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.

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Reviews: 620 | Ratings: 1,201
Photo of schoolboy
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am pretty sure that this APA has been around a while and may be one of the pioneers of the style. As such, it doesn't have to taste like all the others and it does't. It is one of the easiest drinking, smoothest APA's.

It's like a regular pale but with less dark hops. I has a creamy mouthfeel that is great but not what I expect. Overall, it's a good brew that everyone should try and should not be refused, but it is a bit understated.

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

Picked up at world market the other day while buying a we computer desk. Side poured from the Bottle into a Boulevard pint glass. Bottled in February 2012.

Appearance - pours a pretty standard, golden color with a pretty puny, one finger soapy whitehead that quickly dissipates, but does leave good lacing. Normal Bells packaging for the bottle, nothing fancy. One side note, there is an extraordinary amount of sediment inside the glass, I seriously thought there was something amiss. There may be. It looks like someone ashed a whole cigar into the beer.

Smell - Pretty standard pale ale aroma, although I was somewhat take aback by the skunkiness of the smell. Not very inviting. I could smell it as I poured it. Other than that, a little Hoppiness, a little grainy backbone. Not much going on here.

Taste - Much the same as the nose. underwhelming, with a definite funk. A little hops, a little chewy grains, other than that, not much going on at all.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, high carbonation level. Finished fairly clean.

Overall - This is the same brewery that made Two Hearted and Kalamzoo Stout? I never would have guessed. This beer is a miss on a lot of levels. I thought it may have been because of the ge, but it isn't that old, five months. I see a lot of BA's are disappointed. Not a good APA at all, not a good beer. Kinda reminds me of Corona, seriously. Not recommended.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.91/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle dated 05.04.12
Served in tulip pint.

Pale golden color. Very clear and fizzy. White head of 2 fingers settled quickly to a thin cap of white foam. Spotty lace.
Smells of a lightly toasted grainy malt with a little grassy and lemony hop note.
The flavor is dry and grainy malt with a little earthy character. Lemony hop note on the back end are the most prominent. Very mild bitterness.
Good carbonation level, medium-light body.
Overall-- APA is my favorite style... And this is a pretty average take on the style. Surprising disappointment from such a great brewery.

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Photo of Beer_Runner
4.15/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

packaged on 05/04/12
Slowly poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Poured to about two fingers of rich, thick, foamy, off-white head that was robust and long-lasting. The brew is a gloden straw color and cloudy.

S: The aroma is mild and consists of a sweet caramel malt and floral hops.

T: The taste is a very pleasant blend of malt sweetness, some floral hops, and just enough bitterness. Each flavor is mild and they fit together well.

M: This beer has a very light body and is very smooth with a clean finish.

O: This is a simple and basic Pale Ale. It is a great representation of the style. The mild flavors blend together to create a pleasant and pleasing beer. No frills, no twists, and nothing hitting you over the head. This is just a classic, simple Pale Ale.

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Photo of tone77
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops, citrus. Taste is different, spicy, hops ,bitter, lemon. not really what I was expecting. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a mediocre beer.

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

Another Bell’s session offerring: their Pale Ale. Low alcohol, but I’m guessing it isn’t low flavor.

Brewed three weeks before the date of this tasting (“PKGD 05/04/12”).

A: Is that some chill haze I see? Odd, since this beer is so fresh. Anyway, it pours a cloudy golden-yellow, pale like fruit juice but with a decent shine to it. Bright, smooth head, an array of white cream that you’d expect on top of any nice pub beer. Delicate lacing climbs the side of the glass.

S: Quite mild: not overtly hopped, but with a spicy, floral buzz of airy bitterness. There a prominent earthy presence to the whole nose, as the relaxed hops open up to a husky grain tone of pale malts. It’s a nice pilsner-esque aroma.

T: Nothing special here: an easy-drinking mouthful of chunky grains and honey oat cereal. It’s husk and straight up raw, grassy pilsner malt, backed up by an herbal hop kick – piney and herbal, and even with a citrus kick to it. Moderate bitterness to the palate, with that full-on husk chewiness, making the aftertaste a slight, grainy experience. Very mild in the finish, and overall.

M: Fizzy yet smooth, a refreshing blend of the two extremes that works wonders on a hot summer day.

O: A good summer brew; I’m getting essentially the same enjoyment out of this beer that I did from their Amber Ale. At any rate, if you like raw, chewy grains, then you’ll get a kick out of this beer.

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

Single bottle from Knightly Spirits in Orlando. Bit of an old bottle - dated in September. We'll see what happens.

Poured into a nonic. Pale straw in colour, hazy and with some visible sediment - a lot of it.

Nose is bread, citrus, some funkiness I can't identify that places this beer in a witbier category or something markedly in pale ale.

The pale ale finally arrives in the taste, which is okay but nothing special. Citrus, bread, crispness, hop bitterness to the finish. Grainy.

Assertive carbonation, moderate body.

It may be the age of the brew, but judging from other reviews I'm not alone in this regard. A miss for me.

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Photo of TwinButte
3.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Only my second Bells beer and I am excited to see what this pale is all about.

Drank in the dark so not sure of the appearance but it did provide a nice foamy head. Smells of citrus fruits and pine. Its full of flavors with a spicy prickly taste. Not really what I was expecting for the style. It is different but that sets it apart from others in it class. Not very bitter and leaves a lingering flavor of pine and spice.

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Photo of blackcompg
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from their 12oz bottle...

Appearance - Poured a thick 2 finger head of fluffy eggshell cumulus clouds, gorgeous! Color is a cloudy lite golden apricot color. Great lacing left after the session.

Smell - Citrus of of lemon and orange, touch or coriander, wheat and floral hop scents.

Taste - Starts citrus, orange and grapefruit flavors. This is accompanied by wheat breadcrusts, a very slight peppery coriander flavor, and finishes with some nice floral and spicy hop flavors.

Mouthfeel - Between light and medium, very smooth and drinkable, medium carb adds a few edges otherwise has a softer foaming feel to it.

Overall - This beer caught me off guard a bit, as it truly looks and starts just like a witbier. The pale ale is much more apparent at the finish of the sip, with the hops shining long into the finish and between sips. I know this gets alot of lower marks, but as I like both styles, I really like this hybrid.

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Photo of Efeswasmy1st
1.88/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from bottle, appearance is golden with small amount of white head. Sediment hangs throughout pour. Should there be sediment? and this much? Or did I get a bad bottle in my Pick Six?
Aroma is a lot of bread, some wheat, a little hop.
Taste is very lightly bitter and oily feeling.
Falls flat for a pale ale.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
2.96/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. The “PKGD” date printed on the back label is “01/19/12.”

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is hazy, light gold. There are a lot of small, citrusy chunks (reminiscent of lemonade) floating in the beer. Two fingers of eggshell-colored head dissipated to leave trails along the glass, a thin lacing, and a thick ring around the edge.

Smell: Very similar to witbier. Musty white bread, yeast, lemon zest, orange, and coriander. Not exactly what I was expecting, but I’ll go with it.

Taste: Ah — there you are, Pale Ale. The first sip is a surprise of orange, lemon, and pine spice and bitterness; it really wakes the tongue. The citrus spice and bitterness dominate, but the musty white bread and yeast from the smell linger in the background. As the beer continues to warm, the two styles (citrusy pale ale and flat witbier) merge to create a creamy combination.

Drinkability: This is really an odd little thing. It is drinkable and tasty, but I have no clue what is going on. I wish Bell’s would drop the witbier part and concentrate on making this a full-fledged, citrusy pale ale.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
2.86/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a hazy yellow/orange. Small 1 finger foamy head that dissipates quickly.

S - Very malty and bready, a bit of a coriander spice. Almost a bit skunky. Reminds me very much of a witbier.

T - Overall a pretty bland taste, a bit of spice again, but a lot of bready malt and yeast. A bit peppery at the end. Not really a ton of hops in here.

M - It's clean and crisp for sure, bit of a peppery aftertaste.

Overall - It was just okay. Pretty unremarkable and I really feel like it even missed the mark on a pale ale.

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Photo of tdm168
3.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, light orange with a quarter of an inch of soft, dense, foamy head that has great retention. The nose has faint notes of light bready malt but is overall very subdued. The flavor is lightly malty with some behind the scenes bready notes. There are some faintly bitter hop characteristics as well that come through in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and well carbonated.

This is an alright APA. The flavor is definitely not forward or robust in any way nor is there any standout qualities. It is however drinkable and enjoyable. I would have it again if offered.

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

Poured a cloudy golden yellow with a thin layer of somewhat persistent off white head. Not much of a smell, just a little of yeast and malt. Taste is mostly of faintly citrusy hops. I'm not getting much in the way of anything else. Any malt flavor is well hidden.

Overall, while this is a very drinkable beer there is not much to set it apart. I've tasted several pale ales that i will pick ahead of this one.

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Photo of rterry13
3.06/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Single bottle sampler from a pick 6. Very average in every way for an American pale ale. Agree with an earlier poster about the "sea monkey" appearance. Refreshing however and would be nice for a hot day. Probably would not go out of my way to buy again. Not nearly as good as other Bell's offerings in my opinion.

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

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

(A)- Pours a hazy orange color. Some white froth and lace.

(S)- A spicy lemon & lime citrus with subtle pine and mildly musty malt.

(T)- Similar to the smell. Good citrus and pine with a subtle caramel malt.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Good hops and malt balance.

(D)- Not bad. A straightforward pale ale but a good one at that.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.29/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A very hazy yellow, straw color. Lots of visible sediment floating all over in this beer. 1 finger of head, and a bit of sticky lace left on the glass. Pretty impressive appearance.

S - Grainy malts, and lots of them. Wheat and straw.

T - Wheaty, malts dominate. Not much hop character. Not very well balanced, kind of just a wheat malt bomb. Very dry finish.

M - Well carbonated, and very crisp and dry.

O - Not my favorite style, but it did grow on me as I worked my way through it.

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Photo of nukem5
3.45/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a light amber color with a big fluffy cap of foam.

S: Aroma consists mainly of malt and very good balance of hop flavor in there.

T: Taste is of malts and a light hop flavor in the mix within the smooth blend of flavor.

M: Very drinkable beer with some smooth sweet malts are dominant with some lacing and a faint touch of piney/floral hops very well balanced.

O: Overall a great beer from the folks from Bells Brewery strait to you.

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Photo of OleJohnnieAle
2.75/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- golden pale straw nice white bubbly head and rather hazy.

S- not much here, malts and a tiny hop smell.

T- like the smell, not much here... Mainly malt, little flavor

M- light body, smooth bit of bitterness on the back end

O- nothing special here...decent beer but no better than an MHD or bud.

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Photo of fatmusic14
2.9/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served mostly in a bottle.

Appearance - kind of underwhelming. Golden yellow like a slightly richer apple juice. Very small amounts of head, no lacing.

Smell - typical of a pale ale, smells of pine and citrus.

Taste - again, very typical. Not quite hoppy, lacks the flavor and tenacity of a strong pale ale. Almost watery.

Mouthfeel - the one bright mark. Very drinkable, tastes fine and a good level of carbonation.

Honestly, as far as a recommendation goes, this is a "stay away" for me. Get a single if you want, but don't spend the money on a 6 pack. If you're set on a Bells ale, Two Hearted is absolutely the best bang for your buck.

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Photo of Swim424
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into pint glass

A-cloudy golden yellow with lots of carbonation. small head

S-very sweet malty scent with a hint of hops. a bit fruity

T-citrusy up front finishing with a slight hoppiness at the end.

MF-medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation

O-this is better than i expected after looking at the sites ratings. Pretty pleased with this one.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On draft at Churchkey, I was not a fan of this beer. Beer is yellow to light amber, mostly clear, thin head, white bubbles, some lacing, low retention.

Aroma is weak, malty, mild hops.

Beer is light in body and low in carbonation on the palate, the beer is mostly just a thin malt syrup flavor, nothing much else. Mild hops, no bitterness, not a repeat.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.47/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy golden-amber. Large foamy head and average lace. Fair presentation.

Nose is citrus and pine hop-ness. Subtle, but fine.

Taste is citrus and pine hops, too, with a slightly bitter finish. Plentiful malt presence seems to balance it well. Another solid session offering from Bell's.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.48/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12Oz poured into a pint glass.
A- cloudy yellow with 2 fingers of a white head. dissapates quickly.
S- Very grainy and somewhat bitter. A very weak smell that reminds me of light beer. Little malt and hop character. Some Belgian characteristics.
T- This beer reminds me of a euro pale or export lager. Not a lot of hop character, some Belgian notes. A grainy feel to it and not malty at all. Not a huge taste but its there in balance.
M- This is where this beer shines, Its stupidly smooth and easy to drink. Pretty high carbonation but it works here.
O- This beer doesn't exactly have an attractive appearance or an inviting smell but it makes up for it in other ways. Im used to really hoppy pales that border IPA's so for me, its hard to really classify this as a pale. Its really smooth and anybody could drink it so in that regard, its pretty decent.

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Photo of tophers
3.98/5  rDev +16%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: Pale golden in color. Not much head retention. Quite hazy with sediment

s: Not much of a hop aroma. The aroma is citrus in nature - orange with a very slight melon aroma. Does have a bit of bready aroma. Fruity esters seem to be fairly strong. Bit of a grassy note

t: Moderate-high hop flavor that is citrus in nature. Citrus tones come out in the middle and end. Leaves a nice finish in the mouth. Hops dominate the flavor without much of a maltiness flavor. Some bready flavor towards the end. Dry finish.

m: Medium body with a medium amount of carbonation. Smooth finish and the hops are long lingering.

o: When first smelling this beer and looking at the "floatees" in it, I didn't think I would like it. However, this is really a great beer. Could use a touch more maltiness flavor though. Love how the hops just sit in your mouth.

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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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