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Bell's Poolside Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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BA SCORE
82
good
59 Reviews
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Bell's Poolside AleBell's Poolside Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Poolside 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 Poolside’s fruity character and making it the perfect beer for all summer activities.

Added by shivtim on 05-13-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
59
Ratings:
133
Avg:
3.6
pDev:
15.56%
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
22
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 133
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.42/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very pretty pink color from the can and forms into a pinkish-peach blush in the glass. Head is very tall, all 4 fingers, and whitish-pink. 90% opacity with sunlight lighting up the sides.

Aroma is of clove, orange pith, bubblegum, stale wheat, and a hint of white cherry.

Flavor is slightly clashing but still somewhat tasty. It features peeled orange wrapped in bubble yum, then the star of the show comes in with the tartness of the cherries, but immediately cancelling it is a bitter rush of black pepper and clove. It ends slightly cloyingly sweet, with those lingering flavors of black pepper and spices.

Feel is appropriate, though not incredible. Nice taut creaminess with some underlying carbonation, and a tart, puckering finish.

Overall, I figured this would be a really good ale, but it's actually very average. It's way too heavy on the spices and clove, and the pepper element is just not needed. A nice mellow cherry flavor with some rather loud yeastiness would have been the proper ticket, but alas it's not here.

 1,045 characters

Photo of 57md
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a odd pinkish hue with well over a finger of head. The nose is tart and astringent. The cherries add a nice sweetness to the typical wit funk. The body is light and this offering is extremely drinkable.

This offering has an apt name because the only time that I could picture drinking this is while floating in a pool as a replacement for a soda.

 355 characters

Photo of theBubba
1.98/5  rDev -45%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Like most of us, I'm looking for a nice summer beer these days. One reviewer wrote "Taste of tart cherry, lemon, orange, pear, apple, pepper, clove, light banana/bubblegum, wheat, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light-moderate yeast spiciness and fruit tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart cherry, lemon, orange, pear, apple, pepper, clove, wheat, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit." ??? GMAFB!

Another wrote "Mild bitterness balances the bready-sweetness with a light herbal grassiness that trends minty and hay-like.

My take? A summer beer should be light (no, not Lite beer) clean and refreshing. Citrus and carbonation are always welcome in the heat. And most Wheat beers usually fit the bill. But after the cherry what you get from Poolside is a bitter aftertaste that, if you're not eating, will last at least a half hour. And if you cut it with a mediocre like ShockTop, the bitterness still prevails. Def not fun in the sun. And the cherries aside, Poolside is not what I would call a summer beer. At 12 bucks a sixer you can do WAY better.

 1,121 characters

Photo of FriedSlug
4.34/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy, pinkish orange beer with a white head that leaves a few specks of lacing behind. The aroma is nice tart cherries with coriander and bright lemon mixed with some bready yeast. The taste is slightly sweet and slightly tart with coriander, citrus and a healthy dose of tart cherries. There is good carbonation and mild bitterness and a fruity and bready yeast aftertaste. I really enjoy this beer and the cherries just make it that much better.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a St. Bernardus chalice.

Look: Murky thick pinkish burnt orange? A white head recedes to a film with nice lines and spots of lacing.

Aroma: Light clove, subtle white pepper, sweet yet tart red cherries.

Taste: Starts with clove, coriander and subtle spiciness just like the aroma before getting a good dose of tart red cherries. A good amount of cherry sweetness carries the body with a perfect tart balance on the back side.

Mouthfeel: Medium and very smooth.

Overall: Simply delicious if you like the style and/or cherries. Very refreshing.

 561 characters

Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy yellow in color and also has some reddish hues. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that left a thin layer of bubbles coating the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of wheat and coriander are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste starts off like a Belgian wit with flavors of wheat and coriander but then flavors of cherries and subtle bits of sweetness become apparent towards the back end and linger into the finish. The cherry flavors are very similar to the topping in a cherry pie, without nearly all of the sweetness. As the beer warms up, the cherries become a little stronger.
M: It feels light to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found this witbier to be quite unique and interesting because it's really like drinking two different beers in succession. It also pleasant flavors of cherry pie filling.

Serving type: can

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Photo of RyanPoff
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very hazy copper - about a finger of creamy head with great retention. Perfect for a summer beer.

S: A tart wheat, cherries, slightly sour fruit.

T: Wheat, slightly cherry tart, and an underlying sweetness. Really good, but a bit heavier than I anticipated.

M: Medium bodied, smooth, refreshing.

A good beer, not sure it's a regular at the price and with so many excellent Bell's offerings out there.

 417 characters

Photo of PhilsPils
2.91/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I probably shouldn't review this beer because I must not know what they are going for. A tart wheat ale with a very muted aroma and flavor of cherries. Most of my experience with cherry beers has been with Belgian Kriek which actually tastes like cherries. I understand they weren't trying to brew a lambic but a little more cherry flavor would have been welcome.

 366 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, cherry-tinged body with a smallish, stray, white head.

Smell: Wheat and lightly tart, lightly sweet-scented cherries with underlying hints of clove, banana.

Taste: Creamy wheat taste with a moderate sweetness appended. A light touch of gum with a bit of a harder hit of peppery, clove-like accents. Some cherry fruitiness but also some orchard fruit juices. Drying, fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-light carbonation.

Overall: Decent.

 481 characters

Photo of justinp444
4.42/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip it has a white foam head of a half inch with a orange hazy body. Smell of orange peel, cherry, coriander, wheat, spice, lemon, bread-y malt, and Belgian yeast esters. Taste is the same with a nice sweet cherry, and lots of lemon. Mouth feel is full as well as body with a moderate carbonation. A very creamy sweet cherry witbier that's easy to drink and refreshing.

 385 characters

Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.04/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Hazy, copper color. No head, no lacing. Aroma is Belgian yeast esters, coppery, metallic, cherry concentrate
Taste is Peppery, clove, lemon, sweet cherry juice, biscuit.
Thick, creamy feel. One of the better cherry ales out there.

 233 characters

Photo of ZAP
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice natural cherry tartness to a spicy whit base. The cherry is noticeable but not invasive on both the aroma and taste.

The whit base is spicy with cloves and corriander and more of a lemon bread like fruitness rather than an orange accented flavor.

Come together pretty nicely and is a nice change-up summer beer.

 324 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hitting their stride this summer, even the brewers in the upper midwest get into the pool spirit. Using a copious amount of indigenous cherries, a warm weather witbier steps up and offers a creamy, sweet and fruity addition to the bready taste. There's no question that Bell's makes the most of summer- both weeks of it.

Poolside pours with a light mauve, milky hue. Its visual density blends in well with its creamy head stance as its tangy, bready and pastry-like aromas begin to build. Tart cherry, lemon and orange fill the nose with a succulent perfume. To taste, its sweet sugar cookie doughiness is rounded with savory pie crust.

Boldly creamy, the beer's rich breadiness is sweet, grainy and lightly cereal-like with the delicacy of cherry pastries. Sweet, succulent and tart, the cherry's natural acidity bounces off the mild lactic tang of the witbier while its fruit essence is balanced with white pepper, clove and vanilla.

Mild bitterness balances the bready-sweetness with a light herbal grassiness that trends minty and hay-like. Medium-bodied yet remaining firm and doughy, the smooth finish is short and obviously cherry-like.

 1,146 characters

Photo of barczar
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is an even blend of wheat and Belgian ester notes of coriander, clove, and pear, with a subtle hint of tart cherry.

Flavor is on the sweet side, with a hit of cherry pie filling upfront adding light tartness, finishing with confectioners sugar, wheat, and clove. Pear and bruised apple linger in the aftertaste. A bit too sweet for the pool.

 348 characters

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can into signature pint glass, canned on 6/8/2016. Pours hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of tart cherry, lemon, orange, pear, apple, pepper, clove, light banana/bubblegum, wheat, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, cherry juice, and pale malt notes; with good strength. Taste of tart cherry, lemon, orange, pear, apple, pepper, clove, light banana/bubblegum, wheat, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light-moderate yeast spiciness and fruit tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart cherry, lemon, orange, pear, apple, pepper, clove, wheat, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, cherry juice, and pale malt flavors; with a great malt/tart/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from tart/spiciness as well. Medium carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and lightly acidic/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol as expected for 5%. Overall this is a great fruited witbier style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, cherry juice, and pale malt flavors; very smooth and refreshing to drink. Tastes like Winter White with cherry juice added, and is just as delicious as the base beer overall. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,708 characters

Photo of BB1313
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy gburntlowing burnt orange with a fluffy white head with some pink in it; falls leaving very nice retention and sticky lacing. The aromas are fine, but subtle. Yeast and sweet malts are there. Hints of banana, bubblegum and cherry. I personally enjoy the flavors more than the aromas. The cherry juice shines. More banana and bubblegum. Solid malt backbone. The yeast does its thing. It's on the sweeter side due to the cherry juice, but it's not tart or overwhelming. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is light, but still has some body to it. Carbonation is moderate. It's creamy, fluffy and smooth.

This is a solid witbier. It's definitely unique due to the cherry juice. It's refreshing stuff and is fun to drink. This one's perfect for the warm/hot weather.

 805 characters

Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a cloudy reddish orange with a large three finger off white foamy head. Tons of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is funky yeastiness, wheat and tart cherries.

T - The taste follows the aroma. Belgian yeast, grainy wheat, sweet and tart cherries.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Soft and creamy mouthfeel.

O - A solid addition to the Bell's lineup. Nice for those warm summer days.

 399 characters

Photo of dcotom
3.86/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very nice appearance, color of pulpy apple juice, white head, lots of sticky lacing. Flavor and aroma of a typical Belgian witbier, with an added dimension of tartness from the Michigan cherry juice. Refreshing, easy drinking, a fine example of the style.

 255 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 fl oz. can, canned on 06/05/16 printed on the bottom of the can. Acquired the six pack box of this stuff from the local beer store. My first canned offering from Bell's, this one a "Belgian style wheat ale with cherry juice".

Poured into a Duvel tulip snifter.

A - Pours an attractive pinkish-hazed orange body, with one finger of pink-tinted white head that stays a while, leaving excellent fluffy lacing. Hazy and juicy appearance. Appears aptly carbonated. Looks very nice.

S - A subtle but pleasant aroma: semi-tart, yeasty funkiness pervades. No typical witbier yeast esters of banana or clove. The juiciness of the cherries pulls through and mixes with the tart, dry earthy flavors the yeast & wheat.

T - Absolutely delicious stuff: tons of semi-tart juicy cherries, crisp dry / grainy wheat, & earthy yeast. Very nicely balanced stuff; the cherries harmonizes with the wheat & yeast blend perfectly. Subtle notes of traditional Belgian yeast / clove spiciness pulls through.

M - Feel is super smooth, crisp, creamy, & crushable. Light-bodied, with excellent carbonation. Extremely sessionable / easy drinking stuff.

Overall, a hands-down winner from Bell's; probably the best new beer I've had from Bell's in quite some time, and definitely one of the more interesting releases to come out summer 2016.

Bell's Poolside Ale -----4/5.

 1,362 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Bell's last weekend.

Pours a very, very cloudy yellow color with a pinkish tint. There is a spot or two of lacing as it goes down, but that's about it. The nose brings some light cherry and a bit of wheat. The flavor has a mild cherry tartness and plenty of wheat and grain. The feel is slightly chalky with a light to medium body and low carbonation. Decent enough, but too thick for my taste.

 405 characters

Photo of MikeyRx
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From my notes 6/3/11

Appearance: Pours a milky red-orange with almost no head, very interesting appearance!

Smell: Strong aromas of cherry and grains with notes of citrus, wood, earth.

Taste: Sweet grains, tart cherries with orange/citrus, banana, cloves, earth/wood. Minimal hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with light carbonation. Chewy feel when receding, sticky finish.

Overall: An interesting and extremely fruity beer! The appearance, smell and taste are great but the beer could have benefited from some more hops to balance out the sweetness in my opinion.

 576 characters

Photo of Knapp85
2.12/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A real disappointment of a beer. This sounded like it would be very good but once I got it, it just seemed to be very light and really didn't have much of a taste to it. I expected this to be much better coming from Bells. The color is pale and yellow with a small fading head. Not the greatest beer.

 300 characters

Photo of branimal9
3.87/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From tasting notes, sampled 7.24.2010...

Cloudy pink in color...looks like ruby red grapefruit juice. Smells soapy and citrusy. Taste is full of clove and orange with a bit of cherry tartness. Zesty, sour and estery, with good drinkability. Pretty good!

 254 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
2.18/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at CCB's Fruit in the Room event

I must admit to being perplexed by this brew. It is pale and fizzy, virtually headless, and appears like a lighter version of Oberon. There is not much to the nose, but it does smell a bit like pool water, which makes the name disturbingly ironic. My first sip tells me that it will be my last sip. Again, I will reference Oberon: this brew tastes like a crappy light version of Oberon (which itself basically sucks, too.) Why did they make this? It is worse than mediocre, hardly a ringing endorsement.

 544 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy apricot with a white head, good-sized with decent retention and decent lace.
Smell is malty, fruity with slight hops in the background.
Taste is malt, green apple and grape.
Medium body with a light effervescence. Quite quaffable. Another solid brew from the folks at Bell's. Enjoy one or 3 at the poolside.

 322 characters

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Bell's Poolside Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.
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