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

very good
203 Reviews
For Trade:
Short's Controversi-ALEShort's Controversi-ALE

Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

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.

Added by oberon on 09-09-2007

User Reviews
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Reviews: 203 | Ratings: 594
Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into standard pint. Bottle dated 3/28/12. Thanks, Bob!

A - Pours a copper color with slight haze. Very little head apart from a thin film on the surface. Minimal lacing.

S - Dank grapefruit, bready malt, pine hops. Great smelling beer.

T - There is a huge citrus (grapefruit) presence combined with a bitter pine. The simcoe hops were put to good use. Balanced by the malt just enough to mellow and make it very easy drinking. The finishing hop bite is more refreshing than bitter.

M - Medium, borderline light, body with good carbonation.

O - I had heard alot about this beer, mostly about the controversial depiction of "hangin' Frank," not much about the taste. This was a very impressive brew that I would call an APA, but the line is a blurry one, so the IPA classification doesn't bother me at all. It is very drinkable with a dank, citrus hop flavor that is never very bitter or abrasive. This is a fantastic session-able beer that I wish I had regular access to.

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Photo of 33nickadams
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden amber color with no head. Very little carbonation. Almost completely opaque. Hoppy smell with notes of citrus and earthiness. Taste is the same as the nose. Nice and light mouthfeel. This is a good beer, but would probably choose other IPAs over this. I would like it with more carbonation.

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Photo of korguy123
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle in pint glass.

A- Clear orange pour with a two finger tight bubbled head. Lacing is excellent.

S- Pine and delicious citrus aroma. There is a slight soapy aroma.

T- Slight astringent hop taste. It's not pine, but there is a slight pine, it's not citrus, but there is grapefruit and mandarin. The review below me mentioned dandelions and I agree with that completely.

M- Medium bodied, good carbonation. Slightly sticky on the lips.

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Photo of emerge077
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served up in a tulip glass, this beer pours a hazed sunset orange shade. Thin skim across the top, not much head really.

Pungent at first, slightly resiny and green, hint of the dank and touch of cat box, thanks Simcoe. Eucalyptus and grainy pale malt come through after it sits for a bit.

Dry and bitter, resiny with some grapefruit and candied orange peel notes, dandelion greens, lightly earthy, grainy pale malt following up and lingering into the resiny, bitter aftertaste. Light body, airy feel with light carbonation. Not all that different from Prolonged Enjoyment, or local favorite Daisy Cutter.

Thanks to Justin for the trade...

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled 2/27/2012. Pours hazy golden amber color with a dense 1-2 finger off white head with good retention that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big orange, pineapple, mango, pine, herbal, floral, honey, caramel, and light biscuit. Very nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, pine, orange, floral, caramel, honey, biscuit, and herbal spiciness. Nice amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pine, citrus, caramel, biscuit, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a bit. Great balance of flavors with bitterness. Medium carbonation and body; with a slightly creamy and very smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden at 5.5% with only a slight warming well after the finish. Very smooth and easy to drink as well. Overall this is an excellent IPA that actually fits more into the pale ale category. Excellent fruity hoppiness; with great balance and very smooth drinking.

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Photo of ClarkstonBeerGuy
4.94/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great flavor & aroma! I just tried it for the first time last weekend when a friend brought a 6-pack by... Had to go out and pick up a couple 6-packs a couple days later! I'm dreading the day they stop brewing it! Short's has so many great brews, thinking about putting together a road trip!

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Photo of elNopalero
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a clear golden-straw color with big bubbles and low foam.

There is an upfront grassy-pine aroma. Reminds me of thick pine sap from a northern Michigan forest, perhaps? There’s even more of that sappy thick piney resiny flavor when you drink it. Great upfront hop flavor and bitterness that carries through the finish. Don’t judge a bottle by its label. Or its name.

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Photo of andrewjraab
2.95/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - a deep and dark burnt orange with 2 inches of thick white head after an aggressive pour. Nice lacing and stick.

S - Floral, hoppy, grapefruit, piney. A very pungent pop to this brew.

T - Punchy hoppy opening that smacks you in tongue, but a weird almost soapy finish.

O - I'm a bit disapointed in this one. Perhaps just not my mix and style for an American IPA. Taste brings bong water to my head. Something off with this one. I wont try this again for awhile.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Stephen. Thank you for the opportunity!

From box, to fridge, to goblet within a few short hours. Pours a hazed medium orange with some soapy islands along the edges after settling. Lacing is relatively lame.

Whiffs on alcohol on the nose. Slightly unsettling for a beer this size. Jammy apricot and toast mingle with a nectary sweetness.

Not nearly as hoppy as the nose, at least in the fruits department. Big on toasted sunflower seeds. Sourdough toast and seeds lay an interesting foundation for the hops. Hops play marmalade, slightly catty as well. Big drying bitterness at the finish really strangles the life out the what comes before.

Juiciness is summarily pummeled by the drying finish.

I'm happy to have tried this. While not in my wheelhouse, it was an easy drink at an appreciate abv. I'd certainly drink this again if presented the opportunity.

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Photo of gustogasmic
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 20oz snifter. ruby-amber. A tiny 1/4" head lasts about 40 seconds. Nearly transparent. Light but constant bubble action. Lacing is nice, at first clumpy but then sparse.

Smells good-
Pineapple and grapefruit in light flowers and sweet honey. Blood oranges. Pungent, tangy, tropical.

Like the description says, this drinks like a pale ale. My initial reaction was upset- the pungency of the aroma is as big as some DIPAs, but this is a sessionable IPA. Realize this. Embrace it. Refresh. Earthy hops give way to a hard bitterness I've come to associate with Short's hop profiles. There are sweet orange fruits under the dirt-hop bitterness, and the mouthfeel opens them up well. Still, the aftertaste is dirty hop, not floral or fruit. This is a love it or hate it, and, personally, I like the amount of bitterness hops can provide and embrace IPAs like this one or New Holland Mad Hatter... from time to time. But after that huge aroma, it's sad that all that fruit-stand character gets squished right away by this borderline bitterbomb!

I would be very down to session this next to Stone Levitation and Founder's All Day. But it would be the #3 of that bunch.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.69/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle to tulip. Pours clear golden with large white head. Astringent aroma with mostly pine on the nose, very little malt presence. Heavy bitterness that nicely fades into a refreshing grassy hop flavor, rather low on overall flavor, and could use some more sweetness and malt backing. Medium-light mouthfeel, high carbonation, bit of dryness. Decent enough but won't go back and there are plenty better options on the shelf.

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Photo of samyoung
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cost Plus Eastern Market pick-up: anyone in Detroit wanting anything Shorts should really check them out.

Simple label, black and white. No date.
Pours somewhat cloudy with slowly dissipating white laced head. Burnt orange. Smells of sweet strawberries and citrus with great hop aroma. Hits weaker than expected - the smell leads you to believe big IPA yet in reality some citrus and medium to low bitterness. Nice lingering funkiness.

Very interesting brew. What is it? IPA or simply PA. Short's is king in this arena- experimentation, creativity, controversy...

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Photo of kalkavekkian
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of my favorite Short's beers. Had picked up a six pack the other day and decided it was time for a review. Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Clear, burnt orange glow with a sticky but lasting head. Smell was strong pine and citrus with a slight malt overtone. Tasted very hoppy but smooth with some fruit hints and a nice bold mouthfeel. Strong finish with some hops lingering. I will always grab some of this when i can.

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Photo of TheStove
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into Southern Tier tulip. Bottle opened with a good amount of carbonation.

Pours a cloudy deep orange with a light yellow color near the bottom. A slight half finger of foam sticks around even after a few seconds. Smells great; awesome aromas of varying citrus (lemon, grapefruit) and even slight white grape overtones.

The grapefruit flavors and light orange and lemon are brought forth from the hops almost right away the linger and mix with other hop flavors before finishing with a slight malt kick and hop bitterness. Lingering flavors are almost biscuit like, as noted after a bitter bread burp (no food consumed).

A great IPA and what I like most about the style; showcasing diversity of hops' flavors instead of ruining the bitter part of your taste buds. This one tastes stronger than the 5.5% it's billed at but has enough flavor to hang with any of them. There's a time and place for hop bombs but I this one isn't just another IPA.

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Photo of BBP
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of FreshSars
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.16/5  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.

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Photo of oline73
3.36/5  rDev -12%
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.

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Photo of lurpy1
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of Dope
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of aasher
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.21/5  rDev -16%
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

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Photo of iadler
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of warnerry
3.83/5  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.

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Short's Controversi-ALE from Short's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 203 ratings.