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

very good
259 Reviews
no score
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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: 722
Photo of paulginva
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: This beer, poured from a bottle into a pint glass], produced an off-white fizzy 3/4" head that dissipated quickly leaving virtually no head lacing. Carbonation was moderate in a muddy brown body with ruby highlights.

AROMA: Moderate toasted dark malts and toffee with a less pronounced scent of caramel

TASTE: Pretty much the same as aroma. Moderate toasted malts and toffee with lighter notes of caramel. Also, a light taste of citrus hops -- not very strong. Some light nuttiness and spicy notes rounded out the taste. Not exactly what I expected -- a little more bitter than I would expect from a brown ale.

MOUTHFEEL: This beer has a medium to full body with a smooth texture, moderate carbonation and virtually no body lacing. What body lacing there is dissipates quickly. The initial flavor is moderately sweet with just a hint of sourness to it with a lightly bitter finish that lasted for a moderate length of time.

DRINKABILITY: Easy to drink and repeatable, this is a nice brown ale, well suited to Michigan's cooler temperatures. It's a good session beer with an agreeable price to value ratio. It has an interesting malt-hops balance, though it seemed a little more bitter than I thought it would. It would make a nice beer for sitting around and watching a football game with friends -- always a good thing.

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Photo of JustAnotherGalen
2.6/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz into a Tulip

A: Poured a transparent light brown out of the bottle. In the glass has a crystal clear brown/red color and a surprisingly white head that quickly recedes. The head formed with extremely small bubbles, leaving some thin lacing on the glass, and a thin white rim of head.

S: Hard to make much out. No hops. Some malt, more bread crust than anything else, and a little of something bright and sour.

T: Watery, sharp acidic carbonation up front, some sweet malt flavor, but overwhelmed by the carbonation. little after taste beyond a bit of lingering bitterness

M: Thin, highly carbonated.

O: Light bodied, too highly carbonated, lacking complexity. Not something I will seek out again.

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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 DrDemento456
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep amber brown, very dark but clear and a bit of head that turns to a hearty lace ring with some sticky lacing.

S - The chocolate and Munich malts give it a nice caramel and chocolate smell also toasty malts give it a bit of a roasty smell. Little to no hop in the nose.

T - Hops and actual chocolate flavor is mild with toffee and caramel sweetness. It has a nice full flavor of toasted malts and a sweet yet dry finish.

M - Medium bodied and slightly creamy.

Overall not a bad brown ale at all! I got very mild flavors and hops so I assume my bottle might have been over a month old but it was still very tasty and drinkable being malt forward. Tasty stuff guys!

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Photo of rsdaugherty
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into pint glass
A – Thicker tan 1 finger head had decent staying power, clear brown brew, no lacing on pour 3
S – Toffee nut sweetness, darker malts on a mild spice backdrop, brown sugar 3.5
T – Caramel, toffee, nuts, darker roasted malts just like the smell but with a mild overall bitterness rather than the nose sweetness, perhaps a little to bitter for my preference on a brown 3.5
M – A smooth drinking beer with a moderate body, carbonation is very good and adds a lot, just a bit sticky 4
O – A different brown that I’m not fond enough of to seek out again, an above average beer I probably won’t have again 3.5

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle to pint glass. The beer pours a translucent deep brown color with a nice 2 finger light head with good retention and lacing. The nose is very nice with a mix of mildly bittern chocolate, roasted malt, chocolate, earthy hop character. Nice. The flavor starts off with a toasty cereal malt flavor mixed with chocolate. Very creamy. The earthy hops provide a mild bitterness and complement the malts very well. Finishes smooth and dry, very easy drinking. Lighter bodied with good carbonation. Overall, this is one of the better browns I've had, very easy drinking and creamy and delicious! Recommended

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Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a brown color with a touch of ruby that is just slightly clear around the edges. A thin finger of frothy off-white head forms atop and fades fairly quickly.

S - Aroma is a mix of rich sweet roasted caramel malts with a bit of chocolate, earthy hop, nuttiness, and molasses.

T - Starts off with some rich sweet roasted caramel malt with some earthy hop and a touch of nutty flavor. Through the middle the chocolate malt and molasses flavors come through. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel, chocolate, earthy flavors, and some molasses.

M - Medium bodied with mild tingling carbonation. The beer feels smooth with a sweet and lightly syrupy finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice rich and sweet malt profile that avoids becoming cloying. The molasses flavor and feeling linger for quite a bit afterwards.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.33/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle. Pours dark brown with a medium creamy tan head that retains well and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sweet roasted malts and chocolate with some molasses.

The flavor is very sweet and sugary malts, molasses, nutty chocolates and some slightly tart fruitiness. The mouthfeel is light bodied and a bit watery.

Overall, too sweet and thin. An OK brown.

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Photo of nukem5
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a great rich chocolatey brown color with light tan cap on top. Head disappears far to rapid for this beers own good.

S: Aroma is of caramel malts and light chocolate malts with a tiny bit of hop thrown in the back as a tease.

T: Sweet caramel and chocolate malts wash over the taste buds and hops give a bright finish in the end.

M: Mouthfeel is thin and a bit watery, a metalic taste is present with a light boozey feel in there as well.

O: Overall a very drinkable beer and would have it again.

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Photo of beergoot
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: nice dark copper/brown color. Head dissipated quickly to a very thin layer that stayed with the beer to the end, leaving weak lacing and rings on the glass.

Smell: Heavy roasted malts, toffee, burnt sugar.

Taste: Warm toast, roasted grains. Metallic bitterness. Perhaps a little grapefriuit notes.

Mouthfeel: Light, a bit watery.

Overall: a fair brown ale, perhaps a bit weak on taste and mouthfeel, but decent enough to drink again.

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Photo of blakelive784
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz bottle served in a pint glass:

A - Pours a transparent brown color with a 2 finger head of fair creaminess. Retention is poor, but the head leaves some nice lacing as it recedes.

S - Chocolate, nuts, toasted malt, cream, coffee, and a hit of earthy hops. A bit muddy, but complex and inviting.

T - Toasted bread and bitter chocolate open. It's creamy, and it builds to a suitably bitter finish. I find coffee and bitter fruit notes as well. Well built.

M - Probably lighter than your average brown, and quite dry, but I find that it works well for the beer as a whole.

D - I'd certainly have this one again. Complex, nice flavors, and it's drinkable to boot.

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Photo of sjverla
3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nose: Caramelly and a little grassy. Molasses. Mildly astringent. Almost leathery. Definitely hearty.

Appearance: Small, short-lived head. Rich, deep hazelnut color.

Taste: A little tart and sweet. Mild roastiness, but the tartness dominates. Similar to Newcastle in that regard. Faint hints of caramel.

Overall: It's probably a little old (dated 1/17/11) Not something I would otherwise revisit.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Appearance: The beer itself is quite a cloudy hazelnut color with a ruby tint. A quick-fading rocky tan head leaves no real lacing.

Smell: Toasted grains, caramel malt, marshmallows, cocoa, and some mild earthy hops.

Taste: The flavor falls gently on the sweet side of the brown ale spectrum. Caramel malt and lightly toasted grains set the tone, and a light sweetness pervades the whole sip. A light cocoa flavor rolls into a lightly spicy and bitter earthy hop presence toward the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body feels on the light side, and there is a soft sour acidity that makes it feel even more dry. The carbonation is definitely on the light side, acting neither crisp nor creamy.

Overall: I think I am 2 for 15 with Short's bottles due to refermentation issues. There are no such issues here, but this beer really does not do much to impress me either.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.12/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

pint glass.

a - pours a deep chestnut color and forms a thin cap of tan head that dissipated quick. spotty lacing.

s - nutty malt with notes of grape, fig, faint spice, sourdough bread.

t - nutty malt character with pungent, earthy hop notes. has an almost rye like sourness and a few dark fruity notes. kind of an odd combination of flavors.

m - medium bodied with finer carbonation.

o - not really sure how i feel about this one. easily drinkable, but with an odd flavor profile. certainly extends the range of the style.

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Photo of Rodekill
2.83/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I'd heard about this brewery in the past, and was impressed that their booth at Great American Beer Festival had such a long line whenever I walked past it.

They just started distributing in Colorado and their six packs are pretty expensive, coming in at one to two dollars more than most craft beers.

I picked up one bottle as part of a mixed six pack rather than plunking down $10.99 for a sixer.

I'm glad I just got one bottle. It's a decent brown ale, but nothing special, and not as good as others I could mention, but won't.

Average appearance, nose, mouthfeel. Slight diacetyl notes, which is always off-putting for my palate. Not overpowering, but there nonetheless.

The beer tastes fresh enough, so I don't think it's an old batch. I might try another of their beers in a mixed six pack, but this beer doesn't make me want to run out and get more.

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

12oz bottle
Served in a pint glass

A - I pours a dark amber to copper color. I got an inch of beige head.

S - The aroma is loaded with earthy, nutty smells. I also get some cocoa.

T - The taste is as expected from the smell. I get nut and cocoa flavors.

M - It's pretty thin.

O - It's a solid brown ale.

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

Bellaire Brown pours a darker, nut brown color. It’s slightly hazy. Backlighting reveals some strong burgundy highlights throughout. A soft, light tan crown sits on top. It stands less than a finger tall and is quick to dissipate. Lacing was definitely light and spotty.

The nose isn’t all that strong, but isn’t bad either. It does feature a nice malty scent that’s front and center. It smells mostly like cocoa-esque chocolate. There’s a slight sweet caramel or toffee scent, as well. It smells a little earthy and grainy throughout. Light, earthy hops are noted. Smells a tad yeasty at times, but that’s very subtle. Alcohol is buried. Pretty simple and straight forward. Not bad though.

I like the flavor. It’s definitely simple and straight forward. The malt base is definitely chocolate and light caramel. It’s a little sweet, but not overly so. Roasted coffee fits into the mix nicely. It’s not too strong. It has a strong earthy, slightly herbal flavor that lingers throughout. I suspect it’s from the earthy hops. They add a very slight bitter kick and work well with the malt base. It tastes a tad yeasty. Alcohol is indeed buried. I’m not getting any at all. Finishes a little malty and quite a bit earthy.

The body is definitely lighter and a tad thin. More body would be a good thing. Carbonation feels relatively light. It’s too thin to be smooth though. For what it’s worth, it definitely goes down easy. Pretty tasty stuff. I could handle a few of these.

Bellaire Brown is probably the most simple, straight forward beer I’ve had from Short’s Brewing Company. That’s not a bad thing. It actually works pretty well. For a Brown Ale, it isn’t quite as malty as you might think. It actually features a nice interplay of malt and earthy hops. I like it. It would benefit from a little more body and perhaps a stronger nose. Good stuff though. Recommended.

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Photo of cbbjr
2.15/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A-Brown and fairly easy to see through. A small amount of white head that disappears quickly with little lacing.

S-First thing I sense is a bit a caramel. But then I picked up a surprisingly sour smell. Not sure if it is intentional, but it could be the reason this was on sale for $6 a sixer at Whole Foods in DC (regularly $11).

T-Like the smell, a bit of caramel up front, and again like the smell, it is a bit funky. And not in a good way. Not even a trace of hops.

M-Fairly thin. Not very carbonated. Regardless of whether you swallow quickly or let it sit on your tongue and let it swish around in for a few seconds, nothing changes.

Overall-I am pretty disappointed. I have had a couple of other Short's beers and loved them. Brown ales aren't my favorite style, but I do enjoy them, and this isn't a great example. Not sure if the sourness is intentional or not. If so I will give them credit for trying something different, but it doesn't float my boat.

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Photo of doughanson78
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to thabigmp for my first Short's beer.

A: A perfect medium brown color. Pretty clear for the color although still can't see through it. Half finger off white head with not that great retention and pretty good lacing.

S: Very malty. Lots of caramel and toffee. Very nutty with a touch of brown sugar and cinnamon.

T: Lots of sweet caramel, some toffee, and some light syrup upfront. Nuttiness comes through in the middle. Just a touch of tartness. A bit of a hop note in the finish along with a mild toastiness.

M: Light bodied, although not super watery as other browns I've had. Higher carbonation. A mild creaminess.

O: Trying to review by style even though I am definitely not a fan of the style. This is one of the better browns I've had but not one that will make me purchase again.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
2.64/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 9/19/11
*From notes

-- The wifey generously picked this sixer up at Rodman's in DC on 9/18/11 --

A: Like homemade apple cider. It's unfiltered and rustic brown. A decent pour yields a one finger head that doesn't stick around, and minor lacing rims the glass.

S: A generous amount of past-ripe plums. There's also an odd twang of rusty copper piping.

T: Absent of any hops. I mean zero humulus lupulus. Kinda funky-sweet. Something doesn't seem quite right here. Is it slightly infected? Possibly a bit oxidized? Regardless, I can't say this is something I've found in many other browns, so calling it a "classic brown" would be stretching it.

M: Thin up front. As I violently swish this around in my mouth, it begins to perk up a bit, and a tad bit of creamy froth shows up, albeit a bit too late.

O: Short's Bellaire Brown is, literally, one funky brew. Either they're intentionally brewing one off-the-wall brown ale, or this is slightly infected. Either way, this wasn't my cup of tea, and was quite happy to have shared the rest of these with unknowing friends.

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

12oz bottle from a mixed sixer. Dark brown color, good head. Smells like a malty brown, nice. The flavor is like an English brown ale and even has this odd touch of vinegar that I always detect in good English style brown ales, maybe its just me? Overall, I liked it and felt like it was true to style but what do I know?

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Photo of GilGarp
4.39/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first Short's Brew! I was very excited to see these come to Colorado - a special shipment of 6 packs for the GABF week.

Bellaire Brown is served cold into a pint glass. It has a nice deep brown color with very good clarity. The head is thin and settles quickly.

Aroma is sweet and malty with a little bit of caramel and chocolate.

The flavor is really well done. It starts of sweet with the same chocolatey caramel character. The middle is a little more roasty, more like an iced coffee. The end is bitter but balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and nicely carbonated. Good balance and smoothness.

Overall a really nice brown ale. This is a style that is perfect for the season and really doesn't get enough attention from American brewers. Nicely done Short's.

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

(reviewed from a tape recorder on September 2nd, 2010)

Appearance: Pours a murky brown color; rich, mahogany/ruby color. Head is white, fizzes away instantly. Medium carbonation on top.

Smell: Ester of wood rosin, definitely smells aged. Hoppiness in the background, matched up front with a toffee kind of sweetness, although the sweetness has a slight edge.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Quite similar...toffee is more pronounced, lies within the malt character. Swallows smoothly; medium to heavy on the tongue, definitely a brown. Aftertaste is maybe a touch too bitter for my liking.

Overall: A good beer all around.

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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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