Pale Ale | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Pale AlePale Ale
1,203 Ratings
Pale AlePale Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,203 |  Reviews: 620
Photo of BeerBuilder
3.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a orangish-copper color with an off-white head. Has a huge blast of fruity, citrus hop aroma. Has a different flavor, almost nutty, with fruitiness. It flows to a very dry and bitter finish. It is medium in bodied and highly drinkable. Another tasty brew from Bell’s.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.31/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have to say I was a little disappointed in this beer, especially after being so impressed by most of the other Bell's brews I have tried. Pours an almost sickly looking light orange color with a thin and foamy white head. Very floral hops aroma, with light citrus notes as well. Flavor is mild, with perfumy hops and light malt. Finish is crisp and light, with a nice hops presense lingering. Okay, but gimme an Expedition next time.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.15/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color of this is quite nice, its pale, slightly cloudy yellow, getting close to orangeish, almost looks like weak orange juice. Upon closer inspection, I see very small, dark particles floating around in there. Hmmm, I wonder. Head was small and white with very light lace patches.
Smell is wonderful, fruity and clean, lightly crisp and spicy of a lemon-like zesty yeast and has a grassy note in there.
Taste is much like you'd think from the smell with a great zest of citrusy lemon hop and yeast thats balanced in with a good, lightly caramel malt. It doesn't have that usual piney type of bittering thats associated with many of this type of ale, if you've had the Two-hearted Ale, this is somewhat lighter as far as the hop bite and bitterness.
Feel is zesty bright but mild and tamed down for a nice lemon-like coating in the mouth. I really notice it on the roof of my mouth, almost the same sensation of when it gets slightly burned. It gets in there and really opens up to a souring tone that's very easy to handle, more so then those sour patch gummi bears.
One really nice pale and quite unique.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very tasty and interesting 'pale ale' from Bell's! This beer poured out a very hazy orange-ish colour with a beautiful head. There was a lot of sediment in the glass and the head left wonderful lacing down the whole glass of beer! This beer had the aromas of YEAST, citrus, fruits, malts, and slightly spicy hops. The taste is more of the same. YEAST is the main flavor with some nice citrus-y and fruity background flavors. The hops are very light in this brew but it doesnt seem to hurt this brews tastyness. This beer had a very creamy mouthfeel and a top notch drinkability....A wonderfully different pale ale!

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Photo of AudioGilz
4.34/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's pretty cloudy and straw/orange in color. The head is huge, has a good retention and awesome lacing. What a kick ass aroma this has! It's citrusy and yeasty, I really enjoy it. There's a wonderful smoothness to this beer, medium carbonation and mouthfeel. I really enjoy the spicy hop character, also fruity in a way. This character follows pleasant malt character. It's kind of odd for the style to me, but I really enjoy it regardless. It's an awesome beer.

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Photo of ADR
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Chunky, murky pale orange appearance with a lighter 1/2 inch head of medium bubbles. Laces in rings. Grassy hop aroma, quite evidently mixed with an oiled pizza dough yeastiness. Semi-coating and smooth mouthfeel and a mid caramel malt bill supplemented by a nectarine fruitiness. Hops tend toward an slightly astringent citrus and are evident mid mouth onward. Good balance. What's really evident here is the yeasty breadiness, welcome in many of the Kalamazoo Stouts, but somewhat strange here (as in the Sparkling Ale as well). So I'm a fence sitter, balanced but somewhat odd flavor.

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Photo of Brent
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A somewhat reserved pale ale, but very well crafted and quite drinkable. Citrusy/floral hops were judiciously administered and well balanced by a lightly toasted malt. Tended to lean a little toward the English interpretation. Very clean and refreshing - a good session ale. Strikes me as a good transition beer to build a non-hop-head's tolerance (and appreciation) for Two Hearted Ale.

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Photo of Wildman
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

@The Press Grille: This beer poured a hazy/cloudy yellow color(chilled glass did not help-note to bartender after I get to know him better)and had a small bubbly white head that left trace lace. It had an aroma of hops, citrus and slightly of malt. A flavor of hops, citrus and bread. The finish was light an a touch astrigent. As far as pale ale's go, this is not a good example and a rare miss for Bell's.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Golden color with a good amount of floating particulate matter. White head that leaves lace.
Aroma is malty for a pale ale. Sweet pale malt and hops meld to create a musty, lemony sort of smell.

Taste seems a bit odd for a pale ale. Sweet pale malts and hops are fairly well balanced. Odd biting flavor exists that creates mild astringency. Doesn't taste fresh.

Mouthfeel is pretty good.
Drinkability: An odd pale ale I don't find refreshing.
Overall, it's a decent beer, but it just doesn't seem polished. Plenty of better pale ales out there IMO.

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Photo of zerk
4.42/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy gold, with a persistent fluffy white head that leaves a fair amount of lace. Aroama is full of toasted malt, cut grass, and spices. Flavor begins as bread dough, then becomes herbal and bitter. The flavors balance quite well. Mouthfeel is just slightly rough and somewhat oily, with a medium body. This is a most excellent pale ale, that I could drink all night long. Kalamazoo does it again!

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Photo of HopheadEd
3.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy yellow, very little head that fades to zero, and virtually no lace. Faint smell of sweet hops, slightly bready. The taste reveals very little carbonation, light malty, slightly spicey. Not too much going on in the mouthfeel, and a short, slightly hoppy finish. Strange, I have the Expedition stout in the wings that I am looking foward to, but this one falls short.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.75/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The color's that of ripe apricot, the head a solid, stocky white. Aromas are explosive, spinning off citrus, primarily grapefruit, orange, lemon, and a whiff of spice. A downright friendly finish, that meets you, and greets you and treats you right. Awash in bitter, but fruity flavor, with a sensational, and long lasting drizzle of hops. Fresh, sea-foamy nose. Light body, excellent texture and mouthfeel, full of that unexplainable effervescence that permeats all of Bell's ales. It's got to be that yummy, yummy yeast. One hell of a great pale ale!

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Photo of jtw5877
4.12/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish orange with a white head. Nice hopiness with enough maltiness to back it up. A really solid version of the style. Another solid brick in the foundation of a rock solid brewing company.

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Photo of rotsaruch
3.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed on tap 12/9/02. Pured an amber color with a medium head that quickly dissipated. The strong hops aroma was clearly noticable on the nose and accompanied by an overwhelming citric, grapefruit taste. The presence of malts providing any balance to this brew was undiscernible. One pint was enough for me.

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Photo of Viking
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy gold body with a thick, almost creamy head. Head fades surprisingly fast, but never disappears altogether. Smell is a bit grassy, with bready caramel malt and citrus hops. Good smell, but a little weak. Well balanced flavor. Neither the caramel malt nor the hops really takes full control in the taste. Caramel malt is a bit biscuity, and the hops are bitter and citrusy. Finishes oily and bitter. Rough, oily mouthfeel for this excellent session brew.

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Photo of aracauna
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a little paler than I was expecting from Bell's. A lot of PAs are darker than this beer. It does have that nice wet, clingy head that I love pale ales to have, though. The aroma is mostly the hops, a bit thin and astringent, but not unpleasant. I was a little worried at the taste. Had the brewery I had come to expect for big malty beer let me down? Turns out the light color had less to do with lack of malt than with the color of the malt used. The malt flavors dominate early on. As the beer warms, the thin, bitter hops dominate the beginning finishing with the crisp malt. Not my favorite APA, but far from a mediocre example of the style. One thing, though. If you're expecting the huge hoppiness of a lot of the really popular APAs, this is a bit mild.

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Photo of cokes
3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Strange little APA here.
Murky golden body, with plenty of floating sediment. Medium creamed off-white head. Good durability.
Fruity nose of lemon and peach. Neither is particularly fresh-smelling. Mustiness lurks towards the back, with some hay and grassiness. Hops are evident and of the citric persuasion.
Taste is similar. Lots of fruity undercurrents. But none are especially pleasing. Loads of lemon-drop artificiality, mixed with candy pineapple and peach. Cloying sweetness, but stops just short of being offensive. Bready body under the fruit, along with plenty of yeast sourness and musty hues. Turns mildly citric hoppy at the finish.
Seems unfinished and unmelded.
Short of medium bodied. Creamy but somewhat flat Not bad, but could use a little more snap.
For a good "fruity" APA, check out Hair of the Dog Ruth. This "pales" in comparision.

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Photo of putnam
4.03/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled with bottles of Fuller's London Pride, Bass, Sierra Nevada and Big Hole.
Palest of all. Gold. At first there's an impression of brown sugar on the nose with candied lemon in the background. Then the kaleidescope shifts and there is a custard-like egginess predominant. Then, once more, it reconfigures as a freshly opened can of creamed corn, corn and milk. The attack is of overripe citrus. Bright, clear flavors of cane, pancakes and lemon marmelade with sunny, hayfield notes weaving in to linger. This beer was easy to pick out in the lineup for that trademark Bell's signature flavor.

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Photo of ZAP
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I love k'zoo beers, but this one I am not as high on as others. It is very unique though as it almost has some Belgian qualities to it..a pours a cloudy golden with a big thick head....smell is yeasty as you'd expect with a bottle conditioned beer...also some sourness on the nose... Taste has some biscuit, breadiness to it and some real spicy hop accents..maybe even some subtle smokiness to it similar to Batch 5000 in that regard but toned down about one-thousand times...One of the more unique pale ale's but not my bag of tea...nice to try and solid in its own right but I like many others better. Nowhere near two hearted ale in my opinion..

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Photo of zakery
4.3/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A big fluffy and not so persistent head on a hazy (from the yeast) and golden brew.

Smell: The first whiff is pure yeast as it comes out of the bottle. The yeast smell soon disappears and gives way for a slightly sweet citrus and apricot smell. Very appetizing.

Taste: Malt sweetness, apricot, flowery hops with a very nice hop bitterness to round it off.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a good bit of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very quaffable.

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Photo of BitteBier
4.17/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy orangish-yellow pour with very fine head that gives way to a persistent lace that lasts the glassful. Even when well chilled, the aroma is striking with citrus and hops hinting at the surprisingly strong flavors that await. A nice hoppy sharpness with some of the fruitiness giving way to a hint of toastiness. Mouthfeel is smooth without being slimy. I first enjoyed this beer from a keg, and it seems nothing is loss in its translation to a bottle.

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Photo of inebrius
4.38/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Veiled peach with a thin, sticky head. Tasty hops and toasty malts are indelibly stamped on this smooth, easy-drinking pale. The cleanest APA to ever cross my buds. Can you say "session"?

Cheers to Deuce for the sample!

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Photo of Murph
4.53/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours hazy bright golden color with tiny bits of yeast suspended and a perfect sized pillowy white head that last most of the way down the glass. Light floral and spicy hops smell. The hops attack the tongue first thing but are then nicely followed by just enough malt to balance this one. The spicy hops make this refreshing and crisp and a great summertime brew. Extremely drinkable and thirst quenching. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries. Thanks to Deuce for the sample.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a yellow / golden color with bubbles galore, they just sit there…Nice rocky head, almost the same as when you make a root beer float, this baby hangs around to the end.
I thought the aroma was huge, I could smell the citrus-hop with the bottle a ½ foot from my nose. On the palate a decent malt backdrop, and I thought the hops were pretty dominant but not totally overpowering. I agree with bighuge a pretty unique version of a pale ale.. good stuff.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.77/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy light pale appearance with a nice rocky white head that forms a nice lace as I drink. The overall aroma isn't real strong, but the citrus-hop part of the aroma is dominant. Almost like nectarine. Pretty nice firm body. Seems to have a decent malt backing. A bit of biscuit. It has a spicy floralness to it, but it is different than the West Coast versions like SN. A bit of a lingering bitterness that is neutral. This is not as overpowering as some of the Bell's beers (which does have a little to do with the style), but it is a pretty unique version.

I've been into so many different specialty brews from Kalamazoo over the past couple of years that I hadn't realized it had been years since I tried some of their "run of the mill" brews. Thanks to Davo for leaving one behind for me in our trade.

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Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 3.41 out of 5 with 1,203 ratings