My Page Of Man pal Juan, is a swell guy. Recently he went on a road trip vacation with his wife, throughout the lovely state of (imagine the soothing voice of Tim Allen is narrating this) Michigan. While on said holiday, he gave me a call regarding Short’s Brewing Company. I had mentioned these guys in passing and sure enough, he delivered with a mix and match six pack from a brewery that isn’t currently distributed to the Chicago market. I had heard good things about this growing Bellaire mom and pop style company. It was founded by Joe Short back in 2002 when he was a young buck at only 22 years of age. Two years later, he was open for business. But enough of the chit chat, let’s talk about the brews already…
The first beer I poured was what appeared to be a gluten free option, Space Rock (American pale ale). This APA was far from balanced for the Midwest, and had a dry, almost funk like bitterness. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, and was almost like a dried, toasted orange peel. I was pretty disappointed but knew there were still 5 others to go.
Next up was their Berliner weisse, Bucktricity Kills. I’ve never been a fan of this style so I won’t judge and state that my wife enjoyed this one.
Number three wasn’t much better. Huma Lupa Licious is their flagship IPA but again was unbalanced. I was left tasting the same acidic, dry, almost toasted (even roasted) malt characteristic qualities that I find undesirable in the APA/IPA BJCP categories. But I had not given up hope. There were still three 12oz mysteries remaining.
Belliare Brown was easily my favorite not only because brown ales are underrepresented in the marketplace today, but it was a damn fine brew. It boasted a 7% ABV like an IPA but drank so sessionably with caramel and chocolate notes on the nose, a smooth, creamy middle, with a slight bite on the finish, begging you for another sip. If we could get one Short’s Brewing offering distributed across state lines, this would be the winner, especially for this time of year.
Honey Bee is their imperial amber ale (with honey) and was hot off the presses. I was definitely eager for this one as we follow Short’s Brewing on Instagram and knew it was fresh off the bottling lines. Another bold brew at 8%, this little lovely had a sweet nose, wasn’t overly complex but was like butter on the palate (and almost reminiscent of a mead). With just enough bitterness on the finish to balance things out, I was pleased and could have easily fired back another.
To round out and close out the six pack, there was Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. This Belgian imperial IPA had loads of banana esters and phenolic Belgian character followed by bitterness. A pretty solid offering and who can deny the homage to classic Atari game, Space Invaders?
Overall, Short’s Brewing Company redeemed themselves at the end. I was apprehensive with my observations early on but that was debunked on the second half of that sixer. These guys are big supporters of their home state and are furiously creating new suds all the time. Just as I feel with New Glarus in Wisconsin, if you find yourself in Michigan, be certain to give Short’s Brewing a go.