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

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83
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75 Reviews
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Bell's Poolside AleBell's Poolside Ale
BEER INFO

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

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:
75
Ratings:
190
Avg:
3.64
pDev:
13.74%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
26
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 190
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 Knapp85
2.12/5  rDev -41.8%
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.

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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 BEERchitect
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of mothman
3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Hopcat

Pours 1/2 finger of off white head. Color is a hazed golden straw yellow.

Aroma: Wheat, lemon zest, grassy hops, faint cherries.

Taste: Crisp, lemon zest, coriander, and wheat. Some orange peel with very light cherries.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and refreshing. Light to medium bodied. Ends with wheat and lemons, dry.

Overall, easy drinking wheat that is a good summer beer. Odd with the cherries for a wheat. I am really glad they only showed lightly as cherry wheats are never my thing.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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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 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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Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

really happy with this one. the first thing i ordered up on tap at barleys tonight, served in a pint glass, this one was consumed on 08/14/2010.

really decent pour, light amber in color with a nice two finger head of white that faded quickly but left behind a good amount of lace in its wake.

aroma of faint citrus, light grain a touch of light cherry. nicely blended and nothing really dominating here, just a light mix of bright aromas. flavor follow through was just as nice. light hops, hints of grain, touches of light fruit, really blened quite well with a smooth finish, light dryness and tartness on the tongue and the lasting flavor of cherries left you hanging.

overall really very nicely done. i could drink this all day in the hot sun.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a stange at ChurchKey.

Finally, a Bell's offering I've never really heard of before. Good times down at the CK. This one pours a very hazy copper-orange topped by over a finger of white froth. The nose comprises banana, orange peel, clove, light pepper, and a very slight sliver of sour cherries. The taste holds notes of mandarin oranges, wheat, blood orange pulp, nutmeg, and the possibility of sour cherries. The body is light, with a very sharp active carbonation and a crisp, moist finish (yeah, it's possible). Not bad, but definitely missing something, like a real cherry presence and a smoother feel.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

According to Bell's this beer is 4.6% percent but I guess we're rounding up here. Beer is dark yellow with almost a red hue to it. Its also completely hazy like a hefe. White head with some lacing and low carbonation.

Some cherry in the aroma and some banana esters, smells interesting enough.

Beer is medium to light in body and kind of boring. Its creamy with a mild cherry almost medicinal flavor. The aroma is better than the beer by a lot.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Big Hunt in DC in a pint glass.

A- Pours out a very cloudy hazy orangish red color that you cant see through. No head on this from the tap, just some lacking bubbles.

S- A very light wheat hit as per the style here with a semi tart cherry smell lingering. A small amount of bread and yeast, all together light. Poolside does not smell fake or medicinal.

T- Really tasty stuff on a hot day, this is cherry forward but it's not bold. Light cherry followed by some pale malt and wheat with light bread. There is a very small amount of tartness here thats hardly a thing.

M- Pretty much light bodied with a nice amount of carb even though you would not get that from looks. A slight pucker towards the end. Not a sweet linger to speak of.

D- Very drinkable for summertime. I would go for a two pints before tiring of it. This is a great beer that balances alot while retaining it's lightness. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of barczar
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Binny's South Loop tasting room--Chicago

Appearance: orange/yellow in color, with 1/3 inch head

Smell: sour cherries and wheat

Taste: wheat, light cherries that surface in the middle and a sour kick at the end

Mouthfeel: tart, light body, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A nice and light summer sipper. I love the slight sourness. I could have several and is a solid beer. This one strikes me as a lighter, tarter, more complex Sam Adams Cherry Wheat.

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Photo of maximum12
1.96/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Split with the wife at the Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Looks like a wheat beer with absolutely no odor coming off the brew. Very, very wheaty, to the point of being a bit of a turn off. The cherry is a faint afterthought. More cherry & less wheat would have been a better combo, methinks.

This got actively unpleasant as it warmed - the aftertaste was a killer.

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours an almost opaque reddish-blonde color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of crisp and light malts with good amounts of light citrus aromas and mild amounts of tart cherries.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Light malt flavors kick things off with hints of wheat twang. Joining in shortly thereafter are moderate amounts of light citrus - orange and lemon rind. Midway through the sip tart cherry flavors work their way into things but don't take over the malt flavors, carrying through to a crisp and lightly tart ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I was very pleasantly surprised by this beer. After seeing cherries in the description I was not expecting something I would like very much but after all that's why I have to constantly try new things, to be pleasantly surprised. Worth a shot.

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Photo of ZAP
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz tap pour into an American tumbler pint at the Geneva Ale House in Geneva, IL. 5.0% ABV.

Thanks to DavidEddie for buying this beer for me during our in-person trade today!

A - Hazy orange with a pink touch and a fluffy white head. Good retention and a little lace left over.

S - A light aroma, probably from how cold it is, has a base malt aroma with a soft kiss of wheat and tart cherries. Nice start to a poolside beer.

T - A mirror of the aroma, the flavor has a pale base malt providing the backbone for a mild soft wheat and balanced tart cherry flavor.

M - The medium body is smooth but could use less in this area actually. It should be lighter. The mild tartness from the cherries is nice though. It's balanced well.

D - Poolside is a drinkable summer beer but needs just a bit less body for me to say I could keep drinking this all day by the pool.

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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.

 1,101 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a standard shaker. Pours a hazy yellow orange with a red hue mixed in with a one finger white head. Maintains excellent lacing throughout. The aroma is comprised of bananas, cherries, and malt. The flavor followed the nose with bananas, cherries, and malt. It was light on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a nice refreshing summer brew. It definitely had a robust fruit character to it. Not my favorite style but could probably find myself enjoying a few more of these in the future.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.6/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish color with a red hue, and no head. In the aroma, quite faint wheat notes. In the taste, dry wheat notes and faint cherry syrup in the end. A small bite and medium mouthfeel, with a clean and small cherry aftertaste. Ok, no head, lack of aroma, and flavors quite muted.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.2/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A - A very cloudy beer with a head that looked too liquidy and rose up way the hell too high.

S - Some wheat, then a ton of apricot or peach, not sure exactly which, but smells very sweet. Cherries? I had no idea, would not have guessed that.

T - I found this pretty hard to choke down, tasted like a bad fruit beer. Overly sweet and peachy or apricoty, didn't like it one bit.

M - Sugary, under carbonated, although more carbonation probably would have made it seem like fizzy soda.

D - Gross, barely got the glass down, no way I'm doing this again.

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