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Short's Controversi-ALE - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Short's Controversi-ALEShort's Controversi-ALE

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

197 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 197
Hads: 533
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 18.59%
Wants: 23
Gots: 70 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: oberon on 09-09-2007

Loaded with hops like an IPA, yet drinks like a Pale Ale, we simply decided to call it a Strong Pale Ale. The fragrant, earthy citrus laced nose is instantly detectable. Large amounts of toasted grains and high alpha Simcoe hops form a perfect union that creates the cool sensation of toasted sourdough covered with zesty grapefruit hop marmalade.

67 IBU

Formerly known as Hangin' Frank.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Short's Controversi-ALE Alström Bros
Reviews: 197 | Hads: 533
Photo of lochef81
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Aah shorts, my love em and hate em brewery. This offering pours a handsome copper color with a thick white head which gives way to a nice white lacing. The nose is hoppy citrus and pine with little malt undertones. The flavor is very pleasant at first with lots of citrusy hops and a pleasant biting bitterness but the aftertaste seems stale and unpleasant. Very dry and unsatisfying. It is very easy to drink and goes down quite smooth but with the unpleasant finish; why bother. It actually leaves you wanting to drink more to get the aftertaste out of your mouth. Not the worst shorts beer ive had but not one that I'll be buying again.

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Photo of brentk56
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a modest head that leaves a strip or two of lacing behind

Smell: Tropical fruit (pineapple and grapefruit) with a hint of pine

Taste: Light on the malt flavors, with the hops taking over at the outset; citrus and pine, with an herbal character, as well; finishes hoppy and somewhat dry

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A decent IPA with some nice flavors and an unusual herbal twist

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Photo of Flopjack
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into tulip

Appearance - A nice full orange color with lighter tones of yellow . 1/2 finger white head.

Smell - Lots of character from hops , grapefruit, orange, pineapple, mandarin, piny floral aroma.

Taste - Piny floral character, citrusy and sweet. Starts out with a nice grapefruit and mandarin flavor that is just a touch roasty and bitter. There is a piny resinous presence here that I think contributes nicely and gives an earthy floral flavor as well. Lemon and orange zest.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, medium carbonation, refreshing, smooth.

Overall - Good beer. This beer has lots of character all across the board. Haven't been disappointed with any Shorts beers thus far and this is no exception.

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Photo of reebtaerG
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz. Bottle into new Belguim globe glass

A-Pours cloudy golden with an off-white one finger head. Decent lacing.

S-Aroma of peach, floral hops, some malt and fruitiness.

T-Taste is improved from aromas has flavors that is sweet, fruity and bitter with some citrus and floral hops.

M-Mouthfeel is nice with a medium body, average carbonation.

O-Overall a decent IPA by Shorts. It was one of the better beers in their variety pack.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

We crack a bottle, pouring a brew of golden amber into our Great Lakes pints. It puts up a solid two finger head of copper-brushed bubbles. The head is actually two-toned, with the top third showing large, thin, rather transparent bubbles, and the bottom third showing a tight base of microfoam. Either way retention is nice, leaving dripping wet spots of lacing around the glass. A thick haze cuts clarity, with one or two specks of sediment found floating about. Carbonation appears to be moderate. The aroma is sticky and salty, with notes of pale and burnt caramel malts, cotton candy sweetness, white sugar, sea salt, dried straw, citric and lightly floral hoppiness, apricot fruitiness, peach pit, orange pith, and sunflower seediness. A coconut fruitiness comes out with warmth. Our first impression is that the malt base is heavily robust, with sweetness and roasty caramel maltiness abound. As we sip, the taste opens with table salt, brown paper towel, rich caramel and pale malt chalkiness and sweetness, tannic breakfast tea, French vanilla wafers, fresh cream, grassy hop resins, and metallic sheen of yeast and planty bite. The middle comes forth with light candied esters, burnt almonds, toffee sugars, grassy and soapy hop twang, walnut shell dryness, dandelion stems, chalky yeastiness, light plastic burn, raw parsnip, and mildly fusel booziness. The ending wash is rather fusel and boozy, otherwise comprised of those same grassy hops, continued simplistic pale malts, richly roasted caramel grain, hay, copper, fresh basil, and freshly turned earth. The aftertaste breathes of coppery and caramel metallics, booze, black pepper, rock salt, plastic phenols, bittered grassy and citric rind hops, herbal freshness, leafy spinach and kale greenness, cider vinegar, and powdered pale malts. The body is medium, and the carbonation is medium. Each sip gives nice slurp, smack, and finishing pop, but cream and froth to the lip are a bit lesser. Otherwise the mouth is quickly dried into astringent, tannic pucker. The abv is appropriate, and the beer goes back easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its aroma. Through the evolution of the tasting, this is really what stood out most. It retained decent hoppiness to balance the surprising depth and sweetness of malts, while adding a curious tropical fruit on the far back end. The flavoring was nice as well, but dipped too far to the bitter, caramel, and malty side, with the hops falling too far off the radar. While it is relatively standard, this ends up being a nice beer, and something that is easy to sip, and something we consider a win for the brewery. This will be enjoyed by fans of the style and Short’s alike.

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Photo of Durge
3.69/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A clear golden amber color with a decent white head that fades to a firm cluster ring with solid lacing. The aroma brings a decided citrus pine punch with some grass and a touch of sweet malt cereal grain. Nice. The flavor jumps out with a harsh grassy bite and tart tropical fruit and citrus bite. With a little settling you start to get some hemp and bright grain. Definitely concentrates on the hop bite. I enjoy the somewhat unbalanced flavor but oddly it seems a bit watery as it finishes. It seems to be closer to a medium-light body with a frisky carbonation but it's just a touch diluted at some points. Overall I enjoy the hop bomb qualities but it wouldn't be my most satisfying choice for an IPA.

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Photo of scotorum
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another selection from my recent Michigan purchases. Short's is not widely distributed because its makers stress the importance of drinking their beer fresh. But they won't use a gimmick like having people vote that they want a beer shipped to their state.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

a: A gorgeous translucent orange. Half finger white head disappears but leaves behind a
foam ring and some nice lacing.

s: Faint citrus.

t: Nice medium IPA with enough bite to be noticeable but not really overwhelm. Hints of citrus are overshadowed by the hop bitterness. Easy drinking, Should be fun to session.

m: Light to medium, refreshing!

o: An exceptional IPA. Perhaps a cut below their Dan's Pink Shorts, probably not hoppy enough for the upper tiers on BA's list. I liked this better than the popular Two-Hearted Ale of Short's more famous fellow Michiganders, Bell's. 4.0

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Photo of exzacly_beer
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bought this because of the beautiful black/white label on the bottle. Really great presentation.

Taste is nice - beautiful presentation of Ale qualities, nice hop contributions to the flavors. Mouthfeel is nice and relaxed, I especially like the aftertaste of this beer. I have to say that the head on the beer seemed a bit thick, and the bottle date on mine makes me think this was not an error. So beware of the head :)

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle from GRDave (thanks man!). No bottling date. Served in a Southern Tier tulip snifter.

Pours hazy deep orange with a finger and a half off white head that leaves a good bit of lace.

Smells of biscuit, pine and caramel.

Taste is pretty dang bitter. Grapefruit peel, lemon zest, biscuit, white pepper corn, straw and grass.

Light body with plenty of carbonation. Dry bitter finish.

Not stellar but an easy drinking brew. It has a nice bitter bite but lacks much of the hop flavor profile that I prefer.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - This beer appears orange with golden highlights. A continuous stream of carbonation bubbles feeds a couple inches of creamy, off-white head.

S - I get a surprisingly small amount of citrus on the nose, but I do get some toasty, caramel malt.

T - The taste has a lot more citrus than the smell offered. The taste is just about the opposite of the aroma. I get a lot of citrus flavors and just hints of malt.

M - Medium with biting carbonation.

O - This is a solid beer. I did not think it was that flavorful at first, but the bitterness builds up as I consume this beer. I think Short's description as a strong pale ale is perfect for this beer.

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Photo of minterro
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bought at Spartan Spirits in East Lansing for around 2 bucks for a single.

Paired with homemade pizza

Very lively hazy orange colored beer. foamy off-white head, that has decent retention. Specks of lacing. Moderate citrus aromas, large then usually maltyness present.

The malty side of this beer really comes through in the taste. Bitterness is relatively low. This beer is extremely well-balanced (many a tad too much maltyness). Medium body, and on the higher side of medium for carbonation.

Overall: Very drinkable, very smooth clean finish especially for an IPA. I think I still prefer Huma as my go to IPA from short's, but this beer isn't a bad substitute and is at least worth a try. Kinda reminds me of a better version of 60 minute.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer isn't much to look at. The body is a translucent amber and it takes a decently strong pour to get half a finger of watery head that disappears. Lacing breaks up really quick before it can be called lacing.

The smell starts out bready and quickly takes on hop tones. I get a bit of sugar during the transition, then it's floral hops, grapefruit and I think mandarin orange.

Starts out bready but goes straight into pine with a hint of grapefruit on the tongue.

The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied. Dries the tongue quite a bit.

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Photo of Roman5150
4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

bottle into snifter

appearance: orange amber with slight white head

smell: citrus, floral notes, heavy grapefruit/simcoe, earthiness, lemon, hay

taste: pretty bitter, lot's of earthy floral notes and less tropical flavors than the nose suggested. Very well balanced

mouthfeel: average carbonation

overall: A bitter hop bomb of an IPA, if you like earthy hop bitterness you will love this. Heavy tropical and floral notes give it a refreshing, balanced kick.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour is hazy copper with orange edges and tons of billowy off white head. The nose is citrusy with toasted grain and a fair bit of peppery spice, almost rye like. The taste shows a fair bit of toasted grain, bread crust, hops in back. Citrus, virtually no bitterness, grain lingers with assertive carbonation and a medium body. Bit of sourness in the finish, may have a very slight infection but doesn't take away from the beer.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Bright caramel orange color with a little haze and a thin off-white head.

Aroma: Juicy citrus and a touch of earth from the hops. Not super aromatic but pleasant.

Taste: The biscuit malt and earthy/spicy hops character of an English Pale Ale with the hop bitterness of an American IPA. There is an interesting raw bitterness about the flavor that really bites the palate. The 67 IBUs make this beer feel bigger than 5.5% ABV and help to keep it from tasting watery. Besides the dab of bready malt flavor there isn't a whole lot of malt to help balance the flavor out, which is fine in this case. Finishes with a tangerine nectar sweetness for a moment before the aftertaste takes over with a lot of earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Just under medium in body but pretty good considering the low ABV. A bit aggressive on the carbonation but easy enough to flatten out a bit. Good drinkability despite its palate-wrecking capability.

Final Thoughts: Pretty close to a session IPA and a good beer. While not groundbreaking, Short's Controversi-ALE proves that you don't need tropical fruit hop character to make a good IPA (although I love me some citra). Would I drink it again? Sure.

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Photo of sleuthdog
2.93/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Thanks to rpbuckeye for this

Poured into Shorts pint

Pour: Agressive pour since the glass is large produced a finger and a half of white head that was actually not foamy but soapy looking. The beer is a copper orange that is cloudy.

Smell: This one is pine hop forward to me with some floral notes, too. The malt aroma is strong and smells a touch sweet and bready. I am not really getting too much in the citrus notes here but can say maybe grapefruit.

Taste: Pine bitterness with an earthy quality. Grass and onion to me too which isn't too pleasant to my palate. There is a cracker like taste in the background and that seems to detract from the onion taste but not enough. Finishes with a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink just not fun to drink. Finishes dry.

Overall: I have not been impressed with Short's to date and this one unfortunately doesn't change my mind.

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Photo of Viperonetwoone
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

bottled 02/12/2013. Pours hazy golden orange. off-white single finger head with pretty aggressive pour.

Smells of sweet vidalia onions still in the georgia soil, if you've even been. There's a round about scent of sweetness that seems more floral than the onion. Honey-dew melon, musk-melon. sweet-breaded maltyness.

Back of throat onion sweetness with a well-rounded bitterness filling out the entirety of the middle mouth. finishes with the barest hint of under-ripe watermelon and some floral sweetness. Would be a bit better if it was more bready malty like those hawaiin buns, that would fit perfectly here.

Unique flavors in this one. I Actually enjoy the flavors, feel it would pair well with a plain burger no cheese on a potato bun.

Overall, 3.5 beer for me.

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Photo of robhbest
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass.

A: Pours a hazy orange with white head. Some lacing, head fades quickly.

S: Not much going on here, some slight citrus notes.

T: The hops really linger on your tongue. A little funky but in a good way. Hard to pinpoint whats going on here, definately some citrus and pine flavors. Interesting.

M: Medium bodied, would have liked a little more carbonation.

O: This one is interesting. Definitely a controversial brew. I can see some people liking this. Me however probably wouldnt seek it out again.

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Photo of Bitter_Echo
4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From memory yesterday. This one, yellow. Deep, clear. Smells like simcoe because it is. Great.
Nice to have nothing interfering. This taste is light on the malt and caramel, dry, the bitter coming in nicely, with great mouthfeel, etc. I really like this, much better than Huma...the balance and taste is clean and drier than any IPA I've tried. A keeper! More please

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Photo of stevepat
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

decent beer from a great brewery. Thin flavor combined with malty mouth feel. Their Huma is vastly superior and they have countless impressive IPA examples rotating through the year. Decent beer but not what i would go with if I had to pick from short's great line up

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A pale orange color with a very nice fluffy, white head on it. Lacing's spectacular as well.

Smell: I forget what the hops are called, but this one seems to have them... the smell on this one is of earthy, dirty onions, with a slight floral note as well. Very unusual. Personally, I'm not a huge fan, but I love the floral note it gives off.

Taste/feel: Front of the tongue is sweet, but the rest is middle-of-the-road bitterness. The taste is much like the smell in that I get the dirty onions, but it doesn't come off as strong. There's then quite a lot of bitterness on the back of the tongue (which makes me surprised to learn that this has *only* 67 IBUs), with that very nice floral aroma coming in the taste. The finish I find to be dry and bitter (for the most part), despite the fact that my mouth waters upon each sip due to the initial sweetness.

Overall, an interesting, INTERESTING beer... I find the name to be quite appropriate. I'd consider it to be an IPA myself, but an IPA unlike any other that I've had, due to the earthy, onion notes. The more I sip on Controversi-ALE though, the less onion-y it seems to be, and the more "normal" of an IPA it is. This beer just confuses me. I disliked it initially (mostly because of the aroma), but by the end I thought it was intriguingly satisfying and tasty.

Definitely a beer I'd like to have again, just because I'd love to know how my opinion changes.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks saisonrichbiere

The beer pours a copper amber with a razor thin white halo of head. The nose is interesting with an unexpected amount of raw grains forward that transitions into nutty and earthy hops after a deep whiff. The taste fits a similar description with a lot malt upfront followed by a mellow nutty hop profile. It has a drinkable, medium bodied beer with a sweet malty finish complimented by a touch of bitter hops. The alcohol is well disguised. This beer is tasty, drinkable, but a let down as far as APAs.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled as Hangin' Frank (and taken from notes).

Looks nice on the pour. There is a pungent and strong nose of hops. Flavor is rigid with hops and what I want to say seems like a nutty tone to it. Lots of spice from hops as well. If you like IPAs, you'll certainly like this one.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up at the brewery in April, so no longer super-fresh, but still delightful.

Pours a hazy pumpkin coloured amber with limited off-white head & lacing. Stunning tropical fruit and citrus aroma is followed by its well-balanced taste. Sweet caramelized malts and jam-like fruits meld into a citrus hop bitterness, that lingers for an impressive length of time.

Definitely a beer I'd highly recommend.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Slows BBQ in Detroit. Poured a lightly cloudy amber-orange with a thin off-white head.

The aroma was pretty malty for an AIPA. Hop notes were light citrus and a bit of pine.

Like the aroma, the taste led with caramel malts followed by light hop notes.

Medium bodied and smooth with a moderate carbonation.

This AIPA from Short's didn't do much for me. A bit heavy-handed on the malty side.

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Short's Controversi-ALE from Short's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.