Midwestern Pale Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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BA SCORE
78
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147 Reviews
Midwestern Pale AleMidwestern Pale Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by pschul4 on 11-06-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
147
Ratings:
900
Avg:
3.42
pDev:
30.99%
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
159
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 900
Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.57/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really mild aroma, with only a little bit of sweetness to it. It has a bit of a rind bitterness to it, which I'm not a big fan of. It's fine, but it's not amazing.

 165 characters

Photo of hophugger
3.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden color, semi-cloudy. Nice head and very nice lacing all around. Aroma is slightly piney and citrus, with a touch of malt. Taste is well balanced between the hop bitterness and citrus and the malt takes a background position as you drink. Carbonation is good and mouthfeel is pleasant and crisp. A touch of grapefruit with this one, nice !!

 358 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bell's Midwestern Pale Ale is indeed "reminiscent of the golden fields at harvest" (who knew these guys were poets as well as brewers?!). Its clear, dazzling complexion is sullied only slightly by bottle sediment, the dotting of which is so tiny as to look like nothing more than dust particles. Not much head remains in the glass - most of it looks like it stuck to the glass.

You'd probably expect a Pale Ale from Bell's to be bursting with hoppiness but while this aroma is slightly tinged 'green' it's actually the wholesome, heavenly scent of malted barley that prevails. The beer has a 'bakery-fresh' smell that reminds one of the comforts of warm, fresh bread.

Some styles have flavours that change more often than people do their socks - not Pale Ales. Beers like this are as steady as a beating drum. From aroma to flavour, from the first sip to the last, cold to warm, nothing changes. There's no surprises. This has a hearty maltiness that tastes of grain and bread. Nothing less, nothing more.

Hops are not, however, without any influence. The finish is not sweet, and certainly not bitter either, but cut short by something more than just stiff water minerals. The aftertaste has a trace of herbal leafiness that is very faint and reminiscent of a weakly steeped chamomile tea.

When treading water you lift yourself up by pushing the water down; whereas many microbreweries promote themselves by conceitedly contrasting their products to those of commercial breweries - typically centering on extreme offerings aimed exclusively at the beer geek fringes - Bells is confident to also let their simple, workaday beers speak for themselves.

Although certainly one of the first breweries to re-write the rules, Bells has also won out, as their Midwestern Pale Ale proudly demonstrates, by beating the big guys at their own game. The fact that some brewers overlook is that craft beer doesn't have to be big, different, or rare - lowest-common-denominator beer should be good too. And this is definitely that.

 2,026 characters

Photo of GilGarp
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 14745 bottled 8/26/2015.

Served cold into a Pilsner glass, Midwestern Pale is a slightly hazy pale golden yellow color. The head is thin and short-lived.

Aroma is sweet with a hint of spicy hops. Similar to a Pilsner.

Flavor is sweet up front with mild pale malts. The hops add a peppery spice note and a good dose of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light in body and nicely carbonated. A balanced and drinkable pale ale.

Overall not a bad beer but not a homerun either.

 475 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A - A cloudy golden color, with lots of head and lace. Impressive looking!

S - Malty grain and barley. Not any hop aroma.

T - Mild and malty. Nice and Smooth.

M - Highly carbonated.

O - A decent pale ale. A very malty, not much hop, pale ale. Not bad at all, but I prefer a little more balance

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Photo of etoimazo
3.54/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was introduced to Bell’s brews on tap about a year ago and was impressed. Since I’m partial to traditional pale ales I picked up a bottle of this to sample at home.

Appearance: Golden with a slight haze and a moderate head, not much lace. Unusual carbonation with visible tiny bubbles or sediment suspended in solution.

Smell: More like a lager than an ale: malty yeasty sweet, little to no hops

Taste: Bready yeast with a crisp hop balance and some spicy bitterness in the aftertaste. Well crafted, nothing harsh about it. I’m particularly curious about this strain of ale yeast.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and sparkling – again, more like a lager than an ale

Overall: True to the pale ale style, this beer impressed me with its balance and its distinctive yeast character. I will seek it out again – especially if it’s fresher than the one I tried.

 863 characters

Photo of RockAZ
3.54/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought 1/2bbl for $69 with a two week old kegging date, served in Imperial pint glasses.

Had some trouble with my opinion on this beer so I held back an extra day with a fresh palate and reread the other reviews. Some quotes from them: "mild, bland, watery, leaning toward English Ale style, not enough hops, metallic, strong grain taste, odd yeast/malt tones from> lager? wheat?". All these are valid I think, but not necessarily negative. Some said it was in inoffensive session beer and that is I think its strongest point, IMHO. I looked at other Pale Ales and find that the ones I like best are either hop forward versions or real British style milds, so this one really misses all the points I look for in my Pale ales. But I like it anyway.

I bet I would not like this at all in the bottle, I can tell it is too mild for this IPA guy. What I will do later today is run some through my "Randall" glass after I pick up a few pouches of fresh hops from the store to see where that takes this beer. At @42IBU's (accd to one source), but I bet a bump to 55 or so would really rock this beer into my flavor zone.

In any case, I do recommend you try this beer on draft when you can, and steer clear of any stronger hop flavored beers before you do as it will poison your opinion on it.

 1,291 characters

Photo of SABERG
3.54/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a modified pilsner glass.
A - Hazy deep yellow, super carbonation relentless in support of a modest cap. Lacing is delicate and thorough.
S - Light grains, a bit of pines, and rather muted all around.
T - Toast, with a bit of orange jam, lightly roasted red wheat, and a hop bite.
M - Thin on the palate, delicate in its presence. Dry finish is a welcome attribute.
O - A fine pale ale, with neither highs nor lows, quite drinkable.
Cheers

 471 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
11/26/12 on bottle
A- The hazy deep orange body supports a beige sticky film and a carbonation of big bubbles pop of the base of the glass.

S- The pale malt has a hint of hair perm with some pine hops in the finish and a light raw silage aroma grows as the beer opens.

T- The pungent bitterness has a sulfur hint and a pils male with a dry hop spice that starts to come through as the beer opens. The pine hint is a bit stronger in the dry finish and has an astringent quality to it.

M- The light mouthfeel is finished with a tight little fizz

O- This beer is light on hops and is a bit too dry in the pale malt flavor. It is kind of blah tasting and a bit boring to drink.

 706 characters

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, some caramel, a bit of hops. Taste is malts, a bit of hops, balanced and easy drinking but not overly flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

 280 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy copper hue with a two finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light piney hop and soft sweetness.

The taste consisted of a moderate hop spice, offering notes of pine and grass, atop a light grainy pale malt.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a decent pale ale. Certainly easy enough to drink.

 372 characters

Photo of Chiefy770
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle (bottled on 8/01/2013) into a pint glass.

A rather thin, yet stable white foam head sat on top of a hazy, dark gold body.

The aroma was dominated by the malts with a front of a floral-herbal blend.

The grains stood out in the taste. A good hit of citrus in the aftertaste.

Overall: Not bad. Interesting flavor balance. The relatively light body makes this a great APA to throw back on a sunny afternoon.

Bottom Line: Good brew, nothing to write home about though.

 490 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Midwestern pale with Michigan barley is a worthy attempt but comes up a bit short.
Color is golden and a bit light for a pale, maybe more towards a blonde. Has a hazy appearance, and sports a really nice fluffy bright white head.
Aroma lacks hops. I can detect none at all. Malts are nutty and bready. Taste is for want also, drinks flat with a nutty grainy malt flavor no hops that I can tell.The finish is abrasive and dry.
This beer is only a month old so its not stale hopefully the recipe will be tweaked as they become more familar with their own particular barley.

 571 characters

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cooperish color with a nice large lacing head. There is a mild grainy aroma. The taste is the same; very grainy, balanced, strong malt flavors, with hints of hops. Very drinkable and nice body, but rather light in flavor. Overall its a very mild and maltier Pale Ale, nothing to special, but its enjoyable.

 314 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 02/06/13. Emptied into a shaker pint.

Looks a hazy golden blonde, almost looks like a wheat ale. No real collar formed. Thin lip of suds and surface spore foam resides. There are even tiny floaties in suspension.

Floral in aroma. Notes of dead grass, white pepper, and biscuit bread. Mild herbal quality dries out the nose even more.

Appealingly dry and unmistakably floral and grassy. Specialty and pilsner malts can be tasted. Dry and crisp for an ale. Late estery notes remind me of crabapple in the finish. Lightly soapy. Swallowed up by more bittering dryness.

Drinks decently. Pins-and-needles effervescence generates the coarseness in the mouthfeel. That seems a little mucky mixed into a slightly oily body.

Not too shabby for a pale. Unimpressive, but sessionable. Not the best from Bell's.

 812 characters

Photo of patpbr
3.52/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper with a sturdy two finger head.
S - Malts and hints of floral
T - Grains are the most noticeable part of the beer, has a bit of spice.
M - Medium body that finishes fairly smooth.
O - Nothing stands out here, Bells make exceptional beer. This is not one of them.

 275 characters

Photo of CloudStrife
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Packaged on 10/03/13.

A: Pours a hazy golden allowing just a bit of visibility. A white head sits on top of the brew. Lots of tiny bubbles can be seen rising to the surface. Leaves some spots of lacing.

S: Malt forward aroma from the barley in this one. A good amount of grain with a emanating sweetness. Hops are difficult to find.

T: Quite a malty pale ale. Starts with a heavy dose of malt that transitions into a sweetness. A splurge of hops hits you once you swallow bittering the back end.

M: Medium body with average carbonation. Leaves a touch of stickiness after you swallow.

Overall not a very impressive beer but it would be a good transition from macro brews. Glad I got a single bottle.

 742 characters

Photo of AUGRAD06
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice Pale Ale by Bell's. Beautiful light golden color with a nice barley, malt smell. Just the right amount of carbonation to leave a slight tingle on your tongue. Taste lingers a little on your tongue which is a pleasant bread flavor without feeling you feeling over stuffed. Overall a great "light beer."

 308 characters

Photo of garymuchow
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I believe this is the same as the former "Bell's Pale Ale". Tried to find info on the website, but it was futile.
Nonetheless, I've been trying for a long time to finish off reviewing Bell's standard and widely available beers and I think this one just about finished that "ticking" task.
This is a surprisingly malt forward and hop background pale ale. Kinda' of the opposite of the standard pale ale in these parts - Summits EPA. Pale malt aroma and a soft spiciness to the somewhat grassy hops. Not complex or strong, but pleasant.
Dense but small white head. Cloudy pale gold body.
Very doughy flavor malt profile with soft hop flavors rolling in and around with a noticeable, but again, soft bitterness on the finish. Hops soften, fade and blend more as it warms with the pale malt character becoming more upfront.
Kinda' on the more side of carbonation (I'd prefer a little flatter), but not excessive. Nice bigger soft feel.
Real standard and basic. Good and solid.
Relatively fresh with a 5/13 bottling date.

 1,016 characters

Photo of gestyr
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear yellowish-orange color. The white head is long lasting and leaves lacing. Smells of grain and a slight tease of hops. Tastes slightly sweet and grainy. There is a residual bitterness and the flavor of hops is there in the background. It is light bodied and would go well on a hot summer day. Overall, I liked this brew and would buy it again.

 365 characters

Photo of metter98
3.47/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Thirsty Monk, Asheville, NC

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellowish amber in color. It poured with a thin off white head that died down and left a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of caramel malts are present in the nose along with hints of citrusy hops.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a balanced mix of citrusy hops and caramel malts. No bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink but nothing interesting stands out in the smell or taste. This would make for a good session beer for someone who is getting into craft beer.

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Photo of jwc215
3.47/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazed golden with a thin, lasting creamy head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of grain - touch of honey - hint of hay. Pretty clean. Very mild.

The taste is of sweet grain with a honey-like character - a touch of light caramel weaves in and out. Sweetness is balanced by grassy, drying, bitter hop touch in the finish.

It is pretty creamy. Smooth. It has a nice, refreshing lingering dryness.

A sweet, becoming bitter-ish, basic American Pale Ale. It is on the mild/light side of the style spectrum. An easy-drinking, balanced ale.

 547 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.46/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A - orange with a big, soft, pure white cap of dense head that has great retention

S - bready, doughy malt

T - bread, faint toast, citrus, mild hop bitterness; very light flavor

M - light to medium bodied, well carbonated

This is a disappointing pale ale. The flavor is very mellow. It's predominantly malt with a faint hop presence, but there is little to get excited about. It's really easy to knock this back, but it's boring all the same. This won't be a beer I'll pick up again.

 487 characters

Photo of Roman5150
3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

bottle into pint glass

appearance: cloudy unfiltered light orange/yellow, huge foamy head

smell: smells more like a lager or a pils than a pale ale, sublte citrus/lemon and faint earthiness

taste: very light flavor, i feel like this is more of a lager than a pale ale, not much hop presence. Watery, and very bready flavors come through in the finish, hint of Rye as well.

mouthfeel: not much carbonation, very very light on the palate

overall: A great summer pils or lager type beer, I don't understand why this is labeled a Pale Ale, probably explains the poor reviews. Either way, if you're looking for a hoppy pale ale, look elsewhere, if you want a smooth summer beer that tastes more like a czech pils or lager (a very good one at that) try this, it has subtle flavors but not much complexity. Great session beer.

 824 characters

Photo of FLima
3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a thin head with low retention.
Aroma of pale malt with a bit of herbal hops.
Refreshing flavor with floral, herbal and citrus hops, notes of oranges, tea bags, spices and American yeast. Quite dry and bitter aftertaste.
Light to medium body with medium carbonation.
A malty and yeasty APA, but still crisp hopped with a huge drinkability

 355 characters

Midwestern Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
78 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.
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