Oarsman Ale | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Oarsman AleOarsman Ale
2,294 Ratings
Oarsman AleOarsman Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Kettle-soured wheat ale.

First brewed in 2008 at our original brewery in downtown Kalamazoo, Oarsman Ale grew out of our desire to explore the tradition of session beers and to create a unique, flavorful experience for everyone, no matter what the occasion.

Tart and refreshing, this sessionable, bright Wheat Ale exudes citrus and lemony aromas from Cascade hops and trades sour intensity for finesse. A perfect companion for any occasion, Oarsman Ale is a beer based in tradition, but with that distinctive Bell’s twist.

A perfect beer to compliment any menu.

Added by Thorpe429 on 04-12-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,294 |  Reviews: 643
Photo of Bockerdoppel91
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of WDJersey
3.34/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Jemenhiser
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

about 7 months of age on this brew. So we'll see how it goes. Didn't mean to age it, its just how the beer was brought to me.

Cloudy pale golden hue with a thin lace of head. Rich nuttiness on the nose along with a certain yeast like character. Lightly fruity and lightly perfumey.

Nice body thats on the lighter side of medium. Sweet bright citric fruits with a tarty dried fruit aspect on the middle of the tongue. Very nice actually with the right amount of balance between sweetness, acidity, and sourness. The sourness is a little stronger than the other aspects of the beer but is rounded out by a faint creaminess. For being 7 months old the beer held up quite well and retains amazing qualities that a berliner weiss should have. Now to find a fresh one! Very good brew.

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Photo of BigT0406
4.5/5  rDev +27.5%

Photo of eawolff99
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of bluckbeyes
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of danp14
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of mscudder
3.13/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - A very light yellow, almost pale hue with a fair white head.

S - Tart lemon and some acidic notes. Nothing to really love here.

T - Starts off following the nose, making me pucker up to a small extent, and closes with some soft yeast and a bit of bready malts.

M - Crisp but light bodied and heavily carbonated. Refreshing for sure, leading to a high dirnkability that would appease me a few times over on a hot summer day.

O - Not nearly as enjoyable as I recall from my first sixer around a year back, but hey everyone's palette progresses. I will not be revisiting this one.

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Photo of jocain916
3/5  rDev -15%

Photo of poiuytr
4.5/5  rDev +27.5%

Photo of GR_Rick
3.82/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed from the bottle at a barbecue in June 2012.

NOTE: I'm looking forward to giving this beer a more formal and thorough review and will update when I do that.

A: Unable to assess, as it was from the bottle at a barbecue.

S: Smelled nice and tart.

T: Nice, light, slightly tart/sour flavor. Unlike any beer I've had before, with a tartness that really isn't "lemony".

M: Nice, easy drinking beer.

O: I really, really liked this beer. I've not had significant experience with the Berliner Weiss, but reading the label on the bottle, I think Bell's hit right on with what they were trying to do. I'm very much looking forward to trying this again soon, and will update my review when I do.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.52/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

3.0 A: Moderately hazed golden wheat color. Less than a finger of frothy white head formed and it fell almost as fast as it formed.

3.5 S: Good mix of funky and tart, but there isn't a lot of complexity here. It gives off a generic acetic component and a hay and grassy funkiness. Neutral wheat to play this off. Still, I like it.

3.5 T: Again this is well balanced. Lightly tart with an equal amount of earthy, grassy funk. The wheat stands out well.

4.0 M: Lighter body. Good, high level BW carbonation. Crisp and clean as it should be.

3.5 D: Super easy to drink with good flavors, but could use some more depth and complexity.

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Photo of SirDalton
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of lvoutlawjlh
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of TimPell
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of JohnLynch
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of Nutwood
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of gpawned
4.75/5  rDev +34.6%

Photo of ocelot2500
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy lemon yellow color with a fizzy white head tat leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of some tart fruits.

Tastes of a lemon persuasion and ends in a slight malt sweetness. Tart notes lead off with lemon and a bit of wheat. Touches of pale malt sweetness come through and round it out.

Mouthfeel is light with a crisp amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer and shouldn't be overlooked.

 421 characters

Photo of Stinger80OH
2.75/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of Fran
2/5  rDev -43.3%

Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a fairly clear golden-yellow with a thin finger of frothy white head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind a touch of lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of sharp acidic and tart lemon with some farmhouse funk, wheat, a bit of sourness, and some yeast.

T - Starts off with a mix of tart and acidic lemon with some funkiness and lightly sweet wheat. Through the middle, some more yeast and stronger funk comes through with some more grains and a touch of bread. The finish is a mix of lemon zest, wheat, tart and acidic flavors, with some funky yeast.

M - Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a tart, acidic, sour, and funky finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice Berliner Weissbier with really nice balance and some good acidic, tart, and funky flavors.

 784 characters

Photo of bennetj17
3.44/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Straw colored, thin head, looks hazy like a Witbier. I don't see much carbonation and I'm starting to worry. Has a light wheaty aroma with a unique lemony twang.

There's a watered down wheat character to start out, and it's quickly paired with a nice tartness. The beer itself feels light, yet at the same time (perhaps due to the wheat) it strikes me with a fullness as well. Fortunately there is carbonation, very fine but sharp enough.

Not an amazing beer by any measure, but give it a chance and you realize this is a nice session beer, with the zesty tartness to keep you interested. Works well in the summer heat too.

 627 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had this many times from the bottle and a few times on tap at random bars and even at a Detroit Tigers game. It pours a cloudy and murky color somewhere between straw and yellow, bright and very light looking. The fizzy white head doesn't last for very long as it airs away and leaves only a ring behind.

The aroma is pretty light, but that's kind of what the style is all about. Some mild grains, faint apple tartness, subtle lemon zest, some wet hay, and a touch of must that might just be from the hops. It smells refreshing, with a nice mashup of fruit, zest, and dirty cellar musk that's topped off with just a touch of seeming tartness. Nothing mind-blowing, but it does what it's supposed to do.

Oarsman tastes pretty close to the way it smells - a nice helping of apple and grape skins hit first with a mild touch of tartness that hits quick and fades quickly, too. There's a solid light grain and pale malt backdrop upon which the mild tartness plays. Lemon zest and some more very faint must and yeast follows up in the finish. Very quenching and refreshing with a thin and wet body and a crisp, snappy mouth feel.

This isn't some big-time, heavy barrel aged, super rare and expensive beer. It's a mild Berliner Weisse(-ish) that delivers what you'd expect it to deliver. Very refreshing to drink one of these after mowing the lawn on a hot summer day. More quenching than a cup of iced tea or lemonade. A good beer to keep stocked for the hot season, no doubt.

 1,475 characters

Oarsman Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 2,294 ratings