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

Not Rated.
Short's Bellaire Brown AleShort's Bellaire Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

250 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 250
Hads: 644
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.89%
Wants: 25
Gots: 86 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 250 | Hads: 644
Photo of Thorpe429
1.54/5  rDev -59.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks, Short's--another infected beer. Served in a tulip. I'll say from the start, I had thought that the Short's infection issues were pretty much limited to beers with weird ingredients. Apparently this is not the case.

The beer starts off fine, pouring a moderate brown color with a pretty good off-white head with a bit of lacing. The nose is slightly sweet with some dark fruits along with a bit of an acetic character in the background. The taste is just downright awful. This is essentially vinegar at this point and really disgusting. Not much else to say about it. The mouthfeel is puckering and sour, burning my throat. Drain pour to the max. (654 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a pretty good standard brown ale. pours a cocoa colored semi-tranparent with a one inch cream colored head. smells a bit like a cup of coffee, with some good roasted characteristics and a sturdy malt vibe. tastes a little nutty, almonds? mouthfeel is well carbonated and right on medium. nothing makes this beer stand out to me, but it is well balanced and drinkable. will look into some more shorts brews (405 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an ice tea color with a three finger head; some clumps of lace stick to the pint glass

Smell: Brown bread and caramel, with a bit of a nutskin character underneath

Taste: Brown bread and caramel, up front, with developing hints of cocoa and toasted nuts; by mid-palate and after the swallow, a bitter nutskin character arrives and lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A pretty decent brown ale, though I don't care for the nutskin bitterness in the aftertaste (534 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TheBlackMallard for the hookup!

Deep mahoghany tone with billowing foam and some random spotty lacing. Toasty malt and nutty aroma. Rich and smooth, verging on porter but not as roasty. Very sessionable. Mild wood and nutty flavor with a low level residual bitterness. The silky smooth body feels like it has a lactose element there that lends fullness. Finishes dry and toasty. The yeast adds a touch of dried fruit to the nutty toasted malt flavors that dominate. Again very sessionable with a distinct fullness for a brown ale. (541 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chestnut brown that becomes dark reddish orange with bright Sunkist edges when backlit. Opacity isn't necessary in a brown ale (and is extremely rare besides). A creamy slice of golden beige foam lasts for a bit and is doing a fine job decorating the glass with lace.

Here's hoping the nose becomes more aromatic with warming (note: it doesn't) because it pretty much nails the style. The spotlight is shared by caramel and cocoa, and the hops are mildly musky and earthy. The typical Cascade-like qualities are not appreciated, but then 15 IBUs is pretty paltry.

Bellaire Brown is good beer if you don't need an abundance of malt. Personally, I like richer brown ales than this. Since the brewery uses the words 'user friendly' on their website and considers this to be a 'gateway beer', it's obvious that they've brewed the beer they set out to brew. More power to them.

Flavors include unsweet caramel-toffee, bittersweet chocolate, black coffee and a leafy bitterness that is surprising, considering how few hops are present. Then again, there aren't many malt sugars to counter, so the alpha acids are actually noticeable.

Warming helps a great deal. The flavors becomes more bold and the sweet-bitter balance takes on a pleasing contrast. The finish is probably my favorite part of the flavor arc. Looks like it's time for a score bump. Drinkability was up there all along.

Mouthfeel is where the barley shortage hurts the most. This would be much better beer if it had 50% more malt. Well dialed-in carbonation keeps the score on the happy side of average.

After California, Michigan is my second favorite state when it comes to craft beer. Short's may not be Bell's or Founders, but they're pretty good in their own right. Bellaire Brown's label reads 'A classic American Brown Ale'. I couldn't agree more. (1,822 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was easily my favorite of the day. A classic brown ale and another gem from Shorts. This one was served in a pint glass and consumed on 05/09/2009.

The pour was very nice. Rich dark brown in color with a huge head of tan coming up and over the top, just barely settling down into a thing veil that was just perfect across the top. Deep roasted malts and a nice hop not dominate the early aroma. As it warms some nice hints of light cocoa start to come through and really provide some nice balance to it. Really a very rich brown ale here as the feel was medium to full with lots of carbonation. Roasted malts, hints of light nuts, piney hops and a touch of chocolate made this one damn complex beer to say the least, smooth mellow, dry finish with a touch of sweetness, what more could I ask for.

Overall one of the best brown ales I have ever had, and I have no issue with that at all. This is a must get and something I will keep as a staple in my fridge. (964 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
2.24/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Thanks for sharing, Dan.

A: The beer pours a light brown color with an off-white head.

S: Typical: sour. Lemon, lemon zest, and straw are the main aromas here. There is a bit of toast and roast to it, perhaps some bread and a bit of chocolate. But, it's mostly tart.

T: The flavor is a bit watery, but unmistakably tart/sour. It's actually got a weird watermelon flavor to it as well. Very little brown ale flavor to be found here.

M: Medium bodied with a high carbonation.

O: Short's just needs to get their act together. (527 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a mug.

Nabbed one o' these out o' my buddy's fridge during our Fantasy Football draft. It pours a mostly clear ruby brown topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises cocoa, toffee, caramel, light coriander, and some seemingly random miscellaneous florals. The taste is pretty similar, with notes of cocoa powder, toffee, brown sugar, sugar-free maple syrup, and a more decisive orange zest, leaning toward Mandarin-style (light syrup, of course). The body is a heavy light, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a very nice brown, indeed. Gimme more, honey! (605 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
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. (950 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got one of these awesome Short's beers thanks to grub before some of them suddently showed up in MA, but thanks a ton Russ.

Pours a creamy 1 finger head that fades at a medium pace, over hazy but lighter reddish tan auburn brown color.

Nose brings plenty of toasty crystal malts, a bit of a very dark malt like a roast or chocolate, I think some Munich malt but I could be wrong, plenty of nice brown toasty malts, a very slight raisiny fruit, bit of a juicy sweet sugary malt base, very light earthy herbal hops, and touch of roast and coffee.

Taste brings a light roasty flavor, lots of crystal malts again, as well as some reddish malts, another interesting malt I can't put my finger on, pretty unique, some raisins and dried fig like fruits, a slight tart/sour flavor too which gives it an interesting twist, a juicy slight sweet almost tootsie roll center, very light chocolate, bit of coffee, more like coffee grinds, toasty red malts, surrounded by hints of earthy very slightly herbal hops. Finishes with a bit of a sticky sweet finish, but not too much, little bitter but very light, some lingering fruits and lots of crystal malts, and bit of toffee even, as well as coffee. Tons of different flavors in there, but nothing crazy, nothing heavy or over powered, everything well in balance.

Mouth is medium bodied with decent carbonation.

Drink is decent, bit of a sweet almost sticky finish, but not too bad, sessionable essentially, smooth and malty, nothing overbearing, balanced well, and I'm surprised to hear myself say this (in my head) that it could maybe even use a bit more American hops. (1,612 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains maple, nuts, caramelized malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of maple and caramel. Then a hearty malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a while but there are other in the style that I would pick first. (742 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very nutty and rich beer as a first impression. Quite sweet; sugar come forward after a couple of sips. Hops, as promised, are not very prominent. Not a bad brown with more flavor than typical. Spiciness and acidic, and a touch of honey. Some bitterness in the aftertaste, after all. Looks OK in the tulip glass with decent head and lacing, golden brown color.

I think this would be a good beer for a non-beer lover to try. It does have a bit of hops, but the interesting sweet and malty flavor of chestnuts might be appealing. Not my favorite style, but I have to give Short's credit for juicing up the flavor. (612 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not the most exciting of styles, but this was an above average brown ale for sure. A great nuttiness and toffee taste, medium bodied, with nice dark brown color.. this been finished clean and smooth and was more tasty than most for the pretty generic style. Won't knock your pants off, but definitely worthy of a try. (317 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mmmm. Man, this is one nice brown ale. Maybe I don't try enough brown ales, but I just don't seem to find many that are on this level. Excellent and oh so smooth levels of earthy wood and leafy stuff, in that brown ale kind of way. Lingering flavor just sits with you and never wavers. This, to me, is what a brown ale should be.

All these beers I've had by Shorts keep advertising all the wide variety of ingredients they are putting in each beer. The label on this one reads: "A classic American brown ale." There's nothing wrong with sticking to the traditional, but there's nothing wrong with making it better through your skill and know how. (648 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a modest initial head. Leaves some decent spotty lace on the glass. Ruby, light brown color. Light shines through easily. Cloudy.

Powered cocoa aroma. Mild alcohol in the background.

Cocoa flavor with a touch of sweetness. The body is relatively thin with an above average carbonation. There's a brief sourness in the swallow. The aftertaste is brief. (366 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed some of these in Michigan while hitting up the KBS release party. Served in my Surly pint glass.

A - Three fingers of tan foam - good retention, but not much in the way of lacing; just a few spots here and there. The brew itself is a lovely mostly transparent reddish brown color. Not quite as nice looking as Bender, but still pretty handsome.

S - Lots of maltiness, with chocolate, spice, toffee, and a hint of licorice. This is a well balanced brown ale, and there is some earthy hoppiness that offsets the strong malt presence.

T - Roasted malts, with lots of caramel and brown sugar. The more subtle notes from the smell are harder to pick out at first as the taste is initially quite murky, but then they all show up on the edges of the tongue just as I swallow. Strong roasty aftertaste that I'm very much enjoying.

M - It's got a grainy quality at first, and while there is a nice initial carbonation tingle the brew goes down really smooth and creamy. No bloatiness to be found here.

D - Nice flavor, well hidden alcohol, low carbonation - a very sessionable brown ale. I just happen to prefer the hoppiness of Bender... (1,142 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, bottled 10/04/11. Pours crystal clear reddish brown color with a nice fairly dense 2 finger light khaki head with good retention that reduces to a fairly thick lacing cap. Some bits of lacing cling to the side of the glass as well. Aromas of caramel, toasted malts, bread, brown sugar, nuttiness, and a good amount of spicy hops. Fairly nice aromas with good strength. Taste of caramel, toasted malt, light chocolate, bread, nuttiness, light coffee, and spices. Decent amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, caramel, and spicy hops on the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy mouthfeel that drinks smoothly. No alcohol noticed at all. Nice balance of flavors and bitterness. Overall a very nice and tasty brown ale that is a good representation of the style. (828 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Churchkey for the Short's takeover event. Beer is brown, dark brown, with a lazy off white head of small bubbles. Some lacing but bad retention.

Aroma is mildly tobacco but overall roasty and weak.

Beer is medium in body with a mild flavor of sweetness up front, some ashy bitterness at the back and some plain mild tobacco in the middle. It is decent but not great. I'd have it again if I were in the mood for a brown. (431 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.42/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass.

Pours 1/4 finger of light brown head that fades down quicky. Color is a dark caramel brown.

Aroma: Toasted malts and nut flavors. Some chocolate and light coffee notes. Has a distinguised English malt profile it seems like.

Taste: Nut flavors and cocoa with grassy hops. Light coffee and roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: Toasted and crisp. Medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation. Ends dry with cocoa flavors.

Overall, not the best brown I have had. It seems to have an off flavor to it. Somewhat drinkable. (538 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (321 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is dark brown, with a thin head that falls away quickly, leaving faint traces of lacing on the snifter.

The aroma is rather weak, with faint traces of smoke, light roast, and perhaps a mild chocolate presence.

The taste is pretty bland and uneventful. Light roast, mild bitterness, hints of chocolate. Easy to drink, I suppose.

The body is thin to medium, with moderately light carbonation.

Overall, a plain example of a brown, which I find a bit surprising coming from Short's. (522 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Terrapin shaped glass. It poured a deep, caramel brown color with a pretty decent sized and frothy head to it. Decent head retention to it as I drank it as well.

The aroma shows some sweeter, caramel, nutty and cocoa flavors to it. A bit of a crisp, fruity, apple and light raspberry like flavor is present as well.

The taste has a sweet, nutty and malty flavor to it right off the bat. A good amount of cocoa and milk chocolate like flavors really start to come out towards the finish along with a hint of roasty flavors. I get just a bit of a tart, fruity flavor to it as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it had some nice malty flavors to it and was a pretty easy drinking beer. It had more cocoa and chocolate to it than most brown ales and the fruity, tart notes seemed odd in the aroma for the style, but it was a pretty decent beer overall. (938 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
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... (499 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A simple creamy head is made that is a nice off light tan, sitting on a simple dark brown chestnut body, with some lighter rust hues on the bottom and the sides. Really dig this head color it's almost picking up some of the body color and coming out a little red.

Sweet malt a hint of nut and that grainy husk quality in the nose. Smells like a simple solid brown ale, a little sense of wet body coming and clean.

Taste is strangely slightly sour with a great chew finish of malt brown goodness. Sour at first with a very nice almost slight syrup feel then brings some good roasted malt and some slight brown sugar sweetness on the finish.

Overall pretty good for the style, but strangely not drawn to it compared to other makers of this style. Can drink no problem no complaints. (832 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.21/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

pours a very dark amber/chestnut brown color with mahogany edges and a thin beige head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Minimal lacing left behind.

Slightly roasted malt aroma with some chocolate, caramel and nut countered by a subtle earthy hop presence. Smells kind of bland and one dimensional really.

On the lighter end of medium bodied with a decent balancenof sweet and roasted malts. Toasty with hints of caramel, hazelnut and toffee complimented by some zesty spice notes, especially cinnamon and brown sugar. The hops provide a nice dry, bitterness that balances out the sweeter notes and linger into a dry finish. Nothing out of the ordinary but pretty quaffable. (694 characters)

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Short's Bellaire Brown Ale from Short's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 250 ratings.