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Short's Sustenance Black Bier - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Short's Sustenance Black BierShort's Sustenance Black Bier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

131 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 131
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 10.4%
Wants: 7
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TurdFurgison on 06-07-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 131 | Reviews: 79 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by FRivard:
Photo of FRivard
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a brewery pint glass

opaque in color a one finger mocha colored head with minimal lacing

smells of sweet malt and toffee maybe brown sugar on the nose

taste of black licorice and milk chocolate up front with the biting bitter coffee and some notable hops in the end

mouthfeel is rather light very drinkable could definitely drink more than one in a sitting

overall a good drinkable dark beer that is not too filling but still has flavor and is relatively complex for a lower abv beer

FRivard, Apr 28, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of warnerry
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from last summer.

Pours pitch black with one finger of quickly dissipating head.

Smell is mostly roasted malt but a pretty subdued smell overall.

Taste is a nice lingering roasted malt. Flavor is actually a bit thin, but a nice bit of hops to stimulate the palate.

Light mouthfeel with a moderate level of carbonation.

Pretty drinkable with no overpowering flavors. Alcohol is very well hidden.

warnerry, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of SAxDRC5
4/5  rDev +6.7%

SAxDRC5, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Nellie for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with red highlights and a white head. The aroma is roasted malt, coffee, burnt malt, dark fruit and smoke. The flavor is heavy on the smoke and roasted malt along with some caramel malt and dark fruit notes in the background. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Equal parts brown and black make up the color of this beer. A lighter shade of brown makes up the head portion, about 2/3" on this one. Lacing was clumpy and spotty, retention was average. Aroma was somewhat hoppy like a good schwarzbier should be. Has a bitter, roastiness to it that is similar to coffee malt.

Taste is a lot thicker, has an almost smoky meatiness to it like a fortified rauchbier. Maybe thats what the 'sustenance' is all about? Minor anise in the mouthfeel. Alcohol and bitter notes follow. Needs a little more toffee to balance it out, the hops, roasted malt, high carbonation give it a slightly unbalanced situation. Dark fruit raisin creeps in.

Decent enough. I think they tried to do too much with this one. Instead of the acidity/acrid notes, I'd like to see a little more sweetness, maybe honey added to this one to give it a little better presence.

Beerandraiderfan, Jun 05, 2013
Photo of glid02
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap.

Pours one shade from black with dark purplish highlights and a half-finger light tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of mild dark malts with good amounts of bready aromas. Also present are hints of smoked and roasted notes.

Tastes more intense than it smells. Smooth dark malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by slight smoky notes. Midway through the sip the malt flavors thicken with the addition of bready flavors. Very slight amounts of char come into play before fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

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

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I thought this was a solid beer for the style but was nothing to write home about. Still, worth a shot if you see it around.

glid02, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of MSEGUIN
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%

MSEGUIN, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep brown (although a bit of clear ruby does come out along the edges), topped with a rich ½ finger of dark mocha head. This maintains some robustness on the edges, leaving back a foamy cascade of lace. The aroma smells of cocoa, toffee, coffee, and some green citric character. This is well balanced in the nose and quite flavorful.

The taste is sweet up front with a mix of chocolate and caramel but that is evened out nicely by more bitter notes of roasted coffee and some green citric hops that give this some zip. This overall has a nice tangy bite to it from the flavors, with a dry and bitter finish that hangs in there a bit. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a steady crispness on the tongue, yet there is also more of a slick and creamy feel along the back as well.

This was nice. A well balanced and flavorful Schwarzbier here that I would consider pretty darn drinkable for a 6% ABV dark beer. Short’s did right by the style with this one.

Kegatron, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of beergorrilla
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

beergorrilla, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of marcobrau
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep black with moderate to light carbonation that forms a head that falls to a ring of foam. No lace. Fairly complex aroma of dark chocolate, burnt caramel and smoke. Tastes of dark chocolate, dark molasses, a touch of burnt caramel. Finishes with roasted chicory and espresso. Tastes moderately to lightly hopped; most of the bitterness tastes like it's coming from the malts with no real hop flavor. Fairly complex yet highly drinkable.

marcobrau, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of alleykatking
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks to gratefulbeerhead a.k.a. Eric for this beer. Your kindness is over the top. Review from phone notes.

A- Pours a deeep dark brown color. Light red hues when held up to the light. Half finger tan head that dies down fast. No real lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Roasted malts with a light licorice aroma in the front end. Chocolate notes in the middle. Darker fruits come and go toward the ending of the aroma. Finishes off with a earthy hoppy tone.

T- Roasted malts right off the bat with this beer. Some light licorice notes in the ending front of the beer. Coffee in the middle with some light chocolate notes. This washes way to a light molasses. Earthy hops in the tailend of the beer.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Oily slickness left all over the palate. Smoked malts left on the palate with some light hoppy smokey alcohol left into the aftertaste. Flavors blended well and individual flavors could be picked out as well.

D- This is yet another beer from Short's that is very drinkable. The flavors blended well overall. This would be a couple pints and then move onto something else personally. A great beer nevertheless.

alleykatking, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of CortexBomb
3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'll try pretty much anything that Short's brews because, in a general sense, I think they're brilliant brewers who can squeeze extra flavour and interest out of almost any style. I ran into this at Ashley's in Ann Arbor and I quickly ordered it based on their name alone.

The beer has a wonderful appearance, jet black, no light can make its way through the beer. Light head, but still nice looking. Nose is mildly malty, not a lot of bite to it.

In terms of the flavour, I was surprised by not being surprised. This struck me as a fairly standard Schwarz, it has that dark malt flavour profile without any of the bite of a stout or porter with the lighter body and easy drinking nature one would expect of the style. It's not bad in any sense, but it's not doing anything particularly well either.

The bottom line: Surprisingly average take on the style by Short's. Perhaps worthwhile for big fans of the style, but I didn't think there was anything remarkable here.

CortexBomb, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Appearance – Pours a dark chocolate color into my glass with over two fingers of dark tan head that dissipates slowly leaving great looking lacing.

Smell – A great aroma of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, coffee, and just a hint of hops. A clean crisp smell.

Taste – Actually spot on with the nose, however, I do believe there is even a more predominant roasted flavor throughout. Reminds me of being at a campfire, and honestly I feel this would be great to have while around a campfire on a crisp autumn night. More cocoa than chocolate (dry and a hint more bitter), just a hint of coffee on the back end, and finishes with a crisp dry hop flavor.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, perfect carbonation, finishes slightly dry and roasty.

Overall – Pretty damn impressed with this. While more along the lines of a stout, this is extremely quaffable and the flavors meld perfectly. I would certainly pick this up in the future if I saw it.

SpdKilz, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of akorsak
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to a74gent for this twelve oz bottle.

A: The schwarzbier is a dark stout in my glass, pitch black throughout except for at the absolute edges of the beer. A chocolatey brown manages to come through there. A head, just barely off-white, leaves a few legs behind.

S: The blackbier has a roasted, stout-like aroma with the excess body and strength of a stout. Chocolate and coffee, along with burnt toast, is strong but not overwhelming.

T: The roasted flavors start things off right, burnt and tangy with plenty of chocolate malts. Mid-sip a lactic respite, a mild sourness that contrasts with the roast, is a veer off course. That flavor doesn't last for long though, returning to the dark side for a rousing finish. Semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa powder appear in the finish.

M: The mouthfeel is full, as close to a stout as you can get without crossing that 'too heavy' line.

D: Much better. Not as chewy as they'd lead you to believe but a warming schwarzbier nonetheless.

akorsak, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of alfie
4/5  rDev +6.7%

alfie, Sep 06, 2013
Photo of Preismj
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Dark with a mocha head. nice lacing. good color...looks interestingly thin in body.

s: roasted malts, cocoa and dark fruit. This smells very good, though it is not a potent scent. A hint of nuttiness to it.

t: very nice flavor profile and surprising complexity. A dark fruit nuance of raison and plum take center stage as well as leave a sour taste. This is rounded by a rich sweet cocoa and balanced with nuts that hint toward hazelnut/pecan. Very flavorful and very good.

m: creamy and smooth. sticks on the palette and is medium bodied. very nice. Leaves the mouth dry.

o: surprised by how good this was. A tremendous flavor profile. i wouldn't need many of these, but I would search this out again to have occasionally. strikes me as a great one to have int he fall.

Preismj, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

so i decided last night to break out 10+, thats right 10+ new shorts beers for a nice sampling with the family. turns out my and my brother in law were the only ones willing to go down this road, so long afternoon for sure. serve cold and consumed on 10/02/2010.

pours out a nice dark color with a small head of tan that seems to sit on top for the duration of the session. nicely done and really a very interesting look and quite big for the style

aroma is simply chock full of campfire and smoke notes. rich with hints of bitter chocolate, rich and seemlingly neverending doses of smoked malts and a rich and complex air. as the first sips go down i notice how it is not as full as i thought given the look and aroma but it still seems to work quite nicely for me given the overall presentation. rich smokey malts, lots of brown sugar hiding in the back and a lovely sense of dark chocolate all wrap around a very well carbonated and luscious finish that really sealed the deal for me.

one of my favorite styles and this one certainly did not dissapoint in any way. would do this again in a heartbeat.

mikesgroove, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of tommy5
3.75/5  rDev 0%

tommy5, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of JohnQVD
4/5  rDev +6.7%

JohnQVD, Jun 02, 2012
Photo of minterro
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Kalamazoo beer exchange

A: deep black colored beer, completely opaque. Little more then a fingernail of foamy head that has a off white color. The head fades quickly, leaving little to no lacing.

S: strong hoppy pines. A bit of sweetness and roasty scents

T: piney, very smoky, a touch of earthy tones. Not very complex

M: medium to light, low carbonation but still has a bit of a sting. For being a bit of a light beer it sticks to your tongue and teeth like a thick beer

O: overall pretty good, not bad for a beer that was only 2.75. An interesting style with characteristic especially in the mouthfeel category that I’m not used to.

minterro, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of BuckyFresh
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large wine glass. Pours a deep, dark brown with a one-finger head that recedes pretty rapidly. Areas of reddish brown are visible where the light shines through, and there is a bubbly ring of lacing left behind after the head dissipates.

Smell: Wonderful toasted malt aroma, as well as chocolate, coffee, caramel, and molasses. Very earthy and inviting.

Taste: Big smokey, earthy flavor. Getting lots of coffee, dark fruits, and toasted malt. Texture is pretty thick and creamy, and the alcohol provides a nice warming sensation. To sum it up, I guess I would categorize it as a lighter, smoother version of a stout.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, smooth, with adequate carbonation and just the right amount of bitterness.

Drinkability: Compared to other dark beers, I'd say this one fairs pretty well. Enough malt and bitterness to keep you interested, but not enough to prevent this from being a decent session beer.

BuckyFresh, May 23, 2010
Photo of WeisGuy
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a - pours a deep dark brown, just a few shades short of black, one-finger tan head with decent retention and lacing, good amount of haze

s - deep roasted malt aroma, light earthy hops, dark chocolate notes, no alcohol heat

t - smooth roasted malt flavors mixed with dark chocolate and light cherry, very light floral hop notes, no alcohol detectable

m - medium-bodied, moderate to lower carbonation, fairly dry finish, no alcohol warming

d - pretty drinkable in that it's easy on the palate and the alcohol is well hidden, but the flavors just aren't that interesting or complex

Decent beer, but pretty unmemorable overall. Worth a try if you see it on the shelf or you're looking for a schwarzbier, but not one of the brewery's best offering, in my opinion.

WeisGuy, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of GONZALOYANNA
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle served in a Lager glass.Enjoyed on sep´11.Medium mahogany in color.Light beige froth, pretty good retention, some lacing rings.Yeast,cinnamon & tobacco to the nose,hints of chocolate too.Coffee at first sip followed by intense toasted malt flavor.Slightly peppery on palate.Medium body.Medium carbonation.Dry bitter finish & aftertaste with subtle smoky notes & hints of licorice.Good drinkability.

GONZALOYANNA, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of StoutHunter
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of Short's Sustenance Black Bier the other day for $1.79 at The Lager Mill. It's been a while since I have had a Schwarzbier so when I saw that Short's made one I knew I had to see what they can do with this style. No visible bottling date, 2011 vintage. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a Pilsener glass.

A- The label is a little weird, it looks like a couple sitting down for dinner, the label might be implying that this beer is meant to go with dinner. It poured a pretty dark black color that let just a little bit of light through with some ruby highlights. It had a big, four fingers worth of fluffy, rocky and bubbly tan head that died down to a thick layer that stayed the rest of the time and left some lacing.

S- The first thing I pick up is lots of roasted dark malts that smell like they were heavily roasted and they have a medium amount of sweetness to them that give it a brown sugar like aroma. I also picked up some black coffee, chocolate, and a slight amount of toffee. It has a pretty nice roasty aroma and I didn't pick up any hop aromas.

T- The taste mirrors the aroma nicely. It starts off much like the aroma with loads of heavily roasted dark malts that aren't as sweet as they were in the aroma. The heavily roast of the malts made for a nice subtle smokey flavor that was unexpected but I felt like it worked well with this beer and it helped set it apart from all the other Schwarzbiers. The black coffee and chocolate flavors from the aroma were present but the chocolate seemed to stick out much more. The finish was very smooth and there was no presence of hops or alcohol at all.

M- Smooth, medium light bodied and nicely carbonated, it may have had a little bit more carbonation then I would have liked, but with Short's I will gladly take a little extra carbonation then a mild amount.

Overall I though this was a pretty damn good Schwarzbier, I haven't had a ton of this style but I would have to say that this was my favorite Schwarzbier I have had to date. I find most Schwarzbiers to have a good amount of hops in them and this one wasn't hoppy at all, it was focused on the roasted and smokey malts and I liked that. It had a very rich and roasty flavor that was somewhat similar to a porter but every thing else was pretty true to it's style especially the mouthfeel. I could see how this beer would make a great choice to drink with dinner, the flavor is roasted and robust while the body is light enough to not be too filling to go with dinner, I will have to try and pair this beer up with a nice dinner next time I have it. I would for sure buy this beer again, it would represent it's style nicely in my fridge, I hope there is some more left at the store so I don't have to wait till next year to enjoy this fine brew. If you like roasty and robust beers then this beer is for you, it has great drinkability while retaining all those great flavors. Short's comes through with another great beer, I like the fact they can take an often overlooked style and add their own personal touch to it to make it a truly unique and great tasting beer, lets see what you guys can do with a Hefeweizen, yes that is a challenge.

StoutHunter, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of zoso1967
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sustenance pours a shiny blackish color that lets almost no light shine through. The light that does make it through illuminates a deep dark brownish amber. It has a nice tan head that would go well on any stout. It melts slowly away and leaves nice lace.

The aroma is predominantly that of rich bitter cocoa and roasted malts. It has some gentle malty character that is quite clean.

The flavor is even roastier than the aroma with plenty of burnt coffee flavor as well as bitter cocoa. The malt sweetness is fairly clean and non-descript with just a touch of sourness in the end.

The mouthfeel is medium with an enjoyable smooth character to it. The finish is a bit rough around the edges for my taste with plenty of charred coffee type flavors as well as some seriously dark cocoa character.

This is one serious schwarzbier in that it smells and tastes a lot more like a stout than anything else. Sustenance is a good name because it is much more filling than most of this style. That is unfortunately my main problem with this beer. It is a bit too robust for a schwarz, but not quite robust enough to be a stout or porter. I think if I wanted something sessionable I would pass this up and if I wanted something roasty I would go with a big stout. It is still a quality beer though and is yet another fine offering from Short's.

zoso1967, Apr 07, 2011
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Short's Sustenance Black Bier from Short's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 131 ratings.