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All Of Bell’s Brewery’s Year-Round Beers, Re-Tasted And Ranked

If you’ve never heard of Bell’s Brewery you probably don’t drink much craft beer. The Comstock, Michigan-based brewery has been around in some iteration since 1983 and gaining an ever-expanding cult following for its high-quality brews along the way. From IPAs to lagers to stouts, Bell’s has grown synonymous with craft and quality.

To help you spend your beer money wisely, we re-tasted the nine year-round staples Bell’s Brewery makes and ranked them. Our ranking is based on taste alone (obvi). Armed with this knowledge, you can make your first forays into the Bell’s lineup wisely.

9) Light Hearted Ale

Bell

ABV: 3.7%
Average Price: $11.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

When it comes to ranking beer from an award-winning brewery, it should come as no surprise that a light beer wouldn’t land too high on the list. This 3.7% sessionable IPA is brewed with Centennial and Galaxy hops.

As a light beer, it’s great. As an IPA, it’s a little lacking.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is pretty bland with hints of fresh-cut grass, light citrus, and even lighter pine. Not a bad nose, just a bit thin. The palate is dry, crisp, with hints of sweet malts, citrus peel, and just a note of hop bitterness at the finish.

Bottom Line:

This is a totally crushable beer if that’s why you’re looking for. It’s light, dry, and refreshing. Fans of dank, piney IPAs need not apply.

8) No, Yeah

Bell

ABV: 4.5%
Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Even if you’re a craft beer fan, you’ve probably never heard of Bell’s No, Yeah. This 4.5% sessionable, crisp golden ale is only available in Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Minnesota. If you live anywhere else, you’re out of luck.

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of wet grass, bready malts, and sweet grains are prevalent, but not much else. The taste reveals more sweet malts and grains as well as some citrus zest, tropical fruits, and light hops. Fairly well-balanced but not good enough to drive to the Midwest to taste (I got mine shipped — there are some perks to beer writing).

Bottom Line:

Similar to Light-Hearted, this is an easy-drinking session beer. It’s reasonably well-balanced but not very exciting compared to the brand’s other offerings.

7) Porter

Bell

ABV: 5.6%
Average Price: $12 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Porters are great winter warmers but a little too sweet and rich for much of the year. This award-winning porter is a reasonable 5.6% ABV and is the brewery’s lighter take on the classic style. It’s basically a chocolate and coffee-flavored sipper.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is highlighted by scents of caramel, coffee, and light chocolate. It’s got a decent nose but it’s not the most exciting porter we’ve ever tried. The palate is more of the same with espresso beans, bready malts, toffee, and a nutty sweetness throughout.

Bottom Line:

When it comes to easy-drinking, sweet, chocolatey porters, this is a pretty good choice. But it’s against some stiff competition.

6) Amber Ale

Bell

ABV: 5.8%
Average Price: $12 for a six-pack

The Beer:

The first beer ever brewed by Bell’s, this Amber Ale is a balance of caramel and toasted malts. It’s sweet, rich, and slightly bitter. It’s the kind of beer you crack open and share with friends. We get why this was the brand’s first-ever beer.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is everything you hope for in an Amber Ale. It’s loaded with sweet caramel malts, slight cereal, and just a hint of floral, slightly bitter hops. The flavor is extremely malty, sweet, and ends with a nice complimentary touch of piney bitterness.

Bottom Line:

If you’re a fan of slightly sweet, caramel-filled, and nicely hopped amber ales, this is perfect for you. It ticks all of the amber ale boxes and does them well.

5) Official Hazy IPA

Bell

ABV: 6.4%
Average Price: $12 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Hazy IPAs have been trending for the last few years, so it should come as no surprise that Bell’s got in on the scene with its Officially Hazy IPA. This double dry-hopped beer is brewed with Mosaic, Azacca, Amarillo, Citra, and El Dorado hops.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is all citrus and tropical fruits with tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, and peach taking center stage. The palate is slightly bitter with hints of sweet wheat, orange peel, grapefruit, tropical fruits, and a bit of dank pine to finish it all off.

Bottom Line:

This isn’t your average hazy IPA. It’s more like a mixture of a wheat beer and a New England-style IPA. It’s sweet, fruity, and has a nice, gentle bitterness.

4) Hopsoulution Ale

Bell

ABV: 8%
Average Price: $12.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

This 8% ABV double IPA doesn’t get as much hype as Two-Hearted Ale and that’s likely because it’s only available year-round in a few midwestern states. It’s a combination of multiple different hop varieties and ticks all of the IPA boxes. It’s high in alcohol and filled with citrus, tropical, and piney notes.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is a cacophony of citrus peels, tropical fruits, and caramel malts. The palate reveals dank pine, guava, mango, grapefruit, and a nice kick of bready, sweet malts at the very end. Overall, a very well-rounded IPA.

Bottom Line:

This is a great double IPA. It’s fresh, fruity, juicy, and perfectly dank. If its availability was greater, it might become the brewery’s other globally-known double IPA.

3) Kalamazoo Stout

Bell

ABV: 6%
Average Price: $12 for a six-pack

The Beer:

If you’re a fan of a classic pint of Guinness, you’ll love this 6% ABV American stout. It’s mellow, rich, and filled with hints of chocolate fudge, sticky toffee, and freshly brewed coffee. It’s even richer and bolder than its ABV would dictate.

Tasting Notes:

The nose delivers aromas of vanilla beans, butterscotch, chocolate, and light oakiness. The taste is melted milk chocolate, toffee, buttery caramel, and gentle coffee bitterness at the end.

Bottom Line:

This is a great stout. It’s the kind of beer we’d crack open literally any time of the year, but especially in the middle of winter.

2) Two-Hearted Ale

Bell

ABV: 7%
Average Price: $12 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Two-Hearted is by far Bell’s’ most popular beer, and for good reason. This highly drinkable, refreshing, 7% ABV double IPA is made with 100% Centennial hops. The result is a dank, citrus-filled, malt-fueled IPA you won’t soon forget.

There’s a reason it commonly makes lists of best IPAs in America.

Tasting Notes:

Fresh cut grass, clove, citrus zest, caramel malts, and tropical fruits lead the way in the aroma department. The palate is heavy on guava, mango, pineapple, and dank, resinous pine. That’s balanced by a lightly sweet malt backbone.

Bottom Line:

When it comes to double IPAs, this is one of the most well-rounded, complex beers around. It’s piney, filled with citrus, tropical fruits, and has just the right amount of sweet malts to make you forget some of the other IPAs on the market.

1) Lager of the Lakes

Bell

ABV: 5%
Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Never had Lager of the Lakes? You don’t know what you’re missing. This Czech-style Bohemian pilsner is well-known for its combination of bready malts and bitter hops. It’s refreshing, highly crushable, and the perfect beer for a day at the lake.

Tasting Notes:

The aroma is all caramel malts, Noble hops, and light corn sweetness. Some fruity, citrus notes arrive late. The flavor is crisp, thirst-quenching, and filled with sweet wheat, corn, biscuit-like malts, slight fruit, and pleasing, bitter hops.

Bottom Line:

This should become your new go-to summer beer (and literally any other time of year). It’s light, refreshing, and highly crushable.


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