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

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Short's Bellaire Brown AleShort's Bellaire Brown Ale
Very Good
775 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 775 |  Reviews: 274
Photo of BierFan
4.17/5  rDev +10%
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 +13.5%
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 +14.8%
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 +17.4%
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 +3.7%
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 +5.5%
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 +20.6%
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 +10.3%
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 +11.3%
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 +8.2%
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 +7.7%
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 +12.7%
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 +4.7%
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 +7.7%
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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Photo of Gigantis
4.11/5  rDev +8.4%
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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Photo of ROBORB
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Hoppymeal, thanks man!

A- Poured into a standard Pint glass this beer appeared dark brown with an amber hue. The head dissipated quickly and there was minimal lacing.

S- I got a nice malt and roast consistency from the smell.

T- This is not my favorite style of beer but if I had to choose one this would be it. It has subtle hop characteristics that seem to balance out the malt background in the beer. I found it to be a nice mix of sweet and bitter. This is a nice brown ale.

M - The mouth feel of this beer is a little over carbonated and much like the last poster; if the mouth feel was less carbonated it would kill the drinkability of the beer.

D - I would not be able to drink a ton of these in a sitting as it is not my favorite style. However, for those that do enjoy a good brown ale I am sure that it would be an instant classic.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- An ever so slightly hazy brown liquid with a splotchy, but creamy white head. About what I would expect from a brown ale.

S- Some caramel, chocolate, biscuits... that's about it. It is very subtle and light.

T- A very clean and slightly sweet flavored beer. Some caramel, chocolate, and a little bit of spice. Very nice for a brown. The more I drank, the more I enjoyed this.

M- Smooth and clean with a nice carbonation level.

D- An enjoyable brown. It doesn't have any of those annoying flavors that I often seem to find in this style. I will be getting this again.

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Photo of SaucyA
4.52/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pint glassed. Pours a clear, beer-bottle brown with firey amber highlights. The head is a nice froth of off-white cappuccino foam. A wee bit of lacing.

S - Hugely malty, not roasty. Sweet molasses/brown sugar and a nice light hopping. Classic brown with a little umph.

T - A lightly roasted malt comes through most in the beginning, but as opposed to finishing overly sweet, the delicate hopping manages to balance the robust malts. Many wonderful flavors, and nothing overdone.

M - Well done. Nice body and slightly crisp. Could stand a little bit less attenuation but then it'd kill the drinkability.

D - At 5.2% and the flavors involved, this is one amazing beer. I'm ecstatic about making it to bottles.

Notes: This beer has and will continue to convert the uneducated masses.

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Photo of awinckles
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured from a brand spanking new bottle into a pint glass. Pours a nice deep brown mahogany color - darker than most brown ales I've had.

S - Malty sweet, hint of spice, cinnamon, just a hint of roasty chocolate.

T - Think sweet caramel maltiness upfront, slight roasty chocolate flavor that is reminiscent of a good porter surprisingly. Kiss of cinnamon spice with the hops that perfectly balance this beer, stopping it from becoming cloying like many browns.

M - Terrific mouthfeel, feels thick and full in the mouth.

D - Well balanced and easy to drink, I could down a couple of these in a sitting.

Flat out well made beer - Shorts does it again. I'm generally not a fan of brown ales, but this is terrific, perfectly balanced and enjoyable. Thank you Shorts, for bottling your terrific beers!

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The third extra in an already generous trade. Thanks, Derek!

A: Hazy brown with reddish highlights. Thin white head, decent retention, some patchy lace

S: Lightly hopped with an absolutely delicious nutty, caramel backbone. Hops are moderately earthy and unobtrusive. The malt backbone is quite spectacular - soft, gentle and complex. Mildly nutty, mild toffee and caramel notes, this is beautifully balanced

T: Rich yet soft, this is a treat. Opens up a little hoppy but the malt takes over gently and unobtrusively. As with the nose, flavors of toffee, nuts, caramel and a faint hint of chocolate and coffee are present. Finishes dry and mildly bitter

M:Fairly light in body with ample carbonation and a complex finish. What strikes me about the finish is the dual nature - it starts and end bitter but there's a hint of chocolate that creeps through, making this doubly enjoyable

D: This is remarkably enjoyable, one of the better browns I've had

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Photo of alexgash
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle. No created on date punched.

Clear, bright, maple syrup brown-amber body. Small finger of creamy, dirty beige head. Good lacing. Inviting nose of toasted grains, lots of caramel, light molasses, and a hint of licorice. Oh, and a whiff of spicy, earthy hops.

Good dose of toasted grains and spicy hops up front. Cookie dough and caramel sweetness follow. Earthy licorice and spicy hop bitterness into the finish. Doughy malts linger. Pretty damn good! Medium body with good carbonation levels. A very nice sessionable American brown ale. Oh, and congratulations to the Short's gang for getting bottles out! I will definitely be buying more of this.

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Photo of Frosty80
4.65/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Color: sits clear, very dark brown with an amber hue

Smell: cool, roasted malt with some chocolate and just a tiny hint of hops

Taste: extremely well balanced roast, chocolate, caramel notes. just a little bit of alcohol and hops to tingle the tongue. sweet, brown sugar finish with just a hint of bitterness to balance.

Mouthfeel: med body. low carbonation. very clean and crisp. seems to go down effortlessly.

Notes: great brown. this is now my third and final shorts brew (for now), and honestly my favorite. just a delicious dark beer.

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Photo of LupulinDevil
4.88/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my classic favorites from Joe. Rich malty american brown style with a bit of a larger body than you might expect. Great hop bite with a wonderful balance. Poured a nice dark malty body. Beautiful head and a nice lacing. This is one of those beers that I could enjoy any time!! If you haven't had the chance, search out this or any of the Shorts beers and try them!!

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Photo of Baileyuk
4.82/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The worst thing about this beer is that it makes me think I like Brown's and then i am sadly dissapointed with others attempts.
This pours a dark brown color that initially put me off as I usually do not like darker beers. However this beer was amazingly easy to drink and appreciate. I rate this as the best brown available. It has subtle hops and almost a faint nut quality. My mother in law (who is not a beer drinker loves this also). I will still go for the pale ales but this is in the rotation.

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

A lovely shade of maple. Nice half inch head of off white leaves behind some nice lacing.

Sweet brown sugar. toffee, malt and the slightest floral hop fixture.

A nutty entrance leads to flavors of sweet toffee, caramel malt, brown sugar, maple syrup, and floral flavors. A hop backbone balances nicely.

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Short's Bellaire Brown Ale from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 775 ratings