Thursday, February 04, 2010

3 Short's tales

Took advantage of our time in Michigan to try out some new offerings from Short's Brewing Company.

I love Short's beer. Sadly, it is really only available in Michigan (as far as I know). In fact, when we were living in MI, their beer was pretty much only available on draught in bars. Things have evolved, it seems, and you can now find bottles of Short's beer in a handful of spots in MI. Apparently, though, it is still produced in relatively small batches (hurray for craftmanship!) and the bottles fetch quite a price for traders online.

The brewery is based in Bellaire, MI and run by a former Western Michigan University student who discovered he was far more interested in crafting beer than studying (right on!). There are plenty of interesting details about the company on their website, but I'll give you the brief rundown here. They've been around since 2004 and started selling beer out of their Pub/Brewery in Bellaire. That location lacked space to bottle, so other than the beer they served, they sold kegs of beer to local restaurants/bars. Early business was a bit bumpy, but they stayed afloat and that led to my first encounter with their beer at the Red Mesa Grill in Boyne City, MI in 2007. In 2008, they bought a manufacturing building and after a year of work, they are now bottling six packs of both their annual and seasonal brews. With their jump to bottling, I ended up stumbling across some of their beer at the Main Party Store in Ann Arbor over the holidays.

One of the great things about Short's beer is that they aren't afraid to experiment and try bold new things. They have an annual line of beers that is quite good and represents many popular brewing styles. They also have a line of seasonals that range from your typical seasonals (winter stouts and the like) to some really weird stuff. For example, I spotted, but didn't try, their PB&J ale at the party store. Yep, that's right, peanut butter and jelly. Not sure about that one. Anyway, I did end up selecting 3 interesting brews (all seasonal) that I found unique and tasty. Some thoughts below.
  • Good Humans dry hopped double brown ale - Pleasant dose of hops sets this brown ale apart. (Cascade?) Hoppy initial taste makes way for a more typical caramel brown ale flavor. Still manages to finish with another kick of hops. Quite different and yummy. (8/10)
  • The Liberator double IPA - Wholy hoppiness! I like me some hops, but the first taste of this made me think I was in over my head. Fortunately, the hoppiness isn't overwhelming and by the third sip I was enjoying a pleasant mix of hops with a touch of citrus finish. Not my favorite IPA ever, but it is Short's... (7/10)
  • The Mystery imperial oatmeal stout - Enough flavor to knock you over, this imperial stout is serious. Loads of chocolate flavor (and smell) with a touch of coffee at the finish. Quite good, but even one bottle was hard to finish. Perhaps a bit too much for my taste. (6/10)
The Liberator and The Mystery soon after their arrival in Halifax. The Good Humans brown was gone before we left MI (and before I was able to grab a picture).


  1. so you arent even bothering with the "Past Due" label anymore? good thing, cuz i think that will be a common theme. ;P

  2. Well, the past-due label is only supposed to apply to beer stuff from before the blog existed. There will always be my personal level of tardiness for entries. Better late than never...