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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 620 | Ratings: 1,201
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good aroma: yeasty and fruity aroma, nice lace. Very good smooth fruity pale, with apple, grapefruit, orange and a spot of lemon. Understated carbonation as i would exepct from the style. Touch metallic, though not noticed in retry in fall 2005. Drying finish and spice aftertaste including cloves . Easy drink, not their best but a good effort.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.08/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This brew poured out as a traditional hazy yellowish gold color with a fluffy white head on top. The head had a pretty good retention to it and a good lacing also. The smell of the beer had some fresh grain aromas with some hoppy aromas in there as well. The taste of the beer was average in my opinion. The flavors of grains and bitter hops seemed to be pretty well balanced here. The mouthfeel was light bodied with a tingling carbonation to it. Overall this beer was decent.

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Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of freshly baked cheesecake, bready malts and muted citrus hops in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of bready and grainy malts. Only hints of bitterness are perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I would have no problem drinking this beer all night long. It’s not that complex but is very sessionable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bell's Pale Ale is your no-frills, yet standard tasting beer that's simply done the right way.

Impressingly, the beer pours a light amber, mostly golden color with the signature haze of hoppy ales. A slightly off white head caps the beer with great persistence of creamy white foam and classy rings of lace that align each draw from the glass.

Bright fruit flavors and aromas of esters and hops blend for a unique blend of appricots, grapefruit, mango, orange peel, pineapple, and regular apples. Backed by malty sweetness of thin caramel and honey, the beer is very well balanced as not to allow either the malt nor the hops to gain command.

Creamy and semi-sweet to start, but the hop bitterness and mild alcohol warmth provide a malty-dry finish of grain and light resin for a crisp and zesty aftertaste of balanced fruit and bitterness.

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Photo of emerge077
3.56/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a bad pale ale, just not something I would reach for on a regular basis.

Pours a pale yellow-orange, decent frothy foam. Smell is musty cereal grain and that's about it.

Taste is slightly bitter upfront, some full malt in the mouthfeel, and residual bitterness in the finish. Subdued grapefruit and grain notes. Somewhat spicy when first poured, but later subsides.

Easy to drink, with a fairly smooth mouthfeel that is this ale's saving grace.

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Photo of zeff80
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a hazy, golden yellow color with a fluffy, small, white head. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of pine, citrus and caramel malt. Also some floral notes.

T - It tasted of smooth roasted malt, caramel, light toffee notes. It had a citrus hop kick.

M - A crisp, sharp pale ale. Also, a medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very easy-drinking pale ale. I jus wish Bell's wasn't so pricy.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.88/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

G: Poured into a pint glass.

A: A yellowish-amber color with a good white head that laces fairly well.

S: Slight amount of hops, and a decent malt backbone to it. Not horribly complex.

T: Hops and a bit of fruits. Slightly sweet.

M: Light mouthfeel with good carbonation. No alcohol. Easy to drink.

D: Quite sessionable. While not the best APA out there, certainly a decent offering when looking to kill some time on the beach, and want a little more hops than Oberon has to offer.

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Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, packaged on August 8, 2008, which made me happy. Pours a white, fluffy head that settles quickly. Some lacing was observed. The color is a straw hazy yellow which is quite pleasing to the eye. This pale ale is definitely easy to drink and would easily make a good session beer. The hops definitely play an important role in this beer and Bell's does a great job of not over or under-powering them.

I really like this and I think that it is a great pale ale, but I have been experimenting more with the IPAs lately and this is just to "regular" for me. Overall, a definite must try!

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Photo of nickfl
3.52/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours with one finger of loose, white foam on top of a hazy, copper colored body. The head settles quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Spicy hops with a little bit of herbal pine. There is some light toast and caramel in the background.

T - Bready malt with some toasted character up front with light herbal hop flavor. The herbal hops intensify in the middle with some grapefruit. The musty hops continue into the finish with moderate bitterness and some dry, toasted malt character.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Very herbal and dry with a good dose of dry, toasty malt that verges on acrid. The hops are a bit on the musty side for an American pale ale, but the bitterness is on the mark. Not bad, but there a lot of superior examples of this style out there and I can't see a reason to pick this over any of the beers that one would expect to be available alongside of it.

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Photo of oberon
3.99/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow I sure do miss Bells back home (Mount Pleasant,Mi).Wow great head,nice subtle hop maybe to little for a Pale ale but good enough.Yeasty smell is wonderful would like a six pack now!Well back when I drank this beer I thought it was the greatest thing ever.

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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 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 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 ChainGangGuy
3.79/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Batch 9112. Quick, to the Bell's website! "Your Bell's Pale Ale was packaged on April 30, 2009." Okay.

Appearance: Pours what would be a clear, golden body except for all these baby sea monkey-like particles. Frothy, snow white head.

Smell: Crisp pale malts with some broken biscuit crumbs and sharp, hoppy wafts of flowers, spice, and pith.

Taste: Pale malts with an assured amount of biscuitiness to it. very light upfront sweetness present. A lick of lemon pith. Spicy, floral, nigh zippy hops with a hair above a medium amount of bitterness, though it seems to really build up and amplify itself over time. Finishes dry and bitter with some enduring floral, spicy hints.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation. Slightly crisp.

Drinkability: A decent, drinkable pale ale that provides something a bit different, both in terms of malts and hops used, than many American-made APAs. To say nothing of the sea monkeys! Though enough talk of the Pale Ale -- pass the Kalamazoo Stout already!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly murky looking initially, clears pretty quickly. Check that, the addition of the last portion of the bottle results in quite a bit of suspended yeast. Rich banana-amber with a bone white head that is both sticky and rocky and leaves a much better than average amount of lace.

Where are the hops? Has anyone seen (okay, smelled) the hops? I'm a little confused. The label says 'pale ale' on the front and 'blond ale' on the back, and this page says APA. The only reason that I bring it up is that it doesn't smell like an APA. I'll go with either an APA that has had a hopectomy or a blonde ale. At any rate, there's a light, lemon citrusiness in the nose that's overpowered by untoasted pale malt.

The flavor is also blonde aleish to me. Lightly sweet malt countered by a mild hop bitterness without much attendant hop flavor. There might be a touch of 'white' spiciness, as in cardamom, but I'm probably reaching. I have no real complaints about the body, it's neither too full or too light, but is juuust right. Sorry, I had a flashback to a bad porridge trip there for a second.

So which is it? As an APA, I find Bell's Pale Ale to be lacking. As a blonde ale, it ain't half bad. I guess I'll just score it on its own merits, regardless of style. I've had much better beer from Bell's, but this one is still enjoyable in its own way.

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Photo of russpowell
3.76/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a little hazy straw/golden colored with a 2 fingers+ white fluffy head. Very good lacing and goodhead retention

Smell: Grassy and floral hops

Taste: Soft maltiness combines with a slight grassy floral hop taste. Finishes grainy and slighltly hoppy (floral)

MF: Light and slightly spritzy (great carbonation level)

Drinks pretty easy, a nice but not great APA IMHO

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Photo of billab914
3.08/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. Poured a pale golden straw color with a bubbly one inch bright white head. It did have some pretty nice head retention and lacing on the glass.

The aroma has a strong grainy smell to it with a little bit of light fruitiness to it. It's not very hoppy in the aroma but has a little bit of earthy bittering hops.

The taste has the same graininess found in the nose as the main flavor. Also like the nose it has an almost apple like fruitiness to it. It also has the earthy and slightly peppery bitter hops that come through a bit more in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is OK, it would be a great substitute for a macro or a gateway beer to turn people on to craft beer but it wasn't something all that interesting or flavorful to me.

Overall it was an OK beer. I prefer a more noticeable hop presence in an APA, and compared to say Sierra's Pale ale this one doesn't compare favorably. Like I said though I'm sure it has it's place and could be enjoyed by a lot of people that prefer this style of beer.

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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 womencantsail
2.9/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Matt for sending me this beer.

A: The pour is a golden amber color with a finger of white head and a TON of yeast in suspension in the glass.

S: Some floral hops are present as well as a little bit of citrus. Definitely a strong orange peel aroma to it and some sweet malt notes, primarily in the form of bread.

T: The flavor is intensely bitter without much hop (or malt) flavor to balance it out. Quite a strong herbal hop flavor as well as some floral notes. A little bit of bread and malt come through underneath.

M: Medium in body and carbonation.

O: Far too bitter without any of the good hop flavors that make pale ales enjoyable.

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Photo of orangesol
3.06/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on cask at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours slightly hazed pale yellow with a nice pillow of one finger tall white head leaving thin sheets of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of chewy day old bread crumbs, buiscuity malt, very faded citric fruit, and very faint grassy hop bite. This one seems to be a bit old.

T - Starts off with a big dose of chewy malt slowly giving way to just the faintest hint of citric fruit and grassy hops. Some caramel sweetness creeps in as it comes to room temperature. All the flavors I was hoping for seem to have faded away. The finish is a mix of chewy malt and caramel sweetness, lingering for some time.

M - Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Chewy feel with only the faintest hint of hop bitterness, both in the feel and the finish.

O - Not too fresh to say the least. The hops were all but non existent and the bready malt took on a life of its own as a result. I will have to give this one another try in the future.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.78/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Well, I haven't had this yet, so my mixed sixer decision was pretty easy to make this time. It pours a clear brass topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises coriander, orane peel, slightly dank wheat, and a touch of caramel. That wheat smell just doesn't really work very well for my 'strils. The taste is a blast of vague and blunt rind-y bitterness, with a kiss of musty caramel for effect (I assume). The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry-ish finish. Overall, I never thought I would dislike a Bell's product this much. I never really wanna have this again. Boo.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.22/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden yellow tone with a vibrant white two finger sized head, leaving fine scattered lacing nice appearance. Aroma: Grapefruit in nature with underlying floral, spiced hops mild grassy malt notes very mellow but nice. Taste: Up front bitter with a bread malt tone, a bit one dimensional with the upfront zesty bitterness but overall a decent brew from Bell's. Mouthfeel: Is medium to light bodied steady carbonation, a bit oily from the hop resins. Drinkability: Not overly impressed by this pale golden ale from Bell's it's alright just not something I would crave.

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Photo of stakem
3.55/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into my weathered pint glass.

Color is on the lighter end of the yellow color spectrum with a nice layer of head that disappeared very, very quickly. Slight bit of lacing left on the glass and a bit of sediment just hanging out doing it's thing at the bottom of the glass.

Nose doesnt have much to offer but if anything is mildly hoppy.

Pleasant bitterness with this beer but nothing that jumps out of the norm. The mouthfeel has carbonation that is right in line with what I expected.

It seems very drinkable, but that might be because I have been craving a pale ale all day. Overall it is clean and refreshing. I think I will have another.

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

A - Very light blonde body, a little cloudy with much arising effervescense. Thin white head.

S - Smell is very light here. Some sweeter mild bread notes. Some floral notes as well.

T - A bitter beer, up front and throughout. No real presence of hops or malt. This pale is just that, pale. Its not bad its just missing alot.

M - This one has the mouthfeel of any other light beer. Its light.

O - Im slightly biased because i do like medium-darker beers but Im really just a fan of flavor. This beer lacks alot there and would only be appropriate for a summer bbq of sorts.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.21/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fully clouded golden brown. Off white head. Nose is so bland, it's basically lifeless. Flavor is a slight bit of a bitter edge over deadened citrus tones. This is an APA? It seems more to me like a bad version of an American Pale Wheat Ale. Or maybe a hybrid of the two at least. Either way it just seems to come out swinging, and misses. Feel is good on carbonation and decent on liquid. Overall it is drinkable, but I say again: this is a pale ale? Seems pretty wacky to me to be in the class of APA. Oh well. It was decent, but nothing memorable as far as the style goes. Might be better promoted as a summer brew.

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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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