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 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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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 FosterJM
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1250th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint
12 oz

Thanks to ErikKoppin for this one

App- A deep mix of Orange and gold and falls to a lighter yellow bottom. A small 1/2 finger of head that was pure white, fell and left some mild cling.

Smell- Deep citrus aromas come up with some damp and thick grapefruit and orange. A bit doughy and earthy. Lots of caramel and bitter on this as well

Taste- Pretty thick and bitter for 5%. A large amount of thick orange and grapefruit flavors. Most of the aromas carries over to the taste as well with some more caramel and peppery spice.

Mouth- A pretty standard IPA feel except supposed to be a pale ale. A solid medium body with a medium carbonation level. Residual citrus and bitter flavors.

Drink- This is not my favorite profile but was glad to try it. Nice semi-balanced IPA with a lot of caramel and bitter behind it.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into standard pint. Bottle dated 3/28/12. Thanks, Bob!

A - Pours a copper color with slight haze. Very little head apart from a thin film on the surface. Minimal lacing.

S - Dank grapefruit, bready malt, pine hops. Great smelling beer.

T - There is a huge citrus (grapefruit) presence combined with a bitter pine. The simcoe hops were put to good use. Balanced by the malt just enough to mellow and make it very easy drinking. The finishing hop bite is more refreshing than bitter.

M - Medium, borderline light, body with good carbonation.

O - I had heard alot about this beer, mostly about the controversial depiction of "hangin' Frank," not much about the taste. This was a very impressive brew that I would call an APA, but the line is a blurry one, so the IPA classification doesn't bother me at all. It is very drinkable with a dank, citrus hop flavor that is never very bitter or abrasive. This is a fantastic session-able beer that I wish I had regular access to.

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Photo of 33nickadams
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden amber color with no head. Very little carbonation. Almost completely opaque. Hoppy smell with notes of citrus and earthiness. Taste is the same as the nose. Nice and light mouthfeel. This is a good beer, but would probably choose other IPAs over this. I would like it with more carbonation.

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Photo of korguy123
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle in pint glass.

A- Clear orange pour with a two finger tight bubbled head. Lacing is excellent.

S- Pine and delicious citrus aroma. There is a slight soapy aroma.

T- Slight astringent hop taste. It's not pine, but there is a slight pine, it's not citrus, but there is grapefruit and mandarin. The review below me mentioned dandelions and I agree with that completely.

M- Medium bodied, good carbonation. Slightly sticky on the lips.

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Photo of emerge077
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served up in a tulip glass, this beer pours a hazed sunset orange shade. Thin skim across the top, not much head really.

Pungent at first, slightly resiny and green, hint of the dank and touch of cat box, thanks Simcoe. Eucalyptus and grainy pale malt come through after it sits for a bit.

Dry and bitter, resiny with some grapefruit and candied orange peel notes, dandelion greens, lightly earthy, grainy pale malt following up and lingering into the resiny, bitter aftertaste. Light body, airy feel with light carbonation. Not all that different from Prolonged Enjoyment, or local favorite Daisy Cutter.

Thanks to Justin for the trade...

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled 2/27/2012. Pours hazy golden amber color with a dense 1-2 finger off white head with good retention that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big orange, pineapple, mango, pine, herbal, floral, honey, caramel, and light biscuit. Very nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, pine, orange, floral, caramel, honey, biscuit, and herbal spiciness. Nice amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pine, citrus, caramel, biscuit, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a bit. Great balance of flavors with bitterness. Medium carbonation and body; with a slightly creamy and very smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden at 5.5% with only a slight warming well after the finish. Very smooth and easy to drink as well. Overall this is an excellent IPA that actually fits more into the pale ale category. Excellent fruity hoppiness; with great balance and very smooth drinking.

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Photo of ClarkstonBeerGuy
4.94/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great flavor & aroma! I just tried it for the first time last weekend when a friend brought a 6-pack by... Had to go out and pick up a couple 6-packs a couple days later! I'm dreading the day they stop brewing it! Short's has so many great brews, thinking about putting together a road trip!

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Photo of elNopalero
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a clear golden-straw color with big bubbles and low foam.

There is an upfront grassy-pine aroma. Reminds me of thick pine sap from a northern Michigan forest, perhaps? There’s even more of that sappy thick piney resiny flavor when you drink it. Great upfront hop flavor and bitterness that carries through the finish. Don’t judge a bottle by its label. Or its name.

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