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 ThatWineGuy
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy, cloudy golden with a large-and-small-bubble lively carbonation, persistent with good retention and lacing. Smells of spring flowers, light spice, spearmint and peppermint. There is a really assertive hoppy taste and mouthfeel, dry and sharp. Substantial body but fairly high alcolhol seems to come through in the ginger-snappy aftertaste that is also a touch sour and takes away from the drinkability quotient. Lots of yeast on the bottom of the bottle, thanks to Merchant's in Dearborn for another treat from Michigan-based Bell's, I only wish it were a touch less sour on the finish.

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

12 oz bottle into a Victory Hop Devil nonic

A: Thin white head that fell to a ring & cloud. Hazy, deep golden body.

S: Light fruit, yeast, malt. Little hops in the nose except just a hint of citrus. Overall seemed somewhat odd for a pale.

T: Citrus flavor with spices and a little malt. Are we sure this is an APA? Really? Well, however you classify it, it's not for me.

M: Medium body & carbonation. Decent bitter aftertaste.

D: Getting this in Oklahoma took some work (by JSommers - thanks again Jay). Sadly, it was not worth the effort. I wanted hops & did not get them.

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Photo of kenito799
4.15/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. From a mixed case dated 7/18/07, purchased in Philly, thus likely stored in a/c beer distributor, sealed in the case, for almost three months.

Pours a hazy dark gold, floaters of yeast sediment in there, a good sign. Very little head or retention, some wisps of lacing.

Aroma is pleasing fresh and malty, hints of spice, maybe nutmeg and cinnamon, but very subtle. Subtle fruitiness as well (apricot?).

Creamy and delicious on the tongue, the taste is a crisp, balanced refreshing beer that does not overwhelm with flavor, but has a nice long finish that is just bitter enough. A well made example of a flavorful blonde ale, as it says on the label. Very drinkable..the more you drink (and as it warms), the more the subtle fruit and spice notes reveal themselves.

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

Body is a hazy, dense , light orange due to the unfiltering of Bell's beer...definitely a plus. Head is not too big even when poured from a distance though the carbonation is quite strong which we will get to later.

Smells very bready with a moderate bitter hop. Bready malts are almost English in taste, though not buttery or toasty, a little blander, but still super malty smelling.

Taste is quite bitter not anywhere near as bready as in the nose, or else the score would be higher. Very bitter finish. There is a little sweetness to it which I'm betting the malts are responsible since they are so, well, malty and light. The bitterness almost kills it though.

Mouthfeel is fine, I guess, but I was never a big fan of a highly carbonated brew, which is what ruins a lot of lagers for me. This is weird since the head was kinda thin. Beer is thick enough, however, probably thanks in part to the unfiltering.

Pretty decent pale ale, though there are better offerings more readily available here in Chicago. Compared to others this beer isn't too grassy which isn't necessarily a plus in the taste department, but when it comes to repeat drinking, it doesn't get overpowering.

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

Pours a hazy golden with sediment swirling around. Good head: offwhite, rocky, and healthy and leaves some lacing. Smells spicy and clean with some washed out grain lingering. Taste is similar. Dry and sspicy to start with clean flavors and some more of that washed grain taste. Drops off a little too quick and finishes with pepper, grain, and earthy hops. Fairly grainy and thick mouthfeel for the style. Pretty decent, but not my favorite Bell's product.

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Photo of crazybrody06
4.11/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a mug.

Ive been looking foward to this beer since I bought it and I didnt dissapoint. Nice cloudy straw color with a big head from a hard pour. The smell isnt that great moslty just hops. The taste though is complex. Hops, grapefruit, sweetness, bitterness all come together to make this a great tasting beer. Nice full mouthfeel, and I cant beleive how quick I drank this glass, too bad I only bought one.

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Photo of treehugger02010
3.05/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought a six pack of this at Whole Foods Market in Alexandria, Va, and poured into a pint glass.
Appearance: A nice straw color, with a white head. Poor retention and really bad lacing.
Smell: A fair hop aroma, not much depth, a bit of a malty background.
Taste: At the begin it just seemed to be generic America hops, but as it warms, you can get some citrus and other more specific aromas.
Mouthfeel: A bit thin, but over all crisp.
Drinkability: Right down the middle of the line.
Don't drink and review.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A previously recorded tasting from "up north". Thi sbeer smells sweet and zesty. Into my trusty trapezoidal tankard the brew pours a cloudy dark yellow with a foamy two finger head. The taste is a semi-sweet start with an evenly bitter hopped finish. A nicely balanced ale. Very tasty. This is a shoe-in for a sessioner. The flavor is very pronounced yet clean. I like it. I could enjoy just about any food with this beer.

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

This was poured from the bottle into a pint glass. It has a light golden color with a thick foamy head with good retention. The aroma is very barley-like malt aroma along with a floral noble hop aroma. As with the aroma, it has a strong grainy, barley character with a very noble hoppy taste. It has a medium body with moderate carbonation.

I would not consider this an American pale ale at all, and when taken in this context it doesn't work. However, this reminds me of the hoppy pale ales (specifically Hommel) that I had near the town of Poperinge in Belgium recently this summer. It's an interesting and unique taste that is not commonly found in the States. I think this is a good, but very commonly misunderstood beer.

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Photo of bcgoldtoe
2.07/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A= Straw yellow with a two finger head but it doesn't last and lacing is sparse

S= Not bad, smells like grassy herbs. No malt.

T= Too much like an IPA. Too bitter and not enough malt. Grapefruit bitter aftertaste

M= Awfully watery for an ale, feels more like a lager in the mouth

D=If you like watery grapefruit, it's ok

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Photo of drseamus
3.87/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams glass. This was batch 7759 so that makes it about 8 months old.

A: This beer has a slightly hazy straw/amber colored body with a nice white head. I checked the BJCP and it shouldn't have be cloudy unless it's dry hopped which I don't think it is, so that's a negative.

S: Light hop aroma with some grassyness but no citrus. There is a malt background.

T: I've come to expect more from an APA, but this one is more textbook than the other APA's that seem to be experiencing inflation. It has decent hop bitterness but the hop aroma isn't as crisp as I would like. It's a pretty refreshing beer all around.

M: Good light to medium body and pretty refreshing all around.

D: A very textbook APA which is nice to see. Not too extreme on the bitterness or the hop flavor.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.71/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one at Brady's is Southfield, MI. This is one of the Bell's I hadn't really gone out of my way for, basically cause I always go for IPAs over PAs. However, they had it at Brady's so I went nuts. Poured a nice amber color with some lighter highlights, and a good fluffy head on top. Nose was very mild; some light orange and a touch of hops. Taste was better. Lots of orange and lemon, with nice caramel malt background as well. Solid but not-too-long aftertaste. Feel is solid, and carbonation was good. I've had a few really good Pale Ales lately, including Stone PA and the Burning River. I'll add this one to that list. Definitely one I could have a bunch of.

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Photo of enfield249
3.97/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Light cloudy gold. No lasting head, no lacing.

S - Fresh smelling, with just a touch of aroma hops.

T - Slight citrus flavor, followed by a little bitterness. So very good.

M - Sharp, but not overly so. Rounded would be a good word.

D - I've had this beer many a time, and it never fails to be a good summer standard fare type beer. The price is right too.

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Photo of kajerm
2.73/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy golden-amber with a finger or so of fine, mildly lacing head.

The aroma is herbal, Saazy in the extreme. This medicinal aroma is accompanied by a faint, ugly sulfurous smell, like cooked corn. Maybe it's just my dislike of continental hops getting in the way here, but this beer does not smell even remotely pleasant.

The flavor profile is fairly tame-- light up front, with very mild bitterness in the back. There's some medicinal and phenolic character on the finish. This beer really has more in common with British IPAs than with APAs.

Mouthfeel is light, with fairly weak carbonation-- the malt and CO2 just really aren't strong enough to hold this one together.

Light and drinkable, I suppose, but this one really didn't work for me.

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

Light golden amber color with clear bits of sediment suspended in the soft haziness. Head is white, not very large, and leaves patchy, spotted lace. Aroma is fragrant of orangy citrus, spice, soft flowers, and a solid amount of light bread malts. There is some graininess mixed with an unexpected refreshing clarity. Flavors match the aroma closely. There is certainly a wheaty quality to this beer in flavor, aroma and the slick mouthfeel. Carbonation is pointy and drinkability is high. I could have a hefty amount of these especially on a hot summer day.

This is not a typical pale ale (though the category is broad), but definitely a beer meant for good summer drinking.

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Photo of wedge
3.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light peach color clouded with visible sediment. A modest creamy head adheres to the surface nicely. Subtle aroma of pale malts, spicy, floral hops, and a trace of orange. Slightly raw malty flavor, a little fruit and a pleasant sweetness before the bitterness enters to finish it off. There's a seemingly solid balance between malt and hops, but in a sort of rough way, accented by the spicy hops and a lingering citrus acidity. Some yeastiness persists as well. Easy going mouthfeel, dry and bitter.

A different pale ale for sure. I'm not sure if I could make a session of this or not. Lots of pale maltiness, yeast, and earthy hops...not really what I would call an APA per se, but it seems they were aiming for something a little different here.

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Photo of jwc215
2.83/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours hazy blonde yellow with a one-finger white foamy head that hangs on, leaving some trailing lace on the glass.

The smell is floral with some orange peel. Herbal/medicinal.

The taste is of orange peel and an annoying tea-like astringency. Floral and medicinal herbs back it up. Sweet, grainy malt gives it some body and tries to help it out. It has a very dry, astringent finish.

It is medium-bodied with a medicinal, imbalanced bitterness clinging to the tongue, though, again, some malt tries to do something to save it.

One is okay, but that's it. Strangely astringent. I think that something is just "off" here, though it is not terrible at all.

Not crazy about it, but glad I had a chance to have it. Thanks to dekker0 for including it.

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

Light side of orange beer, a little cloudy with some bubbling action. Not much head, but good retention with what's there. Some lacing definitely present.

Faint aroma is unspectacular: some hoppiness with a citric bent blended with caramel malt. Flavor is similarly unassuming, nothing off but nothing courageous. Sweet, slightly bitter, none too overbearing. Sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, although overall it's a crisp and easy drinking brew. Carbonation is good, finish is clean and easy. Good session beer, low complexity.

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Photo of jspruit
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a bottle as part of a six-pack while visiting family.

Pours a light golden color, with a two-finger head that sticks around for a bit and then leaves a nice lacing throughout.

Smells pleasant, not too strong, with some hops and subtle malts.

Slight bitterness on the tongue upon tasting and the hops come through nicely along with some sweetness. Overall is well-balanced with very slight floral hints that is very easy going down.

No bad aftertaste and could be a great session beer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.4/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Acquired via concurrent trades from both biegaman & Frozensoul327, so a big “Thank you” goes out to them. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy gold color with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of citrus, caramel and a decent amount of hops.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with flavors fruity citrus, sweet caramel and a moderate hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty but still on the lighter side. The after-taste is hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good representation of style, I could put away several of these, this is very good beer to stick with for an evening.

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

I don't get this beer. Just had a Two Hearted Ale, Best Brown and an Amber Ale from Bells in the last week. All very flavorful. This beer has no pronounced flavors whatsoever. Pours a hazy dull gold like a wheat beer. The medium sized white head hold up fairly good. Leaves some lacing on the glass. A mild, odd and not totally pleasant aroma and a very underwhelming but crisp taste.

Crisp and rich enough mouthfeel. Just not enough of this beer to base a session on it or seek it out again.

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Photo of Absumaster
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A murky orange beer with a thin head.

Smell is fruity and spicy with a light hoppiness. It smells like a Belgian yeast has been used with all the fruitiness and spice.

Taste light malty with a spicy character, some clove and a light bitter. The hops are light and a little resinous. Body is medium to thin. I expected another Pale Ale, and this is probably not the right name for this beer. I seriously lacks character.

Thanks to dogfooddog for this one!

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Photo of BMoney575
3.77/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 5-18-07
Batch 7866
Bottled on 3-15-07

Pours a light golden color, with lits of little floaters. A good-sized head leaves decent lacing.

Smell is grassy, earthy, hops with a subtle malt backing.

Taste is good, well-balanced hops have fruity yet earthy flavors. An appropriate bitterness rounds things out.

Mouthfeel is good, just what you'd expect.

Drinkability is very good, this beer is very well-balanced and perfect as a session beer.

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

Poured from a brown bottle into a 12oz old-fashioned glass -- it's what the restaurant gave me. Served with fried chicken with a Mediterranean flair.

A: Cloudy straw color with foamy head that leaves above-average lacing.

S: Faint malts with slight grassy hops and mild honey sweetness.

T: On the earthier side of the APA spectrum with pretty grainy flavor with more malt than hops infused flavor. A bit of honey thrown in which can't cut the dry finish. Hops are earthy with light citrus.

M: The dry finish is over the top. A good deal of carbonation and a light-medium body.

D: Pretty smooth other than the dryness at the end.

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Photo of Redwood21
3.81/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a nonic
a golden color with a great rocky thick head. i must say the beautiful head is a huge reason i gave this beer a high appearance score.
s: not much to speak of. hops are not prominent at all niether is anything else.
T: extremely clean. very clean and smooth, light hops. ill admit the flavor is not as layered or complex as other beers, but very good just the same. there is a slight bitter aftertaste
m: smooth, lighter in body then other apa's but very smooth to me. i like other apas more, but this is a very good one as well

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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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