Third Coast Beer | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

BA SCORE
80
good
347 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Third Coast BeerThird Coast Beer
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
347
Ratings:
821
Avg:
3.49
pDev:
13.75%
 
 
Wants:
30
Gots:
70
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 347 | Ratings: 821
Photo of benito
2.94/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am surprised to see this classified as an APA.

The bottle may be the most exciting part of the beer: it leaves the Bell's insignia aside, portraying a detailed map of the NW corner of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Other bottles carry different Michigan maps.

The beer pours a straw-golden color and has very little aromas. Not to judge a book by its cover, but the color and scent alone makes me skeptical of how flavorful this beer can be.

The taste is marked by a mix of high carbonation and crisp hop bitterness. Unfortunately, the hoppiness is not offset by any other flavors which means the aftertaste is a lingering, unbalanced bitterness. To the brew's credit, it drinks easily without too much residual bitterness after the initial reaction.

Not high on my list of American pale ales and IPAs, though this seems like a good beer to use to introduce non-craft brew drinkers into the field. Affordability is also a plus.

 946 characters

Photo of karengarys
2.8/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This pours hazy light greenish amber (okay, I'm color blind) - it leaves a head, and it stays around, and laces...

Smells pretty good. Hoppy and floral.

Taste - eeh, um, not for me. Bitter, watery, like a mixture of hops and soda water.

Mouthfeel - okay. It starts out okay, sort of creamy, but kinda flattens out right quick. Then it ends up like thin water.

Finish is bitter. Nothing but pine bitter.

Then, after it is gone the pine bitter sits in your mouth like an old gym sock. And lingers. And lingers. eegh.

This beer is really not for me. A little thin, and the pine hops isn't balanced very well.

 623 characters

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.

 432 characters

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

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" bright white head above slightly cloudy bright straw brew. Head laces well. Aroma is an earthy, sort of hoppy veggie scent. Not too wild about that. The aroma carries over a bit into the flavor, although the hops add a nice crispness. Mouthfeel and drinkability are reasonably good. If we could just get rid of the off flavor/taste I perceive, we'd have another great lawnmower brew for the summer fridge...

 537 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.14/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy pale gold color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is great! It has a nice malty scent with a fruity yeast finish and some floral hop notes. The taste is good. It has a light pale malt flavor with a crisp, slightly bitter finish. It goes down smooth with excellent mouthfeel. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great American pale ale. It has awesome aroma and mouthfeel along with pretty damn good flavor ; a good drinker.

 475 characters

Photo of bigbeerdrinka
3.39/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy pale gold color with a fluffly white head that leaves a slight lace. Aroams are of bready and biscuity malts and a slight hop presence. Flavors are initially malty with bread and nutty flavors kicking in. This flavors are quickly overwhelmed by a zesty citrus hop that dominates the finish of this beer. There's also a bit of spice to this beer along with a refreshing carbonation that leaves the mouth tinglin a bit. Overall this beer is fairly light bodied, has some interesting flavors to it, but it just doesn't all come together.

 549 characters

Photo of profzoom
2.82/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was not very impressed with this particular selection. Although supposedly a pale ale, it did not really look or taste like one to me. First, I was a little frightened by the appearance - a myriad flecks of yeast (I suppose) were floating about in my glass. It pours a pale yellow color, several shades paler than what I am used to seeing from pale ales. The smell was almost acidic and chemical-like. The taste was only slightly better. I hope that perhaps I just got a bad bottle - I was not expecting something of this quality coming from the same brewers that bring us the divine Two-Hearted Ale.

 602 characters

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.

 865 characters

Photo of 99bottles
3.34/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy yellow color with an inch or so of patchy and fluffy white head. It looks exactly like their Two Hearted Ale. Definitely not filtered, as there is a large amount of suspended sediments in the beer.

Smell: Not too much of anything. Light bready malt and some lemony esters. Not as hoppy in the nose as other pales.

Taste: Oh, there's the hops. It's very bitter in the aftertaste, very strong hop presence makes itself known in the mouth. There is an obvious malt base to counteract the hops, but its not as full as other pales. Has a very dry finish, very dry throughout. Light crusty bread maltfeel, and spicy juiced-up hops on the other side.

Mouthfeel: Light and refreshing. Thinner than I would expect for such a hop-bomb.

Drinkability: Nice. The label states that they made this to be a refreshing and quaffable ale. In that sense, they succeeded. Not outstanding, but simply a nice session beer.

 940 characters

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

Pours a hazy yellow. Dense, fluffy, white head dissipates quickly leaving some lacework along the sides of the glass. The first sniff has a slight whiff of grassy hops. Maltiness is crisp, body is light, the finish is dry with a big smack of bitterness. A bit of spicy hops in the middle but the very light malty start and bitter finish pretty defines this beer. An excellent light ale for hopheads. This is a simple beer. I wouldn't be shocked if only one malt was used in making this brew. The very dry, bitter finish makes me want more of this stuff.

 553 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
3.78/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy gold color. You can clearly see yeast suspended in the glass. Smells lightly of floral hops and sweetness. Taste is very well hopped. I would say that this could almot be classified as an IPA from it's hop bitterness. Another very solid offering from Bell's.

 263 characters

Photo of zerk
4.27/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy light gold with a persistent white head that leaves sheets of lace. Aroma is a mixture of bread and toasted malt notes, and some earthy and citrusy hops. Flavor begins slightly malty, some toasted cracker and yeast, with a large hop presence... earthy and citric hops add a lingering bitterness that is quite nice. Body is light and carbonation is medium, making this a very nice session ale for hopheads!

 427 characters

Photo of inebrius
3.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like sea monkies in a toilet bowl.

But I like it. Earthy hop backed by just enough malt to allow quick draining and a definite summer boating type beer. Aromas of a high school gymnasium filled with people eating granola and pounding shots of wheat grass. Clean it up a bit and replace that grapefruity finish with something slightly less cheeky and I would be only happy to drink a bunch.

 398 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz longneck bottle, capped, no date.

This beer poured a hazy, fizzy, yellow color (good persistent fine bubbles) with tall, creamy, white white foam that persited and clung to give lace. The smell was somewhat citrusy and malty with notes of grain and bread and a faint whiff of sulfur. The taste was dominated by the bitter and somewhat soapy hops, almost lager-like. The malt was there but not enough to balance the hops. The mouthfeel was smooth but hoppy and a bit tangy. The body was medium and the carbonation good. The hoppy taste lingered. This was a decent beer, but a little thin on flavor and low on malt balance.

 630 characters

Photo of CortexBomb
2.5/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours with deep yellow colouration with a thick head and plenty of body visible while the smell is dominant floral, reminiscent of an IPA.

The hops in evidence in the smell carry over to the flavour as the taste starts and finishes with a strong bitterness. There also are a few malty tones in the middle, but the bitterness is what carries this brew, and I didn't overly care for the effect.

Mouthfeel has at least got some body, and I can't knock the drinkability much, but overall this is a pretty average brew.

 520 characters

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

Hand it to Bell's on another great brew. The head on this was bigger than an elephant and there was a perfect citrus and hop aroma. There was a wonderful hoppy explosion that got sweeter as it warmed up in my mouth. This beer reminds me so much of SN Pale, but with a huge upgrade. Even my fiance that doesn't like beer enjoyed this one. I really think this one should have a higher rating than its current.

 407 characters

Photo of silenius
2.2/5  rDev -37%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I absolutely agree with ManekiNeko's taste assessment.

Citrus rind smell and flavor. I think it has a medium mouthfeel. Instead of a salty aftertaste, I got a weird soapy aftertaste. This aftertaste has been consistent over the few times I've had this beer in the past.

To add, I think this is predominately a bitter beer. Grapefruit rind in a bottle. I like bitter, but I find this one-dimensional and I am not too impressed. I'll finish the bottles in my fridge and will probably not buy or drink this again.

 517 characters

Photo of ManekiNeko
3.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle served lightly chilled in a Westmalle goblet.

Appearance: Murky golden yellow with lotsa floaties. Topped by a thick white head of tiny bubbles. Fades away to a thick film after a few minutes and leaves some lacing, but not a lot.

Smell: Clean and bright aromas of pine and grapefruit citrus. Mild honey and floral smells as well.

Taste: Bitter acidic grapefruit and lemony citruc over a nice biscuity pale malt backbone. Weird salty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, very crisp and palat cleansing.

Drinkability: Definitely an American pale ale with the use of (I think) Cascade hops. A decent pale ale all around, but the weird aftertaste makes me reticent to want too many more. This would go great with chili or fish and chips.

Thanks to feloniousmonk for the bottle.

 806 characters

Photo of BierReise
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks very much like a Wit. Cloudy pale yellow with a snow white frothy head. Lots of floaties. Aroma is yeasty like a wheat with a hint of citrus. Flavor is also like a Wit yet a very bitter finish that lingers. Somewhat of a different pale and if not for the harsh bitterness, wouldn't be too bad.

 299 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a beautiful golden/dark mustard color with 1/4 inch clean yellow-white head. If you looked at it without knowing what is was you would swear it was a lager.

Aroma was heavily hopped with a hint of pale malts and the clove/banana note.
Light mouhtfeel.
Taste was very bitter and only after several tastes did the faint malt profile come through the beer.

Not my favorite Bell's but still pretty drinkable.

 421 characters

Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A beclouded yellow color as it sets in my glass, with lots of little “fernies” floating around, the head is a majestic crown of white upon the gold with a satin like sheet of lace to drape the glass. Earthy malt that is somewhat sweet and crisp at the front, backed up my a hint of yeast, a splendid nose if I may take that liberty, start is rich in malt, lightly sweet with the top middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is brisk in its acidity and the hops persistent in their spiciness, the aftertaste quite dry and long lasting, a fine drinking beer and one that would be a “Hit” with us “Arizonians” when the temperature hits the 110’s, hell it would be a hit here if it hit the 10’s, “God” forbid “Snow & Ice" especially here in Phoenix, cus these “Knot Heads” can keep from running into each other in bright sunshine on dry eight lane roads when we are all heading in the same direction.

 911 characters

Photo of Gump
4.5/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy and light golden, with small chunks of sediment which I swirled from the bottom of the bottle. The head is very thick, and dense. It forms virtual clouds atop my brew.
The sweet aroma draws me in. I know this will be a good one. I detect sweet pine.
the flavor is terrific. Sweet, sour apple. A crisp clean taste.
There is a definate bitter aftertaste, in a good way. The lacing is very thick.
I love it. Very drinkable, if you can appreciate the hoppy bitterness.

 481 characters

Photo of francisweizen
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a dark yellow/golden muddied water colour. The yeasties were really floating around in this stuff and the cap of foam was nice and large. The aromas were of baked beans, several malts, and american hops. The taste was a bit too bready and beany for my tastes, this seemed like a light-golden version of an o-fest or marzen lager to me. The mouthfeel was a bit thick on this unfiltered beer, and the drinkability was just OK.

A decent beer, but for a bell's beer....this is a dissapointment!

 507 characters

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

Foggy pale gold under a bleached orange cap (yeah, the head is actually orange-tinted). Yeast pour turns this into a muddied schoolbus yellow.
Bready, dry, hoppy aroma, which seems suggests equal influences from Germany and Left Coast, USA.
This seems quite lager-ish, albeit an unfiltered one. On sip pulls down the crackery pale malts and grassy bitterness associated with a pils. The next finds traces of fruitiness and the grapefruit peel hops of an APA. Overall, this comes across very bready and plenty bitter. Interesting beer.
Light-to-medium bodied. Full flavored and quite quaffable.
I am not entirely sure about it, on the whole, but it's growing on me.

 669 characters

Photo of ngandhi
4.2/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wonderfully cloudy; it's about time some pale ales came with this much yeast! And it's not just there for effect.

On the nose, it adds a light banana note to what can otherwise be described as typically pale ale. Just a touch phenolic, but appropriate. There's no overpowering aroma hop in this beer -- no flashy Sierra Nevada-esque first impression. I've never been to Germany and haven't even, unfortunately, had many German ales, yet the smell of Third Coast Beer makes me long for the Rhineland.

Why, oh why has the Gestapo tortured this beer with its reviews? There is a three-fold balance here of medium body and character from the malts, sweetness and creaminess from the yeast (tons!), and lemon pepper from the hops. Though a tribute to Michigan and the Great Lakes, this tastes so very European and authentic. The finish is pleasantly bitter, long, but calm. Is that Saaz I'm tasting?!

Pale Ale is becoming an American tradition and, with such flavorful and charismatic hops as those on the West Coast, it's easy to forget what beer has been spiced with for so long. Some brewers use their hops to define their beer; I have long respected Bell's for being able to make just about any style of beer as good as anyone else while defining themselves with quality ingredients and thoughtful recipes (I think they're STILL working on the formula for the Brown Ale) instead of an overuse of any one, albeit delicious, thing.

Third Coast is a majestically balanced mix of sweet fruit, citrus, and spice -- everything I expect from this wonderful brewery.

Go Midwest, son. Go Midwest.

Relax, relax.
ng

 1,626 characters

Third Coast Beer from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.49 out of 5 based on 821 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe