Short's The Curl | Short's Brewing Company

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Short's The CurlShort's The Curl

Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with 40% more ingredients to bump any ordinary pilsner to an imperial level.  We hop the kettle four times, using a good amount of Amarillo hops to balance the malty sweetness from the pilsen malt and  lots of flaked maze. At 7.5% ABV and 50 Bittering Units, this beer is still very quaffable and packed full of flavor thanks to the help of our house American lager yeast.  This beer was brewed upon the request of every ones favorite beer tender, Jeremy “the curl” VanSice
7.1% ABV
50 I.B.U.’s

Added by BigDaddyWil on 05-22-2006

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Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 223
Photo of mgbickel
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Piraat tulip. The aggressive pour yielded a solid looking 2 fingers of eggshell foam that hung around for a while before leaving behind trails on the glass walls. The body is a clear dirty lemon color.

Lots of grainy characters dominate the nose. Other odors peek out...bread, corn and a small amount of hops.

Just as the nose advertised, the backbone of this is malts and grain. Sweeter up front with a tiny bitter center before the grains kick back in for the finish.

Medium mouth feel...moderate carbonation with a semi-dry finish.

Admittedly this is not my favorite style, but this one is very easy to appreciate. The complex flavors and easy drinkability make this offering another Short's masterpiece!

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

thanks to semibaked for the chance to give this one a shot.

pours a decently nice looking lightly hazy marigold hue... not far from what I'd expect from an imperial pils. a frothy white head erupts, fading away to leave some sticky lace behind.

aroma of light malt, followed by herbs and tropical fruit. thyme, rosemary, pineapple and guava. interesting. funky. hints of booziness in the nose.

taste is strong. no other way 'bout it. hoppy, intense, boozy, potent. way more than the aroma or appearance would allude to. boozy like a rough barleywine. resinous pine. pepper. spicy rosemary. interesting. not sure if good.

mouth is pungent as well... moderate body, a bit slick, a touch hot feeling. smooth, fine carbonation is almost a touch creamy. intense resinous piney bitterness lingers for a shockingly long time. almost unpleasantly harsh and bitter.

pungent sums this one up. it really delivers on the imperial pilsner name... a touch boozy and intense for my liking, and a bit muddled and messy on the whole. but it's interesting, definitely drinkable, and enjoyable. Not a bad beer, glad I tried it, but not one I'd seek out again myself.

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Photo of Soonami
3.15/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to erric for hooking this up!

A-piss yellow with a fine white head. There was a little yeast in the bottle that made it's way into the beer, making it hazy

S-herbal hops with a weird dishwater soap perfume

T-very bitter with a a long oily lingering finish. The bready malt is a little sweet but finishes dry.

M-soft, not enough carbonation for me. Alcohol manifests later as the beer warms

O-good, a little excessive. not my favorite.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into my DFH signature glass. Fairly clear golden yellow with a ton of bubbly carbonation. Two fingers of thick, fluffy, bright white foam floating atop. Very sticking lacing that shows great webbing.

S- Light lemon and citrus peel. Decent bready malt, grains and yeastiness. Notes of grass and earth. Nothing that overwhelming, and the nose doesnt really pop. A hint of banana from the yeast.

T- Orange zest and spicy, bready yeast! Nice bitterness on the tongue. A little grass, a touch of pine needles, and a subtle burst of citrus. Nothing over the top, but really well balanced and put together.

M- A little sticky, citrusy/piney pop! Some spice from the yeast and a nice balance from the pilsner malt and grains. A nice balance between bitter and sweet.

O- A very nice drinking beer... crisp and refreshing. Decently bitter, yet just sweet enough. No alcohol bite, yet it warms you up nicely. Seems like it's a Pils fighting to be an IPA.

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Photo of BellsFan
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've not heard of an imperial pilsner but as the name implies I expected a classic pilsner but with additional malt and hops. I was not disappointed. The aroma and taste matched each other: sweet bready malt and noble hops. Overall this beer reminded me more of a full flavored German pilsner rather than an American pils.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottled poured in SA glass.

Clear, pale, straw colored elixir, one finger white head settles to thin rim as the tasting progresses. Plenty of lacing along the sides.

Mild malt fragrance, lemon zest, grass.

The hops make their presence known as smooth bitterness caresses the buds. The pale malt meets in the middle, but is overwhelmed by the delicious hops.

Medium body, well carbonated, oily aftertaste.

This is a nice double pilsner, well hopped and flavorful.

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Photo of xav33
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shorts The Curl Imperial Pilsner
750 ml bottle
Moderate pour in tulip glass.
Brewed 04/06, straightened out 06/07

Poured a clear hazy gold with a huge fizzy rocky somewhat lasting white head with good lacing.

Smelt of moderate bread and grain and grassy hops.

Taste was upfront strong bitter grass and moderate sweet banana bread, followed by a strong bitter grassy and moderate bittersweet banana yeast.

Palate was medium bodied, slightly creamy, strongly astringent and lively carbonation.

Overall, wow a lot of hops here! Even after a year it's still held up great. In fact it's better than when I tried it a year ago. Very bitter super pilsner. Good stuff. Taste light a very light bodied IPA.

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Photo of Lauthaha
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug.

Appearance: Beer is a borderline-light golden color, with heavy carbonation visible. The head is about three-fingers tall (intentionally heavy pour) and recedes medium-slowly leaving cirrus cloud-like wispy lacing. Ever seen Devil's Tower in Wyoming? That's what the head looks like after about five minutes...pretty cool!

Smell: A good mix of bitter and floral hop action going on here. With just a touch of alcohol in the nose and lemon peel to finish it off, we've got a pretty decent smelling AIP here.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy upon entry, the hop bitterness hits HARD after only a few seconds. Surprisingly sharp taste, yet not overpowering. A bit of malt character is present which breaks up the intensity of the hop/spice flavor. Not a lot of carbonation, and the beer goes down with a hop-oil subtlety. Aftertaste is all hops...this could nearly be called an AIPA or an IPA...with just a little more emphasis on the hop profile.

Overall: A good beer...definitely finishable. Better than Lion Stout's offering in this same category by a long-shot.

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Photo of TheDudeRules
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden color with a fingers width of off white head into my Darkness snifter. Has an aroma of a hopped up light beer. Slightly citrus and some hope with just a hair of bread. Thankfully it doesn't taste like a light beer. Carbonation makes it feel charged in my mouth and tongue. Goes down very easy. Hop bite and dry finish. Tastes slightly bread like to me.

I wasn't expecting much and this exceeded what I had hoped for. No problem downing these on a hot day while playing 18 holes. Given the abv I may end up face down by the 9th but hell I'd give it a go.

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Photo of kbeals
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- 14 oz. snifter pour reveals a golden colored brew with a finger of sticky white head. Good head retention leads to a good amount of multi-tiered lacing on the side of the glass. Exceptional look overall.

S- Tons of citrusy hops would almost make me believe it was a DIPA, but there is a pronounced note of sweetness to it also that helps to balance it out. A bit boozy on the smell but not overly powerful.

T- Hops are the dominant quality in the flavor. Sweet caramel malts also come into play. The booziness, however, does not, which was very welcome.

M- Light-medium body with good doses of carbonation.

D- Very drinkable, no hint of alcohol really and tons of citrusy hop character make this an excellent drinker. Definitely a recommendation.

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Photo of jt31914
4.65/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was lucky enough to find to bottles of this at a party store in my home town this past week, even the guy behind the counter didn't know how they got it.

A: Yellow with a massive amount of head (three fingers or so) and tons of sediment. Great foamy lacing.

S: Light hops with some citrus and coriander.

T: The coriander is surprisingly potent, balanced by honey with a great hop finish. The beer just gets better as it warms.

M/D: Super smooth, refreshing, and drinkable. The best pilsner I've had, props to Joe Short on this brew!

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Photo of claminat420
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

store has cases of six packs so this brew has to be back from retirement.

A- pours a transparent golden color with a frothy white head. not so much on the lacing.

S- just a light crisp biscuity malt scent. very light fruitiness.

T- real bitter for a pilsner but i love it! my gf doesn't drink beer but she tried it and said it tastes like pinesol. to me it's like the smell but bitter with some floral/ piney hops.

M- medium/ light bodied. good carbonation.

Drinkability- wish i had the money for a case!

Overall- for being a hophead this brew rocks! i feel this could be the future of american genius. different in a good way but strong and assertive.

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Photo of techfed87
3.16/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice, lively head. Color is a light amber/yellow Smell is pretty thin as well, not to say that it's extremely lacking, but it just doesn't have a lot of big stand out characteristics to it.

First sip, this beer is bitter. Very very bitter. But not in a really hoppy IPA way. Mouthfeel is quite corrosive, and a bit unbalanced as it comes off.

One of the most profound examples of what Short's is capable of. Still, this one seems a bit on the bleeding edge.

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Photo of GoldenChild
4.95/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The curl has come out of retirement. Now i did send BA a update on there retirement status but so far it has not been changed.

Bought a 6 pack for 11.99 poured out of a bottle into a glass.
Love the art work on the label.

A- I did get about a half inch head i didnt pour it very had though. Nice golden not watered down looking Imperial pils.

S- Citrus, Hops, and Pilsner malt.

T- Pilsner malt, Lemon citrus, followed by lots of bitterness like a souped up Prima pils on steroids.

M- Great mouth feel It coats your mouth and the taste stays with you for about 10 minutes after you drink it.

O- This is one of those great beers where you wish that you had more. I still have half of a six pack and im thinking about buying another one before it is all gone. Would be a great summer beer at the end of a long day sitting out on the porch when the weather is just starting to cool down.


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Photo of hackmann
4.26/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: cloudy lemon skin body with a big white head that has some staying power and tons of lacing on the glass. They use plenty of yeast to make this Imperial Pils so there is some sediment on the bottom of the bottle. If it pours clear you did not get the yeast off the bottom of the bottle, then you are missing some of the flavor.

Aroma: sweet harvest grain biscuit, light lemon meat hoppy tone at first and builds a bit as it warms up

Flavors and Mouthfeel: crisp grains on the tip of the tongue, then some light citrus spice on the mid and finish, dusty yeast in the mix, the aftertaste is dry and slightly piney when cold and a course grind black pepper as it warms, zesty feel to the hops overall, fine carbonation

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Photo of 33nickadams
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden yellow, about a finger of head, nice lacing as it goes down. Completely transparent. Steady stream of carbonation from the bottom to top. Hoppy and yeasty smell. Great bitter taste that finishes clean with a touch of sweetness. Mouthfeel is light and airy. I really like this beer. This is a Shorts beer that I will buy more than one 6 pack. Spring is a perfect time of year for this beer. After a season of drinking dark heavies, this is very welcome. I wonder if this is the base beer for the Spruce Pilsner?

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Photo of NitroGen
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Received from NDPDuke, just one of many amazing beers! Thanks Adam!
Saved this to share with a brewing buddy as we were attempting a Coffee Porter.

P : 750 ML. Magnum Bottle #674 out of a limited release of 1,000 in Aril of 2006.

A: Pours a pale and slightly yellow with huge white foam head that hung out for a long time before grudgingly settling down a tad and HUGE lacing.

S: Bananas, pine, spices and grapefruit pith.

T: First impression was a hefe with slightly sweet huge bananas, green grass and spices and then really abrupt turn with a big bump of hops more spices, grains and slight alcohol at the finish.

M: This is one of the most interesting beers that I have had, as it starts as one type of beer then does a 90-degree turn and finishes as something else!

D: Glad I had the experience of trying this great limited beer. It was an experience!

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Photo of gnemesis
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass on 04/19/11.
Pours a yellow golden hue topped by a thick and creamy white head. Great retention and good lace. Smells of honey, citrus, and a touch of spruce/pine. This a tasty beer indeed! Honey notes, slight maltiness, citrus/pine hops... all very nicely balanced. Medium bodied and medium carbonation round out this ale. Great imperial pils and highly recommended.

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Photo of BigDaddyWil
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into a pilsner glass.
Each bottled has a beer description hanging around the neck of the bottle. Date 4.20.06
Limited edition, one time brewed Imperial Pilsner, each bottle tag is signed and numbered by the brewer. This bottle happens to be number 212 of 1000. The tag tells the story of how this beer came to be, and who it is named after. At $15.99 for 750ml bottle I hope its worth it. Brewed with Amarillo hops.

Pours a light orange color with yellow highlights, slightly hazy. Half inch thick, bright white head forms, but fades quickly. Very little lacing is left behind. Very citrusy and lemony smell. Nice! Definitely can smell the hops, and malts seem to take a backseat to the hops. Somewhat floral with hints of spices. Kinda weak tasting, nothing really stands up and grabs you. Malt and hops are well balanced, with some citrusy, fruit flavors hanging in the back. A little hop bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is a tad thin for me, slightly watery. Lots of carbonation, but its not felt in the mouth. I can hardly believe this 7.1%, very easy too drink. I must say that I like this more than Dogfish Head's Golden Shower. This seems almost like an APA to me. Anyway, it would really be hard for me to shell out another $15.99 for another bottle.

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Photo of BeaBeerWife
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Raaawkkkk. Just cracked a vintage 4/24/2006 bottle. No.531. Ages nicely. Significant amount of yeast, but it all chunked to the bottom of which I accidentally poured into the glass. Amazing head! Sticks around the entire time of your enjoyment. Corn is a 4-letter-word, but Maize is not!!!! Although misspelled on the bottle, maize gives this pilsner its color and adds as a typical american macrobrew ingredient. Which is why I love this beer. I have nothing against corn or rice, if used artistically, and not as a cheap filler.

Shorts continues to amaze me, they are the best kept secret in Michigan, and are on an artistic successful path that reminds me of the path Dogfish Head paved for recognition of craft brews as an art.

Smell is not like a typical pilsner (thank the Amarillo hops), and nor is the complete taste. But you know its a pilsner as you drink. Great reinvention innovation here.

And the head is the longest surviving head on a beer I've seen to date????

Keep on rawkin, Joe.

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Photo of baconsausage
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Untill now I have yet to drink a shorts and go "wow"! The pour is a light golden with a crisp white head. Aroma is bready and yeasty with a hint of floral hop. as I ake the first sip I am a bit taken aback by the amount of hop that hits my tounge. This is a bitter beer! Lots of citrus, sweet grapefruit rind flavor. This is almost balenced out by the sweet malt and bready flavors, but not quite. Drinks easy, with plenty of small bubbles to keep me from chugging it. I would seek this out, given the opertunity.

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Photo of tetonka4kzoo
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a golden color with a 1 finger head. The head disappears quickly.

The curl has a slightly sweet malty aroma.

This imperial lager has a hoppy crisp taste. There seems to be a seet taste from light-colored fruit like green grapes, yellow apples, and banana. The Curl at first tastes odd but ends up tasting delicious. There also is a lemon aftertaste. This is complex for a lager with a bitter, sweet, and slightly sour taste.

The Curl has a crisp feel and is well-balanced. Good drinkability even with its high ABV.

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Photo of GrandCruDrew
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle. Brewed and bottled early 2011.

Appearance- A light golden color, a tiny bit of haze, but mostly clear. It has a 1 inch head that disapates quite quickly.

Smell- citrus controls most of the nose, great floral notes, a hoppy nose, and a pils malt in the back end.

Taste- Hoppy and bitter. Very bitter. Citrus and pine. Not that balanced. And, a reminder of why I don't like lagers. Although if I had to choose a Pils, this woud be a top contender. Getting better with each taste now.

Mouthfeel- Decent mouthfeel, bitter up front, lingers. It would be much better on a hot day!

Overall- Just not one of my styles. I enjoy it more as I drink it, I think the hops are taking over. But, my palate is hyper-sensitive to Pilsner malts and or Lagers in general.

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Photo of urwatuh8
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to RoyMunson for trading me this bottle. Tag says number 559/1000 with the date 04-21-06.

Despite pouring quite cold and gentle, I got at least an inch of pillowy white head. Very well carbonated, big bubbling action, nice lacing. The color is an opaque, slightly orange, yellow.

Smell is citrusy and bready, hoppy, grassy.

Taste starts out bready, clean crisp. Hoppy, but not unbalanced. Mostly hops, citrus, spiciness in the finish. Perhaps a bit grassy too. A bitterness that lasts.

Dry. This is probably the least sweet Imperial Pilsner I've had. But I like it that way.

Mouthfeel is fairly thin, but it wouldn't do to have it too chewy. A bit too carbonated.

This has aged ridiculously well, given that this bottle is almost three years old. I would be curious to know what it was like fresh.

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Photo of lavellen
4.78/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This aint retired and Holy cats! I have drank a good share of Shorts, I was at one point in time a fan-boy and told everyone about bellaire, MI. Then came the spoiled bottles, the funky yeastish flavor and with it bad street cred. Shorts fell from my graces recently, but never mind that!

GET THIS BEER. It's like Noble Pils on CRACK. It's hopped up and suped up, at 7% it meets up with the minimum standard for an Imperial Pilsner, and its certainly a far stretch from Pilsner Urquell and other traditionals, but it's bringing back what shorts was word-of-mouth famous for in Michigan and that's off the wall takes on beer. And it's clean! No extra fungal magic. Now if only cup-o-joe would normalize.

This, is a home run beer. Clean, Clear, slightly bitter-Hopped, and aromatic.

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Short's The Curl from Short's Brewing Company
3.87 out of 5 based on 223 ratings.
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