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Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Short's Brewing CompanyShort's Brewing Company
Based on:
172 Beers
18,447 Ratings
Place Score: 100
Ratings: 205
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: n/a
Taps: 20
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

121 N. Bridge Street
Bellaire, Michigan, 49615
United States
phone: (231) 498-2300

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @shortsbrewing

Place added by: fantome

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Ratings: 205 | Reviews: 86 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nflmvp
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Visited Short's on our whirlwind beer tour, April 23rd, 2009 so I'm more than a little bit behind on posting this review.

The atmosphere of the pub is awesome. They've done a great job with this old building and it's very inviting. The first thing you notice is the 16 foot high ceilings and all of the excellent woodwork (done by Joe, himself). The floor, bar and tabletops are all hand made and the quality shows through. The decor is fairly eclectic and it's a perfect fit for the pub.

Quality is top notch....in the beer, in the food, in the service and in the building itself. I was not disappointed in anything and we hung out there for about 4 hours. This year, I'd love to spend and entire day at Short's but we'll have to see how the trip planning goes.

Service was great, too. We had a couple of different bartenders and they were both very attentive. Of course, the place wasn't even 1/4 full so we had that going in our favor.

Selection was top notch. There were numerous taps available and most of the entire Imperial Series as well as a couple of Anniversary series beers...and I took a little of everything!

Food was very good, too and the menu selection was varied.

Pricing was about what you would expect from this type of establishment.

All in all, this was a most excellent place to start our beer tour and we fully intend to get back here again, even if it is a 7 hour drive.

Photo of goethean
4.8/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Food --- Good selection, high quality.

Service --- Very good. We had a complaint and it was dealt with in a thorough, accommodating fashion. They are clearly serious about serving their customers well.

Beer --- Outstanding selection --- 16 beers on tap. We (by which I mean I) had two flights of samplers: 10 beers.

Ambiance --- Coming to this rather young urban professional place directly from the laid-back, rural UP resulted in quite the culture shock. However, the place is family-friendly: there were young kids running around constantly, and no one said a word. (This is a plus in my book.) Also: bars with sofas and coffee tables are a plus. The folding chairs, on the other hand, were not as comfortable.

We enjoyed the live music, and the staff that I spoke to were more than friendly. However, the atmosphere (i.e, my fellow customers) is not really my speed.

Photo of webmanspidey
4.28/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Short's pub is comprised of a room with the bar and a few small tables next to a larger room with larger tables and a stage for live music. There was a pretty wide age distribution, and pretty crowded on a Saturday night.

They have a wide variety of rotating beers on tap and their Imperial series available in 750 mL bottles to go. I was there just in time to try the 2009 Anniversary Ale.

The menu was comprised of sandwiches and pizza. Food and beer was all very reasonably priced and everything was ordered at the bar.

Definitely worth visiting if you happen to be in northern Michigan.

Photo of Georgejt
4.05/5  rDev -11.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

We drove off our route to eat and have some of the beers at this brewpub. We were very pleased with out decision. The food and beer was excellent. The atmosphere was very welcoming, rustic, and original. We had the sampler of beers and really enjoyed The Magician brew. The place had a number of families, which I found quite odd at first. I guess I'm not used to seeing the local brewery as the place to bring the kids out for food. However, there seemed to be a lot of out of town people on vacation eating and drinking at this place. Even with the family friendly atmosphere, I very much enjoyed the place and would definitely recommend traveling to the little town to have some beers and a bit to eat.

Photo of Sammy
4.2/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

An exceptional place to visit, this is a full day drive from Toronto. A touristy area, relaxed, and that filters into the brewpub. Exceptionally friendly service, everyone seems to acknowledge you are there, and with a smile. Many, many bottles and varieties available, easing the travel burden. Many beers, mostly one-offs, on tap and there were some very good ones that invent their own style or take you someone you have never been in that style.A variation of styles on tap, a guest tap would have been interesting, and of course some casks.

Photo of akorsak
4.38/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Visited for lunch on the second day of our Michigan tour.

Atmosphere: Wood, lots of it, adorns the bar and entrance. The long wooden bar is immediately on entrance, with tables also dotting the area. A separate seating area includes a stage. We settled on the bar.

Quality: Top notch. The restaurant was clean, food was good, beer was great, and staff was friendly. A great experience.

Service: The barstaff was attentive and friendly to us as out-of-towners. They offered samples and recommendations along with chatter.

Selection: Over 15 beers on tap! The stand-outs were the 2009 Anniversary Ale and Strawberry Short's Cake. We ended up carrying out way too many things but it was worth it.

Food: Food was a step above pub grub. My quesadilla was very nice with just enough heat from the salsa to rattle my tastebuds.

If you are anywhere near Bellaire, stop and visit. We had a great experience.

Photo of kbeals
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Short's did a pretty good job of converting this old hardware store into a brewery. Has a nice small town atmosphere to it along with a set of great workers. All of them seemed very friendly and more than willing to answer any questions you might have. They had around 15 beers on tap I believe, although they didn't have any stouts on tap, which was somewhat disappointing. This was on their anniversary day however, so I was able to pick up a couple bottles of BA Sustenance and they also had the six packs of their IPA, Brown, and Pale Ale for sale. The place was getting pretty crowded by the time we left, and unfortunately there's not much room in there. Food selection wasn't real big, and it was somewhat pricey. However, their beer was pretty well priced, $3 for a 14 oz. pour and $4.50 for a 20 oz. pour for most of their beers. The quality of their beer is outstanding obviously and I was glad that I made the trip up. I would definitely like to come up again sometime, hopefully their Cup-A-Joe will be on tap then.

Edit: I went up there again and this time it was little less busy which made a definite difference. Their service was outstanding, arguably the best waitstaff I've ever had at a bar. Once the music started the place seemed to mellow out and there were less people moving around which made the place much roomier. Short's is an awesome place to be.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.1/5  rDev -10.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Last stop of the day as part of a whirlwind Michigan beer tour. After driving from Kuhnhenn, Dark Horse, and Bells, we were ready to chill with a good meal and great beer.

We hit up Shorts around 9:45 after a long-ass haul from Bells, and found the place totally jam-packed. We totally lucked out and got a table near the bar after we had ordered beer. I guess that a lot of places in Michigan don't have waitstaff that got to the tables? Odd. Anyways we found that they only offered pizza at that time with the kitchen closing pronto, so we ordered up quick.

Short's seems to be split up into two halves. The bar side with just a few seats at the bar and several tables, and the live entertainment side. I have no idea if there were any tables on the other side as there was just a sea of people standing.

Lots to choose from on the chaulkboard. Plenty of regular draughts with a few seasonals. Lots of growlers being filled and plenty of the Imperial 750's still for sale ranging from $16-$25. Ouch. I didn't see any of the anniversay beers for sale though, and I was dissapointed that there were no six packs available of Humalupalicious.

The Pizza was great but they really skimped on the toppings on my side. There might have been one or two slivers of onions on each slice. Minor gripe on a very good pizza otherwise.

The beer was very good, as expected. Pam had a Cup 'O Joe, and I had a Golden Rule and a Humalupalious. I hate to say it but after experiencing so many rare, over-the-top beers from Shorts at the Extreme Beers fests, I was mildly dissapointed at the selection. Loads of variety but the bigger, bolder stuff was fairly limited.

We were really beat, and we needed to unwind in a quiter space so we split after a couple and hit the sack. I feel that we really "Shorted" ourselves on this visit!
No sign of Joe either, too bad because I had a bunch of beer for him.

We would definately go back. Shorts is a long haul from the Southern part of the state, about a four hour drive, but the whole NW part of Michigan is beautifull and theres plenty to explore.

Photo of ffejherb
4.33/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Visited with with fellow BA's brewslut, Deuane and SierraGS on 11/29/08 for the annual Brew-Ski event.

Short's is situated in the quaint little town of Bellaire, MI. It was particularly cold and snowy during our visit, which was probably par for the course during this time of year in Michigan. We were able to park right outside the brewpub, which was nice. Upon our entrance, we were greeted by a decent-sized room with high ceilings and a short bar, as well as a variety of seating options, including some old car seats! On the far, "colder" side of the establishment (and down a few steps), there are plenty of tables, a side rail for standing, and also a nice-sized stage for musical entertainment. The band on this particular night was unfortunately not that great. At any rate, it is still awesome for Short's to host live music. Overall, this place has a really unique vibe.

The selection on this particular evening certainly wasn't lacking, especially for stout fans, because they had FIVE great stouts on tap, including a S'more Stout (complete with marshmallow garnish!), Coffee Stout, Irish Stout, Peanut Stout and a Mystery Stout. In addition to the special stouts, they also had a variety of excellent ales, fruit beers and more. All in all, I'd say around 20 beers on tap!

The service and food were both fine. Prices are reasonable as well, although their 750ml bottles are a little pricey. Still, we took home a bottle of Soft Parade, which brewslut absolutely loved. This definitely has a hometown feel, and I wish I lived closer! It kind of reminded me of Selin's Grove a little bit, although much bigger. But it still has the same type of atmosphere.

If you ever find yourself in the vicinity of Bellaire, MI, do yourself a favor and stop in to Short's. This place has the entire package, from a cool, unique vibe to some of the best beer around!

Photo of Deuane
4.53/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Visited with SierraGS, Ffejherb and Brewslut for the Brew Ski Bash. A fun place, in a small town, off the beaten path in the northwestern section of Michigan's lower peninsula.

A small bar that seats around 10, and a unique seating area in old car seats greets you. Exposed brick walls, high ceilings, exposed piping and such. A rather small, cozy and inviting space. The other side contains the music room connected by a doorway and ramp/stairs. This area has a "roadhouse" feel with scattered tables and a nice sized stage for music acts.

Selection was impressive to say the least! Just about everything you could ever want, to include five stouts to choose from for the Brew Ski Bash! You could even get bottles of the Imperial beers if you found the draft list of 20 some beers to be lacking!

The food was very nice and reminded me very much of our beloved Selin's Grove. A nice soup, good wraps, pizza and munchies. All very well prepared and perfect to compliment the beer.

Service was very solid with good attitudes, good beer knowledge and big time help when I was ready to order my almost 2 cases of bottles and 6 growler!

If Short's was in my hometown I would be a very happy man! This place has the balls to try "different" things....come on S'mores Stout, Bloody Beer, Soft Parade...and they combine it with a warm atmosphere and good food. What more could you ask for.

Short's has vaulted into my "short" list of must visit places in the USA. I will most certainly be back to visit whenever my travels take me anywhere near Bellaire, like going up I-75! I will make sure to give myself extra time for a visit.

Keep up the great work Joe!

Photo of malty
4.7/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Visited yesterday afternoon with my wife after sending a couple days in Traverse City & Old Mission Peninsula (more-or-less Michigan's wine region).  Although the bar seats around 8-10, there were a couple open stools (with backs - nice).  Being a Huma Lupa fan for over a year now, I brought a couple empty growlers.  Refills only 8 bucks!  They even honored my 'foreign' growlers with no problem.

The place is exposed brick walls with 14 ft. high ceilings, exposed HVAC ducts, nice woodwork and a cool bar top that reminded me of an old bowling lane - but with cooler designs, insets, etc...  The room 'live music' room connected to the main 'bar-food' room is way-cool.  No live acts while I was there, but it's nice to have the option to listen from the other side or sit in the midst of the music.  Hardwood & tile floors, good amount of scattered tables and lots of natural light from the front windows.

Selection was crazy!  Everything you could ever want (except a draft stout - no biggie though).  I even got to enjoy the first tapping of the Funkin' Punkin' right before I was about to leave.  My wife was very gracious sticking around while I 'had to' try a pint, (of which I had my 2nd growler filled)!  I tried the Noble Chaos, Black Cherry Porter, Reg. & Chocolate Wheat, Autumn Ale, and London Red - ALL SPECTACULAR!

Food was terrific.  Minestrone soup, Crostini & warm artichoke & cheese spread, warm pita chips with gourmet olives, feta spread & hummus - ALL SPECTACULAR!  The pizza & wraps looked awesome.  Our service was exceptional with warm and friendly smiles and attitudes with good knowledge of the products.   

Overall I would be the happiest man alive if Short's were in my hometown.  I'd literally be there almost everyday.  The prices are very reasonable.  The food is unique, high quality and tasty.  The beers are top-notch in every aspect and priced very fair ($3-$6).  A 'must try' if you're in the area or jonesin' for a fantastic beer destination!

Photo of Gtreid
4.95/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

On vacation in upper Michigan, so where does one go for their birthday...Short's Brew Pub of course. The beer here is world class. the Huma Lupa Ipa, is one of the best IPA's I've ever had. Just an oustanding selection of original beers. The service was top notch as well. The waitress actualy took our names and remembered them the entire time, even though she had to have been waiting on 20 other guests. The food, although deli-style, and limited on the menu, was great. My wife thought their spinach dip was the best she's ever had. We left just before the live music began, but all in all just an extra special B-day present from the wife. If you are anywhere close to this place, you MUST go, fantastic! Skal.

Photo of sloppymoose
4.86/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

absolutely outstanding. phenominal beers that are way too original for their own good. i could easily spend 500+ dollars here, buying all of the beers in the imperial series and their anniversary ales. the selection of beers was excellent, served at a perfect temperature. the atmosphere is outstanding, with odd regalia adorning the walls and the separate area with a mini stage (no live music when i went). i cant praise the beer enough, honestly, my favorite brewery. just outstanding. thanks to the purchase of the woodmaster from the imperial series, i know that the wood walls, ceiling, floors, tables, etc. inside was crafted by bill sohn. very woodsy feel to the place. absolutely amazing. even when my brother ordered 2 of every beer in the imperial series, the bartender was quick to run and get them for us. just a great place. must visit.

Photo of SaucyA
4.64/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Short's is such a great brewery. Being in Bellaire, the town has a nice and cozy feel to it that the brewery mimics quite well. Everyone seems to know everyone else, the pourers were really nice, and people remember your name.

The atmosphere is very cool, with lots of exposed brick, wood, some great Cadillac chairs, and two large, sprawling rooms. One room is the bar, and the other has a stage for concerts and such.

The service was great, and everyone was more than helpful. Even while it was packed (for the Anniversary party), everyone pouring had a smile on their face, and you would wait in line for less than a minute.

The selection is top notch. A phenomenal array of both experimental and traditional brews, with a plum stout, a coffee stout, and a great fruit beer that all stood out. Also, their hoppy beers, including their Anniversary Ale, the Stellar Ale, and the Huma Lupa Licious IPA were phenomenal. The bottle selection is also great.

Basically, Short's has a great up-north feel to it, but still captures the urban quality of my local breweries. Joe creates some killer brews, and you'd do yourself a disservice if you didn't make at least one trip up here.

I highly recommend this spot, and will come back again soon.

Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.58/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Amazing place. Joe remodeled himself, it used to be an old hardware store. It's a pretty impressive building. It was pretty crowded but we were lucky enough to get a seat at the bar.

There are 16 taps of great beer, I'd move to Bellaire just to be closer to this place. Some of the highlights were Cup-A-Joe, Bellaire Brown, Uber Goober and the Rocky Top Black Cherry Porter. Everything served in a 16 or 20 ounce pour.

The staff is amazing, they some of the friendliest people(except Kristen.) Leah was awesome and Jon gave us an outstanding tour earlier in the day.

The pizza was good and very filling.

Photo of Baileyuk
4.88/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

About unique as you can get. It is converted out of an old hardware store and most of the brewery (including the stunning bar) is handcrafted. In putting this place together they managed to blend class with an eclectic mix of furniture and decorating that creates a unique atmosphere and appearance.

There were a lot of beers on tap and they also had about 20 different beers in bottles available. The most notable was a set of 13 Imperial beers with varying degrees of craziness including Peaches and Cream and a Bloody Mary Beer.

The food menu seemed a little uninviting as I am a plain eater. That said everything I tried was exceptional. I especially liked the Artichoke Pesto Dip, the Pizzas and the soups. I belive they are in transition a little right now and are expanding the kitchens out later in the year.

The beers are great and what a variety. There are the favorite IPA's of course but then a varying mix of all sorts of beers. A good one was the Soft Parade which was a fruity beer that finished a little dry like champagne. There was no wine or liqour which was a small problem with some people in the party although everyone found something they liked.

The brewery is somewhat divided into two halves. The pub side and the stage. The stage side is raised on a beautiful stone stage that gives great accoustics throughout the building. There seems to be live bands most weekends and a lot of weeknights in the summer.

A community feel that sucked out my stress out of me. I want to be there now!

Photo of BeachHoppy
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I have been to Short's several times. I am from lower Michigan and am fortunate enough to have a summer cottage on a quiet lake about 30 miles from Bellaire, where Short's is located. My wife and I often ride over to Short's for a late lunch and a few beers.

Atmosphere: this place is what you expect in a brewpub. Cool music, good food, interesting building, and a variety of friendly people. No pretentiousness here.

Beers: there are only 3 or 4 breweries in Michigan that produce the selection and quality that Joe Short does. Across the board, Joe produces solid products, and is a true brewmaster.

Service: I think Short's is challenged with being able to retain staff. They have some good friendly people, but sometimes the staff seem indifferent. The staff seem to come and go, but there are a few superstars, like Leah, that do a great job and hold the place together.

Food: a great menu for a brewpub. They basically have a deli menu, but it is solid, with quality breads and meats, and not your ordinary stuff. Many of their selections are made fresh and use fresh, local products, including some meats from the local "smokehouse" which is worth a stop if you are going to Bellaire.

Closing comments: my wife and I love this place. We usually have their beer on tap in our home kegerator. Highly recommend a stop here if you are within 300 miles!

Photo of northernbrews
4.83/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I've been to Short's quite a bit over the last 3 plus years they've been open.

I usually stop in here at least once every time I'm up north at my mom's lake cottage on Intermediate Lake. Me and HellsBells24 were up last weekend taking all the toys and docks out of the water for the winter. I stopped in here to pickup my GABF sponsor card (dollar pints for a year – Hell Ya) and t-shirt and have a few beers. (THANKS AGAIN JASON AND TODD! for the hookup)

Surprisingly I haven’t rated Short’s yet, but I figured this would be a good time.

Atmosphere: This is located in an old hardware store in downtown Bellaire. The interior is very cool. It kind of reminds me of Bell’s Eccentric café with the unique art and set-up. The walls of exposed old bricks have some interesting painting and other art. The handmade wood bar is pretty cool too as are the various types of seats throughout the place (old barrels, car benches, leather mis-matched couches and chairs). There are two separate sides (one with the bar and some seating and the other with the stage and some more different seating). During this visit, we sat near the stage (We didn’t really have a choice since it was packed). Definitely a cool and relaxed atmosphere.

Quality: Everything here is done top-notch. From the expertly crafted beers to the unique and good ass food, you won’t feel like you just wasted your time and money here. Everything is homemade and it shows.

Service: The service here is usually very good. It was very busy on Saturday (no open seat in the whole place), and the wait for beers was pretty quick. All the staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the food and beers. They are always giving non-locals help picking out something good. If you sit at the bar or in the bar area, they are always willing to give out samples before you buy a pint.

Selection: They have by far the best selection I’ve seen at a brewpub, period. It’s actually quite amazing that a small brewpub in northern MI can offer so many tasty, unique, and damn good beers at one time. First they offer the 13 Imperial Beers for either takeout or to enjoy at the pub. These are not cheap ($15 - $22.50 per 750 ml), but they are worth it if you think about the quality and amount of ingredients and time it took to brew, age, and bottle these. I’ve had the Carob Stout, Soft Parade, Black Cherry Porter, and Publican Porter and they’ve all been excellent. I hope to have the others soon. They also offered the 4 Anniversary IPA’s (Part One – 20% + triple IPA, Part Deux – regular barrel aged, Part Deux – barrel aged - double dry hopped, and Part Deux – barrel aged w/ grapefruit for 9 months). These 12oz goodies ($7 - $9) are also available to consume there or at home. I’ve had all these too, and these are also good with the grapefruit part deux being extraordinary. We had one of these during this trip. For the beers on tap, there are usually about 10 – 15 regular beers ($4.50 for 20 oz pint) and 4 or so premium beers ($6.00 for 14oz tulip) on tap at a time, which was the case today too. We had the Bellaire Brown, Huma Luma IPA, and Chocolate Wheat Stout this time. Other beers that I’ve really enjoyed before that were on tap this time were the Black Cherry Porter, Pandemonium Pale Ale, and Autumn Ale. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the Stellar Ale or Cup a Joe Crème Stout this time, but these are damn good too. They also fill growlers to go for about $12 for the growler and fill. We got a Chocolate Wheat to go.

Food: We didn’t eat here this time (we went to LuLu’s Bistro a few doors down – definitely worth checking out if in the area – it’s one of the best restaurants in northern MI – IMO), but I’ve had most of the stuff on the menu. They have some unique and good sandwiches and pizza’s. Everything is homemade and usually have some different combinations that you don’t usually see at brewpubs.

Value: You definitely get what you pay for. Some of the items are a little pricey, but for what you get, you don’t feel like you’ve been ripped off and you’ll be satisfied. If you plan on going here often, the mug club is a good idea. The mug club mug is about 32oz and they’ll fill it with the regular beer for $3.00 or $3.50 and $6.00 for the premium beers.

Overall: This is one of favorite brewpub overall if you factor in atmosphere, selection, quality, food, and most importantly beers. I’ve been to a few that have had better beer and food, but not all in one. This is worth a few hour detour to come enjoy some of the most unique and carefully crafted beers in the country. I’m very lucky my mom has a lake cottage a few miles from here, so I can have Short’s beers pretty much whenever I want. If you get a chance, stop in, you will not be disappointed.

Photo of willygreen
4.53/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Shorts is my favorite brewpub in Northern Michigan. There are several other brewpubs right in or near Traverse City and I often will drive 45 minutes just to get to Short's. The beer is that much better there.

If you are a pale ale fan you will be in heavean; they usually have 5 or 6 on tap. I usually get half pints so I can sample 3 or 4 beers and then I take two growlers home. My favorites are the huma lupa liscious, hangin frank, coffee stout and the autumn ale.

The food is always good too, great sandwiches and pizza.

My only complaint is that sometimes the food takes too long - over 30 minutes - but the beer is so good I don't mind waiting. The staff is really friendly but I wish they knew more about the beer because there are always beer geeks there asking questions.

Photo of mgobrew
4.38/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Seemingly every year at the Michigan Beer Fest I tell my wife that we need to get up North to sample at the source. Finally the dream was realized…although it was a spur-of-the-moment and too quick I was not disappointed.

We stopped in for a late lunch as we made our way to Traverse City for the night. The place had quite a few people in it for 3PM on a Saturday, but we were greeted quickly and offered a menu and an unsolicited introduction and description of the beers on tap. We decided on a sampler to start. One of the choices I asked for the Smoked Apple Ale as I do like a good smoked lager from time to time. Immediately I was given a taste by the bartender as to not “waste the whole sample.” This was thoughtful given the beer type as well as the fact that it was busy and she could have just let me deal with my choice. As it turns out I really enjoyed the taste as well as the sample. It was different than many of the smoked beers that I have had in that it had a noticeable sweet apple presence in the finish. It truly tasted like smoked apples. I recommend tasting in it and giving it a shot just to broaden the beer pallet (It went great with the pok loin sandwich!). I also had the Stellar Ale which is brewed for a local establishment and only available there and at the brewery. It was a very nicely done Pale Ale with a nice hop kick. I was told it was brewed to have less alcohol than an IPA but the same amount of hop bitterness. I would agree it was my second favorite behind the Huma-Lupa-Licious IPA. If this IPA was bottled and distributed in MI, it would definitely be a regular in my fridge. There are several great Michigan IPA’s and this one ranks right up there.

We split a pork loin with cherry and apple chutney sandwich for lunch and it was outstanding. The whole menu seemed like it was cutting edge with a variety of not your every day run of the mill offerings. Our next visit will involve advanced planning and a room at a closer B&B to take advantage of the menus of beer and food.

We took three of their imperial beers with us and I look forward to trying these special hand numbered and signed offerings. I’ll review them as they are consumed….

As I said before the place was pretty busy but the service was outstanding. I think each employee at some point stopped by and asked how we were doing and thanked us for stopping by. This is a very special place if you get a chance you must get here. This brewpub is a gem in the Michigan wilderness which will definitely be a more frequent destination for this BA. I have a feeling even if they grow larger that the atmosphere will remain as welcoming.

One drawback was the temperature, there was no AC and as the bar was filled with patrons it did get quite hot on this August afternoon. Other than that, this place rocks!

Photo of stouty1
4.43/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Stopped in on my way back home from Traverse City on a day long business trip at lunch time. Laid back atmosphere with order at the bar mentality. Not too busy but definitely a popular place with people keeping them in business. We met everyone that worked here or at least that served us. They asked our name an welcomed us.

Food has as much flavor as the beer. Spices and flavor oustound! Had the Chocolate Wheat and it was great. See my review. Menu had enough choices for everyone delight at pretty reasonable prices for the average brewery. Portions were not overwhelming like most breweries but the flavor satisfied enough.

I was very disappointed that that did not bottle their Huma and were out of Growlers! Now, what do I do??? They just forced me into another trip!

Highly recommend this place. So much in fact, that I made my colleague go 45 minutes out of the way before we headed back on our way home (3.5 hours roundtrip).

edit: Before I left we asked for a tour since the guy I was with had never been in a brewery before. They walked us around and found out we had traveled quite a distance to come see them. Leah (brewer Joe's SO) said she would go home and pick up a couple Growlers for me. She came back and filled up two of them for me! Outstanding!!! Where would you ever experienece that kind of service? That was awesome and I truely thank her for that! That bumped up teh service 2pts!

Photo of nicholasb
4.86/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Stopped by on a Sunday evening while on the way home from Sleeping Bear Dunes (12 miles or so off the highway and in the middle of nowhere). Stopping by was a good decision.

Very relaxed atmosphere. Clean and simple and well-kept. No acoustic jam as advertised. Small, mellow Sunday night crowd.

I was somewhat disappointed, but not surprised that Short's Imperial line of ales (from their anniversary party in June) was no longer available. Alas, I had already had Soft Parade (aka Ye Olde Leg Spreader) the night before (@ City Park Grill in Petoskey) and a keg of Pontius Road Pilsener at my wedding the weekend previous, so I opted for a Hangin' Franks and then a Chocolate Wheat.

Hangin' Franks, I am told, is a contract beer that is only sold at City Park grill and Short's proper. I would have purchased a growler of it otherwise. Dubbed a stong American pale, it seemed to be a member of the IPA clan. It is a flawless beverage, and were it available in the bottle where I live, it would be one of my go-to ales.

The Chocolate Wheat was an exotic delight. Coffee-like, roasty, yet medium bodied; it would make a very nice dessert beer, though I didn't eat there.

The staff was chill and friendly, but not in-your-face, and definitely not uppity. And though they're not necessarily quick to move in the name of service, they were closing up shop by 10:00 pm as we sipped on dregs. All the same, we needed to be on our way by that time.

It was an excellent experience and well worth the detour. I'll definitely go back for a longer stay the next time.

(Note: There isn't much in the way of lodging in Bellaire and that could present a problem if one spends too much time in Short's tap room. Consider making arrangements ahead of time.)

With no reservations, I would rank Short's alongside Founder's and Kuehnenn as the Happy Triad of Michigan breweries. Highly recommended.

Photo of xav33
4.6/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Went to da UP and figured I would hit Short's on the way down. I walked in the door and the place looked clean, new and inviting. It was fairly busy (around 5pm), but the tall ceilings make it so the crowd noise wasn't so disruptive.

The quality of their beers is excellent, but I've only scratched the surface...

The service was great but they were busy and apparently in between shift changes so they seemed a bit slowed down due to the amount of orders. Very friendly and smiling staff. I asked some specific questions pertaining to the nature of the hops in the beer and the brewing process and the guy didn't know so he went to try to find Joe Short who unfortunately was unavailable :(

They have way too many beers!!! ( or I don't have enough money)

I only dropped by to pick up a few beers and head back home, I was too tired to throw back a few and relax after having been on the road for 6 hours driving ( I probably would have passed out on my barstool), so I didn't get the full effect, just a 15-20 minute session of talking and moseying around the bar checking out the artwork and general atmosphere. I will definitely go back again though for the full experience, this place is great, smack in the middle of nowhere right by Traverse City, my favorite MI travel destination.

Photo of Magpie14
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Great place to sit and grab a quality beer. I had my doubts about going to a brewery in the small town of Bellaire, MI. But upon my arrival I was very impressed. The brewery itself has a nice atmosphere with quailty brews, friendly staff, and big selection. I loved the old plush leather cadillac car seats used as furniture!

All the brews I tried were tasty the brown ale, pale ale, soft parade. Not to mention the sips I had of my friends and samples that I tasted

Service was good and they were wise about their beers. A very nice lady gave numerous samples to my friends and I and gave the history of the beers and local favorites. I must say that I was impressed!

I was very surprised by the number of beers on tap, had to be at least 12! and they covered all types from light to dark. I did not eat but If the food is anything like the beer it should be pretty darn good.

Reasonable prices for great craft beers! Can't go wrong! Make the trip if you are ever up that way. I plan on looking for these beers around town and making the trip to Bellaire again. Way to go Short's!!

Photo of frazbri
4.43/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Short's Brewing Company of Bellaire, Michigan is right on the main street of small northern town, and Bellaire isn't exactly a pitstop on the highway. If you get to Short's it's either as a destination, or an extremely happy accident. I made it a target on my return trip from Ontario.

Short's public area is divided in two sections. The main bar area is located on the north side of the brewpub. The bar is along the north wall with tables and stools and a couple more homey furnishings as well. The south area was a sort of lounge. Most of the seating being the more padded, living room style adornments with a few tables as well. The stage sits at the west end of the lounge. Friendly, folksy art adorns most of the wallspace in both rooms. The whole place has a homey vibe to it.

Food and beer service was at the bar only on this sunny memorial day monday. The staff was friendly, and courteous. The menu is deli sandwiches, soup and pizza. We ordered sandwiches and pints, found a table and relaxed. The food took a little while, but it was hot upon arrival. (There was a pretty big group ahead of us, and it wasn't suprising to have a little wait.) I had a chicken sandwich that was on the specials board, it was tasty and had a nice, spicy kick. My cousin ordered the Puerto Rican Power quesadilla and noted the salsa was hotter than he expected. We both enjoyed our lunches.

The beer menu was quite impressive. There were aproximately fifteen beers on tap, and the variety available should appease almost any beer drinker. They brew many session strength beers as well as thier heavy weight ales. I had a pint of the Chocolate Wheat Stout, and my cuz had the Village Reserve. I also grabbed a growler of the Huma Lupa Licious and one of the Stellar ale. There were no duds in the bunch.

Would I go to Short's again? I intend to visit again and again. I've been mapping out routes, trying to determine the best way to get there on my future northern expeditions. This is the kind of place I go out of my way to get to.

Short's Brewing Company in Bellaire, MI
100 out of 100 based on 205 ratings.