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:
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Reviews: 620 | Ratings: 1,201
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 chinchill
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.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
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

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Photo of MJCF26
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.

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Photo of jdb288
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.

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Photo of Axnjxn
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.

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Photo of carolinared
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.

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Photo of patpbr
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.

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Photo of larryarms847
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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
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.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
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.

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Photo of nUgZ
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.

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Photo of Mavigo
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.

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Photo of tronester
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.

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Photo of AmitC
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.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
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.

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Photo of obywan59
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.

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Photo of claspada
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.

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Photo of angrybabboon
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.

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Photo of tigg924
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.

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Photo of SerialTicker
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.

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Photo of VoodooBear
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.

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Photo of clemtiger8202
2.83/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle to glass. Poured a great gold color, slightly cloudy with a solid white head. Good lacing with some head remaining throughout the drink. Good hop aroma, slight grainy smell as well, but had my mouth watering! The taste wasn’t as good as the smell, malty, bitter, but nothing special. Body was good and finished quickly. Not a first choice, but definitely will drink again!

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Photo of Jamesthebrit
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a amber color which is a right in the middle in terms of lightness. Little head.

S: Light yeasty with some citrus notes. A little lemon, a little orange.

T: A big yeast after taste, goes down light with a little bitterness that seems slightly out of place and not very sharp. Some citrus notes but nothing spectacular.

M: Sits pretty good with a nice medium body and the carbonation is very smooth. Some of the nice citrus notes develop here. Certainly the best aspect of this beer.

A pretty nice beer but nothing spectacular. That bitterness really it what brings it down as it is dull and a little musty. It's not bad.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Cloudy yellow orange, one finger head.

S-Bread/biscuit malt/ Almost skunky (but it is two months old) and it is lacking a hop profile.

T-More bread notes, some slight grass along with a little citrus. Not much bitterness.

M-Light to medium bodied, some carbonation but easy drinking.

O-I didn't think Bell's could make a beer this more, it doesn't have the malt or hop profile of an APA. It is an ok beer but fell very short for me.

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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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