Midwestern Pale Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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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:
901
Avg:
3.42
pDev:
31.29%
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
160
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 901
Photo of burnstar
3.84/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly cloudy orangish gold with a small head but with nice persistence and lacing. Very mild aroma. Citrus hops. Great bitter hop taste. Clean. Citrus and spices. Dry finish and lingering bitterness. Fantastically drinkable. A really solid APA.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Dense orange with a strong show of effervesce. Whipped, frothy light tan head remains strong throughout. Lacing is generous.

S: Midwest pale shows an almost midwest flair of fresh barley, dried corn, green corn ears, and pilsner malting.

T: Flavor was bready, nobel hop flowers, faint citrus-straw, light floral lacing on the tongue. Semi-dry citrus flower, hint of stemmy briary, earthy grapes, sweet flashes of grains.

M: Mouthful was bready, lightly powdery pils malting on the tongue. Frothy textured, good carbonation.

O: Overall there is something earthy and midwest, bready, and unique about the hopping here that gives this a midwest feel. Very soothing, laid back, midwest style. A refreshing breaking from the west coast assualt of hops. solid good.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.31/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a conical pint glass

A - It is pale yellow and hazy. It is topped with about two inches of off-white head.

S - I get a lot of malt. I was hoping for a little hops. It is sweet caramel and a little grainy.

T - Again, all malt. No hops to liven it up.

M - Moderate.

O - Boring. I have had some great pale ales this summer and was hoping for another. This was a big swing and a miss. I would much rather drink Oberon all day.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured into DFH signature glass; translucent yellow-orange with a thin white head that leaves sticky fine lacing as it fades into a nice ring of foam with lively bubbles feeding it.
Smells of crackery toasted malt, grainy, bit of diacetyl, metallic, slight hint of crisp hops.
Taste is crackery-sweet malt, toasted grain, slight crisp generic hop flavor and a slightly odd flat bitterness.
Mouthfeel is thin and lightly carbonated.
Overall, this is a bit boring. They could have upped the hops considerably without going too bitter, and it would have really expanded the flavor of this one. The simplicity of this beer would make it a good bridge for macro drinkers working their way into craft, though.
It's that type of session beer that you'd drink during a party, when you don't want to have to think about what you're drinking, but still want to drink something palatable.

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Photo of magictacosinus
2.73/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Purchased today in my ongoing effort to try more beers by Bell's. Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a shaker pint glass. Bottled on "07/08/13."

Pours an amber golden color that's actually pretty hazy, as well as filled with light bubbles overall. A fizzy off-white head about a half finger tall lazily dies down to about nothing but a ring at the top of the glass. The carbonation goes pretty quickly as well. Not much lacing or viscosity on this. A simple, golden pale ale. Nothing more, nothing less.

Smells of cracked barley flavors, dirty straw, light malted bitterness, and some floral hops at the finish. Ridiculously simple, almost to the point of feeling empty. Not fruity or sweet, or complex by any means. Only cracked toasted barley and light earthiness. I suppose this is supposed to be as simple as the style gets, but knowing its potential (as well as, *ahem*, Bell's potential), it could use some pruning.

The flavor is awash with bittered cracked grainy flavors, light earthy hops, and slight notes of stale stonefruit. Nothing more comes in, other than a plain, barley predominant flavor that reminds me of stale toast and dry straw. There's a bit of a sweetness at the finish, but it doesn't do much else. Slightly thin in feel, and definitely not creamy or carbonated enough. Definitely simple, but not the most pleasing thing to sip on.

Not much to say about this other than the fact that this is as basic as an APA can get. I do wish it didn't taste so barley forward and faded in terms of providing more complexity to the choppy bitterness, but it is what it is. I passed it over to someone else, but this could hit the spot if I needed something of its type. When, I've no clue, but it shall exist for that special point in time.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with bottled on date 06/10/2013 printed on the label. About as fresh as I could hope for. Scored this during a recent trip to Cedar Rapids at Benz Beverage Depot.

Poured into a Miller Lite pint glass.

A - Slightly aggressive pour only conjures one finger of doughy off-white head that settles down quickly. Body is a light bright orange color when held to the light with tons of tiny specks of yeast sediment floating around. I happen to enjoy the appearance of yeast sediment, so I think it looks rather nice.

S - Smell is more subdued. A bit of fresh juicy peach, apricot, corn, and some earthy grains and malts.

T - Taste follows suit: lightly bitter citric hop presence, grainy barley & malt backbone, and crisp carbonation.

M - Feel is crisp and light-bodied, with a dry bitterness lingering on the palate. Very ideal.

Overall, a delicious summer beer, easy drinking and highly sessionable with a nice 5.20% abv. The label identifies itself as a blonde ale, but it tastes like the ideal American pale ale to me. Nothing extraordinary or groundbreaking, but a solid, well-made Michigan beer. An offering from Bell's I would gladly drink again and again.

Bell's Midwestern Pale Ale ---3.5/5

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Photo of jwhancher
3.41/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip for review. Appears a somewhat cloudy yellow. Lacing clings to the glass alright. Smells of wheat crackers, hay, and some citrus hops - maybe Cascade. Tastes sweet upfront with a tinge of bitterness and some citrus hops towards the back end. Feels medium with decent carbonation. Overall, slighty above average for a pale ale these days. This is definitely refreshing, just not a great representative of the style for craft beer.

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Photo of stakem
2.73/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. The brew appears a hazed copper color with a white sudsy head that fades leaving a wall of lace on the glass. It is quite decent looking with fair retention. Some spots of sediment are seen throughout solution.

The aroma isa bit dusty with biscuit grain, sulfur, toffee, caramel grain and a hint of fruity to floral almost perfume aspect. Some almost like butter is noted towards the back and it increases in character as the brew warms up.

The taste is equally buttery as the nose suggests with bready to biscuit grain. Some sulfur, grass and herbs are thrown in the mix with hints of caramel but without the accompanying sweetness.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is a bit watery and well, just strange and not enjoyable enough to warrent wanting to have it again. Of all the stuff bell's makes that I had the opportunity to try, this is the biggest let down.

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Photo of tectactoe
2.76/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

One that I've been reluctant to purchase... or even try, just based on the relatively poor reviews it has. But hey, it's Bell's, so it can't be that bad, right? ....Right?? Midwestern Pale Ale pours out like a foggy pear skin; muddled and overrun by a jungle of small and sifting sediment particles. The porcelain head looks like a cloud, overcasting the unfiltered brew and taking its sweet ol' time to finally settle itself.

The aroma is kind of confusing. And not really in a good way. Mildly sulfuric, toasted bread, pale malt, and a touch of meek, musty hops, reminiscent in my mind of Saaz, or at least some kind of Noble hop. I get a chunky, crisp lager whiff, too, very akin to lagering yeast. Really, this smells like more of a lager than an ale, but not even a *good* one at that. Kind of boring and plain, and not really fitting of the "American Pale Ale" namesake.

Equally disappointing is the flavor, starting off with a combo of light DMS, sulfur, and off-beat graininess - this beer almost tastes like it has been sunstruck... so much for the brown bottle. Metallic notes, musky, and earthy hops that are far too faint with a finishing sucker punch of dirt, crisp yeast, and unexciting pale malt. Light bodied, not a whole lot in terms of palate presence, though the carbonation is crispy and dry, again, giving me that "lager" feel.

Bleh, wow. I'm pretty upset with Bell's on this one. Not at all what I think of when I hear the term "Pale Ale". For a brewery that has released stuff like Two Hearted, Hopslam, and Expedition Stout, you kind of expect more out of their constant rotation pale ale. Instead, we have this boring, bland, mildly off-putting, almost lager-ish but not as good, confusing mess of a beer. Good thing they have so many other great offerings - this one won't be missed.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, bottled 6/17/2013. Pours hazy and cloudy golden amber color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of lemon zest, orange zest, pine, floral, grass, bread, and floral earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of hop and malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon zest, orange zest, pine, floral, grass, toast, bread, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of spicy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus zest, pine, floral, grass, toast, bread, and floral earthiness on the finish for a bit. Nice balance of floral/spicy hops with malt sweetness; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice and unique pale ale. Good balance of hop and malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A pleasantly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of puckinright
3.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pale ale's catch a bad rap. In a 'big beer' world they seem to be looked down upon. With that said, pale ale's when done well have a lot to offer & Midwestern Pale Ale is a good example.

Beer pours a dark, cloudy amber color w/ a frothy two finger head. Good retention and solid lacing. Smells of malts. Tastes of heavy malts and breads up front w/ a crisp, refreshing hop bitterness on the back end. Well carbonated and medium bodied mouth feel.

Very good example of a pale ale. If I lived in Michigan, it would be a goto session beer. Alas, I do not. So this is a one off for me.

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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.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.37/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottled on 2-6-13, so not the freshest...or even close.

Pours a hazy, full golden color. Nice, 2 finger, frothy head that retains and laces very well. Very light hops scent on the nose for a pale ale. Lighter malt is the dominant flavor in the smell. Taste is of solid malts in the beginning and middle of the drink. Some hops take over towards the end of the brew, with only a light bitterness to balance out the malts. Nothing terribly grounf breaking as far as hops in a pale go. About what you expect in a pale ale as far as weight. This would fall into the everyday beer category if you were a Bell's local.

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Photo of Mosca
3.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is about as close to a pilsner as an ale is going to get. Lots of carbonation, hoppy (but not complex), with malt and yeast sharing the aftertaste.

It suffers from living during the big beer movement, but it is more fair to understand what it is: an awesome soda pop beer. A lawnmower beer. A beer with balance, one that is light without being bland and flavorless.

Don't sip it. Open up your throat and pour it back. Drink 'em in pairs, the first one to quench the thirst, then the second to remind you how good the first one was. And to remember what it was about beer that made you like it.

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Photo of Donnelj
3.83/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - pours a golden straw color with a small white head that falls to a film fairly quickly. Lacing is sparse.

S-smell is floral and grassy with a slight funkiness

M - mouthfeel is thin but crisp with medium high carbonation.

T - taste is slightly grassy with slight maltiness. Hops are slightly present at finish. Finish is dry and crisp.

O - overall impression is good. I feel that bells accomplished what they were after with a nice refreshing summertime beer.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dirty straw color, with a chill haze. Frothy white head forms and leaves a bit of lace. Aroma of floral and citrus inducing hops. There is also a small grainy smell. In the taste, mild grass, resin, grapefruit and orange citrus going against a sturdy biscuity malt character, and an even finish. Bitterness is dialed in and the malts provide enough caramelization and breadyness to balance. Medium bodied, well carbonated, but a bit loose on the feel. Overall, this is a decent east coast style pale, and a good session beer.

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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.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.71/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I picked this up at Giant Beer Garden & Eatery. Poured chilled into a tulip.

The color is hazy light peach color with thick head of white that settles to a ring with small bead and sporadic lace sticks. The smell is slightly fruity with some apricot/peach type odors with a mild sweet malt odor and light pine essence. The feel has a decent amount of bitterness with a moderate amount of carbonation and gentle malt sweetness with semi-dry finish.

The flavor has a semi-sweet presence on first sip with slight piney hop taste and mild toasted malt in the middle with spice from the hops balancing the gentle sweetness with a semi-dry finish and mild yeast tanginess in the last sips. Overall a drinkable pale with nice hop content -fairly balanced. An easy drinking but simple as a pale ale should be.

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Photo of macrosmatic
2.93/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a CCB pint glass.

A: Hazy deep gold with a finger's worth of creamy eggshell head and tons of visible carbonation made of tiny bubbles.

S: Pilsner malt; floral, herbal and grassy hops; hints of sulfur and spiciness.

T: Pilsner and light cracker malts, mild grassy and floral hop bitterness, and a touch of almost astringent sulfur. The mild hop bitterness with the creamy sweet malt flavor lasts into the hang.

M: This actually has a creamy mouthfeel, and I don't think that's good here. No alcohol presence to speak of, but a heavier body for an APA.

O: Yeah - don't know if I got a bad bottle, or if this was just a bad beer. There's some lager and APA characteristics mixed together, but it misses the style for both. I've had Cream Ales with less of a creamy body than this one. So many tasty, refreshing summer APAs out there, but unfortunately this isn't one. Sub-par.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Midwestern Pale Ale comes out of the bottle a full, mostly transparent golden color. A frothy off-white head forms about an inch high initially, but it fades quickly to a few wisps on top of the beer.

The aroma is fairly light. There is a biscuity malt presence for sure. Grassy, slightly floral, with a little bit of lemongrass in the hop aroma. Overall the nose is pretty light, though.

Unfortunately the flavor really follows the nose. There is a bit of malt sweetness up front with a biscuity tone to it. A rising bitterness has a mostly grassy character, with a little bit of citrus and lemongrass as well. The finish is lemony and bitter, with a rather unpleasant aftertaste. There is not that much here, and what is here is not that good.

The mouthfeel is within the normal range for this style. Smooth, filtered, with a lightly crisp and moderately creamy carbonation. The body is a little bit lighter than medium for what I would expect.

I am rather let down by this offering from Bell's. I can usually pick something up from them and feel confident knowing that it will be a solid beer. While there is not anything technically wrong with this beer, I feel they are insulting the great beers that come out of the Midwest.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great looking beer creamy textured soft off white cream colored head settles on a semi clouded amber copper colored body, with thick creamy bands of chunky lacing left sporadically not in any ornate patterns. Aromatics contain pleasant bready malts, a hint of earthiness, toasted nuts with a simple single dimensioned mild citrus hop edge. Pretty pleasant straight forward mildly hopped pale ale, this is trying to showcase their Michigan grown malt and it's tasty no complaints filed here. Bready grains hints of caramel and ample bitterness in the backend to balance it out, earthy herbal flavors from the hops not much else going on here. Mouthfeel is medium to lighter bodied with natural flowing carbonation each sip is inoffensive on the palate as the next. Overall a nice session beer, one meant to be enjoyed more than one at a time and still not exhaust your live or palate.

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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 Dave_in_GR
3.74/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance is a light amber with lots of white, foamy head. Nice lacing as well.

Smell is a bit surprising, not a lot of citrus in this, but some floral notes from the hops.

Taste combines floral and spicy flavors with some sweet malts.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with medium carbonation, but there is an unpleasant lingering aftertaste.

Overall this is a surprisingly flavorful ale, the spicy and floral hops are really pleasant.

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Photo of Brenden
3.62/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one is a hazy dark yellow, just a bit lighter than amber. On top rests an off-white head somewhere between one and two fingers tall with good retention. Lacing is deposited in thick patches and in pretty impressive density.
Grassiness is big in the aroma, though some floral notes are part of that. There's a mineral edge that reminds me of particular English varietals, though I imagine that's just how it all plays together. There's a bit of sweetness lent from a citrus element and a pithy sort of dryness coming out with a note of rind.
Much the same can be said of the flavor with a few exceptions. This isn't an especially hoppy pale ale, but bitterness picks up in mostly floral and herbal notes. An underlying grains note remains stronger underneath, and a bit of peppery spice from the hops is also more noticeable. There's a touch more sweetness from notes of fruit.
Crispness comes out strong right up front and stays strong. There's also a moderately smooth feel in the light-medium body. Carbonation may have a little too much bite to it, but it works together fairly well.

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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.

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Midwestern Pale Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.42 out of 5 based on 901 ratings.
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