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.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,201 |  Reviews: 620
Photo of biegaman
3.71/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Incredible how much quality Bell's put into even their lesser beers. A dense clouded colour capped with good head and lacing. Hops hit the nose like fireworks in the air, an explosive aroma. Hops only in the nose, void in the body. Taste falls flat in comparison, a big let down. Not much interest offered in the flavour. Stale wheat character. One dimensional, mouthfeel dull. Against other U.S micro pale ales this one doesn't compare, a surprinsgly (slightly) comprimised offering from Bell's. All the same, much prefered over anything commercial and I still can't say I've had a bad Bell's beer. Thanks Sammy.

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

appearance: pour a nice amber w/ small white head which fully diminished after a few minutes. Seem unfiltered, had small particles on bottom.

smell: I got a light malt and hop scent w/ a hint of lemon and allspice. Smells nice.

taste: After allowing the beer to sit for several minutes, my first sip had a moderate bitter taste w/ a light acidic aftertaste. Which was pleasant to my tastebuds. The lasting taste was average.

mouthfeel: The beer was a tab dry yet the fizzy carbonation made the beer feel watery (strange). The body was light to medium.

drinkability: Overall, for an APA this beer is what I expected to have. A good beer indeed and I would drink a six pack.

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

Batch 7373

A perfect hue for any pale ale. decent bubbling and some lacing to boot. Lots of amber and hints of light rust. The aroma is a good Saaz hop presentation mixed with a little alpha acidy Northwestern hops. But les not forget a biscuity bread aroma mixed with that bitterness. The taste starts out with some interesting, funky malts. But then lets the resiny hops get some attention. The palaste is a tad dry but still refreshing.

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Photo of bozebus17
3.22/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy gold out of the bottle. There is a small white head that doesn't last very long.

Smells of citrus hops and fresh grain. The scent reminds me of a hefe.

The taste is all citrus hops. They come cutting through and don't really leave room for anything else. This beer really isn't balanced very well, even for a pale. After swallowing the carbonation continues to tingle on the inside of the mouth.

This beer is okay but nothing to write home about. I don't see buying it again since Bell's has many better products out there.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.59/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale gold color with a foamy, white 1cm head that sticks to the glass and seems to not want to dissipate at all. Unfiltered look to it with lots of sediment floating throughout...the bottle has sediment on the bottom telling me this brew had been sitting for a while unopened.

Mostly grainy to the nose with a bit of citrus (grapefruit); sour smelling actually. Nothing much else happening. Kinda boring.

Large citrus flavor along with some interesting bitter hops. The grapefruit hits my palate along with a good shot of carbonation. As I swallow, a bit of pine comes through with the hops, but mostly bitter and floral on the finish. Decent.

Again, the carbonation hits like a ton of bricks, but it makes this seem crisp and refreshing in some ways. However, it balances out well toward the swallow. Nice.

Enjoyable brew really. Not the best pale I've ever had, but a worthy brew worth trying. enjoy!

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Photo of dirtylou
4.03/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz single, Batch 7373, bought a 6 pack at rileys for 8.99 for a poker game last night (won big!). This is the leftover

appearance: pours a pale golden straw color into a great dane imperial pint glass, big frothy white head with outstanding retention/lacing left behind. a pretty attractive pale ale, with a lighter body than some of its rivals

smell: smell is clean and fresh...lemon zest dominates, with a very wheat-esque aroma that was a little surprising, hops are gentle and floral-citric, lightly toasted wheat malt

taste: very interesting pale that approaches a white at points...very fresh and clean, zesty lemon wheat flavours, light citrus hop profile, toasty, grain and malt backbone...A great summer APA

mouthfeel: super creamy, medium body, very pleasant

drinkability: super session

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Photo of rabsten
3.97/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First Bell's product Ever. Went to get a Two Hearted, but it was sold out. Thought I'd try the Pale Ale.

Bottle into a pub pint glass, cloudy pale amber (blonde, like the bottle says, come to think of it) with thin head, some lacing.

Aroma is malty and wheat-y. Smells like a white ale, or a heffewiesen without the fruitiness.

Tastes surprisingly white/wheaty. Well, not a surprise, given the looks and smell of it, I suppose. More like, "man, this isn't like any Pale I've ever had." Fresh malt dominates over a lightly toasted wheat. Minor hops. Slight bread aftertaste starts to show itself after the pint has sat for a while and warmed in the summer heat. Lingering spiciness.

Pleasant astringent mouthfeel. Like a saison. Hmmm, feels like a Unibroue product, come to think of it.

Drinks pretty well. It's relaxing.

As I said, this bottle was my very first Bell's. This would be a really good Wheat/White/Wit, which I generally don't really care for. But it's labeled a Pale Ale and I'm not going to argue with a brewer that generally gets good marks. Not what I was looking for and not my preferred style, but pretty good, nonetheless.

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Photo of AaronHomoya
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle.

Poured a nice, light amber color with good head. The aroma was somewhat mild and consisted of some malt and a bit of sweet hops. The taste was malty with a hoppy, bitter finish and something of a stale, banana flavor. Maybe an old bottle? Mouthfeel was fine. Drinkability suffers due to the underwhelming aroma and funny taste.

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Photo of MeLikeBeer
2.63/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.
This was my second round with this particular beer because I wanted to verify my thoughts...

Pours a thick, hazy yellow with numerous yeast particles floating within. Thin white head that quickly dissipates.

Smells vaguely of malt and yeast. I could detect some citrus...but I was really trying for it. Disappointing, really.

I was expecting at least some bitterness...but it was hard to detect even that. Sweet honey flavor, I certainly taste the yeast.

Finishes smooth enough, with an awkward, tangy, aftertaste.

Bell's has had some pretty good offerings, this wasn't one of them, IMO. I'll leave the rest of the 6 pack in the fridge for others to try.

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

12 oz. bottle into a pilsner.

slightly hazy golden yellow with a few floaties from a careless pour. half an inch of foamy white head.

weak aroma. some biscuity, cookie-sweet honey malt aromas and the barest hints of some spicy, flowery hop balance.

light feel with a stinging, tight carbonation. toasted malt and honey sweetness with a touch of spicy hop balance, but not enough. finishes with a weak, generic bitterness. somewhat bland and very forgettable.

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Photo of Cresant
2.7/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured 12 oz. into an Stone IPA glass. Sediment/yeast everywhere! Looks like a bar of oatmeal soap. Cloudy orange yellow color. Head was modest and faded to a ring.

Smelled yeasty. Crackers.

Taste builds hoppy but drops off sweet. Citrus rinds linger.

Peppery. Very mild carbonation. Thin yet filmy in the mouth. Not bad, but not good either.

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Photo of trep
3.28/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a hazy orange that's completely unfiltered. Creamy white head fades into a thin layer.

Alot of light malts and some wheat I believe. A little earthy biscuity aroma as well.

A little hop bitterness up front that fades into a caramel maltiness. Nothing special here.

Thin on the palate, carbonation is about right though.

Pretty easy drinking although it's probably not a beer I would go out of my way to drink.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.03/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Does that monk look pregnant? Pours a bright yellow clear color with a white head. Good retention and good lacing overall. Pale or golden?

The smell is malty with a background sudsy smell. The malt is basic with some lighter bready notes. Limited hops but well articulated in citrus and lemon zings.

The taste is more represented then the nose. The malt has more of a grainy taste, ample two row. The hops are more defined as well. A good citrus right up front with a touch of floral bitterness to mellow it down.

The body is light and really a very mellow beer overall. The taste is good but I wish there was more to it. Rather basic indeed, even with a pregnant padre.

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

The beer pours a light gold. It sprouts a big foam head that leaves just as quickly and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. It is very bright; like no APA I've ever seen before. The smell is just like an APA. The biggest smell is floral hops. It also has hints of caramel and apple. The taste reminds me more of a AIPA, because it oily, with some spice, and very bitter, on top of normal APA flavors. It also contains some never before encountered in an APA, sweet and sourness. The mouthfeel is fair, and drinkability is killed because of the sweet/sour taste. Not like any other APA, but that doesn't mean it isn't good.

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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 jokelahoma
3.63/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a bright yellow-gold, with a touch of haze. Small snowflakes of sediment made their way into the glass, in spite of a careful pour. The head fluffed up nice and white, but quickly devolved into a skiff of foam that clung to the side of the glass.

There's not a great deal of aroma to this one. A faint whiff of pale base malt, a hint of what may be citrucy hops, but otherwise, not much going on here.

On the initial sip I notice a pleasant taste, with a fruity bitterness to start out. That bitterness pretty much dominates the flavor. There's some malt sweetness in there, but just barely insufficient to counter the hops. Subsequent sips allow a little more of the malt to show through in a slightly grainy, barely chewy sweetness, but this is a hop driven beer, to be certain. Not overwhelmingly bitter, definitely nowhere near sweet, just a pleasant bitterness that doesn't quite have enough malt to balance it out. The back label says it's a blande, while the front says it's a pale. It has a blonde body (can we say that?) with a pale's hoppiness. A pale blonde ale?

The mouthfeel is just this side of what I'd consider light. It isn't watery, or that thin. But it isn't substantial in any way, shape or form. It's beer, plain and simple. I'd expect more from a pale, but less from a blonde. It's about right for the indecisive nature of this brew.

This is drinkable. I think I'd be happier were it to make up its mind about being a blonde or pale, and commit one way or another. Hoppy or balanced? Malty or balanced? Thin or medium body? It wavers a bit much for my tastes. But all in all, it's not a bad beer. I'd have another, but it wouldn't top my list.

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

12 oz bottle, pours a cloudy honey yellow, sediment suspended throughout, finger of bright white head that fades to a lingering ring and leaves a little lacing. Nose is a nice mix of citrusy hops and a strong bready malt. Taste follows the nose, with a grapfruit/citrus hop presence making itself known over a good solid pale malt base. Finishes crisp and slightly bitter, with a slight metallic note. Pretty solid APA, tastes a lot like an English IPA, but easy drinking whatever it is.

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Photo of hanco005
3.97/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a 6 of this because I enjoy pale ales as the weather gets warmer. Bell’s doesn’t disappoint so I thought I would give this a shot. 12 oz bottle of batch 7135 poured into a pint glass

A—orange cloudy, almost the color of Tang, sediment is suspended in the beer, 1 inch white fluffy head that leaves spotty lacing.

S—spicy, citrus, sweet, a little bready, I detected some mild honey on my second pint

T—bitter and spicy and grapefruit notes at first, then turns bready and sweet, finishes dry and leave a very pleasant aftertaste

M—medium/light bodied, good carbonation, very smooth

D—a very good pale ale, while I’m not a fan of sediment, this one is very drinkable. Indeed a good choice as the weather gets warmer.

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Photo of jamesdergen
3.86/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a pale, golden honey. Slightly cloudy and leaves a fluffy, foamy white head of about an inch and a half.

Smell: Pale malts and some muted citrus fruits, nothing out of the ordinary for a PA.

Taste: Surprisingly pleasant. Very smooth pale malt taste dominates with some citrusy hop notes and some spiciness as well. Nice, clean wheaty finish. Very refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and smooth. Not overly carbonated.

Drinkability: I would love to have another one of these refreshing, flavorful brews. Easy drinkin'!

Picked this one up at Blue Max in the make your own sixer section. I will definitely get a sixer of this once it warms up, this would make a great cookout beer.

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Photo of Crosling
3.17/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3


Nose of sauvignon blanc, apples, orange, floral and grassy hops and slight biscuit like malts.

Faint in all ways. Light citrus fruits throughout along with a mildly bitter, plenty dry finish of hops. Just way too mild and not flavorful enough for me. Thin body. Watery texture.

Not very good.

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Photo of Illinick
3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pale, golden/hayish yellow with a small white head and rising carbonation. Decent head retention and good lacing.
S: Floral with a fresh hop smell, some citrus-lemon, some sweet malty bread and grain with some spice/herbal notes. Also an earthy funk smell-not all together a bad thing.
T: Refreshing earthy and hop taste up front with a big malty, grainy middle to end. A faint touch of citus in there, mainly up front. A little too much malt throughout, a bit of a "funky" malt after taste. I wish it had a little more hops and a little more bitterness. The citrus in the nose disappears in the taste.
MF: Medium and chewy and finishes semi-dry.
Overall: A solid brew but too much malt and grain in the taste. A solid "average" brew but an average brew nonetheless.

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Photo of beerphilosopher
3.97/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass ... appearance is golden yellow with a thick, white head and sporadic lacing in the glass. Nose is hoppy and almost bread-like. Some sweetness in the nose as well. Taste follows suit, with a good hop bitterness well offset by the sweeter malt foundation. Finish is rather dry and not at all bitter. Body is light and not overly carbonated. All in all, I like this ... and every ... beer from Bell's. Could have maybe been a bit stronger hop profile, but this does offer a well-balanced hop/malt ratio. Easily drinkable and mild enough that it would appeal to a wider range of beer drinkers ...specifically those that don't like a strong hop dominance.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.98/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A great APA from Bell's. Pours out to a hazy yellow golden color with a medium head of white foam, and vigorous carbonation. Citrus hops and bready malts make their way to the nose, and mix in harmony. Taste is solid; flavors of rich, oily hops, mild sweet malts, and dry grain balance well on th palate. Mouthfeel was slick, and enhanced by the ever-present carbonation that didn't seem to die. This could be a good session ale for the summer time. Recommended.

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Photo of Ricochet
2.99/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I haven't had a beer this chunky in as long as I have been reviewing beers on BA. There should be a warning to shuffle this up like a Hefe because the chunks were big, and the ones that settled at the bottom melted with a cloudy film. For and apa, wierd, wierd wierd. It was a very cloudy orange and as stated before, seemed like a Hefe. The scent was candy-like. Very sweet smelling with a grapefruit note. Mouth was right there with other apas. It foamed well, had a good deal of the bitter and went down dry.

This tasted just like an average in the style. So I can't really rave about the flavor. It was sort-of an ipa, so there was a plus, otherwise, just an average beer that I wouldn't get again.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy peachy orange color with a minimal head that is very patchy over top. Nose is just okay. There is an almost apircot fruityness to it, with a sweet caramel backbone in there. Flavor is dominated by a peppery and lightly earthy hop, with a mild sweet caramel and apircot behind it. The finish is moderately bitter, but very clean. Feel is on the light end of moderate with carbonation to match. Its not bad, but not really drawing me in. I'd like to see more of a crispness in the hop.

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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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