Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 199 | Hads: 502
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
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.

 2,079 characters

More User Reviews:
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.

 530 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Mike for splitting this with me. Aged almost one year (2012 vintage). Pours a slightly red-tinted copper color with decent clarity and a light, off-white, wispy head that fizzles away in a short amount of time. The aroma is buckled down with a nice pungency of juicy oranges and tangerines. But not just any oranges - these are "blood" oranges.

I've never had a blood orange and I don't know exactly what they are, but if they're anything like blood diamonds, then I will not be having this beer ever again. I'm joking. But seriously, these oranges smell very fresh, ripe, and juicy. Light peppercorn on the nose mixes and fades in with the slight phenol character I'm picking up from the alcohol. It's not too strong, however - the oranges are always dominant. Light hop character, leafy and spicy, but not very "bitter" smelling.

This is another case of the taste being an exact replica of the smell in drinkable form. Oranges engulf the palate right out of the gate. For a second, they almost give a tart character - not quite puckering, but definitely borderline sour. Very fresh and vibrant as it slowly cascades into a bitter-sweetness. As this is happening, the phenol flavors come out a bit and the alcohol asserts itself - at 10% ABV, this beer is certainly no slouch.

Some other light citrus and grapefruit flavors are coupled with the oranges, but the orange definitely stands out the most. Peppercorns are barely noticeable, but can be found if you're looking. They provide a light spiciness that almost camouflages with the hop character - a mild leafy and herbal tone that adds more flavor than real bitterness. Medium-ish body, low-medium carbonation, smooth on the palate.

Another tasty beer from Shorts with another ingredient I've never tasted in real life and never would've thought to put in a beer. Nice execution with the "blood oranges" to give a very authentic and ripe flavor.

EDIT: 5/9/2013

Enjoyed a 2013 Anniversary Ale fresh. The blood oranges are a little more vibrant and assertive and the peppercorn is toned down just a touch, but it still an integral part of the brew. Hop character is also a bit more prominent. Mouth feel is better than I remember, and the juicy, sweet, and nearly tart blood orange finish is fantastic. Don't know if this is "better" fresh, or the 2013 batch was just a little more to my liking, but I've gotta bump the score. This is great stuff.

 2,422 characters

Photo of TCHopCraver
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes on 7/20/10.

A: The color of this beer has a ruby and garnet hue, like a "sailor's warning" sunrise over North Lake Leelanau. This is truly a beautiful beer. An off white 1/2 finger head fades to leave an attractive haziness on top. Dotty lacing meanders slowly down the sides of the glass.

S: BAM! BLOOD ORANGES! Really, that is the dominant aroma. Deeper inhales reveal the green peppercorn spice complement. I smell some wheatwine characteristics, but they are pretty much overpowered by the citrus and spice. This is a unique and pleasant smell.

T: Much more complex than the smell. The blood orange taste is evident throughout the sip and speaks primarily to the broad top of my tongue. The green peppercorn spice is also omnipresent and bites at the sides and tip of my tongue. The backside of each sip is where this beer really gets wild and crazy. At roughly the same time, the alcoholic heat, full, creamy malts, and bitter hops play like a trumpet fanfare on my palate. It is amazing to me how lasting an impression the bittering hops leave on my tongue, because for most of the sip, this is a sweet and spicy beer.

M: With the sweet citrus, spicy peppercorn, hefty malts, bitter finish, and the high alcohol content, there is a lot substance to this MF. It is perhaps medium bodied, but the component parts really titillate my palate.

D: This is a really large and interesting beer which I have had a couple of times now. But, with its aggressive spiciness, high a.b.v., and dry finish, I don't think this would be a 'drink often' beer for me.

 1,580 characters

Photo of SanFranJake
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 release

A - Pours a nice clear red-tinged reddish orange with minimal head and essentially no lacing.

S - Citrus and wheat are the dominant aromas. Citrus is more pulp than rind.

T -- Big citrus taste, both pulp and rind. Nice acidity, but not sour. A bit of bitterness. Wheat is also prominent. Finishes a little dry and bitter. Also nice pepper on the finish.

M - Has the pillowy (for lack of a better term) mouthfeel I associate with wheatwines. Sometimes this can be overwhelming, but not so in this case. Finishes with some lingering bitterness.

O - Pretty enjoyable wheatwine, and I enjoyed the citrus and pepper components.

 640 characters

Photo of CaeserTits
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Kori
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of warriorsoul
3.34/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Huge thanks to Greg (gcare02) for this hand off.
Pours a orange-red color, very clear and with a generous finger of light tan head. Fades quickly w/ minimal lacing.
Extremely inviting aromas of oranges, grapefruit, and a hint of peppery spice.
Taste is much less exciting than the aroma. Heat up front distracts the overall experience, but once past the alcohol shock, the blood orange flavor is there. The peppercorns take over midway through the flavor and continues on into the finish.
The dry hopped addition is mostly lost at this point, but the zest finds its way into the aftertaste and keeps me coming back for another taste to see what else is there.
Wheat malt keeps the mouthfeel quite thin....was hoping for a bit more depth w/ the abv.
Not quite the winner I was expecting, but super glad to get to try it.

 819 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Nellie and thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the oranges and wheat. The flavor is blood oranges, wheat and alcohol. There is a little bit of tartness in the flavor, but not as much as you would get in a sour ale. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very good beer.

 362 characters

Photo of Skye1024
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of LGB362
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 1Adam12
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of sculls65
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Juicy blood orange.. big beer that sneaks up on you

51 characters

Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark orange pour, glints of red, 5/8" head, this is a very dark orange, like the kind you see after a night of partying way too hard. Aroma, mild sweetness, not the usual citrus aroma a hophead would be used to.

Taste, blood orange all over this, sweet in a natural kind of way. The sweetness is really covering up so much of the alcohol. The peppercorn presence, I was not able to perceive.

Mouthfeel is nice, because even though this was drank at the end of July, it has that kind of mouthfeel that is made for summertime. The body is relatively light and easy going, and the alcohol is nowhere to be found. Nice caramel presence as well.

Quite the enjoyable beer, glad I still have one left, the only question is, when?

 727 characters

Photo of williamjbauer
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of glid02
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Lee - thanks!

Pours a bright and slightly hazy orange-red color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet light malts with large amounts of bright and sweet citrus aromas, halfway between orange and grapefruit.

Tastes even more robust than it smells. Sweet and smooth light malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by moderately sugary citrus fruits. The citrus dries out near the end of the sip and carries through to an ending reminiscent of the aftertaste of grapefruit juice.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was very impressed with how similar the flavor profile stayed to blood oranges. The sweetness was more robust than normal oranges and the citrus notes came through as much as any beer I've had previously. Very much worth a shot.

 995 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a dark burnt orange-red in color, thick and opaque. One finger of off-white head shows good retention and manages to leave a good amount of lacing, mostly leggy with some light patching, in good quantity on the glass.
The aroma is very much to par with expectations. Lots of orange and strongly so, with the particular sweet/sour blend that distinguishes blood oranges from the usual. The peppery note is easily detectable as well. A bit of wheat forms the backing for the rest of it.
The taste follows suit. The spice from the peppercorn is distinct, with an almost earthy vegetable element along with white pepper notes, all in a good way, behind sweet orange with just a bit of sourness and a touch of rind bitterness pulling through. The wheat is in here, but a stronger backbone would pull it all together to be even better, perhaps exceptional. It's certainly good, though.
There's no doubt this is crisp, and a medium body shows some depth to it, with a good smoothness that a little more of would serve to put this one a step above. It goes slightly slick in the mouthfeel toward the finish.

 1,112 characters

Photo of chuckgietzen
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Thanks to Marc for sending this one my way.

A: Poured an impressive copper/orange/red color with a one finger off-white head. Moderate retention and lacing.

S: A heavy dose of blood oranges, very inviting, especially for a wheatwine. Some orange zest and a bit of spice as well.

T: More orange and orange zest, a bit of wheat, and spices. There is a slight sweetness from some caramel/toffee malt.

M: Medium to full bodied, but not really thick - just a bit heavy and filling. Nice level of carbonation, slightly dry finish.

O: One of the best wheatwines I have had so far. The blood oranges gave it a nice flavor and made it much more drinkable probably. Does not seem like a 10% beer whatsoever.

 726 characters

Photo of Dawkins
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Anniversary Ale from Short's Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 199 ratings.