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

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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.

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Reviews: 620 | Ratings: 1,201
Photo of robhunta
1.84/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured a yellow hue filled with hundreds of white specs. I'm not sure if this is a bottle conditioned beer, but even if it is the white specs suspended in the beer were not typical sediment found in bottle conditioned beers. Very little aroma other than skunk. Tastes very skunky with some hops flavor. Light mouthfeel, drinkable because its light, but not so much because it is skunked and generally not good.

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Photo of Efeswasmy1st
1.88/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from bottle, appearance is golden with small amount of white head. Sediment hangs throughout pour. Should there be sediment? and this much? Or did I get a bad bottle in my Pick Six?
Aroma is a lot of bread, some wheat, a little hop.
Taste is very lightly bitter and oily feeling.
Falls flat for a pale ale.

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Photo of Gump
1.97/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Chunky sediment remains suspended in the pour, creating what looks like a glass of sea monkeys.
Flavor quickly leaves my mouth, making me wonder what I just tasted.
Some hop taste but lacks sweetness.

Bought as a single bottle. No freshness date, but I think this was a left-over from long ago.

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Photo of Slygato
2/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Apperance- Has a light amber color to it and leaves little head

Smell- Grainy and some hops not much to this beer

Taste- Has a variety of tastes all into one, grains, spicy malts, and fruit doesn't taste well

Mouthfeel- Goes down smooth not much carbonation

Drinkability- Would not drink this again try it once and be done with it

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Photo of bcgoldtoe
2.07/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A= Straw yellow with a two finger head but it doesn't last and lacing is sparse

S= Not bad, smells like grassy herbs. No malt.

T= Too much like an IPA. Too bitter and not enough malt. Grapefruit bitter aftertaste

M= Awfully watery for an ale, feels more like a lager in the mouth

D=If you like watery grapefruit, it's ok

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Photo of silenius
2.22/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Geez, why did I buy a whole six pack of this before trying out one first!?!?

Bell's is so good with anything but pale ale it seems. I was disappointed with their Third Coast and I'm disappointed with this beer.

The beer pours with a short-lived head and so many yeasty floaties that at first I thought they were carbonation bubbles in the glass. The beer itself is a light brass.

I smell barnyard on the nose and some citric hops. I don't find barnyard offensive since I drink enought Cotes-du-Rhone to find it "interesting."

The taste is underwhelming with mostly an off-bitter component that fails to satisfy.

Mouthfeel is fine, nothing notable about it really.

I certainly won't be buying another one of these. This is better than, say, Coors, but that's about all the compliment I can give it.

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Photo of UDbeernut
2.23/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

batch 9162, brewed in june. Poured into a pint glass

a: blond/light amber color, foamy 1/2" head with fair retetnion

s: light camalized malt, slightly citrus. grain husk

t: This is a rough pale ale. Large amount of tannin that cut the palate. hops cut in with slight citrus and spice. Then more tannin arrive.

m&d: light to medium bodied, good carbonation. Drinkable

I will never drink this ever again. The grain tannins are heavy and cast all other flavors aside.


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Photo of MKEHophead
2.24/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a pale golden color into snifter. Decent frothy head. Noticed lots of carbonation.

Smell: Not much picked up besides a faint maltiness from the grains. Very bland aromas. couldn't detect much of anything.

Taste: Bitter dry hop flavor. Not a whole lot flavors going on here which is rather disappointing for Bell's which produces some very good Ales (namely Two Hearted & Hopslam). So I was hoping for more flavor. Instead I tasted a very dry/heavy carbonated pale ale without much balance or flavor. Very earthy taste with no hint of fruit.

Mouthfeel: A rather boring pale Ale. The dryness really dominates this brew and lingers for a longtime on the tongue.

Drinkability: The brew is drinkable, but not very memorable. I would not seek this one out by any means. There are so many better APAs out there that are much more enjoyable. Thank goodness for mixed bottle 6-packs.

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Photo of dasenebler
2.25/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I know it's frowned upon to have expectations going into reviewing a beer. However, I couldn't help but think that this beer would be a hoppy pale ale, especially coming from the brewers of Two Hearted and Hopslam. Boy, was I wrong.

Batch 9710. Pours a light amber hue with a bunch of small, floating pieces of sediment. Small head, average retention.

Aroma is pretty bland. Grainy, with the slightest touch of spicy hops.

Flavor is pretty close to awful. Just straight up bitter and astringent. Either this beer was scorched, or it's just husky and full of tannins. There is some malt sweetness and breadiness, but overall, it's quite off-putting. Bitter without any real hop flavor. At least the mouthfeel is decent and the carbonation isn't too high. Otherwise, this would be very close to a drain pour, which, for me, is saying a lot.

Bottom line: if you are looking for some sort of miniature version of Two Hearted, then look elsewhere. Bell's Pale Ale is shockingly bad.

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Photo of Biggness
2.36/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was my one disappointment last night @ Bell's. It poured a very light with no cloudiness. The smell was nearly non-existant. Then on to the flavor.... to my disappointment that was non-existant as well. Now I am a HUGE Pale Ale fan and this one definitely needs more flavor. This reminded me more of a summer ale or golden Ale, too mellow for a pale ale in my opinion. The mouthfeel was ok and its something I could drink a bunch of but for a pale ale it was lacking.

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Photo of TryThemAllOnce
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?

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Photo of andrewsporter
2.42/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I poured this one bottle into a pint glass. Looking at the beer in the glass I was pretty excited to take a huge slurp. A dull yellow color, it looks enticing and a little bit on the thick side, mostly because of the particles floating around. It is mostly opaque.

Sloshing the beer around and first drink, it becomes immediately apparent that the beauty of the beer itself does not make up enough for the undistinguished flavor. Most points on this one come from look and perceived texture, however there is a nice bite and it's definitely drinkable, just not for the price. I'll keep searching...

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Photo of ckeegan04
2.44/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle piured into mug.

A - Hazy dark gold color. One finger offwhite head that quickly faded away.

S - Very light aroma of grain? Not real strong aroma at all. Almost no hop smell which is not what I expect from an APA>

T - Grainy taste as well. Has some bitterness to it but none of the taste I expect from APA hops.

M/D - Very carbonated for crisp mouthfeel. Just really lacking in the taste for what I would expect from an APA.

First Bells beer I have been dissapointed with. Back to the Hopslam and Two Hearted.

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Photo of Jadjunk
2.44/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

#83. No Date.

(Appearance) Pours a 1.5 finger depth fizzy head that retains average. Color is a medium yellow with straw and amber tones. Very clear tone, but filled with sediment. Carbonation is pretty active. Appearance is nice. 3.5

(Smell) Malty grains but sadly little hop emphasis or any additional characteristic flavor; just very clean grain malts. Lightly potent, but far from where I would expect it to be. Smell is really a bummer. 2

(Taste) A hair better than the smell gave off, the grain malts are more subtle and in the background of this brew, but unfortunately not much else to balance it out. Some nearly indiscernible hops are very faint but contribute most to the bitter finish. It's a really malt heavy beer, very light in flavor. More than I hoped for. There should be much better balance here. 2.5

(Mouthfeel) Crisp front with some definite carbonation presence. Slightly spicy on the tongue. Little to no alcohol presence. Quite light bodied, thin, watery. Not too pleasant. 2.5

(Drinkability) Being light but slightly spicy bitter from the hops, there's a good chance this is easy enough to drink in large quantities, but the flavor is too malt heavy and there's not enough hop flavoring to round it out. It's confused, and I wouldn't seek out another of these for a time, as there's lots of work to be done here. 2.5

Verdict: Not even Bell's can win 'em all. Unfortunately, this beer requires a good deal of work, adding some hop presence plus some other complementary flavor to round out that malt dominance. I was not fond of it. C- (2.6)

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Photo of Illtryit
2.45/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This beer doesn't impress me. Poured 12 ounces into a frosted mug. 1/2 inch foam which lingers and leaves a little lace in its wake.

A yellow - gold unfiltered appearance looks delicious and a slightly grainy smell is appealing too...then, I drink...

Taste is extremely grainy. Too grainy for my taste. This beers goes down pretty well as it is lightly carbonated and somewhat refreshing, but the after taste is bitter, bitter, and more bitter.

This is my first Bell's brew and I was really looking forward to a delicious pale ale, but I am not impressed.

I wouldn't recommend this beer.

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Photo of mjd83goblue
2.46/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, Batch 7556, packaged about a month and a half ago, so it is fresh...

A: Pours yellow-orange with a small head. Lots of yeast floating about that is 'suspended', and never really settles.

S: Smells like oranges. Old sour oranges.

T: Basically tastes like watered down Oberon with some bittering hops at the end. Bitter orange peel aftertaste. I don't get it.

M: I guess its alright.

D: It can't be that drinkible if I don't like the taste right?

What the hell happened Larry? I just do not like this beer. And I've had it from at least 3 batches, so it wasn't a bad bottle or anything. It amazes me that I love their IPA (2-Hearted) so much, but disliked this. I know some people have liked it from the reviews, so its a decent beer, but I personally will avoid it.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
2.46/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma is malty, weak, not very impressive. It pours a typical clear golden amber with a few little goobers in it - those don't bother me, though. Flavor, fortunately, is stronger than the aroma - mainly malty, with a metallic tone. Not great, but potable. Texture is fizzy and fairly smooth.

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Photo of jeonseh
2.47/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

A golden, cloudy orange color with not much of a very thin white head. Mine had some sediment lying it which makes me wonder if this is unfiltered. Truthfully, the color reminds me a bit of a wheat beer, more than an APA like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The smell has a light hint of hops and also some lemon and orange as well.

The taste at first has a very light hops to it and then fades away to a wheat taste, and really can the floral taste that the bottle lists should be in their. It almost is a bit of lilac coming into it and some orange is sitting in their as well.

The beer was smooth, but the mouthfeel was off for me. I had the odd sensation that it was grainy. I could literally feel bits of particles that I could chew while drinking it. Overall, an okay beer that is a step up from your macro brews, but not even close to some of the other APA's such as Sierra Nevada. I have heard so many good things about Bell's and kinda sad this is the first one that I got to true. Hopefully, the Stout's leave me more impressed.

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Photo of gabedivision
2.48/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle to a SA Imperial series snifter glass.

So, this beer poors slightly hazy pure Budweiser golden, thin bubbely head, very thin yellow straw like color. Not quite sure whats going on with this beer, but it smells very... funky? I detect the pilsner malts and the citrus lemon front from the hops, but its not mixing well. Big rubber type smell with a metallic tone. This tastes more like a tea than a pale ale. Ginger, spice, clove, herbs, tastes kinda like lemon flavored medicinal herbal tea. Light bodied, highly carbed. I did not care for this at all, it was just all over the place. Glad i only had one. NOW! Onto the next beer...

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.48/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass on 1/8/10

Cloudy, pale golden yellow. Two fingers of foam billow up quickly, preventing the last ounce or so from being poured. After is settles & I can pour the rest, there is a lot of granular sediment drifting languidly as it makes its way to the bottom. The head thins, but retention is really good. Lacing is good, too.

Earthy aromas of pale malts. Rather dry. Spice notes, too & floral hop wisps. A slight notion of pine. Grassy undertones.

Juicy citrus hop notes upfront; lemon peel, over-ripe tangerine & maybe orange. Some floral notes, though there isn't much in the way of pine or bitterness, for that matter. Modest spiciness throughout. Reasonable backdrop of dry, toasty pale malt.

Just a bit lighter than medium body. Moderately low carbonation offers a slight kick. Earth & spice notes linger on the finish with an extremely subtle bitterness.

This really isn't very good; not at all interesting or captivating. By the end it's pretty bland. More or less forgettable. Maybe it's an old bottle (no code printed on it). A rare miss for Bell's.

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Photo of HardTarget
2.48/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bell's Pale Ale
Bottle Inspection: 5.2% abv., notes floral aroma, pale malts, and batch 8175 (website crashed when I put in the batch number = FAIL!, just print the stupid month/year on the bottle!)

Aroma: Surprisingly yeasty on first sniff, goes a bit floral (lilac? lavender?) and a bit candy sweet like Sweetarts.

Appearance: Hazy dirty straw/gold glass holds a modest ΒΌ finger white head that laces well.

Flavor: A bit strange for an APA. The yeasty notes are there. Plenty of hop bitter, but not much in hop flavor. Might be an older sample (how would I know? FAIL!) What hop flavor there is goes leafy. I'm thinking this is all driven by hop selection, and they didn't go classic west coast C hops. I'm ok with breaking the mold, but I'm just not liking where this one went. There's a slight mineral water quality in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy body is overpowered by a prickling high carbonation level.

Overall Impression: Blech. Just not digging this one. Not what I was expecting from an APA, or from Bell's for that matter. It's not undrinkable, but not really enjoyable either. Can't recommend this one.

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Photo of battlekow
2.49/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The store just started carrying Bell's and Founders pale ales, so I thought I'd give them a whirl.

Bell's version is a very cloudy amber yellowish color, capped by a generous, soapy head. Big chunks of foam stick to the side of the glass as the head dies down. Not nearly as heady as the Bell's Best Brown I had a little while ago, but "generous" was the right word.

I accidentally inhaled a bunch of foam while sticking my nose in the glass and it smells like tortilla chips. The beer doesn't smell THAT toasty unless you put it up your nose, but the scent is primarily of toasted malts, as opposed to other APAs' lightly hoppy aroma.

Tastes a bit of wet dog. This is a fresh batch: "The Batch ID that you entered '7089', is a Bell's Pale Ale. Your Bell's Pale Ale was packaged on September 28, 2005," but I have no idea where the hops have gone. The only hint of them is the bittering in the finish; there is no hop flavor. It doesn't taste bad, but it also doesn't taste like an APA. Very disappointing, especially when compared directly to Founders' superb version of the style.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.52/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours out a dull and murky caramel/apricot color with a lot of floaties. Head is fizzy and very short lasting, but does leave behind a skim and a little drippy lacing. Not much to look at.

Smells of husky grains, wet hay, some honey and past-their-prime flowers. Tastes starts off similarly dull, but evolves into slightly unpleasant as metallic and astringet qualities come into play. Some peppery bitterness at the finish.

Overall impression: Can't recommend this one. Old/bad bottle? No dating on the bottle.

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Photo of nkersten
2.53/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Poured from a bottle. First attempt had a TON of sediment and floaties despite leaving the last half ounce in the bottle. This is more sediment then I have seen in homebrew. Down the drain... The next bottle I was a bit more careful and end up with a clear, golden straw liquid with a small effervescent white head that thins out pretty fast. Some lacing that fades after a second or two.
S- Not a lot going on here. Hardly any hop aroma which I have come to expect a fair amount of in an APA. Some pale malt, but not a ton.
T- Something you would expect from a macro, not from Bell's. Very little hop bitterness and about just as much malt backbone. A little bit of bready yeast flavor that is less then pleasant. I will probably use the rest of it to make a batter for some chiles rellenos.
M- Light body but a little too much fizzy carbonation for my liking.
D- The light body is easy to drink but the lack of any flavor will keep me from purchasing this one again. While this beer is not necessarily offensive, it sure isn't anything special either. For the price I think I would have rather had 12 Grain Belts.

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Photo of LyonsHead
2.54/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A: a rather odd appearance for this style as it pours more like a wheat beer with a thick haze and a yellow color

S: the smell is dominated by a spicy/earthy hop aroma and a background of grainy husks

T: There is a spicy flavor with some hints of citrus and a malty sweetness. there is also a grainy flavor coming through

M: medium light body with a slick feel. there is an astringency from they grainy flavor that sticks with you after the you've swallowed.

D: This is an odd beer for the style... normally I could care less as long as its good but this beer seems to have actual brewing flaws. I am positive the boys at bell's know what they're doing but the grainy astringency kind of overshadows the whole beer and it tastes oversparged. I don't know, you be the judge

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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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