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Short's Pandemonium Pale Ale - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Short's Pandemonium Pale AleShort's Pandemonium Pale Ale

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520 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 520
Reviews: 226
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.71%
Wants: 13
Gots: 44 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-19-2004

This blessed, coppered colored ale lends it’s hue to hearty pale ale malts and hand selected specialty grains. Glacier hops balance the wort resulting in  hoppy, and earthy flavors which compliment the core beer base.
49 I.B.U.’s
12.8 deg.  Plato
5.4% A.B.V.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 520 | Reviews: 226 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of silentjay
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a bit of a chill haze on a dull copper colored ale with a standard almost white head that sticks around for a bit and laces pretty well.

aroma of herbal tea, bitter citrus, flowers, and biscuity malts.

biscuity and caramelly malts give way to the herbal/floral hops that have a bit of an earthy quality as well. kind of an odd pairing that doesn't wow me.

light/medium bodied with subtle carbonation that gives way to a bitter aftertaste.

well, its not bad, but its not what I would return to either. not quite an english pale ale, but not in line with the hop-forward american pale ales either.

Photo of birchstick
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a cloudy, brownish copper color with a billowing head akin to a cumulonimbus pillow - a very impressive head.

S - smells of baked gingerbread and sugar cookies / cookie malts; not much hop in the nose

T - starts off sweet with the sugary cookie malts most dominant. A bit of biscuit enters as well, however is barely detectable. Ends with an earthy pine bitterness for which the label claims is so dominant.

M - really nice mouthfeel to it. Full bodied and creamy

D - this was a unique pale ale to say the least. More sweet than any other pale ale I have tried, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It wouldn't be a Shorts beer if it wasn't interesting. Worth a try!

Photo of lurpy1
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Back in Michigan on business, and the liquor stores here are packed with odd sounding Short's Brews. Key Lime Pie? Nicie Spicie? Rusty Trombone? OK, only two of these are really beers, and they sound interesting but also a little scary. Nice to find something more traditional.

Drunk from the bottle, gets a free pass on appearance.

Not much going on up the nose! Pretty mild, a little bit of bakery. Pleasant, but nothing to get you in the tent.

The taste is a balance between hop and barley, would have expected a bit more hop, but hey, brewer's license I guess. Something of a doughy, bakery flavor comes through. Pretty good.

Nice drinking beer, offers something for everyone. Would have liked a bit more agression, though.

Photo of pb9613
4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - A hazy pale brown color that is a little darker than most pale ales but it has a nice white head and good lacing.

Smell - This pale ale smells like you walked into a hops field with a nice grain background.

Taste - This pale ale hits you with hops like a sledge hammer but does not overpower the malt background. The biscuit and caramel undertones due to the dark copper color still come through with every sip.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation and malt base really play well together.

Overall - Like everything Joe Short puts into a bottle it is divine. I am glad I live in Michigan and can obtian Short's beer and every store selling beer.

Photo of malty
4.13/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Can't read the stamp on the edge of the label, (like almost every batch Short's puts out) but I know it's fresh.

Pours a gorgeous chill hazed orangish-copper color with an enticing fluffy, loose and playful off-white head that settle to about an inch. Nice big bubbles of uprising carbonation visible. The head that settled left behind THICK clumps of speckled lace all around the rim.

Succulent sweet malts are bathed in grassy, earthy hops and do really balance each other to a 'T'. Smells so juicy and lush, but nothing over-the-top. But it's from Short's, and they're not too pedestrian.

Wow, the flavor translates perfectly and oh-so accurately from what I just smelled. There is a chalky, bitter tingly twinge left behind from the hops - almost warming in a way. So you know the hop bill is higher than avg. Clean and simple flavors go down wayyy to easy. Perfect for an early evening in the summer while my grill is warming up to cook some flesh.

Mouthfeel is super soft, airy and medium bodied that is a dream to quaff. The carbonation is full, but very fine. So it's more like a down pillow than bubbly. Nice clean and hoppy, earthy finish.

Overall a perfectly solid and simple APA with blue collar written all over it. But don't be surprised to see your boss ordering a second pint when he/she thinks no one's looking. Great job Short's.

Photo of SpdKilz
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Pours into a tulip with a amber color. About a finger of slight off white head is achieved with a moderate pour.

Smell – Lots of malt and biscuit, caramel, toffee, and hops.

Taste – Bready biscuits up front followed immediately by sweet malts and caramel flavors. The hop profile on this is a bit off putting. I can’t wrap my finger around it but something about this beer just doesn’t really jive with me.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Overall – Glad to try this, but not one of my favorites from Short’s. Glad I had some of their Black IPA to enjoy after I had this.

Photo of projectflam86
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a hazy golden/orange color with a thick white foam that leaves some lace. Much cloudier than I would expect from a pale ale.

S- Some faint hops and caramel malt but really not picking up alot in the nose.

T- Some fruity hops initially but very little bitterness. An uncharacteristically sweet finish. Some caramel malts and toasted grains lend quite a bit of sweetness. Actually a pretty decent flavor but not nearly hoppy enough to be considered a pale ale.

M- Medium bodied with good carbonation. The beer is overly-sweet for the style. Almost as if it were slightly under attenuated.

O- Overall a beer that I enjoyed drinking but was really surprised at how much it deviated from the style.

Photo of Franz4
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a chalice

A- Very nice head on this beer that holds its shape up to a finger over the rim of the glass, I didn't want to push it any further. As the foamy head settles it leaves a volcano like bump in the middle with the sides of the glass receding more steadily. Very nice coper color. sticky lacing as the head recedes.

S- scent is mostly grassy with just a hint of orange peel in there.

T- grassy and just a touch of orange peel here again. Slightly bitter with some toffee notes present, aftertaste isn't pine bitterness, it's more of a metallic note.

M- I was really surprised at the carbonation in this one, it seemed to be a touch overdone. Leaves a dry aftertaste as well.

O- This started out as a gorgeous beer, but as I got to know her a bit better her beauty began to fade. It's what's on the inside that counts, and that puts this beer squarely in the average range.

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

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is amber hued with a small head that leaves a bit of lacing on the snifter.

The aroma is a combo of earth, fruit, pine.

The taste is pretty straightforward. Nothing dashing or extravagant here, but a nice, solid, drinkable beer. The flavor brings a general balance of malt and hops, with hops taking a slight lead.

The feel is medium bodied and appropriately carbonated.

A plain, yet tasty, brew. I could drink a few of these.

Photo of smakawhat
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Boy I like this label... contemplating... evil... poured into a nonic pint glass. There does not appear to be any dating on the label, but this is very recent. Much thanks to showing up very recently on the shelves from my main distributor!

A two finger head off the pour with a very clean white foamy cap. Body is a great solid amber copper color and clear with no rising carbonation. Looks alright.

Malty dusty muted kind of pedestrian but a distinct dry yeast, almost powdery, hints of actual white flour almost reminding me of Baxter but not anywhere as poor. I recognize this, but I am not a fan of this nose on a pale ale, however this really reminds me of Baxter's Paloma giant flour bomb but nowhere as big. Just wants to hint some citrus hop I swear but can't do it.

Taste is all in the finish. Exceptional baked bread and hop on the swallow, but in the mid palate the beer seems to be missing, but does give a solid mouthfeel with some medium body and a very noticeable bitter hop presence that is tolerable, but without a distinct flavor profile.

I do like this for my first Short's beer, good introduction to these guys. I must admit though this is VERY easy drinking and it feels like a good summer beer too! I'll have to have more Short's for sure.

Photo of xnicknj
2.68/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass - thanks to landrewg

Pours a hazed caramel color with some golden hues. A massive head balloons out of control as the beer is almost all foam. It took a while to pour before it settled down...not a great sign.

Some floral hope bite with citrus and orange. Some grassy notes with biscuit malt, but a slight ping of tartness as well which runs throughout.

Bitter hops and citrus juice up front. Orange and a slight bite of grapefruit mix with an off-putting tartness. The fruit and hop flavor is trying to remain on top, but there's definitely something off here, as a dry sourness with some metallic edges becomes present.

Medium body, way high carbonation, dry and lingers forever. I really like Short's but this isn't the first time I've gotten a weird bottle from them. I'll re-review this if/when I get another one.

Photo of tetonka4kzoo
4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber-burnt orange color. The pour has a thin head disappeared. Good retention.

The aroma is malty. You notice some wheat and grain.

Pandemonium has a subtle bitterness and a citrus taste. The taste reminds me of a wheat beer or German hefweisen but hoppy. Pandemonium has a noticeable hop presence.

Pandemonium is lighter-medium bodied. It has great drinkability. This is a year-round beer and could be (is)a great session beer.

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

Beer is amber and has a haloed head that leaves a little spotty lacing on the glass with low carbonation and bad retention, looks like beer though.

Aroma is mildly piny and earthy with some hops. Overall decent smelling.

Beer is medium to heavy in body with a nice backbone of hops and a mild malt character that carries throughout the mouth. It is a fine beer but nothing is special about it, just another APA. Well done though.

Photo of jkrich
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date found. Poured a hazy, orange-gold with a quickly receding white head.

The aroma was refreshingly fruity and sweet like a marmalade.

The flavor begins with some bittersweet fruit flavor with a nice malt entry that fades quickly bringing back some hop bitters. There is a slight sour flavor that detracts a little from the refreshing taste.

The carbonation is too high - almost like a carbonated soda, while the body is light to medium leaving a nice bittersweet coating on the palate.

This pale ale is excellent for a late, rather warm spring day. Despite the overcarbonation, the ale is quaffable and refreshing. I am glad a bought a six pack while visiting my niece in Grand Rapids, MI.

Photo of rtepiak
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a very good pale with a broad dynamic and something wish i could have as my go to APA other an alpha king and daisy cutter. this of the three would be the most formally brewed. as expected brewer's favorite with nice notes. pour is dark orange with a nice head of some stickiness and a nose of a nice equal parks grain and fruit... apple, pear, blood orange, and sun tea. the palate is a bit more english in that i can feel the dextrin produced and the interesting grain bitterness of tea. some earthy hopping. some apple pie. great little brew something that early garage would be quite proud of.

Photo of Chaney
4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another Short's brew sent to me by lewis1rg in an awesome trade. Thanks Ryan!

A: Poured an EXTREMELY cloudy, off-orange color with tons of dark shades imbedded in the vat of hoppiness. The head was but a mere, puny white froth.

S: A puff of citrus fruit here and there, along with Short's signature yeasty sourdough hop profile.

T: Nice fruit and yeast flair: doughy, well balanced, and with a mildly sour, citrus sizzle.

M: This one falters a bit in the carbonation arena. I could have used a bit more actually. There wasn't even a trace of bitterness on this thing... this was the anti-West Coast PA!

O: Good stuff! In terms of hop creations, I preferred this one and "Hangin' Frank" way above "Hupa-Lupa-Licious," and that's the one that gets all the accolades. Go figure...

Photo of oline73
1.68/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a finger of off white head. A thin layer remains.

Smell: Sweet from the malt, perhaps a hint of fruit from the hops.

Taste: Here is where things totally fell apart for me. Super watery and mildly sweet, again there is a hint of fruit. There is a ton of bitterness at the finish, but nothing is working here for me. So much so that I wonder if this is a bad bottle.

Mouthfeel: Thin body with high carbonation. Super dry finish.

Overall: This is a drain poor for me. I hope this beer is usually better. The bitterness didn't go with anything else in the beer, and it was really watery.

Photo of heebes
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.
Date stamp is there but remains unintelligable.

Pours a semi hazy orange amber with a decent off white foamhead that fades quickly. Nose is immidiately sharp citrus / grapefruit surprisingly. Only the faintest hint of malt auroma. Taste is like a muted version of the smell, although the hops stand up very well allowing a bitter aftertaste. Very well rounded body where the malt balances nicely against the amount of hops. There must be something special in Michigan water that Ontario brewers can't duplicate, because this Pale is hoppier and more like an IPA than any IPA availble from On. craft brewers. Overall this beer hits all the right notes; sessionable, flavourful, hoppy and enjoyable all round. Kudos to Shorts. (If only they could get better ink for stamping their bottles!)

Photo of cetherid
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip


A nice looking pale ale. An amber/orange color with a nice thick creamy egg-shell colored head. The head lingers for a little while but as it dissipates, a nice lacing is left on my glass.


bready/sweet biscuity smell malts. Hop aroma not as strong as I would have liked, but noticeable. Hops are grassy/earthy. Reminds me more of a hoppy german lager than a pale ale.


same as nose. A nice bitterness at the beginning. The earthy hops are more dominant in the taste than aroma, then you get that bready malt in there that mellows out bitterness, although it you get just a tad of the bitterness lingering in the finish. No real overwhelming flavors in this. Just a basic pale ale showcasing some slightly sweet malts and earthy hops.


about medium bodied. Good for the style. Good carbonation in this beer. Lingering bitterness in the mouth is noticeable but not overwhelming.


Just and "eh" pale ale. Not like FFF pale ale. A little above average for me. Definitely sessionable but there are many more pale ale's I'd take over this. Plus being a Short's brew, I'd have to drive an hour just to grab it. Not worth going out of your way for.

Photo of emmasdad
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to schmittymack for bringing this one over to the house last Saturday night. Bottle poured a clear amber with a small lingering amber head. Aromas of carmel and light fruittiness. Palate was medium bodied and smooth. Flavors of carmel, light fruittiness and light earthiness with a smooth lingering earthy finish.

Photo of cosmicevan
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to gnemesis for a big ol box of shorts!

a - poured a nice semi-transparent orange with sparse carbonation and a thin bubbly head that didn't hang long, but left a bit of a rim of head on the surface. Lacing slid down the glass side leaving dalmation spots of lace on the glass.

s - Malt heavy pale ale. Bit of sweet earthiness as well.

t - Quite good. Again, malts are the honored guest at the party, but the beer has a classic pale ale flavor. Caramel side of the flavor spectrum.

m - soft and smooth and easy to drink.

o - Very nice non-IPA boundary pale ale. Easy drinker and overall, a nice pale ale.

Photo of billab914
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Sierra Nevada shaped glass. It poured a hazy, orange/amber color with a moderate white, fluffy head to it. Decent head retention as well as lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has kind of a strange tart, fruity flavor to it. I get a mix of something a little like light strawberry and blueberry mix coming through. It's sweet, but at the same time kind of tart and fruity. Some sweet pale and grainy malts are there as well, but seem a little hidden. Very strange aroma for an APA.

The taste also starts off with some very sweet and fruity notes to it. I get something a little like a light strawberry flavor going on at first. Once I really get into the flavor I get more of a pale, grainy, sweet malt presence coming through. In the finish some of the earthy, slightly bitter hops come into play, helping to offset some of the sweetness. Interesting flavors overall.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability wasn't bad surprisingly. It has a very strange aroma for the style to me, but didn't taste bad. If I was told they added a bit of some fruit extracts I'd definitely believe it. Overall a pretty interesting beer, but not one of the better ones in the style in my opinion.

Photo of nickd717
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All right, so people see Short's and they expect something that tastes like a key lime pie or a PB&J sandwich or a Bloody Mary or whatnot. But what's wrong with brewing a simple, subtle, style-fitting, good beer once in awhile? Nothing if you ask me. This beer hits the nail on the head in my opinion.

Deep clear orangish-copper-amber pour with a lasting one-finger white head and great lacing. Appearance is near perfect for this style.

The aroma has good malt character of caramel and biscuit, along with orangey, earthy hops.

Solid flavor for a pale ale, without only mild malt sweetness. Caramel, toffee, biscuits, and orange. Bitterness is restrained.

Extremely smooth on the palate with medium body for the style and soft carbonation.

Very drinkable. To me, this is what American Pale Ales are all about really. 90 IBU beers are great, don't get me wrong, but beers like this can be pretty damn enjoyable too.

Photo of kalkavekkian
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a sixer last week in New Buffalo and figured i would have a go at it.
A= Poured a deep orange into a pilsner glass with a thin small head.
S= Smelled of strong hops and light malt in the background with a bit of fruitiness.
T= Taste was strong and sharp hops with a bit of sweetness on the finish.
M= Slightly heavy and thick but not excessive.
D= I can drink 2 -3 of these ok but not much more. I would buy this again but wouldn't write home about it.

Photo of DannyDan
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A. A golden color with a thin white head that has little retention, not much lacing and some carbonation.
S. This beer has a earthy hop tones, and bread.
T. The first taste that I get is floral hops followed by some sweet caramel malts, than I get a citrus taste with some more hops sneaking in there. At the end get a creamy buttery taste with some earthly flavors and a floral hops and citrus aftertaste.
M/D. The Mouthfeel is rather sticky and chewy, and drinkability is not bad considering it is a medium bodied beer and not a light beer.

Short's Pandemonium Pale Ale from Short's Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 520 ratings.