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

Bell's Pale AleBell's Pale Ale
Liked This Beer
3.41 w/ 1,201 ratings
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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,201 |  Reviews: 620
Photo of PhageLab
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pilsner glass.

A - Cloudy pale golden brew with a nice one tip head. Retention was pretty decent, but the lacing on the glass was immaculate.

S - Nice blend of apricot and citrus notes. Very sweet on the nose. Not a very powerful aroma, but pleasant none the less.

T - This was one of those interesting instances where the taste profile is exactly similar to the way it smelled. Low bitterness, slight hop tinge, pale malts. Not bad, but nothing outstanding.

M - Mild carbonation, perhaps a bit too much. Light body, no residues.

D - Decent, but I think I'd probably get bored if I drank another. Not a bad brew at all, but there are much better pales out there, and if you're going to get a sixer of Bell's anyways, they have much more interesting brews than this.

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Photo of foxmul924
2.78/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Bottle into Slightly-Chilled Pint Glass)

Appearance: Golden Hue that Retained a Nice Off-White Head. Last Bit of the Pour Clouded the Brew with Sediment.

Smell: Citrusy Pale Malt with Spice Notes Typically Associated with a Blonde Ale. Hops are Present, but Hard to Distinguish.

Taste: Initial Spicy Flavor, Followed by a Brief Mellowing Carmel Sweetness and an Eventual Bitter, almost Sour Citrus Finish.

Mouthfeel: Lighter-Medium Bodied, Good Carbonation with a Semi-Clean Finish.

Drinkability: Non-Filling, Could Drink Multiple Brews if Desired.

Other: Not Exactly Impressed, Toward the End it Began to Taste Somewhat Bland. I Believe it Could Have Been a Bit Hoppier. I Respect Bells Brewing Co, but Will Stick to Oberon!

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, Batch 8230, packaged on 11/14/07. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a cloudy golden orange color with a half inch white head. Head retention and lacing are both OK. Aroma is grassy/spicy hops and bready malt. However, the aroma is on the weak side. Taste is very similar to the aroma, grassy/spicy hops, grain and bready malt. Mouthfeel/body is medium, with above average carbonation. Drinkability is OK too, but nothing special. Overall I think this is an average beer. It's not bad at all, but there's nothing that sets it apart from other beers. With that being said, I'd still drink it again in the future but I wouldn't make a point to seek this out either.

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Photo of BeerSox
2.55/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into nonic.

Hazy pale amber hue with a thin light tan head that slowly settles to a thin cap. Spotty lacing along the glass.

Light biscuity malt aromas with a touch of grassy hops. The aroma almost has a macro lager quality to it.

The malts are light and watery, with a bitter but unpleasant malt taste. Sort of a grainy sweet finish. Thin bodied with a fizzy feel throughout.

This is a pretty harsh pale ale. It's bitter, but in the wrong way. This is a subpar Pale Ale in most ways. Try something else.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle to a nice golden color with a hint of red, and good carbonation that effervesced throughout the entire drink, leaving decent lacing on the glass. Both aroma and flavor were a muted hoppy fruit, not really strong enough to truly identify.

Tis was easy drinking and would make a good session beer, just hard to rate high since nothing seemded to really jump out as a dominante nose or flavor.

It’s no Two-Hearted.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.21/5  rDev -5.9%
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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Photo of CDBeerDisappear
2.96/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours orange gold with a modest layer of foam with some visible suspended yeast. Aroma by itself is weak. Any taste comparison to IPA’s is unwarranted except to say this is not an IPA. The taste is bitter in a classic kind of way that reminds me of the way beer tasted in the sixties. Finish is clean and dry with light carbonation like a lager. Pleasantly drinkable.

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Photo of zdk9
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a very pale orange with a finger and a half of clumpy white clouds atop the brew. Some lacing at the top of tha glass but much less as the clouds dissapear into the horizon.

S- Light fruitiness, honey. Actually, quite a bit of honey smell. Not much hoppiness in the smell.

T- Light breadiness, accompanied by the honey, as if I'm eating freshly baked white bread topped with honey. A good amount of bitterness on the sides and, later, back of the mouth, that displays just a touch of earthy hops.

M- Light drinker

D- There's nothing wrong with this beer, but there's not anything special about it. Neither the malt nor the hops really scream out with flavor at me. The honey thing is interesting but quickly becomes boring.

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Photo of malcontent
4.12/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A typically cloudy (do they care about clarity?) Bell's beer with a visible clump of yeast in the middle of an otherwise attractive a turd on a wedding cake. The body is a beautiful honey color, it's just wrong for the style.

A softly spicy hop aroma fronts an otherwise malt-dominated nose. Bready with undertones of cardamom and cardboard. Oxidation anyone?

An inauspicious beginning didn't hint at what was to come. While this is certainly no IPA (nor does it claim to be), the hops are assertive and unmistakable. Spicy/piny hops lead in and out of a rich, caramel center; like a candy bar for alcoholics.

A little over-carbonated at first but then it settles into a smooth, easy drinking ale that screams session. An absolute pleasure to drink.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up on a whim as part of a mixed six pack from Abe's in Bethlehem. 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. I assume this is fresh as this was the first time I saw it at Abe's.

A dull gold color with orange mixed in, sizable white head that dropped rather quickly but left good lacing all the way down the glass. There was a bunch of yeast sediment in the form of little yeast globules floating around in the beer--very similar to Merry Monks and Smuttynose IPA. Greatly detracts from the appearance of the beer.

Smell is pretty muted, but there is some hoppiness to it. Taste is also muted, american hops poking through, but barely. Mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good considering the muted flavors and low(ish) alcohol. I don't think i would pick this up again. The field of pale ales is a very crowded one, and there are plenty of readily available beers that are the same price and are definately better. Try it if you would like, but i would just stick to SN Pale Ale.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle with batch number of 8047 poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a cloudy golden/orange color with a thin slowly diminishing white head and some sediment throughout the body. Lots of lacing left on glass as head goes down.
S: Strong grainy smell, can't pick up on much more
T: Nothing special, nothing bad, hops are there, not much else jumps out, other than grainy taste. Pleasant, slightly bitter aftertaste
M: Plenty of crisp carbonation, dry finish, lots of tannins left behind
D: Not my favorite Pale Ale, can't compare to burning river or alpha king, but I'm glad I tried it.

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Photo of jeonseh
2.47/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

A golden, cloudy orange color with not much of a very thin white head. Mine had some sediment lying it which makes me wonder if this is unfiltered. Truthfully, the color reminds me a bit of a wheat beer, more than an APA like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The smell has a light hint of hops and also some lemon and orange as well.

The taste at first has a very light hops to it and then fades away to a wheat taste, and really can the floral taste that the bottle lists should be in their. It almost is a bit of lilac coming into it and some orange is sitting in their as well.

The beer was smooth, but the mouthfeel was off for me. I had the odd sensation that it was grainy. I could literally feel bits of particles that I could chew while drinking it. Overall, an okay beer that is a step up from your macro brews, but not even close to some of the other APA's such as Sierra Nevada. I have heard so many good things about Bell's and kinda sad this is the first one that I got to true. Hopefully, the Stout's leave me more impressed.

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Photo of Traquairlover
3.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass. You will notice from my notes that basically I thought this was a good beer (after writing it I noticed I started almost each section with the word "good"), but not a great one.

A = Hazy light amber, small head, great lacing.

S = Good presence of hops, some spice notes, not very complex but good.

T = Good taste, fair amount of hops but not a lot else going on, some sweetness on the back of the tongue and a nice bitter aftertaste.

M = Good body but too much carbonation. If you swish the liquid around it foams up unpleasantly.

D = Good for easy drinking and I could also envision picking it again as a simple American Pale Ale.

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Photo of calinative68
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into standard american pint glass. Got this bottle from by neighbor who recently returned from a trip back to Ohio.
A - Golden straw color with a white lacey head. Head dissapates quickly leaving plenty of lacing on the glass.
S - Slight pale malt with a hint of grass and citrus. Nothing that overhelming.
T - Malty in the middle with a slight hop finish. Bitter aftertaste.
M - OK, I guess. Nothing grabs me about this ale as it feels watery/thin.
D - Probably a good lawn mowing ale, but I've had other pale/golden ales that I prefer.
Over all, this isn't my favorite, but that's stickly opinion. If your looking for a beer that's low alcohol and flavor, then this might be your thing. But it's not mine.

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Photo of SafeAtFirst
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel Tulip. On the first pour I tried to leave most of the sediment in the bottle. Poured a rich, golden hue with a with a touch of cloudiness form the sediment. Crisp white head that is easily revived with a couple of swirls, eventually settles into a light but solid layer of lacing with the usual carbonation plume coming up the middle of the tulip. The second pour was much more cloudy.c

Initial aroma is light untoasted, sweet bread-like malts, a hint of lemony citrus and a little floral touch. APA? Really? Front of label says pale while the back says blond. I'm checking their web site... “A refreshing, blond colored pale ale” That didn't help.

Flavor is dominated by a husky malt profile thats a little chalky. There's a bit o fruit and a little hop zing at the end to help it to a crisp, refreshing finish. Solid but not heavy body with plenty of carbonation. Body becomes a little fuller and smoother once I pour all the sediment in, more yeast in the flavor and aroma. I think it's a better beer if you leave the junk in the bottle.

This is my first beer from Bell's and as a blond ale it's a pretty decent ale. I might buy some this summer for outdoor activities. However, the marketing for this beer gets a big F. They need to re-brand it clearly as a blond ale because that is what it is. As an APA this beer falls seriously short. I'll be grading it as a blond.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.76/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Average beer in all aspects. Appearance is hazy dark straw with bits of sediment floating around. Nice size white head that stays around 1/4" in size all the way to the bottom. That was about the only good thing about this beer that I discovered.

Aroma was basically missing. Some husky, grainy malts with little hops. As far as Pale Ales go, this was disappointing.

Average from here on out. Flavor profile was weak. Grainy, bready, slightly sweet, grapefruit/tangerine hoppiness. Light bodied and watery. By far, the worst Bell's offering I have had. I would think the "easiest" and most popular style would have been better coming from a big brewery like this. Im starting to appreciate all the other beer out there.

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Photo of flowerysong
4.05/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy straw colour.

Smell: Clean grain aroma, grassy hops with a citrus bite.

Taste: Coarse, sweet, grainy malt dominating. A fair amount of fruitiness, and some citrusy hop flavour to go with the medium hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, peppy carbonation. Medium body.

Drinkability: Good. Nice light-feeling beer, perfect for a crisp autumn day.

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Photo of bboven
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Straw yellow color, really light for the style. Really hazy with a lot of particulate floating around even after letting it sit. Tiny but lasting head with medium lacing.

Lots of base malt (2-row) smell. Pretty straightforward, no aroma hops to speak of, was really looking for more.

Very malty for a pale ale, but there's a great hop bitterness throughout. Could use more flavor and/or aroma hops.

Great carbonation lets the beer bounce around your tongue and breathe in your mouth. Very crisp.

I'd buy this again, but it could use some tweaking..

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Photo of kirok1999
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy light orange with just a slight head and almost no lacing. Smell is very mild, some straw hops and slight grass. Just a hint of citrus.
Taste is musky and grassy. Slight malt backbone with some taste of hay, grass, pine and a lingering wheaty aftertaste.
Feels slightly thin with just a little carbonation.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.24/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A very hazy, luminescent, orange liquid. A few floaters and a lot of streams of rising carbonation. The head is thick, fluffy and white. Leaves some great lacing. Very pretty and hearty looking.

S- A little hoppy and malty and a lot of signature Bell's smell. Reminds me of a little hoppier Oberon infact. I can't think of a better way to describe the Bell's smell. Doesn't really remind me of your typical pale ale.

T- There is a lot of flavor to this. A lot of citrus peel in fact. I think the yeast is almost kind of annoying. I love a beer that is not filtered, but this is just a little off base for me.

M- Creamy at first, but then the carbonation hits. It is kind of spicy and smooth at the same time.

D- I have had this on numerous occasions, but it hasn't really done it for me any of the times. It is very solid and little different, but there is just something not quite right. Just feels like a hoppier Oberon.

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Photo of dfried
4.02/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Straw yellow color, thin white head, a lot of sediment floating around in the body. The aroma was of toasty biscuity sweet pale malt, grassy herbal hops with citrusy notes of orange and a touch of lemon.

The taste was much like the aroma led on, lightly toasted, sweet, grainy malt, a bit biscuity. Tangy, spicy, herbal hops with not a lot, but quite noticeable citrus flavor. Pretty light and drinkable on the palate, but a bit chalky I think due to all the sediment in this sample.

Overall: a solid American style pale ale, above average, but nothing special, drinkable as hell. A good beer for Bell's repertoire, but I will stick to Two Hearted ale.

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Photo of nycjag
3.42/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a pleasing enough a beer. While I tend to like pale ales this one wasn't quite in my wheelhouse.

The nose had a pleasing floral hop, but the taste fell a little flat to me. I like my pale ales with a slightly sweet maltiness and I was quite getting that. Almost like an off flavor snuck in there.

The appearance was also interesting. It was relatively clear in the glass, but had a significant amount of suspended yeast, which I would normally like, but it just looked strange in a relatively clear beer.

This beer wasn't bad, just not among their best offerings.

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Photo of burnstar
4.2/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours murky gold with a big white head. Nice lacing. Aroma is mostly citrusy hops. Some floral notes with background sweetness. Taste is clean light malt sweetness below spicy and floral hops. Crisp. Some light fruit flavors in the finish with a light lingering bitterness. Pretty balanced. Mouthfeel is medium and fairly well carbonated. Overall this is a balanced and very drinkable APA. Not particularly exciting but very solid and sessionable.

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Photo of wspscott
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in pint glass

A: Pours hazy light gold color with a thick, fluffy white head, leaves a bunch of lace.
S: Sort of flowery with a hint of honey(?) in the back
T&M: A nice crisp mouthfeel with a hint of bitterness. There are no obvious american hops here (i.e. not a lot of citrus). Almost makes me think of a wit, there are hints of a spiciness that I don't associate with an APA.
D: This is a very nice summer beer, crisp/sharp for a hot day. Of course it is overcast and ~60 and this is still a nice beer. I am not sure this fits the APA style but I like it. Good session beer, recommended.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.4/5  rDev +29%
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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Bell's Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 27.2% out of 100 with 1,201 ratings
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