Short's Controversi-ALE | Short's Brewing Company

very good
220 Reviews
Short's Controversi-ALEShort's Controversi-ALE

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Loaded with hops like an IPA, yet drinks like a Pale Ale, we simply decided to call it a Strong Pale Ale. The fragrant, earthy citrus laced nose is instantly detectable. Large amounts of toasted grains and high alpha Simcoe hops form a perfect union that creates the cool sensation of toasted sourdough covered with zesty grapefruit hop marmalade.

67 IBU

Formerly known as Hangin' Frank.

Added by oberon on 09-09-2007

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Reviews: 220 | Ratings: 697
Photo of goblueA2
1/5  rDev -73.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Worst display of an IPA that I have ever tasted in my life...virtually no hop presence. Overwhelming stale caramel taste. I really have no idea how Shorts can characterize this as an American IPA. Smells like dirt and tastes like shit. Typically a big fan of this brewery but very disappointed in this beer. Would not recommend.

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Photo of BillHodson
1.76/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Not my style - did not care for it at all. Left a bad taste and feel in my mouth.
A friend accidentally dropped a bottle on his driveway. It left a stain for several months, despite heavy rains.

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Photo of jables7
2.46/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- This beer has a burnt orange, almost amber color to it. It's a nice looking beer with about 2 fingers of off-white head. At first glance I'm pretty excited to try this beer.

S- The excitement previously expressed in the appearance category is shot down in a blaze of glory. The smell is almost nonexistent for an ipa. I don't need to be hit over the head with hop aroma but a little would be nice.

T- As is so often the case, the taste follows along the same lines as the smell. I get some light citrus notes but most of the glory of the hop is missing. This comes as a surprise to me considering Short's homa lupa licious. Unfortunately this brew tastes something like an average ipa that's been strained through a used gym sock. It is far too bitter.

M- Despite the shortcomings in the taste the mouthfeel holds up really well. It has a thickness that rivals many double ipa's. It's one of the few redeeming qualities of this particular beer.

O- Unfortunately, my experience with this beer has been an unpleasant one. I consider myself a big fan of ipa's and this one just doesn't cut it. There's no excuse for the hop vanishing act. That being said, I think it's rediculous that Short's is re-branding this beer because of some protests over it's name and label design. The people offended by it are most likely not beer fans and should probably grow up.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.52/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

"Uncle Frank couldn't read or write
So there was no note or letter found where he died
Just a rope around his neck
And the kitchen table turned on its side"
- Mike Cooley / Drive-By Truckers

Poured into a Parkbrau Pils glass on 6/14/12

Thanks to beesy for sharing the bottle. I've wanted to try this one for a while.

The appearance is cloudy, but not as dense as Huma Lupa Licious. I was able to coax a two finger head that rushed up at the end of the pour. Retention is a thin layer of bubbles, though there is a decent amount of drippy lacing.

Modest herbal and earthy hops rest atop an all too generous pile of bread and terse caramel. While I can't say it smells boozy, there is an aroma similar to paint thinner which makes the back half of the aroma fairly unpleasant. Wisps of floral hops.

The taste is a step up from the aroma, but it strikes me roughish nonetheless. A brief bitterness attack of the piney variety merges with muddy citrus and stale cat pee. Hmm, perhaps the Simcoe isn't doing so hot with this beer. The malts are too prominent here, too. Biscuit, bread and caramel.

Medium body with some resin and graininess. Carbonation is reasonably ample, yet remains fluffy and pleasant. The finish has lingerings of dirt, earth and a slight bitterness.

I was hoping for more, especially after having Huma yesterday. Not an entirely bad beer, it simply doesn't work all that well as an AIPA.

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Photo of Sabtos
2.58/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

Clear amber with a moderate sized, beige bubbly head that recedes to almost nothing with some a couple of branches of lacing.

Caramel aromas first with some sort of mild fruit, like strawberry/blueberry orange juice...?

Flavors of light pine, with bark...walnuts, and peanuts? And mushrooms? WTF?

This is another odd one from Shorts. I really don't get it.

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Photo of GRG1313
2.64/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Developed for City Park Grill. Clear amber with a firm and bold and thick pure white head.

Nose is lightly assertive cooked pineapple/nothing special.

Mouthfeel is medium full with light "fizzy" carbonation and good hop heavy balance.

Flavors are a dull bitter burnt toast hop. Not very bright. Light malt, pine flavor undertones.

Finish is the big ticket on this one. Big assertive bitter pine finish that is long lasting and the most lasting impression of this decent but nothing special brew.

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Photo of glazeman
2.93/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

A: This beer pours golden in color with a touch of amber and a one finger white head that has excellent retention and nice lacing.

S: Very intense citrus hops on the nose. I specifically get lemons, grapefruit, and a little bit of brown sugar.

T: Uggh. I had such high expectation for the taste after my initially whiffs of this beer, but unfortunately this one does not deliver. This one is pretty watered down and bland for an IPA in my opinion. It's like they had the right idea but skimped on the volume of the ingredients or something...I don't know. I get come orange and lemon and then a little bit of bitterness at the end, but not nearly enough.

M: Run of the mill mouthfeel. No complaints, but nothing special.

D: The more Short's beers I have the more that I feel they are hit or miss. I have had some of my very favorite beers of all time and least favorite beers come from Short's. Sad to say, this IPA falls into the later category. Not really worth the effort to search this one out. Though, it is easy to drink, but then again so is water.

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Photo of sleuthdog
2.93/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Thanks to rpbuckeye for this

Poured into Shorts pint

Pour: Agressive pour since the glass is large produced a finger and a half of white head that was actually not foamy but soapy looking. The beer is a copper orange that is cloudy.

Smell: This one is pine hop forward to me with some floral notes, too. The malt aroma is strong and smells a touch sweet and bready. I am not really getting too much in the citrus notes here but can say maybe grapefruit.

Taste: Pine bitterness with an earthy quality. Grass and onion to me too which isn't too pleasant to my palate. There is a cracker like taste in the background and that seems to detract from the onion taste but not enough. Finishes with a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink just not fun to drink. Finishes dry.

Overall: I have not been impressed with Short's to date and this one unfortunately doesn't change my mind.

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Photo of andrewjraab
2.95/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - a deep and dark burnt orange with 2 inches of thick white head after an aggressive pour. Nice lacing and stick.

S - Floral, hoppy, grapefruit, piney. A very pungent pop to this brew.

T - Punchy hoppy opening that smacks you in tongue, but a weird almost soapy finish.

O - I'm a bit disapointed in this one. Perhaps just not my mix and style for an American IPA. Taste brings bong water to my head. Something off with this one. I wont try this again for awhile.

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Photo of BMoney575
2.97/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled on 8-29-10

Pours a hazy orange/amber color, with a very thin white head that leaves one ring of lacing.

Smell is thick hop resin, extremely floral and sticky. Nicely complex, with a strong bitterness and sweet underlying malt character.

Taste is bitter, earthy, and vegetabley. The flavors are deep, dirty, and almost unpleasant. No hop flavor or sweetness, and not much in the way of malt balance. The aftertaste is sharp and very bitter, and lingers forever.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side, and the strong carbonation does not help.

Drinkability is poor, due to the harsh flavors and huge bitterness.

Overall, not very good, and no redeeming qualities.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bottle split with onix1agr.

A- little fizz of white head that settles quickly leaving a few patches of lace and a small wisp on top. Light copper orange in color with slight glimmers of yellow.

S- light citrus and some pine with a mild pale malt sweetness.

T- more hoppy on the palate then the nose with a bitter grapefruit and conifer touch. Malts are light and bready with a touch of caramel. Long bitter finish.

M- about medium in body maybe a bit less. Lightish carb.

O- eh in a sea of ipas this one sinks to the bottom. Not bad just nothing really stand out about it.

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Photo of rudzud
3.01/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Received as an extra in a trade. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a slightly hazy orange copper hue with a thin one finger head that fades quickly to leave a thin blanket and light halo.

S - Aromas of sweeter malts, little bit of candy sugar, old earthy hops. Not super fresh smelling by any means.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, sweeter malts, old earthy hops, little bit of...I dunno, stale bread? Pleasant lingering bitters. I get some alcohol too, which is a bit surprising considering the ABV.

M - Mouthfeel is crisp, though somehow boozy at only 5.5%. Baffling.

O - Overall I wasn't really a fan of this beer at all. Like most of the Short's beers I've had it just doesn't do anything for me. Being fresh may have helped this one, but, doubtful.

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Golden colored, a bit hazy. Off-white head hangs around for a bit. Lacing is good. The beer looks alive, at least.

Smell - Not a strong aroma, but hoppy. Very piney and maybe a bit grassy at the end.

Taste - Hops at the front, somewhat citrusy. The malt really takes over though. Very earthy. Almost tastes like a rye PA.

Mouthfeel - Thin. No idea what the ABV is, but it's still thin for an IPA. Light carbonation doesn't add to the body at all.

Overall - It's nothing fantastic. Tastes ok and drinks easily enough, though.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Copper-amber beer with a huge white head that had nice retention and left some decent stickage on the glass.

S - Good amount of malts as well as some citrus and pine hops. There is a slight bit of bring in there, which detracts a little bit, but it's not bad.

T - Taste is okay. Tastes a lot like a Euro-DIPA or maybe one that has turned a little bit. Malts have gone a little sour/rotten, but some of the caramel sweetness still comes through. Hops are kind of bitter without much else character.

M - Medium bodied, good carbonation, no complaints about this.

O - Wonder if this is just old. If I get another bottle that is significantly better I will re-review, but this is just not something that was particularly great, although I wouldn't go so far as to say it is bad.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.21/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$2.39/12oz bottle purchased at Plum Market in Ann Arbor

A: nice, clear amber color, frothy, rocky head
S: strong smack of grapefruit and citrusy hops
T: biscuity malt up front but citrus/grapefruit hops dominates with strong hop bitterness finish, a bit too unbalanced
M: too hoppy all-around for my taste, needed a bit more malt balance, mellowed a bit after tastebuds got used to it
O: decent beer but needed more malt balance

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Photo of nkersten
3.27/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a tuplip. Thanks Erik!

Color is a very hazy orange with minimal white head. The little head there is sticks nicely to the side of the glass. Smell is hop forward, very citrusy with some fresh dough. Taste is strange. Not at all like the smell - not a lot of bitterness or hop flavor and very little malt. Some biscuit/dough, but not much going on. Mouthfeel is very thin and watery with a prickly carbonation. If this beer had some hop flavor it would be much more drinkable. I don't mind the thin mouthfeel as long as there is some flavor there. I am glad I got to try this but definitley prefer Huma Lupa.

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Photo of SupaCelt
3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The pour drops a hefty hopper dressed in copper into the glass. A nice head rises and falls to an eighth of an inch that fully covers the juice below. No holes. Nice. Lace makes a sticky mess out of the vessel.

The nose is juicy and citrus laden. Grapefruit and rooty notes pop off over some bakery tones. Smells a touch green, maybe even vegetal, but very pleasant.

The taste is at once bitter and sweet and then dries and shifts into some semi abrasive and funky aftertones. The green of the nose is more evident in the flavor. A bit vegetal and yes a smidge peppery. The onset is pleasant, but the final flavor impression is not entirely favorable.

The mouthfeel is fine. Nearing medium body with good carbonation.

The drinkability suffers a bit due to some of the less than excellent elements in the taste. In all honesty there is nothing about this brew that warrants a repeat as there are far too many excellent IPA varieties readily available that would be given preference over this particular example.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle into glass split with oglmcdgl, thanks to charliedvrs.

Hanging Frank(love the name) looks like your typical IPA, a nice bed of orange mixed with tangerine hues with a inch of semi thick white foam that fades and leaves minor stick. Not the greatest retention. Smell is lackluster, malts are forming a wall over the hops and I smell a IPA that is english in nature if my nose is correct. Biscuit with earth over light tropics, nothing to exciting. Taste is on par with the stank, or lack of stank. Not a hop forward westy or a malt ridden easty, this lies in the middle, kinda like Short's. Faint earth and grass with the lightest fruit essence with a bready malt bill, that does not overpower. Feel is a lighter shade of medium with a light carb that comes and goes. Good for a go, but not what Im looking for in a IPA.

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Photo of Lunch
3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I've always been a little disappointed by Short's, but I really respect their unique brewing perspective.

Bottle poured into a North Coast Old Rasputin nonic pint. Golden amber with some haze and 2 fingers of froth. Smell is mildly hoppy with notes of pine and a hint of citrus. Some caramel malt is in there as well. Taste is fine, but there are so many other great IPAs on the market that I feel this beer lacks that hop punch that the style necessitates. Not a bad beer, but so "balanced" that this is pretty much an APA.

I don't need to drink this ever again.

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Photo of oberon
3.29/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One of three Short's brews on tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor,came to the table in a standard pint glass a somewhat murky hazed auburn color with a very thin head that was gone quickly.Big resiny,piny hop profile bordering on IPA territory a hint of biscuit sweetness underneath.Now Iam a hophead and its hard for me not to talk glowingly of pale ales with a large dose of hops but this was a bit to one dimentional and dare I say bitter it was like drinking a grapefruit rind with not much else supporting it,very bitter with a bit of sourness.I dont get to try many Shorts offering only when I get back to MI and I was excited to try this new offering but I was really let down by this one.

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Photo of Viperonetwoone
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

bottled 02/12/2013. Pours hazy golden orange. off-white single finger head with pretty aggressive pour.

Smells of sweet vidalia onions still in the georgia soil, if you've even been. There's a round about scent of sweetness that seems more floral than the onion. Honey-dew melon, musk-melon. sweet-breaded maltyness.

Back of throat onion sweetness with a well-rounded bitterness filling out the entirety of the middle mouth. finishes with the barest hint of under-ripe watermelon and some floral sweetness. Would be a bit better if it was more bready malty like those hawaiin buns, that would fit perfectly here.

Unique flavors in this one. I Actually enjoy the flavors, feel it would pair well with a plain burger no cheese on a potato bun.

Overall, 3.5 beer for me.

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Photo of Arenbeer
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a tumbler glass

A- Pours a clear golden honey orange with a two finger fluffy white head that sticks around a while.

S- Sweet tropical fruitiness, pine/earthy hops, orange peel and citrus.

T- Bitter earthy and pine hops up front that fades into a lemon and tropical fruit flavor that washes it all away. Kind of getting the dish soap feel from this, the hops and fruitiness don't really blend to well together.

M- Medium to light body with moderate carbonation and a slight bitter finish.


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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a cartoon of a guy hanging, must be Frank. Not sure about the backstory on that.

The beer pours a light orange color, a little haze, thin head. The aroma is a little malt-forward for an IPA, toasty biscuit malt mixed with hops of the citrus variety, very balanced. It tastes much the same to me, a very balanced IPA with a slightly bitter aftertaste. The hops give some light citrus flavors, and the malts do a little more than just support, overall it works well. Might be an APA but that's splitting hairs.

The body is about average for an APA/IPA, easy drinking. OK but not exceptional, as is becoming the case with most Shorts beers I've tried recently.

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Photo of oline73
3.36/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at the brewpub. Poured into a sample glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a half finger of creamy off white head. Good head retention.

Smell: Mild. Citrus hops with bready malt and a slight sweetness.

Taste: Strong malt profile. The hops show up ear the end of each sip. Mild citrus peel notes with a bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium amount of carbonation. The body is on the thin side with a dry finish.

Overall: This beer is good but not remarkable. I don't know that I would have another.

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Photo of Lunchbox171717
3.37/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This IPA was a generic one, and that's the best I can really say. While it has a decent ABV, the flavor isn't really there for me. It's nowhere near as bitter as I had hoped, and while it smells pretty good... I just don't think the quality is really there.

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Short's Controversi-ALE from Short's Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 697 ratings.
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