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

1,201 Ratings
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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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,201 |  Reviews: 620
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 Atlas1
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After almost running the gammut of the Bell's line, I finally get around to reviewing the Pale Ale. I do the Bell's beers.

Poured into a standard pint glass, this beer appears a very clear, yellow-gold color. Nice, fat head with good retention and noteworthy lace. The aroma here is very faint, despite the good sized head, with notes of wheat and open fields. Floral, but no distintive scent really jumps out. Some muted malty scents as well. The taste, however, is much more complex. Nice malty spices up front, with some faint citrus notes mixed in the middle. Finishes with a spicy bitter kick and an old leather taste. Not bad. Not bad at all. Smooth mouthfeel, but very clean. And at 5% ABV, this beer is entirely drinkable as a session beer. I would have no problem putting a keg of this in my kegerator. It's a very nice beer.

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Photo of Applesauce1
4.1/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a sixer of this at the Lucky Dog in Athens, OH.

Appearance: gold, with a little bit of haziness and a 3/4" white head on the pour
Smell: hops and citrus dominate
Taste: once again, mostly hops and citrus; great flavor; balanced
Mouthfeel: light bodied
Drinkability: great session beer; the balance of the beer doesn't wear out the taste buds; could do 3 or 4 in a night

Recommended for someone who is starting with craft beers or for the experienced craft beer drinker!

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Photo of phisig137
3.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undated bottle vigarously poured into my pint glass yields a one finger head on top of a slightly hazy golden straw color. Decent amount of floaters in the glass, and only a little lacing left behind.

Aroma is grainy, slightly sweet, and fairly clean. No real hop presence. Smells more like a good lager than a pale ale.

Flavor is smooth, and well balanced, but nothing great. Moderate malt sugars up front, followed by the faintest hint of hops, with a honey sweet finish. Very mild flavor, and again, much more like a lager than a pale ale. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Drinkability is great.

This makes for a good session beer, but as far as pale ales are concerned, it's pretty weak. Quite a disappointment from such a fantastic brewery. It's a well made beer, but I don't consider it a pale ale. I can't imagine that many others do either. I still love Bell's, but perhaps they should stick to the stouts...

One other thing I'm curious about.... why do the newer Bell's labels remind me of the artwork from New Belgium? Odd...

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

Pale, hazed yellow amber with a nice head of loose white froth.

Aroma is soft and subtle, with undertones of wheat malt, floral and citrus hops, and peppery biscuits.

Flavor starts with crackery and wheaty malt, a light caramel note, and leads to mildly bitter hop flavors of fresh wildflowers and green meadows. Reminds me of Oberon in a wierd way. I like my APA's with a little more hop kick, but this is an easy drinker and quite fresh tasting.

Body is below medium, soft and creamy with a wheaty slickness. Could drink a bunch of these on a hot day.

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Photo of Duster72
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy wheat color with a slight head. Little to no lacing. Aroma is primarily floral hops with some mild malts, but there isn't much aroma there. Taste is floral hops with some mild malts, just like the aroma. More bitter than I would expect from an APA. Bitters make this less drinkable than other APAs. Not a bad beer, but not my idea of a good APA.

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Photo of drpimento
4.01/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Point # 1: Don't try to appreciate this beer too much if trying it after Bell's Hopslam. But, as time passes and I get further into this beer, I appreciate it more and more. Picking up more nuances that I missed before. Poured with an offwhite decent textured head with some lace that last. Very slightly hazy amber color. Basic american pale ale hop flavor slightly leaning to grapefruit.

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Photo of schusterbauer
4.15/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i liked this bottle a lot more than when i'd had this on tap previously. (perhaps attributable to smoky bar syndrome; perhaps attributable to, what i'm getting the impression is, a somewhat inconsistent beer.)

dense golden color with a thick surging head. grains and candy sweetness in the nose. gobs of grain and yeast flavors infused with blueberry, hops, merengue. unconventional, to say the least. thick in the mouth -- it's creaminess is a strange match with the flavors, but it's a good strange.

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Photo of MmmIPA
3.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has to be the most un pale ale I have ever tasted.

Murky golden body with TONS of yeastys floating in it with a nice 1 finger white head.

Smell isnt hoppy at all and sorda smells like a dunkel lager.

The taste is almost a funky taste and leaves your mouth fast.I can taste malty and some small amount of bittering hops.

The mouthful is very easy and smooth and sorda refreshing.

Ya know I like this beer but its not a APA in my book.It taste nothing like any of the APA's Ive tasted.It taste more like a british beer.Good but shame on them for labeling a beer that isnt what it is.

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

Poured from a 12oz. brown bottle into my Adnams Tulip pint glass. Appears a rich, slightly cloudy golden amber color with two fingers of off - white foam. Minimal lacing left on the inside of the glass. Smells faintly of apricot followed by mild, flowery hops. Tastes of sweet pale malt, followed by mildly spicy, flowery hops. Medium in both body and carbonation. Worth a try.

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

12 oz. in a pint glass.

A - It has a nice light caramel color with a thin layer of head that stays throughout the experience.

S - Weak, hard to pick up much aroma.

T - A little above average. I will admit that i am not the biggest pale ale person, but as pale ales go, this is one of the few I can drink and enjoy because of the mild bitterness.

M - It hits the pallet much like every other pale ale with the same lingering taste.

D - As pale ales go, this is definitely one I can sit back and enjoy a few of.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.63/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky light amber with good head to begin with, good head, good lacing. Aroma is pretty stock, should have more hops to it, more of anything really. Is this a bad bottle maybe? Some fruity hops, some caramel, but I want more. Taste is fine, hops are fine, malts are fine. Really, nothing wrong with this beer, just nothing I'd have expected from Bell's. Granted, Bell's puts out a shitton of beers, and it seems they put a whole lot of effort into other works of genius, but I'd like more out of their stock pale ale. (Now, if that wasn't subjective enough for ya...)

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Photo of hero27
3.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.
Batch 7701.

Hazy golden yellow. Many flecks of small sediment visible through the clear gold liquid.
Aroma leaves something to be desired. It was hard for me to pick up anything other than pale malts and a very light touch of hops.
I actually thought the taste was quite good for a pale ale. Nice floral hops..not overdone & not too grassy. Spices are noticed quite a bit also. Caramel pale malts round everything up well. Very well-balanced all around.
Plenty of carbonation..might want to tone that down a little if it were up to me. But it does slide down rather smooth. Certainly a sessionable beer as well. Yet another Bell's brew worth trying.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Light golden color, semi-clear and slight bubbling. THICK white head that leaves decent lacing. Some small, dark yeast or spice particles swirling throughout. Aroma is light and airy, with fruity cantelope, citrus, and vanilla. Some synthetic, perfumey floral notes as well.

Taste is of spiced hops with a good malt balance...otherwise unremarkable and underwhelming. Feel is good; crisp and springy on the tongue, nice hoppy aftertaste. This is not the most complicated of beers, nor overly refreshing, but it's tasty and easy to drink. Have one.

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Photo of VipertheIV
3.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the first Bell's beer I tasted and enjoyed it very much. It has a golden cloudy appearance and a nice head. The aromas smelled while drinking it are citrus and the tast is citrus with a subtle hoppiness. Drank it out of a standard pint glass.

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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 atsprings
3.31/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 7759. They just recently added 3 more Bell's beers to the lineup at Raleigh's Flying Saucer. Poured from a bottle a very light orange with a decent head that was mostly diminishing. Aroma was very weak. Some citrus hops trying very hard to be noticed, but barely achieving. Taste was an improvement on the aroma but still not much more than average. Good blend of mild hops and pale malt. There was a pleasant sweetness on the final sip. The peer possessed a decent carbonation and alcohol was hardly noticeable. This would be a decent session beer, likely better suited for the summer.

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Photo of arguemaniac
3.93/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not bad, but not amazing either. The palate features a really nice malt sweetness, with a pleasant hint of honey, which, further into the sip, transitions into a nice balance of tasty grain and a fairly assertive hop spice and flavor. Not mind-blowingly rich, but itÂ’s got good flavors and great drinkability. Recommended.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.82/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-cloudy golden color with bits of sediment visible throughout the body. Nice touch. Head disappears quickly but does leave decent lacing behind. Nose is only medium strength but does provide hops with a piney, almost spicy nose to them.

Taste is broad and bitter with active, piney hop flavors that mellow and finish mostly cleanly. Rather dry for an APA. Mouthfeel isn't bad but could stand some straightening. Not a great beer but definitely a serviceable one.

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

Thank You CRJMellor.

Batch 7686

Pours a cloudy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, small foam white head, some islands and sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is of hops, and slight citrus. The taste is hoppy, but not what I would think of an APA, nice little bite in the finish. Light-Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad APA at all, could use more hops though.

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Photo of gmfessen
4.08/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a golden-yellow color with particulates floating throughout the beer and has a sparkling foamy white head. Smell is not overwhelming, but is of floral hops and grainy malt. The taste is neither sweet nor bitter, but is incredibly smooth and well balanced. The beer is light in body and has gentle fizzyness about it. This is an exceptionally drinkable beer, goes down very easy and could be consumed in mass quantities easily.

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

Hazy blonde-ish light gold with lots of suspended sediment, a nice off-white head, and decent carbonation. Very malty Blonde Ale type aroma with little hop character and mostly a fruity ale character. Fruity ale character dominates the flavor with a touch of grain and less hop character; not sweet though. Light-medium bodied balanced American Blonde Ale....

A nice Blonde Ale ... not sure about an APA.

Per Bell's website:
OG: 1.05
ABV: 5.3%

Batch # 7756 ('6329' lasered on bottom)
Tasted: 01/08/07

($7.99 / 6-pack)

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a fuzzy looking gold in color. Thick head with some great retention. Lots of lacing around the inside of the glass. I use the word fuzzy because there are lots and lots of itzy bitzy specks just floating in the beer like it is zero gravity.

Nose of this beer is mostly malts with just a slight peppery hoppiness to it. Flavor is straightforward leaning heavuly on the malts but balance decently with minty hops. Slight pepper tang to the overall flavor. Kind of an orange citrus fruit thing going on as well. Medium body that is slightly oily. Bitterness lingers a bit too. Nie and drinkable. It will ecome a great choice to drink during a game.

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