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Anniversary Ale - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anniversary AleAnniversary Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

427 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 427
Reviews: 184
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 13.16%
Wants: 62
Gots: 46 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: hoppymeal on 05-08-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 427 | Reviews: 184 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brentk56
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%

Appearance: Pours a hazy burnt orange color with a rocky head that doesn't hang around very long though it does leave some dotting behind

Smell: Blood orange pith dominates, though there is a bready aspect underneath

Taste: Orange juice that starts out sweet and then grows ever tarter by mid-palate, when the wheat bread and alcohol make their appearance; after the swallow, the sweet and tart orange flavors interplay and, in the finish, the green peppercorns add a noticeable bit of heat

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to moderate carbonation; leaves some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: I did a 180° with this beer; at first I found it unbalanced and a bit too herbal but as it warmed, I enjoyed the subtle flavorings and, in particular, the peppercorn heat on the finish

brentk56, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of flexabull
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%

Been very anxious to try this one, and thanks to mikesgroove, this bottle found it's way to me. Thanks again!

Pours a bright and clear red color, with a pretty nice small white head. Looks good.

Aromas are boozy, sweet, with light citrus, and tart oranges.

Taste is complex. Wow, lots going on here... Tart citrus fruits, bitter oranges, light spicy wheat, and quite peppery. Finish is quite bitter, boozy and warm.

Mouthfeel is full and thick.

Drinkability is pretty good. But man, at this point it is pretty strong to be something I would make a major effort too revisit.

Interesting, what a conundrum. This beer is a major powerhouse of flavors, super complex, unique, and very interesting. However, part of me wishes I would have sat on this one for a year or two, but the more I sip, the more I notice that this beer is more about the bitter (not hop bitter, but fruit bitter) flavors, and I wonder what would be left after aging this one. With that said, it's still interesting enough to make me wish that there was bottle of this tucked away in my cellar.

Weird beer... Doesn't seem to be like most Wheatwines.

flexabull, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of billab914
3.08/5  rDev -22%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a murky orange/brown color with a thin white sheet barely covering the top of the beer.

The aroma really shows a lot of the orange flavors to it. It has a bright, citrusy, orange juice like flavor to it along with a more bitter orange peel like quality. A sugary like sweetness is present as well. It's interesting, but the orange is a little overpowering. It would have been nice to get more of the wheat out of it.

The taste really blasts you with the orange again. It has more of the bitter but citrusy orange peel flavor to it. The brighter orange juice flavor is there as well but it's more reserved compared to the nose. It turns more bitter in the finish with more of the rind like flavor lingering. Unfortunately like the aroma I don't get much of anything past the oranges.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with moderate carbonation. Drinkability isn't that great for me, the oranges were just too overpowering to get much of anything else out of it. It felt more like an OJ and vodka at times. I really love the wheatwine style, but this beer didn't do it for me at all. On the positive side they did really infuse a fresh orange taste into it.

billab914, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Big thanks to Jim for the opportunity to try this!

A- Body is a crystal clear orange/red hue. Pours with <1 finger head that eventually fades completely-very faint traces of lacing are left behind in the glass.

S- Nose is pretty faint- blood orange is the dominant factor there is also just a hint of peppercorn and other tropical fruits. Very faint alcohol as well.

T- Taste is much more like a witbier- blood orange, corriander, peppercorn, big wheat backbone. Finish has a moderate alcohol sting-but the initial flavors remain consistent.

M- Medium carbonation and a medium weight body.

D- This is another very interesting, unique brew by shorts brewing co. The alcohol heat really comes through toward the end of this brew. Still enjoyable and unique.

PittBeerGirl, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of klikger
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

12 oz bottle served in a Bruery tulip.

A - Dark amber-red, large white head which shrinks quickly, great lacing

S - Belgian yeasts, candied sugar, peppercorns, and orange rinds

T - Blood oranges, alcohol --> maraschino cherries, fresh herbs (parsley?), cracked pepper, and a hint of wheat --> sweet caramel malts and some citrus hops --> almost (but not quite) medicinal sweetness mixed with grapefruit bitterness (more fruit than hop) on the end - enjoyably and intriguingly odd.

M - Medium-bodied for such a big beer, although it does get a little syrupy as time passes; decent carbonation

D - A sipper - a tasty, unique, boozy sipper

Definitely worth trying - weird for a wheatwine, but quite enjoyable. I won't seek this out but would be up for another some time.

klikger, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of Stigs
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%

12oz bottle, split - served in small tulips

A - pours a very interesting dark orange/red color with just a few spots of tiny bubbles. glass #1 was almost perfectly clear, the 2nd was considerably hazy.

S - bright citrus scents, which i would normally associate with abundant use of C hops is this time brought to the table by blood oranges.

T - following the nose with somewhat tangy, citrusy blood oranges. slowly creeps into the tart and sour region. the only other noticeable

M - mostly light, yet oily body. carbonation is moderate. just slightly drying from the tartness, but finishes clean with a pleasant lingering fruitiness.

D - interesting here, and perhaps the best wheatwine (a style i just cant seem to figure out) i've had to date. excellent use of fruit, and insanely dangerous with nary any noticeable alcohol.

Stigs, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%

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.

glid02, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of bierenutz
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%

A-Pours a murky amber brown color with a smallish head and almost no lacing left on the glass.
S-Piney hops, grapefruit, orange and caramel.
T-Blood orange zest combines with a sweet/sour mix and piney hops for bitterness. The peppercorns add a spicy addition to the party.
M-Mild to moderate feel and moderately carbonated.
D-Nice beer overall...good job Short's!

bierenutz, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of Drazzamatazz
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%

Thanks biernutz for the hook-up on this one.

A: Red-orange pour with a slightly pinkish thin cap on top. Head was small but stayed present throughout.

S: Sweet blood orange zest, slight floral hops, and that distinctive tangy-spice of preserved green peppercorns. It actually smells a little strange all combined together, as a foodie though I know sometimes strange combinations have a weird synergy of aromas. I really think its the citrus and the vinegar from the peppercorns bouncing off each other.

T: Did someone just give me that bait-and-switch, is this a Seabreeze with seltzer? Its like carbonated grapefruit juice with only the slightest presence of alcohol, no way I would guess this one to be nearing 12%. Blood orange zest works really well with the peppercorns in the taste to enhance the hops. Citrusy, spicy, and a little sweet.

M: Seems to be approaching a syrup. I'm going to cellar one and see what happens. Carbonation was active despite the viscosity.

D: Reading through previous reviews I almost have to question my taste. It seems a lot of what I liked about this beer wasn't a big hit with others. I'm glad I got this one recommended to me though. I think I could drink these until I passed out; wouldn't have guessed this was above 6%. I see how the smell could be off-putting to some but if you stick around its gold. Nectar of the Gods in a few years time? I hope so.

Drazzamatazz, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Crimson color with little head. Low carbonation.
Rich sweet concentrated orange smell. Peppery spice and a little hoppy. Bitter orange pith flavor comes through first and some spicy hopping. This beer is sweet and sour from the residual sugar and oranges. Tangy malt way in the background. Booze is sort of hidden. I didn't expect this to be over 10%.

This is probably the best beer I've had so far from Short's. But that's not saying much.

BearsOnAcid, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of dfillius
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%

Enjoyed in a pint glass
A: Aggressive pour yields a dusting of white head with poor retention. I'd like more head with better retention.. Beautiful clear dark crimson liquid.
S: Strong citrus, grapefruit, blood orange. Little else, but so pleasant!
T: Bitter, fruity, citrus rind. Sweet but not cloying. Tastes very similar to red grapefruit. Slightly bready malt in aftertaste. Slight sauvignon blanc acidity. Alcohol finish grows with the second half.
M: Very bitter and biting. Expectorant qualities. Some heat on the swallow.
D: Very enjoyable. I'd order another and I want a six-pack now! Only one more in a session though due to its strength.

I tried this again after buying a six pack three-4 weeks later. It was much less bitter, much hotter, and much boozier. Not as great as I remembered. Fresh, this beer was amazing.

dfillius, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%

Thanks for sharing this, Devin!

Beautiful crimson in color with blood orange highlights (ha!), there's a thin, bubbly off-white head with poor retention. The nose is rather sweet. Caramel, candied oranges, this is zesty and zippy. Mildly spiced, this is a little boozy too. Thankfully, the spice character is low. Honey, sugar and a little vanilla are present. This isn't your typical wheatwine.

... and now, for something completely different. The palate. Grapefruit juice and rind is just overwhelming here. This is very, very intense, this almost tastes like they tossed the blood oranges in whole rather than actually separate the zest, the rind and the flesh. The sweetness of the nose does not translate to the palate, it is in fact quite low, as is the spice. Boozy on the finish with a little sweetness with vanilla and candied oranges. A light spice character is present on the finish. Full in body with a smooth palate and low carbonation, this has great flavors but is just a little too intense to be drinkable. And, as it warms up, I get a slightly stale flavor I find in a few wheatwines. Solid stuff.

DefenCorps, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of John_M
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%

Generously shared by Devin the other day. Thank you sir for the opportunity to try this one.

The beer pours a reddish amber color with fairly decent head retention and lacing. The nose on this beer is pretty outrageous, with brown sugar, a melage of sweet fruit, a hint of citrus and pepper, and considerable alcohol. The latter detracts just a bit from an otherwise pretty interesting, pretty enticing, complex aroma profile. The nose really does not prepare you for the the flavor profile, which was much drier and less tropical than expected based on what I smelled. Along with considerable chili pepper and wine, I get some lght vanilla and cherry orange. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a long, citrus filled finish. Drinkability is OK. The 11.7% is pretty well disguised, but it's still really hard to imagine drinking a whole lot of this.

Like nothing else I've ever encountered. Interesting stuff.

John_M, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
2.8/5  rDev -29.1%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a reddish amber color with one inch of white head and almost no carbonation evident.

s - Smells strongly or oranges, as well as lemon, citrus hops, fruity malts, and sugar.

t - Tastes of some weird sweer oranges. Also some grapefruit, lemon, citrus hops, and sugar. Not great.

m - Light body and low carbonation.

d - Kind of a weird beer. The smell was ok, but the taste wasn't very enjoyable. Wouldn't seek out again.

mdfb79, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of surlytheduff
4.03/5  rDev +2%

Drank from a small snifter. Pour was nice - rich reddish frothy in the glass, with good 1" fluffy head, with residual lacing. Lots of swirling 'bits' spinning around the glass as I watched the head subside - very entertaining.

Very unique smell. Like a glass of a-bit-past-its-prime orange juice, with a certain yeastiness and peppery spiciness.

The taste was pretty refreshing. Somewhat bitter (oj effect), with the wheat flavor noticeable underneath. The alcohol was surprisingly not noticeable.

It felt somewhat syrupy, with a light bitter bite. If it was easier to come across this I would be worried about being too drinkable.

surlytheduff, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of Shumista
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark red brown, zero head despite an aggressive pour. Smells citrusy, very much like fresh squeezed orange juice. The peppercorns are in the nose as well, however much more subtly. Tart citrusy taste from the oranges, almost borders on sour. There is a spiciness from the peppercorns. Also some sweet caramel malt throughout. The mouthfeel is pretty thick and syrupy. Surprisingly drinkable for how sweet and high in alcohol it is. A really unique beer, worth tracking down and keeeping a few in the cellar.

Shumista, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of ManVersusBeer
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Poured this beer into a huge goblet. It is a dark orange amber with only a light white line of head. Some orange yeast floats on top.
Smell is full of zest, orange, lemon, hops--nothing like a wheatwine I've smelled before. Honey and pepper spiciness, too, as Short's beers always smells great.
The green peppercorns shine through upfront giving it an initial peppery taste. It is balanced well with orange juice, tartness, and tanginess mingling with the zesty hops and light toffee malts creating a distinct and great flavor. Lots of grapefruit is brought out towards the end with some warmth.
Carbonation is fizzy and high, though easy to drink even with the sharpness. Would pair nice at brunch as a complement to some waffles since it has a champagne dryness, similar to a mimosa.

ManVersusBeer, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of DrDoitchbig
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%

This is on my current list of favorites. I was lucky enough to find another 6-pack of it after initially only buying 3 bottles. I find myself going through them way too fast as I like to hang on to a couple.

Appearance: I've had this beer a few times and I've poured it a few different ways. If you go with a careful pour you get a slightly hazy reddish-pink grapefruit juice colored concoction with a thin veil of light pink head. If you go for the aggressive pour you get a darker colored liquid that's almost brown with tones of red. Lots of sediment which could be yeast, but I almost want to say it's blood orange zest. The head starts off more impressive with the aggressive pour but quickly subsides to the same thin cap. Minor, minor lacing splashes the glass here and there.

Smell: No surprises here, everything you can smell is basically listed on the front of the bottle. Big on the blood orange which ends up smelling a bit more like grapefruit which I suspect is due to the dry-hopping. There is a mild spicy which is no doubt attributed to the peppercorns.

Taste: To me the fusion of hops and fruit generally turns out better than it sounds. I think a lot of it has to do with careful selection of the varietals the brewer decides to use. What was true in the smell continues on to the taste. The blood orange intermingles perfectly with the grapefruit/citrus rind hop flavors to the point where you aren't quite sure where one ends and the other begins. There's a smidgen of floral hops to be found as well. The peppercorn returns to add a nice bit of spiciness right before the fantastic tart finish. A beer with all these ingredients just doesn't sound like it should work but Short's pulled it off. The only knock I can come up with is that I didn't get any actual wheatwine characteristics. Perhaps it would be better classified as a fruit beer, but really I'm picking nits. I love this stuff.

Mouthfeel: In this department I recommend the full on aggressive pour as the beer is a bit fuller on the mouth. This is generally my approach with any wheat based beer. Generally the yeast contributes quite a bit to the mouthfeel. It's a smooth medium bodied affair. Carbonation is just where you want it. You know it's there and it makes the flavors pop, but prickly in the least bit.

Drinkability: Dangerously drinkable. I personally cannot detect a hint of alcohol despite the hefty 11.7% of this beer. This is comparable to Double Crooked Tree levels of wizardry. I believe a lot of this has to do with the overall strength of the flavors that completely mask it. I could session this, except if I did I'd wind up passed out in some strange place, like underneath my dining room table.

This is probably the best beer I've had out of the Short's camp. Their bizarre creations can be hit or miss, count this firmly in the hit category. I think I might return to the store where I bought it and pick up another 6-pack or two. Here's to hoping they have some left.

DrDoitchbig, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of maximum12
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%

Thanks to malty yet again for another good-looking Short's brew. I believe I'm down to 2-3 beers from our August trade that I haven't tried, but I am really looking forward to this one. Wheatwines have been a new favorite the past several months.

Pour is nice & full, a dark reddish/orange that seems to generate its own subtle glow from within (radioactive, maybe?). Smell is straight-up sweetness - handfuls of sugar, flotsam of orange, wheat.

Short's Anniversary Ale 2009 delivers a sweet shot to the jawline. Yikes. The peppercorns advertised on the label sneak in without alerting the nose & ambush the palate, leaving a white, peppery poop on the tongue. Gargling a bit more leads one to the inevitable conclusion that oranges were involved, too, as orange, citrus, handfuls of hard sugar candy, & more peppercorns surge onto the sensory organs. One can almost imagine a stalk of wheat beneath the peppery onslaught, if one has a vivid enough imagination.

Definitely does not drink its weight. Dry & sweet, it invites taste after taste, as does the rather puzzling combination of all natural ingredients.

I'd rate this as a good beer. The peppercorns, however, have really taken over, obliterating most of the orange, wheat, & hops that might have originally existed here. Nice twist, & happy to have another 10 ounces to work through a Burn Notice with.

maximum12, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of kbutler1
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%

Sampled at the Great Taste of the MW. The 2010 Anniversary edition. Pours a truly awesome blood orange reddish tan color with a tan head. Liquid ruby comes to mind. Grapefruit and orange aromas in the nose, very pleasant. Very sweet and malty start that then turns slightly bitter. Medium mouthfeel. This is a beer that I hate to rush and drink as it really is very good.

kbutler1, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of ShogoKawada
3.95/5  rDev 0%

12oz into chouffe tulip.

A- Orange (no way!) bere that, despite a vigorous pour, only summons up a few bubbles.

S- Fruity.. can't say it's orange for sure, I get a lot of peach and nectarine.

T- Boozy, but the orange flavors work well with the alcohol. Sweet, there's no way around it. The orange is kind of in the backround, but does well in spicing up the wheatwine base.

M- Boozy, big beer. Low carbonation, but it works.

D- Fairly high, style in mind. The alcohol is in check- boozy but not out of line. A refreshing take on a favorite style of mine.

ShogoKawada, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of zoso1967
3.95/5  rDev 0%

Big thanks to TCgoalie for procuring this for me.

Pours a rich reddish deep amber color with almost no foam at all. The slight traces of head are parchment in color and cling to the sides of the glass quite well.

The aroma is very interesting. Boozy orange, pepper, and some green apple like tartness. Not the most complex nose, but all the flavors are wonderfully fresh, even in this aging bottle.

The flavor is equally interesting with a nice tart citrus zing to it. There is plenty of zesty orange in the flavor. It also has a definite caramel, toffee sort of malty character, and some cherry like fruitiness. Peppery spiciness is also present, as is a decent alcohol component. I realized half way through that the warmer this beer is, the more expressive it gets. Much better at near room temperature than it was at 45 degrees.

The mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium with subdued carbonation. It has a finish that is both sticky and dry, and leaves some tart orange zest flavors.

This is a sipper, and has some wonderful flavors in it. Who would have thought that pepper and blood oranges would complement each other so well? Another creative and well crafted beer from Bellaire, MI.

zoso1967, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of alleykatking
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%

Poured from 12oz bottle. Many thanks go out to gratefulbeerhead aka Eric for this beer!

A- Pours a hazy orange/red color. Half finger white head that dies down rather quickly. Light streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Nice citrus blood orange aroma. Light sweet malts I think in the middle with a good blending of peppercorn. The grapefruit aroma comes into the ending that rounds out the beer aroma. It will drawl you in for sure.

T- The bloodorange really stands out in the front of the beer. A light peppercorn blends well and rounds out the front part of the beer overall. A light sweet malt runs through the entire beer and well stands out for a second in the middle. A grapefruit like flavor in the ending brings a nice crisp bitterness.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the beer and style. Blood oranges flavor left on the palate with some hop bitterness in the aftertaste. The blending of all the flavors is nice and crisp with certain flavors coming out as well. Medium alcohol drying on the palate.

D- Short's just likes to make beers that make you think a lot. The flavors are very present during the whole beer and are in your face. Short's does well with making beers you want to drink over and over again. The ABV is high on this which limits it but only if you want to play it safe.

alleykatking, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%

Pours an orangish color with an off white head. Smell is immediately magnetic to my nose--the peppercorns and blood orange really make a wonderful pairing. The taste is another step up from there, with the peppercorns not too pronounced and the blood oranges presenting a cacophony of flavors all by themselves. Mouthfeel is exception...thought this was about 5% abv based on taste. Drinkability isn't that high, although I thought about boosting the score about more as this is so good compared to other wheatwines that it's drinkability is by definition good or a bit higher.

Thorpe429, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%

I was intrigued to happen upon a sample of this one, as I am a big fan of properly done wheatwines. Poured a nice medium orange color, with a bit of off-white foam on top. Great aromas here, blood orange, lemon zest and sweet malt. On the palate, this one was fairly alcoholic, but in a very good way, but the fresh citrus really cut what could have been a cloying sweetness, and raised this one to the level of greatness. One of the better beers I've had this year.

Had a couple bottles of this one, and it did not approach the greatness of the tap version, so I will adjust my score accordingly. The cloudy pour and sour orange flavor detract a bit from what was great about this one on tap.

emmasdad, Sep 23, 2010
Anniversary Ale from Short's Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 427 ratings.