Beer – a beverage that has without a doubt brought countless groups of people together throughout history, who may have had no common ground between them prior to ordering the beverage. It’s been accomplishing this great feat for an equally great amount of time: 7,000 years according to tests performed on jars found in what is known today as Iran. But, while beer’s history is grand and impressive, I haven’t brought you here to discuss the beverage’s origins. I have brought you here to witness the first entry of what I hope will be a series with an equally awesome history – Six-Pack Saturday.
So what is Six-Pack Saturday? Twice a month I will be buying a six-pack of beer which will have come from a brewery based in the Midwest or a landlocked state. I will then drink said beer and give a general breakdown of the beer and review. Seeing as this is my first Six-Pack Saturday piece I thought it only fitting that I try Bell’s Midwestern Pale Ale.
Midwestern Pale Ale is one of Bell’s Brewery Inc.’s eight beers with year round availability. Whereas many pale ales are known for their high level of hops and bitterness, the Midwestern Pale Ale is advertised as a more malty alternative to the traditional pale ale. It weighs in at 5.2% ABV and has a shelf life of six months, not that you’ll keep it around for that long.
The moment I took my first sip of this beer I noticed the high malt content. Similar to other malty beers, the initial sensation is very smooth and almost soothing. This taste is quickly followed by the flavor of hops and various spices. Unlike other pale ales, the hop flavor is very subtle and doesn’t pack nearly as strong of a bite. The spices and floral notes are very noticeable at this point and give the beer a taste that’s normally found in hard ciders or pumpkin ales. This said it’s still a very subtle flavor, never overpowering the initial smoothness that the malt brings.
Overall the taste is extremely pleasant and one that I could enjoy during any season. I can see why Bell’s Brewery decided to keep this on the year round roster.
I know numerous people who avoid pale ales like the plague, often citing the brew’s notorious bitterness and bite as their reason. I enjoy pale ales and India pale ales alike, so the bitterness is rarely an issue for me. That said, I’ve still tasted various pale ales that nearly turned my face inside out. Luckily, this wasn’t one of them.
Thanks to the low hop content and high malt content of the Midwestern Pale Ale, this beer goes down smooth. From the first sip to the last, there wasn’t a single point where I thought the beer was overly bitter. This makes it a great beer for those who shy away from pale ales.
I’ve tasted many pale ales, and this is without a doubt now one of my favorites. The subtle taste of hops and smooth malty sensation, combined with the floral undertones all make this an extremely enjoyable experience. It even has a lovely color to boot, making it great for showing off that new mug. Whether you’re a seasoned drinker of pale ales or still have your beer training wheels on, I wholeheartedly recommend this. Bell’s Brewery Inc. and the Midwest alike should be proud to call this beer their own.