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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

489 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 489
Reviews: 191
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 21
Gots: 32 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: oberon on 09-09-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 489 | Reviews: 191 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BBP
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Probably one of Short's best looking beers. That being said it looks decent. It maintained a thin film for the duration of the drink and had a good amount of lacing.

S- Grapefruit, citrus, and minute amounts of pine. A bit of a floral hop aroma as well. Quite pleasant.

T- Hops are definitely dominant, but they aren't extremely bitter and they don't hold on as much as they do in many IPAs. The aftertaste is quite nice as it's hop flavor left behind to accompany the bitterness. The malt bill is merely there to provide some balance as the hops are the focal point in this.

M- Medium to light. Fairly creamy from the carbonation, but a bit thin still. Slightly dry in the finish.

O- Drinkability is terrific, both in the low alcohol presence, and the ease of consumption. I think this would be an excellent step up from an american pale ale.

This brew, while easy to describe, and simple, does just about everything right. There aren't any real flaws to it, and the closest thing to a weakness is a slightly thin mouthfeel, which I can easily overlook for everything else it brings to the table.

Short's brewing keeps impressing me by making strange brews work. This is one of the few occasions where they take a simple style and ace it without going for anything fancy. It seems that any brew they make will at least be worth picking up once.

On a side note, this is the closest thing I've seen to an amazing sessionable IPA.

BBP, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #53 (June 2011):

This ale is not shy about showing off its roughness with a hazy, tawny glow, while hops help keep the head together. Rustic hoppy nose of pineapple, grapefruit rind and pipe tobacco. Smooth with a solid medium stature. Wild herbal flavor; jasmine, heavy citric rind and dirty pine sap are the hops smacking the taste buds around. Kiss of malt within, lightly fruity with a hint of alcohol. Hop bitterness is there in the raw, but not too biting. Finishes strong and long, with juicy hops. This beer is like American hardcore punk—raw, in your face and kickass, but you’re sad when it’s gone.

BeerAdvocate, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of FreshSars
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I thought this beer was exceptional compared to other IPA's on the market. It may appear slightly darker, the mouth feel and body feel solid, not like an IPA you throw down a pint and go 'whoa where's my beer'. Granted I drank this out of a bottle, in Michigan, but the lacing was great, the carbonation and aroma were spot on. I have had the Huma Lupa Lipicious and like this beer better. Maybe it's the slightly heavier body and less fruitiness than the HLL but this is a solid 4 out of 5 beer.

FreshSars, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Copper-amber beer with a huge white head that had nice retention and left some decent stickage on the glass.

S - Good amount of malts as well as some citrus and pine hops. There is a slight bit of bring in there, which detracts a little bit, but it's not bad.

T - Taste is okay. Tastes a lot like a Euro-DIPA or maybe one that has turned a little bit. Malts have gone a little sour/rotten, but some of the caramel sweetness still comes through. Hops are kind of bitter without much else character.

M - Medium bodied, good carbonation, no complaints about this.

O - Wonder if this is just old. If I get another bottle that is significantly better I will re-review, but this is just not something that was particularly great, although I wouldn't go so far as to say it is bad.

AgentZero, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of oline73
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at the brewpub. Poured into a sample glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a half finger of creamy off white head. Good head retention.

Smell: Mild. Citrus hops with bready malt and a slight sweetness.

Taste: Strong malt profile. The hops show up ear the end of each sip. Mild citrus peel notes with a bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium amount of carbonation. The body is on the thin side with a dry finish.

Overall: This beer is good but not remarkable. I don't know that I would have another.

oline73, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of lurpy1
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Dusty's Tap Room, where it is re-badged as Dusty Roads. Rimshot please.

Clear, deep amber, with moderate amount of head. Smell is pine and citrus, quite a bit of hop.

Taste profile is delicious, pine, hop, don't really pick up the grapefruit the way other people do. Weird, intriguing sensation, after the first rush, the hoppiness vanishes, replaced by a mellower citrus flavor. The hops basically run into a brick wall. Decent carbonation, medium body. Good beer, unusual experience.

lurpy1, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of Dope
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A very clear amber pour. Big bubbly white head with decent lacing and retention.

S: Very prominent grapefruit aroma. A bit of earthy hop smell and some grainy sweet malt.

T: Very nice grapefruit punch up front which morphs into a sweet toasted malt flavor. Very nice. There is some herbal/earthy flavors in the very end of the aftertaste as well.

M: Kinda sticky sweet but otherwise decent medium body and good carb. The lingering bitter aftertaste is quite lengthy as well.

O: Surprisingly good. Pretty simple yet quite tasty and delicious IPA. A must try for grapefruit lovers.

Dope, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of aasher
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a nice true amber in color with light cloudiness and a one finger off white head. The aromas are citrusy, featuring bitter and sweet grapefruit, with a moderate amount of sweet malt and pine. The flavors near mirror the aromas. The flavor is sweet and piney with a moderate amount of bitter grapefruit. The malt bill is sticky and relatively sweet, mixed with the piney hops. It drinks a little sticky and light in body. If it weren't so sticky the drinkability would be improved dramatically. Overall this is an above average IPA, just not a great one.

aasher, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of wisrarebeer
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$2.39/12oz bottle purchased at Plum Market in Ann Arbor

A: nice, clear amber color, frothy, rocky head
S: strong smack of grapefruit and citrusy hops
T: biscuity malt up front but citrus/grapefruit hops dominates with strong hop bitterness finish, a bit too unbalanced
M: too hoppy all-around for my taste, needed a bit more malt balance, mellowed a bit after tastebuds got used to it
O: decent beer but needed more malt balance

wisrarebeer, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of iadler
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a slightly hazy amber with a two finger head that dissipates slowly. Leaves some thin spots of lacing.

S- Lot's of pine as well as floral, grapefruit, mandarine, peach and toasted biscuit malt in the background.

T- Orange zest, lemon zest grapefruit and pine upfront. Some biscuit malt in the middle and finishes dry with some floral notes.

M- Medium carbonation and light to medium body. Slightly oily mouthfeel. A little too thin IMO.

O- Not a bad IPA, but there are definitely better. I enjoyed Huma-Lupa-Licious over this. So far Shorts is a hit or miss for me. Worth a try though.

iadler, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of warnerry
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange brown with one finger of quickly dissipating head. Huge pine and citrus hops dominate the aroma, though some nice floral notes are also present. Taste is similar to smell, with pine hops dominating. Unfortunately, there is a slight undesirable astringency that takes away from the enjoyment a bit. Has a medium, somewhat oily mouthfeel and leaves a lingering hop bitterness. Overall, a good IPA, but not something I would seek out often.

warnerry, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of beerdrifter
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alex for throwing this in on a great trade we did while in Detroit. Copper-orange pour with two finger off-white head with great retention and lacing. Huge, juicy fresh hop nose with a nice solid sweet maltiness with hints of grapefruit and pine. The taste follows suit, with an incredible resiny fresh hop tang that is perfectly balanced with a sweet caramel malt backbone. Loads of mouth puckering grapefruit and pine, perfectly offset with a great orangey-caramel sweetness. The finish is dry but chewy at the same time with a great, crisp and tart bitter bite. The drinkability is off the charts. I only had one and I'm about in withdrawls craving a second. Another great Michigan beer!

beerdrifter, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of Adrianized
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Scoot1969 for this as an extra.

Pours a light brown/dark orange.  One finger white head with good lacing.  Head settles to a film with big bubbles.  Looks more like a DIPA.

Up front are nice citrus hops; oranges, tangerines, limes, pineapple, and a little bit of grapefruit. There's some bready malt in the background as well.

Well the taste is a little different than I expected.  First thing I get are red apples.  A light piney middle with bready malt.  On the finish I get apples again, especially the skin, followed by a grapefruit bitterness.  Aftertaste is a good balance of malt and hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation.

Overall, I found that this smelled like one of the better citrusy IPAs, but the taste was something totally new to me (not in a bad way).  Would drink again for sure.

Adrianized, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of DrJay
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy orange with an off-white cap of fine and soapy bubbles. Good head retention with sticky, streaky lacing. Hoppy aroma, pine up front with a fruitier, nearly tropical nose filled with sharp citrus. A hint of hop spice hid behind biscuity malts. Bitterness was balanced up front and became sharper in the finish. Biscuity sweetness and citrusy, fruity hops were prominent at first, but fell away towards the end. Drying and medium bodied with lowish carbonation. I enjoyed it quite a bit. The hops were bold without bringing any harshness to the table and it smelled and tasted very fresh.

DrJay, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of trappistlover
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(12oz bottle courtesy of rayl101. Thanks Kevin!). Pours cloudy yellow-orange color with 1 finger off-white head. Active carbonation. Aroma has resin, mango, orange and other tropical fruit. Papaya. Taste is sweet and malty with some pleasant bitterness. Thin to medium bodied with an oily texture. Bitter finish. Malt forward as it warms. Nice, easy drinking beer.

trappistlover, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is yellowish and slightly hazy, with a thin white head that leaves a bit of lacing on the snifter. The aroma is pretty straightforward, bringing a nice pine character with some citrus notes. It smells like an American IPA. The taste isn't mind blowing, but this is a decent beer, and highly drinkable. The beer is light on the palate, bordering on thin. Not such a bad thing for a 5.5% abv brew I suppose. Overall, an enjoyable beverage, and something I would have again.

Huhzubendah, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
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 light golden brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, fruity citrus and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of citrus and a little caramel followed by a strong bite of piney hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and 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, there are better beers in the style but this is a very solid beer worth drinking for a while.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Iain.

A: The beer pours a slightly hazed golden amber color with a billowing white head. Beautiful.

S: Certainly some piney and citrus hops, but also a substantial malt aroma. It's surprisingly nutty, which I wasn't expecting. Bread and toffee with a nice floral character rounds out the nose.

T: Lots of hop bitterness to this beer. Not too much in the way of hop flavor, other than a bit of pine and grapefruit peel. Lots more of that nutty and toffee-like malt character.

M: Medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Good but not amazing. Certainly some better Shorts IPAs out there.

womencantsail, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of ppoitras
4.63/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle purchased as a single at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" light beige head over the clear amber brew. Fluffy head lasts nicely, average lace. Aroma is stanky pine hops, in a good way.

Taste begins sweet, lightly fruity in the middle coupled with some citrus, and a pleasing bitter hops bite at the close. Mouthfeel is way smooth, and drinkability is awesome. Love this stuff.

ppoitras, Jun 09, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A decent IPA, better than a lot I've had lately. Beer is yellow with a mild haze to it and a wispy white head of low character, retention and lacing.

Aroma is mostly piny with some citrus hops in there, smells like an IPA.

Beer is medium to light in body, no carbonation on the mouth, no malt on the get go, this is a good thing. The bitterness in the back is moderate, the midpalate is a lot of pine hops and a little chewiness. Overall a decent IPA. I'd have it again.

drabmuh, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of Billolick
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This 12 ouncer glass container has no freshness info on the bottle or label. Purchased at Spirit Haus in Amherst Ma.

Pours almond amber, seemingly with a slight greenish olive hue. Moderate off light tan head. Respectable strands of fine lacing.

Tropical fruit tinged nose, lime, tea, light mint.

More light mint, fruits woven into this one. Also a moderate crunch of grapefruit infused hops. Easy drinking and pleasant enough. Decent, moderatly hopped sessioner

Billolick, May 30, 2011
Photo of
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - honey-coloured with a long lasting foamy white head. Leaves decent lacing.

Smell - Prominent grapfruity hops with some earth and toasted sugar.

Taste - Deep toasted caramel, grapefruit, and a very bitter finish.

Overall, this one is somewhere between an IPA and a pale ale. It certainly has the hops presence of an IPA, but the malt of a pale ale.

, May 27, 2011
Photo of Arenbeer
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a tumbler glass

A- Pours a clear golden honey orange with a two finger fluffy white head that sticks around a while.

S- Sweet tropical fruitiness, pine/earthy hops, orange peel and citrus.

T- Bitter earthy and pine hops up front that fades into a lemon and tropical fruit flavor that washes it all away. Kind of getting the dish soap feel from this, the hops and fruitiness don't really blend to well together.

M- Medium to light body with moderate carbonation and a slight bitter finish.


Arenbeer, May 18, 2011
Photo of CrookedStill
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear deep amber with a one finger white pillowy head that falls quickly.

Lots of hops upfront. Citrus and pine shine with a subtle sweetness in the background. Really a wonderful aroma.

Taste follows the nose to a T. Straight away a pine/citrus bitterness hits the palate but is balanced perfectly by malt sweetness. Very balanced and at 5.5%, very easy to drink.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin and has a decent amount of carbonation.

With the appearance, aroma and taste of a very solid IPA but with the mouthfeel and drinkability of a pale, the description "Loaded with hops like an IPA, yet drinks like a Pale Ale" is spot on. So whatever you choose to call it, an IPA, a Pale Ale, or a Strong Pale, it is nothing is not a very good, solid beer.

CrookedStill, May 17, 2011
Photo of dimenhetfield
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Dark amber/goldish color, thin creamy head. Little hazy and cloudy. Aroma is pretty hoppy with slight malts coming through. Flavor is toasty and somewhat dry but still has some good citrus flavors on the back end. A pretty basic beer but still very good.

dimenhetfield, May 14, 2011
Short's Controversi-ALE from Short's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 489 ratings.