Short's Sustenance Black Bier | Short's Brewing Company

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very good
84 Reviews
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Short's Sustenance Black BierShort's Sustenance Black Bier
BEER INFO

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

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TurdFurgison on 06-07-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
84
Ratings:
168
Avg:
3.76
pDev:
9.31%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
14
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 168
Photo of WeisGuy
3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a - pours a deep dark brown, just a few shades short of black, one-finger tan head with decent retention and lacing, good amount of haze

s - deep roasted malt aroma, light earthy hops, dark chocolate notes, no alcohol heat

t - smooth roasted malt flavors mixed with dark chocolate and light cherry, very light floral hop notes, no alcohol detectable

m - medium-bodied, moderate to lower carbonation, fairly dry finish, no alcohol warming

d - pretty drinkable in that it's easy on the palate and the alcohol is well hidden, but the flavors just aren't that interesting or complex

Decent beer, but pretty unmemorable overall. Worth a try if you see it on the shelf or you're looking for a schwarzbier, but not one of the brewery's best offering, in my opinion.

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Photo of jampics2
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter. Graciously shared by Arp and enjoyed with Paul at his place.

This beer looks nice in the glass but lacks the head retention of the best Schwarzbiers in the world. The color is dark brown to black with a hint of red and even gold around the edges. There is a tan head that left the building in the time it took to write this sentence. A soapy film remains and lace is less than stellar. Great color, bad head.

Sustenance smells of sweet caramel malt at first, then some heavier notes come in. There's some black strap molasses, roasted chocolate hints from the malt and a touch of smoke or maybe toasted or burned malt. This is pleasant and well-integrated, but there is a touch of black malt acidity that scares me that this may be stale or slightly tart. But at least the typical Shorts infection is absent from the smell.

The beer tastes better than expected. The biggest win over the smell is the way everything is balanced and pleasant. Some acidity that I noted in the nose is present, but happily not sour. Some bitterness and touch of light smoke hit mid-way through the palate. I get some notes of coffee, which are contrasted by sweet caramel and a touch of licorice. There is also a touch of bitter citrus rind, I'm assuming from the hops. A good beer with depth and a myriad of flavors, but nothing that valuts this over the bar into the top tier of schwarzbiers.

The beer is medium bodied with some thin gaps but it has a relatively pleasant and substantial feel. The carbonation is a bit high for my tastes. Overall, Short's Sustenance Black Bier
is very pleasnat and comes together well. I'm very much looking forward to trying the barrel-aged version.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely jet black in color with a slight tan head-more stout like then a schwazbier but that's ok! Average aroma-somewhat spicy with a slight coppery/metallic note. Wonderful flavor-nice mix of roasted grains and a caramel like toffee flavor. Slight trace of licorice as well. Just enough hop bite to balance the whole thing out. Lingering sweetness. Velvety smooth mouthfeel. While it lacks the overall clean crispness of a lager and is far more stout like to me, this is one damn fine beer and very, very drinkable. Almost gone in 3 large "sips".

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Photo of hosehead83
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into an English dimpled "pot" pint glass
Dark, black in color with amber highlights-nice head of off-white foam
Aroma-Subtle chocolate and coffee notes
Taste-Coffee, black patent malts,dark chocolate-Dry, black-coffee finish.
Overall, rather medium to light bodied, with a dry finish. Pretty tasty and very drinkable.

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Photo of david131
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A very deep dark brown, bordering on black liquid with a creamy light brown head that settles to a thin covering with some bubbles and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Anise, smoke, cinnamon, coffee, and dark chocolate. Very aromatic and intriguing.

T- Smoke, anise, coffee, dark chocolate, and a bit of earthiness. Meaty with strong lasting favors.

M- Slightly watery but there are some strong lasting flavors and a nice level of carbonation.

D- An interesting beer that I am glad to have the please of enjoying. Something worth trying.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to Erik (erikkoppin) for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours a dark chocolate color into my glass with over two fingers of dark tan head that dissipates slowly leaving great looking lacing.

Smell – A great aroma of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, coffee, and just a hint of hops. A clean crisp smell.

Taste – Actually spot on with the nose, however, I do believe there is even a more predominant roasted flavor throughout. Reminds me of being at a campfire, and honestly I feel this would be great to have while around a campfire on a crisp autumn night. More cocoa than chocolate (dry and a hint more bitter), just a hint of coffee on the back end, and finishes with a crisp dry hop flavor.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, perfect carbonation, finishes slightly dry and roasty.

Overall – Pretty damn impressed with this. While more along the lines of a stout, this is extremely quaffable and the flavors meld perfectly. I would certainly pick this up in the future if I saw it.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks to gratefulbeerhead a.k.a. Eric for this beer. Your kindness is over the top. Review from phone notes.

A- Pours a deeep dark brown color. Light red hues when held up to the light. Half finger tan head that dies down fast. No real lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Roasted malts with a light licorice aroma in the front end. Chocolate notes in the middle. Darker fruits come and go toward the ending of the aroma. Finishes off with a earthy hoppy tone.

T- Roasted malts right off the bat with this beer. Some light licorice notes in the ending front of the beer. Coffee in the middle with some light chocolate notes. This washes way to a light molasses. Earthy hops in the tailend of the beer.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Oily slickness left all over the palate. Smoked malts left on the palate with some light hoppy smokey alcohol left into the aftertaste. Flavors blended well and individual flavors could be picked out as well.

D- This is yet another beer from Short's that is very drinkable. The flavors blended well overall. This would be a couple pints and then move onto something else personally. A great beer nevertheless.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured cold from the bottle a crisp cola black to a sun king shaped pint glass with a super thin, short lasting, tan head leaving a thin rim of lace near the rim after each sip.

roasty black coffee aroma with a bit of burnt chocolate meringue pie crust in the way back.

nice. smoky, milk chocolate, and black coffee.

light bodied, big carbonation, coffee bitter to the tongue, fading to semi sweet chocolate.

drinkable - yep.

overall - nice chocolatey, true to style.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.46/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft. Dark brown/black pour with a tan head. Good lace left on the glass. Teh aroma is very clean and crisp with slight coffee. Smooth tasting with coffee and dark raosted malt notes. Slight bitterness in the backend. Medium mouthfeel. Tasty but not something I would search out for myself.

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Photo of GONZALOYANNA
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle served in a Lager glass.Enjoyed on sep´11.Medium mahogany in color.Light beige froth, pretty good retention, some lacing rings.Yeast,cinnamon & tobacco to the nose,hints of chocolate too.Coffee at first sip followed by intense toasted malt flavor.Slightly peppery on palate.Medium body.Medium carbonation.Dry bitter finish & aftertaste with subtle smoky notes & hints of licorice.Good drinkability.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

$3 on-tap during Happy Hour at HopCat.

Appearance: Welp, it's black. What did you expect? Decent lacing, nothing special.

Smell: Ash. Smoke. Chocolate.

Taste/feel: Like the smell... tastes like ground up bricks, soil, smokey ash, roastiness, and a bit of chocolate. That should sound disturbing -- and it was disturbing to my dad and sister -- but it's what I thought the beer would taste like, and I enjoyed it. The smoke/ash flavor isn't massive, but it's definitely there, and the chocolate/coffee flavors follow. The feel is a bit thin for my liking, but it does make this a very drinkable beer.

Another tasty brew from Short's. I'm not too sure I like this more than their Black Diamond, which is a pretty similar beer, but it's still one that I'd like to have again when I want a dark beer that's not quite a stout or a porter.

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Photo of mikereaser
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shorts Brewing Sustenance Black Beer
A - Pours a pitch black with an inch of off white foam that quickly faded and left some decent lacing
S - Roasted malts with a good amount of smokiness but not too much, there is a bit of cocoa and dark fruit, roasted coffee and brown sugar. Its like all of these flavors blend together and it is hard to pick out just one.
T - Taste is very similar to the aroma, roasted coffee, dark malts, some chocolate, a bit of plums. There is a bit of an alcohol flavor in the finish along with more chocolate. Interesting flavor, not an every day beer, but i'd go for another one.
M - smooth mouthfeel, medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.
D - Very enjoyable and mild beer. I like it because its not over the top on flavor. Its just easy to drink and very nice.
4/4/4/4/4

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Photo of younger35
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this beer from Northernbrews in a recent trade. Gotta love Short's and I'm pumped to give this one a go. Drank from my Surly nonic pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a super dark brown with a beautifully creamy one finger dark tan head. A spotty cap and thick collar remain along with a few random spots of lacing here and there.
Smell- Very roasted and full of big malty coffee like burntness. Hints of molasses and licorice are also quite abundant. A touch of caramel creeps in and an almost oakiness. Some vanilla and chocolate round out the nose. Lots going on here.
Taste- Starts much the same as the nose with a lightly sweet bite of extreme roasted malts. Almost buttery at times with a bit of caramel, licorice and vanilla. The coffee isn't as prominent as you'd expect but the chocolate is. Loads of milk chocolate with a light earthy finish. Maybe even a touch of citrus cuts in towards the end.
Mouthfeel- Big full body with creaminess that is substantial. The carbonation is pretty low but the mouthfeel is awesome.
Drinkability- Not too shabby, really enjoyed this one. It's got a great mouthfeel that's top of the line and big bold flavors. The beer 'for when you're hungry and thirsty' rings spot on. Thanks much Jeff!

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Photo of tai4ji2x
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap during the short's throwdown at the roadhouse, in brookline, ma, on april 24, 2009, the week of the craft brewers conference.

very dark, almost black. reddish brown and clear under the light. head recedes to wispy layer, then just wisps and thin ring. lacing exists but is somewhat sparse.

aroma: dark caramel and molasses with roast note, almost coffee. hint of licorice? light whiffs of earthy, grassy hops.

taste: sweet dark caramel, hint of molasses and fruit, with more roast malt and coffee note, mixing with earthiness of the hops. moderate to bold bitterness, both resinous from the hops and roasty from the malt. more sweet caramel with dark fruit hint, peeking through the bitter, resinous finish.

medium body, with moments of light syrupy quality. resinous astringency in the finish is accentuated by the crisp carbonation.

perhaps a bit unconventional for a schwarzbier, but quite flavorful overall.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - WOW, what a nicely pouring brew... Head is a nice Khaki color with great foamy density. Head retreats to leave decent lacing. Brew is Black as night with no hues of any kind.

S - Smokey! Roasty! Deep! Very chocolate. Slight coffee scent lingers too. There's some molasses buried deep inside.

T - Quite a smokey brew. Not absurdly smokey, just slightly over done. Quite rich tasting with very dark chocolate tones. Slightly bitter, but not distracting.

M - Smooth and silky. Near perfect carbonation. Quite a nice feel, As close to perfect as I've had in some time.

O - There's something missing in this brew... I can't quite put my finger on what's missing, but there's definitely something! I would add more caramel and less chocolate to help reduce bitterness. Over all? Quite a grad brew! Very glad i got to try it! Thank you Another6pack!

For When You're Hungry and Thirsty....

Cheers!

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
2.81/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip. Thanks to Dunt for bringing this over.

Appearance: Mahogany with transparent edges and a creamy tan cap that fades.

Smell: A little bit of bourbon, dark malts, molasses, and some chocolate.

Taste: The flavor is a little bit strange. The flavor is light - chocolate, molasses, dark unroasted malt, some bourbon. It finishes kind of watery.

Mouthfeel: Somehow this has a creamy feel but a watery body. Boozy in the back of my throat. Sticky.

Overall: This is all right at best. In terms of barrel aged beers, it does not stack up well, though.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into Long trail pint glass heavy lacing and a light tan head.

S: Light bittered chocolate with a dry chalky feel. Mild yeast presence and a bit of smoked malt.

T: This is a lightly flavored mild beer. There is a mild charred flavor with a hint of smoke and a light yeast presence. Mostly chalky in finish , and bitter with a cocoa nib like flavor.

M: Very creamy, lactose sweetness taste, light carbonation

O: This is a light Schwarzbier ; a style I have hardly visited and it is not bad but not great. Glad to have tried it and it is refreshing. Having this off tap if even an option I am sure would be slightly fresher with some more flavor.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sustenance pours a shiny blackish color that lets almost no light shine through. The light that does make it through illuminates a deep dark brownish amber. It has a nice tan head that would go well on any stout. It melts slowly away and leaves nice lace.

The aroma is predominantly that of rich bitter cocoa and roasted malts. It has some gentle malty character that is quite clean.

The flavor is even roastier than the aroma with plenty of burnt coffee flavor as well as bitter cocoa. The malt sweetness is fairly clean and non-descript with just a touch of sourness in the end.

The mouthfeel is medium with an enjoyable smooth character to it. The finish is a bit rough around the edges for my taste with plenty of charred coffee type flavors as well as some seriously dark cocoa character.

This is one serious schwarzbier in that it smells and tastes a lot more like a stout than anything else. Sustenance is a good name because it is much more filling than most of this style. That is unfortunately my main problem with this beer. It is a bit too robust for a schwarz, but not quite robust enough to be a stout or porter. I think if I wanted something sessionable I would pass this up and if I wanted something roasty I would go with a big stout. It is still a quality beer though and is yet another fine offering from Short's.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 6-5-10

Pours a completely cloudy, almost black color, with a little light brown around the edges. The tan head settles nicely, with pleasant lacing.

Smell is deep and malty, with notes of oak, molasses, and coffee. Very complex for a lager.

Taste is more subtle than the smell would lead you to expect, with a tart bitterness and lots of smoke. The finish is all coffee bitterness, and lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good, slick and nicely thick to accent the malty flavors.

Drinkability is very good, the bitterness balances things out and it easy to drink.

Overall, one of the better black lagers I've had.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Elijah for this bottle.

Pours a dark brown, nearly black.

Dutch process cocoa powder on the nose.

Nutty toffee, caramel, cocoa, and coffee with a tinge of grassy, floral hop bitterness on the finish.

Drinks like a thinner, lighter stout. Exactly what you want in a schwarzbier. Darker richer flavors delivered in a more sessionable method.

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Photo of webmanspidey
4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Dark black, fizzy with half an inch of creamy head. Smells of chocolate, coffee, and cigar smoke. Taste is mostly sweet with hints of raisins, nuts, and toffee. Mouthfeel is thin and fizzy. Easy to drink with minimal alcohol presence. Very solid session beer.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top bottle; label says "for when you're hungry and thirsty" lol, I love it!

Appearance: Dark brown/black beer, with brown and garnet at the edges. A beige cap shows good retention and a bit of lace.

Smell: Equal mix of rich nut brown ale, brown porter, and stout. It's nice, roasty, malty, slightly sweet, with just a hint of juicy dark fruit.

Taste: Lots of chocolate malt, decent kick of juicy dark fruit, and I SWEAR, a hint of something like peanut butter! I wish I had this side-by-side with my Peanut Butter Porter to compare. It's a bit short, but pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel: A bit light, especially considering the name and the "meal in a glass" characterization.

Drinkability: Fairly high.

Conclusion: Tasty beer, but doesn't really live up to the way it's packaged. Up in Kalamazoo, I had no internet so I wasn't sure what style this was supposed to be. From the title and description, I was thinking stout or porter. On here, it's listed as a Schwartz and, quite honestly, it makes a lot more sense and probably deserves to score a B+ but, as I didn't know that at the time, I still have to rate it at a B.

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Photo of TCgoalie
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 6/4/10

Black, jet black with a lingering cloud of frothy head. Carbonation looks minimal, not much going on.

Coffee, molasses, anise appear in the smell. I don't know what kind of beer this is going in, but it reminds me of a stout. Dark cherries are also present, let's taste.

The dominant flavor seems to be the coffee. It doesn't taste as much like a stout though it could be a thin one. There is a good amount of hop bitterness holding up the malt and coffee. The molasses is subtle which is pleasant. The taste seems to be missing any fruit I detected in the scent.

Medium bodied with a slight drying from the hops.

This is a solid drink but the aftertaste sits heavy on my tongue minimizing the want for more. I could have another, but one is fine.

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Photo of minterro
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Kalamazoo beer exchange

A: deep black colored beer, completely opaque. Little more then a fingernail of foamy head that has a off white color. The head fades quickly, leaving little to no lacing.

S: strong hoppy pines. A bit of sweetness and roasty scents

T: piney, very smoky, a touch of earthy tones. Not very complex

M: medium to light, low carbonation but still has a bit of a sting. For being a bit of a light beer it sticks to your tongue and teeth like a thick beer

O: overall pretty good, not bad for a beer that was only 2.75. An interesting style with characteristic especially in the mouthfeel category that I’m not used to.

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Photo of WakeandBake
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A black color pour with a small off white head, medium carbonation , spotty and jagged lacing . Aroma is caramel and roasty grain , coffee ,black licorice, and spicy hops . Flavor is very roasty , lightly sweet , lightly bitter with some roasty malt,caramel, black licorice, and earthy spicy hops . medium body , smooth creamy mouthfeel , very sessionable and very good , Nice work Shorts .

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Short's Sustenance Black Bier from Short's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.
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