Third Coast Beer | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Third Coast BeerThird Coast Beer

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Named after our favorite coastline and a tribute to the Great Lakes region, Third Coast Beer is a crisply dry-hopped American Pale Ale. Floral and herbal hop aromas combine with a refreshing bitterness, resulting in a truly quaffable beer.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-01-2002

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Reviews: 346 | Ratings: 818
Photo of BEERchitect
3.15/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's a good experiment. An all malt lager makes for a darker than most lager, unfiltered and has floaties in it. Has a grainy sweetness with some vegetol and apple-like notes. Very earthy, yeasty, and dirt-like (that actually sounds worse that it tastes.) flavors. Over-ripened fruit tones show through the malt. Falls a bit bland into the finish and becomes not too interesting. Most flavors are muted and strangely contaminated.

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Photo of brentk56
2.98/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a modest head that drops to a ringlet and leaves some shards of lace

Smell: Grainy with a DMS corn element

Taste: Starts out with a biscuity, lemony sweetness that is joined, mid-palate by a grainy bitterness; after the swallow, a floral element appears with an assetive grainy finish

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: Reading through the reviews, it appears that there has been some style drift; clearly not an APA and a blonde ale might be accurate but this could be a lager, too; whatever it is, it is just not my style

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Photo of kojevergas
3.2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

4.80% ABV confirmed. Bottled 10/08/12. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a pilsner glass in me sister's gaff in low altitude Minneapolis, Minnesota. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery's reputation.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of fair cream and thickness, and good retention. Colour is a semitransparent somewhat hazy copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Pale malts, cream, minimal floral hopping, and hints of honey. An average strength aroma.

T: A pale malt foundation, honey, interesting barley, and crisp wheat-esque malts. Good balance. Decent build for the foundation. Not real complex or subtle. Nicely sweet.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Good thickness and crispness. Good carbonation. Suits the flavours decently.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but nothing special or unique. I expect better from a brewery as renowned as Bell's. I'd try it on draught, but it's far from great.


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Photo of emerge077
3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampling this following the "Lager of the Lakes".

Pours turbid with swirling particulates in suspension. Thick fluffy foam, stained tan from the yeast sediment poured in after a final swirl. Sticky ring adheres inside the glass, leaving a broken skim and floating convex island of foam in the center. Murky orangish gold color.

Clean noble hop aroma, grassy, a touch sweet with floral hop traces of wildflowers or weeds.

Moderately bitter hop bite, lagery feel, though a Blonde Ale. Grainy, grassy, herbal, wet hay, floral notes. Dry finish, lightly bitter. Simple and clean, the focus seems to be on the floral American hops. Drinkable and quenching, though a bit simple and one-note. Lager of the Lakes was more enjoyable to me personally.

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Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours out a golden yellow with a nice foamy head.

S - Smells very citrusy, especially orange. Also, slight hop aromas.

T - It was very hoppy to the taste. The was an orange flavor and yeasty notes to it.

M - It is light-bodied and very crisp.

D - I am very impressed with Third Coast. It would be a good beer to have onhand for get togethers.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The one beer that foiled me during the Bell's taste-off at the end of the trivia challenge during Stub and Herb's Fermented Eclipse event in June 2010. Naturally, I had to become more familiar with it.

Pours a pale honey color with a two finger white head and a bit of lacing. Nose consists of slightly sweet dough and hints of light floral and citrus notes. Taste is the same with a grain and bread interplay. Somewhat grassy. Mouthfeel is nice with good carbonation and a heavy enough body. Drinks fairly well and would be a solid introductory beer.

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Photo of mothman
3.21/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass.

Batch 9114

Color is a clear straw yellow. Pours almost 2 fingers of white head. Good retention with really nice lace.

Aroma: crips yeast with some slight fruit flavors. Very light and grainy.

Taste: grain, yeast, and some fruits. Not a lot going on here.

Mouthfeel: pretty crips, a little smooth. A fairly nice amount of carbonation. Light bodied. Ends with a dry aftertaste.

Overall, a very light beer. I could easily drink a few of these in a sitting. Nothing I would go out of my way for, as it just doesn't have to much flavor going on. Not bad for a summer day.

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Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium gold color with a rather thick fluffy head,a real malty toastey aroma not much hop to it.The taste is really malty and bread-like some nice fruitiness as well,there is some hop dryness and herbalness in there but its very faint.A decent brew but I dont rate it with some of the others from Kalamazoo.

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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, bottled on 4/11/2014. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy golden straw color with a 1-2 finger dense and fluffy white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon zest, orange peel, cracker, bread, herbal, floral, grass, light pine, light pepper, and herbal/grassy earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon zest, orange peel, cracker, biscuit, herbal, floral, grass, light pine, light pepper, and herbal/grassy earthiness. Fair amount of earthy pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon zest, orange peel, cracker, biscuit, herbal, floral, grass, light pine, light pepper, and herbal/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and robustness of pale malt and earthy hop flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and fairly sticky/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with no warming present after the finish as expected of 4.8%. Overall this is a very nice blonde ale style. All around good balance and robustness of pale malt and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jlindros
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this one in a great trade with Noslenwerd. I wanted to help out his cause for 365 beers in 365 days. For those who haven't heard of his quest, try this website:

Anyways, he sent me a bunch of stuff I can't get here, including a slew of Bell's beers, and I decided to review a bunch tonight. This is the next on the list.

A: Huge head on the pour, about 3+ fingers. It's bleach white color and fluffy as clouds on a hot summer day. It's super pale piss yellow color with some haze and sediment.

N: Nose has some light malts, wheat, a touch of sweet malts, and I think a touch of light grassy hops. There's also hints of yeast. The aroma is very light.

T: Taste is a lot more bitter than I expected. It has quite a bit of tangy bitter pale hoppiness right out front. The hops add some grassy, lemon, and spicy flavors. There is some light wheat and malts as well. Some light banana even, with hints of yeast and some fruitiness.

M: Pretty slim, most of the carbonation was gone to the head like it blew its load.

F: Finishes pretty dry and semi bitter. Almost like raping my tongue with it. Some fruity flavors seems to stick to the sides of my mouth and keep some juicy flavors coming. It has quite a bit of bitterness, but lacks much hop flavor, but it's called a blonde ale and not a pale so I guess it doesn't need much for hop flavors, but also might be a little to pale IMO. It's still a nice beer though.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle-conditioned T.C.B. pours a hazy golden body beneath a short head of creamy white foam that holds well and leaves sheets of thin lace about the glass. The nose is mainly hoppy with a grassy, floral, and gently citrusy edge over a soft maltiness that's straightforwardly grainy - and the flavor is basically the same. The malt and hop flavors work well together with one supporting the other, and it's nicely balanced by a bold bitterness that leaves it refreshingly raspy-dry in the finish. It lingers... spicy, grassy, bitter... similar to a fresh German lager. It's basic, fresh, hoppy beer as I'd imagine beer was prior to the Volstead act of 1919.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, gold body capped by a small, white head, though, truth be told, the pour was initiated by the plucky bartender Carlos. Continued streams of lively effervescence.

Smell: Light pale maltiness with some sweetish and grainy hints alongside a floral, herbal, spicy hop character.

Taste: Light pale malts with a crisp overall graininess and reasonable amount of light sweetness. Spicy, herbaceous hop character with a light bitterness to provide ample balance. Though, some rebounding flecks of sweetness continue to surface amidst the bitterness. Touch of yeastiness. Finishes dry and lightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Even with its lively effervescence, it displays a substantial body that a lager of comparable composition never could. All in all, a pleasant, easily drinkable light ale, though the closest I've been to the Third Coast, is a trip up or two to up to Three Floyds for Dark Lord Day.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly orangish goldenrod with an impressive static storm of fine yeast. I wish all breweries would bottle-condition their beer. The antique white crown has an attractive texture and is starting to lay down quite a bit of lace in small chunks and squiggles. This blonde is a looker!

The nose reminds me of summertime. It's simple, clean and brightly hoppy. Nothing but pale malt ensures that hops have the run of the aroma. A hint of lemon zest, along with a spicy, herbal vibe, makes me think Saaz at least. Maybe Hallertau as well, it's hard to say.

Third Coast Beer strikes me as a Czech pilsener more than an American blonde ale. The rear label calls it simply 'a golden beer'. Again, the malt bill contains nothing darker than pale (with some amount of pils malt, I'm guessing). Most blonde ales are sweeter than this, with an almost honey-like character, not crisp and clean and European hoppy like this one.

I love the fact that the beer is balanced, even though hops are clearly in control. I also love the fact that the flavor profile is straightforward and... here comes that word again... clean. Are we sure this isn't a lager. Drinkability is high and should be insanely high during the hottest months of the year.

The mouthfeel is appropriately light, while maintaining an underlying suppleness that keeps things from falling apart on the finish. I don't usually like a whole lot of carbonation, but a few more bubbles might be advisable in this case.

I've seen Third Coast Beer any number of times during trips back to Ohio, but it has always been past its prime. That is, old Third Coast ale, not Third Coast Old Ale. This time I got lucky and found a relatively fresh bottle. Why doesn't this stuff get more love?

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decided that I was going to go on a fridge cleaning for the next week before I need to take a break for a while. Went with this mixed sixer last night in an attempt to clean out some lighter fare. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this was consumed on 11/03/2010.

This had to be one of the easiest drinking offerings I have ever come across. Pours out a light amber color with loads of carbonation and a full two finger head that subsides rather nicely and leaves behind a well balanced look with lots of lacing.

Aroma is a touch light with hints of lemon, light grains and bready notes, but nothing really sticking out as exemplary. But the moment you take a sip it goes down like water. Super crisp, light, and clean with spot on carbonation. Light touches of citrus, pears, light grains, and a hint of corn all blend together very nicely and leave a clean aftertaste that just begs you to go back and take another sip.

Overall outstanding session ale here. I would not mind throwing back a half dozen of these any day, it just really seems to work quite nicely. Spot on.

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Photo of russpowell
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch# 7242, cheers to BARLEYWINEO

Pours a semi-hazed apricot color with 3+ fingers of pearl white meringue head with floaties. Very good head retention & lacing

S: Peppery & lemon hops, plus grainyness

T: Bready & lemony notes up front. Slight metallic notes, grapefruit hops, fruittyness with grainyness white & black pepper & a touch of dryness as this warms. Finishes juicy with apricots & a bit of strawberry

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation

Drinks pretty easy, blonde with a tinge of wit to it

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jeff for sending me this one.

A: The pour on this is a pale straw color with a finger of white head.

S: Not too much going on here. Some corn and biscuit malts giving the beer sweetness. Light hop notes, mostly floral and grass, with a little bit of yeast.

T: Light bitterness with floral, grassy, and slightly herbal hops. Sweetness from bready malts and a bit of biscuit malt. There is a slight astringency to it, maybe grain husks?

M: Medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: I was expecting a bit more from Bell's, but I suppose I shouldn't have got my hopes up for a blonde ale.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

This is why I like mixed sixers. It pours a clear lemonade with a bunch o' particulate matter floatin' about in there. A nice finger of steadfast white froth sits on top. The nose comprises lemon zest, mandarin orange flesh, flowers, and a tiny hint o' funky sour. The taste is similar, though the lemon brings some of its rind along for the ride, creating some extra bitterness toward the end. The body is light, with a light carbonation and a rather smooth feel. Overall, an okay brew, but nothing I would necessarily aim at getting again.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden color with a bit of white head. Nothing much on the aroma, just some clean malt and a light hoppiness. Taste follows, light, clean, very much resembles a lager but with a more intense hoppy bitterness. A light and clean tasting beer but nothing to remember.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up the Bell's Sampler last night, what a deal includes 4 of each the Two Hearted, Pale, Porter, K-zoo Stout, Amber, and the Third Coast beer. Anyway I think that's a Pittsburgh thing that they package especially for Tony Knipling of Vecenie's. Appearance: Cloudy, white cranberry with an orangish yellow haze over it. Forms a nice white fluffy head with the yeast visible in the final pour leaves some evenly strung lacing. Aroma: Candi sweetness sugar tone wrapped in hop bitterness yeast character gives this brew the characteristic ringwood spiced breadiness, yum. Taste: Upfront bitterness not much balance touch of sweetness is there but mainly a dry mix of biscuit malts and spicy hops. Mouthfeel: Medium body loads of yeast suspension easy carbonation. Drinkability: Nothing great leaves a lasting bitterness on the tongue, but still pretty drinkable.

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

Is this unfiltered? Nose has some nice tones to it: citrus hits me at the start but seems to fade fairly soon into things. Carries more spicy hop tone to it than I would have expected. Pretty drinkable, though the hops do take it to a different place than most blondes are at. Not too shabby.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.94/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Gaffel Kolsch stange glass.

A deep dull and unfiltered looking apricot to tangerine orange body. Capped with a creamy top of white and meringue looking head about three fingers tall with clumpy retention. Quite unusual for a blonde ale (why do I get suckered into these), but very nice looking.

Fruity nose, with a soft yeast estery character. Hints of orange and mild sour tangerine, and faint hop indistinct light presence. Inviting, not bad not sure where this might lead.

A very unusual blonde. Large hop bitterness and acid on the finish, almost like an IPA. Light malted backbone and some chewy texture a bit, with some of the estery citrus character matching on the nose. Very noticeable hop front that hints at grapefruit quite a bit and bitter citrus rind. Large bitter punch and aftertaste on the finish. Dense with muted crispness. Lots of juicy citrus mouthfeel and quenching palate.

This is no ordinary blonde ale, and that's probably why I am enjoying it. Highly hop forward with a complimenting citrus angle of hop and yeast which works nicely.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.12/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'd only had this beer once before, and it was a mistake. I thought that I was buying Third Coast Old Ale, but, no, this was Third Coast BEER, which means "lager". Quite another thing, to say the least. I was put off by the appearance, never, ever, having encountered an unfiltered lager before and was discomfitted by, of all the damned things in the world, a Bell's Lager. Good Lord! Choke! Why, in the name of all that's holy?!?!
In this present day and time, I've become ever so wiser. I don't mind a cloudy lager, not when I know that it contains that delicious Bell's yeast strain, and, no, they're not stealing any sales from Crudweiser, but who is, without Super Bowl commercials?
Hazy yellow color, darker at the top, nearly clear at the bottom, with various and sundry floating things wending their way about, under a thick and fluffy white head.
Aroma is sweet, buttery, floral, perfumey, yeasty...never, ever, have I detected yeast in a lager aroma before! Bold hop presence on the palate, fresh and sparkling. Is it like a true pilsener? No, I'm convinced that they are in their own bag, and you've just got to dig it, baby!
A most unusual lager, you never, ever find this much flavor in a lager! Bold, bright, beautiful, tasty, zippy, zingy, clean, fresh, refreshing, with an unusually fruity finish, and without being troubled by darker flavors or too much body. It belongs in a class by itself!

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Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed 2 bottles of this light ale over dinner. Poured light straw in color, very clear, untill the final pour which added sediment and haze. Grainy hop nose, white head which left alot of lacing. This is a crisp, quite bitter brew. Citric/lemony in the middle and more sharply bitter in the finish. Refreshing and tasty. Decent everyday brew.

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Photo of Tone
4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear pale yellow. There is a lot of suspended yeast. 1/4 inch head with slight lacing and slight retention. Smells of hops, sweet malt, and some slight fruit. Fits the style of an American Blodne Ale. There is a smooth and crisp mouth feel with a high carbonation level. Tastes strongly of hops, sweet malt background, slight fruit, and an associated dryness of the palate.

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

Pours a hazy yellowish color with a short 1/2" head that quickly receded to surface foam. The aroma was of floral hops and grass. The flavor was a lackluster malt / bread tone and grass, but had some nice bitterness and a twang of citrus kick up while swallowing.

Thinner in body, this brew was crisp at the start and had a clean, refreshing dry finish. A decent drinking brew, just the flavor seemed a little tame for the style.

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Third Coast Beer from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.49 out of 5 based on 818 ratings.
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