Pooltime Ale
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Pooltime AlePooltime Ale
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Belgian Witbier
Ranked #249
Ranked #39,295
3.67 | pDev: 12.26%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Pooltime AlePooltime Ale
Notes: Formerly Bell's Poolside Ale

Pooltime Ale is a refreshing Belgian-inspired Wheat Ale with light clove notes. The truly distinguishing feature is the use of 100% Montmorency tart cherries grown in the Traverse City region of Michigan. These cherries add a subtle tartness and bright counterpoint to the other flavors, enhancing Pooltime’s fruity character and making it the perfect beer for all summer activities.

Original Gravity: 1.05
Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 389 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of bushbeer75
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 12oz can

Bell's Pooltime has a cloudy red gold body. Atop sat a 1-finger off-white head that left behind chunky doamy lacing. The nose picked up a subtle tart and fruity aroma. The taste follows the nose but has a stronger tart cherry flavor and also wheat added. The tart cherry flavor lingers at the finish. Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

I am not a fan of tart/sour drinks or candy. So, if you like that taste this ale is for you.

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Photo of russpowell
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very effervescent & hazed amber with much cream colored head. Nice head retention & lacing

S: Wheatty, grassy, hint of cherry

T: Follows the nose, a little clove as well & faint traces of juicyfruit up front. Cherry builds a little as this warms, just a little bit of juicyfruit & grassyness as well. Finishes with a little sour cherry and juicyfruit

MF: Medium body, fairly restrained carbonation

Pretty drinkable, the cherry juice addition worked for me

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
3.51/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a tulip.

Pours a murky reddish-orange that gradually settles to cloudy. A three finger foamy head quickly rises and falls, but excellent lacing persists. Not dishwater ugly but not pretty either.

Esters (cherry, lemon, orange), wheat and coriander all waft the nostrils, although the cherry is faint. The aromas are nice but very subdued.

The brew hits the tip of the tongue with plenty of wheat and spice. General bready and banana ester sweetness shows up in mid-palate, with the cherry that was so subtle on the nose showing more here, but awfully sweet. The brew finishes with coriander and a bit of welcome, but belated, sourness.

The brew is definitely heavier than a typical wit, but never reaches medium bodied. It is well-carbonated and has a nice finish.

Overall, this is a unique take on a favorite style, and it is actually very drinkable. The typical ester flavors don't quite mesh completely with the cherry, however. Perhaps if the cherry was presented as a sour counterpoint instead of another sweet note, it would work better. As is, a decent brew from a brewer that usually provides better than decent.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Brewery "Pooltime Ale"
12 fl. oz. can coded "24968 PKGD 04:41 041519 041439" and sampled on 082919
$2.79 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: It's always interesting opening a can of fruit beer because you never know what it will look like. I was expecting this to be a hazy pinkish color, and it is, except that it's also a little orange, and much cloudier than I thought it would be, It's got a big head of white foam atop it and I can see bubbles racing towards the surface within the glass. It actually looks a little bit like a hefeweizen. The label reads "Belgian inspired wheat ale with cherry juice" and that's exactly what it smells like. I got the Belgian yeast phenolics first, and then the cherry, which isn't a bright cherry, but more like the pulp of the cherry. It's authentic is what I want to say, and not overdone. Usually when I smell a beer and get that bright cherry aroma it's from an extract that's got an amped up cherry aroma, or, they've used tons and tons of cherries to get it. This isn't like that, it doesn't smell like a cherry Jolly Rancher candy. On to the flavor... there's a nice spiciness from the Belgian yeast , and that works really well with the cherry to liven it a bit. As I suspected from the aroma, the cherry flavor is mid-range; you definitely recognize it but there's no too much of it. I like that. It's got balance. The head has dropped at this point but it's still got a solid surface covering, and there's some really nice rings and patches of lace left behind on the glass. I'm not fond of the cloudiness but the color and lacing are great. And I can't fault them for the cloudiness, I'm assuming it's unfiltered to maintain its fullest flavor. That's a trade-off I can live with. It's not that bitter but there's a little bit there, and although you sometimes find some acidity with fruit beers there's really not that much, just a touch. As it's warming I'm getting more of the phenols from the yeast, and more of the sweet malt. It's very nice, and really well balanced. I sat on this for a long time because it's a cherry beer, but I now wish I hadn't because the cherry isn't overblown at all, and there's plenty of Belgian yeast character to it. I'm assuming this is a seasonal and now I'm going to have to rush to see if I can get a case of it before the shelves are covered in pumpkin beers. OK, let me wrap this up. In the mouth it's medium bodied and crisp with a lightly effervescent, moderately elevated carbonation. It seems natural although I can't imagine that's possible. I guess it's just becasue it's unfiltered. Regardless, it's got a great mouthfeel. I wasn't expecting much from this, and I've been completely turned around by it. Great summer beer!

Review #6,676

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Photo of MNAle
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is wheat, cherry, spice: coriander and pepper.

Hazy reddish-orange, some rising bubbles. Tall white thick head, creating an uneven surface as it drops. Draperies with stalagtites dropping from them form the lacing.

Taste does contain the wheat and spice, but the cherry is more to the front than in the aroma. The cherries are very slightly tart, but mostly sweet. No bitterness. Actually, quite delicious.

Feel is light to medium with nothing from the carbonation.

The sweetness is pretty much gone by the finish, leaving it mostly dry and slightly tart.

Very enjoyable and refreshing. Excellent tart cherry taste.

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Photo of Amendm
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

An average pour from a 12-oz. can yields a finger of off-white creamy and rocky foam with
a hint of pink and small blotches of lace. Strange cloudy orange-pink color, almost opaque.
Sweet and tart smell of cherries, wheat and lemon/lime zest, The taste is semi-sweet despite the light tartness and sourness. low on bitterness from spice-not hops.
Malt with a taste of Wheat Thins battles for the top flavor against the items from the smell.
Cherry flavor lingers without the sourness. Medium-light body with average CO2, the finish is less tart/sour and leaves behind a sweeter taste. Lightly tart and sour, cherry and baking spice build up the flavor but do not overpower the wheaty malt.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 6/8/16; drank 7/21/16 @ the Yarchives.

Opaque dark orange appearance.

A rough pour yielded a huge, noisy eggnog head; frothy lace.

Banana, clove, candle wax & faint cherry notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Candle wax & mild cherry flavors up front; mild banana & faint clove notes on the finish.

A balanced, interesting summer sipper. I'd have another...

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Photo of CTHomer
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: cloudy; deep pink in color; 1 finger finely pored very pale pink head that receded to a wispy cap; nice thick rings of lace;

S: mild Belgian yeast with just a hint of cherry;

T: balance between Belgian yeast and cherry juice; very mild bitterness on the finish; aftertaste is more cherry juice;

M: light to medium bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: not sure how I feel about this; there's something about the flavor I don't care for, but I keep coming back for another sip;

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a hazy pinkish red color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin cap that leaves good lacing

S: Belgian yeast, wheat, cherries, and clove up front along with some lighter bready undertones

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a mix of fruity and spicy Belgian yeast, lightly tart cherries, and wheat. Picks up some of the bready undertones and clove. Finishes with lingering wheat and bread

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A nice, easy summer drinker that has a good mix of Belgian yeast influence, cherries, and wheat

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Photo of hman43
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: It pours salmon pink color with a slightly off white head. Head retention is excellent.

Smell: It has a doughy aroma with some tartness and cherries. There are subtle spicy notes in the background.

Taste: There is a good balance between the doughy wheat and tart cherries flavors. There are spicy clove notes in the background. In addition there are other spicy notes in the background as well.

Feel: It has a medium body that is somewhat creamy. There is a moderate bitterness in the finish.

Overall, a refreshing beer with a pleasant tart sourness and well integrated flavors.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pint on tap at sabatinis in Exeter pa this afternoon.

Thick pinkish apricot colored body. Small white head which persists throughout, but leaves little in the way of lacing.

Smells like a multi fruit fruit juice. Manages to have a slight tartness to the aroma as well

It's sweet initially, towards the end there is a little pink grapefruit trying to balance out the sweetness.

Mouth is close to full, finish tart/sweet.

As a drink, it's quite nice. At times, you do forget that you are drinking a beer, since it looks, smells, and tastes a bit like fruit juice. The abv isn't high, but you do notice it.

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Photo of Sewercap
3.34/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Too sweet for my tastes. Then again, I’m drinking it in November instead of in July, so maybe my tastes would change in the heat of summer. Overall, a pretty forgettable ale.

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Photo of JimboBrews54
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So I think Right Brain was trying to achieve something when it came to their Vanilla Cream Ale. This one has a refreshing cherry smoothness to it. It definitely is not as heavy and refreshing all the way through. The sweetness of the cherries finishes off with the subtle bitterness of the beer.

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Photo of SB2017
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A gorgeous pour. Deep, hazy amber with a solid pinky of long-lasting, lacy foam. My only reservation on the look is its champagne-like bubbles covering the inside of the glass. The nose is a little fruit-heavy, like a raddler. Slightly creamy on the tongue, and with much less fruit than is to be expected based on its nose. Unfortunately weak, and with a slightly unpleasant chemical note on the finish. The first beer by Bell's that I was at all disappointed by, though the beer itself is still solid, and would likely be most pleasant on a hot day.

Edit: drink this beer with any hearty meal. That's a game changer, and makes it near delicious.

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Photo of breakingbland
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer has a very nice Belgian wheat base that comes through even with the presence of the cherry juice. The cherry comes through mainly as sweet without any tartness. The best part, however, is the mouthfeel: It's incredibly smooth and creamy and has an nice level of carbonation. Even though I liked the flavor, it would have been a bit better with slightly less of the cherry sweetness.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 16-oz. draft
Glass: Clear shaker pint glass
From: Hooleys Public House in La Mesa, Calif.
Price: N/A
Purchased: Aug. 2, 2018
Consumed: Aug. 2, 2018
Reviewed as: Witbier
Misc.: N/A

Picked this over a rather weak offering at Hooleys. Only a few were not #CraftAdjace and was surprised that I hadn’t rated or reviewed this yet. This would be a quick review. Later read online description, which read, “Pooltime Ale is a refreshing Belgian-inspired Wheat Ale with light clove notes. The truly distinguishing feature is the use of 100% Montmorency tart cherries grown in the Traverse City region of Michigan. These cherries add a subtle tartness and bright counterpoint to the other flavors, enhancing Pooltime’s fruity character and making it the perfect beer for all summer activities.”

Was pretty dark in there, but appeared to be a pale hazy color with 1-to-2 fingers of frothy white head when I got it. Could see some bubbles coming up alongside of the glass, but not many. Very good spotty lacing. Good retention. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled cherries, Belgian notes, cloves, coriander, black pepper, orange zest and light pineapple. (Smell - 3.75)

Tasted better than the nose. Got cloves, candied Belgian sugar, cherry, coriander, wheatgrass, orange zest, green apple, pineapple and lingering peppery spice. (Taste - 3.75)

Medium body. Creamy texture. Lively carbonation. Slightly spicy finish. (Feel - 4.00)

I actually really liked this for a wit. Not too much cherry and nicely balanced. (Overall - 4.00)

3.84 | 86 | B+

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A gift from Marty. Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA. Reviewed 7/3/18.
Can marked on bottom “PKGD 04:07 050118”. Stored and served at 42 degrees in a hand-washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 3.75.
Body – Dark yellow, opaque. Slightly more transparent when held to the light.
Head – Large (Maximum 6.3 cm, controlled center pour), off-white, creamy with rocks, good retention, diminishing to an irregular three to six mm ring and a heaped partial layer.
Lacing – Poor. Some irregular thick blobs of mostly tiny- to medium-bubbled lacing, reminiscent of Dali’s clocks.
First pour – Yellow with a pink tinge, cloudy.
Aroma – 3.5 - Weak fruitiness and a hint of salt (less than a gose). Some yeast phenolics.
Flavor – 3.5 – Begins with a bit of maltiness and some cherry tartness - tart enough to make my teeth feel funny. The yeast phenolics from the nose do not really translate. Not picking up any cherry taste. No alcohol, no diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 3 – Medium, almost creamy, soft carbonation.
Impression and summation – 3.5 – Actually a decent take on a witbier. The cherry tartness is enough to keep it interesting.

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Photo of drtth
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The hazy reddish tinged yellow beer pours out into a Duvel glass with a 1” ivory head that leaves a layer of foam and lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes to a thin irregular island of foam on the surface of the liquid. Sipping creates a couple of arches and lots of small patches and legs of lacing, some of which slide back down to the liquid.

The aromas include wheat, some coriander and clove along with a nice melange of fruit in the background. Among the fruit aromas there’s both some tart cherry and some citrus. There’s also a bit of spicy pepper.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the wheat, coriander and clove but also with the addition of both some sweetness from the malt along with the cherry and its tartness. The other fruit flavors include some light citrus and a bit of green orchard fruits. In the background there’s some herbal, grassy hops with a light bitterness.

The mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and both slightly prickly and a bit creamy from the moderate persistent finely bubbled carbonation. The ending is slightly dry and the earthy grassiness from the hops persists quite a while.

Overall I’m enjoying this beer and would certainly be willing to have another, especially on a hot, steamy day where the slight cherry tartness would be fairly refreshing. That said, while this is a tasty beer I’m a bit of a traditionalist and this beer would not bump either the Allagash White or the St. Bernardus Wit from my regular rotation.

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Photo of Suds
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From an aluminum can, this brew has a massive, tall, and rocky head. The liquid is a murky, hazy, thick dark orange color. The aroma is sweet, very fruity (I didn’t get Cherry at first, but it comes on through the beer), and with a soft wheat note. The taste is balanced slightly sweet, but has a firm bitterness. Fruit a little spice, and some complexity. Full body. Wonderful.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pooltime Ale brewed by Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store with an ABV of 5.20% This Witbier pours out a could amber color with a nice white head. This is an unfiltered brew, you can not see though this brew. There is also a nice amount of lacing to this brew, it sticks to the side of the glass well. The smell is rich with cherry sweetness with mild citrus sweetness. You also pick up on a good amount of grains and malts in the smell as well. Between the look and smell this is a nice inviting brew. Now for the taste, it is different, but in a good way. You pick up on a lot of sweetness from the juices in this brew. Clean and Refreshing body. This brew goes down nice and smooth. Pooltime Ale would go nice on a warm summer day. The body of this brew is a solid medium. There is nothing overpowering about this brew,it has a super nice balance to it. The mouth feel is Sweet, Bold , Clean, Smooth and Refreshing. Overall I'm going to give Pooltime Ale a soild 4 out of 5. I would look this brew up again giving the opportunity to. Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store, did a real nice job with this one. I really enjoy how this brew is different from most brews on the market.

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Photo of Lucular
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very cloudy off-white pinkish yellow with a moderate head and decent lacing. Tastes like a bready wheat beer with a hint of tartness and some cherry flavor.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.24/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This is a very nice, flavorful (yet easy to drink) and dare I say complex wheat ale with a nice touch of tart Michigan cherry. Sweet throughout but moderately so and with a little bit of a tart note. However the mouthfeel is amazingly viscous and oh so good.

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Photo of Wolvmar
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aug 2019 Update
Prior review still pretty much valid. But, I think this is a once in a while, not a go to, beer. Just a bit too sweet to drink all the time or more than 1 at a time.

Poured into pint glass from 12oz can. Forgot to look for canned date.

Pour: orange, amber color. One finger head that dissipates into clouds that linger along with just a little lacing. Looks thick with some haziness. Attractive.

Nose: definite cherry aroma but not overpowering. Yeasty malts, some orange and pineapple. Very nice.

Taste: follows the nose with the malts upfront, surprisingly mild cherry flavor which suits me fine. Pineapple, mango also come through, with some slight bitterness in the middle but everything is well balanced. Finish is slightly sweet but not cloying, relatively clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: fairly high carbonation tingles on the tongue. But still somewhat thick feeling, following the look. Easy to drink; perfect by the pool as the name suggests.

Overall: this could easily become a go to summertime beer. But, this is only my second so I’m not sure if I will tire of it. The well balanced flavors make me think I won’t for a long time. Definitely worth trying and don’t let the cherry juice scare you away if that’s a potential issue.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a pint

Pours a pale yellow color with a one-finger foamy white head that has decent retention. Smells of toasted wheat, coriander and citrus peel. Tastes of toasted wheat with spicy coriander and orange, finishes with a light hit of sweet cherry juice. Medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a creamy finish. As advertised, an easy drinking pool time beer.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a very hazy golden color with a 1/2 finger width foamy head. Head retention is very good as is lacing. Aroma of wheat and cherries and a mild tartness. Big cherry taste, almost medicinal. Definite clove. Light to medium bodied with moderate to heavy carbonation.

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Pooltime Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 389 ratings