Bell’s Amber Ale is an American Amber Ale by Bell’s Brewery, Inc. that delivers ample hop flavor with toasty bread and caramel malt.

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Bell’s Amber Ale is an American Amber Ale that’s brewed by Bell’s Brewery, Inc. For the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a nonic pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle.

Packaging art for the Bell’s Amber Ale by Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

Packaging art for the Bell’s Amber Ale by Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

What You Need to Know

The Bell’s Amber Ale is one of the Bell’s originals (more on that below). This versatile brew features toasted and sweet caramel malts that are balanced with herbal and citrus hop aromas. So how was it? Let’s get to the review.


The ale pours a somewhat clear amber and is topped by a thick cap of dense, cream-colored foam that shows excellent retention. An aggressive pours yields the best head and after it’s slow reduction, a smattering of lace and residue cling to the sides of the glass.

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The aroma is hoppy at first but as the beer warms, it becomes mostly sweet with a scent of caramel.


The palate is led by a a taste of toasty bread with a hint of nut. A hoppy bite follows with mostly floral notes that are mixed with citrus and pine. The Amber finishes with a mild bite of lemon that’s undercut by flavors of tea and a flash of sweet caramel. A malty base of toasted bread ties the palate together.

Label art for the Bell’s Amber Ale by Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

Label art for the Bell’s Amber Ale by Bell’s Brewery, Inc.


The feel of the ale is relatively smooth with a medium body and a shade under moderate carbonation. Its finish is somewhat dry.

The Beer that Built Bell’s

Bell’s Amber Ale was originally brewed under the name Great Lakes Amber back in 1985. This is Bell’s flagship beer and its success helped build the nationwide brewer it is today. Also of note, the packaging for the Amber Ale has evolved over the years. The label originally featured a seagull, a wood duck, and a heron. As the brewery grew, the seagull and wood duck were phased out and by 1990 only the heron remained on the label.


The Bell’s Amber Ale is well crafted and offers most everything you’d expect in the style. The bitterness runs a little high for style expectations and there’s a even slight but odd metallic taste on the back end. But neither detracts from what is an otherwise enjoyable amber.

Recommended Pairings

Bell’s Brewery recommends the following food pairings with their Amber Ale: pizza, burgers, grilled meats, barbecued pork belly. Cheeses including sharp cheddar and smoked Gouda. Salty snacks like pecans and toasted nuts. And sweets of caramel and apple pie.

Bell’s Amber Ale Crock Pot Short Ribs Recipe

Have a look at this tasty slow cooker recipe from Bell’s featuring their flagship beer.

Have You Tried the Bell’s Amber Ale?

What did you think? Give a rating, share your opinion in the comments below, or add a link to your own offsite review.

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