Beer Review – Bell’s Pale Ale

Kalamazoo! That is the town in Michigan where the original Bell’s Brewery and The Eccentric Cafe (their brewpub) are located. Their main brewery is located 15 miles away in Comstock, MI. Bell’s Pale Ale is available year round, and their website offers up the following description:

“Unlike so many of its citrus-oriented cousins, Bell’s Pale Ale favors more herbal, earthy hop aromas. Bitterness is firmly anchored in a depth of malt body, allowing the hop flavors to be bold & appreciated without sliding into aggressiveness. These combine with the malt body to create an exceptionally drinkable pale ale.”

  • Appearance: Pale orange and somewhat cloudy. Some sediment is evident, and it eventually settles to the bottom of the glass. Fluffy, half inch head that dissipates slowly. Moderate lacing clings to the glass as you drink it down.
  • Aroma: Orange and lemon peel. Yeast. Mild hop scent.
  • Taste: Medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel. Citrus flavors at first, followed by a moderately bitter finish.

The Bell’s Pale Ale is very different from the other Pale Ales that I have had over the past few months (Dale’s Pale Ale and Great Lakes Burning River in particular). While the other two beers have an ABV above 6% and a much stronger hop flavor, the Bell’s Pale Ale is noticeably lighter in both flavor and alcohol content (5.2% ABV). While it’s not my favorite pale ale, it is very well balanced and session worthy. Much like the Bell’s Oarsman Ale, this would be a very good beer to have on a warm summer day.

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