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

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Short's Bellaire Brown AleShort's Bellaire Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

634 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 634
Reviews: 250
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 12.2%
Wants: 23
Gots: 79 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2005

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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 634 | Reviews: 250
Reviews by MDekker:
Photo of MDekker
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into my Sam Adams pint glass. The hourglass figure of the glass makes for an interesting fading of colors between dark brown and medium brown. Not much head, but it looks nice.

S: Mostly nutty and malty, and a little sweet in the nose.

T: Like bread, nuts, and some banana and clove. A little weird, but that may be the fact that brown ales are never my favorite. Faint hop finish to it.

M: Really quite good - good carbonation, not too thick or too thin. Just nice.

D: Satisfying, well brewed, but not awesome. It's that brown ale thing again that never thrills me.

More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep, dark chocolate brown pour that is somewhat opaque along with a quarter inch of light tan creamy foam on top of the brew. Seems like a hearty brown ale from the pour. Aromas are big on toasted malt along with a nice chocolate tones that remind me of Tootsie Rolls for some strange reason. Smooth with a little nuttiness as well.

First sip brings smooth, crisp toasted malts upfront along with swirls of chocolate and caramel flavors. Nutty accents with just a touch of hops on the back end. A tasty, malty brown ale that has a nice creaminess as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a sturdy malt profile. Good carbonation helps it flow down easily. A refreshing and easy drinking brown ale overall. I would enjoy a sixer of this over the course of a weekend for sure. Another solid beer from Short's.

Photo of nickadams2
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Ashley's Westland.

A_Very dark brown with a thick khaki head. Good retention that eventually settles to a thin cap with plenty of lacing.


T_Very nutty sweet caramel malt up front. Hint of dark chocolate.Very bready with a hint of spice. Nice brown ale.

M_Thick and creamy. Coats the mouth.

D_Very drinkable. Very enjoyable.

Photo of ROBORB
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Hoppymeal, thanks man!

A- Poured into a standard Pint glass this beer appeared dark brown with an amber hue. The head dissipated quickly and there was minimal lacing.

S- I got a nice malt and roast consistency from the smell.

T- This is not my favorite style of beer but if I had to choose one this would be it. It has subtle hop characteristics that seem to balance out the malt background in the beer. I found it to be a nice mix of sweet and bitter. This is a nice brown ale.

M - The mouth feel of this beer is a little over carbonated and much like the last poster; if the mouth feel was less carbonated it would kill the drinkability of the beer.

D - I would not be able to drink a ton of these in a sitting as it is not my favorite style. However, for those that do enjoy a good brown ale I am sure that it would be an instant classic.

Photo of Beaver13
2.33/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle. Pours dark brown with a medium creamy tan head that retains well and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sweet roasted malts and chocolate with some molasses.

The flavor is very sweet and sugary malts, molasses, nutty chocolates and some slightly tart fruitiness. The mouthfeel is light bodied and a bit watery.

Overall, too sweet and thin. An OK brown.

Photo of Billolick
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This 12 ouncer glass container has no freshness info on the bottle or label. Purchased at Spirit Haus in Amherst Ma.

Pours lightly hazed, typical brown ale brown, lite tan head, frothy and fairly loose, minor low lying and thicker blobs of lace on the glass.

Nose is of sweet and almost sugary malt.

Underwhelming, typical malting and underlying moderate sweetness. Hops well subdued.

Decent sessioner, brown ales always work as the base of a marinade..that the best I can say about this one...

Photo of tigg924
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: minimal head that goes quickly, chestnut brown in color, hazy

Smell: sweet toasted malt and small chocolate

Taste: milk chocolate, toasted malt, and toffee

Mouthfeel: sweet with a slightly bitter backbone, moderate carbonation, light body

Overall: A solid sessionable brown ale. Nothing too over the top, but one to sit with. I would pick this up again, but there are several other Short's beers I would grab ahead of this one.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this as an extra from bmwgirl9606.

The beer pours a medium-hazy brown with a cream-colored head. The aroma is caramel and toffee. Almost smells like an English Brown Ale. The flavor is a nice mix of nutty, caramel and toffee with some hop bitterness at the end. Thin-medium mouthfeel and low-medium carbonation.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.04/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

A 12oz bottle with no visible BB date. Purchased from a webshop quite a while back and stored in my garage.

Poured into a straight pint glass. Bottle conditioned. A dark reddish-brown hue with floating sediment and low carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy white foam with decent retention; this slowly subsides to a surface layer. Aroma of sweet, grainy malt with notes of caramel, chocolate, mild roasted malt, dried fruit, faint brown sugar, tea and earthy yeast. There is also a strange sour overtone that seems out of place.

Tastes of caramel malt with a sour character and a dry finish. Notes of lactic acid/mild vinegar, caramel, dried fruit, brown sugar, faint biscuity grain, mild roasted malt and earthy yeast esters. Surprisingly acidic - I assume this is infected or has deteriorated. A mild, dry quality upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly with good body, but flat and undercarbonated. Lacks texture, though slightly astringent. Aftertaste of sourness and caramel malt.

Meh - not brilliant, although the aroma gives the impression that it could have been. There are some nice malty hints that suggest a decent brown ale lurks underneath the acidic off-notes. Not sure what happened here; the sourness is quite clean, almost like yoghurt. Bacteria perhaps? Or maybe it's just age - without a BB/bottled-on date it's impossible to tell. Oh well, I review it as I find it (though I'll re-review if I get a fresh one someday). Disappointing.

Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a dark brown color with a 1.5-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of smooth toasted malts with good amounts of pine hop aromas. Also present are hints of nuts and lighter amounts of darker roasted malts.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not quite as complex. Toasted malt flavors with hints of sweeter caramel malts kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are mild amounts of pine hop flavors. Midway through the sip the hops fade a bit, allowing the malt to shine more with the addition of light chocolate and nutty flavors. The malts carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another without any problems.

Overall this one smelled like it would be amazing with a very nice balance of malt and hops but the flavor profile didn't quite pull through. Still, it's a very nice beer that's worth a shot.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a clear but dense body of brown with a creamy light tan head that sticks to the glass with each sip. There is a gentle carbonation of bubbles gliding up the glass.

S- The light aroma of roasted malt has a brown malt aroma behind it with some darker roasted notes coming through. The finish has a light tartness more from roasted malt and not funky.

T- The roasted brown malt flavor has some nice toast notes and a roasted chocolate flavor that grows as the beer warms. There is a cream flavor to it that leads to a finish of soft roasted bitterness and a light green hint to it.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat or astringency.

D- This is a really drinkable session beer that has great malt flavor and depth to it. I would love to try his on cask but it already has great qualities in the bottle.

Photo of awinckles
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured from a brand spanking new bottle into a pint glass. Pours a nice deep brown mahogany color - darker than most brown ales I've had.

S - Malty sweet, hint of spice, cinnamon, just a hint of roasty chocolate.

T - Think sweet caramel maltiness upfront, slight roasty chocolate flavor that is reminiscent of a good porter surprisingly. Kiss of cinnamon spice with the hops that perfectly balance this beer, stopping it from becoming cloying like many browns.

M - Terrific mouthfeel, feels thick and full in the mouth.

D - Well balanced and easy to drink, I could down a couple of these in a sitting.

Flat out well made beer - Shorts does it again. I'm generally not a fan of brown ales, but this is terrific, perfectly balanced and enjoyable. Thank you Shorts, for bottling your terrific beers!

Photo of Brenden
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of joeseppy
3.77/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of BennyL1
2.18/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Found a leftover single of this in the fridge so even though its a bit warm out for a brown I figure why not. No freshness date - poured into a perfect pint glass.

This brew pours a nice chestnut brown color with a thin off white head. Minimal lacing on the glass.

Pretty malty aroma, caramel mostly. Some other kind of odd roasty scents in there as well. Not really feeling this so far.

Taste is not what I expected at all, and that isn't a good thing. Caramel malt and dark fruits but overall a watery feeling to it. This beer just tastes off - maybe because of age but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Medium in body but watered down. Not much carbonation which leads me to think that this beer is past its prime. Oh well, that's why breweries need to put some dating info on the bottle. So it goes.

Photo of GilGarp
4.39/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first Short's Brew! I was very excited to see these come to Colorado - a special shipment of 6 packs for the GABF week.

Bellaire Brown is served cold into a pint glass. It has a nice deep brown color with very good clarity. The head is thin and settles quickly.

Aroma is sweet and malty with a little bit of caramel and chocolate.

The flavor is really well done. It starts of sweet with the same chocolatey caramel character. The middle is a little more roasty, more like an iced coffee. The end is bitter but balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and nicely carbonated. Good balance and smoothness.

Overall a really nice brown ale. This is a style that is perfect for the season and really doesn't get enough attention from American brewers. Nicely done Short's.

Photo of king75
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance is not overly impressive, quickly dissipating head. Very little lacing.

Smell is of crisp malt and caramel.

Taste is smooth a smooth malty color. Not bitter at all but not overly impressive.

I could drink a couple easily.

Notes: Not the best brown ale I've had but is worth trying, I'll probably drink it again, but there is nothing that separates it from the pack and makes it great.

Photo of augustgarage
3.44/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ShogoKawada for spreading the Short's! Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass. Served very lightly chilled.

Burnt umber body with tawny highlights. Isabelline soft peaks coat the surface, with a pasty collar ringing the sides. Sandy crystalline lacing flows down very slowly. Good retention.

Various levels of roast malt, brown butter (a mix of caramel and diacetyl?), and grain in the nose.

Slightly tart palate entry, bready malt with unripe apricot and fig as well. No perceptible bitterness, though there may be some light grassy hop notes. Raw walnuts in the finish...

Creamy, medium-light bodied...

Not a bad ale, but mediocre overall - Short's can do and has done much better...

4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint. From notes

A: Light tan head with a brown reddish body. Slow carbonation. With light to little or no lacing.

S: sweet malty aroma, with medium intensity, and a nutty tone.

T/M: Silky and creamy mouthfeel, flavors are of brown and roasted malts, chocolate, and nuts. Almond on the lingering taste. Very sweet malt body.

O: Overall the lingering taste is good and prolonged, the body is great for style. This is a solid Shorts offering, with a great hit at a classic style, not going over the top with the unique additions.

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, scooped a sixer while in ann arbor last weekend

consumed during some nfl action

appearance: aggressive pour into my tyranena pint glass, nice creammy tan head results...nice mahogany-cola body with amber tint

smell: light roasty aromas, toasted grain, nutty, light dry chocolate

taste: solid brown, though nothing really groundbreaking here...light roasty body, earthy, toasted grain, very faint earthy hops.

mouthfeel: light, nice football season beer

drinkability: good

Photo of prototypic
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bellaire Brown pours a darker, nut brown color. It’s slightly hazy. Backlighting reveals some strong burgundy highlights throughout. A soft, light tan crown sits on top. It stands less than a finger tall and is quick to dissipate. Lacing was definitely light and spotty.

The nose isn’t all that strong, but isn’t bad either. It does feature a nice malty scent that’s front and center. It smells mostly like cocoa-esque chocolate. There’s a slight sweet caramel or toffee scent, as well. It smells a little earthy and grainy throughout. Light, earthy hops are noted. Smells a tad yeasty at times, but that’s very subtle. Alcohol is buried. Pretty simple and straight forward. Not bad though.

I like the flavor. It’s definitely simple and straight forward. The malt base is definitely chocolate and light caramel. It’s a little sweet, but not overly so. Roasted coffee fits into the mix nicely. It’s not too strong. It has a strong earthy, slightly herbal flavor that lingers throughout. I suspect it’s from the earthy hops. They add a very slight bitter kick and work well with the malt base. It tastes a tad yeasty. Alcohol is indeed buried. I’m not getting any at all. Finishes a little malty and quite a bit earthy.

The body is definitely lighter and a tad thin. More body would be a good thing. Carbonation feels relatively light. It’s too thin to be smooth though. For what it’s worth, it definitely goes down easy. Pretty tasty stuff. I could handle a few of these.

Bellaire Brown is probably the most simple, straight forward beer I’ve had from Short’s Brewing Company. That’s not a bad thing. It actually works pretty well. For a Brown Ale, it isn’t quite as malty as you might think. It actually features a nice interplay of malt and earthy hops. I like it. It would benefit from a little more body and perhaps a stronger nose. Good stuff though. Recommended.

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one came from sarcastro a few months ago. I figured I'd been procrastinating long enough with this one.

This one pours a friendly and very non-threatening brown color with a rather nice head. It looks oddly apropriate in the Newcastle pint glass I happened to grab.

The smell is also a bit unassuming. A little caramel, fairly typical, but nice.

The taste is pretty good. There are some nice caramel and chocolate notes in there. It's a nice step up from a typical brown. There is, however, a rather disturbing melted plastic taste that I seem to remember vividly from Short's Soft Parade. Thankfully it's only hanging around when I'm looking for it and it's not enough to take much away from this above average beer. Nice nutty aftertaste.

The feel on this one is nice and creamy.

Ok, this is pretty good. I wish I had gotten to it sooner.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This may be the best brown I've ever had. Got this in the Regional GIF. Thanks

Poured into a shaker pint. Cloudy dark stained wood color. Thin off white head. Nice lacing.

Aroma is nice. Chocolaty and caramel. Smells great.

Taste is solid. Chocolate and a bit of roast and a bit of caramel. But not too crazy. Just simple yet flavorful.

Mouthfeel is smooth. Great carb.

Overall a great brown. Don't drink browns too much but if I had access to this I would buy it often.

Photo of hooliganlife
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours deep brown with light head and very light retention

scents of like caramel and like roasted malts, maybe a slight hint of chocolate

lots of flavor through out, hints of chocolate, coffee, caramel, roasted malts. strong malt backbone

very full, light to medium carbonation that has a bit of bite.

a very easy going brown ale that is not too light and not too strong. low ABV makes this one easy beer to drink.

Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep clear ruby, with just over a finger of soft light tan head. This peters down into a thin foamy layer, that skims the surface and stays rich, leaving a big frothy cascade of lace back. The aroma is floral and spicy with hops up front, and then man, is this smooth in the nose with toffee and toasted malts.

The taste is similar, with an even mix of sticky caramel and light cocoa powder, that then melds into the back with an overall roasty and bitter profile that is sticky, tangy, and spicy. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a very smooth and slick carbonation and presence. The feel on these bottled Short's offering is ridiculous.

This is definitely one of the better Brown Ales that I've had in a while. Nice balance between the American hops, roast, and sweetness, and the feel and drinkibility of this was great. I need to bring back sixers instead of singles next time I'm up in Michigan.

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Short's Bellaire Brown Ale from Short's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 634 ratings.