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 | website

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Exactly what it says, “Brown beer.” This is beer fermented from wort extracted from the hearty pale ale malt, toasted specialties, chocolate and Munich selections resulting in a toasted brown color. Very light hop additions from the Cascade variety allows the sweet malty and caramel notes to shine through for duration of its time on your palette.
15 I.B.U.’s
12.8 deg. Plato
5.2% A.B.V.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2005

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Reviews: 259 | Ratings: 724
Photo of Roman5150
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

bottle into tulip

appearance: beautiful dark amber brown with slightly off white 1 finger head with aggressive pour

smell: hay, oak, earthiness, heavy malt presence

taste: sweet oak flavors with a hint of rye, tastes like maris otter malts, very english and has that sweet funkiness to it. Earthy resinous tones throughout.

mouthfeel: not very carbonated, medium bodied

overall: A highly drinkable brown ale, probably in my top 3 for the style. I could drink this all day.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

We pour a brew of dark mahogany, giving up a one and a half finger head of creamy, sandpaper colored bubbles. This shows nice retention, with mountainous sheets of lacing left around the glass. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appears to be active. The aroma gives sweeter brown and nicely roasted coffee malts. Sweetness comes from raw honey, melted chocolate nibs, white sugar, fruity red cherry, and juicy ale yeastiness. Balance comes in the form of mineral earthiness, metallics, peanut dust, and soured lactics. With warmth comes light booziness and rotting fruit, but in a good way. Our first impression is that the malts give nicely contributory sweetness, but otherwise show a cheaper, overly light, adjuncty, and metallic side that doesn’t quite do the beer justice. As we sip, the flavoring opens with freshly soaped plastics, amber and brown malt sweetness, soy sauce saltiness, tinny metallics, English yeastiness, and light cinnamon spiciness. The peak comes with granular white sugar sweetness, bittered roastiness of the darker malts of the bill, light coffees, almond skin, mores soaps, and a sweeter Belgian caramel maltiness. The end finishes with a wash of fusel booziness out of nowhere, light Tootsie Roll sugars, light floral hoppiness, herbed honey sweetness, bittered chocolates, hazelnut, metallics, and garbage bag plastics. The aftertaste breathes of musk and dust, earthy mineral, standard browns and toasty ambers, sweeter pink bubblegum airs, fusel booze flavoring without any of the offensive punch, plum sweetness, walnut, citric hop gas, and mildly soured dried cranberry. The body is medium and chewy, while the carbonation is medium. Each sip gives nice slurp and smack, with slightly lesser cream and froth. The mouth is initially coated with an oily bite, to be left chalked and bone dry by the end. The abv is appropriate, and the beer glugs rather easily.

Overall, the most enjoyable thing about this brew was its flavoring. The look started things off nicely, giving good color and a nice head. The aroma is where we lost points, as it lacked general robustness and let the malts fall too far to the back in their inherent aromatic contributions. To contrast, the taste showed every side of the grain, with bitterness, bready sweetness, caramels, roast, and earthiness, giving a little something different at each turn, and with each sip. The drying roast on the feel was the icing on the cake, helping to keep that nice flavoring flowing.

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Photo of czfreeman
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice ruddy brown tone. Head is creamy, slightly tan . Almost like a Flemish bruin color.
Smells bready. Black tea, a touch of sour cherry-like flavor. Bit of a nutty character.Brown ales have a distinct nutty aroma about them I really enjoy and this one is a dead ringer. The slight sourness adds another great dimension to the bready malt and sweet tones.
Flavor is delicately balanced with grains, touch of fruit, good addition of bittering hops.
Really nice caramel in the finish.
Let this beer warm, the flavors develop exponentially into one of the better browns I've had.
Mouthfeel is a great balance of medium body meets near perfect Carbonation.
Excellent Brown!

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Photo of breakingbland
3.64/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Poured a deep reddish brown with some cloudiness. The head was slight and settled down to a ring of foam rather quickly.

Smell: The aroma was basically sweet with some hops but also with a sour component that combined with the sweetness in a way that was a little disconcerting. However, after the first sip, the sourness seemed to recede.

Taste: A fairly rich, deep flavor profile. A slight amount of the sourness came through on the taste, but the main impression was a nice malty sweetness, well balanced by slight hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and light, fine carbonation.

Overall: A very enjoyable beer that I'll definitely have again. (Curious to see if the sourness in the aroma is characteristic of this beer.)

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.04/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

A 12oz bottle with no visible BB date. Purchased from a webshop quite a while back and stored in my garage.

Poured into a straight pint glass. Bottle conditioned. A dark reddish-brown hue with floating sediment and low carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy white foam with decent retention; this slowly subsides to a surface layer. Aroma of sweet, grainy malt with notes of caramel, chocolate, mild roasted malt, dried fruit, faint brown sugar, tea and earthy yeast. There is also a strange sour overtone that seems out of place.

Tastes of caramel malt with a sour character and a dry finish. Notes of lactic acid/mild vinegar, caramel, dried fruit, brown sugar, faint biscuity grain, mild roasted malt and earthy yeast esters. Surprisingly acidic - I assume this is infected or has deteriorated. A mild, dry quality upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly with good body, but flat and undercarbonated. Lacks texture, though slightly astringent. Aftertaste of sourness and caramel malt.

Meh - not brilliant, although the aroma gives the impression that it could have been. There are some nice malty hints that suggest a decent brown ale lurks underneath the acidic off-notes. Not sure what happened here; the sourness is quite clean, almost like yoghurt. Bacteria perhaps? Or maybe it's just age - without a BB/bottled-on date it's impossible to tell. Oh well, I review it as I find it (though I'll re-review if I get a fresh one someday). Disappointing.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I know I'm thinking of this beer much higher than most of the people on this site, but I can't help myself. This is a great example of why I love me some dark beers (that aren't stouts or porters).

Appearance: Pours a deep brown color -- almost black if it's not held up to light. The head is about two fingers and it's nice and creamy. The lacing is phenomenal and holds up til the bottom.

Smell: Meh. I don't get much of an aroma out of most browns, and this one's no different. It has that typical malt, cereal, grainy aroma that you'd expect. Not bad, but average.

Taste: Awesome beer. The taste has a wallop of malts, but also consists of chocolate and coffee notes in there as well. The finish has a dash of spice and a tiny bit of bitterness, but it's just about perfectly balanced against the sweetness. The feel may be the beer's highlight -- very smooth but not too thick or cloying, and satisfying. This may just be my favorite "drink anytime" Fall seasonal, and my favorite "normal" beer from Short's overall.

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Photo of CMUbrew
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a Sam Adam's pint glass

A: Couldn't get much head on the pour, but what was there was white and quick to fade. Brown and clear in color, which has lots of lighter brown and ruby accents in bright light.

S: Toasty, bready, and caramely malts work together and actually give a much better nose than I was expecting on this brown.

T: Bready maltiness, slightly sweet, with some toastiness in there somewhere. Aftertaste shows a little sweet caramel maltiness.

M: Perhaps just a little too thin. Nothing wrong here, just not exactly what I wanted.

O: A good brown ale, but nothing that really blew me away. Enjoyable overall.

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

Bottle to pint glass; color is impressive, solid head that quickly dissipated, decent lacing. Smell is sweeter than I'd prefer but is certainly prominent in respect to the style and overall quite pleasant.

Malt heavy flavor. Toffee on the nose but once it's in the mouth the flavor becomes less refined - a more lightly burnt caramel swallow. While mentioning those flavors, however, the beer is arguably more drinkable and a bit more clean than the standard brown. The sweetness, which is prominent, is not overpowering. And while my personal taste favors a stronger hop presence (especially in the finish), this beer is a favorable version of a malt heavy brew. Overall, and particularly if you're a fan of browns, try this beer! (As always, Life is Short's.)

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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 NoLeafClover44
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this a while ago (thanks michibrew) and just found it. 12 oz. bottle poured into standard pint glass.

A - Pours a very dark brown with just a halo of almond colored head. Some lace left on the glass.

S - Black coffee, chocolate malts, a little bit of pine, and mud. The aroma is decent, but faint.

T - Starts with bitter coffee and some pine. Some bready malts in the middle. Finishes with a sweet milk chocolate aftertaste. Pretty good.

M - Active carbonation and a pretty thin body.

O - A solid, easy drinking brown. If you are in the distribution area, I recommend grabbing a six pack for a full flavored session beer.

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Photo of BennyL1
2.18/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Found a leftover single of this in the fridge so even though its a bit warm out for a brown I figure why not. No freshness date - poured into a perfect pint glass.

This brew pours a nice chestnut brown color with a thin off white head. Minimal lacing on the glass.

Pretty malty aroma, caramel mostly. Some other kind of odd roasty scents in there as well. Not really feeling this so far.

Taste is not what I expected at all, and that isn't a good thing. Caramel malt and dark fruits but overall a watery feeling to it. This beer just tastes off - maybe because of age but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Medium in body but watered down. Not much carbonation which leads me to think that this beer is past its prime. Oh well, that's why breweries need to put some dating info on the bottle. So it goes.

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

a - poured a one finger thick creamy tan head into a snifter that left nice sheeting throughout. the body was very dark brown.
s - caramel and toffee dominate.
t - toffee with some chocolate sweetness.
m - slick and medium.
o - one track mind brown ale. doesn't mess around. really tasty.

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Photo of beagle75
2.95/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic glass.

A: Clear, light brown color with less than one finger of diminishing light beige foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Caramel and cooked mixed fruit are at the center of this beer's smell. Lesser chocolate is also detected, as well as very discreet carbon dioxide.

T: Begins off-dry, with mixed fruit and mild roasted malt that is made unfocused by carbonic acidity that shows up almost immediately. The latter half of the flavor profile is saved by intensely toasty Munich malt that follows the eventual decline of the acidity. Hop qualities, including bitterness, are largely absent although a phantom of acidity lingers on the palate.

M: Thin viscosity, watery and slightly acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This ale is a mediocre effort from a brewery that is known for putting quirky and unique twists on traditional beer styles. Although the texture is unconvincing in general, it is the early acidity that holds this beer back from being a better example of its style.

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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 Mavigo
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

An old time favorite. Served in a nonic.

A: Pours a hazy medium chestnut color with almost no head and a thin white ring being all there is for lace.

S:Smells of wheat, malts, barley, hops

T: has a rather sweet and woody taste too it, can pick up on yeast, barley, malts, wheat and hops at the finish, although they are faint.

M: Medium bodied with good amounts of carbonation, fairly well balanced

O: Overall this is an excellent, local brown ale that is not too pricey and is easy going and is great for fall drinking.

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2.56/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

355ml bottle. Tumbler glass. From my notes (mar´11). Light reddish brown color. Close & lasting crown. Light aroma profile: toasted malts & herbal hop touch. Sweet upfront. Medium body, watery texture. Quite flat & boring. Smooth bitter finish. Unexpected from Short´s.

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

A- pours a rich deep brown with ruby highlights. Frothy creamy looking light tan head is produced with an average pour. Good head retention but not much lacing.

S- not a huge nose but a pleasant one at least. Mostly toasty malt aromas with notes of caramel and cocoa powder. Simple and straightforward.

T-starts out with toasted crusty homemade bread malt flavors with sweet caramel and brown sugar notes. The faintest touch of balancing bitterness hits mid palate. Finishes with a lingering toasty malt and a hint of cocoa dusted nuts. Nice lingering aftertaste. This is wonderfully crafted beer for a style that I generally do not care for.

MF- full creamy mouthfeel with a medium body. Average carbonation.

D- very hearty brew that begs for burgers and other grilled food. Good drinkability.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, the ale was dark with a a certain degree of cloudiness in the brown coloring. It had only a slight head that disappeared quickly. In the aroma, the ale was tart and perhaps even vinegary. It was not the most enticing aroma. The first sip was a dry chocolatey taste with notes of prune and a delightful hint of chocolate covered cherries. The tartness largely overshadows the sweet notes which is appropriate for the style. In the big picture, it combines to demonstrate elements of a sour ale. The aftertaste was dry, which continued the initial impression. The ale left a nice dark chocolate coating on the tonuge, allowed to linger by the modest level of carbonation. This is a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of bigkingken
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep, rich mahogany that falls just short of opaque, the beer has little scent, but what there is smells a bit nutty. There’s plenty of flavor though, with the nuttyness being the least of it. Surprisingly sweet for a brown, it tastes almost like a lightly sweetened mocha latte. Not bad.

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

A: Fairly dark brown with some caramel coloring as it hits the light. Small, maybe one finger off-white head.

S: Pretty well balanced, get some caramel, as well as the distinct smell of a hazelnut iced coffee and barely, fairly nutty overall.

T: Great balance again, very nutty and slightly sweet, sort of like a baklava maybe. I really picked up a bit more roastiness in the flavor also.

M: Very smooth and refreshing, medium carbonation

Overall I quite like this. Brown ales are typically one of the more plain styles, and while this one didn't venture out and do anything crazy to the style, it nearly nailed all the texbook characteristics of a classic American brown ale.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A beautifully dark beer that is almost opaque. A decent coffee-coloured head and extremely creamy mouthfeel make it a true pleasure to look at, as well as to drink.

Aroma is more subtle than I'd choose, with only a hint of the roasted chocolate malts that are so well presented in the taste. Caramelized malts and nuttiness are well balanced, with a delightfully spicy and lingering finish.

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Photo of korguy123
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into pint.

A- Hazy brown pour with a finger of creamy white head and good lacing.

S- Caramel, marshmallow, graham cracker brown sugar and slight vanilla and coffee.

T- Subtle coffee, slight char, leather and toast. Not nearly as complex as the nose.

M- Medium bodied, creamy with good carbonation.

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Photo of LiquidBread219
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

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

T=The taste is pretty bland and uneventful. Light roast, mild bitterness, hints of chocolate. Easy to drink but nothing really stands out for me.

M=The body is thin to me, with moderately light carbonation
Overall, a basic example of a brown ale.

O= Overall a average beer there wasn't a lot going on in it. I just basically had it in a mixed six pack so it was worth a try not something I would seek out.

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

A - Nutty brown coffee color. A nice one inch thick creamy brownish head. The head shrunk down, but maintained about a quarter of an inch for the duration. Faint lacing and webbing.

S - Nutty, oaky, chocolate, caramel, toasted nuts. Smells very hearty and appetizing.

T - This has a nutty and oak flavor almost earthy taste up front followed by a dessert like taste of caramel and malts. Faint bitterness in the finish. Smooth as a babies bottom.

O - This is solid as a beer comes. One of Shorts' best selections (among many) and I will keep this in my regular year round repertoire. A classic American Brown.

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Photo of ChugginOil
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a FFF pint glass.

Poured a dark a dark, hazy, amber/red color with less than a fingers worth of off-white head. Spotty lacing.

Then nose has an abundance array of oats, roasted malt, cocoa, and espresso.

The taste has some roasted malts, a touch of espresso and some more malt. A touch of smoke and tobacco as well.

The mouthfeel is light-medium with ample carbonation.

Overall, decent brown but nothing out of the ordinary

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Short's Bellaire Brown Ale from Short's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 259 ratings.
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