Bell's Light Hearted Ale

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Ranbot, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. Ranbot

    Ranbot Champion (891) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I noticed on social media that Bell's just announced Light Hearted Ale will debut nationally in 2020. Per Bell's social media statement: "Light Hearted, a lo-cal IPA with many of the characteristics of its namesake, but without all the calories, will debut in early 2020. All malt, balanced, flavorful, hoppy and only 3.7% ABV. More to come."

    There is a brief write-up of Light-Hearted Ale in Beer Street Journal too:
    "...The 110 calorie, 8.7 carb, 3.5% alcohol by volume[*] “light” ale has been a Bell’s General Store exclusive release, showing up...earlier this summer..."

    ...brewery’s description: Light hearted is everything you love about Two Hearted: 100% centennial hops, balanced, a firm malt backbone, and all of the hop aroma too, from pine to grapefruit.

    [* - The Beer Street Journal's article came out a few days before the official announcement, so the ABV cited is for the brewery-only version that's been out this summer, but Bell's announcement and the label below show 3.7% ABV.]

    I like the 80's vibe of the can art.
  2. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (1,825) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    Sounds good to me, if they can hit the flavor mark and also offer lower calories win win. With the reports coming out of a lot of today's IPA, NEIPA clocking in at 400-600 calories this is welcomed news.

    I am still skeptical though, since the other session beers I drink are so lacking flavor they are not fun to drink, so we shall see.
  3. Ranbot

    Ranbot Champion (891) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Agree and agree. I tend to prefer low-ABVs in styles other than IPAs. I will certainly look forward to trying it.

    Price will also be a factor in whether it's a repeat buy for me. I prefer that a light, low-ABV beer for session-style repeat drinking also be easy on the wallet. I hope Bells take a page from Founders.
  4. JLaw55

    JLaw55 Meyvn (1,385) Jul 10, 2014 Missouri

    I completely agree with posts above. Very interested to try this. I have tried plenty of session IPAs and they always just seem thin, watery, and a shadow of their regular IPA brethren; however, if they find a way to make this follow closely in flavor profile to it's big brother, then I am all in.

    If someone figures out how to do a session IPA right one of these days; game over.
    Redrover, Noah_Aimar, dcotom and 4 others like this.
  5. ClarkstonMark

    ClarkstonMark Initiate (77) Feb 21, 2016 Michigan

    I really hope this tastes good
    Mark-Leggett, JLaw55 and Bitterbill like this.
  6. t420o

    t420o Zealot (551) Jul 16, 2009 Colorado

    I haven’t had a low-cal or session IPA that I’ve liked. I love Two Hearted and (obviously) Centennial hops, so I’ll give this a try to see if this one is a bit better.

    I love the label/can art on this one though!!
    GuyFawkes and dcotom like this.
  7. Milktoast75

    Milktoast75 Devotee (464) Oct 27, 2012 Wisconsin

    Men on the Moon.
    Phone in your pocket.
    HD TV.
    A session IPA worth of drinking? Man, I hope so!
    Love the original and would love to love the light.
    eppCOS, GetMeAnIPA, SaltofOH and 2 others like this.
  8. Ranbot

    Ranbot Champion (891) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I approve of the mods editing my original post to look better than what I did. :smile:
    Junior likes this.
  9. meanmutt

    meanmutt Meyvn (1,147) Feb 6, 2012 Ohio
    Society Trader

    Most excited I've been for a new beer release in quite some time!
    Junior and Mark-Leggett like this.
  10. Mark-Leggett

    Mark-Leggett Meyvn (1,023) Jul 30, 2014 Missouri

    Definitely be trying this one out
  11. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,631) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    The Brits have been doing that for a century or so! :wink:
  12. hoppytobehere

    hoppytobehere Crusader (797) Aug 10, 2012 District of Columbia

    Would rather have a miller lite
    GetMeAnIPA likes this.
  13. drh88

    drh88 Zealot (553) Dec 21, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Still waiting patiently for Double Two Hearted Ale
  14. ESHBG

    ESHBG Aspirant (243) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Will be interested to see how this turns out. Session IPAs are hit or miss for me but they do seem to be getting better. Recently I was out and didn't want to drink too much and after two Lagers I wanted something with a tad bit more bite, ordered a Lagunitas Daytime and it hit the spot perfectly.
  15. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,993) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Ugh, Two Hearted is quite possibly one the most iconic ipas on the market. Right off the top I’m going to guess it’s a bad idea. Just drink one less, I hate session ipas to begin with I find the idea for the style absurd. My opinion there.
    GuyFawkes, Txex06 and hoppytobehere like this.
  16. Alefflicted

    Alefflicted Initiate (98) Dec 2, 2017 Minnesota

    I'll certainly give it a try, Two Hearted is my favorite go-to IPA, so hopefully this is at least an acceptable offering.
  17. Junior

    Junior Defender (634) May 23, 2015 Michigan
    Society Trader

    You may be right but isn’t 2/3 to 3/4 of Founders volume All Day?

    I rarely drink it but someone is.
    nc41 likes this.
  18. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,993) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    They do at that, but personally I wouldn’t take it for free. It’s about individual palates with this stuff, I’d just as soon drink one less of a good beer vs this session stuff. If I want light and low abv I’d just pick up a Coors Light vs a ridiculous bitter bomb.
    GuyFawkes and Junior like this.
  19. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,532) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Bell's is calling it a "Lo-Cal IPA" without using that 'session' word, so maybe that's a hint they think it is different from the low-flavor session beers already in the marketplace. We can only hope it has a full taste like a Two Hearted but with only 110 calories and 3.5% abv.
  20. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,993) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Seems impossible to take Two Hearted and dumb it down in abv and calories and it tastes like 2H. It might require the head brewer to get a medal from the Vatican for witnessing a miracle. Up for Sainthood.
  21. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,280) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Well, he is a Cubs fan... :wink:
    meefmoff, PapaGoose03 and nc41 like this.
  22. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,251) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Or perhaps among the Beer Geek segment the term of "Session IPA" has a less than favorable impression? Maybe they think they could market this beer better (i.e., better sales) if they used a differing descriptor of Lo-Cal IPA?

    I would be surprised if they did not test market this concept.

  23. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,532) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    I think I read in a Bell's newsletter recently that a small batch will be on tap at the Eccentric Cafe soon. I can't find that newsletter to confirm it.

    I found a news article that talks about the distribution being year-round to all of Bell's distro footprint in 12 oz. cans. A test market of this beer already occurred at the brewery store and Eccentric Cafe last April.
    #23 PapaGoose03, Aug 18, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
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  24. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (145) Dec 25, 2015 New York

    Nice can. Looks like a SRM scale.
    GuyFawkes and AlcahueteJ like this.
  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,251) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I was referring to test marketing the descriptor name (i.e., Lo-Cal IPA vs. Session IPA).

    AlcahueteJ and PapaGoose03 like this.
  26. SaltofOH

    SaltofOH Champion (862) Mar 11, 2014 Ohio

    Put me down for six; I’m willing to give it a try. There are a half dozen or so session IPAs that have nailed the texture, effectively making super hoppy pale ales. Do this with Bell’s yeast and 100% Centennial hops, and you’ve got a winner.
  27. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (523) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    I’m all for sessionable hoppy beers but 3.7% abv is absurdly low. It’s Bells, do I’ll try it. Will be interesting to see how it’s priced.
    GetMeAnIPA likes this.
  28. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,473) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Larry brew?
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  29. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,532) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    I don't think he does anymore, but I'm certain that he's the one who makes sure that it gets done right.
    steveh likes this.
  30. jkrich

    jkrich Meyvn (1,221) Nov 1, 2001 Florida

    Bell's is just trying to capture the current low-calorie craze in the craft brewery movement. I wish them well, but remember, if you gain weight from drinking beer, eat less.
    WesMantooth, PapaGoose03 and Junior like this.
  31. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Defender (607) Mar 28, 2009 California

    That’s where I am at. I am going to assume it will be sold at a premium so for me it’s gonna be hard to shell out $8-$10 for a low calorie 3.7% Abv ipa. Personally would rather have one or two good ipas and or a lot of a cheaper beer.
    Spikester likes this.
  32. islay

    islay Aspirant (299) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    Props for Bell's for marketing a true session IPA (under 4% ABV), even as their in-state competitors try to convince people to drink 4.7% ABV beer All Day. I've heard Minnesota is the number one state for Two Hearted sales, surpassing even Michigan (that may be outdated or apocryphal information). It's also the last 3.2% ABW state (grocery and convenience stores can carry beers only up to 4% ABV). I could see this being a big hit here.

    Centennial is a wonderful hop, much underutilized in 2019, and I think it lends itself well to a session IPA.
    Ranbot, jesskidden and Junior like this.
  33. CheapHysterics

    CheapHysterics Aspirant (230) Apr 1, 2009 Pennsylvania

    It seems to me that it's the mouthfeel as much or more so than the flavor that is lacking in session IPAs. Some of them taste good but don't drink well.
    AlcahueteJ and WesMantooth like this.
  34. CheapHysterics

    CheapHysterics Aspirant (230) Apr 1, 2009 Pennsylvania

    With a name like light hearted I feel like there should be jokes printed on the bottom of the can.
    Junior likes this.
  35. iwantyourskull

    iwantyourskull Initiate (53) Dec 27, 2015 Missouri

    agreed, if i could only have one ipa for the rest of my life two hearted would be it. i feel like this is a punch in the dick but im not sure how to explain why
    adrock314 likes this.
  36. iwantyourskull

    iwantyourskull Initiate (53) Dec 27, 2015 Missouri

    what did the green grape say to the red grape? breath dammit breath! that?
    AlcahueteJ and CheapHysterics like this.
  37. BruChef

    BruChef Aspirant (210) Nov 8, 2009 New York

    Another scenario could be that haze bros are are realizing that 500 calorie lactose, fruited, milkshake IPAs are catching up to them and Bell’s is trying to take advantage of a weight conscious demographic?
    GuyFawkes, pinyin and JackHorzempa like this.
  38. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,882) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    You're in luck. Just heard MillerCoors brewed batches of it at all seven of their US breweries last week, and previously brewed batches are supposed to hit retailers' shelves next week, too.

    GuyFawkes, Mrstiffington and steveh like this.
  39. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,473) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    At the 2003 NHC in Chicago, Larry said he was now an executive, and hadn't brewed in a while. John Mallett has been Director of Operations since 2001. There are many brewers making the beer.
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  40. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,280) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I'd consider him the "Head Brewer."
    #40 steveh, Aug 18, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019