty average pale ale stuff. In fact much lighter on the hops. Little floral and a lot of grains.

Taste : Very much the same as smell. Nothing great to write about. Not very bitter. Regular grain stuff. Decent amount of hops for a ale ale. But then, there are much better beers in the same style.

Mouth feel : Medium bodied feel. Carbonation kills the likability.

Oct 21, 2012
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SolipsismalCat from Pennsylvania

3.79/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy golden yellow with lots of small particles and three-finger, off-white, creamy, foamy head that lasted many minutes. Excellent lacing.

S: Citrus hops.

T: Light sweetness and moderate to solid bitterness. Other than that, a mild taste.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Super smooth, probably from all those particles.

O: I thought this was a pretty good pale ale. I like how there were so many particles and the head was excellent. The taste was a little dull though.

Oct 21, 2012
Photo of obywan59
obywan59 from Virginia

3.45/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dirty yello with a receding, but nicely chunky head, and substantial carbonation. and lacing

The aroma is sweet and toasted grain. Simple, but nice.

Mostly bitter in the taste, with bare hints of citric hops, and sweet malt.

The beer seems medium to medium light in body, and gives a light carbonation burn in the fhroat. Fairly drying in the mouth.

This beers not all that complex, but it's a decent session brew.

Oct 02, 2012
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claspada from New Jersey

3.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Lost Dog in Virginia.

Pours a golden amber color with a finger of white head that dissipates leaving some spotty lacing.

Aromas begin with some floral hops and a little bit of citrus. As it warms you also get some sweet notes, primarily in the form of bready maltiness.

The tastes begin with mainly generic bitterness without much hop (or malt) flavor to balance it out. As it warms you get quite a strong herbal hoppiness as well as some floral notes. A little bit of bread and malt come through as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is mainly dry and generically bitter.

Overall this is just too generically bitter without any of the good hop flavors that make pale ales enjoyable. Fine to have on draft with lunch for $5 but nothing I would want in a 6 pack amount.

Sep 17, 2012
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

3.15/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me a bottle

Consumed 9/14/12

Appearance: Mostly gold, with some light amber - mostly clear, slightly hazy - pours with a bubbly white head, leaves a bunch of spots

Smell: Pale, pale malts and some grass - malt profile smells like a blonde ale - herbal, grassy hops, with some touches of light citrus, mostly orange rind

Taste: Very pale malts - raw grains with some undercooked crackers - some bitterness from a less than endearing hop profile - herbal, grassy, lightly spicy - some touches of light citrus, but mostly just spicy, lightly sweet grass - slightly watery and seltzer-like

Mouthfeel: On the heavier side of light, a touch overcarbonated, kind of a weird grassy aftertaste

Overall: Good, but I'd call this a blonde

While I would like to pretend to myself that I don't frequently whine about styles, this has some style issues. This smells and tastes like an American Blonde Ale. And it's not great, even for that style. It isn't bad, though, but typically when I drink a beer from Bell's, I start to feel sad that I can't get it on the East Coast. I won't be sad to not drink this again anytime soon.

Sep 14, 2012
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tigg924 from Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1 inch head, gold in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: honey, grass, and sweet malt

Taste: toasted pale malt, sweet meadow, caramel, and grass

Mouthfeel: moderate-high carbonation, light bodied, sweet start that goes bitter fairly quickly

Overall: A solid, clean, and enjoyable pale ale. One at a session is good for me, however if you are looking for a pale, this is certainly worth a shot.

Sep 06, 2012
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SerialTicker from Michigan

3.41/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: For aggressive pourers, beware -- this thing forms a gigantic creamy looking head you wouldn't believe. It also has some really nice lacing. The beer itself is a cloudy yellow/orange color.

Smell: Very faint... just very slight floral notes as well as spice.

Taste: Much like the smell, but heavier on the spice. The best part about it is the aftertaste. Overall though, it tastes a bit watered down.

Mouthfeel: As I just said, feels a little watered down. Leaves me wanting more, even from a pale ale. As a pale ale, it's an average one at best.

If someone were to tell me this were Bell's, I wouldn't have guessed it, based on some of their others beers I've had. Regardless of that, it's still a solid beer I'd very gladly have again.

Sep 04, 2012
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VoodooBear from Puerto Rico

2.81/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle, bottling date on the back label. Served in a seidel.

Appearance: Rich gold color, fairly cloudy, but not too much. One finger of head that leaves strong thick lacing all over the glass even at the bottom when you finish up, it's beautiful. Very much alive, when swirled it brings up the aromas and a strong amount of foam to the top.The strongest point of this beer.

Smell: Not much smell from this one. Just a plain scent, mostly of grain with a bit of hops and a floral hint.

Taste: Very strong in the hop department. Some floral taste can be perceived and a certain spiciness as well. It's quite bitter, a bit too much from what I've perceived in this style (APA). It leaves a spicy taste in the back of the tongue after every sip.

Mouthfeel: It's full and strong, not what I've grown accustomed to with Pale Ales. I wish I could say it's a "nice" surprise but it's not. There's a good amount of carbonation and the finish is smooth.

Overall: It's a decent beer, but not a very good American Pale Ale. I can't say I disliked it, but it didn't blow me away either. I'd recommend this to people that find most Pale Ales lacking a certain "kick", but not to the average beer drinker.

Sep 03, 2012
Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 1203 ratings