Anniversary Ale | Short's Brewing Company

very good
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Anniversary AleAnniversary Ale

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

Style: Wheatwine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
2009 Tap only
2010 Tap and bottle
2013 Tap and bottle

Same recipe every year, according to the brewer, though ABV varies slightly.

"Anniversary Ale~ A high gravity wheat wine made with blood oranges that render an alluring dark purple hue to the color. Flavor abounds from the spice of green peppercorns and tang from blood orange zest. Aggressive dry hop additions amplify the citrus overtones and spiciness found throughout. ‘Anni’ Ale typifies the full magnitude of Short’s Brewing Company by embodying all the complexities and fulfillment necessary to pay tribute to another year of brewing. 10% ABV 63 IBU's"

Added by hoppymeal on 05-08-2009

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Ratings: 521 |  Reviews: 205
Photo of salinasa
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of psychotia
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of MadLatvian
4.24/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of intovert2438
4.24/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of stortore
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. 2014 release.

My last 2014. Pours a nice looking orange with a small, dissapating head, some lacing. Blood oranges come through really well in the smell, as do the peppercorns. Also some malt and citrusy hops. Taste continues a strong orange presence, a lttle more malty than the nose. Peppercorns and hops not as strong as the nose, but they're still there. Some light bitterness on the back end. Great flavor. I do not find it to be overly sweet, as others have. Solid body, ABV is well hidden for the style

Really good wheatwine. The orange presence is big and flavorful, but it's a really well balanced beer. Try it if you can.

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Photo of Stigs
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, split - served in small tulips

A - pours a very interesting dark orange/red color with just a few spots of tiny bubbles. glass #1 was almost perfectly clear, the 2nd was considerably hazy.

S - bright citrus scents, which i would normally associate with abundant use of C hops is this time brought to the table by blood oranges.

T - following the nose with somewhat tangy, citrusy blood oranges. slowly creeps into the tart and sour region. the only other noticeable

M - mostly light, yet oily body. carbonation is moderate. just slightly drying from the tartness, but finishes clean with a pleasant lingering fruitiness.

D - interesting here, and perhaps the best wheatwine (a style i just cant seem to figure out) i've had to date. excellent use of fruit, and insanely dangerous with nary any noticeable alcohol.

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Photo of MrPlayboy
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of badboyrsl84
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours red/orange in the glass with a little white lacing around the glass

Smell - blood orange right off the bat. Tartness and some sweetness brought on by the fruit.

Taste - bitter tartness from the blood orange. Its a good taste though. I get a little peppercorns in the aftertaste. But the bit from the citrius acidic blood orange fruit dominates. No hint of the 11% alcohol.

Overall - it's unlike any beer I've ever had. I can respect what Shorts was trying to do. It may not be the most drinkable beer but its one of the most memorable I've had from them.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled 4/20/2012. Pours hazy reddish orange color with a small 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lacing cap that lingers. Slight spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of huge orange, orange zest, orange rind, grapefruit, peppercorn, caramel, coriander, bread, floral, grass, earth, and herbal. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity; with a huge citrus presence as expected. Taste of big orange, orange zest, caramel, grapefruit, orange rind, coriander, peppercorn, floral, grass, earth, and herbal. Light citrus rind tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of orange, citrus rind, grapefruit, peppercorn, coriander, caramel, toast, floral, earth, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic citrus and peppery flavor balance with nice complexity; zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent wheatwine! Great flavor complexity and balance; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy burnt orange color with a rocky head that doesn't hang around very long though it does leave some dotting behind

Smell: Blood orange pith dominates, though there is a bready aspect underneath

Taste: Orange juice that starts out sweet and then grows ever tarter by mid-palate, when the wheat bread and alcohol make their appearance; after the swallow, the sweet and tart orange flavors interplay and, in the finish, the green peppercorns add a noticeable bit of heat

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to moderate carbonation; leaves some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: I did a 180° with this beer; at first I found it unbalanced and a bit too herbal but as it warmed, I enjoyed the subtle flavorings and, in particular, the peppercorn heat on the finish

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Photo of rudzud
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra in a trade. 2013 vintage according to my spread sheet.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a crystal clear honey hue with a thin quarter inch white head that fades to leave thin wisps and a light halo.

S - Aromas of slightly sweet malts, blood orange juice and zest, candy orange. Little bit of alcohol and old hops.

T - Taste is quite sweet. Sweet malts, blood orange juice and zest. Light caramel, no peppercorns. Finish is candied orange peel. Really neat, how much orange flavour is in this wheatwine. Alcohol is hidden well. Very candy orange like.

M - Mouthfeel is surprisingly carbonated, bit crisp. A bit syrupy, however, the alcohol is still hidden nicely.

O - Overall, this was a surprisingly nice beer from Short's. Really wasn't expecting the orange to be as prominent as it is. Completely shocked.

Serving Type: bottle

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Photo of slentz
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ImperialKing for this awesome extra in our recent trade. Served in my Goose Island chalice at 50 degrees.

A: Generous pour down the center of the glass produces a two finger long lasting head that slowly dissipates to a thin ring. No lacing, but nice legs. Great color in the glass...a nice peachy orange color. 4.0

S: This is very aromatic. Smells quite delicious....definitely picking up the oranges along with other fruits...smells very sweet even floral like. Great smelling beer. 4.0

T: Taste is sweet, tart, and lightly carbonated. Oranges, Peaches, nectarines..some apricot. Alcohol is very well hidden....very smooth. I am really enjoying this one. 4.5

M: Mouthfeel is light nicely carbonated this beer drinks really well 4.0

O: Overall I really like this beer a good break from the IPA's, DIPA's and Stouts I have been enjoying lately. This one is definitely a sipper and really hitting the spot. 4.0

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Photo of sweemzander
4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a hazy to cloudy blood red color that produced a small but present white bubbly head that dissipated rather quickly.

(S)- A huge blast of tart orange citrus that turns quickly into a light dry-like spice that must be the peppercorns. A tart grapefruit-like aroma in the middle.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. A large orange citrus that turns into a grapefruit tartness. A light spice accompanied with a subtle but smooth sweetness.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. A great big tartness from the blood oranges that can rival some sours in its potency. I am not very familiar with blood oranges, but at least in this they give off a strong familiar taste and smell akin to grapefruit. It has a nice underlying subtle sweetness that is lovely. Solid ABV integration, but I think the huge tartness masks this easily.

(D)- It does not exactly remind me of a wheatwine other than the underlying sweetness of it, bu it sure is tasty besides. I would put this as a fruit beer instead in my humble opinion, but I am torn since it really appeals to me due to my love of sours and such. A fun and dynamic beer though that I am enjoying very much; I am just not sold on the style it is in.

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Photo of adamant1912
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-copper/burnt orange, slightly cloudy, thin, white fading head, minimal lacing
S-citrus, blood orange, slight alcohol
T-initial bitterness followed by sweet wheat qualities, orange/blood orange/orange rind, lime/acidity, green peppercorn, slight warmth alcohol, Little/no hop bitterness or presence
M-medium bodied with tart/puckering qualities, lingering sweetness, medium carbonation
O- overall sweet, citrus slightly acidic medium bodied high gravity fruited wheat based ale

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Photo of marcobrau
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red with a decent amount of carbonation in my tulip-shaped glass. Smells of blood oranges, soft cheese rind and rose water, but also a bit musty and metallic. The aroma gets much more complex and floral as the beer warms up to room temperature. Tastes tart with blood oranges melding with the hops in a peculiar way. Green peppercorn emerges towards the finish with ample bitterness. A touch metallic and tart. Slightly tannic in the finish when cold, but gets juicier with more peppery heat as it warms up. Surprisingly dry for a wheat wine and rather potent. Filtered with no yeast apparent. A very interesting beer that definitely gets better as it warms up to room temperature. Some of the individual flavors almost seemed offensive at colder temperatures, but as the warms up it's magic.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle. Many thanks go out to gratefulbeerhead aka Eric for this beer!

A- Pours a hazy orange/red color. Half finger white head that dies down rather quickly. Light streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Nice citrus blood orange aroma. Light sweet malts I think in the middle with a good blending of peppercorn. The grapefruit aroma comes into the ending that rounds out the beer aroma. It will drawl you in for sure.

T- The bloodorange really stands out in the front of the beer. A light peppercorn blends well and rounds out the front part of the beer overall. A light sweet malt runs through the entire beer and well stands out for a second in the middle. A grapefruit like flavor in the ending brings a nice crisp bitterness.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the beer and style. Blood oranges flavor left on the palate with some hop bitterness in the aftertaste. The blending of all the flavors is nice and crisp with certain flavors coming out as well. Medium alcohol drying on the palate.

D- Short's just likes to make beers that make you think a lot. The flavors are very present during the whole beer and are in your face. Short's does well with making beers you want to drink over and over again. The ABV is high on this which limits it but only if you want to play it safe.

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Photo of lefty17
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of fear025
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Romulux for sharing this with me during our IP trade!

Aroma:Sweet orange, sweet malt, sweet hops in the nose.

Appearance:Dark honey color, very little head, low retention, low lacing.

Taste:Lots of orange, some grapefruit rind in the foretaste. Very sweet. In the midtaste, the hops come through a little more. The hops are all citrus. The slight orange tang continues through the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel:Light to medium body, a little bit abrasive on the back of my throat as I drink.

Drinkability:This is an incredible and complex wheatwine with amazing orange flavors.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky and opaque body. This beer looks like extra pulpy grapefruit juice. Very limited head, some rouge bubbles do manage to cling to the glass in something resembling lacing.

Aroma is juicy, very very juicy. Hints of wheat, frainy aroma is buried beneath the blanket of blood orange. Spicy peppercorn compliments the blood orange very well, much to my surprise. Floral, grassy dry hop characteristic is the only real noticeable hop contribution.

The flavor is outrageous, Graininess of the wheat competes with the tart and bitter blood orange for dominance. Slight sweet flavors peak through momentarily. Grassy, spicy hopss meld into the green peppercorn flavor towards the rear of the palate. The combination of flavors are flat out ridiculous.

Medium body with very little carbonation. Drinks more like a juice than a beer. I would normally have huge issues with this but I do not mind in the least with this specific beer.

A sipper but very enjoyable. Not something I would drink more than a couple, a couple would certainly be enough. It is unfortunate this is not a season, I would like to have this available on occasion. This beer just makes me shake my head, I do not know what to say besides its damn good.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Mike for splitting this with me. Aged almost one year (2012 vintage). Pours a slightly red-tinted copper color with decent clarity and a light, off-white, wispy head that fizzles away in a short amount of time. The aroma is buckled down with a nice pungency of juicy oranges and tangerines. But not just any oranges - these are "blood" oranges.

I've never had a blood orange and I don't know exactly what they are, but if they're anything like blood diamonds, then I will not be having this beer ever again. I'm joking. But seriously, these oranges smell very fresh, ripe, and juicy. Light peppercorn on the nose mixes and fades in with the slight phenol character I'm picking up from the alcohol. It's not too strong, however - the oranges are always dominant. Light hop character, leafy and spicy, but not very "bitter" smelling.

This is another case of the taste being an exact replica of the smell in drinkable form. Oranges engulf the palate right out of the gate. For a second, they almost give a tart character - not quite puckering, but definitely borderline sour. Very fresh and vibrant as it slowly cascades into a bitter-sweetness. As this is happening, the phenol flavors come out a bit and the alcohol asserts itself - at 10% ABV, this beer is certainly no slouch.

Some other light citrus and grapefruit flavors are coupled with the oranges, but the orange definitely stands out the most. Peppercorns are barely noticeable, but can be found if you're looking. They provide a light spiciness that almost camouflages with the hop character - a mild leafy and herbal tone that adds more flavor than real bitterness. Medium-ish body, low-medium carbonation, smooth on the palate.

Another tasty beer from Shorts with another ingredient I've never tasted in real life and never would've thought to put in a beer. Nice execution with the "blood oranges" to give a very authentic and ripe flavor.

EDIT: 5/9/2013

Enjoyed a 2013 Anniversary Ale fresh. The blood oranges are a little more vibrant and assertive and the peppercorn is toned down just a touch, but it still an integral part of the brew. Hop character is also a bit more prominent. Mouth feel is better than I remember, and the juicy, sweet, and nearly tart blood orange finish is fantastic. Don't know if this is "better" fresh, or the 2013 batch was just a little more to my liking, but I've gotta bump the score. This is great stuff.

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Photo of aasher
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a bright reddish copper in color with a light off white lacing. It hits blood orange in color on the head. It smells or orange peels with light sweet caramel malts. It's pretty appealing on the nose. It tastes of grated orange peels that've assaulted your palate with an aerial assault. It's very spicy and doesn't present any alcohol at all. It maskes the generic overly sweet malt of the style and is overly fruity. It drinks well and is pretty light in body. It features a lot of malt but doesn't drink in an overly sticky manner. The alcohol isn't present whatsoever. Overall this is one of the better wheatwines I've had. The fruit did this one some favors. I'd recommend it.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Derek for sending one of these my way recently. Opened up at a tasting yesterday.

A: The pour is a dark red (perhaps ruby red) color with a nice off-white head.

S: Tons and tons of sweet and mildly sour blood oranges in the nose. A really soft but noticeable peppery aroma as well. Quite interesting but strangely inviting.

T: The oranges are just as strong as in the nose. In addition to the oranges, there is a bit of a grapefruit note and the pepper is much more subdued. A nice sweet caramel note in the background as well.

M: Quite full bodied and a really nice amount of carbonation, which you don't always get out of a growler.

D: Another cool beer from Shorts. I liked the addition of the fruit in this one and found it to be a bit sweet and at nearly 12% ABV, this is one that you need to drink with caution.

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Photo of MIMicrobrews
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6-pk of bottles from my local store. Poured and enjoyed out of a belgian tulip glass.

A: Very much dark red in color, as if it were cherry juice. Pours with a little head and little to no retention.

S: Smells tart, like citrus & orange peels (amazingly enough!). I get a hint of alcohol underneath.

T: The taste is what truly makes this brew. For a wheat wine, I've never tasted anything like this. Very smooth, great mix of fruits, citrus and orange flavor. As if the blood oranges were poured directly into the glass. There's a tiny bit of heat in the end, but overall, it's very smooth.

M: It's a little syrupy, but it doesn't take away from the taste at all.

D: For an ABV peaking over 11%, but fine concoction is amazingly smooth. Definitely has great drinkability. So much so, I'm about to grab another.


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Photo of malty
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Force poured into my stemmed Ayinger tulip-style chalice to showcase a almost clear ruby/copper color with a dense & creamy 1" settled light beige head. Very fine visible uprising carbonation at a moderate rate. Broad & wide rings of lace with tiny pin pricks through them all the way down.

I could smell the blood oranges quite well immediately after I poured the glass and set it on the table a few feet from my head. The bountiful blood orange scent permeated the airspace around me and it was beautiful. I raise the glass under my nose and I'm greeted with a lush, deep tropical fruit barrage. Macerated plums, raisins, blood oranges (of course) pineapple, apricots - all bathed in a boozy brandy. A handful of hop zippiness peeks through this rain forest of drunk fruit at the end.

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! This baby goes from uber sweet nose to an initial sour (almost mouth-puckering tart) greeting with a green peppercorn zap right out of the gate. As my palate tries to recalibrate itself, I can't help but be soothed my this sweet and full flavored mixed & mangled whacky treat. Now, back to reality...The wheat malt is apparent and the loads of blood oranges are top billing. The green peppercorns make for an interesting substitution for the traditional clove spiciness found in most wheat wines. The hops really amp up the peppercorn spiciness to where it's almost impossible to discern where the dry & zesty flavors are coming from.

Mouthfeel is just a little lighter than full bodied, but is very slick & sturdy. The long, warm flavorful finish ends with just a little alcohol burn.

Drinkibility is limited due to the 'sip slow' factor inherent in this fine and unusual ale.

Overall Short's has fried my circuits once again, (in a good way). Very sweet and somewhat sour with lots of warm spices worming themselves through this hearty, jovial beast. As it warms, the clove finally spouts out. The green peppercorns can be a little heavy handed, but don't really rock the boat...or I should say 'battleship'. This is one big & burly ale with a big smile on it's shiny face. At least my face is grinning with a slight shine to it, now that my glass is empty.

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Photo of akorsak
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to witbier for bringing this back from Bellaire for me. Zeke, you are the best.

A: The ale, my second of the day (the first was shared with ksak and janlud), has a reddish tint to it, a blood orange color if you ask my opinion. A radiant glow reveals translucent hues that match the reds. A finger plus of head laces as it recedes.

S: Damn! What a nose! The blood oranges, the peppercorns, the wheat strength. The whole package, with a minty afterglow, is incredible to sniff. The citric bite is intense, the blood orange a unique addition.

T: The ale is complex, with the intense wheat battling the citrusy blood oranges for the spotlight. The wheat, well beyond pleasantly tart, is biting and full, easily on par with the strength of a barleywine. The blood oranges are citrusy sweet, dripping with flavor. Peppercorns add a dose of zest that works well with the wheat. Oh, but I have to come back to the juicy blood orange flavors, rich and sweet, an incredible addition to the ale.

M: Smooth and sweet, the ale is big, VERY BIG. The citrus and wheat fight at times but generally get along. The result is a full, rich taste that may be too much for many. Me? I liked it a year ago and I like it now.

D: At nearly 12%, this wheatwine is best enjoyed in short doses. I love the flavor, the citrus and blood orange. A worthy anniversary ale.

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Anniversary Ale from Short's Brewing Company
3.96 out of 5 based on 521 ratings.
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