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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 SpdKilz
4.44/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to erikkoppin for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours a ruddy color into my RR tulip. At first I see no head even with a relatively vigorous pour, however, thankfully small bubbles begin to filter up giving less than a finger of quickly dissipating head that leaves minimal lacing.

Smell - An utter amazing nose. Ripe, juicy citrus notes permeate the air (mostly orange), along with plenty of zest and peppery spices. Honestly, this has to be one of the better, if not the best smelling beers I've encountered. I would almost be content just sitting here, smelling this beer all night.

Taste - Wow, the orange is heavily present right off the bat...so much so I have never tasted such fruit in a beer of this nature. After the initial citrus blast there is a kick of peppery spices. These flavors meld together and complement each other surprisingly and appropriately well. The first couple sips I didn't taste any alcohol presence, which is quite an accomplishment for such a high abv beer. After a few mores sips I still do not taste it in the sip, but I can feel the gradual warming of my throat. Holy cow - this beer is fantastic.

Mouthfeel - Quite thick, low carbonation, dry finish not unlike some wines, and as stated, a nice warming sensation from the alcohol.

Drinkability - A sipper for sure. What an interesting beer; granted what was I expecting from Short's? I am very thankful I was able to try this style and beer in general. Haven't had many beers really surprise me lately so needless to say I am happy this beer blew me away. The way the sweet orange and peppery spices mix, the dryness, tartness, alcohol warmth...everything just makes this beer complete. Well done Short's.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this as an extra in a super trade with Kbeals... shared with the boys... Huge thanks Kevin!!

Big eggshell head ... fluffy.. dies pretty quick leaving behind little lacing... The brew is deep orange.

Citrus and mild spice dominate the nose.. little in the way of malts in the bruising citrus assault.

Flavor is pithy and still plenty citrusy, yet less than the aroma... peppercorns add a unique spiciness.. pale malts are there only in subtle sweetness.. thicker body and a lighter than expected carbonation.

Sam, Eric and I were debating the ABV... because we could not pick it out at all.

Very cool Kevin... Soooo stoked I had the opportunity to try this one pretty fresh.


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Photo of techfed87
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice orange head. Color is a reddish amber.

Smell is very floral, with a nice, sour hoppy characteristic to it.

First sip is very hoppy, but at the same time quite circus-filled as well, almost like a grapefruit.

One of the big selling points of this beer comes from the blood oranges that they add to it, and I can say it really gives life to the flavor.

A very delicious beer and an excellent way to celebrate their sixth year of production. Very good job, Shorts!

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Photo of drxandy
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz to chimay goblet

pours a delicious cherry wood, deep reddish amber, off white head fades quick but lacing hangs on forever

smells of amazing, this is truly the best smelling beer i think i've ever smelt. zesty citrus, simcoes?, if not fermented blood oranges and simcoes smell like they would go hand in hand, slight solvent alcohol on the back (when warm), amazing.

taste is of citrus pith off the bat, hop bitterness is light and in the background but the blood oranges hide it well, heavy on the zest. Very sweet malt and maybe blood orange juice are balanced in the finish by pith and dry hopping, spicy peppercorns in the middle - just enough to say hello. Alcohol hides very well, when warm you can smell/taste it but don't care because there's so much going on (in a good way). oh man.

mouthfeel is creamy with head, as it fades it becomes an adventure, lingering zest and hop oils, sweet, hot (without a burn), wow.

overall the abv puts it out of sessionablity, but who cares - this beer is fantastic, my favorite from shorts and prob. one of my favorites of all time, a ton going on at once but still in harmony which is a rare treat, wish i would have gotten a full 6pack instead of 2 singles

i want to try it aged but don't think i would have the discipline to do so.. yum

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

I tackled this anniversary wheat wine with a snifter. It poured a minimum head that dissipated rather quickly. The color had lovely hues of dark red on an amber background that captured the light when held up in a way that made the whole thing quite brilliant. I was literally captivated by the appearance of this beer.

The initial scent for me was sweet, with alcohol present. Orange was prominent for me, not surprisingly, along with bits of peppery spice. As it warmed a little, I also get some buttery notes, diacetyl like, that reminded me of a Chardonnay. It's entirely possible my mind was playing tricks on me, because there is a lot going on in this aroma, but for a good 5 minutes I swore I smelling a good glass of wine, not beer.

The flavor was smooth and insanely fruity, bursting with blood red orange, starting sweet and finishing tart. Some light spice follows you throughout this beer, mingling with acidity from the fruit, almost teasing you throughout your journey. There is a nice acidic finish and a buttery caramel flavor that lingers. It has a medium full body and light carbonation. Highly drinkable as a good night cap.

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Photo of oregonskibum
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Color is a clear, dark red color that fades to orange right at the edges. Pours with a thin white head with a noticable fizziness. Fades almost immediately to a flat appearance.

S: Smell is very fruity, sweet. Strawberry, cranberry. Orange is there, but very faint. Some faint spiciness from the pepper is present as well. Not picking up any malts or hops in the smell.

T: The orange definitely shows up on the taste. And the pepper too. Interesting. Unlike any beer or wheatwine I've had before. Taste is hard to characterize, but surprisingly good. Obviously the orange, but other citrus flavors as well. No strong malt presence. Some faint bitterness. Finish has a pleasant orange flavor with some tangy notes from the pepper. Some faint warmth on the finish, but minimal.

M: Medium body that just lightly coats the tongue. Carbonation is moderate and makes for a lively drinking experience.

D: Interesting, but quite nice. Just a touch too much pepper on the finish, but overall, easy to drink. Not sure if I'll hunt this out again, but glad I got to try this.

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Photo of BMoney575
4.48/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 6-22-10

Pours a clear but very deep red color, with a filmy white head that settles to a thin ring around the edge.

Smell is hardcore fruity and sweet, sugar-coated strawberry jumps right out. The malt is a little deeper, adding a little beery character and slight earthiness.

Taste is all orange, with an enormously spicy, peppery kick. The fruit flavors are very delicate, and nicely complement the slick alcohol kick that comes next. The finish and aftertaste are dominated by the spiciness, which actually goes with the orange flavors. Very different, and very good.

Mouthfeel is extremely thick and syrupy, perfect form the strong booze quality and sweet fruity flavors.

Drinkability is remarkably good, this one will catch up with you in a hurry.

Overall, the spicy flavors balance what would be an epically sweet beer, making it something new and unique. Excellent.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a dimpled English "pot " pint glass
Burgundy in color, with a rather short head of quickly dissapating foam
Aroma-Orange citrus, fruity, some subtle hop notes
Taste-Tart oranges, fruity, spicy,astringent.
Low carbonation, and a dry, wine-like finish, with some warming alchohol that hangs around.
Overall, very wine-like: Dry, tart, fruity and little carbonation. Not really my favorite style, but it follows form pretty well.

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Photo of jt31914
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Glad I got to taste this, but at the end of the day I found it to be just a little bit weird for my taste. It is dark amber with no head or lacing. Smells like oranges and mango and tastes like wheat and oranges. Very citrusy and odd; not very drinkable to me due to the syrupy mouthfeel and the odd citrus. Pretty good, but also weird, which makes sense for Short's.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

$2.70 for a 12oz bottle, selling in 6'ers at the time of this review. A wheat wine fermented with blood orange and blood orange zest, dry hopped, and spiced with green peppercorns.

Pours out to a lightly cloudy mahogany with orange highlights, forming a small white head with minimal lacing. Mild carbonation. The aroma hits you right up front with a ton of orange juice. This literally smells just like orange juice. Nicely mixed in is the pleasant grapefruit of the hops, kinda like an IPA, and in the distant, the pepper is faintly evident. The mouthfeel is huge...bold and syrupy with a huge body. The taste is a recap of the aroma, yet even better, which is a testament to Joe's brewing expertise. It's definitely a wheat wine, but overlying it all is the orange and pepper. I wish the pepper were a bit stronger, with a touch of heat like the Nicie Spicie. As it is, the pepper is relatively faint...you only get the heat in the aftertaste. The orange adds an interesting tartness to the wheat wine base. Unfortunately, there is a prominent oxidized ruddiness of wet newspaper in the aftertaste and when combined with the heat of the alcohol and sourness of the oranges, severely limits it's drink-ability

A very interesting beer that you won't find anywhere else. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of moosiz
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to snifter this anny ale is fruit juice red in appearance but with a closer look mellow golden accents are also apparant in the edging of the glass. White flat film cap retreats to the sides of the glass quickly. No active carbonation present.

Smells amazing. The orange is there and blends seemlessly with a deep hop aroma to make something kickass. Boozy apricot/brandy comes out as well.

Tastes bitter sweet. Blood orange (go figure), grapefruit, and spice with a hot boozy kick.

Flavor assaults the tastebuds but never gets to crazy. relatively dry finish with solid biting flavors that linger for a minute. Smooth slick mouthfeel.

Very drinkable.

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Photo of 33nickadams
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a- reddish orange, semi-translucent, very little head

s- smells like cranberry orange

t- sweet and citrusy

m- goes down smooth and quick

d- very warm, lots of alcohol, could probably only have one at a time

Great beer! I am impressed with the creativity of Short's brewery. They don't disappoint and I think they are always worth a try.

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Photo of MIMicrobrews
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6-pk of bottles from my local store. Poured and enjoyed out of a belgian tulip glass.

A: Very much dark red in color, as if it were cherry juice. Pours with a little head and little to no retention.

S: Smells tart, like citrus & orange peels (amazingly enough!). I get a hint of alcohol underneath.

T: The taste is what truly makes this brew. For a wheat wine, I've never tasted anything like this. Very smooth, great mix of fruits, citrus and orange flavor. As if the blood oranges were poured directly into the glass. There's a tiny bit of heat in the end, but overall, it's very smooth.

M: It's a little syrupy, but it doesn't take away from the taste at all.

D: For an ABV peaking over 11%, but fine concoction is amazingly smooth. Definitely has great drinkability. So much so, I'm about to grab another.


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Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Derek for sending one of these my way recently. Opened up at a tasting yesterday.

A: The pour is a dark red (perhaps ruby red) color with a nice off-white head.

S: Tons and tons of sweet and mildly sour blood oranges in the nose. A really soft but noticeable peppery aroma as well. Quite interesting but strangely inviting.

T: The oranges are just as strong as in the nose. In addition to the oranges, there is a bit of a grapefruit note and the pepper is much more subdued. A nice sweet caramel note in the background as well.

M: Quite full bodied and a really nice amount of carbonation, which you don't always get out of a growler.

D: Another cool beer from Shorts. I liked the addition of the fruit in this one and found it to be a bit sweet and at nearly 12% ABV, this is one that you need to drink with caution.

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Photo of marcobrau
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red with a decent amount of carbonation in my tulip-shaped glass. Smells of blood oranges, soft cheese rind and rose water, but also a bit musty and metallic. The aroma gets much more complex and floral as the beer warms up to room temperature. Tastes tart with blood oranges melding with the hops in a peculiar way. Green peppercorn emerges towards the finish with ample bitterness. A touch metallic and tart. Slightly tannic in the finish when cold, but gets juicier with more peppery heat as it warms up. Surprisingly dry for a wheat wine and rather potent. Filtered with no yeast apparent. A very interesting beer that definitely gets better as it warms up to room temperature. Some of the individual flavors almost seemed offensive at colder temperatures, but as the warms up it's magic.

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Photo of alexgash
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle.

Ruby body with a bright sheen. Small, gauzy, off-white head. Good lacing; not much retention. Rich nose with lots of fruit: pomegranate, strawberry, mandarin orange, and fruit cocktail. Reminiscent of sangria. Hints of alcohol mix in, lending some complexity, along with a bit of banana bread. Very fruity!

Fruity tartness greets the tongue, along with a bit of peppery bitterness. Rhubarb and tart cherry pie follow, before a nice dollop of fruity sweetness. Strawberry, mandarin orange, and sweet cherry come through. Hints of toffee and banana bread sneak in along with some warming alcohol. Fruity tartness picks up near the finish. Woody, oaky bitterness in the finish with plenty of lingering fruit. Very nice. More tartness than expected, but it balances the sweetness nicely. Medium-full body with low carbonation for a smooth, flattish feel. Happy anniversary Shorts!

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Photo of younger35
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this brew from Northernbrews in a recent trade. Shared this beer with a buddy while grilling. Drank from my Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a dark crimson orange with a beautiful one finger creamy tan head. A decent cap and thick collar remains along with plenty of rich sticky lacing. Great looking brew.
Smell- Surprisingly peppery with a spicy kick to start. The blood orange is really apparent too as the beer is fruity and fairly vibrant. Lightly sweet with a touch of caramel and butterscotch.
Taste- Plenty of orange to start with the sort of bitter citrus that is unmistakably blood orange. The peppercorns seem more noticeable in the nose but taste wise but there is a light sort of spiciness but not a huge bite of pepper. Surprisingly, not sweet but very rich and bitter. Not sure if it's the hops or blood orange but I'm leaning towards the later.
Mouthfeel- Big and rich and full with a light spritzy feel from the medium carbonation
Drinkability- Not bad. Thank god I had help drinking this growler as there is no way I'd be able to put the whole thing down. Very tasty and super unique but two glasses were plenty. Thanks much Jeff!!

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Photo of webmanspidey
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Short's... a dark orange/brown color poured into a snifter.

This is an interesting mix of a beer.. smell is very citrus-like, but an abnormal type of citrus for a beer.. a very heavy orange as opposed to the usual grapefruit and lemon. As hoppy and piney as is typical for a strong IPA, but the powerful orange flavor puts a unique twist on it.

Fairly alcoholic, very unique and interesting.

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Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the brewpub, a wheatwhine with a lot of oranges and peppercorn. Dark brown and lacey. Full mouthfeel. Malty and licorice. Refreshing and how this would be amazing with a meal. Was fairly average in aroma, not as complex as expected. Had aged in bottle form, and was very rich, thanks Steve! same rating.

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Photo of HopHobo
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this on tap at the anniversary party in May and totally forgot to review it. Lucky for me we were at Short's on 8/1/09 and they still had it on tap.

The first time I had this beer I remember it came with a blood orange that I eventually put into the beer and I thought really added to the flavor of orange in the beer. That was not the case this time around as the beer, when it came to me had no visble head and very limited if any carbonation. The color is very unique though for a wheatwine as its basically a deep purple color which I'm sure comes from the hundreds of pounds of blood oranges that were added to this brew. The smell is sweet and malty with a lot of orange smell and because its blood oranges it smells of bitter oranges, I really didn't pick up too much in the way of alcohol in the smell. The taste is pretty damn bitter and a little bit of an ass kicker....kinda hard to drink. The blood oranges are the dominate flavor and really bring out any hoppy bitterness in the beer...I puckered my lips a few times. As the beer warms it becomes a bit easier to drink, but this is certainly a sipper as it has a heavy mouthfeel.

All and All another very unique brew from Short's, but I had one glass at the Anniversary party and one this time as well and I don't think I could really drink anymore than that....its pretty strong. Now in all fairness I've had Joe's last 3 anniversary ales and all of them have been very very strong, but in the case of a double or triple IPA I think it works better than it does with this Wheatwine...still glad to try it and Congrats to Short's for 5 yeard and continued success!!

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Photo of kbeals
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Has a ruby red hue with an off-white head. A good descriptor for this beer is pretty.

S- Oranges and pepper are the first things I notice, also has a bit of a piney, hoppy smell to it. No alcohol aroma surprisingly.

T- The oranges work well in this beer, it helps to lend a sweetness to the beer and also mutes the burn from the alcohol a bit. Also has a big peppermint taste to it, very intriguing to say the least.

M- Very smooth and medium bodied.

D- The high ABV limited me to only one of these, but I'm very glad I was able to try this beer, definitely a different experience.

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Photo of Deuane
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep, ruby kissed copper with a medium tan head that reduces down to a thin cap that leaves spotty lace.

S-Like alcoholic tang! Full of alcohol fumes and ORANGES! A good smack of malty sweetness kicks in on the back end.

T-Mmmmm, big, fat luscious hit of oranges followed by an alcohol burn and the zesty spiciness of the green peppercorn. A taste sensation in your mouth if there ever was one!

M-Medium leaning toward medium-heavy. Fat and complex with a very dry finish. Log lasting flavours.

D-Outstanding, this would get another 5 if it wasn't for the alcohol tickle and the fact that the 11.8% ABV will surely kick you on your ass in no time! Happy 5th Anni to Joe and the entire Short's crew! Well done, well done indeed!

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Photo of johnd513
4.82/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer on tap at the brewery. The brewery described this beer as a wheat wine and the description stated that they used a half a pound of blood oranges per gallon. This beer pours a ruby red color with a small head that quickly dissipates. The smell has a huge tropical aroma of grapefruit, pineapple and orange. The taste is incredibly sweet with grapefruit and orange flavors. The mouthfeel was relatively thick and nicely carbonated. Hands down the most interesting and complex beer I have had so far this year.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First, congrats to Shorts on 5 years, here's to many more! I labeled this one as a strong ale, but if I had to classify it by look, aroma, taste, etc., I would say it is an imperial red. The beer also has added spices, and is conditioned with blood oranges.

Pours a ruddy brown to ruby red in color, a slight haze in the glass. Dark cream to tan colored head builds to two fingers before slowly receding back to a ring around the perimeter of the glass.

The aroma is far and away a monster hop aroma. Full of pineapple and tropical fruit notes, also a wonderful orange aroma, a bit of citrusy orange hoppiness, but also a dose of sweet orange fruit. Just a touch of pepper and sweet maltiness in the aroma as well.

Taste is where its at, a nice mix of sugary sweet maltiness has just a second to glance on the tongue before quickly blending with the citrusy hops. More of the tropical fruit, a large grapefruit presence, and more oranges, lead into an orange rind bitterness along with a bit of lemon and pepperiness.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy in body, appropriate for a big hoppy red beer, a decent sized, slightly puckering bitterness adds some dryness and a very small touch of peppery tingle on the palate.

Highly drinkable and very refreshing, Joe and crew again show they can work magic with the hops. Served with a blood orange if desired at the pub, which is a nice touch. This beer is certainly best enjoyed fresh, but I can't help but wonder what some age might do, if it would go barleywine like aorta has, and if some of the added spices might shine thru more strongly. Delicious, thanks Shorts!

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