Name: Amber Ale
Brewing Company: Bell’s Brewery
Location: Comstock, MI
Style: Red Ale – American Amber / Red
From the beer’s description on Bell’s Brewery landing page for the beer:
The beer that helped build our brewery; Bell’s Amber Ale features both toasted and sweet caramel notes from carefully selected malts, balanced with herbal and citrus hop aromas. Capped by a clean bitterness, it’s incredibly versatile with food, but very tasty on its own.
Bell’s Brewery, Michigan’s largest independent Craft Brewery, has finally arrived in New Jersey and many of the State’s residents (including myself) are quite excited. Their Two Hearted IPA, which I tried and loved earlier in the year, is rightfully one of the most renowned IPAs in the country. I reviewed Oberon Ale last year, so I decided to celebrate Bell’s arrival with a second review of one of their beers and went with the beer they peg as their foundational ale Amber Ale
Amber Ales are one of those staple styles that don’t get much attention especially compared the hottest DDH IPA or Barrel Aged Stout, but seem to be part of almost every brewery’s profile. Hell, two of the most widely available craft beers in the country are New Belgium’s Fat Tire (Amber Ale) and Yuengling’s Lager (an Amber Lager). Often not quite as hoppy as an IPA, but with a similar, though less aggressive hop profile, Amber Ales are good everyday ales and perfect starter, approachable or “entry” ales for folks looking for more flavorful than the “Adjunct Lagers” produced by Big Beer. Bell’s Amber Ale fits that bill perfectly.
Not too much of a distinctive aroma rises from the beer poured into the glass. The color is indeed Amber and if I were to guess what the beer is without knowing, I’d probably guess one of the two beers I mentioned in the first paragraph – Yuengling Lager or New Belgium Fat Tire.
The beer tastes…really good. There’s nothing flashy about the beer, but that’s fine. There are pleasing hop notes with a very nice level of maltiness to give the beer some substance. Between the roast and the malt, there’s a bit of caramel to the taste, too. The ale is very drinkable, relatively thirst-quenching and just overall, what you’d want in a flavorful beer.
I had a second bottle a couple of nights later and I liked it even more. I’ll admit that I was anxious to try a beer from Bell’s I hadn’t previously tasted and probably didn’t let the six pack sit in the fridge long enough. The beer is approachable enough that it will complement most meals and not overpower what you’re eating the way big, roasty stout might or a hoppy double IPA could. For me, this is a great beer to have with your pizza and for me that means having the beer available in my fridge very regularly since I have pizza every Friday night.
If you want to bring something to a party where many people with mixed tastes will be attending, Bell’s Amber Ale would be perfect – an ale that strikes a great balance for those who are wary of “Craft Beer” and those like myself who appreciate flavorful Craft beer from Independent Breweries.
Recommended, link to Untappd 3.75-star rating.