Juicy Tree | Short's Brewing Company

very good
28 Reviews
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Juicy TreeJuicy Tree

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Experimental India Pale Ale made with blue spruce tips, juniper berries, and cranberries

Added by madeofsteel on 02-15-2012

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Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 231
Photo of Sammy
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Fresh bottle from Champane’s. Despite possible imperfections, this beer is a masterpiece of art. I wanted the hops, the spruce. I did not want cranberries, juniper. The entire experience is a bitter, a blend of hop bitter and traditional. Must be seek out. From orange hoppy initiation through dry herbal finish.

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

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 12/16/2013. Pours slightly hazy golden amber color with a 1 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, tart cranberry, juniper, floral, spruce, light honey, bread, herbal, and floral earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop, fruit, spruce, and malt motes; with great strength. Taste of tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, cranberry, spruce, juniper, pine, floral, grass, light honey, bread, and floral earthiness. Good amount of pine bitterness and light cranberry tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of pineapple, lemon zest, cranberry, spruce, juniper, pine, floral, grass, light honey, bread, and floral earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance and complexity of hop, fruit, spruce, and malt flavors; with a great hop/spice balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly slick, crisp, and sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice spiced IPA style. All around good balance and complexity of hop, fruit, spruce, and malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.99/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter
(A)- Pours an orange shade of amber. Some good white froth
(S)- Big on the spruce and juniper with woody pine and some lemon citrus
(T)- Quite similar to the smell. Big on the juniper and spruce with some lemon orange citrus
(M)- A nice carbonation level and balance. Nice spices with citrus and big wood bits
(O)- It is interesting. Enjoyable for sure, though maybe better suited for the holidays

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Photo of maximum12
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again to tectactoe as I continue to plow through the 39 lbs. of Short's & sundries that he dropped on my front stoop. 12 oz. bottle split with my wife as the evening's warmup.

Pour is deceptively like an other IPA, orange, slightly opaque, carbonation that's on the lower end of the spectrum. Smells like a frozen mixed berry drink you'd find in your favorite grocer's aisle, with just a touch of tart (going to credit that to the cranberries IDed on the label) & distant pine copse. Maybe only a couple trees.

Juicy Tree flips the notion of IPA on its head & shoves a six foot broadsword right through the loop in the "P". Cranberries agitate from the get-go & for the first sip, it's all my brain stem can process. After the foaming settle, there's a nice IPA under the bright berries: moderately bitter hop bite, strong pine, then a smoothness that's quite sweet & light on the finish. Drinkable to the extreme, there's something to the cranberries that set off both the bitterness & the sweetness & make my elbow bend over & over.

Unique, tasty, drinkable, what in The Land else would you want? Excellent beer.

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

I picked up a bottle of Short's Juicy Tree last week for $2.09 at The Lager Mill. I've been looking forward to this beer since I heard it was going to be the last beer Short's releases for 2013, an IPA brewed with spruce tips, juniper berrys, and cranberrys sounds pretty interesting, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but it was just released at the end of the year so it's fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks really nice, I like how all the ingredients are represented on the label and it's got a nice holiday look to it. It poured a nice hazy golden color that took on more of a golden orange color when held to the light with two fingers worth of white head head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some nice patchy rings of lacing behind. This is a pretty good looking, I have no complaints at all.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by spruce tips being the first to show up and they impart a fresh woody and piney aroma that's a little similar to Imperial Spruce Pilsener. Up next comes the juniper berrys that impart a sweet gin like aroma that blends nicely into some berry juice aromas with a slight bit of cranberry coming through, Towards the end comes the malts which impart a grainy and cracker malt like aroma. This beer had a pretty good aroma and I liked how all the ingredients showed up individually.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by the spruce tips and juniper berrys being the first to show up in they impart a woody, spruce, and piney flavors that remind me of Imperial Spruce Pilsener. Up next comes the malts which impart a grainy and cracker malt like flavor. On the finish comes this fruity, juicy and berry like flavor which has some cranberry flavor and slight tartness to it and there's a slightly higher amount of medium bitterness with a piney, spruce, and slightly fruity aftertaste. This was a pretty good tasting beer and it was just as advertised which I like.

M- Fairly smooth, clean, crisp, slightly dry, medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. This beer had a pretty good mouthfeel that worked well with this beer

Overall I thought this wax a good beer and as IPA it's not too bad and it has the right level of bitterness, but as a IPA with unusual ingredients added it's pretty good and it's better then most IPA's with weird ingredients that I have had. This beer had ok drinkability, it was fairly smooth, clean, crisp, not too filling and the taste did a good job at holding my attention, bit I think it might start to wear on me after more than one so I think one would be my limit, but I think it makes for a nice and different winter seasonal. What I liked the most about this beer was the how well the three ingredients worked with this beer. I thought the combination of spruce tips and juniper berrys would be too much, but it wasn't. What I liked the least about this beer was nothing, there wasn't anything that I really disliked about this beer and I don't think there was anything wrong with it. I would buy this beer again if they make it again, It's already gone in my area so I was happy I grabbed a couple extra bottles while it was still around. I would recommend this to anyone that isn't turned off by the combination of ingredients with an IPA. All in all I thought this was a very interesting beer, I can see how some people wouldn't like it, but I like the Imperial Spruce Pilsener so this beer is right up my ally and I think that the cranberry adds a nice light touch to this beer. Good job shorts, thanks for another good and innovative beer, keep up the good work.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12 fl. oz. bottle
Served in a tulip glass

This beer pours golden in color with straw highlights. It is topped with a couple inches of white head that sticks to the sides of the glass.

It definitely has an evergreen aroma. The juniper seems to stand out a little more than other aromas.

I can only describe the taste as different. Once again the spruce and juniper berries steal the show. I taste the cranberries subtly in the aftertaste.

Medium mouthfeel

It is a fun beer to try. I don't think I'd want to down a six pack, but it does have a Christmas tree quality to it.

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Photo of stortore
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

A bright golden yellow pour, cloudy, with a small head and not much lacing. Smells of spruce, light malt, cranberries, some juniper, some yeast, some citrus hops when warm. It really does smell like Christmas, and that's a good aroma. Taste starts with a big blast of spruce, followed by juniper- more than the nose, malt, some citrus hops, subtle cranberry. Good level of bitterness throughout. Smooth, appropriately carbonated, good body.

Smells and tastes great, so right there, it's well worth trying. The spruce and juniper work well together, and are well blended with the malt and hops. Solid effort from Short's on this one.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.48/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 11/15 and poured 12/4. $2.69 single.

Appearance: Semi-aggressive pour barely got the whole thing into my pint. Two finger soapy/creamy head that goes down to half a finger and stays. Pretty nice lacing. Gorgeous perfectly filtered golden color. Nice stuff.

Smell: Loads of pine and almost a tree bark quality as well. Earthy and herbal hops. Juniper berries are definitely there too, but I'm not really picking up the cranberry that's supposedly added to this beer. If I do, it's hiding behind the piney aromas, and it's only slightly accenting everything. Interesting nose on this one, and I like it a lot.

Taste/feel: Man this beer's got a lot going on and I'm liking it a lot. Hits the tongue with sweetness... but with bitterness. Here comes the resinous, dank pine... then sweet caramel malts. The finish is slightly sticky, a little juicy, and full of juniper berries/pine. I'm bummed that I don't specifically taste the cranberries, but I figure they're adding some sweet/tart balance against the bitter pine. I didn't know what the ABV was for this, but I guessed 8%, and it's at 7.5%. I just get a slight warmth that suits this beer well, considering it's Christmas-y. The feel is about middle-of-the-road in terms of both body and carbonation, and it works very well for Juicy Tree.

No qualms about it, this is another great one from Short's. If you like their Spruce Tip Pilsner, you definitely have to try Juicy Tree. It's not quite as "Holy shit, pine sap" as that particular beer, but more balanced. Frankly, I'm shocked this beer scores only an 82. It's a bold, unique, delicious beer. I'm sorry I missed it last year, but I'm glad I got at least a bottle this year. Fantastic.

I don't normally sail this far over the rDev (I think this is a new record), but this beer is that good -- TO ME. This appears to be a really, really "love it or hate it" sort of beer. For my tongue, this beer is working wonders right now.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.69/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a golden amber with a thin one-finger white head. Nice amount of lacing.

S - Picking up lots of sweet cranberry and some malty breadiness. Not picking up any pine from the spruce tips.

T - The sweet cranberry is right upfront. The pine comes through subtly in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Nice creamy mouthfeel.

O - Interesting IPA. I wish the spruce came through more in the flavor. Still very drinkable.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.97/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

reviewed from notes.

Appearance: a golden color with a hint of amber to it. almost a perfect clarity but just shy. a small head that leaves nothing behind.

Smell: juniper and spruce, juicy cranberries. its quite juicy and fruity with the juniper and spruce combo bringing in some good bitterness on the backside.

Taste: it opens up with a distinctly cranberry juiciness. lots of initial fruitiness that is quickly cut by the interesting mix of juniper and spruce. Low amount of malt presence but a noticeable pale malt character.

Mouthfeel: as i have said its pretty juicy, the bitterness is distinct and not a normal hoppy bitterness but created by the juniper and spruce.

Overall: a super delicious and successful experimental IPA. love all the character created by the ingredients used. only flaw i can find is the lack of a head.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%

Appearance - The beer was a pale yellow color with a soft white head of about 1/2 inch.

Smell - Cranberry comes through initially in the aroma with the spruce following.

Taste - My first impression is that this is not nearly as bitter as Spruce Pilsner. The cranberry takes some of the edge off. Spruce makes the initial impression followed by the cranberry toward the back. The spruce comes through as more sour toward the back.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation falls in the range that is appropriate for the style. The spruce is allowed to make an impression.

Overall - I chased this one for a while. Now I might just drive back to Michigan to get some more.

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Photo of pagriley
2.63/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Very odd set of flavors

I get the juniper and spruce tips are going to add some level of astringency, but this is over the top. Gum receding levels of astringent tannin. Not very nice to drink

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Photo of minterro
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought at my old work place Spartan Spirits in East Lansing during my trip to Michigan over the holidays. Purchased for around 2 buck and poured into a pint glass.

A&S: Upon first cracking this beer I'm getting a ton of very fruity berry tones including: blueberries and cranberries. Also present in the aroma is orangy citrus and some tart and sourness characteristics. Some bitterness reaches the nose, but it is mostly overpowered by fruitiness. Classical IPA look to this beer. About a finger of egg shell white foamy head. Transparent lively looking light copper colored beer. Head dies to a thin layer, but still leaves pretty decent lacing.

T&M: Not nearly as sweet and fruity as the aroma would lead you to believe. Pretty tart and bitter, which makes for an interesting (and in my opinion, not too well pulled off) combination of flavors. Some musty, a fruity prune flavors are even present in the mid-taste. Pretty excellent mouthfeel, a smooth beer with medium body and carbonation.

Overall: Short's is one of my favorite breweries because of their on-going effect to push certain boundaries and be creative with their absurdly high seasonal beer output each year. This beer is a example of everything just not falling in to place with one of their seasonals. Usually they put out great stuff, once and a while its just above average. It comes with the territory of putting out so many new beers. Anyways cheers, Short's I still love you guys.

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Photo of PaulyB83
3.69/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Nice deep gold with a medium white head that dissipates slowly to a about a centimeter of foam.

S- Sweet fruit berry juice, light cracker malt, evergreen, and pine hops.

T- Sweet cranberry, was expecting more of a tart bitter cranberry. Fresh pine needles and slight piney hops.

M- Medium mouthfeel, nice and creamy, the sweetness gives in more body.

O- I this had been a touch less sweet I would have really enjoyed it. As it is it is a bit unbalanced. I did enjoy the addition of the spruce tips, really adds to the pine in the ipa.

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Photo of BHansen214
1/5  rDev -73.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Not a cranberry fan but figured it may be in the background so I grabbed a bottle. I don't think the spruce was the turnoff for me, it was the combination of everything. Tasted terrible. After a forced 3rd sip I dumped it. Love Short's, not Juicy Tree.

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Photo of puck1225
4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From draft into a snifter. Golden yellow with thin head and nice lacing. Pleasant sweet smell. Fruity spiced taste. Berries and citrus. Having it with dinner at Zingermann's Roadhouse.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The appearance is clear, golden color with
effervescent carbonation and a finger of soapy white head. Streaky lacing runs down the sides. It has a juicy sweet aroma, with grapefruit, mango, and hints of pine coming through. Taste follows, with tart cranberries balancing against tingly spruce. Bready /cracker backbone ties it up nicely.
One of my favorites from Short's, and a nice capper to a year of releases. Look forward to it every year.

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Photo of NateDyk47
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

L- pale with a thin white head, disappears quickly
S- berries
T- pretty weird. bitter citrus with berries in the background
F- medium bodied, somewhat smooth

Kind of weird. Not bad, but nothing special.

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Photo of K-Dog
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is basically spruce pilsner with cranberry and juniper berries added. At first very bitter and tart but as it warms the flavors really come together nicely. Such a unique and weird beer. I really like spruce pilsner and think it's very underrated. This is so hard to rate definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Vogie
2.41/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

The combination of spruce and juniper didn't work for me. I wish the cranberries would have come through more. Sorry Shorts but this was a drain pour...

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Photo of docoman
3.37/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

If you are into the whole pine resin thing this brew is for you, too much piney notes for my liking still like that Shorts try's all kinds of different flavors in their offerings.

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Photo of Blackop555
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours hazy gold. Small, thick, white short lived head.

Smells piney, light fruity sweet and juniper. Pilsner smell malt

Tastes strong pine then light berry. Finish dry and juniper and pine lingers a long time. Medium body and light carbonation

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Photo of carlborch
3.17/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Brilliant, golden, pour, with slight haze that produced a 3-inch head. The head, off-white and pillowy, persists. The nose is bright and forward with clear spruce and woods notes! The body is medium, with modest carbonation. Bright, sprucey, lingering. The palate has too much spruce for my liking. Where are the cranberries the label mentions? This ale is labeled as an IPA, but that is not evident based on perceptible bitterness or alcohol. Interesting, but to much spruce for a revisit!

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Photo of decadance
4.4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Looks like huma. It does have nice head retention. Little bit of chill haze however.

S - The frozen spruce tips from last spring are muted, but still evident. It does not smell entirely like the Spruce Pilsner, as either the hops or the juniper provide a quite sweet, fruit driven nose.

T - Wow. Malt forward would be the wrong connotation, but this is sweet and fruit upfront, bittered by the hops and spruce tips. It is quite interesting. Not overtly bitter, but only a fool wouldn't recognize the spruce.

M - My bias, but I hate when IPAs leave my mouth with that oily, sticky feel that seemingly nothing can cut through. This beer, thus is perfect for me. The mouthfeel is not thick, but it a sizeable beer, full on the palate, but no hop stickiness to speak off. It finishes dry and pleasing.

M - Still like the spruce pilsner better, but this is a welcome beer in the lineup. The juniper adds something, though not entirely discernible.

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

Tried this one as a flight at Short's, and just sounded too strange to ignore, so I took a growler home for *ahem* closer inspection. Brewed with juniper berries and blue spruce tips.

A - Pours a lovely amber color, with a soapy, sudsy looking head. Decent retention, no lacing.

S - Not a lot of pine or anything like that in the nose, but some nice citrusy hops'll do the trick.

T - The first thing I think is gin. It has all the characteristics except the malt, and some strong hops. Which adds a whole new dimension to a familiar flavor. Some heavy notes of pine resin in there too, which is just fine by me. Wintery, after a fashion. Strikes me as a perfect beer for around Christmas.

M - The carbonation is pretty excited in this one. Almost prickly. Only drawback is that it's pretty messy at the back of the palate.

O - If you like gin, you should probably try it. Since I haven't seen it on store shelves or even on here before, you may have to make a pilgrimage to Short's brewpub to give it a whirl, but I was totally taken by surprise with this one.

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Juicy Tree from Short's Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 231 ratings.
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