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

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

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BA SCORE
85
very good

82 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 82
Hads: 159
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 6.9%
Wants: 7
Gots: 12 | 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: 82 | Hads: 159
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. (547 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (1,106 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (1,004 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from MilwaukeeCrusher, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains coffee, roasted malts, lager yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty roasted malt character followed by lager yeast and a strong black coffee flavor. There are also touches of dark fruit and chocolate in the background. The after-taste is slightly bready and a little bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is a very solid dark lager worth drinking for a long time if you’re in the mood for the style. (878 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a schwarzbier, this is pretty decent. Probably a bit too heavy for the style though. The delivery is consistent and thorough. But in the end, like I said, it's a bit too heavy for me, as far as judging to style. This is a style that breweries rarely try out, so nice to see someone trying. Still a nice beer. (311 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably the star of the night for me, beer is black but clear at the corners with a haloed head of off white bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass with some carbonation present.

The aroma is sweet and dark but not roasty.

The beer is medium to light in body with a wet finish. No bitterness to speak of in the back, just a nice simple beer with a nice malt profile. I'd have it again. (394 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, bottled on 2/2/2015. Pours slightly hazy very dark brown color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, dark bread, light smoke/char, herbal, and roast/smoke earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity of dark/roasted malt and earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, dark bread, light smoke/char, herbal, and roast/smoke earthiness. Fair amount of herbal hop and roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, light smoke/char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt and earthy hop flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Very clean in lager flavors with zero yeast notes present. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, fairly creamy, and slightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent schwarzbier style. All around great robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/roasted malt and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering. (1,523 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (343 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is a deep, dark shade of brown with a large beige head that leaves copious lacing on the snifter.

The aroma is slightly sweet, bready, and lightly roasty.

The flavor is malt forward with a light roast character. Each sip brings a subtle sweetness, with hints of dark fruit. A decent beer, and one I'd try again. (355 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.8/5  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. (986 characters)

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. (430 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at HopCat in GR.

Pours a hazy dark brown, some orange highlights, looks black away from the light, thick off white head forms, settles to a thick ring, some lace drops on the glass. Smell is neat, toasty, some roast, licorice, very bready, touch of citrus, some caramel sweetness, very malty, but not a whole lot going on in the nose. Taste is similar, light bit of roast, some biscuit, dark fruit/raisins, light citrus, toast and a bit of fruity sourness in the finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, goes down easy. Decent enough beer, but didn't really impress me as a Shwarz, something just wasn't right, and could use a touch more roast. (680 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle thanks to Andygirl. Cheers, Andrea!

A- looks pretty black to me, nice 1/2 finger head of foam, and it's a lacer.

S- big notes of Bourbon, some fruitiness, a sweet, almost milk stout like aroma.

T- tastes of Bourbon, very fruity....kind of like black cherries, and to me some milk stout like sweetness. Lots of flavour here and at a reasonable abv for anything that gets put in Bourbon barrels.

M- a pretty light bodied brew, good carbonation.

O- I like this brew. Especially the fruity character I get out of it. A nice thumbs up here, from me. (556 characters)

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. (878 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Hopcat in Grand Rapids. The beer was black color with a thin head. The aroma was light and malty, a little roasty. The taste was dominated by roasted malts but stayed easy drinking with a light body. Very good schwarzbier, but honestly I'd made a mistake and thought I was ordering a rauchbier. Good though. (328 characters)

Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (877 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I drank from a 12oz bottle into my Orval glass...The beer pours a light black with a ligh tan head, good retention and lacing...The aroma is totally dead, shows off only light chocolate, really boring...The taste is also light, gives a little smoke and chocolate. Usually i want more taste, but for some reason I like this, a light roasty porterish type beer that is really easy to drink. Nothing special here, but if you're in the mood for a roasty dark beer that's easy to drink, not a bad call. (497 characters)

Photo of THECPJ
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown almost black with a 2 finger off white head

smell: sweet, spices, caramel, malts,

taste: spice, caramel, black patent malts

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: a very interesting beer has a taste that I can't pinpoint. but will definitely have again.

Cheers,
The CPJ (333 characters)

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. (405 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 6/29/2010. On tap at Shorts. Pours black with a small light tan head. Aroma of lots of roasted malt and grains, creamy bitter chocolate, and a hint of lactose. Flavor of toffee, lots of bitter chocolate, roasted malts. A light mouthfeel with a creamy texture. Very nice and quite a tasty schwarzbier. (312 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
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. (3,191 characters)

Photo of Deuane
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor, MI.

A-Deep copper bordering on deep ruby. A medium off white head reduces to a thin cap and leaves nice lace.

S-Earthy, musty malt with a noticable peppery spiciness. Underlying notes of citrus rind that pops more upon warming.

T-Bold up front spicy citrus rind with supporting, but light, caramel malt. Not overly sweet.

M-Medium bodied, sharp and crisp with a long lasting bitterness.

D-A fairly spicy hop infused schwarzbier. Just enough citrus pressence to keep things in check and a light malty sweetness that creates a near perect balance. Very nicely done. (601 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown color with a thick finger of thick frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down very slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - The aroma is full of lightly roasted chocolate malts, a bit of lactose sweetness, some earthy hop, and just a touch of smoke.

T - Starts off with a mix of roasted chocolate malts and some milk sweetness. There is a bit of earthy hop in the background as well. Through the middle, some bitterness comes through with some earthy bitterness. The finish is a mix of earthy hop, roasted milk chocolate, and a touch of smoke that lingers.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and just a touch creamy with a roasted and lightly smokey finish.

D - Very drinkable. Very nicely balanced with a nice kick at the finish. Maybe a bit too roasted for the style, but I am really enjoying it. (859 characters)

Photo of grub
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sampled on tap at hopcat june 12/09.

pours deep brown with a few garnet highlights peeking through at the edges. a small dense dark tan head forms, dropping slowly and leaving spotty lace.

aroma is good. smells mostly portery at first. dark chocolate. light caramel. coffee. bit of alcohol. hint of smoke. i also get just a hint of yeasty spice. roasty. toasted multi-grain bread. bit of biscuit.

taste is good. dark chocolate. bit of milk chocolate. roasty. light smoke. toasted multi-grain bread and biscuit. earthy and a bit woody. touch of dark fruit. bit of floral character too.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nice balance. neat overall. bit of complexity, but overall not much smoke for a schwarz. (758 characters)

Photo of jampics2
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter. Graciously shared by Arp and enjoyed with Paul at his place.

This beer looks nice in the glass but lacks the head retention of the best Schwarzbiers in the world. The color is dark brown to black with a hint of red and even gold around the edges. There is a tan head that left the building in the time it took to write this sentence. A soapy film remains and lace is less than stellar. Great color, bad head.

Sustenance smells of sweet caramel malt at first, then some heavier notes come in. There's some black strap molasses, roasted chocolate hints from the malt and a touch of smoke or maybe toasted or burned malt. This is pleasant and well-integrated, but there is a touch of black malt acidity that scares me that this may be stale or slightly tart. But at least the typical Shorts infection is absent from the smell.

The beer tastes better than expected. The biggest win over the smell is the way everything is balanced and pleasant. Some acidity that I noted in the nose is present, but happily not sour. Some bitterness and touch of light smoke hit mid-way through the palate. I get some notes of coffee, which are contrasted by sweet caramel and a touch of licorice. There is also a touch of bitter citrus rind, I'm assuming from the hops. A good beer with depth and a myriad of flavors, but nothing that valuts this over the bar into the top tier of schwarzbiers.

The beer is medium bodied with some thin gaps but it has a relatively pleasant and substantial feel. The carbonation is a bit high for my tastes. Overall, Short's Sustenance Black Bier
is very pleasnat and comes together well. I'm very much looking forward to trying the barrel-aged version. (1,698 characters)

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Short's Sustenance Black Bier from Short's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.