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

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Bell's Poolside AleBell's Poolside Ale

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

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

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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 190
Photo of basaywhat
3.56/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can. Hazy peachy orange with white head that steadily dissipates into lacing. Smells of Belgian yeast and related esters alongside notes of wheat and a bit of cherry. Tastes like it smells with more of a sweet cherry presence. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and finishes with a bit of tartness.

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Photo of ordybill
4.19/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the tap at the Taco Mac in Atlanta, GA. The appearance is a cloudy copper color with a medium sized white head. The aroma is wheat and sour cherries. The taste is mild wheat and cherries. A real good beer.

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Photo of OldManMetal
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This seasonal witbier, brewed with Montmorency tart cherries, pours to a giant, pebbly head the color of ancient ivory on a cloudy, effervescent golden body that has a slight reddish cast. Head retention is modest and lacing is good, consisting of bands and ladders. The nose leads with an assertive yeast character, backed by tartish citrus, hints of cherry and a fair bit of wheat, all topped by modest alcohol overtones. Up front, the palate is a substantial sweetish/tart cherry flavor, past which lies a more typical spice/citrus character and a modest yeast presence, all atop a slightly caramelish, largely obscured muddy wheat foundation. The finish is pretty clean, just a bit of cherry and caramel, and the linger is a modest cherry/yeast flavor that lasts for a few minutes. Mouthfeel is biggish for the light body, and the texture is medium-creamy and medium-peppery from the well-expressed carbonation. I find the cherry presence to be a bit much, to the point of being a distraction, particularly on the palate. (12 oz can, 82 days after pkg)

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Photo of buschbeer
3.99/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl. oz. can
Served in a pokal glass

This beer pours amber in color with burnt orange highlights. It is topped with four plus inches of off white head that leaves a little lacing.

It has a pleasant aroma of orange and coriander with the complimentary addition of cherry.

The cherry flavor marries well with the traditional orange and coriander. It is quite refreshing after a day of manual labor.

Medium mouthfeel

This is a very solid beer. It is a good American take on a Belgian style. The cherry enhances the experience for me.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a hazy pinkish medium yellow in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation and faint honey orange highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy off-white head that reduces to a large patch of mottled medium thick film surrounded by a large patch of thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of wheat malts with moderate aromas of coriander, light aromas of clove, and hints of cherry. Just a touch of yeastiness.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of wheat malts, coriander, and light hints of clove. That is followed by moderate flavors of slightly sweet cherry that intensify a bit as the beer warms up.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Definitely an interesting take on a witbier - reminds me of a cherry pie and witbier merged... Very easy to drink, enjoyable, and perfect for a summer day.

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Photo of Beejay
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: a pinkish tangerine color, with tons of have, and a small amount of head.

S: Bready with a touch of sweetness and tart cherries, and a hint of sourness.

T: A lot sweeter than I would have thought. Tons of fruit with a cherry flavor, and a nice Belgian character.

M: Medium in body, with fairly high carbonation, and a long sweet finish.

O: Good, but a little too close to candy for me to drink much of.

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Photo of hophugger
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Head, color and overall pour dupicates a Belgian, as this is a Belgian style ale. Aroma is light and slightly sweet. Taste is sweet Belgian, which I assume is from the cherry juice addition. Flavors arent as pronounced as I think they should be, but overall, a nice refreshing summertime beer.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this seems like somewhat of a throwaway for a brewery who is positively capable of much better. its dark orange from the tap and pretty clear, doesnt look anything like a wit. the cherry is very subtle in the aroma and the flavor, maybe more could have been used if they wanted this to do more than just sweeten and this diminish the refreshment value of the style. the yeast is tame too, not flavorless but certainly not as lively and vibrant and interesting as it could be. its got a lot more body than it needs as well, heavy almost with the fruit, and just not quite carbonated to that effervescent that really sets the style off for me. i know this isnt bad, and maybe that all sounds a little harsh, but these guys are regarded among the best in the country, and the standard from them just has to be higher. maybe i had a lousy pour or something, but this really didnt do it for me. generic and weighty, even with the cherry, and not something i am likely to revisit, at least in draft format, anytime soon. cans might be better...

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Photo of MattyG85
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a very cloudy amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid finger of off white head which settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A fruity and fairly tart Belgian style aroma with a scent of cherries and spice. Big scent of cherry juice. Belgian yeast with a scent of clove, pepper, and coriander. Malt scent of wheat, grains, and cracker. Dried fruit hints of banana, apple, pear, and orange peel. Also some candied sugar hints. A pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a fruity and tart Belgian style taste with notes of cherries and spice. Upfront sweet and tart taste of cherry juice. Belgian yeast with spice notes of clove, pepper, and coriander. Malt notes of wheat, grains, and cracker. Subtle dried fruit notes of banana, pear, apple, and orange peel. A little candied sugar sweetness. A nice fruity taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Juicy, tart, and fairly slick.

Overall: A pretty solid take on a fruit infused Belgian Witbier. Nice cherry juice presence with the spice.

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Photo of Prager62
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A twelve ounce can packaged on 06/17/16 poured in a Bells snifter/tulip.

Look- A murky strange looking pinkish-gold with a few centimeters of off white rapidly settling foam. A small amount of lacing clings to the glass.

Smell- Wet grass, cheesey yeast, sour fruit.

Taste- Hay, cereal, musty wood and mild sour cherry in the finish.

Feel- Light and slick with a slight palate tingle and hint of sourness.

Overall- It tastes like Oberon with a splash of cherry juice. It has that grassy profile with a slight complimentary bite of sour cherry in the finish. A refreshing light summer ale that is appropriately named.

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Photo of tbryan5
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent Belgian. I really don't get much cherry juice at all on the palate. It pours a reddish color but tastes like a solid normal Belgian wheat. Overall, not bad.

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Photo of Sparty1224
4.77/5  rDev +31%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Serving: 12 oz. can poured into a Bell's Oberon wheat glass. Canned on 6/8/16, making this just under 2 months old.

A: Pours a dark orange-yellow color with a subtle reddish hue. Big, white, foamy head.

S: Traditional Belgian yeast, banana, clove, and a nice splash of cherry juice aroma.

T: Very nice, bright orange juice and pineapple juice notes up front, followed by a nice trail of cherry juice.

M: Medium with good carbonation. Very sessionable at 5% ABV.

O: For some reason, I was just super excited to try this beer, and man, do I love this. I don't know if it's because I'm from Michigan or I grew up going to the Traverse City Cherry Festival every summer, but this guy just does it for me. The cherry juice is perfectly balanced, and this is super drinkable. I'm literally chugging this thing. Also, it has maybe the coolest can or label design I've seen in a while. Everything about this beer stuns and it's now my official go-to summer beer. Please, please make this an annual thing. Get me to the pool!

Recommendation: I may be overselling this, but please try this if you have any affinity for wheat ales.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belgian-style wit with a splash of Michigan cherry juice. Poured from a can into a Bell's tulip. The pour is a light burnt orange, cloudy, and sports two fingers of fluffy white head with good retention. The nose has some sweet malty notes, a little coriander, and a hint of cherries.

Light bodied with a slightly thin feel and a pleasant tart flavor. Just enough sweetness up front to support the tartness from the cherries. Fresh bread, cherries, lemon, and white pepper. Finishes slightly tannic and mouth-drying. Very refreshing.

This beer is precisely what I hoped it would be; a refreshing, flavorful summer sipper. The cherries go perfectly with the style. I went through two six-packs and hope Bell's brings it back again next summer. I love it.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can. Pours hazy golden with a red tint, thick fizzy head fades to a lasting thin layer, sticky lacing. Mild wheat bread aroma with a little tartness. Wheat beer taste taste with a tart cherry finish. Belgian yeast notes are subdued. There's a funky little astringency in the very end that keeps this brew from being outstanding. Medium soft slippery mouthfeel. Overall refreshing brew, only downside is the finish.

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Photo of classixIII
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very hazy gold with a slight pink cast, Nice head of creamy foam that stayed for a long while. Initial aroma was that of a sour wheat or gose. Very tasty wheat with an awesome cherry tart/sweet component. Smooth and creamy. With the name "Poolside" I was expecting, light crisp, poolside or lawnmower beer. This is not that .....but I love it!

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Shorty review on this. Can dated 6/17. Not kept cold, but does not appear to be hurt by it.

Comes out light gold with a pinkish tinge. Cherries dominate taste and nose, along with the wheat and spices like clove and cardamom (?). Drinks very easily, definitely a step above your cheap poolside beer.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.42/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of 57md
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of theBubba
1.98/5  rDev -45.6%
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.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.34/5  rDev +19.2%
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 +16.8%
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.

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
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 +9.3%
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.

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Photo of PhilsPils
2.91/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Bell's Poolside Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.64 out of 5 based on 190 ratings.
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