Beer Review – Bell’s Two Hearted Ale

It’s been a controversy filled week for the craft beer loving community. Here are some of the headlines from across the internet:

All of this controversy and brew-haha makes me want to drink! Since I just happen to have a Bell’s Two Hearted Ale in the fridge, I thought I would give it a try since I’ve heard so many good things about it.

Bell’s Brewery describes this beer as follows:

“Two Hearted Ale is defined by its intense hop aroma and malt balance. Hopped exclusively with the Centennial hop varietal from the Pacific Northwest, massive additions in the kettle and again in the fermenter lend their characteristic grapefruit and pine resin aromas. A significant malt body balances this hop presence; together with the signature fruity aromas of Bell’s house yeast, this leads to a remarkably drinkable American-style India Pale Ale.”

And now for the review…

  • Appearance: Clear, copper color. Fluffy, slowly dissipating half inch head. Lots of fast rising bubbles. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.
  • Aroma: Grapefruit and orange. Very fragrant pine/hop scent.
  • Taste: Well carbonated. Starts off with some sweet malt flavor which fades quickly. Lots of citrus and hop bitterness from mid-palate to the finish. Once the hop bitterness fades, a pleasant citrus aftertaste remains which lingers for quite awhile.
  • ABV: 7.0%

The Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is a very smooth and well balanced American IPA. While it definitely has that classic IPA bitterness, it’s never overpowering. It has just enough malt sweetness and citrus highlights to keep the hops in check. As of this writing, I have had five different beers from Bell’s Brewery. They range from the light and lemony Oarsman Ale to the very dark and brooding Expedition Stout. The Two Hearted Ale is my favorite of the five, and I highly recommend that you give it a try.

18 replies »

  1. Just so happens my last Two Hearted Ale was with you and the Hip Blogger last week at Misconduct in Philly. An excellent IPA. One of the few non West Coast IPAs that could share a flight with some of their best.

    Strange thing though about the one I had at Misconduct…. it wasn’t poured into a PILSNER GLASS


    • Yes yes… I am well aware of the Two Hearted Ale that you had last week. Damn fine brew!

      And regarding the glassware… I could spend my money on an assortment of glassware or I could spend it on beer. I choose beer. Besides, I am all out of cabinet space in my miniscule kitchen. I do not have the luxury of seven family rooms to store such things.

      I stand by my previous comment regarding the pilsner glass, i.e. it’s just so photogenic!


  2. There was a point in time where the Two Hearted was one of my favorites. And I still like it quite a bit, but my palate has become more sensitive to precisely the type of thing you mention- the hop/classic IPA bitterness.

    Anyway, I agree with your assesment whole (two) heartedly.


  3. Agreed, Bell’s Two Hearted is a great brew.

    However, I’m more partial to Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch. Finally, a DC area brewery that’s finally getting some national attention – there’s no such thing as bad press, right?!


    • Agreed. Raging Bitch rocks! But it’s a slightly different beer style, so is it a fair comparison? And yes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity when we’re talking about such a fine brew. Stupid ass MLCC. 🙂


  4. Great review – Bell’s Two-Hearted rocks! We’ll be visiting there this spring – can’t wait. Unfortunately, Larry can be a bit of a jerk, but he makes darn good beer. Two of my personal Bell’s favorites – North Coast Old Ale, and Expedition Stout. As for Goose Island – sad loss for Chicago beer lovers, indeed.


    • I am hoping that Goose Island infects AB/InBev like one of those sci-fi genetically engineered beneficial viruses and cures their Bad Beer-itis. Just think in a few months every ballpark in America will be have Goose Island Beer Guys walking around instead of the Bud Light Lime Guys.

      The alternative is that next MillerCoors buys Bells and we soon have 64 calorie MGD HopSlam … THE HORROR!


    • Hi SimpleP!

      So you’re on a first name basis with the Bell’s people? Pretty cool! Hopslam and Two Hearted Ale are the best of the Bell’s for me. Expedition Stout was a bit too boozy for my taste. I have a patience issue and doubt that I will ever cellar anything. If I can’t drink it now, then what’s the point of having it around?

      Thanks for stopping by!



  5. I just tried the Two Hearted over at Misconduct with G-Lo. This is a very good brew. Had I not had a little thing called work to get back to, I might have been tempted to stay there longer.

    My only complaint is the less than aesthetic label. I tend to buy beer that comes in a “pretty” package as I am all too susceptible to advertising. The fish label just doesn’t do it for me.


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