Oarsman Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

2,254 Ratings
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Oarsman AleOarsman Ale

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

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Sour mash wheat ale.

"Designed as a flavorful session beer, Oarsman Ale uses a classic German brewing technique to impart a light, refreshing tartness. Oarsman Ale grew out of a desire to explore the tradition of session beers, trading intensity for finesse while still creating a worthwhile experience for the taster. The grain bill includes a healthy portion of wheat, while light hopping lend citrus & herbal notes to the aroma. Fermented with Bell's house ale yeast, Oarsman comes in at 4.0% alcohol by volume. Rather than being the dominant flavor note, the tartness in Oarsman takes on more of a palate-cleansing role, making it perfect with meals or purely on its own."

Added by Thorpe429 on 04-12-2009

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,254 |  Reviews: 634
Photo of swanson45
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of dmorgan310
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of scottiethebody
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of brealbg
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of ribby
3.57/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm trying to be fair here as I am new to the style. The appearance is slightly cloudy as all Bell's brews are, and pale yellow in color, maybe a hint of amber, but it is so light it is hard to tell. The head is coarse bubbles, which fade quickly, not lacy or foamy at all. The taste is predominantly sour, and very lemony. The low alcohol content makes this interesting when you want a low alcohol beer, but the sourness is too much; still, if that is what the style is, I would say it is successful.

I read the description of the style which says 'tourists in Berlin will often order on as a "Berliner Weisse mit Schuss: Himbeere."' Luckily, we have raspberry syrup lying around the house. About one tablespoon or little less is just perfect. It cuts the sourness. I put the syrup in the glass and pour the beer over it, and the result is a very nice foamy head. This is the way to drink the beer.

 900 characters

Photo of hockey23kp
2.75/5  rDev -22.8%

Photo of strohme2
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of Peglegtim
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of poodog
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of sendbeer
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of ouits
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of buddyvelt
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy pale yellow with two-finger, white, lumpy, creamy head that a minute or two. Okay lacing.

S: Citrus, tartness, and wheat.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Way more tart than I expected from the aroma.

M: Light to medium bodied with lively carbonation. Crisp, slightly dry.

O: This beer was okay. Pretty average. Good tart taste though.

 385 characters

Photo of mwar
1.5/5  rDev -57.9%

Photo of rolandboy
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Hoptologist
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of RickS95
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very light, pale, milky golden straw yellow. It's cloudy with a nice head initially, that quickly dissipates into nothing.

Lacks much smell. I could pick up some crackerlike yeastiness, but nothing else.

Very much a warm weather taste...yeast, lemon, pear.

Tart, but not overbearing. Crisp and dry. Carbonated.

It's an ok beer. Not a good drink for the colder months, but would be money as a hot weather session beer. I'd look forward to one of these after doing anything to work up a sweat. Easy to drink, won't land you in jail.

 545 characters

Photo of Twifiter
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of PackersRGreat
2/5  rDev -43.8%

Photo of elevatedgreens
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Jimmy_Stout
2.5/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of PoolFishGolf
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of a6ladd
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Johnhaley1989
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of chanokokoro
3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Bell's tulip glass

Pours a hazy pale straw yellow with a bright white one and a half finger head which quickly dissipates. Grass and flora, light sour citrus notes, and a very light accent of funk on the nose. Green tea, fresh grassiness, slight tart light lemon and bready yeast midpalate that finishes dry slightly tart and refreshing. Light body, mild carbonation. The concept behind this beer seems to be a less intense Berliner weiss-style beer. Bell's is successful in accomplishing that. Oarsman Ale is a good introduction beer, however it may seem to be a bit lacking to those fairly familiar with the style and other sour styles.

 667 characters

Oarsman Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,254 ratings.
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