Bell’s Brewery is one of the largest breweries in the Midwest and is well-known nationwide for their execution of hop-heavy beers. I’m very partial to Bell’s, having sipped numerous Bell’s Two Hearted and Bell’s Oberon’s in my lifetime. So, when I was perusing my local craft beer shop and stumbled upon the bright blue packaging of the Bell’s Poolside Ale 6-pack, I knew I had to give it a try.
Bell’s Poolside Ale is the 3rd addition to Bell’s Brewery’s specialty packaging lineup for the year – joining their Quinannan Falls Special Lager and Hopsoulution Double IPA. Most notably, Poolside is a limited edition brew that comes in a 12oz can, which makes sense when you realize the beer experience they’re going after – it’s one of recreation, of hanging out at BBQs, and sipping by the lake. From the color to the can, this beer is all about summer. And staying to their Michigan roots, the cherry juice Bell’s expertly incorporated into the beer comes from cherries grown near Traverse City, which is basically a Midwest craft beer mecca.
So, without further ado, here is my review of Bell’s Brewery Poolside Ale!
Stats: 5.2% ABV – Belgian-inspired Wheat Ale made with cherry juice from cherries grown in the Traverse City region
Thoughts: Without getting too ahead of myself, Bell’s has another summer staple on their hands with this one. After enjoying all six beers in the pack, I can confidently say that this beer is a treat to drink. When pouring it out, it has a really nice muddled yellow hue with glimpses of red throughout – presumably from the cherries. It has a very full head that makes you appreciate why Bell’s decided to can this beer instead of bottling it, as the added carbonation enhances the drinking experience. The taste off the bat is of a familiar wheat ale, but it’s the cherry juice that really shines throughout the drinking experience. At first sip, it livens up the taste with a hit of cherry tartness that rounds out the flavor profile. But it’s not just the first sip, I was able to smell hints of cherry while drinking and it also added a bit of sweetness to the aftertaste that aided in this ale’s drinkability. And at 5.2%, the Poolside Ale is as approachable as it is drinkable, making it a perfect summer companion.
Verdict: I really enjoyed drinking this beer. It was a great change of pace from the more hop-heavy beers I usually drink while still delivering an entertaining flavor profile that made it easy and appealing to drink. The Poolside Ale kind of felt like Bell’s attempt at twisting the ongoing trend of fruit-laced IPAs by delivering a full-flavored Ale that had all of the characteristics of a well done fruit-focused beer. And by making it available in an easy to transport 6-pack box, this beer would be a perfect fit for a day at the dock, at the beach or on the patio. I’ll definitely be bringing some to my next tailgate.
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