Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
83
good
367 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Bell's Lager Of The LakesBell's Lager Of The Lakes
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
367
Ratings:
957
Avg:
3.65
pDev:
20.82%
 
 
Wants:
43
Gots:
127
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 367 | Ratings: 957
Photo of Donnie2112
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: slightly cloudy, pale, golden yellow, small bubble carbonation, little to know head retention

smell: sharp and beery, something slightly sweet and almost bubblegum like in there but it's faint

taste: light malt flavor balanced with light citrusy hops, grain husk bitterness cobmining with a certain malt sweetness and then the citrus hits you, nothing unpleasant about this but nothing stand out either.

mouthfeel: light bodied, nicely carbonated a hint of astringence. very refreshing

drinkability: Nothing offense and very refreshing crisp mouthfeel. A great beer to drink when you just want a beer and you don't want to think about it. I really like this one.

drinkability:

 694 characters

Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner a dull light golden with a nice formed but quick to fade white head leaving no lace behind,bready malt and wet grain aromas mainly and not much hop presence.Flavors are malt tilted very bready and toasty with a touch of honey-like sweetness with just a light smattering of floral hop in the finish.A solid malt tilted lager here not wimpy by any means,pretty good.

 386 characters

Photo of donteatpoop
3.37/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This lager was adequate.

My wife loved it, but she doesn't have a BA account and I do.

It poured a pale yellow with a bit of white head, absolutely average in appreance.

It smelled a little skunky and also had a sharp scent that reminded my of hay burning.

The taste was very similar to the scent, the hops a bit sharper and biting. It reminded me of Heinekin. My wife loves Heini so I offered her some expecting her to go crazy over this. As expected, she loved it.

The mouthfeel was a bit awkward on this one, made my tongue feel a little heavy and dry after everything was swallowed down. Perfectly pleasant while in the mouth, but not so much after swallowed.

Definately drinkable. I compared it to Henekin, but it's a little better than Henekin. If my wife didn't dig on it so much, I doubt I'd be buying it again. I wouldn't turn it down if it was offered to me, but I wouldn't seek it out either

 909 characters

Photo of brewdoc75
4.27/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In the mood for a good lawnmower beer, I grabbed a six pack of this.

Pours a golden yellow into my fluted pilsner glass. Vivacious carbonation arises from the bottom. Crisp white head on top. The aroma is pretty good. Strong malts, w/ evident sweetness and graininess. There is a hint of some floral hops as well. The flavor is impressive. Definitely a solid pilsner taste. Strong, sweet malts, but light enough to make this easy to abuse. There is a subtle bitterness and strong, floral hops present. Very clean and crisp mouthfeel along with the taste. No skunkiness or unpleasant aftertaste. Very vibrant on the palate and finishes clean.

Overall a remarkable pilsner. One of my favorites. I do enjoy a good Pilsner Urquell when I can get some on draft and I do think this beats it. Unfortunately it is a $8.99 a 6 pack, so I'll have to enjoy it sparingly.

 863 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It seems like many American craft brewers that make solid ales have difficulty making a clean and crisp pilsner/lager. So, it was with some trepidation I tried Bell's Lager, but it was a $3 pint at Roman's Pub, so the price was right and that was enough for me. And I was pleasantly surprised - a solid, clean, and crisp lager that was perfect for a warm spring evening.

This beer was a straw color and while clear was not brilliant. Head was abundant. Aroma was clean, lightly malty with some hop evidence. Flavor was predominantly malty and light, with solid pilsner credentials a bit fainter but similar to European lagers. Light, refreshing mouthfeel and drinkable.

I'd recommend this beer.

 697 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a sunshne golden yellow, with slow moving, small bubbles. Great, thick merengue like foam with sporadic lacing. The aroma is a slightly funky, grassy mlt, and very earthy hop aroma. The The earthy hops jump right up front to the palate, slowly receding to grassy malts in some very soft water. The finish is a standard, light hop citrus. Astringent palate with a well balanced hop and malt bill. Very refreshing and easy to drink lager.

 442 characters

Photo of botham
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass. pours a golden straw color with two fingers of tight white head that leave moderate lacings.

aroma is od mildly sweet malts, with a subtle grainy character and a mild floral base.

taste is of munich malts up front, with the same floral base from the aroma and a finish of distant hops.

mouthfeel is light bodied with a lightly smooth texture and a crisp, clean finish. for the lightness present, this one showcases some solid flavors.

drinkability is great. this is a light bodied lager that boasts some great flavors and a solid profile. a macro body with a craft profile.

 619 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hello kitty? Pours a very lemony yellow color with sparkling clarity. Needed lots of help with the pour and left a very bubbly, rocky head that very quickly dissipated. No lacing at all, but I guess that is ok for style.

The nose is light overall. Some pilsner and grainy smells. A touch of honey and limited bready aromas. Some hops aromas, not to style, with a more herbal almost floral meets earthy hop aroma.

The taste is delicate and light overall. A subtle grainy flavor with a lighter pilsner flavor in the undertone, nice to style. Some lighter soapy touches but not overall off. Some lighter bready flavors on the back end. The hops are well represented, not to style, with a bigger bitterness that hangs on through the aftertaste. Some finishing hops with a more earthy feel, but hidden.

Nice texture with a crisp smooth taste. Hit the style there. Light on carbonation but very smooth with just a tad residuals. I guess for style this is a nice easy drinking beer that is to hoppy for style but still good. Easy drinking for sure.

 1,044 characters

Photo of argock
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass tumbler. No freshness date, but batch number plainly visible.

A: Clear straw color with medium-thick white foamy head with average retention and scant lace trails.

S: Very Pilsner-like in aroma with heavy malt graininess with strong hops contribution of a herbal nature.

T: Pretty typical malt-lager flavor with balanced grainy malt with citrus, herbal hops finish which is above-average dry.

M: Full-bodied lager with dry finish and clean aftertaste. Carbonation is in line with the style.

D: Solid, but nothing special. There are several other American lagers that are more distinctive and enjoyable.

 657 characters

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 BoitSansSoif
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light honey-gold w/thick white head that slowly faded into a think cap, and left thick traces of lacing. There is also a suspended haze. Smell is of rich, grainy Pilsner malt, light hops, spice, and faint citrus. Taste and mouthfeel is full and dry, with nice malts and slightly discernible rye, bitter citrus and spicy hops, and faint herbaceous notes. I really enjoyed this lager's simplicity, and light, yet rugged character.

 437 characters

Photo of oelergud
4.27/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Classic brown 12oz glass bottle. Old map of the great lakes on the label. Batch 8124.
Orange golden clear body. Medium size white part creamy part airy rocky head. Good retention and a little lace.
Bread and grainy scent with abit of anise and piney hops.
The flavor is like the scent only stronger and better. Spiced and delicious hoppy flavor with plenty of complexity and a lingering aftertaste of anise, spiced hops and bready malts.
Medium body that leaves only slight coating yet is slick, hydrating and finishes dry.
Great lager and great drinkability.

-Oelergud

 570 characters

Photo of ROMER79
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour was a golden color with a slight white head. It had a citrus smell laced with a hop aroma. The citrus flavor was made present in this beer, but hops and wheat came through as well. It was almost like a Bud meets a Rolling Rock. It was easy to drink and it could definitely be a session beer for many. The mouthfeel was good but it was lacking something that should have been there. There was no bite.

 409 characters

Photo of Redwood21
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: this beers head...ha...byebye. the color on the other hand is pretty nice, amber wheat color. I have to knock it for the terrible head retention, even for a lager

S:not much here, a some what fresh bread malt type aroma

T: a bit meatier than many lagers but a bit too bitter? not sure if its biter or not but there is a distinct finish that i am not sure i am keen on.

M/D: this has an easy drinking feel, the mouth feel is a bit crisp and i cold enjoy a few, but would not be my first choice for this style

 513 characters

Photo of pweis909
4.29/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale gold color. Clear, except for some whitish particulates that are floating about. Possibly chill haze? Small amount of white foam does not persist long, although the beer is well-carbonated. The initial whiff presents sulfide, which gives way to familiar pilsner malt aroma and light hops that are both spicy and citrusy. The taste is gently sweet up front, with a crisp finish. This beer is maltier and hoppier than American macro-style lagers, making it an interesting option as a thirst quenching spring or summer brew. The mouthfeel is smooth, with a slightly creamy texture. It's balanced flavors and moderate alcohol content make this a highly drinkable brew. A personal favorite among US lager types.

 711 characters

Photo of dreadnatty08
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed as a Dortmunder Export as catagorized in BJCP
Bottled 12/20/07
Pours a gorgeous clear, sparkling rich golden color with plentiful brilliant white head. Really nice tracing as well. Trully one of the most beautiful lagers I've seen. Aroma is mostly coming from the Munich and Pils malts, a slight sulfur touch, and a little DMS. It finishes with some hop aroma and a little caramel. Incredibly bready on the palate, malts are very complex, ranging from whole grain crackers to whole wheat bread to fresh biscuits. The hops are certainly in there; not so much in flavor but with a quite bitter finish. Stylistically, it is lower in abv as a typical DME, and I would imagine on the high end for hop levels. It finishes also with a bright citrus flavor, coming from either Hallertau or Styrian hops, and a fruitier than normal yeast flavor. Overall, I thoroughly enjoy this beer like most from Bell's given its strong malt backbone and bitter Noble hop bite.

 963 characters

Photo of mobyfann
3.74/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Paid $8.99 for a mixed 6'er at Party Source...

The beer pours a clear golden base with a large white head, long-lasting head retention and very nice waves of lacing throughout the glass. The beer hints of malt and partial alcohol (smells like a nice macro lager to be blunt).

The taste is good for it's style, subtle malt flavor, crisp and clean aftertaste, what more do you want? The beer stings you with a little sharpness but the head eases it a little, and this is a very drinkable beer for its class.

Final Thought: Not worth the price, but a classic example of what PBR can become if they substitute more malt for corn.

 628 characters

Photo of HardTarget
3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: Bready yeast with a mild green apple note. Some mild sweetness

Appearance: Lightly hazed bright yellow with a thin white cover that left some impressive lace.

Flavor: The same yeasty note is the strongest flavor, again with a bit of green apple (acetaldehyde?) with a mild earthy hop.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and light, but heavier than a macrobeer.

Overall Impression: Hard to get excited about this style. It's a hard one to do well, and this is better than many I've tasted. It's pretty well balanced. Eh, it's an American Lager.

 538 characters

Photo of morimech
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours straw colored with a nice two-fingered white head that had some staying power. There also was some heavy lacing left on the glass during consumption.

Smell is mostly cereal grain with some floral hops hidden in the background. Smells better than the typical macro.

A light taste mostly of sweet malt. I didn't pick up any hops. Since it is a lager best served cold I didn't let it sit long to warm up which might reveal some more flavors, both good and bad. It feels light with adequate carbonation. It goes down fast and with a decent taste makes a 6-pack disappear quickly. But it is sold at a typical Bell's price which is a bit much for this beer. I could buy 2x more macro product that doesn't suffer from that much less taste. A good beer by style but what is the point at this price?

 799 characters

Photo of ElGrecoVerde
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At first it looks like your average American lager... golden yellow with a small white head. But looking closer, you can see the left over particles floating around that were left unfiltered. That may sound bad, but I looked at it as a sign that this wasn't going to be just another lager.

The smell was nothing special, but different from macros in that it has more of a grainy bread smell than usual. None of that thick corn smell you get from macro beers.

The taste was suprisingly good. Again, I say that because you can't help but compare this to the big name lagers. A lot of grain, and maybe citrus tastes at times.

I felt it was a bit flat. Maybe it needed some more carbonation? I'm no expert, but it was lacking somewhere in the feel depaartment. I don't want to feel like I'm drinking pop rocks, but a little crisper finish would have been nice.

 859 characters

Photo of berserker256
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much darker than macrobrews but still relatively light. Moderate white head that goes away sort of quickly. There's an earthy cereal grain kind of odor that dominates the smell. It's decent but there's some undescribable strange chemical funk that I'm picking up... Yet I don't hate it. It's a decent lager. Way better than your typical Millers and Budweisers but not as good as German Lagers. Not a whole lot of sweetness either. Nice fizz and easy to drink, however. Not bad.

 477 characters

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a clean, clear straw color with a frothy white head and plenty of lacing.

I was surprised to find a sour and somewhat sulphur-like aroma with this lager. There is a hops presence, but it is secondary.
The taste is sharp, bitter, and without much flavor. Disappointing.

Light mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

I'm a big fan of Bell's products but I'm not too impressed with this one. Sorry.

REVIEW REVISED. Had again in December 2009. Much better this time with a nice balance of malty grains and floral hops. May have had an older or bad bottle earlier.

 581 characters

Photo of AltBock
3.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle that has a label of a vintage map of the Great Lakes. Around the vintage map is 10 small pictures of a compass, two crossed paddles, a trout, pine tree, sailboat, tennis rackets, maple leaf, Golden Gate bridge, a woman water skiing, and a anchor tied to a hop bud. The back has a small paragraph about the beer, US Government warning, barcode, refund values, and a Bell's bottle code that you put into their website so see when it was bottled. I believe mine was 8093. It was hard to tell what it was because a sticker was on top of the bottle code.

Appearance: It was poured into none other than my Bell's Brewery American pint glass. This Bell's poured a disappointing clear and bubbly straw colored beer with a 1/2 inch head of white foam. After about a few seconds, the head of foam dissipated into a small whie film, a few white foamy rings, and streaks of white lace. It just had your run of the mill typical Lager appearance.

Smell: The aroma was nothing out of the ordinary. Like the appearance, it was just like your run of the mill typical Lager. This Lager had an aroma of toasted malts, juicy fruits, some sweet buttery goodness, and a pinch of crispy floral hops. Maybe it wasn't a typical Lager aroma because I didn't smell any corn or rice.

Taste: To be honest, when I saw the beer's color and I got a whiff of the beer's aroma, I was expecting ths beer to be filled with malted grains, crispy hops, and water. That wasn't the case with this beer's taste. Instead, the beer was filled with toasted malts, juicy fruits, and crispy floral hops. There was nothing out of the ordinary, but it wasn't the size of the flavors, but the impact they had on my tastebuds. The impact was just right!

Mouthfeel: It was a light bodied beer with a medium sized carbonation level and a aftertaste of toasted malts and crispy floral hops. This was the last chance for the water and corn to show up, but this beer stuck to its guns and didn't give in to the water and corn.

Drinkability: This one had session Lager written all over it. After the disappointing appearance and aroma, I had my doubts that this wasn't going to be a very good beer, but it made up for itself where it counts. Not one of my favorite Bell's beer, but I wouldn't pass it down if I got another shot at it.

 2,297 characters

Photo of GRPunk
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (Batch # 8124) poured into a pint glass.

A- It was a clear golden-yellow with a 1 finger foamy white head that turned into a fine lace that left nice sticking.

S- Quite doughy with some fruity tones and light floral hops.

T- Again it had a lot of doughy flavors with a little spice and some earthy hop tones. It was very clean.

M- Quite smooth. It had a solid feel with medium carbonation and light hop bite.

D- It was a very drinkable.

Overall- The fresh taste would make for a good summer beer. It was a good example of the style.

 545 characters

Photo of jeffmonarch
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle in a pilsner glass.

A - Nice crystal clear yellow, kinda like white grape juice. Nice thick white head that gets small fast but that little bit then stays for a while.

S - Like a cirtusy malt scent.

T - Sweet, crisp and refreshing. Nice and light.

M - Very light body with good carbonation.

D - Great. I can drink this all day. Most of my friends don't understand my obsession with beer and don't like most of the beers i make them try. They mostly drin BMC's variety of beers. I don't understand how they can drink those and not stuff like this.

 565 characters

Bell's Lager Of The Lakes from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 367 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe