Bell's Pale Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

620 Reviews
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Bell's Pale AleBell's Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by SheepNutz on 12-11-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 620 | Ratings: 1,201
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.75/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The color's that of ripe apricot, the head a solid, stocky white. Aromas are explosive, spinning off citrus, primarily grapefruit, orange, lemon, and a whiff of spice. A downright friendly finish, that meets you, and greets you and treats you right. Awash in bitter, but fruity flavor, with a sensational, and long lasting drizzle of hops. Fresh, sea-foamy nose. Light body, excellent texture and mouthfeel, full of that unexplainable effervescence that permeats all of Bell's ales. It's got to be that yummy, yummy yeast. One hell of a great pale ale!

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Photo of dwarbi
4.73/5  rDev +37.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a spectacular looking beer! Pours a creamy head. Looks like a mogul-covered ski slope. Except it's not downhill. It looks like there is a storm in the cloudy peach-colored beer. The head refuses to settle. It's there as I drain the glass. Smells wheaty and slightly of apricot. Tastes fantastic. This may be best traditional pale ale I have had. Very complex. Somewhat bitter aftertaste. I think I need to head to Kalamazoo. I'll bring my kazoo.

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Photo of unionturf
4.56/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Bros gave this bad reviews? Must have got a bad batch, wow. Got a 6 pack and tried it tonight.

Smell is citrus, poured with a nice 1" head and good lacing. Looks think with bubbles floating in the glass. Hoppy taste but very well balanced and good!

I am becoming a big Bell's fan, I wonder how good this would be on tap or cast? Next are the Bells weekend. :)

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Photo of Murph
4.53/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours hazy bright golden color with tiny bits of yeast suspended and a perfect sized pillowy white head that last most of the way down the glass. Light floral and spicy hops smell. The hops attack the tongue first thing but are then nicely followed by just enough malt to balance this one. The spicy hops make this refreshing and crisp and a great summertime brew. Extremely drinkable and thirst quenching. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries. Thanks to Deuce for the sample.

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Photo of blackie
4.53/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: The head is white as I pour the beer off the sediment. The beer is a golden, light amber and there is some haziness.

smell: I notice a nice and clean floral hop aroma, in a nice amount. There is some malt sweetness and a slight spiciness. Some herbal notes and maybe some fruit (cherry?). Smells awesome, and is complex for an APA.

mouthfeel: The beer is well carbonated and is medium in body.

taste: The hops and malt are perfectly balanced. The taste is clean and crisp, but with loads of flavor. The finish is clean and slightly bitter.

drinkability: refreshing and drinkable

Great APA, the best I've ever had. Batch # 6882. Traded from Reavis after his trip to see dirtylou in Chicago.

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Photo of Rzzzzz
4.47/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass. Color is deep gold to light amber. Nice foamy white head. Pleasant pale malt aroma with a good dose of piney hops. Flavor is nice and malty with notes of citrus and spices. Finish is a lingering bitterness. Or is it the sweetness that lingers? It's both. Nicely balanced and very refreshing. Subtle carbonation makes for a nice mouthfeel. An easy drinker.

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Photo of adamette
4.43/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Live review. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle that I purchased as a single for about $1.50 from Cost Plus World Market in Mentor, Ohio. Poured into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass.

A 3 inch foamy head over a nice looking opaque yellow orange body with sediment visibly floating around, likely yeast by the smell. I really like this look and I am pleasantly surprised by this mature craft beer look (I had only expected a basic APA look).

S A Saison like wheat grain smell over a medium malt and no hops that I can smell. Very inviting and much better than what I had expected.

T Again, a saison like taste of wheat, grains (likely yeast) but the taste carries a bit more of the hops that I did not smell. They are well balanced with the other pleasant light malt, grains tastes. This is a well crafted beer.

M Medium and a bit thicker than other APA's I have had. I really like the mouthfeel.

D Really high. I mean reasonably low ABV, great, interesting tastes, what more could anyone ask for in terms of drinkability?

Notes: This is superior to SNPA.

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Photo of zerk
4.42/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy gold, with a persistent fluffy white head that leaves a fair amount of lace. Aroama is full of toasted malt, cut grass, and spices. Flavor begins as bread dough, then becomes herbal and bitter. The flavors balance quite well. Mouthfeel is just slightly rough and somewhat oily, with a medium body. This is a most excellent pale ale, that I could drink all night long. Kalamazoo does it again!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.4/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ok now this was a good Pale Ale. Perhaps my favorite style, whether I choose to admit it or not, I was thrilled when I saw this come in a package. It had been forever since I tried a good pale that I had not had, and let alone a Bell’s I was stoked. Poured a nice very hazy golden amber with about two inches of white head on top. A nice slow fade gave way to copious side glass lace and a nice film across the top. You could tell it was nice due to ample carbonation consistently replenishing it. Great fresh aroma, with lots of floral hops and a good bit of grain in the back. The taste followed through pretty much the same. Great floral hop flavor hit you right away, but it was very light and refreshing, nothing overbearing about it at all. Nice underlying grain base had a touch of sweetness to it which gave it some good depth. Smooth, crisp finish with a nice lingering bitterness. Great light bodied feel and amble carbonation made it very light and refreshing and kept you wanting to come back for more. This was easily a session ale with no issues. Overall I was very impressed here. This was an awesome pale that was more the adequately hopped and really had a great profile. I would love to have this on tap in my house, it would really be something that would go well for a large gathering of friends or during a game. Highly recommended here.

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Photo of plaid75
4.4/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a deep straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a very doughy malt and spicy hop.

The taste was upfront grainy, yet biscuity malt with a vibrant grassy and herbal hop.

The mouthfeel was clean and dry.

Overall a very tasty, simple and quaffable pale ale.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.4/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Acquired via concurrent trades from both biegaman & Frozensoul327, so a big “Thank you” goes out to them. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy gold color with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of citrus, caramel and a decent amount of hops.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with flavors fruity citrus, sweet caramel and a moderate hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty but still on the lighter side. The after-taste is hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good representation of style, I could put away several of these, this is very good beer to stick with for an evening.

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Photo of Phatz
4.38/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is quite possible my favorite Pale Ale to date.

Appearance: Pours a golden orange color with a huge white fluffy head and loads of lacing.

Smell: It has a rich nose of malt, yeast, orange an other citrus flavors along with a hint of honey and flowers.

Taste: It has an interesting sweet banana yeast citrus flavor that remind me of Oberon on the very front but then it instantly gets more grapefruit. It is completely unique and I would have a hard time classifying it as a pale ale. It is buttery and creamy; but what do you call Oberon meets an IPA and a Blonde ale? The aftertaste has a lingering bitterness that keeps me salivating.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally smooth with a citrus dry tingle and bold finish.

Drinkability: Wow! I am not always big fan of Pale Ales but this one is certainly and exception. I may end up with another case of this stuff. =)

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of inebrius
4.38/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Veiled peach with a thin, sticky head. Tasty hops and toasty malts are indelibly stamped on this smooth, easy-drinking pale. The cleanest APA to ever cross my buds. Can you say "session"?

Cheers to Deuce for the sample!

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Photo of AudioGilz
4.34/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's pretty cloudy and straw/orange in color. The head is huge, has a good retention and awesome lacing. What a kick ass aroma this has! It's citrusy and yeasty, I really enjoy it. There's a wonderful smoothness to this beer, medium carbonation and mouthfeel. I really enjoy the spicy hop character, also fruity in a way. This character follows pleasant malt character. It's kind of odd for the style to me, but I really enjoy it regardless. It's an awesome beer.

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Photo of BeerHonky
4.33/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a traditional pint glass. Beautiful golden pale orange with a frisky, fluffy white head that laces itself all over the glass and top of your remaining beer. Trademark Bell's yeasty suspension as well. The nose is partially full of light, fresh citrus aromas and dry spice. Imagine the misty aroma you get when you bend the peel of a lemon or orange. Not a whole lot of hops present in the aroma, although they are slightly detectable. There is also a slight whiff of dry malt. A light and smooth body carries, what you can tell is, a brew that has been created by a smart brewer. Light hop flavor hints of aromatic citrus fruits as mentioned above. A well balanced, and again very light, malt sweetness supports the hops and does not overpower. Finishes super clean with a nice dry, fresh husk flavor. This has got to be one of the cleanest and freshest beers I've ever tasted. One could easily have a fantastic session with this beer on a very hot summer day.

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Photo of oelergud
4.33/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy golden straw body with lots of carbonation. Huge white head with good retention and great lace. Slightly rocky and multi bubbled.
Mild grain, flower and bread scent. Well balanced.
Nice and pleasant taste. Mild and gentle hops floating on a sea of malts. Great spiked aftertaste with a hit of a resin character.
Good medium mouthfeel. Abit of coating and slightly dry.
Great warm weather session beer. I could put a couple of these away with ease.


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Photo of seanyfo
4.32/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle brought back by my good friend Feech from his summer trip to Kentucky

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

A - Hazy yeasty orange blonde with 2 finger creamy head that reduces quickly to a crown. Lacing is good to very good

S - Danish pastry bakery sweetness. Some fruity citrusness. A little peach and orange. Hint of spice.

T- The flavour that immediately hits is ginger!! With an underlying citrus bitterness. This fades quickly to the bakery pastry sweetness.

M- Moderate to high carbonation with light body.

D- An interesting flavour profile which is very refreshing. Light body and its higher carbonation help making this a lovely summer refresher.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.3/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

got a single 12 oz bottle of this from Warehouse Beverage recently. Poured into my pint glass. This beer pours a clear, fairly light gold color. Head 1/2 inch when poured and settles to a nice surface layer. Some definite sediment at the bottom of the glass here. Decent lace. Has a bit of a spicy aroma with malts, followed by some floral hops. Fairly sweet malt flavor upfront along with some hints of clove and maybe a bit of brown sugar or maple. The taste is rounded out by with a nice citrus hop flavor, which come out more as the beer warms up. Good balance of flavor here, somewhat simple but very good. Has a crisp and smooth, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink.


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Photo of bnes09
4.3/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange with yeast flakes swimming in the brew. Pours an inch of head with excellent retention and a thick, creamy lacing.

Smell's of yeast and lemon.

Lays down a blanket of citrus with a bold and spicy hop character. The yeast and malt mellow the brew out and provide a pleasing aftertaste.

Relatively light-bodied and mildly carbonated. Hops dry the palate to finish it off.

The drying effect makes it hard to resist another sip. I have never had an unfiltered pale ale like this before and the yeast added a nice touch to all aspects of the brew. A solid pale ale that is slightly unique yet still a classic example of the style.

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Photo of zakery
4.3/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A big fluffy and not so persistent head on a hazy (from the yeast) and golden brew.

Smell: The first whiff is pure yeast as it comes out of the bottle. The yeast smell soon disappears and gives way for a slightly sweet citrus and apricot smell. Very appetizing.

Taste: Malt sweetness, apricot, flowery hops with a very nice hop bitterness to round it off.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a good bit of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very quaffable.

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Photo of gat1240
4.3/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I cannot believe all the reviewers out there who dis this beer. The people I have sampled it with all like this beer. First off, it's unique. It's not your typical west coast over hopped cascade boring beer. Frankly I don't know what hops are in it but the taste is very distinctive and kind of citrusy but not like the so called west coast citrus which is more like pine in my opinion. The beer is full tasting not thin as suggested by some who of the reviewers.The guy who owns that beer distributor in the South Hills of Pittsburgh area says it's his favorite beer. He has dozens of craft beers ,most of them more expensive and that's the one he drinks. It is fresh tasting and doesn't have that typical caramel sweetness. This beer is similar in some ways to Bell's Oberon, another fine example. To conclude if you beer drinkers think that over hopped beers like Sierra Nevada are the alpha and omega of your beer desire don't buy this. If you like a fresh tasting, satisfying and pleasant experience out of the norm then you MUST go buy this beer. I go to California every year and because it is not distributed there as yet I have to suffer the experience of drinking all those IPA that pretty much taste the same.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.3/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the Charleston Beer Exchange.
Batch # 9133 Bottled on 5/12/09

Pours with a nice light white head that's 2+ fingers thick. Slowly fades to a thin film across the beer. Clumps of lacing everywhere. Light gold/amber color, good clarity and no visible carbonation.

Aroma is very nice. Floral, fruity, slight yeast, slightly doughy.

Really nice Pale Ale. Lots of fruity esters, Great bread like taste. Light citrus notes, nice hop bitterness that melds well with the light toasted malt flavor. Very well balanced. I really enjoy this APA.

Light body, refreshing mouth feel, slight carbonation.

Very drinkable and one that I would like to have again. A very fresh tasting beer. A good session brew.

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Photo of chickenflea
4.26/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is a mixture of sweet citrus, flowers and bread. Medium white frothy head. Beautiful hazy golden color. I would not be surprised at all if there was a little wheat in here to smooth out the texture. Mouthfeel is a little too smooth for the style, but it is wonderful on the palate. Tastes like a sharpened Oberon. Moderate carbonation. Very, very dry taste. Healthy bitterness. Smooth with gentle spiciness. Excellent hoppy finish. This might be my new favorite summer beer. Clean and refreshing, good, above-average PA. An excellent beer.

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Photo of mynie
4.25/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional pour, especially for the style. A bright golden orange that's a shade uncommon to beers but very sparkly and pretty and covered with a remarkably retentive white soapy head.

Smells like crisp grain. Nice and crisp, but whoa where are the hops? This is supposed to be an APA, right?

The hops come through a little bit in the taste, thank god. The grain starts things off, sunshine fruity with hints of hay and flowers. The hops come in near the back, light and dry, and are followed up by an end of very crisp fruit yeast. Wow, that yeast is really great, like something you'd normally find in a Belgian only not bogged down by hops or alcohol. Bitterness is present in the aftertaste.

Nice. Certainly not what I'd expect from an APA, but an interesting take on the style.


As I came to know this beer, it's smell proved only to break my narrow expectations of the style, not to be anything less than wonderful.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.23/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Burnt orange body with a nice haze of yeast. The head is frothy and orangish white.

S - Smooth malt and hops aroma with a hint of citrus.

T - Nonabrasive hops flavor with a hint of citrus, malt and apricot.

M - Goes down with ease that begs sip after sip.

~ I'm a big fan of this brew. I could kick back with a six pack and a Brewers game while enjoy a nice evening on the porch, no doubt!

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Bell's Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.43 out of 5 based on 1,201 ratings.
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