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Bell's Lager Of The Lakes | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Bell's Lager Of The LakesBell's Lager Of The Lakes

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by proc on 10-16-2006

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Reviews: 375 | Ratings: 984
Photo of CRichardsMN
1.8/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours out a straw yellow with a huge foamy white head that leaves a pretty decent amount of lacing. Also has some off-white floaters.

Pretty much only grassy straw and some bitter hops. Not bad but not a whole lot to look forward to in the first drink...

Like the smell, not a whole lot going on but grass and hops. Flavor is actually pretty full but not great. Also has a bit of a musky off taste like a pilsner gone bad. Finishes with a long lingering bitterness.

Nice carbonation and medium body with no residue.

Not a fan and had a hard time finishing this one.

I've had quite a few different brews from Bell's and have not had anything approaching this poor. I have to imagine that I picked up a badly handled bottle.

 787 characters

Photo of JustLikeMyDad
2.23/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Drank from the bottle. It smells like a lager, feels like a lager, and even initially tastes like a lager, but the aftertaste is like that of an ale, similar to their Two Hearted Ale.

As I'm not an ale person, I would have gone with something else if I had known it would have been Ale-like.

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Photo of atsprings
2.36/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass, poured a crisp straw yellow with a thin diminishing head. Aroma was some weak pale malts, but almost nonexistent. The taste was quite disappointing, barely any better than anything by BMC. The beer was very light and crisp with decent carbonation, just what you'd expect from a cold Budweiser. Even in a lager, I expected more from Bell's, I'm glad I only bought one bottle and that I've got a tulip of Two Hearted to get back to.

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Photo of PatrickJR
2.44/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Pale straw yellow, completely clear. A finger of bone white head rises with moderate retention before settling to a thin collar. Minimal lacing.

S - The use of noble hops is more than obvious here. Very onion-like and vegetal...tomato-like even. Though I'm sure this is what was intended, it smells remarkably like the regurgitation of a big Italian meal.

T - Even worse than the nose. Bottled gym socks with a shot of body odor topped off with some deadly haletosis. Flavorless malt kicks things off followed by a wash of the horrible flavors described above. Thankfully they die off quickly and give way to an earthy bitterness in the finish. Luckily this buffet of bodily functions does not linger.

M - The mouthfeel is actually right on point. High carbonation with a light, but not thin body.

D - Fuck this. I'm not sure what Bells was aiming for, but it's hard to fathom that this beer was the intended product. I'm having to choke this down as it is; this is surely destined for a drain pour. This tastes more like beer on the way back up.

 1,105 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
2.58/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

Bell's Lager Of The Lakes pours a pale SRM-1 color with a tall, foamy head.

Aromas of Saaz, Mosaic, and other noble hop varieties, along with some pale malts and light herbal grassiness.

Very sharp flavors waxing strongly metallic; quite a bit of herbal and pilsner qualities, but the explosion of trash can metal just sort of ruins the experience.

Heavily carbonated, slightly creamy, and a dry finish.

A boat lager this is not. Nor is it in any way enjoyable. I'm gonna give the rest to someone else. Easily wins the award for Bell's worst beer.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.62/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally reviewed on October 29, 2006. Light rotting corn ester and fusel destruction in the aroma. The malt is stinky. A light waft of hop field grass blows in from over the hill. Pours a crystalline clear pale yellow. Very thin rim of head. Flavor is a more piquantly hopped version of the aroma, a biting terse grassy overtone plays over all the off corn sugar flavors. The malt disagrees with my tongue in more than one way. It’s not possibly skunked, as it’s fresh off the delivery truck. There’s a light edge of creaminess to the grain sugars, but mostly a fusely off-note. Some light sweet orange rises from the hop smack in the backend. This beer is a sellout. Not even a good pilsener.

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Photo of FCGrabo
2.67/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Into the glass. The beer came up with thick head but only about a half-inch's worth. The liquid was a nice golden yellow as promised with lots of medium sized bubbles. I'm thinking that the head will go away soon, so I better get crackin' here. The aroma was nice, reminding me of last night's Old Style. A good beery scent pervaded through my nose hairs making me want to have a sip real soon. Like now.

As soon as the first sip went down, the hops attacked. The flavor of the beer is rather robust, but the hoppiness at the swallow was a little harsh right out of the gate. I thought that another ounce of hops in this recipe at the brewery would push this beer into the realm of a mild IPA. Instead of it reminding me of Old Style, it reminded me of the Eliot Ness beer from a liitle while ago. The beer is not really that bad, it's just that, for me, the bitter end is a little much. Like getting a skin pinch or finding a piece of gristle in your Polish sausage or that cell phone ringing in the movie theater. Everything else was good, except for that.

By the time I hit the bottom of the first glassful, the head was still there and the hoppiness became less pronounced and more of the flavor became apparent. The flavor cavorts nicely with the taste buds all the time the liquid is in your mouth, but when you swallow, it's like a swat to the ass. Tolerable but lingering. The hops are really apparent at the exhale after the swallow.

A few sips into the second beer and all of the flavors sort of came together. Perhaps it was the initial hop shock of the first sip of the first bottle that put me off, but down the road it came together. That begs the prerequisite for this beer: drink one of these before you have your first one of these. What does this mean? It took two beers before I started liking the taste. Maybe it's more of a toleration factor than it is a liking. I'll say that this beer is a unique taste experience over time.

 1,950 characters

Photo of Lauthaha
2.7/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Beer is very pale straw color with some mild carbonation visible through the glass. Head is angel white and recedes quickly leaving only a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Some decent hop flavor, with a tinge of corn added for bad measure. Grassy malt tones.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer tastes like grass clippings brewed into a tea then refrigerated overnight. Body is light- to medium-bodied, and carbonation is mellow with a slight rush in the middle of the taste. Beer goes down leaving a super bitter flavor that is neither pleasurable nor displeasing.

Overall: An average beer. Not a good pale lager, not a good beer. Getting a little tired of Michigan beers not living up to their state's great reputation.

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Photo of cnally
2.71/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer pours out with a really crisp looking appearance. Pale, misty yellow with golden accents. Nice light head that dissipated pretty quickly without leaving a trace.

The scents are very midwestern. Grain, corn, yeast are all present. I sense a hint of wild grass and field flowers.

The taste bounds with a mellow hop flavor. There is a heady bitterness, and elements of wheat and barley. The bitterness continues throughout the aftertaste.

The feel is light and fizzy. There isn't much of an impact.

It's a lager, which is admittedly not my favorite style of beer. This does seem to me like a decent lager. However, there is a bit of bubbly feeling arising from drinking this beer. It just doesn't agree with me--if you sense what I mean.

 748 characters

Photo of PaleAlien2
2.73/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks like a beer you'd buy in a gas station. Very light, very clear, very Bud Light-ish.

Smells very lager-y. Lots of grass and corn and skunkiness.

Fortunately, tastes better than it smells. Has a little hop spiciness in the finish.

Not bad, though not very good either.

Mouthfeel is very thin, highly carobonated. Spices tingle the tongue.

 347 characters

Photo of DuffDaddy
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Had a taster at the Beer Den in Lowes Food, Winston Salem, NC. Decent lager, but nothing outstanding about it. Would do the trick for a plain lager, but nothing to make is stand above its peers.

 196 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.78/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - A pale gold color with a very small head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S - A lot of slightly sweet light malt and grassy notes over a faint soapy yeast smell.

T - A lot of light malt and potent grassy hops with a faint lingering sweetness and a mild grassy bitterness on the finish. There is a bit of a not-so-pleasant funny metallic (iron-like) taste as the sweetness subsides.

M - Smooth, thick and a little refreshing.

D - It has a bit more character than the average lager, but offerings like Brooklyn Lager just make this not worth it. Honestly, the way the grassy hops mesh with the metallic taste is just unpleasant enough that I would likely turn this one down in the future if it was offered to me. It could be sessioned, but I'd rather not. This one just didn't work for me.

 816 characters

Photo of foamfoot
2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bell's is one of my favorite breweries and I admit I came into this with high expectations.

I was not overly impressed.

Appearance was a cloudy yellow with nice head. A clean flavor quickly turns to a strong finish. I would not recommend this to someone who usually drinks American domestics.

Granted, I like it better than the mainstream lagers, but there just isn't much to get excited about. It's not terrible, but far from solid. A very average beer.

If you have never given Bell's a chance, don't let this style be your first. I'm probably being overly harsh, but this falls well short of the many great styles to come from this Michigan brewery.

 656 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 12/11/2009. Bottle. Pours a clear light yellow with a small white head, very piss-like. Aroma of sweet wheat malt, bready malt. Flavor of stale bready malt, a touch of light fruits but only slight. I'm a bit disappointed with this beer -- overall, a boring pale lager.

 280 characters

Photo of davey101
2.84/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled 03/09/2012. 12 Oz. bottle into a plastic cup. Pours a golden straw yellow body. Small white head settles to some thin edging. Smell is sweet, bready, and bland. No hops, just some sweaty off flavors. Nice carbonation and mouth feel. Taste is identical. Not a bad lager, but not a great beer.

 299 characters

Photo of beerman207
2.84/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass at 45 degrees.

Appearance - cloudy yellow

Smell - malts, honestly it smells a bit like a fraternity party.

Taste - not impressive. Tasted a bit skunky to be honest

Mouthfeel - slightly carbonated and light

Drinkability - the drinkability of this beer is good if you're into the taste.

I may have to give this lager another try. I'm wondering if I got a skunked brew. I love the Kalamazoo Stout by Bell's so this one is leaving me unfulfilled.

 474 characters

Photo of AnalogReigns
2.88/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

To my palate this beer is overly hopped. This is about the only Bell's beer that I would say that about, and it has to do with balance. The balance for this type of beer is just too much toward the hops, so it overcomes (on my tongue at least) the quality malt I'm sure Bell's is using.

Lager, especially American pale lager, is not supposed to be a light colored IPA--and to me, this is what this tastes like. Bells is one of my favorite brewers too....but this is my least favorite of their line.

If they could just do a pilsner like Lammsbrau's....mmm....

 562 characters

Photo of stinewils24
2.9/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was a light yellow color with a sweet and tart smell. The taste was of malt, faint orange with molasses, and it was bitter. The texture was a thin hops. Overall, I thought it was okay, not amazing.

 210 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
2.91/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a strange)

A- This beer has a warm yellow body that is crystal clear with a rapid carbonation of tiny bubbles. The spongy snow white head last a good bit.

S- The light dry pale malt aroma has a noble hop hint in the finish. Not much depth but pretty fresh.

T- The dry pale malt hint is soft with a big bland Noble hop finish. As it warms there is a slight field corn note to the malt.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a dry crisp finish.

D- This beer has all the makings of a run-of-the-mill lager that is not very interesting but it is fresh.

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Photo of mdfb79
2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my new Bell's tulip because I can! Batch #10381, packaged on 06/13/11.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent bright yellow color with three inches of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. No lacing or real head retention, looks like a BMC adjunct a little bit.

s - Smells of wheat, grain, light bready malts, and light vegetables. Also a bit of skunkiness to it. A little weak and not a ton going on; little bit below average.

t - Tastes of grain, light bread, vegetables, and wheat again. No skunkiness like the nose, so a bit of a step up, but still pretty average.

m - Light to medium body and moderate to high carbonation. A little bit too carbonated.

o - Overall not one of Bell's better beers. Seems very average and the smell wasn't great. Wouldn't seek it out again considering all the other great beers they make.

 870 characters

Photo of NeutroMan
2.94/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into a pilsener glass.

Slightly hazy pale straw color. Eggshell head with average retention and lacing.

Grainy, corn-like aroma with minimal hops and some low levels of yeast character like green apples.

Hop bitterness is more pronounced than the nose would have you believe and surprised me somewhat upon my first sip. Malts are not very noticeable, thus the hop bitterness dominates and it's not all that pleasant and probably inappropriate for the style.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a dry finish. Highly carbonated which gives it a little bite. But the unbalanced bitterness doesn't lend this beer to more than one or two in a sitting.

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Photo of GordonQuid
2.96/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Heavy poured produced a rocky 3 inch head that dissipated to a half inch white head with slight lacing.

Smell is hollow much like an American lager. Not much there...

Taste is crisp, grainy-sweet with a slight noble hop bite.

Quaffable, light summer time lawn-mower beer

 300 characters

Photo of womencantsail
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks for sending this one my way, Matt.

A: The pour is a clear straw color with a short lived white head that's about a finger and a half tall.

S: Lots of toasted, almost burnt, grain and malt. Definitely some corn aroma, maybe a bit of grass and straw. Maybe a little bit of bread in there, too.

T: Surprisingly bitter with a fair amount of pine, maybe a little bit of skunk. Corn, which provides some sweetness, and there's a definite grainy character to it as well. Pretty simple flavor profile here.

M: The body is light to medium with a moderate carbonation and a lingering bitterness and/or astringency.

D: A pretty rare miss from Bells, at least in terms of their regular lineup.

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Photo of PhageLab
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Pale tangerine coloration, small head, no retention or lacing. Not too impressive.

S - Apples. That is all.

T - Slightly acrid pale malt body, faint hop backing, decent balance, but this is really bland. It's not even remotely memorable.

M - Light bodied, mild carbonation.

D - Forgettable, this one was completely average. Bell's can do much better. I guess if you didn't want to think about what you were drinking, this wouldn't be bad.

 482 characters

Photo of lwillitz
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12-oz bottle into thick beer mug

A - 3 fingers of bubbly white head over a crystal-clear yellow body with moderate bubbles of carbonation

S - grain, honey and subdued hops

T - clover honey, grassy hop bitterness, lingering dry finish

M - medium body with high carbonation, carbonation coupled with some astrincency gives this one a bite

O - nothing special

 362 characters

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Bell's Lager Of The Lakes from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.65 out of 5 based on 984 ratings.
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