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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

83 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 83
Hads: 165
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 7
Gots: 14 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TurdFurgison on 06-07-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 83 | Hads: 165
Photo of JayAre46
2.34/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - thanks to elephantrider for the extra. pours black....whatta ya know, big mocha head very creamy shows great retention.

A - caramel,molasses, very grainy, light hops. tobacco leaves.

T - tastes like shitty smoked tobacco leaves, maybe some burnt anise, bitter hops. not a big malt profile at all. it tastes like...shit. the finish is especially bad

M - a bit watery, easy going like it should be, creamy, moderate carbonation.

O - the aroma was decent, but the tastes is just off, and not good. i will say my next beer is going to be amazing no matter want, thanks short's.

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Photo of ne0m00re
2.46/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
A: Black with red hues, it seems undercarbonated with a thin collar and a quick head.
S: Very faint roasted malts with caramel and charred oats. Not bad.
T: Lighter, with a thin roasted flavor that bellows and lingers. That familiar clean lager finish. As a beer that advertises you can make a meal out of it, it is extermely disappointing. The flavors don't really have any depth.
M: Thin and undercarbonated.
D: Very good, but only because it is so damn light. I wouldn't have another.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
2.81/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip. Thanks to Dunt for bringing this over.

Appearance: Mahogany with transparent edges and a creamy tan cap that fades.

Smell: A little bit of bourbon, dark malts, molasses, and some chocolate.

Taste: The flavor is a little bit strange. The flavor is light - chocolate, molasses, dark unroasted malt, some bourbon. It finishes kind of watery.

Mouthfeel: Somehow this has a creamy feel but a watery body. Boozy in the back of my throat. Sticky.

Overall: This is all right at best. In terms of barrel aged beers, it does not stack up well, though.

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Photo of Trilogy31
2.91/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a drak cola black with a brown khaki fingers worth of head. Nose has a slight metallic scent with coffe rum barrel and really only an earthy funky note i can find. Light notes of smoky roasted malts when tasting along with some turkish cofee and maybe some dark red fruits. Easy to drink and refreshing but really quite average.

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Photo of chicano4craft
2.98/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to LostCook for the generous extra.

Pours very black with a finger of tan head. Can't see through the black when held to the light. Head fades to a thin tan line.

Sweet roast dominates the nose. Some chocolate. Reminds me more of a milk stout than a schwarzbier.

First drink reveals the smokey, roast malt. Carbonation hits the tongue pretty hard.
Lacking the smoothness I was expecting. Quite a bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is lacking for me due to the "shock" every drink has on my tastebuds. Drinkability is average. I had no problem finishing the beer. I was just left wanting more.

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.09/5  rDev -18%
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.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of justinp444
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A dark black beer with a thin beige head. Smell is of malt, corn, chocolate, and earthy hops. Taste is thin but crisp mouth feel with chocolate and malt notes. Bit of a sour back end with dirt, earth, and light bitterness from hops. A very drinkable schwarzbier, but not nearly my favorite of this style.

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Photo of mchegash
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottling date: 2/2/15
Poured into an English pint glass

Appearance - 3.5/5
Very dark, almost black, with hints of red-brown along the edges of the glass. A small amount of medium brown head which quickly dissipates to only a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell - 3/5
Some darker earthy and roasty aromas along with a small hops presence.

Taste - 3.5/5
Moderately sweet. Very earthy (dirt-like). Some roasty coffee-esque flavors. A slight sourness to it, which seems to be mixing with the hops to create a slightly sour hops taste. Overall, I like the roasty coffee aspects of this beer, but the earthiness is too strong. I do not like the sourness either (I love sour beers, but this is not that kind of sourness).

Mouthfeel - 4/5
The body is medium-light, but the beer feels much fuller than it actually is. There is a light amount of light-intensity carbonation. Very crisp. I like the crispness and the body. I think the beer could do with just a tad more carbonation. Overall a good feel though.

Overall - 3.5/5
This was an okay beer. I don't know if I would recommend it to anyone or buy it again, but I don't feel upset that I picked this as part of a build-your-own 6 pack.

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Photo of glazeman
3.44/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: not quite opaque black with a nice one finger tan head.

S: Smells quite good, and is very similar to KBS on the nose. Lots of roasted malt, and some coffee.

T: Not as rich in flavor as I would have liked. To be honest, this tastes like a good stout blended 50/50 with a bud light. There's some roasted coffee bean flavor, and chocolate in there, but it's a little deeper down behind the BMC flavor.

M: Not as thick as I was expected from a beer whose label reads, "for when you're hungry and thirsty". Nice feel though, and nice aftertaste.

D: It goes down easy enough, but is not very exciting or noteworthy. Not one that I'd really be excited to find again, but not that bad either.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft. Dark brown/black pour with a tan head. Good lace left on the glass. Teh aroma is very clean and crisp with slight coffee. Smooth tasting with coffee and dark raosted malt notes. Slight bitterness in the backend. Medium mouthfeel. Tasty but not something I would search out for myself.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Photo of raiderandbeerfan
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another dark beer review, another reference to being brown and black. A lighter shade makes up the head portion of this beer that is well above 1/2". She's clump, she's clump, she's clump, she's the retention and lacing on my glass. Aroma came off on that hoppy tip like a schwarz should.

Taste takes on a more viscous, stout like meets rauchbier thing. Perhaps that is where the 'sustenance' comes from. Keep that licorice out of the mouthfeel, drink colder. Bitter, a little alcohol, could use a tad of sweetness to balance things out. Dark fruit be creepin much like the licorice as it warms.

I could think of some things that would improve this beer, but as it is, its still good/decent.

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Photo of Tone
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, hops, roasted malt, and slight coffee. Fits the style of a Schwarzbier. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. There is a noticeable bitterness level. Tastes of coffee, roasted malt, slight sweet malt, hops, and yeast. Overall, a little strong on the roasted malt / coffee flavors, but still good.

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Photo of warnerry
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into Long trail pint glass heavy lacing and a light tan head.

S: Light bittered chocolate with a dry chalky feel. Mild yeast presence and a bit of smoked malt.

T: This is a lightly flavored mild beer. There is a mild charred flavor with a hint of smoke and a light yeast presence. Mostly chalky in finish , and bitter with a cocoa nib like flavor.

M: Very creamy, lactose sweetness taste, light carbonation

O: This is a light Schwarzbier ; a style I have hardly visited and it is not bad but not great. Glad to have tried it and it is refreshing. Having this off tap if even an option I am sure would be slightly fresher with some more flavor.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top bottle; label says "for when you're hungry and thirsty" lol, I love it!

Appearance: Dark brown/black beer, with brown and garnet at the edges. A beige cap shows good retention and a bit of lace.

Smell: Equal mix of rich nut brown ale, brown porter, and stout. It's nice, roasty, malty, slightly sweet, with just a hint of juicy dark fruit.

Taste: Lots of chocolate malt, decent kick of juicy dark fruit, and I SWEAR, a hint of something like peanut butter! I wish I had this side-by-side with my Peanut Butter Porter to compare. It's a bit short, but pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel: A bit light, especially considering the name and the "meal in a glass" characterization.

Drinkability: Fairly high.

Conclusion: Tasty beer, but doesn't really live up to the way it's packaged. Up in Kalamazoo, I had no internet so I wasn't sure what style this was supposed to be. From the title and description, I was thinking stout or porter. On here, it's listed as a Schwartz and, quite honestly, it makes a lot more sense and probably deserves to score a B+ but, as I didn't know that at the time, I still have to rate it at a B.

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Photo of TCgoalie
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 6/4/10

Black, jet black with a lingering cloud of frothy head. Carbonation looks minimal, not much going on.

Coffee, molasses, anise appear in the smell. I don't know what kind of beer this is going in, but it reminds me of a stout. Dark cherries are also present, let's taste.

The dominant flavor seems to be the coffee. It doesn't taste as much like a stout though it could be a thin one. There is a good amount of hop bitterness holding up the malt and coffee. The molasses is subtle which is pleasant. The taste seems to be missing any fruit I detected in the scent.

Medium bodied with a slight drying from the hops.

This is a solid drink but the aftertaste sits heavy on my tongue minimizing the want for more. I could have another, but one is fine.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.58/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of GregoryVII
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I drank my sustenance from a pint glass. (It's just fun to say). It poured a light head and the color was a light black/dark as can be brown. The aroma for me was strong on roasted malts, chocolate malt in particular, with a bit of sweetness. I was also picking up the slightest hints of some fruity, estery goodness.

The first sip gave me roasted malts again, but cleanly so, balanced by hop bitters, and suggestions of burnt caramel that fade to sweet. The hops have a nice, well played presence here, balanced with the sweet and the bitter of the malts themselves. Nothing is heavy handed. There is a medium body, with decent carbonation, but just a tad runny. The drinkability of this beer is great.

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Photo of AdamGarcia
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Randalld for this great xtra!
My first Short's brew served in a Bass tulip.

A: Pours just about black with a mocha head. Nice lacing. Head is rich and frothy.

S: Smells of strong coffee and bitter chocolate. Some raisins and dates hiding in there, along with the faintest hop aroma. Dark fruit becomes more apparent as the beer warms.

T: More hop flavor than the scent would suggest. Roasty flavors abound. Coffee and chocolate are back. Just a bit of nuttiness...possibly some hazelnut. Flavors are a little more robust than some other examples of the style. Finishes nice and dry.

M: Fuller than I expected for a schwarzbier, but much thinner than most beers of this deep, dark hue. Carbonation is about right.

D: Schwarzbiers are generally pretty sessionable. This, however, feels just a bit bigger than what is typical for the style. I could put back a couple of these, but I'm missing a certain "smoothness" that I would usually expect from a lager.

Nice beer. Really glad I got to try it and hopefully there will be some more Short's in my future. I wouldn't seek this one out, but if it were readily available I would pick it up from time to time.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - WOW, what a nicely pouring brew... Head is a nice Khaki color with great foamy density. Head retreats to leave decent lacing. Brew is Black as night with no hues of any kind.

S - Smokey! Roasty! Deep! Very chocolate. Slight coffee scent lingers too. There's some molasses buried deep inside.

T - Quite a smokey brew. Not absurdly smokey, just slightly over done. Quite rich tasting with very dark chocolate tones. Slightly bitter, but not distracting.

M - Smooth and silky. Near perfect carbonation. Quite a nice feel, As close to perfect as I've had in some time.

O - There's something missing in this brew... I can't quite put my finger on what's missing, but there's definitely something! I would add more caramel and less chocolate to help reduce bitterness. Over all? Quite a grad brew! Very glad i got to try it! Thank you Another6pack!

For When You're Hungry and Thirsty....


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Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a snifter.

Pours a very dark brown with a single-finger tan head that sticks around for a bit before fading and leaving a bit of light lacing. The nose has a bit of light roast and a bit of dark fruit as well. Mild anise character. The flavor has a moderate amount of roast along with some sweet malt. Dark fruit and cherry come through a bit, along with some slight black licorice. There is a bit of a cardboard character in the finish as it warms, however. Medium body and lightly sweet throughout. Pretty decent.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured cold from the bottle a crisp cola black to a sun king shaped pint glass with a super thin, short lasting, tan head leaving a thin rim of lace near the rim after each sip.

roasty black coffee aroma with a bit of burnt chocolate meringue pie crust in the way back.

nice. smoky, milk chocolate, and black coffee.

light bodied, big carbonation, coffee bitter to the tongue, fading to semi sweet chocolate.

drinkable - yep.

overall - nice chocolatey, true to style.

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Short's Sustenance Black Bier from Short's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.