Short's Bellaire Brown Ale | Short's Brewing Company

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Short's Bellaire Brown AleShort's Bellaire Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bellaire Brown is our flagship Brown Ale. Full-flavored with notes of sweet caramel, chocolate, and toasted malt, Bellaire Brown is balanced with a mild and earthy hop quality. This ale is dark and rich with a medium body. It’s hardly classifiable as a brown, but is certainly considered a delicious masterpiece.

Bellaire Brown was originally created to appeal to people who enjoyed drinking coffee, and to beer drinkers who are not interested in hoppy options. When Joe Short was creating the Bellaire Brown recipe, he desired a beer that was meatier and burlier than most browns. Bellaire Brown is a great gate-way beer for drinkers to be introduced to darker beer varieties.

19 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2005

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Reviews: 267 | Ratings: 750
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a pretty good standard brown ale. pours a cocoa colored semi-tranparent with a one inch cream colored head. smells a bit like a cup of coffee, with some good roasted characteristics and a sturdy malt vibe. tastes a little nutty, almonds? mouthfeel is well carbonated and right on medium. nothing makes this beer stand out to me, but it is well balanced and drinkable. will look into some more shorts brews

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not the most exciting of styles, but this was an above average brown ale for sure. A great nuttiness and toffee taste, medium bodied, with nice dark brown color.. this been finished clean and smooth and was more tasty than most for the pretty generic style. Won't knock your pants off, but definitely worthy of a try.

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Photo of brentk56
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an ice tea color with a three finger head; some clumps of lace stick to the pint glass

Smell: Brown bread and caramel, with a bit of a nutskin character underneath

Taste: Brown bread and caramel, up front, with developing hints of cocoa and toasted nuts; by mid-palate and after the swallow, a bitter nutskin character arrives and lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A pretty decent brown ale, though I don't care for the nutskin bitterness in the aftertaste

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Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TheBlackMallard for the hookup!

Deep mahoghany tone with billowing foam and some random spotty lacing. Toasty malt and nutty aroma. Rich and smooth, verging on porter but not as roasty. Very sessionable. Mild wood and nutty flavor with a low level residual bitterness. The silky smooth body feels like it has a lactose element there that lends fullness. Finishes dry and toasty. The yeast adds a touch of dried fruit to the nutty toasted malt flavors that dominate. Again very sessionable with a distinct fullness for a brown ale.

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Photo of Thorpe429
1.54/5  rDev -59.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks, Short's--another infected beer. Served in a tulip. I'll say from the start, I had thought that the Short's infection issues were pretty much limited to beers with weird ingredients. Apparently this is not the case.

The beer starts off fine, pouring a moderate brown color with a pretty good off-white head with a bit of lacing. The nose is slightly sweet with some dark fruits along with a bit of an acetic character in the background. The taste is just downright awful. This is essentially vinegar at this point and really disgusting. Not much else to say about it. The mouthfeel is puckering and sour, burning my throat. Drain pour to the max.

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Photo of mothman
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass.

Pours 1/4 finger of light brown head that fades down quicky. Color is a dark caramel brown.

Aroma: Toasted malts and nut flavors. Some chocolate and light coffee notes. Has a distinguised English malt profile it seems like.

Taste: Nut flavors and cocoa with grassy hops. Light coffee and roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: Toasted and crisp. Medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation. Ends dry with cocoa flavors.

Overall, not the best brown I have had. It seems to have an off flavor to it. Somewhat drinkable.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 12/17/2015. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted brown bread, nuttiness, light chocolate/cocoa, light berry/fruits, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and light earthy hop/fruity yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted brown bread, nuttiness, light chocolate/cocoa, light berry/fruits, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted brown bread, nuttiness, light chocolate/cocoa. and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt and light earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and slightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good English brown ale style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt and light earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jlindros
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got one of these awesome Short's beers thanks to grub before some of them suddently showed up in MA, but thanks a ton Russ.

Pours a creamy 1 finger head that fades at a medium pace, over hazy but lighter reddish tan auburn brown color.

Nose brings plenty of toasty crystal malts, a bit of a very dark malt like a roast or chocolate, I think some Munich malt but I could be wrong, plenty of nice brown toasty malts, a very slight raisiny fruit, bit of a juicy sweet sugary malt base, very light earthy herbal hops, and touch of roast and coffee.

Taste brings a light roasty flavor, lots of crystal malts again, as well as some reddish malts, another interesting malt I can't put my finger on, pretty unique, some raisins and dried fig like fruits, a slight tart/sour flavor too which gives it an interesting twist, a juicy slight sweet almost tootsie roll center, very light chocolate, bit of coffee, more like coffee grinds, toasty red malts, surrounded by hints of earthy very slightly herbal hops. Finishes with a bit of a sticky sweet finish, but not too much, little bitter but very light, some lingering fruits and lots of crystal malts, and bit of toffee even, as well as coffee. Tons of different flavors in there, but nothing crazy, nothing heavy or over powered, everything well in balance.

Mouth is medium bodied with decent carbonation.

Drink is decent, bit of a sweet almost sticky finish, but not too bad, sessionable essentially, smooth and malty, nothing overbearing, balanced well, and I'm surprised to hear myself say this (in my head) that it could maybe even use a bit more American hops.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep clear ruby, with just over a finger of soft light tan head. This peters down into a thin foamy layer, that skims the surface and stays rich, leaving a big frothy cascade of lace back. The aroma is floral and spicy with hops up front, and then man, is this smooth in the nose with toffee and toasted malts.

The taste is similar, with an even mix of sticky caramel and light cocoa powder, that then melds into the back with an overall roasty and bitter profile that is sticky, tangy, and spicy. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a very smooth and slick carbonation and presence. The feel on these bottled Short's offering is ridiculous.

This is definitely one of the better Brown Ales that I've had in a while. Nice balance between the American hops, roast, and sweetness, and the feel and drinkibility of this was great. I need to bring back sixers instead of singles next time I'm up in Michigan.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains maple, nuts, caramelized malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of maple and caramel. Then a hearty malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

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

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a while but there are other in the style that I would pick first.

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Photo of mactrail
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very nutty and rich beer as a first impression. Quite sweet; sugar come forward after a couple of sips. Hops, as promised, are not very prominent. Not a bad brown with more flavor than typical. Spiciness and acidic, and a touch of honey. Some bitterness in the aftertaste, after all. Looks OK in the tulip glass with decent head and lacing, golden brown color.

I think this would be a good beer for a non-beer lover to try. It does have a bit of hops, but the interesting sweet and malty flavor of chestnuts might be appealing. Not my favorite style, but I have to give Short's credit for juicing up the flavor.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chestnut brown that becomes dark reddish orange with bright Sunkist edges when backlit. Opacity isn't necessary in a brown ale (and is extremely rare besides). A creamy slice of golden beige foam lasts for a bit and is doing a fine job decorating the glass with lace.

Here's hoping the nose becomes more aromatic with warming (note: it doesn't) because it pretty much nails the style. The spotlight is shared by caramel and cocoa, and the hops are mildly musky and earthy. The typical Cascade-like qualities are not appreciated, but then 15 IBUs is pretty paltry.

Bellaire Brown is good beer if you don't need an abundance of malt. Personally, I like richer brown ales than this. Since the brewery uses the words 'user friendly' on their website and considers this to be a 'gateway beer', it's obvious that they've brewed the beer they set out to brew. More power to them.

Flavors include unsweet caramel-toffee, bittersweet chocolate, black coffee and a leafy bitterness that is surprising, considering how few hops are present. Then again, there aren't many malt sugars to counter, so the alpha acids are actually noticeable.

Warming helps a great deal. The flavors becomes more bold and the sweet-bitter balance takes on a pleasing contrast. The finish is probably my favorite part of the flavor arc. Looks like it's time for a score bump. Drinkability was up there all along.

Mouthfeel is where the barley shortage hurts the most. This would be much better beer if it had 50% more malt. Well dialed-in carbonation keeps the score on the happy side of average.

After California, Michigan is my second favorite state when it comes to craft beer. Short's may not be Bell's or Founders, but they're pretty good in their own right. Bellaire Brown's label reads 'A classic American Brown Ale'. I couldn't agree more.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was easily my favorite of the day. A classic brown ale and another gem from Shorts. This one was served in a pint glass and consumed on 05/09/2009.

The pour was very nice. Rich dark brown in color with a huge head of tan coming up and over the top, just barely settling down into a thing veil that was just perfect across the top. Deep roasted malts and a nice hop not dominate the early aroma. As it warms some nice hints of light cocoa start to come through and really provide some nice balance to it. Really a very rich brown ale here as the feel was medium to full with lots of carbonation. Roasted malts, hints of light nuts, piney hops and a touch of chocolate made this one damn complex beer to say the least, smooth mellow, dry finish with a touch of sweetness, what more could I ask for.

Overall one of the best brown ales I have ever had, and I have no issue with that at all. This is a must get and something I will keep as a staple in my fridge.

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Photo of billab914
3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Terrapin shaped glass. It poured a deep, caramel brown color with a pretty decent sized and frothy head to it. Decent head retention to it as I drank it as well.

The aroma shows some sweeter, caramel, nutty and cocoa flavors to it. A bit of a crisp, fruity, apple and light raspberry like flavor is present as well.

The taste has a sweet, nutty and malty flavor to it right off the bat. A good amount of cocoa and milk chocolate like flavors really start to come out towards the finish along with a hint of roasty flavors. I get just a bit of a tart, fruity flavor to it as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it had some nice malty flavors to it and was a pretty easy drinking beer. It had more cocoa and chocolate to it than most brown ales and the fruity, tart notes seemed odd in the aroma for the style, but it was a pretty decent beer overall.

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Photo of smcolw
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a modest initial head. Leaves some decent spotty lace on the glass. Ruby, light brown color. Light shines through easily. Cloudy.

Powered cocoa aroma. Mild alcohol in the background.

Cocoa flavor with a touch of sweetness. The body is relatively thin with an above average carbonation. There's a brief sourness in the swallow. The aftertaste is brief.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.24/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Thanks for sharing, Dan.

A: The beer pours a light brown color with an off-white head.

S: Typical: sour. Lemon, lemon zest, and straw are the main aromas here. There is a bit of toast and roast to it, perhaps some bread and a bit of chocolate. But, it's mostly tart.

T: The flavor is a bit watery, but unmistakably tart/sour. It's actually got a weird watermelon flavor to it as well. Very little brown ale flavor to be found here.

M: Medium bodied with a high carbonation.

O: Short's just needs to get their act together.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a mug.

Nabbed one o' these out o' my buddy's fridge during our Fantasy Football draft. It pours a mostly clear ruby brown topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises cocoa, toffee, caramel, light coriander, and some seemingly random miscellaneous florals. The taste is pretty similar, with notes of cocoa powder, toffee, brown sugar, sugar-free maple syrup, and a more decisive orange zest, leaning toward Mandarin-style (light syrup, of course). The body is a heavy light, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a very nice brown, indeed. Gimme more, honey!

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Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

We recently began getting distro of Short's B.C. beers here in south-central PA & I am pretty excited about it! I have known those guys for years, between BA fests in BOS & my (usually) annual excursion to Madison, WI for the GTMW. I don't care if they are in bottles since I never expected them to come to me!

From the bottle: "A Classic American Brown Ale"; "Handmade by people who care. (tm)"

I Pop!ped the cap and let fly with an aggro pour since it was a very fresh bottle. In fact, I blushed at some of the things that it was saying! This action produced two fingers of dense, foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with good retention. Color was Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled like liquefied milk chocolate with caramel! I usually hold sweet beers in disregard, but this smelled pretty enticing. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was sweet, all right, but pleasant. It was like a ROLO candy or even a Twix bar with its biscuity maltiness! As I said, I am not usually a fan of such things, but this really was a nice change of pace. Finish was semi-sweet, restrained thanks to the malts & whichever hops they used. It had a real potential to be cloying & they managed to avoid that. Bravo! Send some more of your beers our way!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is dark brown, with a thin head that falls away quickly, leaving faint traces of lacing on the snifter.

The aroma is rather weak, with faint traces of smoke, light roast, and perhaps a mild chocolate presence.

The taste is pretty bland and uneventful. Light roast, mild bitterness, hints of chocolate. Easy to drink, I suppose.

The body is thin to medium, with moderately light carbonation.

Overall, a plain example of a brown, which I find a bit surprising coming from Short's.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: Brown in a caramel candy kind of way.

SMELL: Some roasty brown ale, but mostly sweet candy brown ale.

TASTE: Not really a typical brown ale. It's recognizable as that style, but it's sweeter than an average brown ale, and has a unique candy flavor. There's a specific candy this reminds me of but I can't remember what it is--I want to say butterscotch or caramel but those aren't quite right. In any case, something brown and chewy and a little nutty (as in, tastes similar to nuts). It's quite good, but atypical for the style.

MOUTHFEEL: Pretty good carbonation, pretty thick for a brown ale. Mouthfeel contributes to the candy impression.

OVERALL: A tasty beer. Not a typical brown ale but just as tasty as one.


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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mmmm. Man, this is one nice brown ale. Maybe I don't try enough brown ales, but I just don't seem to find many that are on this level. Excellent and oh so smooth levels of earthy wood and leafy stuff, in that brown ale kind of way. Lingering flavor just sits with you and never wavers. This, to me, is what a brown ale should be.

All these beers I've had by Shorts keep advertising all the wide variety of ingredients they are putting in each beer. The label on this one reads: "A classic American brown ale." There's nothing wrong with sticking to the traditional, but there's nothing wrong with making it better through your skill and know how.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I picked this brown off the Binnys single shelf. It is probably the best beer I've had from Shorts. It poured a clear deep mahogany with off white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent has bread. The taste is a nice balance of bread and caramel hints. The Mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall this is a solid beer....really liked this one.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A simple creamy head is made that is a nice off light tan, sitting on a simple dark brown chestnut body, with some lighter rust hues on the bottom and the sides. Really dig this head color it's almost picking up some of the body color and coming out a little red.

Sweet malt a hint of nut and that grainy husk quality in the nose. Smells like a simple solid brown ale, a little sense of wet body coming and clean.

Taste is strangely slightly sour with a great chew finish of malt brown goodness. Sour at first with a very nice almost slight syrup feel then brings some good roasted malt and some slight brown sugar sweetness on the finish.

Overall pretty good for the style, but strangely not drawn to it compared to other makers of this style. Can drink no problem no complaints.

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Photo of Billolick
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This 12 ouncer glass container has no freshness info on the bottle or label. Purchased at Spirit Haus in Amherst Ma.

Pours lightly hazed, typical brown ale brown, lite tan head, frothy and fairly loose, minor low lying and thicker blobs of lace on the glass.

Nose is of sweet and almost sugary malt.

Underwhelming, typical malting and underlying moderate sweetness. Hops well subdued.

Decent sessioner, brown ales always work as the base of a marinade..that the best I can say about this one...

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Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed some of these in Michigan while hitting up the KBS release party. Served in my Surly pint glass.

A - Three fingers of tan foam - good retention, but not much in the way of lacing; just a few spots here and there. The brew itself is a lovely mostly transparent reddish brown color. Not quite as nice looking as Bender, but still pretty handsome.

S - Lots of maltiness, with chocolate, spice, toffee, and a hint of licorice. This is a well balanced brown ale, and there is some earthy hoppiness that offsets the strong malt presence.

T - Roasted malts, with lots of caramel and brown sugar. The more subtle notes from the smell are harder to pick out at first as the taste is initially quite murky, but then they all show up on the edges of the tongue just as I swallow. Strong roasty aftertaste that I'm very much enjoying.

M - It's got a grainy quality at first, and while there is a nice initial carbonation tingle the brew goes down really smooth and creamy. No bloatiness to be found here.

D - Nice flavor, well hidden alcohol, low carbonation - a very sessionable brown ale. I just happen to prefer the hoppiness of Bender...

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Short's Bellaire Brown Ale from Short's Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 750 ratings.
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