Village Reserve
Short's Brewing Company

Village ReserveVillage Reserve
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California Common / Steam Beer
Ranked #51
Ranked #42,905
3.57 | pDev: 10.92%
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Village ReserveVillage Reserve
Notes: Fermented as "beer" from wort extracted from fully modified two-row pale malt which provides a beautiful straw color. This beer is aggressively hopped with Perle and Centennial hops. Its light body and low alcohol allow the hops to become more prominent throughout the beer. The floral aroma is attributed to heavy handfuls of centennial hops at the finish of the boil. Hearty handfuls of hops lend a grape fruity tone in the flavor and finish of the beer.
40 I.B.U.'s
10.6 deg.  Plato
4.2% A.B.V.
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 115 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Brenden
3.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not retired.
A: Hazed dark gold-orange. The head is pure white and starts at a thick, creamy finger. Dissipation takes some time until it leaves a layer on top. Lacing is dropped in a thin sheet that coats the glass from top to bottom
S: Earthy, hoppy, interesting sort of funk
T: nice balance, sort of green woodiness and grains I expect from the style.
M: Very creamy in a might medium body with a smooth flow and a snip up crispness of the front that leads to the creamy flow

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.74/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into pilsner glass. Had this one last year and didn't get to review but really enjoyed it. Pours a glowing yellow/orange color, with a large, thick rocky head. Great retention and lots of sticky lacing, settles from two to one finger of foam which lasts and lasts. There a massive amount of carbonation in this brew, storms of tiny bubbles rushing their way to the surface. Aroma is biscuit, white grapes, lemongrass and citrus. Taste follows with some grassiness and a dry, bitter finish. that lessens and turned to more of a white grape flavor on warming. Like this one a lot, there's more character in this steam than other steams I've had.

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Photo of justinp444
3.66/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A straw yellow hazy beer with a nice foamy white head. Smell is of citrus, hops, and biscuity malt. Taste is nice and bitter with a fine watery lager maltiness. There are some earthy hops, mint, and a nice sweetness. Doesn't fully follow the style of a California Common with a more citrus hop output but still good.

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justinp444 from Michigan, Apr 26, 2015
Photo of michiganmatt
2.62/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got as part of a build-your-own 6-pack at Kroger. Bottling date 1/15/15

Appearance - 2/5
Light orange, fairly clear, yet with a massive amount of large particles floating in the beer. The kind of look that makes me wary to drink it. I know it's perfectly fine, but I'm pretty sure we've evolved such that when we see a liquid full of particles, we don't like it. Also I see no carbonation.

Smell - 2.5/5
A light lagery smell, with hints of spice and earthiness. Also a little but of not-so-great mustiness.

Taste - 2.75/5
Quite sweet, has a very thick, bready taste, along with some light citrus. A lot of earthiness, as well as strong earthy-dirt hop flavors. There's also a bunch of other weird flavors, like mint, and woody resin. Overall definitely a strange taste.

Mouthfeel - 3/5
About medium-light in body, but the taste does make it seem a little more thick as I noted above. Low carbonation. Pretty average feel overall.

Overall - 2.5/5
Sometimes I feel like Short's just whips up a random recipe, sips it to make sure it doesn't taste *terrible*, and then just throws it in a bottle and sells it. I understand they are a heavily experimental brewery, but that's no excuse for poor product like this. This beer was a chore to finish and should have been kept (permanently) in the village's reserve.

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michiganmatt from California, Apr 18, 2015
Photo of SportsandJorts
3.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: a nice yellowish orange. some haze. small off white head that fades pretty quickly

Smell: pretty weak. bready, some lemon, and grass

Taste: opens up with bread and lemon. develops into a more powerful citrus that blends with a very grassy taste

Mouthfeel: nice and light. just a touch too bitter

Overall: a great light and complex beer. If the bitterness was just a touch lower I could drink these all day. Great beer, some quite english characteristics

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.71/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle date is all messed up, so I have no idea when this was bottled, but it wasn't sooner than September, I'm pretty sure. Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

Appearance: A hazy straw color... others would say it looks like piss. Two finger head falls to one, where it stays for awhile. Nice lacing. Pour semi-aggressively, so you can get it all into your glass perfectly. A really good looking beer.

Smell: Hay. Pale malts. Slightly grassy hops. There's not much to it, but it's certainly of quality. Nothing cheap here.

Taste/feel: Hay is the first flavor, followed by some of those pale malts, and then a surprising bit of hop bitterness. The very first thing I notice though is the mouthfeel -- this actually has a surprising body to it that I wasn't expecting. It drinks a bit heavier than 4.7%, and I like that. Aftertaste is slightly dry with a bit of a lingering bitterness. A slight prick of carbonation spruces things up on the end.

I haven't had too many steam beers, and to be honest, I haven't really liked any of the ones I've tried. This beer seems a bit thicker than other ones I've had, but I enjoy it more than some of them.

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SerialTicker from Michigan, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of StoutHunter
3.79/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Short's The Village Reserve last week for $1.75 at Boyne Country Provisions. I had this beer on draft when I visited Shorts last winter and I thought it was a pretty solid beer and since this is the first time they have released it in bottles I thought I would revisit it, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but it showed up recently so it should be fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks nice, it's not the most eye catching but it's got a nice simple look to it. It poured a nice fairly clear bright yellow color that took on more of a golden color when held to the light with two fingers worth of white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left some nice spotty lacing behind. This is a good looking beer that looked very true to style.

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by a good amount of malts with some nice pale malt, cereal, and biscuit like aromas followed by nice citrus rind aroma with lemon zest seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes the hops which impart a very earthy and grassy hop aroma. This beer had a pretty nice aroma with some good balance to it.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly lower amount of medium sweetness followed by a good amount of hops up front, first comes some light lemon zest and a nice grapefruit hops flavor followed by those earthy and grassy hops that I got in the aroma. Up next comes the malts which impart a nice pale malt, cereal, and biscuit like malt flavor along with a heavy Pilsener malt like flavor that reminds me of Short's Pilsener. On the finish there's a higher amount of medium bitterness that lingers a little with a earthy/grassy hop and biscuit malt aftertaste. This is a pretty nice tasting beer with some nice balance to it.

M- Fairly smooth, crisp, clean, on the lighter side of being medium bodied with a higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty good and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and pretty good example of the style, I find most Steam Beers to be a little on the bland side but Short's kept this one interesting with a nice malt profile and little bit of grapefruit hop flavors that worked well with this beer and it made it stick out a little. This beer had good drinkability, it was smooth, crisp, clean, not filling, and the taste did a decent job at holding my attention, I could see myself drinking a few of these when in the mood for a beer like this. What I liked the most about the beer was the balance in the flavor and aroma, I thought they were both pretty nice. What I liked the least about this beer was that it's released in the fall, I feel like this beer would be a great summer or spring release and I think it would be a nice beer to have when it's hot outside. I would buy this beer again, I could see myself keeping some in the fridge for when I'm in the mood for a beer like this and I think it would go good with a meal. I would recommend this to anyone who likes the style or hoppy lager's in general. All in all I was happy with this beer, it was just as good as I remember. I haven't tried much of this style, mainly because there just aren't that many examples of it out there, but so far i would say that this is my favorite. Good job Short's, thanks for offering another solid drinkable beer in bottles.

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StoutHunter from Michigan, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of GRPunk
3.64/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Let me start by stating my very limited experience with the style. Since I could be completely off in my perceptions, I'll look to re-review when given a chance, and need.

Bottle poured into a tall, Pilsener glass.

A- Dense, 2-finger, off-white head looks like homemade whipped cream. Slight chill haze to the deep, golden body. Moderate carbonation. Awesome rings. Retention at 1/4 finger. Quite clean once the haze falls off.

S- Very "beer-like." Grassy hops and sweeter, cereal malts. Light, berry esters. Hops magnify with time and warmth, creating a grapefruit aroma (though I wonder how much the flavor guided my senses).

T- Hmmm. Unexpected, initial hit of grapefruit up front. Tropical fruit. Grassy finish, though some of the sweeter flavors linger. Has me thinking "hoppy Pilsener" at points. A little cereal/grainy component.

M- Chewier than expected. Light hop bite. Moderate carbonation. The sweetness sticks around a bit.

O- With little experience in the style, I had no idea what to expect (maybe something of a blond ale). The hop profile was a surprise, pleasant as it is. Perplexing. I have no idea how to score it. Pretty easy drinker. Nice pricing point at $1.49 for the single.

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GRPunk from Michigan, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy pale orange. Small white head. Wispy surface.

Smell - Bright lemony grapefruit. Pale malt.

Taste - Grapefruit. Pilsner malt flavor, but not quite a complete pilsner profile. Grassy hop flavor builds into a hefty bitterness. Kinda funny flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Very bitter. Light. Not quite crisp though.

Overall - Good hop profile. Funny malts.

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Photo of CMUbrew
3.62/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Crystal clear body with a straw yellow color. Bone white head sits on top. Leaves some nice looking lace.

S: Soft grass/hay, malty profile, very light earthy hop.

T: Cracker/biscuit malt, grassy and earthy hops. Light but firm bitterness on the finish.

M: Light without being watery. Easy drinking. Carbonation could be a touch higher.

O: I'm not familiar with this style, so I have nothing to compare it to. That being said, this is a nice and refreshing beer style aside.

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CMUbrew from Michigan, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, bottled on 9/24/2013. Pours slightly hazy golden straw color with a 1 finger dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon zest, orange zest, pear, grape, cracker, bread, floral, grass, pine, pepper, and floral/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of hop and yeast ester notes with a fair amount of malt; with solid strength. Taste of lemon zest, orange zest, pear, grape, cracker, bread, floral, grass, pine, pepper, and floral/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, light fruit, cracker, bread, floral, grass, pine, pepper, and floral/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of hop, malt, and yeast ester flavors; with good flavor robustness and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected for the ABV. Overall this is a very good hoppy California common style. All around good malt, hop, and yeast ester balance; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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superspak from Michigan, Oct 11, 2013
Photo of andrewjraab
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Color is a golden brown with good clarity. Not much head to speak of or any lacing.

S - Lemon grass, yeast, some distant hop notes. Not a big nose on this brew.

T - Crisp and refreshing clean hops up front, citrus notes, some malts in the back end. Balances nicely.

O - Nice easy drinking american lager. I'd have this again as a nice session ale.

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andrewjraab from Michigan, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of oline73
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at the brewpub. Served in a sample glass.

Appearance: Pours a light golden/amber color with a fluffy white head and some nice lacing.

Smell: Mild malt sweetness with some faint citrus hops.

Taste: Mild at first, a bit bready from the malt. After a bit the citrus peel hops show up and leave you with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: A nice easy drinking beer. I thought the bitterness dominated the beer a bit too much for the style.

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oline73 from Maryland, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of JordanEllwanger
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful golden straw semi-transparent beer with a crisp white lacey head. Smell is hoppy with a good pale malt scent and an earthy bitterness that is strong. The taste is dominated by hops and more hops that lend a sweet and earthy citrus peel. This is a lot like a hopped up IPA yet holds a different character. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and not as oily as it seemingly should be which is a nice surprise. A lot of hop in this, and while I've never any other california common beer to compare it with, I will say this is tasty.

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Photo of zoso1967
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the growler a standard medium amber with a wispy ecru head. The head has nice staying power and leaves plenty of lace.

The aroma is quite understated with some citrusy and fruity hops, as well as a bit of grassiness and some bready malt.

The flavor is a very balanced mix of bready malts, toasted crackers, pine, light citrus, earthy floral notes and some fruity esters. I am not sure if the style listed is correct on this, but it might just be the sort of beer that is hard to categorize. It sure is tasty though.

The body is on the lighter end of medium with an extremely balanced finish. This is one of those beers that sort of melts into your palate, leaving a bit of a fruity and bready aftertaste.

This is a very drinkable beer and one of my favorites of Short's sessionable offerings. If there were not already enough reasons to come visit the pub in Bellaire, you can add the chance to try this beer to the list.

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zoso1967 from Michigan, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of glid02
3.98/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of moderately dry caramel malts with good amounts of earthy hops and crisp lager yeast. As the beer warms moderate amounts of citrus hop aromas come into play.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Dry caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by earthy hop flavors. Midway through the sip very light citrus hop flavors work their way into things before drying out into a crisp and mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's got a nice thickness however the carbonation is a bit on the overactive side.

Drinkability is good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could easily have another.

Overall I thought this was a very good beer for the style - maybe a bit overhopped for a traditional steam beer but very good nonetheless. Worth a shot.

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glid02 from Georgia, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of jimbotrost
4.25/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the brewery, brewer's notes " traditional Northern Michigan style steam beer". The pour was anice deep straw color capped with a mid size full head and bright white lace. The nose is initially elusive to pinpoint, very clean and neutral, but has some hop crispness and some malt and some esters from the yeast. The beer has a dry malty flavor balanced with hop dryness. Finish is dry and long with an aftertaste needs to be quenched with another.

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jimbotrost from Michigan, Sep 14, 2005
Village Reserve from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 115 ratings