Freedom Of '78 - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Freedom Of '78Freedom Of '78

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

129 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 129
Hads: 466
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.31%
Wants: 63
Gots: 53 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: surlytheduff on 12-16-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 129 | Hads: 466
Photo of stooge
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

As others have pointed out, this is most definitely not retired, it is a collaboration between Shorts and Half Acre that is released annually in the spring. I remember missing out on getting any last year, and jumped on two six packs this year when I found some. This was my first time tasting this brew, and I was not disappointed.

A- Deep orange, slightly hazy at first, with a nice head that vanishes quickly. Very little lacing, low carbonation present.

S- Tropical fruit aromas, guava, pineapple, and citrus provide a quite pleasant nose and make you desire that first sip right away!

T- The presence of guava and slightly sweet fresh tropical fruits explodes on the tongue, followed by an herbal piney hop flavor. There is no harshness, just a nice smooth blend of guava, pineapple, mango, grapefruit, and piney hop flavors. The initial sweetness quickly transitions to a nice mellow hop finish. Delightful!

M- Low carbonation level, a bit on the thin side.

O- Absolutely love this beer, smells and tastes great. Would prefer a bit more body and carbonation, but the balance of tropical fruits and hops are truly delightful. I will be stocking up on this, as it is only available in limited quantities on a seasonal basis. Highly recommended! (1,253 characters)

Photo of blankenhoney
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle dated 3.31.15 and enjoyed on Easter Sunday 2015

A: Slightly hazy orange-ish gold with a thick, foamy head. Love the slightly unfiltered look

S: Pure guava. Guava, guava, guava.

T: Guava juice and a touch of pine sap. Fruity, juicy, and bitter. Really, really nice stuff.

M: Actively carbed, crisp, dry, and bitter.

O: I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The nose just explodes with guava, and the flavor profile pretty seamlessly melds the sweetness from the guava and the bitterness from the pine. Definitely a fruit-forward beer, but it's not even close to being overly sweet. This is a great take on a tropical IPA. (630 characters)

Photo of JordanEllwanger
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice transparent copper tone with a pure white big bubbled head. A tiny ring of sediment around the bottom of the bottle. Smell is so sweet and bitter, full of hop and guava aroma. The taste is very much the same hops up front with a growing guava aftertaste leaving the flavor of fruit mentos on the taste buds. A very tangy bitter citrus bite to it that seems to be a little overpowering and taste like lemon peels. I like the way this ale disperses along my palate it seems to mellow itself out. A great ale that could use a little less citrus bite.
Cheers! (562 characters)

Photo of 33nickadams
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Golden color, semi transparent, about a finger of head when poured, a little lacing
S- Piney/citrusy, it actually reminded me a lot of spruce pilsener
T- A nice piney bitter IPA
M- Medium body and good mouthfeel
D- I only bought a single, but I wish I had at least another one.

A great IPA. Lets hope they bottle this more than once.

April 2012 notes- Really glad they brewed this again. I'm loving the pineapple, pine nose and citrus taste. Shorts puts out a lot of different offerings but every now and then, they hit it out of the park. Changed overall to a 4.0. (570 characters)

Photo of gnemesis
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from 2010 poured into wine glass.
Pours amber mixed with orange, topped with a small white head. Dissipates quickly and not much in the way of lacing (wine glass perhaps?). I immediately pick up the citrus and some hits of guava in the nose. The hops are present but mingled with a touch of honey. The taste follows but the guava is more pronounced and mixes well with the citrusy bitterness from the hops involved. The sweet fruitiness of the guava and the touch of honey keep the bitterness from overwhelming this tasty brew. Medium body and a perfect amount of carbonation in this one. It doesn't finish as dry as some IPAs do. I liked this a lot and have already purchased more. Even better- the girlfriend loves it. Would be great nice and cold on a hot summer day. (782 characters)

Photo of travMI13
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage. 12 oz. bottle poured into a large, tall tulip.

A: Pours a nice, deep goldenrod orange with a slight haze and with a finger of fluffy white head. The head dissipates fairly quickly, leaving some lacing behind. A decent amount of sediment is floating around near the bottom of this glass.

S: Musty funky fruit mixed in with a healthy dose of both citrusy and earthy hops. Something is kind of off-putting about the nose, but there is something very intriguing about it as well.

T: A healthy dose of that musty and funky fruit flavor hits you first, but it is brought up nicely by both the citrusy and bitter hops on the back end. The earthy notes almost remind me of some type of bread, except unlike with most Belgian-style ales, it is pretty bitter. Easily the most interesting IPA I have ever had, and incredibly tough to describe.

M: This beer is silky smooth on the palate with a nice lingering juiciness. The guava gives this beer a nice juicy mouthfeel that many IPA's just don't have.

O: This is one of the most unique IPA's that I have ever had. So many unique flavors that I have never had in an IPA, or any beer for that matter, before, and that makes it very difficult to review. This beer is not for everyone. It, however, is a very well-executed IPA from Short's, and I will pick up a few bottles any time it is released. (1,352 characters)

Photo of sculls65
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden, almost light amber, with a white sticky head that laces down the glass. There is just a hint of haze peering through it. The smell is wonderful..tropical guava, pineapple, grapefruit and floral hops dominate. Taste is hop forward with grapefruit first untill the guava sweetens midway followed by pine. The malt bill is present but in the background nicely. Mouthfeel is fine with a dry finish. Very refreshing and drinkable. (441 characters)

Photo of srv33
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Honey pour, almost no head, great lacing. Smells of grapefruit, guava, citrus, and pomegranite. Tastes of guava, pineapple, grapefruit, and lime. Very well balanced, an incredible IPA, its somewhat similar to hopslam really, though a little fruitier, and slightly less balanced. Would drink again. (297 characters)

Photo of kevinv
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to beerindex for the Box 'o Short's! No dating noted on the bottle.

A - Pours a slightly hazy vibrant orange with a large fluffy white head. Carbonation is visible and bubbling the whole time.

S - Wow, this smells great! My experience with guava's is zero-to-none, so I never would have guessed that's what it was, but the smell is very distinguishable from your typical IPA. Healthy dose of citrusy hops.

T - This is odd...in a good way. Most IPA's that have the citrusy flavors like grapefruit, orange, lemon, etc., seem to come through either on the front or mid-palate, but the guava flavors here are strongly present all the way through this drink. Even minutes after my last sip, I still taste it. Nice prickly bitterness. The finish is sweet, as noted above with the lingering guava flavors.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. There is an unmistakable oiliness here.

D - I actually really enjoyed this one. I had been interested in trying some of Short's offerings for awhile since they seem to be so outside of the box and this one definitely showcases what they can do.

Looking forward to trying some of their others. (1,151 characters)

Photo of K-Dog
4.61/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite ipas. The guava works perfectly and the smell is amazing. My favorite shorts beer by far. Only complaint is this year the back end if the taste seems slightly off this year from years past. Still a great beer, highly recommended from any ipa fan. (266 characters)

Photo of otto251068
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Chimay chalice. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours a slightly rust, red, copper color. Lets plenty of light through, very inviting. A couple fingers worth of eggshell head rises after the pour, very dense and tightly packed. The head finally settles to a thin layer with some dense patches. Almost perfect.

Smell: Hoppy right off the bat, mainly a pine smell, very herbal and reminds me of the outdoors. Once you get beyond the pine, the is a ripe citrus aroma way back there. Grapefruit, just a touch of peaches, and then finally the guava.

Taste: Plenty of bitterness here. The hops have definite pine flavors, although I do get some soapy flavors. It isn't all hops though, there is a slight malt body hiding in the middle. There is also lots of citrus provided by orange and grapefruit. There is peach and guava that hits at the end and compliments the other flavors very well. It also almost erases the huge hops that were there only moments ago.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation. Finishes very clean with only the smooth guava and peach flavors lingering along with a slight hop bitterness. A little sticky.

Overall: IPAs are usually one and done with me, as I am not crazy about huge, hoppy beers. However, this gem from Short's has those fruity guava and peach flavors that give a great ending to each swallow. This is very enjoyable and drinkable for an American IPA. (1,432 characters)

Photo of gustogasmic
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light-clear yellowy copper, with much, much carbonation and a thin white ring/ sparse hazy head.

The smell is a nice acidic guava/ mango, entirely tr-hop-ical.

Holy guava me! This flavor comes across HUGE in the nose... how cool to say there exists a GUAVABOMB! Fun, fun beer. Earthy hops deliver a bitter that carries the hops along well. Besides the bitterness, this is a clean-drinking beer- not sweet, and a little dry in the leave. Rarely do I want more sweetness in a beer, but here I think it'd be appropriate. Sticky-icky mouthfeel.

I think someone from Central America would have a better vocabulary to discern the tropical flavors in this beer. It's insanely tropical, and powerfully hopped. Love this one. (729 characters)

Photo of ryantho00
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This intersting brew from Short's pours a hazy and sandy straw orange with a nice frothy 2 finger that laces nicely.

Oh boy, what a beautiful nose!!! Guava, grapefruit, orange, citrus, a slight toasted oats wheaty undertone. Very nice whiffs here.

Wow, instantly guava, grapefruit, before I even inhale, then a nice blend of citrus, orange, guave, more grapefuit, a nice sour/bitterness from that grapefruit/guava taste, this is really very tasty. I get a nice blend of fresh hops throughout, great freshness, are those cascade hops? Well done Short's. Nice hoppy aftertaste, and good dry almost sour finish, very reminisent of grapefruit ( I guess that is more the Guava). Very very refreshing, alchol is well masked throughout, great creativity, good balance and smooth medium bodied drink.

Short's release a massive number of different beers each year, and it seems that sometimes they may dilute themselves, and just when you start to believe this, they bring out a new beautiful brew like this.

Wonderful, would go nicely with some aged spicy cheese and creamy pasta. I really enjoyed this and will be drinking this frequently throughout the summer.

Cheers!! (1,169 characters)

Photo of pmoore311
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle on 12/23/10

Appearance - fantastic copper color, white head, and some nice lacing on the glass

Smell - this is where this beer really stood out for me, awesome scent of tropical fruit, you can really smell the guava, and piney hops.

Taste - this is a very unique IPA, tropical fruits shine through with an almost pine like aftertaste and dry finish, very tasty indeed, and unlike any IPA I have had before.

Mouthfeel - fantastic bubbles that compliment the style.

Drinkability - I could easily drink many of these in one session, the tropical fruit and hops are not overly ruinous on the pallete.

Overall this is a truly unique take on the style, and something I hope these breweries continue to brew. Truly great collaboration. (760 characters)

Photo of Flopjack
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle into tulip

Appearance - A pale orange, slim white head, pretty transparent but still has the slightest haze.

Smell - Pine, juicy tropical fruitiness, also some grapefruit and what suspect to be subtle guava.

Taste - Juicy sticky fruity resin and grapefruit right at the beginning that contributes a tart quality that eventually becomes more mellow and flavors of dryer pine, grapefruit zest, and an outstanding fruity flavor of guava that seems to carry well the entire time.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, medium carbonation, refreshing, tart.

Overall - Good beer. First time having this beer and I'm gonna say I'm not surprised by the taste. Defintely looking out for this one again next year. (707 characters)

Photo of adapt313
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Just exploding with guava. More guava, a little pine tar, followed by guava. The fruit flavor, although dominant and in your face, never comes across as artificial. Tart and sweet at the same time but finishes dry and piney. Bursting with fruit yet not overdone. One of the only shorts releases I really look forward to every year. (336 characters)

Photo of NuckleDragger
2.69/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I really wanted to like this beer after reading other reviews and buying into the hype. Picked up two Freedom of '78s in a mix-and-match 6 pack.

A: Light sunrise orange with just a tad of haze and a small dissipating head.

S: The smell was good. Standard sweet IPA smell with good hints of fruit. So far so good.

T: This is where it went down hill for me. The guava took over in the taste department and left a terrible aftertaste. Yuck!

M: Just a light carbonation on this one. Boarder line watery.

O: I have never had guava, now I know why. The after taste is like a seagull shit in my mouth. Freedom doesn't taste like that. Not sure If I am gonna drink the second one or dump in down the drain. (703 characters)

Photo of tophers
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured hazy straw with a little bit of particulate matter floating throughout. No big deal - used to this with Short's brew (e.g. Key Lime). Smelled delicious....mix of apricot and oranges. Tasted just the same with quite a kick of bitterness. A bit of a woody hop taste that is noticeable. I would have preferred the apricot and orange taste to shine a little more.

Another very good beer from Short's!! (405 characters)

Photo of SeaUrchin
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

poured into my duvel tulip

appearance - golden orange with mild to moderate visible carbonation, a head of about a finger and a half

smell - strong citrus fruit up front with a slight hoppy aroma at the end

taste - starts off with a nice sweet fruity flavor similar to kiwi(ill assume this is the guava because i havnt had guava nectar without vodka in it) then it moves into a mixture of bitter hops and sweet citrus fruit, finishes with citrus kick and a nice bitter hop flavor that lingers

mouthfeel - thin, not as water but far thinner than i had anticipated, carbonation lightens this up a bit, very drinkable but i would have liked mine a bit thicker

drinkability - very easy to drink, nice sweet citrus, the bitter hoppy finish leaves you wanting more, would be very nice on a hot summer day, if this was released as a year round or summer offering it may replace soft parade as my go to shorts summer beer

over all this is a pretty decent brew, better than shorts year round offerings, as stated if re released i would buy it again (1,046 characters)

Photo of masey222
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly cloudy golden pee color not to different from a macro american pilsner with a small to non existant head and a good lacing all the way down...
It smells of the guava and mellon like sugars, delicious to me, with a tinge of really sweet floral hop...
god, it doesn't taste like anything I have ever had, the guava really comes through in the beginning with a really rich sweetness then as you swallow the hop comes through and dries out the palate and leaves a really nice and dry floral IPA taste in your mouth, all and all the beer is very well balanced and interesting to drink, an adventure in every sip...
It has a light carbonation that isn't abrasive and is crisp which really adds to the flavor and over all drink of the beer but the consistency is like tonic so a little thin for me...
It drinks well and is a very intriguing one of my more preferred fruit beers thus far. (897 characters)

Photo of Copernicandream
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip. ~ 3 wks from bottling date.

A: Goldenrod / light copper color. One finger of fine soapy head that fades quickly, leaves a moderate amount of lacing on the glass as I drink.

S: Pure tropical fruit. Smells like the roadside juice stands in South America, guava, mango, papaya. Very "tropical." I get no banana or clove esters (a definite plus).

T: True to the nose up front, tropical guava-ness. A very mild malt balance in the middle that fades into some typical piney hop bitterness. There is a subtle something distasteful on the backend that lingers into the aftertaste - soapy peppercorn.

M: Relatively thin, moderate to upper level carbonation with significant amounts of fizzy rising bubbles. I would have hoped for a slightly thicker mouthfeel to coat the tongue and release more of those tropical notes.

O: Good but I can't rave. The guava smell is perfect. Absolutely incredible, but it doesn't translate perfectly to the taste. (982 characters)

Photo of wifehatesthebike
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearence is light amber, fairly clear with a thin fizz of bubbles.

Smell is possibly the best attribute. I get what smells like citra hops and papaya. The smell fills the area near the glass.

Taste is papaya and guava followed by a sharp orange pith tartness.

Mouthfeel is memorable in that it's quite full bodied and chewy. Viscous.

Overall this is an excellent, unique brew from Shorts. No IPA I've tried compares to the flavors in this beer. Points for originality. (474 characters)

Photo of Gorgoroth
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased for $1.99 at Peter's Imports in Grandville. Shared with BA mermatinger, from notes taken on 01/14/11.

Presentation: Typical layout for a Short's label -- bright colors and missing key information, heh -- but this is evidently a different artist than the one who normally does the painting for Short's. After some investigation, I found a bottled-on date of 11/24/10 on the glass of the bottle.

Appearance: Pours into my 24oz oversize snifter a deep gold with amber tinge, sparse but vigorous carbonation, very large bubbles which die down a bit after a minute or so. A frothy, dense white head blossoms unevenly and quickly dissipates to an uneven ring with a small rocky island in the middle and light, soapy film swirled around the whole surface.

Smell: Lots of fresh, citrusy hops hit the nose and, of course, guava. Other sweet tropical fruit and grapefruit are evident and almost overtake the hoppiness.

Taste: The taste is an incredible assault of hops and tropical fruit. Citrusy, zesty, oily hop bitterness is balanced and foiled by sweet and citrusy-bitter tropical fruit (grapefruit, guava, papaya, lime) with an underlying sour, lemony tang. In a way, it tastes like drinking a perfect mix of fresh IPA and grapefruit juice.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium and crisp while the carbonation is very light. There is a juicy, mouth-watering sourness played against a bitter tang while a dry bitterness lingers on the palate but does not overpower. Tangy, citrusy bitterness remains, like after taking a big swig of fresh grapefruit juice.

Drinkability & Final Thoughts: This is one damn drinkable beer. It is complex and bitter but also sweet and tangy. the sweetness is not overwhelming or cloying, but rather balanced perfectly with bitterness and dryness. Very delicious, and it would be so perfect and refreshing in the hot summer months -- I truly hope I can find a bottle that taste as fresh as this come June or July! It's awesome to see a great Michigan brewery with limited distribution team up with a great Chicago brewery also of limited distribution, and produce such a great beer. This beer is a perfect balance of an amazingly well-made, straightforward style -- American IPA -- with a bit of signature experimentation provided by these forward-thinking brewers. I don't know if there are many other IPAs brewed with fruit, but if they're half as good as this one, they're worth a try. This one gets a huge stamp of approval from me (and I've already had a couple more since this review). I hope to keep seeing this beer around because a two bucks, I'll keep buying and drinking! (2,614 characters)

Photo of carolynschaf
4.84/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best beers I have ever had. Right when you open the bottle you smell the guava and it is refreshing. It brings a sweet flavor that makes it the perfect summer beer without adding fruit like orange or lemon. When you taste it, it shocks you with the flavor. First it's fresh and fruity then the hops kick in for a distinct finish. I thought t was very cool that it was a partnership beer in Chicago especially since Short's does not sell outside of Michigan. (469 characters)

Photo of rkat32
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle dated March 30, 2015.

L: Deep golden hue; half finger of head retreats into a sudsy foam; good clarity, no sediment present.

S: Intense nose of guava and mango; overripe strawberries, raw honey sweetness, blueberries, lemon rind; west coast IPA leaning aromas.

T: Tropical fruits, cracker malt base makes its presence known on the back end, lemon-lime, agave plant sweetness but finishes dry. Very drinkable.

F: Slick, resinous mouthfeel, somewhat thin but refreshing. Mid-level carbonation.

O: Tropical fruit forward IPAs are slowly becoming somewhat of a novelty now, but this Short’s / Half Acre collaboration was ahead of the curve when Freedom of ’78 was released years ago. Would be great in cans in the summer as a change-of-pace beer, but I will take it when it hits shelves in Michigan annually as an early spring release. (857 characters)

Freedom Of '78 from Short's Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.