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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: 657
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 19.53%
Wants: 25
Gots: 90 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 250 | Hads: 657
Photo of blakelive784
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz bottle served in a pint glass:

A - Pours a transparent brown color with a 2 finger head of fair creaminess. Retention is poor, but the head leaves some nice lacing as it recedes.

S - Chocolate, nuts, toasted malt, cream, coffee, and a hit of earthy hops. A bit muddy, but complex and inviting.

T - Toasted bread and bitter chocolate open. It's creamy, and it builds to a suitably bitter finish. I find coffee and bitter fruit notes as well. Well built.

M - Probably lighter than your average brown, and quite dry, but I find that it works well for the beer as a whole.

D - I'd certainly have this one again. Complex, nice flavors, and it's drinkable to boot.

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Photo of sjverla
3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nose: Caramelly and a little grassy. Molasses. Mildly astringent. Almost leathery. Definitely hearty.

Appearance: Small, short-lived head. Rich, deep hazelnut color.

Taste: A little tart and sweet. Mild roastiness, but the tartness dominates. Similar to Newcastle in that regard. Faint hints of caramel.

Overall: It's probably a little old (dated 1/17/11) Not something I would otherwise revisit.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Appearance: The beer itself is quite a cloudy hazelnut color with a ruby tint. A quick-fading rocky tan head leaves no real lacing.

Smell: Toasted grains, caramel malt, marshmallows, cocoa, and some mild earthy hops.

Taste: The flavor falls gently on the sweet side of the brown ale spectrum. Caramel malt and lightly toasted grains set the tone, and a light sweetness pervades the whole sip. A light cocoa flavor rolls into a lightly spicy and bitter earthy hop presence toward the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body feels on the light side, and there is a soft sour acidity that makes it feel even more dry. The carbonation is definitely on the light side, acting neither crisp nor creamy.

Overall: I think I am 2 for 15 with Short's bottles due to refermentation issues. There are no such issues here, but this beer really does not do much to impress me either.

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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.12/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

pint glass.

a - pours a deep chestnut color and forms a thin cap of tan head that dissipated quick. spotty lacing.

s - nutty malt with notes of grape, fig, faint spice, sourdough bread.

t - nutty malt character with pungent, earthy hop notes. has an almost rye like sourness and a few dark fruity notes. kind of an odd combination of flavors.

m - medium bodied with finer carbonation.

o - not really sure how i feel about this one. easily drinkable, but with an odd flavor profile. certainly extends the range of the style.

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Photo of Rodekill
2.83/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I'd heard about this brewery in the past, and was impressed that their booth at Great American Beer Festival had such a long line whenever I walked past it.

They just started distributing in Colorado and their six packs are pretty expensive, coming in at one to two dollars more than most craft beers.

I picked up one bottle as part of a mixed six pack rather than plunking down $10.99 for a sixer.

I'm glad I just got one bottle. It's a decent brown ale, but nothing special, and not as good as others I could mention, but won't.

Average appearance, nose, mouthfeel. Slight diacetyl notes, which is always off-putting for my palate. Not overpowering, but there nonetheless.

The beer tastes fresh enough, so I don't think it's an old batch. I might try another of their beers in a mixed six pack, but this beer doesn't make me want to run out and get more.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
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

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Photo of buschbeer
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Served in a pint glass

A - I pours a dark amber to copper color. I got an inch of beige head.

S - The aroma is loaded with earthy, nutty smells. I also get some cocoa.

T - The taste is as expected from the smell. I get nut and cocoa flavors.

M - It's pretty thin.

O - It's a solid brown ale.

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Photo of prototypic
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of cbbjr
2.15/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A-Brown and fairly easy to see through. A small amount of white head that disappears quickly with little lacing.

S-First thing I sense is a bit a caramel. But then I picked up a surprisingly sour smell. Not sure if it is intentional, but it could be the reason this was on sale for $6 a sixer at Whole Foods in DC (regularly $11).

T-Like the smell, a bit of caramel up front, and again like the smell, it is a bit funky. And not in a good way. Not even a trace of hops.

M-Fairly thin. Not very carbonated. Regardless of whether you swallow quickly or let it sit on your tongue and let it swish around in for a few seconds, nothing changes.

Overall-I am pretty disappointed. I have had a couple of other Short's beers and loved them. Brown ales aren't my favorite style, but I do enjoy them, and this isn't a great example. Not sure if the sourness is intentional or not. If so I will give them credit for trying something different, but it doesn't float my boat.

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Photo of doughanson78
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to thabigmp for my first Short's beer.

A: A perfect medium brown color. Pretty clear for the color although still can't see through it. Half finger off white head with not that great retention and pretty good lacing.

S: Very malty. Lots of caramel and toffee. Very nutty with a touch of brown sugar and cinnamon.

T: Lots of sweet caramel, some toffee, and some light syrup upfront. Nuttiness comes through in the middle. Just a touch of tartness. A bit of a hop note in the finish along with a mild toastiness.

M: Light bodied, although not super watery as other browns I've had. Higher carbonation. A mild creaminess.

O: Trying to review by style even though I am definitely not a fan of the style. This is one of the better browns I've had but not one that will make me purchase again.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
2.64/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 9/19/11
*From notes

-- The wifey generously picked this sixer up at Rodman's in DC on 9/18/11 --

A: Like homemade apple cider. It's unfiltered and rustic brown. A decent pour yields a one finger head that doesn't stick around, and minor lacing rims the glass.

S: A generous amount of past-ripe plums. There's also an odd twang of rusty copper piping.

T: Absent of any hops. I mean zero humulus lupulus. Kinda funky-sweet. Something doesn't seem quite right here. Is it slightly infected? Possibly a bit oxidized? Regardless, I can't say this is something I've found in many other browns, so calling it a "classic brown" would be stretching it.

M: Thin up front. As I violently swish this around in my mouth, it begins to perk up a bit, and a tad bit of creamy froth shows up, albeit a bit too late.

O: Short's Bellaire Brown is, literally, one funky brew. Either they're intentionally brewing one off-the-wall brown ale, or this is slightly infected. Either way, this wasn't my cup of tea, and was quite happy to have shared the rest of these with unknowing friends.

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

12oz bottle from a mixed sixer. Dark brown color, good head. Smells like a malty brown, nice. The flavor is like an English brown ale and even has this odd touch of vinegar that I always detect in good English style brown ales, maybe its just me? Overall, I liked it and felt like it was true to style but what do I know?

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Photo of GilGarp
4.39/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of Lauthaha
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(reviewed from a tape recorder on September 2nd, 2010)

Appearance: Pours a murky brown color; rich, mahogany/ruby color. Head is white, fizzes away instantly. Medium carbonation on top.

Smell: Ester of wood rosin, definitely smells aged. Hoppiness in the background, matched up front with a toffee kind of sweetness, although the sweetness has a slight edge.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Quite similar...toffee is more pronounced, lies within the malt character. Swallows smoothly; medium to heavy on the tongue, definitely a brown. Aftertaste is maybe a touch too bitter for my liking.

Overall: A good beer all around.

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Photo of birchstick
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - this thing overtook my glass upon pouring...huge, huge head on this one. Once it settles, there is a brown ale in its midst, however the head retains quite well.

S - smell is pure cookies and some gingerbread / cinnamon crust

T - sweet cookie, sugary malts open and close this one up (I wonder if this is the mix of toasted and chocolate malt). In between are hints of gingerbread, caramel, and some subtle grapefruit hop. There is a lingering chocolate flavor on the exhale. Very sweet overall. Not hugely complex, but then again it isn't supposed to be.

M - creamy mouthfeel with a medium body - nice!

D - pretty solid brown ale. More sweet and cookie-ish than other examples I have had of this style, but it worked well. I could see myself having multiples at a bar if it were available.

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Photo of horshack7
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass is a brown beer with amber hues around of the edges. On top is about one finger worth of head. Upon thining out it does not leave behind much lacing.

Aroma: A solid amount of malts are up front some of them let out a little bit of caramel. Dark bread notes loom around. Hops do produce a subtle bit of citrus but it's a decent burst.

Taste: At the start an interesting note of yeasty sourness that gives a good atribute. Dark bred notes come from the malts along with dark malts. Hops are a little bit citrusy. As for the mouthfeel is only slightly smooth but its still has solid carbonation.

Notes: Quite the tasty American brown ale one of the more unique ones. Cheers.

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Photo of stewart124
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice brown to almost chesnut in color with some reddish hues. Poured into a pint glass there is some tan head.

Plenty of maltiness in the nose with toffee.

Taste is quite good. Loads of chocolate malts and some bittersweet chocolate followed by more toffee. There are some earthy hop characters but this doesn't take away from the maltiness that shines through.

Very easy to drink and perfect for the cooler temps that Michigan offers. This is a great American Brown ale and one of the better ones I've found out there. Delicious.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.24/5  rDev -40.9%
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.

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Photo of steve8robin
2.56/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Decided to try some more Shorts while it's coming to my area. 12oz bottle...

A: A deep clear red with hints of brown. A small light off white head that fades quickly to minor bubbles atop the brew. Ok.

S: Faint hints of some chocolate malt upfront with a mild vanilla in the middle. A slight coffee on the backend. Blah...

T: Some watery chocolate malt blended with a minor hop bite. A creaminess in the middle with a faint black licorice on the back. Ok.

M: Medium body with a heavy carbonation. A dry watery finish. Eh.

O: All in all, this beer kind of blows. This one is ok, but nothing worth buying again. Don't bother with this brew. Not a good representation of the style and not a good beer. Rethink this one Shorts.

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Photo of Mosley1212
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired in a recent trade. Glad to finally try a Short's beer.

A--Poured a deep brown with a nut-like color. Very little light made it through because of the darkness of the beer. No head to speak of.

S--Nutty. There is a caramel malt sweet smell that follows the nut. This smells exactly what you would think a brown ale would smell like. It just doesn't have much of a kick.

T--Follows the nose. A very watery taste of nuts mixed with caramel, toffee, and malt. The aftertaste was of the nutty variety.

M--It was a light beer on the watery side. Very little carbonation.

O--This was an ok representation of the style, but it wasn't my favorite. It felt a little too watery in the mouth for me. I think I would have preferred a more balanced, and fuller beer.

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4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of corby112
3.21/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

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