Welcome to the second installment in our “Beer of the Week” series! This week’s brew is Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. Just as we did last time, before I go into my review of the beer, I will let you read a bit of what Bell’s Brewery has to say about this particular beer:
“Two Hearted Ale is defined by its intense hop aroma and malt balance. Hopped exclusively with the Centennial hop varietal from the Pacific Northwest, massive additions in the kettle and again in the fermenter lend their characteristic grapefruit and pine resin aromas. A significant malt body balances this hop presence; together with the signature fruity aromas of Bell’s house yeast, this leads to a remarkably drinkable American-style India Pale Ale.”
Alcohol by Volume: 7.0%
Original Gravity: 1.064
Shelf Life: 6 months
Dates Available: Year Round
State Availability:AL, AZ, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MI, MN, MO, NC, ND, OH, PA, VA, WI
Available Packages: Bottle, draft, and 5 liter (1.32 gal.) mini-keg
I was turned on to this beer by my buddy Doug back in the summer of 2008. Doug went to college at Eastern Michigan, and with Bell’s brewing their beers not far away in Kalamazoo, naturally he had consumed quite a few over the years. As you can see below, the beer doesn’t exactly jump out at you in the store. It looks like something I might buy if I was going on a fishing trip (not that there’s anything wrong with that). On first taste, I was not overly impressed (bear in mind, at this point in my life the majority of the beer I consumed was Natural Light, so take that with a grain of salt). However, after going back to the well a few more times, I found the beer to be quite delightful.
It has the fantastic hoppyness of an IPA and combines that with a smooth taste which makes for great drinkability. The 7.0% alcohol/volume adds a solid potency which enhances the appeal of the beer even further. If you are fortunate enough to find this beer on tap at your local watering hole, I highly recommend giving it a shot. As with most beers, it’s even better on tap than it is from the bottle.
I had tried Bell’s Oberon Ale before, their wheat offering, and it was solid. But the Two Hearted Ale blows that one out of the water. Again, I highly recommend this beer, especially if you like a good IPA.
Conclusion: Try a 6-pack, you’ll be glad you did.