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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

493 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 493
Reviews: 191
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 22
Gots: 33 | 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: 493 | Reviews: 191 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to GrandCruDrew for sending me this one!

Pours a hazy light orange color with a 2 inch eggshell colored head that fades to a small cap. Very thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smells of sweet malt and citrus zest/pine hops. Taste is of sweet malt, biscuit, and some herbal/pine hops on the finish. Medium hop bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. Mouthfeel is a bit flat but pretty smooth. A slightly above average IPA overall but better than others I have had in the past.

UCLABrewN84, May 12, 2011
Photo of Kaydogg
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra
Served in my Town Hall pint.

The beer is a Deep orange color..rusty. Nice white head. Good retention, moderate lacing.

Smells piney and citrus . Also a bready toast quality with sweet Carmel notes.
The taste follows the nose, but adds the bitterness of grapefruit type hops.

The body is medium with decent carbonation.
Overall, this is tasty beer..that I thought was very good..but not stand out great.

Kaydogg, May 09, 2011
Photo of chugalug06
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours an overly aggressive tan head... Quite foamy and lingers for a long time! Lacing is spotty, but still is there... Brew is a cloudy peach color.

S - A very pleasant sweet scent. Tropical comes to mind. Pineapple, mango, pear, and lime scents dominate. It does have slight bitter aroma attached.

T - Very light and surprising! Not at all what the aroma represents. Very relaxing and enjoyable. This would be the perfect IPA for a hot summer day. (or camping if it came in cans...)

M - Very light bodied for an IPA. Dry smooth and delicious. Darn near perfect carbonation and zero bitterness as far as IPAs go.

D - Great drinkability! Very delicious, I'm very glad I picked this one up in a trade. Thanks for an awesome trade another6pack!

chugalug06, May 09, 2011
Photo of sentomaster
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy golden liquid cloud poured into a SA PP glass. Thick and fluffy white head recedes fairly quick and leaves decent lacing.

S- Lots of pine and citrus with a nice toasted graininess underneath.

T/M- Follows the nose with lots of pine and citrus, accented with a slight grapefruit bitterness. The grapefruit is a bit odd though, a bit off. It comes through as a bit of funky sourness instead of zesty rind or raw juiciness. It doesn't crash the party but it just doesn't play that well.

O- Not a bad beer at all, quite good actually; it has the potential to be a really good beer, it just doesn't quite get there.

sentomaster, May 03, 2011
Photo of hiphopipa
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Portsmouth Brewing branded tulip.
Love the label concept-named for a ghost that haunts Hemmingway's old stomping grounds.
Pour hazy burnt amber with a head that dissipates into a thin lacing on top and along the sides. Muted earthy citrus hops smell. Resiny and piney hops with a dominating yet clean toasted malt back bone. Tastes like a solid pale ale at first, malty but I can see why it's classified as an IPA. It's got a nice sharp grapefruit bite and yeast finish.
Thanks to Another6Pack for a change to give this one a try.

hiphopipa, May 02, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
2.63/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Developed for City Park Grill. Clear amber with a firm and bold and thick pure white head.

Nose is lightly assertive cooked pineapple/nothing special.

Mouthfeel is medium full with light "fizzy" carbonation and good hop heavy balance.

Flavors are a dull bitter burnt toast hop. Not very bright. Light malt, pine flavor undertones.

Finish is the big ticket on this one. Big assertive bitter pine finish that is long lasting and the most lasting impression of this decent but nothing special brew.

GRG1313, May 02, 2011
Photo of ColdPoncho
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - hazy amber body, with some suspended streams of things floating about. Great head retention, good lacing from the white foam.

S - Nice hop profile, nicely balanced, good complexity. Citra hops, some grapefruit and pine.

T - Bit of a let down, kind of bitter, citrusy, something of a chemical hop taste, a weird malt balance, hints of chocolate? Not quite right for a standard IPA, but this is Shorts, afterall...

M - smooth, medium body. Feels good, nothing spectacular.

O (D) - This is a fine beer, nothing special, I wouldn't prefer it over the other Shorts IPAs I've had, but this isn't too bad.

ColdPoncho, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of cr0ckett
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle to Pint glass
A: Hazy amber
S: Surprisingly strong and enticing aroma of piney hops. One of the strongest aromas I've smelled in a while, but in a pleasant way.
T: Because of the really good aroma and the fact that this is an IPA, the taste was disappointing at first. What hop character there is to begin with, the earthy malt character dominates pretty quickly.
M: Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Not very viscous, but pretty smooth.
O: Frankly, this beer surprises me as an IPA. With the strong aroma up front, I felt the taste was lack luster. The hop character was dominated too much by the earthy malt character. Although, I will say that half way through this beer I found myself it enjoying it more. It definitely grew on me; fun brew to try, but not what one would expect.

cr0ckett, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of sholland119
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Kegatron for picking some of this up in MA.

A-Pours a rich orange amber with a quickly dissipating off white head.

S-Heavy biscuit malt outshines the hops. Some earthy hops peek through.

T-Lots of grainy malt in the front. Is there rye in this? Earthy hops leave a bitter finish, but the hop character is lacking here as well.

M-Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

O-Not bad. I would have liked a more ready hop presence here for the style. I'd like it better if it were a pale.


sholland119, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of alleykatking
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a coppery orange color that shows light haze to it. One finger light tan head shows light retention. Long streaks of lace left on the sides of the glass.

S- Tropical fruits galore. Tons of citrus, pineapple, and mango. Caramel malts show off more of a sweetness as well that goes along with the hops. Ending shows a little bit of alcohol which tingles the nose and light piney hops.

T- Sweet tropical fruits right off the bat in the hop bite. Caramel malts come out and stay with this beer being a good undertone overall. The piney hops come out a little bit more in the ending with the alcohol showing up in the very end for a nice crisp bite.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Tropical hops and light caramel malts left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly light alcohol, piney hops, and caramel malts. No real off flavors in this beer. Balanced overall with a perfect combo of sweetness and bitterness. Medium alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This was a very drinkable IPA and I drank a sixer very fast! The ABV is low enough that it doesn't do too much to destroy the palate and drinking many in a row is good. Another great beer from Short's!

alleykatking, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of GRPunk
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- A normal pour left a 1-finger, khaki head that dropped to a full film that left really good sticky spots on the glass. The body was a clean, deep gold-amber sporting medium-light carbonation.

S- Really interesting. Lots of citrus right off the bat. There's a definite fruity aspect. Something like pineapple/mango/peach (maybe some tropical fruit I don't even know about yet). A little earthy/herbal/tobacco quality peeks in. Sweet malts combine with the tropical fruit to even things out.

T- Nice, grainy backbone. Solid hop punch that's a combination of grassy and citrus. Bone dry finish. Not quite what the aroma suggests. A little more straight forward, but nice all the same.

M- Very dry feel. A solid hop bite. Moderate carbonation. Maybe, just maybe, a touch thin.

O- It's an easy drinker. I could see putting back a few in a single sitting. Pretty straight forward as IPAs go. One of Short's more traditional brews.

GRPunk, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of Jwale73
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in my Harpoon IPA Willibecker. No freshness dating. Pours a semi-hazy coppery-orange with a loose, frothy, half inch bright white head. Head eventually settles into a fairly consistent skim - tiny spots and thin slashes of lacing are revealed during the tasting. I'm really digging the nose on this - sweet citrus, grapefruit seeds and a suggestion of tropical fruit (perhaps mango). There's also a faint herbal quality that helps dissipate the fruity sweetness. Taste is interesting - characteristics present in the nose are also present in the flavor profile; however, there's something else going on as well - there's a slightly acrid character - piny hops and an earthiness akin to tobacco? Mouthfeel is light-medium with an assertive carbonation and a semi-dry finish. All and all a pretty good IPA, but the taste doesn't deliver on what is suggested by the nose.

Jwale73, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange yellow with 1 finger white head

smell: citrus, pine, hops, malts

taste: citrus, hops, malts, bitter dry finish

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body

overall: Wasn't a bad IPA just wasn't top notch. enjoyed it and would have again for sure.


THECPJ, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of steve8robin
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shorts brought some brews to local MA beer stores for a short period. 12oz bottle...

A: A murky medium / light copper with a tiny white bubble head that fades very quickly to bubbles atop the brew. Good.

S: A hop and bready malt blend upfront. Kind of almost too malty at first. Smells of apples and pineapple in the middle and some floral notes on the backend. Decent.

T: A hop flavor upfront with some floral notes quickly followed. Some pineapple in the middle and some piney hops on the backend. Good.

M: Medium body with a great carbonation. A piney hop finish. Good.

O: All in all, this is a decent IPA. Not incredible, but good. Try if you have access and like IPA's. Don't bother hunting.

steve8robin, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of Sdesenberg
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very citrusy pale ale with bright, crisp floral and citrus aromas. Clear orange in appearance with good head, and a pleasant, balanced taste. A little on the thin side, but would be excellent for refreshment on a hot summer day. Overall, not as good as Oberon or Two Hearted Ale by Bells, but still a good, crisp beer. I could see having these on ice for a nice summer evening of throwing bean-bags in the back yard with your buddies.

Sdesenberg, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of EricCioe
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours very clear gold with a two finger white head that leaves just hints of lace. On the nose there is a mixture of grapefruit and guava riding over top of a malt base that smells darker than average. It smells brown whereas most IPAs smell green. In the mouth there is the grapefruit and guava mixture that shows up in the mouth. Is there guava in this? I've had Short's guava IPA and this is sort of a much milder version of that. The malt base is dark and a little sweet, just enough to take the rough edges off of the guava and grapefruit. It's a little thin in the body for my preferences, but the finish is pleasantly medium with a nice bitterness lingering for a time. Overall I like this beer well enough, but the guava or whatever it is in the nose is a little offputting and it's a little thin for me.

EricCioe, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of Lunch
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I've always been a little disappointed by Short's, but I really respect their unique brewing perspective.

Bottle poured into a North Coast Old Rasputin nonic pint. Golden amber with some haze and 2 fingers of froth. Smell is mildly hoppy with notes of pine and a hint of citrus. Some caramel malt is in there as well. Taste is fine, but there are so many other great IPAs on the market that I feel this beer lacks that hop punch that the style necessitates. Not a bad beer, but so "balanced" that this is pretty much an APA.

I don't need to drink this ever again.

Lunch, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of Pellinore1
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kdub87 for sending this along.

Pours a nice, clear orange, producing about a finger of nearly white head. This fades eventually to some lacing.

The smell is all about the hops. Bright and citrusy, a very pleasant aroma.

The taste follows the smell, but includes more spicy and earthy notes. A bitter finish wraps the package up nicely.

Medium bodied, with pleasant carbonation, the mouthfeel is just fine.

Certainly an enjoyable IPA, though the taste doesn't quite match up to the smell. I'd gladly have it again, given the opportunity.

Pellinore1, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of vande
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A ~ a nice hazy golden, deep straw colored pour... originally, a quick poor leading to about a two finger topping

S ~ a nice smooth, citrusy hop nose going on... just on the smell, reminds me of easy drinking ipas of the past!

T ~ follows the nose on this one.. a touch sweet, a nice flavor of some citrus and bit of bitter on the back end...VERY easy to drink...wish I had picked up more than one!!

M ~ creamy and smooth...nice bodied IPA here

O ~ worth grabbin' if you see it around. I'd pick up more if given the chance-

vande, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of B0bD0bbselbock
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tumbler pint glass.

A- Hazy golden orange color with an amber tone. Whitish head, about 1 finger high, with pretty heavy lacing

S- Citrusy, hoppy, and spicy. I detect an orange rind aroma, which pairs well with the hops, with some floral elements present.

T- I really enjoy this one. My tongue detects a sweetness that compliments the bold citrus and hop elements. I do detect an orange rind element that i found in aroma as well. Kinda remind s of the cereal fruit loops, in some sense, only far better :)

M- Mild-mediumish bodied and bitter/astringent from the hops, and pretty nicely carbonated.

I feel this beer showcases another fine IPA brewed by Short's. To my mind, it delivers the elements that most any hophead would enjoy, as well as a high drinkablity, making this a nice session beer, especially during the warmer months of spring and summer- maybe something to enjoy on a lunch break, or several with/after dinner ;) Moreover, a great IPA for those who tread/stagger/swagger the humulus lupulus path.

B0bD0bbselbock, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of augustgarage
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to ShogoKawada for spreading the Short's! Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Princeton orange body with a gradient of lighter shades from orange peel to amber. A soft ghostly white apron of foam forms a lasting half finger seal. Rich soapy lacing, thick and sticky with faint legs.

Bright herbaceous hop aromatics with a blast of grapefruit and tangerine as well. Faint clean malt base as well.

Bright lemon-like palate entry with a woodsy/earthy element as well. The hops come forward mid-palate, suggesting mint and eucalyptus in addition to grapefruit zest and seeds. Finish is dry and faintly herbal. Perhaps a touch of aspirin.

Medium-bodied, well carbonated, and brisk mouthfeel.

Unique take on the style, though the promise of the nose wasn't really fulfilled on the tongue. Worth a try if you can get it.

augustgarage, Apr 14, 2011
Short's Controversi-ALE from Short's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 493 ratings.