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

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Short's Pandemonium Pale AleShort's Pandemonium Pale Ale

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525 Ratings
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Ratings: 525
Reviews: 227
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 13
Gots: 49 | 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: 525 | Reviews: 227
Photo of semibaked
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours a terrific dark orange color with about a finger of off white head but fades quickly. The Lacing hangs around the entire time I drank this.

S - The smell is a good balanced combination of Malts and Hops, a few hints of citrus fruits, also some bread comes through too.

T - Strong hops and light citrus hits the palette, also had some orange zest and floral notes. Very tasty and balanced APA.

M - Light, Crisp, Clean, pretty much sums it up.

D - Pretty damn drinkable, I would have no problem drinking several of these. Will probably buy more of this in the summer. Good solid beer from Short's.

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

Received this as an extra in a trade, and I am pretty stoked to try more stuff from Short'. Review is from notes taken on 3/3/2010 and the pour is from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a deep orange/coppery color and starts with a big 2 finger off-white head with solid retention that becomes rocky and pock-marked as it slowly fades; body is cloudy and shows lots of carbonation; a nice web of dry and sticky-looking lacing (big and puffy like clouds on the top of the glass) and a thick and full skim on the surface.

Smell: A nice bitter and citric hop presence (orange and grapefruit) as well as a nice floral presence that is reminiscent of lavender; very faint malt presence -- very faint; the nose is not especially potent, but I like what I'm picking up.

Taste: Wow - the bitterness really owns the palate and I find it to be mostly floral with only a slight hint of the citric aspects present in the nose; like in the smell, there is a very faint malt presence -- straightforward, solid, quite nice.

Mouthfeel: Strong carbonation keeps it lively and the cheeks and gums are left quite tingly as the bitterness bubbles throughout the mouth; body isn't too heavy at all and there is a fair stickiness left on the roof and cheeks.

Drinkability: Quite possibly the most bitter APA I've had to date -- drinks easy enough and the bitterness is pretty refreshing and would be great in the summer; ABV feels pretty manageable and it really doesn't sit too heavy at all. Could get through 2-3 in a sitting with no problem.

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a very nice apa. big flavors border on an american ipa. clear copper color without the bit of yeast sediment on the bottom poured in. creamy off-white head/lace. grapefruity, spicy/piney hops in the nose along with bready caramel malts and vague stone fruits. nice light caramel malt sweetness is overtaken by a prominent but smooth earthy hop bitterness. finishes almost crisp with lingering hop flavors. definitely could have a few of these, and at this abv, i did just that.

Photo of jampics2
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from a trip to MI.

A copper colored beer greets me after a nice pour down the center. Cloudy and with a white head that fades away but leaves a touch of lace.

Smell is OK. Hops (spicey and earthy) and caramel, nothing too noteworthy, though. Certainly not a strong hoppy aroma. I also get a distinctive "Shorts" aroma, not sure if it's the yeast or what, but it smells like their other beers.

Taste is good. Nice amount of bitterness, spicey hops, and a good bready caramel base. I find the malt bill to be average and nothing innovative, and the bitterness is rather shallow and pedantic, Lois.

Mouthfeel - I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is this is actually delightful in terms of body. The bad news is the carb is a bit distracting as it's really sharp.

Overall drinkability is good. Just a weird APA, decent enough beer, but could be amazing if it lived up to the label and commercial description.

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

12oz bottle. sampled feb 6/2010.

pours crystal clear deep orangey amber wiht a small dense white head. the head drops fairly fast but leaves plenty of lace behind.

aroma is good. spicy herbal hops. perhaps a touch of pine and earth. powdery and a touch resiny. light caramel. cracker and white bread. bit of alcohol. maybe just a little floral edge to it too.

taste is good. spicy herbal hops punch in up front, fading into a bit of resiny pine. just a touch of floral and earthy aspects, but it's that strong herbal spicy note that resonates strongly. light caramel. white bread and cracker. hint of biscuit. light alcohol. just a touch of sweetness, coming through in the caramel and as a bit of fruity accent, but never lingering.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. just under medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. nice balance. i like the hops in this one - it's not your typical west coast hop character, and it's nice to have something interesting and different. this is one i'll definitely be picking up again. good stuff.

Photo of Jeebs
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy copper color with a fingers worth of yellowish white head. The head dissipates leaving nice lacing all the way down the glass.

S: The smell is a bit more subdued than I would have thought with malts and a bit of hops and lemon. It smells like a fresh clean beer.

T: The taste follows the smell with some nice hop bitterness balanced with some sweet malt. There are also some nice spicy and citrus notes that come through. As this beer warms more and more flavor comes out making this beer seem more like an IPA then an APA.

M: Medium bodied with medium to light carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel with a nice clean finish.

D: Drinkability is very good with this beer. As the beer warms more and more hop bitterness and flavor comes out which is nice. I can see myself dinking many of these on a warm summer day!

Photo of techfed87
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a moderate size head. Smell is fruity, with a semi-sweet hop smell protruding from it.

Color is reddish-amber, with distinctive cloudy portions to it.

Initial taste is a strong hop kick, ending off with a malty aftertaste as the hop dissipates. Its a very nice end flavor in what can be said as a very satisfying IPA.

Mouthful is also up to par, with not enough flavor to truly overwhelm the pallet, while at the same time giving everything its own unique taste.

Overall, I like this beer. It's definitely a great example of what an IPA can be. Try it sometime!

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

Slight haze, coppery amber with some lazy bubbles floating to the surface and supporting a short, whitish cap. Fine bubbles clung to the glass. Good head retention and spotty lacing. Nice aroma, not overdone. Grassy and orange hops with a fruity sweetness, almost strawberry in character. Slightly herbal. Moderate bitterness with lots of fruity hops, a bit grassy, notes of sweet oranges and tangerines. Nicely balanced sweetness. It finished with an herbal bitterness. Medium bodied with lowish carbonation, off dry with a malty texture. I thought this was pretty good, nicely balanced and flavourful.

Photo of nrbw23
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Huge amount of froathy head is the first thing that poured from my bottle. Very slight golden orange color, head had good retention and left some layered lacing.

S- Floral grassy hops, and lots of caramel malts, a bit on the weaker side from what I was expecting.

T- Taste of grain, caramel, some hops, grass, and faint spices. It is a quality Pale Ale, but I'd rather have a bigger hop bite.

M- Medium body and carbonation. Seemed about right on except for the huge head.

D- Not a bad brew at all just was a little disappointed in this one. Easy to drink just nothing exciting about it or maybe I'm just to used to Alpha King.

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

Good looking ruddy orange/reddish color with a decent sized head going on. Quite the malty and hop laden aroma. Sharp and piney. Solid hop bite flavor wise. Soft caramel tinge behind a decent malt level. Faint astringent, almost alcohol like flavor in the aftertaste. Solid mouthfeel-comes off as a much bigger beer. A lot of flavor and body for a US pale. Nicely done.

Photo of GordonQuid
3.86/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an average pint glass.

Clear golden sunshine with a slight amber tinge. Good one inch head participates throughout the experience; good moderate lace coates the whole glass when finished.

Smell is slight noble hops and cara-pil malts and a bit of lemon grass/hay.

Taste is exceptionally balanced malt characteristics and bitey hops.

Extremely drinkable. A fantastic session beer. Great quality and quaffability.

Photo of kegger22
4.22/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Short's Pandemonium Pale Ale is a hazy amber color with a half inch, beige head that dissolves to a collar.

The aroma is that beautiful caramel maltiness with a citrus hops backup.

The taste follows the aroma nicely, the caramel sweetness, the grapefruit hops taste; but mild.

The mouth feel is medium bodied with minimal carbonation.

Drinkability is good. The mildness that Pandemonium exhibits in taste makes up for that slight flaw by what it does for drinkability.

Chalk up another winner for Short's. Good beer and quite sessionable. If it were more readily available, it would be a perfect APA gateway beer.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark coppery orange that is almost dark enough to be called burnt. Backlighting brings out bright tangerine and lemon colored accents. The sandstone colored head has a beautifully creamy texture and all sorts of interesting topography. It's also doing a bang-up job with lace deposition.

One sniff (and the color) tells me that Short's loaded this beer with a generous amount of the mid-range malts. Toasted-earthy-nutty notes are as reminiscent of an Oktoberfest as the stated style. A lack of aggressive hoppiness only adds to that impression. Glacier hops may not have been the best choice.

Pandemonium Pale Ale tastes like it smells. This brew should appeal to those who like their APAs to feature a generous amount of nuttiness, a firm tongue thwack of bitterness and an herbal-spicy hoppiness rather than a tropical fruity hoppiness. With the exception of the bitterness, that's 180 degrees from my prefered pale ale personality.

Specifics include steely caramel, baked peanuts, bitter tea leaves, sandalwood, citrus pith and a dollop of honey. Does that sound like an American pale ale to you? I just noted the words 'Behold the Bitter Hysteria' along the bottom of the label. This may not be a tongue torturer, but it is almost IPA-like in that respect.

I've decided to increase the flavor and drinkability scores because the hophead in me is mighty pleased right now. Besides, if we ignore style, this is pretty tasty stuff... and is becoming more so with warming. Only a talented brewer could make me enjoy beer with this malt bill.

The body/mouthfeel is the highlight. It's on the big side for the style (again, think IPA) and has a fluffy fullness and a mouthfilling expansiveness that is truly extraordinary. Plenty of malt and perfectly dialed in bubbles will do that.

While it hasn't quite been pandemonium, this bottle of Short's Pandemonium Pale Ale has been an interesting ride. I started out unimpressed in the top third of the bottle, moved to 'hey, this is pretty good beer' in the middle third, and am enjoying myself immensely in the bottom third. Hops have something to do with that, but this really is well-crafted ale.

Photo of tpd975
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Several people sent me this one and I drank quite a few before finally reviewing it.

A: Pours a nice dark caramel orange hue, very dark for a pale ale. Nice foamy white head, lite retention with spotty lace.

S: Very floral, tons of floral hops with hints of grass and caramel.

T: Nice pale ale. Lots of malt sweetness, bready and doughy up front. The hops are there but balanced. Lots of orange comes through along with a big bouquet of floral hops.

M: Medium in body, smooth, good carbonation.

D: Good, lots of flavor for a beer classified as a pale ale.

Photo of jt31914
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle:

A: 3/4 fingers head, small carbonation rising; light amber color. You can almost see the bitter hysteria (hoppy).

S: Cloves and citrus molded in with hops aromas.

T: Light and airy citrus in the mouth with a wonderful bitter aftertaste. Solid tasting Pale ale.

M: Nice, not overcarbonated and fairly smooth.

D: Pretty Drinkable.

Thanks again to Short's for another fantastic brew.

Photo of chicagobeerriot
2.99/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly veiled light copper with a thin but persistant cream-hued head.

Very light on the nose: a bit of citrus peel and pine, but not in the amounts that would usually signal that a tasty experience is ahead.

The mouthfeel is more full-bodied than you'd ordinarily expect for an APA. Thicker and more lightly carbonated than its bretheren.

That thickness helps contribute to the biscuity and grassy flavors that dominate. Only a bit of lemon zest and a hint of pine provide background complexity before the crisp hop finish hits your throat. This is a hard beer to read. I appreciate that it's different from your average APA and there is enough flavor here to recommend it, but the mouthfeel and the biscuity quality are too out of profile. Unfortunately, that all leads to an average review for a not-so-average beer.

Photo of filkinsa
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this both on tap at the pub in Bellaire and from the bottle. While the bottle is great and I am very happy that it can be bought all over the place, the Pandy on tap is amazing. This is a great session beer. It is on a little over 5% and has great drinkability. It has a good hop characteristics but is not over powering with hops like Short's Huma-lupa or Haning Frank Pale Ale are. It is a great weekend afternoon beer.

Photo of maximum12
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this brew during a recent epic trip through the Michigan/Indiana/Illinois to hit various breweries. Didn't get to Short's, but happy to find a few of their brews on tap & in bottles in Grand Rapids.

This pale is on the amber side of pale, & I'm not sure amber is pale (try to make long sentences with few words, it's fun & relaxing!). A little oil slick of white stays atop the beer for quite some time. Smell is very hoppy with a side of blooming roses in the springtime.

Pandemonium is almost a cross between Alpha King & Furious. The smells betrays the hop-forward nature of this pale ale, with grapefruity hops ascendant, soapy floral chitin coming in behind, with the pale malts floating in on a mildly sweet wind. Very drinkable, at 5.4% this would be a great beer to hunker down with for a while.

Excellent beer. I'm trying to find a reason not to put this in the A range, but just can't find it. Enjoying it a great deal & have been very impressed with Short's line-up.

Photo of movingtrain
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Pour is very active...heavy carbonation with a light, creamy tan head sitting on top. Light amber in color.

Smells of hops, citrus, light malts, bread...like a good pale ale should.

Taste is of oranges, some grainy bread, hops for sure...but not an overwhelming amount.

The flavor is light across the tongue...and is quite tasty. There is a good balance here between the malts used and the hops, giving it a slightly bitter taste on the back of the tongue, but very bready and sweet up front.

As far as drinkability is concerned, this is one I could stand to have a few more glasses of, for sure. Well done.

Photo of emerge077
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Craig for yet another Short's beer!

This label has been the source of some laughs lately...the pensive devil seems to be contemplating just how evil he wants to be. "Hmm, diabolical...or just mischievous? I just can't decide."

Fluffy cream toned head that floats above the rim of the glass. About 2+ fingers of foam that remains in place for awhile. Deep murky copper-orange. Clinging concentric crop circles. Whiff of passion fruit and beery grain. Flavors of peanut buttery specialty malts, and a light fruity hop bite. The grainy malts seem to take center stage, with some nice residual hop bitterness on a bigger sip. Evidence of coriander or grains of paradise in there, some dry seedy herb. A bit of citrus pith there too, this reminds me some of SNPA with milder bitterness and less florals. Overall a nice pale ale. Thanks again Craig!

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a cloudy, hazy, apricot color with a sticky light-orange cap of foam on top. Lots of lace left behind to coat the inside of the glass.

S: Heady aroma of malt; toasted biscuits and crackers. A very healthy portion of lemon-y citrus hops adds balance and fruity tang.

T: Lemon-y hops and bready malt battle for prominence but there's no clear winner. Very balanced. Tangy citrus with a nice and long bready finish.

M: Snappy and fruity. Slightly on the dry side. Nice toasty malt with just the right amount of spicy and astringent hops.

D: Crisp, sticky, and very refreshing. Really a fantastically drinkable APA.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.13/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received as a thoughtful extra in a freaking fantastic trade with kbeals.. Thanks a ton Kevin for the extras and a whopping appreciation from the Boise beer crew for the original trade.. I hope you like your box as much as I like mine!!!

Poured into my Delirium snifter.. bottle says it was brewed recently.. I'm down! big 2 finger head leaves tons of lace atop a fairly clear amber brew..

Nose has some caramel malts in the front and a fairly significant amount of citric hoppiness.. a bit of yeasty fruitiness adds to an already pretty complex nose for an APA.

Flavor mirrors the nose but a good injection of biscuity maltiness comes in mid palate.. sorta toasty toward the finish.. the citric hoppiness melts from the bitter beginning into the middle and lends a sorta dry litely hoppy finish.. lite/medium body with a good carbonation makes me want another drink... and then another.. a good sessionable pale ale for sure.. I would buy it.

Thanks again Kevin.. I would appreciate a good Short's connection.... I'm hoping you're the soldier who will help deliver these goodies to Potato Country.


Photo of Magpie14
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a still crusted golden brown body with a whip of fizz on top. Overall the head is rather lackluster and lacing is making a meager stand, not bad

S: toasted malts. Dirty bitter hops and caramel

T: flavors follow the nose and the hops lend a dry earthy bitterness, a smattering of herbaceous notes, and a wedge of an orange. This all melds nicely with the caramel flavors. Malts hold down the profile pretty well
Things are pretty laid back and mild overall, tasty

M: medium carbonation and soft dry finish, body hits the mark for the style. Lingers a bit bitter and malty

D: a tasty shorts brew...tasty

Photo of fostwal
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Interesting beer. I picked this one up while visiting MI. Its a decent pale ale. The color is closer to light brown than a golden amber. Its not very fragrant. Maybe a little hops and malt, but not much. The taste is fairly well balanced. Definitely on the hop side of balanced. Its lightly carbonated. The combination makes this a fairly decent beer. Not sure if I would seek it out, definitely wouldn't turn one down either.

Photo of taylorhamrick
3.89/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a great copper color, with good clarity, I stopped a bit short of the yeast in the bottom. The head was kind of thin, but adequate, at a little over a cm. Still leaves decent lacing. The smell I can't quite place it yet, but I'm liking it. Smells a bit leafy and herbal, a tiny bit grassy, but that's not quite it. Smells a bit sweet, a little crackery, maybe a wee bit toasty, but that's not it. A bit fruity, like granny smith apple peels, a little like yellow and pink cherries, but that's not quite it. There's also a hint of citrus, sweet lime, a bit of lemon zest, but that's not quite it. I still just can't place it entirely, but I really like it. The taste keeps it up, but you really notice the resins here. A bit of grapefruit rind, some leafy freshness, a little pollen. But I still get this deep, crackery malt flavor, backed with a little earthy, caramelly, black tea taste, and there's just enough sweetness to keep it from being taxing. The dryness is incredible though, almost too much so. There's a zippy citrus presence still, a bit of fruity tartness, which is enhanced by the dryness. This one isn't quite as malty and sweet as many others, but it's got a lot of great qualities. The body is a kind of thin medium, with a zip of carbonation in the finish. The drinkability is good, very enjoyable, but the dryness really keeps this from being a sort of everyday beer. Enjoyable if you can find it, a pretty good APA.

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Short's Pandemonium Pale Ale from Short's Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 525 ratings.