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Anniversary Ale - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anniversary AleAnniversary Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

199 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 199
Hads: 502
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 20.71%
Wants: 61
Gots: 70 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: hoppymeal on 05-08-2009

2009 Tap only
2010 Tap and bottle
2013 Tap and bottle

Same recipe every year, according to the brewer, though ABV varies slightly.

"Anniversary Ale~ A high gravity wheat wine made with blood oranges that render an alluring dark purple hue to the color. Flavor abounds from the spice of green peppercorns and tang from blood orange zest. Aggressive dry hop additions amplify the citrus overtones and spiciness found throughout. ‘Anni’ Ale typifies the full magnitude of Short’s Brewing Company by embodying all the complexities and fulfillment necessary to pay tribute to another year of brewing. 10% ABV 63 IBU's"
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 199 | Hads: 502
Photo of FlandersNed
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Tap. Lightly-hazy copper color., low off-white foam. Orangey/hoppy nose. Big green peppercorn & orange rind flavor. A bit boozy. Full body & medium to full carbonation.

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Photo of jlindros
3.54/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to rudzud for leaving this for me.

Pours a light fizzy bubbly head that fades fairly quickly, just a touch of lacing, semi clear slight hazy honey orange color.

Nose is interesting, there is def some big wheat wine, heavy wheat creamy like, with nice citrus orange, little rind, some blood orange, hint pepper and spices like a coriander thing, big orange cream, but also a little tart funk like a little lacto or weird Brett thing but not really sure it is, and it really fades and turns into an orange creamsicle as it goes.

Taste brings weird candy like, some booze and hot phenols, little alcohol heat, into mild peppery flavors, peppercorn, coriander like spices, etc, with a slimy esters I think, slimy and tangy perhaps some lacto infection but not so pleasant thing. Plenty of orange, little rind, blood orange flavor even, orange cream thing, with nice peppercorns. Plenty of creamy heavy wheat, wheatwine flavors, candy biscuity toffee and dried fruit. Finish is a bit boozy, slimy sticky feeling sweet and hot booze, esters, alcohol phenols, little peppercorn, more orange peel and orange cream, and wheat.

Mouth is fuller sticky almost syrupy, some warming booze, little creamy, nice carb.

overall eh, it has some nice characters, nice orange flavors and creamy wheat wine, but the booze is a bit weird with the phenols, almost tart lacto like notes but it doesn't seem like an infection or sour really, it's strange, hard to really tell what it is, nice peppercorns and orange in general. Interesting but hard to drink much of it.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden in color with a very slight haze. Not much head. Aroma is fruity, reminds me of canned mandarin oranges. The more I try and pull another fruit smell out of its aroma, the more it just reminds me of canned mandarin oranges again.

The taste is sweet while being slightly tart at the same time. I still notice those same canned mandarin oranges again. I'm not sure where the tartness is coming from, but it comes and goes. After awhile, the mandarin orange flavor becomes more of an orange peel or orange zest flavor.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, however the 10% alcohol is very well hidden inside of this beer somehwere. Could be more carbonated, possibly more crisp... but other than that I do like it, and would recommend it if you're into unique versions of this style or orange-y beers in general.


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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.69/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Beautiful bright orange color, almost no head. Citrusy aroma. Clean super sweet citrus burst of flavor that is powerful, even as it warmed up. This sweetness is followed by an almost opposite tart bitterness. This contrast did not work well for me. Easy drinking for the abv with little to no alcohol burn.

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Photo of SammyJaxxxx
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle dated 04/09/15.
A: A deep orange hue. I don't see the purple that is mentioned in the notes. A small head that quickly dissipates to a slight ring and minimal lacing.
S: orange and some bitterness a slight medicinal smell
T: Tastes almost like a screwdriver. Plenty of orange some hop kick and some bitterness from the zest
MF: a little syrupy and some alcohol burn.
O: interesting. reminds me of a juicy DFH Raison D' Extra. A good sipper.
the overall result is better than the some of its parts

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Photo of rudzud
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra in a trade. 2013 vintage according to my spread sheet.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a crystal clear honey hue with a thin quarter inch white head that fades to leave thin wisps and a light halo.

S - Aromas of slightly sweet malts, blood orange juice and zest, candy orange. Little bit of alcohol and old hops.

T - Taste is quite sweet. Sweet malts, blood orange juice and zest. Light caramel, no peppercorns. Finish is candied orange peel. Really neat, how much orange flavour is in this wheatwine. Alcohol is hidden well. Very candy orange like.

M - Mouthfeel is surprisingly carbonated, bit crisp. A bit syrupy, however, the alcohol is still hidden nicely.

O - Overall, this was a surprisingly nice beer from Short's. Really wasn't expecting the orange to be as prominent as it is. Completely shocked.

Serving Type: bottle

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Photo of hardysf
2.68/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was a fail by shorts in my eyes. Pours clear with a small head. Smells sweet and of citrus. Taste is a unbalanced mess. Sweet flavors, with an odd citrus (maybe guava). Up next is a bit of a sour flavor. Finishes with a spicy pepper flavor. I'm glad I decided to only buy a single instead of a six pack.

This brought back a lot of memories of bells Venus which also was a fail to me.

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Photo of mchegash
3.52/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - 3.5/5
Pours a deep, slightly golden orange. Moderately hazy. About half a finger of almost pure-white foam. Moderate amount of visible rising carbonation.

Smell - 4/5
Pineapple, mandarin oranges, floral hops, perhaps slight hints of spice. An overall quite attractive citrusy-fruitiness.

Taste - 3.5/5
Quite sweet. Blood oranges, pineapple, mandarin oranges, pine citrus hops, slight amount of bitterness near the end of the sip. Despite being 10%, no alcohol flavors detectable at all. Overall not a bad taste, just not really quite what I think a wheatwine should taste like.

Mouthfeel - 3.5/5
Medium bodied. Very smooth, with only a little bit of bitterness. Light to medium amount of medium-high intensity carbonation. Overall, I think I would have liked the feel to be thicker, as this is supposed to be a wheatwine, not a pale ale.

Overall - 3/5
Overall this wasn't really what I was expecting. I've only had one other wheatwine before, Pilgrim's Dole, and that tasted close-ish to a barleywine. And most barley wine have a taste in the same general area. I knew this would taste quite different because of the citrus elements, but this wheatwine tasted nothing like a barley wine. It tasted like a nice summery citrusy pale ale, or something like that. It was not a bad beer, just not really what I was looking for.

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Photo of MadeInTheMitten
1.73/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

Poured into my mouth, from a 12oz bottle. I've been waiting for this one! Let's see how it goes. First off, this has a kick in the teeth two-hearted ale taste (I'm not familiar with hop styles, so I'm not sure which I'm tasting. Closest thing I can think of is two hearted).. Followed by a faint orange taste. This beer is not my cup of tea. I could see many hop-heads loving this tho! It just isn't my particular "cup of beer". It sure does pack a buzz. I don't see myself opening up another bottle. Sadly. I was really looking forward to this one. Oh well, onto the next! I have five left if anyone is interested in a trade!

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Photo of justinp444
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear golden orange beer with a frothy foamy white head. Smell is of orange, citrus, blood orange, tons of malt, and a minor grassy/earthy smell. Taste is of blood orange and malt with a spicy background from the peppercorn. It's a mildly sweet beer with a medium body, mild carbonation and easy drinking.

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Photo of adapt313
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've had this out on draft, day old firkin, and out of the bottle, both fresh and up to three years old now. I absolutely love short's anniversary. It is far from the most complex wheatwine I've tasted but it is just bursting with fresh blood orange flavor that never comes off as artificial in any way. It is refreshingly tart and easy drinking for a 10% ale which makes it a dangerous drink on a summer day. I am far from a short's fanboy, infact I'm not really a big fan of them as a whole but anniversary ale is fantastic.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.71/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hotpipes29 for this bottle! Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Peg's snifter glass.

A: Dark tan and very murky with a thin white head and a medium amount of visible carbonation.

S: Bright orange citrus, boozy, and rich underlying malts.

T: Tart pulpy blood oranges, some ethanol sweetness and heat, bready and grainy malts with some wheat husk on the back end. Tart, mildly peppery and some malt sugars in the hang.

M: Medium body, carbonation sensation on the low side. The alcohol presence is noticeable but not obnoxious.

O: I thought this was fairly enjoyable, although the predominance of the blood orange flavor eliminates any illusion of complexity. But, it's a natural pleasant flavor to find in the beer. Glad to have tried this one.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.81/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this one from a grumbler (10th Anni) at the brewpub last summer, took it to a family reunion, and drank it out of red Solo cups. This ale was something special even in those circumstances. This year (11th Anni), poured from the bottle into tulip, pours a clear golden orange with a finger of fizzy head that dissolves quickly to a small ring around the edges, no lacing to speak of.
Aroma is huge on the nose, right from the bottle. Citrus hops and blood orange, sweet caramel malts. Every now and again, a whiff of booze, but it's never overpowering.
The taste is like biting into the juiciest of oranges with a small bitter and tart bite balancing out any excess sweetness. A bit of wheat ale lurks. Some heat and pepper bite on the backend. This one is bold in aroma and flavor, lots going on and all of it enjoyable. The ABV is dangerously subtle.
Hope Short's Anniversary Ale is around for many years to come

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Photo of MasterfulIdiot
3.59/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

10th anniversary edition (2014) poured into an Ikea snifter. The pour kicks up a relatively modest cream-colored head that fades quickly and leaves no lace to speak of. The liquid itself is a nice transparent gold with amber hues.

Wow - aroma is a citrus knockout! It's not the bright orange or lemon that I normally think of when I think citrus, it's a lot darker and more floral than that, making me think of plums and raspberries. I guess this is what blood orange smells like, but I'm not at all well-versed in semi-obscure citrus fruits. I also get hints of a caramel sweetness.

Flavor follows the aroma pretty closely, with some surprising bitterness from an herbal hop presence thrown in on the finish. The fruit flavor here is really wonderful. However, with the caramel sweetness, fruit sweetness, and then finishing bitterness, it ends up feeling almost too sweet and too bitter at the same time. Still, the flavors are pretty nice, just not necessarily in conjunction with each other. I was a little underwhelmed with how the flavor compares to the aroma. Still, the flavor from the blood oranges is really wonderful, so I have to give it some points for that!

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with somewhat heavy carbonation, which is nicely pleasant.

Overall, there was some really nice fruit flavor, but it didn't really come together on the palate for me.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra as part of a great trade with BA ThickNStout. Enjoyed out of a 12 oz brown bottle with no discernible dating--that said, I know this releases in May, so it's either a month or 12 months old. Poured into a large snifter glass.

Appearance - Pretty standard appearance for a wheat wine, with a slightly cloudy, ruddy orange hue with hints of rust coloration in the body. I don't really see the purple hue that the blood oranges supposedly impart. Atop the body is a frothy one finger head with a smattering of larger bubbles from the pour, but mostly densely-packed microbubbles. Retention is moderate, and it leaves sparse silky lace on the glass as I drink it down.

Smell - Bright citrus and acidity are the primary components, with an underlying alcoholic astringency. There is a very heavy presence from the blood orange, making this particular take on a a wheat wine more citrusy than I've ever had before. It really kicks up the inherent citrus notes that can come through in the style, but it's not a hoppy citrus.

Taste - Picking right up where the smell left off, this time with a big pungent explosion of citrus that borders on tart, but without any of the puckering feeling that you get from beers that tend towards the sour. It's pure fruit essence tartness rather than wild yeast/bacteria tartness. There is a subtle hint from the green peppercorns, with just a bit of herbal spice, but it's hard to detect, as I don't think I've had green peppercorns before. On the finish, there are subtle notes of caramel and vanilla sweetness, but it's very much subservient to the big citrus from the blood orange. The heat that was present in the smell isn't nearly as pronounced in the taste.

Mouthfeel - Medium-to-light bodied with moderate carbonation and a slightly tart, juicy feel on the palate. A hint of sweetness on the aftertaste.

Overall, a really interesting beer and incredibly refreshing for such a high level of alcohol. Based on the flavors, I'm going to guess that this is the 2014 release--the orange flavor is just so fresh and juicy.

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Photo of stortore
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. 2014 release.

My last 2014. Pours a nice looking orange with a small, dissapating head, some lacing. Blood oranges come through really well in the smell, as do the peppercorns. Also some malt and citrusy hops. Taste continues a strong orange presence, a lttle more malty than the nose. Peppercorns and hops not as strong as the nose, but they're still there. Some light bitterness on the back end. Great flavor. I do not find it to be overly sweet, as others have. Solid body, ABV is well hidden for the style

Really good wheatwine. The orange presence is big and flavorful, but it's a really well balanced beer. Try it if you can.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a cloudy dark amber with a one-finger white head. The head dissapates quickly leaving some light lacing.

S - Big aroma of blood orange and orange rind.

T - Follows the aroma. Big burst of blood orange, grapefruit, and orange zest right upfront. A little bit of malt bring in some sweetness. Finish is bitter citrus peel.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation. Clean crisp mouthfeel.

O - Just like the description on the bottle. Definetly worth trying for the uniqueness.

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Photo of whatthehull
5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

July 28th 2011 (from notes)

A - an almost cloudy blood red, one finger orange/brown head and little lacing

S - Wow, wine, tons of fruit, very sweet and sour, tons of hops and citrus, citrus and more citrus

T - very fruit, orange, lemon, lime, tons of wheat, sweet yeast, nice hoppy bitterness, some fresh cut wheat grass, lots of fruit wine notes and a bit sour

M - chewy, full body, low acidity, well balanced, medium complexity and long finish

D - well, this is different. Very fruity, some hops, big yeast and wheat. So if you are a hop head you may like it, yeast type person you may like it and same for wheat. This beer is more for someone looking for a change of pace and something without much of a genre and just good tasting. One of the best beers I have EVER had. Wow. My new favorite style!

Final thought - 10% and awesome. Wow. thank you shorts brewing and marcatgsb!

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Photo of zeledonia
2.09/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.25

Tasted 22 January 2014.

Pours a deep amber with rusty orange hue. A thin layer of yellowish head, gone quickly, little lacing.

Smell is really intriguing. Some sweetness, and a bunch of orange with a moderate bite. It's got some zip, both from the citrus and the light spice. But there's something a little off about it.

Taste is just awful. Starts out pleasant enough, mildly sweet with zippy citrus. But it quickly devolves into horribly astringent bitter, like the nasty drying bitterness of grapefruit rind. I'm only taking a few sips to finish this review, and then I'm dumping it. I have negative desire to drink this.

Feel is fine, I suppose, if I can get by that horrible taste. Medium-bodied, kinda sticky, enough carbonation.

They put something in this beer that they shouldn't have. Maybe some part of the blood orange? Whatever it is, it gives the flavor a powerful and unpleasant bitterness. I like plenty of bitter beers, but this is just nasty. An unhesitating, unquestioned drainpour.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A-orange amber color with a smallish off-white head and a little lacing

S-caramel malt, orange, spice, hint of brown sugar

T-malt, orange, caramel, toasted malt, slight sweetness, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-an interesting ale, good flavor, a unique ale

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Photo of Ri0
4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into teku.

A - Pours a deep apricot orange with 2 finger head that is eggshell. Fades quickly and leaves a very thin ring and some lacing around the glass.

S - Just wow, I could smell this right away when I started to pour. Huge aromas of blood oranges, citrus, with a sweet malty backbone. I'm sure there is a wheat beer in there, but the blood oranges smell so good!

T - Blood oranges, grapefruit, lemon peel, loaded with citrus flavor! Again the wheat base is hard to pick out and a mild sweetness of malts fills the middle. I can slightly find the notes of the green peppercorns on the finish. Some alcohol is present.

M - Medium to light body, excellent carbonation.

O - As my first Wheatwine, I love it! I'm sure they are not all this citrusy, but this was excellent. I need to convince Dan Cary from New Glarus to make one of these. He sure knows his way around wheat beer. Excellent work Shorts!

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Photo of grrrah
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Clear, burnt orange/copper. No head with a very thin white collar. No lacing and very little carbonation.

Smell: Loaded with citrus, mostly grapefruit and orange pulp.

Taste: Grapefruits and blood oranges. Rich and juicy with a citrus juice tart. Wheat adds carame to the fruits. Not getting much booziness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a little more carbonation than appears. Slick and smooth. Clean finish almost like the carbonated juice drinks.

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Photo of jbaker67
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy reddish orange color with a small 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lacing cap that lingers. Slight spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of huge orange, orange zest, orange rind, grapefruit, peppercorn, caramel, coriander, bread, floral, grass, earth, and herbal. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity; with a huge citrus presence as expected. Taste of big orange, orange zest, caramel, grapefruit, orange rind, coriander, peppercorn, floral, grass, earth, and herbal. Light citrus rind tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of orange, citrus rind, grapefruit, peppercorn, coriander, caramel, toast, floral, earth, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic citrus and peppery flavor balance with nice complexity; zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jas45678 for the bottle.

Appearance: Slight chill haze on a dark burnt orange/copper. Head is non-existent with a small white collar. No lacing or carbonation. Pretty.

Smell: Loaded with citrus. Rich earthy blood orange and huge grapefruit push. Juicy orange flesh with some zest and oily rind. Sharp bite of alcohol. Nice soft spice runs through the back. Deeply caramelized runs from straight sugar to caramel to a touch of toffee. Some wheat in there as well. Orange soaked in booze.

Taste: Straight up blood orange. Rich and juicy with a slightly tart finish. Wheat adds a nice compliment, bringing in something almost earthy. Grapefruit oil and zest play in the back. Big sweet maltiness add caramel and toffee. Alcohol heat grows as it warms, but it's a lot less aggressive than the nose. So much blood orange it's actually impressive. Slight hint of soft spice, it's really minimal. Bitter orange rind. Straight up juice. Lacks a little malt depth, one note after the blood orange.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with minimal carbonation. Slick and smooth. Finishes clean with no lingering alcohol heat.

Overall: Hey, it tastes like the description on the bottle!

I've had less than great experiences with Short's and their crazy concoctions. This one actually drinks like a glass of blood orange juice with a little wheat and caramelized sweetness. Damn is it tasty.

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Photo of bigaltemple
3.51/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, golden orange. White head shrinks to a thin halo. No real lacing to speak of. Pretty good show of effervescence though.

Seems to be as advertised. Get a lot of wheat, along with all things orange. Bright and sharp zest, as well as some sweet pulp.

Immediate thought is pink grapefruit. Seems to be some sweetness trying to fight its way out, but the grapefruit characteristic is too overpowering. Some orange rind mingles in as it warms a little. Also able to pull out some of the wheat notes. Mouthfeel is refreshingly crisp and wet.

Interesting brew, and an okay summer drink, but not something I would actively seek out again.

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Anniversary Ale from Short's Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 199 ratings.