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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 83 | Hads: 165
Photo of tai4ji2x
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap during the short's throwdown at the roadhouse, in brookline, ma, on april 24, 2009, the week of the craft brewers conference.

very dark, almost black. reddish brown and clear under the light. head recedes to wispy layer, then just wisps and thin ring. lacing exists but is somewhat sparse.

aroma: dark caramel and molasses with roast note, almost coffee. hint of licorice? light whiffs of earthy, grassy hops.

taste: sweet dark caramel, hint of molasses and fruit, with more roast malt and coffee note, mixing with earthiness of the hops. moderate to bold bitterness, both resinous from the hops and roasty from the malt. more sweet caramel with dark fruit hint, peeking through the bitter, resinous finish.

medium body, with moments of light syrupy quality. resinous astringency in the finish is accentuated by the crisp carbonation.

perhaps a bit unconventional for a schwarzbier, but quite flavorful overall.

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Photo of semibaked
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a pitch black with a thin layer of brown foam.

S - Big roasted malt aroma strikes me first then dark chocolate and a bit of licorice.

T - The taste is similar to the smell big roasted malt flavors, good bitterness from the dark chocolate and some of the licorice too. Nice flavors!

M - Medium bodied with good creaminess and has some chew to it too.

D - Definitely happy with trying this and you should too. Great effort from Short's here.

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Photo of IPA35
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle with no freshness date or alcohol percentage. We in Europe have better regulation regarding these issues it seems.

A really, really dark brown, nearly black beer. You cannot see through it and it has a thick frothy off white head. Pours thicker than for example a true German schwartzbier like Köstritzer.

Smells more intense than I expected, not unlike a stout. Coffee, roasted malt, dark chocolate, a light smokiness. Not much hops and quite sweet from the nose of it.

The taste is more subdued as per the style.
The roastiness is not very strong, the flavour is one of this light roast, sweet malts, dark chocolate and slight earthy hops.
It is actually rather nice yet still quite drinkable.

The body is medium and the carbonation is low to medium. Smooth and a little creamy.

Overall this beer is more flavourful compared to beers like Köstritzer. This a little less sessionable though, but that's not a big issue for me.

A nice beer, recommended.

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Photo of Lukafer
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes:

Again, thanks Josh!

Appearance is black, really black with a thin tan head. Smell is roasted malts, dark fruits, anise, and some pine thats kind of burie. Taste is roasted malts, coffee and maybe some molasses. Mouthfeel is okay, astringent, and drinkabilty is pretty low, one is enough, still glad I had a chance to try this one.

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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.

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Photo of gnemesis
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass on 04/09/2011.
Pours dark- definitely a black bier. The head is off-white, dissipates quickly, and leaves little lace. The nose is full of caramel, dark fruit, a few dabs of maltiness scattered about. The taste offers up some coffee, vanilla, slight roast, and chocolate. Medium body and medium carbonation. Overall I like this offering from Shorts. Very drinkable.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

$3 on-tap during Happy Hour at HopCat.

Appearance: Welp, it's black. What did you expect? Decent lacing, nothing special.

Smell: Ash. Smoke. Chocolate.

Taste/feel: Like the smell... tastes like ground up bricks, soil, smokey ash, roastiness, and a bit of chocolate. That should sound disturbing -- and it was disturbing to my dad and sister -- but it's what I thought the beer would taste like, and I enjoyed it. The smoke/ash flavor isn't massive, but it's definitely there, and the chocolate/coffee flavors follow. The feel is a bit thin for my liking, but it does make this a very drinkable beer.

Another tasty brew from Short's. I'm not too sure I like this more than their Black Diamond, which is a pretty similar beer, but it's still one that I'd like to have again when I want a dark beer that's not quite a stout or a porter.

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Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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.

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Photo of david131
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A very deep dark brown, bordering on black liquid with a creamy light brown head that settles to a thin covering with some bubbles and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Anise, smoke, cinnamon, coffee, and dark chocolate. Very aromatic and intriguing.

T- Smoke, anise, coffee, dark chocolate, and a bit of earthiness. Meaty with strong lasting favors.

M- Slightly watery but there are some strong lasting flavors and a nice level of carbonation.

D- An interesting beer that I am glad to have the please of enjoying. Something worth trying.

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Photo of bierenutz
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a dark brown color with mocha thin head and moderate lacing about the glass.
S-Coffee, dark chocolate, licorice and malt dominate the aroma with milder notes of caramel and hops.
T-Burnt malty coffee flavor with milder citrusy elements and a finish and afternotes of smokey oakey earthiness which lingers on and on.
M-Creamy but not thick, it has moderate carbonation with a little bitterness at the finish.
D-This beer got better as it warmed. I started out with it from the fridge and didn't think much of it at first, but by the end it had a respectable taste and feel and turned out quite tasty.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely jet black in color with a slight tan head-more stout like then a schwazbier but that's ok! Average aroma-somewhat spicy with a slight coppery/metallic note. Wonderful flavor-nice mix of roasted grains and a caramel like toffee flavor. Slight trace of licorice as well. Just enough hop bite to balance the whole thing out. Lingering sweetness. Velvety smooth mouthfeel. While it lacks the overall clean crispness of a lager and is far more stout like to me, this is one damn fine beer and very, very drinkable. Almost gone in 3 large "sips".

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Photo of minterro
3.85/5  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.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvell tulip. A single finger of eggshell white head formed on top of the dark brown(not black) body. The foam quickly dissipated, leaving behind tiny traces of lace.

The nose has lots of roasted malts, some weak coffee, dark fruits and brown sugar...nothing really sticks out as an overpowing aroma...

The roasted malts start and finish the taste. The middle finds the sweetness of the brown sugar. The finish is where the earthy peet/coffee flavor comes out.

Light to medium mouth feel...a tiny bit watery with moderate carbonation.

This is a pretty decent offering...nothing fancy but very easy to drink. Refreshing, not heavy as the name would suggest...

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Dogfish Head Shaped Pint glass. Thanks to rfraga77 for the hookup. The bottle says "for when you're thirsty and hungry" and that advice seemed to fit the bill here.

A: Pours a thick dark brown body with a tan colored 1 finger head that dissolves into a 1/4 finger head as I drank it down the glass. Lacing seems pretty thick and consistent.

S: Toasted chocolate malts, coffee, molasses, tobacco, light hop presence and a yeasty tinge to it as well.

T: Malty up front, a hint of coffee, hops, and the toasted malts are definitely present as well. Not one flavor stands out on its own - a nicely balanced brew. It definitely warms the insides on its way down.

M: Light, yet creamy. Perfectly carbonated. Coats the mouth nicely with a light bitter coating that is only quenched with the next swig.

O: A good beer. Nice light flavor, nothing overpowering yet there are a bunch of good flavors in it to enjoy. This one was an easy drinking, good beer. Although I'm still hungry.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 6-5-10

Pours a completely cloudy, almost black color, with a little light brown around the edges. The tan head settles nicely, with pleasant lacing.

Smell is deep and malty, with notes of oak, molasses, and coffee. Very complex for a lager.

Taste is more subtle than the smell would lead you to expect, with a tart bitterness and lots of smoke. The finish is all coffee bitterness, and lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good, slick and nicely thick to accent the malty flavors.

Drinkability is very good, the bitterness balances things out and it easy to drink.

Overall, one of the better black lagers I've had.

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Photo of FRivard
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
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

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Photo of drxandy
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz to standard pint
pours a nice black (dark dark brown) with a tinge of red in light, cream colored head fades quick

smells of roasty malt, chocolate, light hops

taste is thinner than expected, roasty and smokey all the way, chocolate, coffee, lots of flavor, citrusy hops in the back bitter nicely

mouthfeel is thin but creamy, very sessionable for me, i could drink a ton of them

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Photo of hosehead83
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into an English dimpled "pot" pint glass
Dark, black in color with amber highlights-nice head of off-white foam
Aroma-Subtle chocolate and coffee notes
Taste-Coffee, black patent malts,dark chocolate-Dry, black-coffee finish.
Overall, rather medium to light bodied, with a dry finish. Pretty tasty and very drinkable.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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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.

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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.

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

Pours very dark with a little bit of color shining through as you hold it up to the light. After the pour, there's a nice tall, fluffy head on top. Great looking brew!

The aroma is a nice, roasted malt meets molasses type of scent. It's not that pungent, but it definitely has a dark, robust feel to already.

The taste has nice complex, dark flavors, from roasted malts and coffee to peanuts. Its body is relatively light considering it's dark stature and bold flavors.

The aftertaste has a nice peanut/coffee bitterness flavor that lingers for a good while, leaving a slight palate altering taste.

Overall, they don't mince word when they say this beer is like a meal. It's rich, bold, dark et al. It's not necessarily a hot summer day brew, yet its light body allows for easy drinking. It's full of dark flavors that would be great for a BBQ. Think of it similar to a nice, black stout, but with a sweeter profile. And since the ABV wasn't readily available, I'm guessing it has a fairly low %, since I'm getting much more flavor than I am buzz. Very tasty brew.

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Photo of BBP
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a near black with shades of cherry and chestnut. Some head, but slight. Small amounts of lacing.

S- Extremely roasted aromas. Slight chocolate and coffee creeps through. The roasted aroma is somewhat dominant over everything. Hard to pick much else out.

T- Roasted malts and very slight amounts of caramel malt. A bit of cocoa can be tasted in the aftertaste as well as some sweetness.

M- Not quite stout or porter thickness, but very close. Has a considerably dry finish. Carbonation is spot on.

O- Another good brew from shorts. The only downside for me was reading the line under the bottle "For When You're Hungry and Thirsty" and having it fall a little short of the sustenance thing.

That aside, it tastes good, but will probably be forgotten.

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