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

very good
205 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: 205 | Ratings: 603
Photo of exzacly_beer
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bought this because of the beautiful black/white label on the bottle. Really great presentation.

Taste is nice - beautiful presentation of Ale qualities, nice hop contributions to the flavors. Mouthfeel is nice and relaxed, I especially like the aftertaste of this beer. I have to say that the head on the beer seemed a bit thick, and the bottle date on mine makes me think this was not an error. So beware of the head :)

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle from GRDave (thanks man!). No bottling date. Served in a Southern Tier tulip snifter.

Pours hazy deep orange with a finger and a half off white head that leaves a good bit of lace.

Smells of biscuit, pine and caramel.

Taste is pretty dang bitter. Grapefruit peel, lemon zest, biscuit, white pepper corn, straw and grass.

Light body with plenty of carbonation. Dry bitter finish.

Not stellar but an easy drinking brew. It has a nice bitter bite but lacks much of the hop flavor profile that I prefer.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - This beer appears orange with golden highlights. A continuous stream of carbonation bubbles feeds a couple inches of creamy, off-white head.

S - I get a surprisingly small amount of citrus on the nose, but I do get some toasty, caramel malt.

T - The taste has a lot more citrus than the smell offered. The taste is just about the opposite of the aroma. I get a lot of citrus flavors and just hints of malt.

M - Medium with biting carbonation.

O - This is a solid beer. I did not think it was that flavorful at first, but the bitterness builds up as I consume this beer. I think Short's description as a strong pale ale is perfect for this beer.

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Photo of minterro
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bought at Spartan Spirits in East Lansing for around 2 bucks for a single.

Paired with homemade pizza

Very lively hazy orange colored beer. foamy off-white head, that has decent retention. Specks of lacing. Moderate citrus aromas, large then usually maltyness present.

The malty side of this beer really comes through in the taste. Bitterness is relatively low. This beer is extremely well-balanced (many a tad too much maltyness). Medium body, and on the higher side of medium for carbonation.

Overall: Very drinkable, very smooth clean finish especially for an IPA. I think I still prefer Huma as my go to IPA from short's, but this beer isn't a bad substitute and is at least worth a try. Kinda reminds me of a better version of 60 minute.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer isn't much to look at. The body is a translucent amber and it takes a decently strong pour to get half a finger of watery head that disappears. Lacing breaks up really quick before it can be called lacing.

The smell starts out bready and quickly takes on hop tones. I get a bit of sugar during the transition, then it's floral hops, grapefruit and I think mandarin orange.

Starts out bready but goes straight into pine with a hint of grapefruit on the tongue.

The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied. Dries the tongue quite a bit.

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Photo of Roman5150
4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

bottle into snifter

appearance: orange amber with slight white head

smell: citrus, floral notes, heavy grapefruit/simcoe, earthiness, lemon, hay

taste: pretty bitter, lot's of earthy floral notes and less tropical flavors than the nose suggested. Very well balanced

mouthfeel: average carbonation

overall: A bitter hop bomb of an IPA, if you like earthy hop bitterness you will love this. Heavy tropical and floral notes give it a refreshing, balanced kick.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour is hazy copper with orange edges and tons of billowy off white head. The nose is citrusy with toasted grain and a fair bit of peppery spice, almost rye like. The taste shows a fair bit of toasted grain, bread crust, hops in back. Citrus, virtually no bitterness, grain lingers with assertive carbonation and a medium body. Bit of sourness in the finish, may have a very slight infection but doesn't take away from the beer.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Bright caramel orange color with a little haze and a thin off-white head.

Aroma: Juicy citrus and a touch of earth from the hops. Not super aromatic but pleasant.

Taste: The biscuit malt and earthy/spicy hops character of an English Pale Ale with the hop bitterness of an American IPA. There is an interesting raw bitterness about the flavor that really bites the palate. The 67 IBUs make this beer feel bigger than 5.5% ABV and help to keep it from tasting watery. Besides the dab of bready malt flavor there isn't a whole lot of malt to help balance the flavor out, which is fine in this case. Finishes with a tangerine nectar sweetness for a moment before the aftertaste takes over with a lot of earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Just under medium in body but pretty good considering the low ABV. A bit aggressive on the carbonation but easy enough to flatten out a bit. Good drinkability despite its palate-wrecking capability.

Final Thoughts: Pretty close to a session IPA and a good beer. While not groundbreaking, Short's Controversi-ALE proves that you don't need tropical fruit hop character to make a good IPA (although I love me some citra). Would I drink it again? Sure.

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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 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 robhbest
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass.

A: Pours a hazy orange with white head. Some lacing, head fades quickly.

S: Not much going on here, some slight citrus notes.

T: The hops really linger on your tongue. A little funky but in a good way. Hard to pinpoint whats going on here, definately some citrus and pine flavors. Interesting.

M: Medium bodied, would have liked a little more carbonation.

O: This one is interesting. Definitely a controversial brew. I can see some people liking this. Me however probably wouldnt seek it out again.

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Photo of Bitter_Echo
4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From memory yesterday. This one, yellow. Deep, clear. Smells like simcoe because it is. Great.
Nice to have nothing interfering. This taste is light on the malt and caramel, dry, the bitter coming in nicely, with great mouthfeel, etc. I really like this, much better than Huma...the balance and taste is clean and drier than any IPA I've tried. A keeper! More please

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Photo of stevepat
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

decent beer from a great brewery. Thin flavor combined with malty mouth feel. Their Huma is vastly superior and they have countless impressive IPA examples rotating through the year. Decent beer but not what i would go with if I had to pick from short's great line up

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A pale orange color with a very nice fluffy, white head on it. Lacing's spectacular as well.

Smell: I forget what the hops are called, but this one seems to have them... the smell on this one is of earthy, dirty onions, with a slight floral note as well. Very unusual. Personally, I'm not a huge fan, but I love the floral note it gives off.

Taste/feel: Front of the tongue is sweet, but the rest is middle-of-the-road bitterness. The taste is much like the smell in that I get the dirty onions, but it doesn't come off as strong. There's then quite a lot of bitterness on the back of the tongue (which makes me surprised to learn that this has *only* 67 IBUs), with that very nice floral aroma coming in the taste. The finish I find to be dry and bitter (for the most part), despite the fact that my mouth waters upon each sip due to the initial sweetness.

Overall, an interesting, INTERESTING beer... I find the name to be quite appropriate. I'd consider it to be an IPA myself, but an IPA unlike any other that I've had, due to the earthy, onion notes. The more I sip on Controversi-ALE though, the less onion-y it seems to be, and the more "normal" of an IPA it is. This beer just confuses me. I disliked it initially (mostly because of the aroma), but by the end I thought it was intriguingly satisfying and tasty.

Definitely a beer I'd like to have again, just because I'd love to know how my opinion changes.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks saisonrichbiere

The beer pours a copper amber with a razor thin white halo of head. The nose is interesting with an unexpected amount of raw grains forward that transitions into nutty and earthy hops after a deep whiff. The taste fits a similar description with a lot malt upfront followed by a mellow nutty hop profile. It has a drinkable, medium bodied beer with a sweet malty finish complimented by a touch of bitter hops. The alcohol is well disguised. This beer is tasty, drinkable, but a let down as far as APAs.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled as Hangin' Frank (and taken from notes).

Looks nice on the pour. There is a pungent and strong nose of hops. Flavor is rigid with hops and what I want to say seems like a nutty tone to it. Lots of spice from hops as well. If you like IPAs, you'll certainly like this one.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up at the brewery in April, so no longer super-fresh, but still delightful.

Pours a hazy pumpkin coloured amber with limited off-white head & lacing. Stunning tropical fruit and citrus aroma is followed by its well-balanced taste. Sweet caramelized malts and jam-like fruits meld into a citrus hop bitterness, that lingers for an impressive length of time.

Definitely a beer I'd highly recommend.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Slows BBQ in Detroit. Poured a lightly cloudy amber-orange with a thin off-white head.

The aroma was pretty malty for an AIPA. Hop notes were light citrus and a bit of pine.

Like the aroma, the taste led with caramel malts followed by light hop notes.

Medium bodied and smooth with a moderate carbonation.

This AIPA from Short's didn't do much for me. A bit heavy-handed on the malty side.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is full of very resinous hops, as well as some toffee and dank notes. The flavor is similar. There is a strong mix of orange, pine and resin in the flavor, as well as some toffee malt which keeps the bitterness from being overpowering. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the bottle, from the tap, I've had this beer plenty of times. Pours a lighter amber color with a reasonable clarity aside from a slight chill haze that subsides after a few minutes from the pour. Very nice off-white head that shows some nice staying power and leaves decent lacing along the top of the glass.

The aroma is thick with pungent pine and an aggressive assertion of hop oils. A nice collection of citrus aromas battle their way into the mix; grapefruit pith, tangerine pulp - bitter and assertive more so than sweet or savory. Lots of resinous aromas dance around a hefty blanket of sweet, pale malts. and maybe even a touch of caramel malt. Despite seeming abundantly hop-forward after the first whiff, the beer opens up to a much more balanced attempt at a hoppy-yet-drinkable IPA as it warms up.

Each sip contains a mouth full of raw hop flavors; pine needles, pine cones, resinous and lightly pungent hop oils, grapefruit peel, orange zest. Some mildly dank and peppery notes reveal themselves later on, but nothing too over-the-top or extreme. The malt is even a touch heavier on the palate than it was on the nose - lots of bread, butter, and a small amount of caramel; it adds a sweetening element that balances the hop aggression surprisingly well. Aftertaste is full of grapefruit pith, sweet bread, and resinous pine. Medium mouth feel, not quite sticky but heavier than slick. Medium carbonation.

A pretty good IPA from Short's, although I'm not sure I like this one more than their trademark IPA, Huma Lupa Licious. I will say, however, this beer delivers a huge resin profile without seeming too abrasive or unbalanced - very nice malt presence. Though it can be said for most beers of this style, this is one that definitely must be enjoyed fresh.

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Photo of Treebs
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Surlytheduff for the extra. 12 oz. bottle served in a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours a dark amber/ruby combination with an off white head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin cap and thick collar.

S: Grassy, dirt and some mild onion are present in the nose. Little malt presence and some bitter green.

T: Mostly onions and grassy flavors up front. Not overly pungent, it mixes with a solid cracker malt base that carries the bitterness throughout the taste.

M: Medium to light bodied. Nice carbonation with a bitter and drying finish.

O: This wasn't bad at all. It wouldn't be a go to IPA for me and I tend to favor the citrus and fruit flavored IPA's. If you want and earthy and balance IPA then this is for you.

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Photo of null
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Tawny golden with a tinge of amber
S- Heavy citrus that had an element of piney bite to the nose
T- Tastes quite a bit like it smells. heaps of hop bite up front, huge citra/piney with some floral/fruity notes. Finish is really clean and brief without much aftertaste
M- Surprisingly nimble and light on the pallete despite the huge hop bite. goes from hop-overload to a nice resiny aftertast with a surprisingly clean finish
O- Fantastic, but not as full-bodied or deep/complex as their almighty huma lupa.

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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 RoamingGnome
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dr. K for the bottle. I enjoyed this pretty well chilled out of a pint glass.

A) Pretty decent amber color. Not much head was generated, despite a rather aggressive pour. The settled quickly to a collar. There was decent lacing.

S) Pale malt and soggy grains. There was some pine/grass and a light floral aroma. Fairly mild and mostly pleasant.

T) Follows the nose pretty closely, but I tasted some citrus in there, which my sense of smell missed. This finishes kind of musty and dirty, with some rind thrown in too.

M) Medium to a lighter medium body. I found this lightly carbonated, and yet pretty crisp. Settles on the palate with a little dryness.

O) This was the second time I tried this beer, and I have to say, I enjoyed it this time around a good deal more. Having said that, my conclusion is still that it is simply okay.

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Photo of Beer_Runner
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No enjoy by date.
Slow pour into a standard pint glass.

A: It poured to a one-finger light beige head that soon disapated to just a ring around the side of the glass. The brew is a copper/orange color and cloudy. A very good looking beer.

S: The aroma is pine and a little citrus and a strong caramel malt.

T: It has a hops taste of piney resin with an earthiness and a little citrus that is balanced by a sweet caramel and slightly bready malt.

M: It is very smooth with just enough carbonation. It is also very creamy with a light body that makes it a very easy drinking beer.

O: It is a somewhat mild IPA. It is also very easy drinking and smooth, and very well balanced. Sometimes it is good to have a well balanced beer and this one fits that purpose just fine.

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Short's Controversi-ALE from Short's Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 603 ratings.
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