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Short's Bellaire Brown Ale | Short's Brewing Company

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Short's Bellaire Brown AleShort's Bellaire Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Exactly what it says, “Brown beer.” This is beer fermented from wort extracted from the hearty pale ale malt, toasted specialties, chocolate and Munich selections resulting in a toasted brown color. Very light hop additions from the Cascade variety allows the sweet malty and caramel notes to shine through for duration of its time on your palette.
15 I.B.U.’s
12.8 deg. Plato
5.2% A.B.V.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 258 | Ratings: 704
Photo of jzlyo
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is very nutty malts, toffee and slight sweetness. The flavor is nutty malts, toffee, light berries/fruit and a slightly sweet/tart finish. Old school brown ale, well-made.

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Photo of plumberman63
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at a local bar MIMI's Retreat.
Poured a nice dark brown with a creamy tan head
Very good aroma, toasted malt with a hint of chocolate.
Taste smooth malty, touch of caramel chocolate, no (coffee thank god).
Smooth going down, no bitter bite, easy drinking.
This is one I would get again, went well with the burger I was having.

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Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

We recently began getting distro of Short's B.C. beers here in south-central PA & I am pretty excited about it! I have known those guys for years, between BA fests in BOS & my (usually) annual excursion to Madison, WI for the GTMW. I don't care if they are in bottles since I never expected them to come to me!

From the bottle: "A Classic American Brown Ale"; "Handmade by people who care. (tm)"

I Pop!ped the cap and let fly with an aggro pour since it was a very fresh bottle. In fact, I blushed at some of the things that it was saying! This action produced two fingers of dense, foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with good retention. Color was Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled like liquefied milk chocolate with caramel! I usually hold sweet beers in disregard, but this smelled pretty enticing. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was sweet, all right, but pleasant. It was like a ROLO candy or even a Twix bar with its biscuity maltiness! As I said, I am not usually a fan of such things, but this really was a nice change of pace. Finish was semi-sweet, restrained thanks to the malts & whichever hops they used. It had a real potential to be cloying & they managed to avoid that. Bravo! Send some more of your beers our way!

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, bottled 02/12/2016. Another new one to me from Short's Brewing, acquired a single bottle from the local beer store. "A classic American Brown Ale". No abv listed on the bottle, and BeerAdvocate lists two different ones.

Poured into a Duvel tulip snifter.

A - A nice brown colored body with huges of red when held to the light. One finger of frothy khaki-tan / off-white head that leaves lots of good spotty lacing. A nice look.

S - Good classical brown ale nose: very toasty, roasty, nutty, & malty. Notes of toast, roasted nuttiness, and brown bread. A clean, traditional aroma.

T - Taste follows the nose: crisp, creamy, nutty, malty, toasty. Minor alcohol bite on the finish. Smooth, creamy, & nutty above all else. A very delicious and traditional example of the style.

M - Feel is crisp, creamy, nutty, & malty. Minor alcohol, medium-bodied, with good carbonation.

Overall, exactly what it advertises itself as - a classic example of the style, to be damn sure. Very enjoyable stuff, and highly recommended per the style.

Short's Brew Bellaire Brown -----4/5.

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Photo of BB1313
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 3/9/16. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a hazy brown with orange hues; light khaki head that fades leaving great retention and decent lacing. The aromas are very subtle. Hints of fresh dough and malts in the mix. The flavors are very clean. Lots of cocoa, caramel and toffee. Malts are there with some barley. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is on the lighter and thinner side of medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's very smooth and easy to drink.

I've always been a huge fan of brown ales. This one is very nice, but nothing too crazy. It's a nice traditional example of the style with an amped up abv. It might be "boring", but brown ales aren't supposed to be flashy. It's very quaffable. It's also very refreshing for the style.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed form the growler via Jungle Jim's in a snifter. This excellent brown ale pours a dark brownish mahogany with a very nice head of off white foam that settles to a thick ring, a nice cloak of wispy foam, and nice lacing. Nose of toasted nuts, subtle caramel malt, and as many others have notes---toast. Flavors exceed the nose with a deep toasted nut flavor reminiscent of walnuts on all sides dashed with caramel and deeply roasted malts. Chocolate of the dark bakers variety and subtle cream comes into the foray on the middle to back. Great mouth feel, nicely carbonated, medium body, and a nutty lightly chocolatey finish. Rich for the style......one of the best I have ever tried. Bar none!



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Photo of dannycohen62
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L - Tall khaki head, brown!
S - Very sweet, fruity. A little bit of roasted malt.
T - Nutty chocolate, toast. Some floral hops on the back end.
F - Light, smooth and flavorful.
O - Very good brown ale, kind of reminds me of Nutella on toast.

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Photo of Gear54
4.31/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pour is medium brown with 1/2 in of kaki foam. On tap at Johnnys pour house in Flushing MI

Smell is chocolate, roasted malts, Carmel, and a bit of burnt toast.

Taste follows the smell well with nice nutty roasted malt flavor and an underlying sweetness. Very sight hop bitterness helps to give near perfect balance.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick with medium carbonation. Good middle ground between a sipping beer and a beer you drink several of.

Overall one of my favorite brown ales available in my area.

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Photo of pat61
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: brilliant chestnut, 1” tan head that gradually dissipates S: a crystal malt nose with a hint of darker malts in the background. T: Malt forward with rich mildly roasted malt, subtle chocolate, nuts, bitter hop accent, lingering malt flavors. F: Creamy wuth very fine soft carbonation, medium body seems a little more due to the carbonation. O: Everything you want in a brown ale.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into freshly washed trusty ol' tulip glass. Pours and amber brown, with some head. No lacing to write home about. Some khaki head that dissolves to nothing. Smell is sweet caramel malt. Taste follows, with some roasted nut/coffee flavor. Smooth, great finish, clean.
This was my first brown ale years ago and the one that I measure others by. Great example of the style, highly recommended, along with Bell's Best Brown.

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Photo of SaltofOH
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Appearance: lots of smoke; very dark brown. Hazy (should be filtered). 1" light tan head; fades to 1/8". Light brown rocky head.

Aroma: roasty malts; slightly tart, fruity esters. Toasty.

Taste: Sweet, clean arrival. Malty, roasted mid-palate. Very clean finish. As it warms, sweeter. Roasty, very nice. Very quaffable.

Mouthfeel: Solidly midweight. Mild carbonation.

Overall: Excellent. Very quaffable. Will be buying again (If I can get my hands on it here). Very easy drinking; among the best American brown's I've had.

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Photo of MBbeerking14
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a beer from the folks at Short's Brewery in Bellaire, MI

Bellaire Brown is Short's stable Brown Ale. Full flavored, with a carmel and malty taste. The mouthfeel is also very pleasant. It is dark and rich, which is abnormal for most browns, but it really works for this beer. The beer has coffee aftertaste, and lacks any strong notes of hops. This is the type of beer that is perfect for beginning dark craft beer drinkers.

I drank this beer in glass, which poured a hazy brown with medium sized head. This beer tasted a bit better when it is served on the warmer side of cold, around 40 degrees would help bring out the flavors. Drinkability was great, I can always have another Bellaire Brown.

My go to beer when I do not know what else to get!

7% ABV
14 IBU

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Photo of WillKorn
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very classic american ale with flavor, body, and taste. I really like this in the winter because of its darker flavor components, but it is still smooth and light enough to have a couple. The flavor is really well balanced and nothing is overpowering in this beer.

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Photo of gogreen99
3.07/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This beer has a hearty malt flavor and exactly as the label states BROWN. A medium brown color. There is a hint of chocolate flavor with minimal presence of hops. a hint of light roast coffee and a mild bitterness in aroma. not one of my favorite beers but also not the worst.

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Photo of myelo
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had not heard of this brewery until a buddy of mine from Michigan brought me a few bottles.

Appearance is --- shockingly --- brown; with a tan medium head and persistent lacing. Held up to bright light, it's a dense ruby red.

Aroma is chocolate, caramel and toasted malt with a whiff of floral hops.

Taste is a lot of toasted malt followed by a mild, caramel sweetness. Very mild hop bitterness and just a hint of ethanol. Smooth as Billy Dee.

Medium body with light carbonation.

Overall, this is a fantastic brown ale. Smooth malty goodness.

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Photo of Emnmarko
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Chestnut brown color nice and deep but clear. Small head that disappears quickly.

S- Strong cocoa and roasted caramel. Delicious.

T- Cocoa, chocolate, roasted caramel. Lots of roasted malt backbone around. Smooth finish

M- Creamy, smooth. Paves the way to the gullet with a feather bed like feeling.

O- Very good example of a brown ale. Well suited for a late fall bon fire. One of my favorite Shorts brews.

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Photo of biegaman
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Brown Ales are beautiful specimens. Their earthy brown tones and dimmed burnt cinnamon highlights can in a glance put you in an autumn frame of mind. Bellaire Brown has a colour something like that of a grizzly bear and is light enough to be transparent against the light but not away from it. Its head is thin and sprawls out into a spiderweb-like pattern on the surface.

Bellaire Brown is a beer I'm content just to smell for a good while before tasting. No need to rush something like this. It has almost enough enticing sweetness to mask its subtle smokiness; it smells like inside of an oven just used to roast coffee beans and hazelnuts.

English Brown Ales tend to taste like coffee cake whereas American renditions lean towards just plain coffee. The malts in this one have an appreciable sponge cake-like flavour, toasted nuttiness, and sweet toffee glaze. Mind you, it's not without some roast, but we're talking instant decaf level. The hoppiness restrains sweetness but doesn't impart any flavour.

Munich and Chocolate malts give the mouthfeel plenty of substance. It is thick as a chewy oatmeal chocolate-chip cookie and has a healthy serving of melanoidins (which resemble the tasty dark brown bits of toasted bread). This is a style in which brewers can introduce more character at no risk of losing the casual agreeableness that appeals to the masses.

The way that some people talk about Short's Brewing you'd think that getting your hands on a bottle would warrant running through the street naked in celebration. But in my experience their beers aren't *that* good (and the readily available stuff is rather pedestrian). Nonetheless, all the ones I've tried have been well-made and true to style - and worth buying.

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Photo of Brenden
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is, as advertised, a medium brown color. It lets plenty of light in at the borders and even just a hint in the middle, where it shines with some orange and red hues. The khaki-colored head is smallish and a little unstable; it doesn't last very long, but some stays for the long haul and does leave good lacing behind.
The aroma really nails the style, and with decent strength. It shows an earthier sort of undertone with lots of nuttiness and plenty of toast in the malts, which do add hints of cocoa powder and caramel.
The taste shows the same earthy and nutty character with just a very slight floral quality from hops that adds balance but keeps it malt-forward. There's a clean but rustic quality overall, and particularly as a note of wood comes through. it's not as strong and dry as oak, but a little softer and more elemental, so to speak. Cocoa pulls out into the finish and lingers a little, dry with just a hint of sweetness to it.
The body is on the lighter side of medium, and the prickle of the crispness on the tongue prevents it from being as smooth as it could be. Otherwise, there's pretty good depth in the feel.

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Photo of joeseppy
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cola brown with decent head and lacing.

Smells of toasted grain and malty. Aromas of semi-sweet cocoa.

Hops add a nice touch to the sweet malt. Finishes with a toasty nut and cocoa.

A brown that is ever so bright with decent carbonation. Quite seasonable.

I feel this brown flirts as the beginning of a good porter. A splendid brown to say the least.

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Photo of Powerturn11
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beer was drank out of a Samuel Adams perfect pint glass. Cloudy appearance but the beer tastes great. If you like brown's please don't hesitate to try. Has a coffee like undertone but Definitely not to strong. I like beers that finish light this time of year and this beer delivers. Could also be enjoyed as a cold weather favorite.

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Photo of LCB_Hostage
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Served from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "perfect" glass

A: Rich dark brown with a hint of reddish coloring. Not quite opaque. Modest head and lacing.
S: While the aroma screams "sweet" it's remarkably un-cloying. Yeasty, bready malt dominates with some caramel and a bit of chocolate. I'm not getting the coffee others mention, but there is something else going on I'll get into later
T: Given the sweetness in the nose, this is an exceptionally well-balanced beer. There's definitely burnt sugar and caramel up-front, but it's effectively cut by a subtle sourness more than bitterness. All-in-all it's a great combination. As it warms, the flavors continue to intensify, but remain in balance. A true tribute to the brewer.
M: This is probably the only weakness I found in this beer. Initially, when still cold, there was sufficient carbonation to give this a nice zing. It's not at all oily or syrupy as the sweetness up front might suggest. However, as it warms and the carbonation dies (which it does rather quickly) it does begin to thin out and get just a bit watery by the end of the glass.
O: While this is dramatically different from my favorite browns (DFH Indian Brown and Smutty Old Brown Dog) which tend toward the hoppy side, I really, really like this beer. It has a unique flavor profile that suggest bourbon barrel aging to me. I know it wasn't (if it was, I'm sure they'd pump that up) but I do wonder if they threw in some barrel chips, or otherwise infused some bourbon flavoring. That would explain the slight sourness and the whiff of boozy brown liquor I caught in the aroma. Just a theory. In any event, I highly recommend this brew.

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Photo of scotorum
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Yet another of my Michigan purchases. Shorts came with the highest recommendation at the Frankenmuth Lager Mill as a northern state brewery I should check out, so I brought a half dozen of their brews home from my early June trip. Have not seen them ouitside Michigan, and the admonition on all the bottles and cases to "keep refrigerated" suggests the makers consider the importance of freshness greater than developing a wider distribution network. I had to violate that of course, but if the beer suffered in transit, it has not been obvious so far.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

a: Red-brown with clear deep amber highlights when held to the light. Finger wide tan foam head descended to an even foam film, heavy foam ring and good lacing.

s: Sweet cold coffee. I suppose it is really the result of the chocolate and other elements, but that was my impression.

t: Similar to a light porter but with more dark chocolate/coffee-like notes. Definite hop presence, but seems nicely balanced. A lingering mocha coffee-like taste at the back of the palate. The coffee-sense declined in favor of a more general hop bite as it warmed.

m: Light to medium. Smooth and refreshing.

o: A brown ale quite suitable for warmer weather due to its light qualities, yet with a solid flavor. Enjoyable to the last sip. Wish now I had bought more than one. Would even be nice as a light breakfast stout in summer actually drunk at breakfast or brunch time if one were so inclined.

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Photo of Dave_in_GR
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance is a dark reddish brown with a small amount of tan-colored head.

Smell is a mix of malt, chocolate, and sweetness.

Taste is really pleasant, the chocolate and malty sweetness balanced by a slightly sour and bitter hop finish. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, nicely balanced through the light carbonation.

Overall one of my favorite brown ales.

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Photo of Roman5150
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

bottle into tulip

appearance: beautiful dark amber brown with slightly off white 1 finger head with aggressive pour

smell: hay, oak, earthiness, heavy malt presence

taste: sweet oak flavors with a hint of rye, tastes like maris otter malts, very english and has that sweet funkiness to it. Earthy resinous tones throughout.

mouthfeel: not very carbonated, medium bodied

overall: A highly drinkable brown ale, probably in my top 3 for the style. I could drink this all day.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

We pour a brew of dark mahogany, giving up a one and a half finger head of creamy, sandpaper colored bubbles. This shows nice retention, with mountainous sheets of lacing left around the glass. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appears to be active. The aroma gives sweeter brown and nicely roasted coffee malts. Sweetness comes from raw honey, melted chocolate nibs, white sugar, fruity red cherry, and juicy ale yeastiness. Balance comes in the form of mineral earthiness, metallics, peanut dust, and soured lactics. With warmth comes light booziness and rotting fruit, but in a good way. Our first impression is that the malts give nicely contributory sweetness, but otherwise show a cheaper, overly light, adjuncty, and metallic side that doesn’t quite do the beer justice. As we sip, the flavoring opens with freshly soaped plastics, amber and brown malt sweetness, soy sauce saltiness, tinny metallics, English yeastiness, and light cinnamon spiciness. The peak comes with granular white sugar sweetness, bittered roastiness of the darker malts of the bill, light coffees, almond skin, mores soaps, and a sweeter Belgian caramel maltiness. The end finishes with a wash of fusel booziness out of nowhere, light Tootsie Roll sugars, light floral hoppiness, herbed honey sweetness, bittered chocolates, hazelnut, metallics, and garbage bag plastics. The aftertaste breathes of musk and dust, earthy mineral, standard browns and toasty ambers, sweeter pink bubblegum airs, fusel booze flavoring without any of the offensive punch, plum sweetness, walnut, citric hop gas, and mildly soured dried cranberry. The body is medium and chewy, while the carbonation is medium. Each sip gives nice slurp and smack, with slightly lesser cream and froth. The mouth is initially coated with an oily bite, to be left chalked and bone dry by the end. The abv is appropriate, and the beer glugs rather easily.

Overall, the most enjoyable thing about this brew was its flavoring. The look started things off nicely, giving good color and a nice head. The aroma is where we lost points, as it lacked general robustness and let the malts fall too far to the back in their inherent aromatic contributions. To contrast, the taste showed every side of the grain, with bitterness, bready sweetness, caramels, roast, and earthiness, giving a little something different at each turn, and with each sip. The drying roast on the feel was the icing on the cake, helping to keep that nice flavoring flowing.

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Short's Bellaire Brown Ale from Short's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 258 ratings.