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

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Short's Bellaire Brown AleShort's Bellaire Brown Ale
Very Good
785 Ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 785 |  Reviews: 277
Photo of marcobrau
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chestnut-brown ale with a deep red hue in the right light. Carbonation seems a bit off; not much head is created with the pour. The aroma is outstanding though; with lots of complexity. Roasted coffee might be the predominant smell, but underneath that there's hazelnut and a musty, woody character. The taste is quite complex, too, with vanilla, oak, nuts, caramel -- there's all sorts of stuff going on here -- everything except hops. Overall, a very complex ale that is malt forward without being too sweet; The maltiness is offset by a dry finish. Although this isn't as good as the last glass I had on tap at the brewery, it's still a good beer and I'm enjoying it quite a bit.

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Photo of Viggo
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, picked up a 6 in Grand Rapids.

Pours a lightly hazed dark reddish brown, some orange highlighting, thin off white head forms, quickly settles down to a decently sized collar, few spots of lace stick to the glass. Smell is nice, chocolate milk, very nice toastiness, biscuits, touch of caramel sweetness, oats, lots of nuttiness, maybe a hint of dark fruit/raisin, but mostly very clean and malty. Taste is similar, very nutty, caramel, toast, biscuits, raisins and a bit of fruitiness, very bready, really quite earthy, nice chocolate malt finish, very dry and enjoyable. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, leaves something to be desired but is pretty drinkable and tasty stuff. A pretty nice brown ale!

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this brew as an extra in a trade with tapoutjoe, Thanks Joe!

12oz bottle served in a nonic pint glass.

Cloudy brown color with a fine beige head that left arches of lacing on the glass.
Solid malty aroma, roasty, toasty.
Malty flavors dominate the taste, very slight bittering prior to a sticky sweet brown sugar sweetness.
Light/medium bodied with a smooth feel.
Tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of Andrewtherooster
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I must say I'm a huge fan of this beer. Pours a dark brown with a nice tan head. Smell of chocolate and roasted malts. Tastes absolutely great. Caramel and chocolate coming right through, with a tad smokey finish. This is easily one of the best brown ales I've had. Could drink this for forever.

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Photo of webmanspidey
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Light to medium translucent brown color with minimal head. Smell is sweet: fresh brown sugar, root beer, and mild hops. Taste is caramel and brown sugar, very sweet and refreshing with only slightest hint of hops for balance. Very clean and refreshing and a great summer beer. One of the best brown ales I've had and probably my favorite sampling from Short's so far.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +19%
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 younger35
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this brew as an extra in a Dark Lord Day trade with iceicebaby. I love Short's and can't wait to actually visit someday. Until then thank the lord they bottle! Drank from my Surly nonic pint glass.

Crafted on: March 2009

Appearance- Pours a dark brownish ruby with a decent half finger dirty tan head. The head has some crazy staying power as it's maintained the entire beer along with some webby lacing.
Smell- Lightly nutty with hint of hazelnuts and toasted pine nuts. A bit of chocolate and Munich malts adds a bit of richness along with the very light sweetness. The hops are fairly prominent in the nose as well adding a bit of sharp citrus.
Taste- Starts lightly toasted and nutty with an extremely light sweetness that tickles the tongue. Malty and delicious as a bit of toasted hazelnut and brown sugar really give a majority of the flavor. The smallest tinge of citrus comes into play toward the finish as does a bit of yeast. More nuts and some light cocoa powder linger on and on.
Mouthfeel- Fairly light body with perfect carbonation that is very sharp.
Drinkability- Definitely a solid solid beer. This is probably the best American Brown Ale that I've had since Surly Bender. It just doesn't have that extra ummpfff that Bender does but it definitely tasty. I'd drink this damned regularly if I had access to it. Thanks Sean!

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Photo of GRPunk
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (crafted on April 09) poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- It poured with a very thin, off-white head that dropped to a "barely there" lace that left some sticky webs on the side of the glass. The body was a nice reddish-brown with slow carbonation making it's way toward the head.

S- It had a pleasant mix of chocolate, caramel, and a roasted, nutty aroma.

T- Much as the aroma suggests. There was a roasted nutty flavor with hints of chocolate and caramel. The hops add something of a light citrus bite that gives a bit of a souring effect. Really nice.

M- Pretty smooth. I'd call it lightly carbonated with a touch of hop bite.

D- A great drinker. Full-flavored, yet not overwhelming. Tasty and unique enough that I'd seek it out again when I'm in the mood to go with an American Brown.

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear dark reddish brown color boday with a thin off-white head, light to medium carbonation. Aroma is toasty,nutty,sweet dark caramel with a chocolaty note. Flavor is really clean, roasty a bit of smoke,caramel,toffee,and just a hint of bitter chocolate, lite spicy hop tones,clean crisp mouthfeel,light to medium body,very quaffable, I seem to be gulping this down pretty fast. A long malty finish,. A solid Brown Ale.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to newtonty for sharing.

Freshness date is there, but it's not marked correctly.

Pours a gorgeous dark brown - crystal clear with red highlights. The 1/2 average tan head disappears quickly.

Smells like your standard brown ale. Caramel, light earthy hops and light molasses.

Taste is much the same. Light to medium bodied with good, crisp mouthfeel.

Nice example of a brown ale with no frills.

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Photo of BierFan
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A hard pour only gave me a very thin light tan head. It smells more rich than most other brown ales. Has a bit of roasted flavor up front, followed by caramel and chocolate sweetness.

Amazingly drinkable, this has to be my favorite or second favorite brown ale ever. Definitely a real treat.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to SaucyA for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark golden brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, not much sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, nutty, with some caramel. The taste is malty, sweet, nice little bitterness, with some caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brown ale.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice pour with some decent head, great lacing, and nice carbonation in what looks to be a rather viscous liquid.

Smells of caramel, light bread, roasted malt. Unexpectedly nice here.

Tastes of caramel, bread, sweetness, very light on the hops, no bitter sensation or alcohol presence. Very good.

Medium in both body and carbonation.

Such an easy drinker and a solid beer. Very good stuff.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle bought in Detroit this week. The beer is dark translucent reddish brown with a thin tan fine-celled wet foam. The aroma is sweet and malty, maybe just a little fruit or esters. Very inviting, and the taste is much much richer than I expected, a sweet malt bomb with a long lasting ester flavor. Thicker than your normal brown ale, this hits the spot in a way I didn't expect. May be the best brown ale I've ever had, completely worth it.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep, dark chocolate brown pour that is somewhat opaque along with a quarter inch of light tan creamy foam on top of the brew. Seems like a hearty brown ale from the pour. Aromas are big on toasted malt along with a nice chocolate tones that remind me of Tootsie Rolls for some strange reason. Smooth with a little nuttiness as well.

First sip brings smooth, crisp toasted malts upfront along with swirls of chocolate and caramel flavors. Nutty accents with just a touch of hops on the back end. A tasty, malty brown ale that has a nice creaminess as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a sturdy malt profile. Good carbonation helps it flow down easily. A refreshing and easy drinking brown ale overall. I would enjoy a sixer of this over the course of a weekend for sure. Another solid beer from Short's.

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Photo of BMoney575
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 4-19-09
Bottled in February 2009

Pours a cloudy brown color with a hint of orange. No head, but with decent filmy white lacing.

Smell is very malty, lots beef jerky smokiness, with a great fruity hops hidden in the back. Very enjoyable.

Taste is much like the smell, roasted and smoky malt with a slight flavor of cloves. The finish is tartly bitter, which adds an excellent balance.

Mouthfeel is good, right thickness with lots of carbonation.

Drinkability is very good, the hops keep the sweet malt in check.

Overall, one of the better brown ales I've had, and well worth a try.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.57/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A nice extra from sarcastro. Thanks!

Poured in a big wine glass at 54 F/ 12 C.

Attractive deep reddish brown color, small beige head, nice blobby patterns of fine lace.

Rich malty aroma, caramel and toast, with brown sugar, some good fresh fruitiness, a bit of roastiness, and a bit of chocolate. When it warms a bit more, there's a fleeting savory note like ramen, in a good way, adding to the complexity.

Rich smooth malt flavor. Just the right modicum of sweetness, finishing dry and toasty, superbly balanced. Some fresh fruitiness, a bit like honeydew melon but I may be grasping at straws. Reminds me a bit of good English ESB, but with some darker malts thrown in to good effect. Tasty finish, toasty and fruity.

Great smooth juicy texture, extremely drinkable, difficult to put down.

Great beer, I was glad to have the chance to try this.

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Photo of johnd513
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love Short's beer and loved visiting their brewery. I was excited to see these on the shelves and one of my favorite beer stores downstate when I visited my folks back home.
This beer pours a hazy brown color with a nice creamy offwhite head. Smells of roasted malts and brown sugar. Tastes follows the smell with caramel malt and hints of chocolate. The mouthfeel has full body and is nice and smooth. High drinkability and a great session beer. Overall, a fine offering from Short's

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle at 52 degrees.

Pours clear dark mahogany with a thin tan head. Retention is short and a placid surface is revealed with a few dots of lacewok afterward.

Aromatics lead off with cocoa, toasted biscuits, caramel, and doughy malt. Chocolaty and roasty with a heavy dose of rich malt.
A hint of bannana follows through under some dark chocolate.

Medium bodied with a crisp, slightly chewy mouthfeel.

Cocoa nubs, roasted malt, toffee bits, and bready undertones start the palate. A drying bitterness with bakers chocolate follows through. Hopping is minimal and alcohol is non-apparent.

Finishes with lingering roasted cocoa nubs and toasty malt.

I really wasn't expecting for this Brown to be this good. Damn tasty and sessionable without being boring. It reminds me of a big, chocolaty mild.
Another good impression from the bottles coming out of Elk Rapids.

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Photo of sholland119
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in Powerball from OHLRangers. Thanks, Ed!

A-Pours a hazy chestnut brown with a thin mocha head and nice lacing.

S-Roasty malt notes combine with a strong caramel aroma. Very nice.

T-Nicely sweet malt in the front, some roasted malt then a nice hop bitterness creeps in toward the finish.

M-Light to medium bodied, creamy and smooth.

D-Extraordinarily drinkable. One of the best brown ales I have tried.


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Photo of paco1029384756
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice light ruby brown color with two fingers of foamy off white head.

Scent of brown sugar, nuts, a hint of cinnamon, and some chocolate. Pretty full and robust considering the strength, balanced well.

Taste is malty, brown sugar, a bit of earth, and chocolate. Nice full and balanced flavor, a quality Brown Ale.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and highly carbonated, refreshing.

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz single bottle from Siciliano's in Grand Rapids, MI.

A: Pours a dark brown amber with two fingers of white head that settles down, great lacing on the glass

S: Smells nutty, caramel, molasses

T: Just like the smell, nutty, caramel and some molasses

M: very full-bodied and feels great on the palate

D: super drinkable, no alcohol taste, very solid flavor

All-in-all I'd say this is one of the top brown ales that I've had. I'm usually not seeking out this style, but I could make room for this every so often as it's a tasty brew. I'd put this up there with Surly Bender.

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

12oz to standard pint, pours a slight reddish amber brown, tan head fades

smells of coffee and roastiness, slight sweetness

taste is of sweet maltiness, roast grains, bread, chocolate, coffee, light bitter hops in the back, a standard brown pretty much with a hop kick, easy to drink and to style

mouthfeel is easy drinking, good carbonation slightly burns with the hop bite, slight creamy aftertaste

not bad, but not my favorite from shorts

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Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
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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Photo of Gigantis
4.11/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had a pint of this the other night after dinner

Very dark brown with a little bit of amber-ish tint in the glass with a nice off-white creamy head on its shoulders. Head gives out pretty quick and there isn't much in the way of lacing save for some tiny bubbles after each sip.

A strong scent. Heavy on the malt with a caramel and molasses backbone - also got hints of bourbon and vanilla. Started to pick up some chocolate. A very aromatic brown.

Roasty grains with a nice, slight hop balance up front. There is actually a bit of an alcohol tinge at first, but it gives way to a brown sugar/chocolate/caramel to give it just enough sweetness. Finishes with bready malt/cinnamon spice.

Pretty low carbonation and just the right amount of stickiness. To me, this is the most full-bodied brown available. It is lush and creamy in the mouth.

It's got a pretty lush feel to it but it goes down so incredibly smooth, like liquid silk in your mouth. It's thicker than some, so not the most sessionable beer I've come across. But it tastes so damn good that I would have another.

Best beer I've had from Shorts. Loved it.

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Short's Bellaire Brown Ale from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 785 ratings