Short's Brewing Company

Short's Brewing CompanyShort's Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

121 N. Bridge Street
Bellaire, Michigan, 49615
United States

(231) 498-2300 | map

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Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 258
Photo of AylwinForbes
2.95/5  rDev -34.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 1.5

Dulcie and Aylwin's Big Beer Adventure Volume V targeted Shorts as our northernmost destination in Michigan. Have had the Huma Lupa prior and many have spoken highly; so the visit was one of those high-anticipation things.

The long and the Short, so to speak, disappointed. To be clear, and perhaps this is what really matters, the disappointment lay not in the beer, which is good, but in everything else, which was not. It's one of those things where you wonder what the place is trying to be: a real beer place or a ChuckeCheese catering to vacationing families.

When we arrived the bedlam was awful with kids and brats everywhere. We persevered and endured the rather annoying tradition of ordering everything at the bar. So there is a huge line for everyone except the lucky few who have seats at the bar - hotly contested.

I will commend the beer selection; besides the Huma Lupa that needs no introduction, there was a broad selection of variously-hopped pales of different hue, along with an impressive Bourbon Barrel Sustenance black lager. Some may enjoy the various essays in fruit, but we avoided those like the plague. Dulcie's fav was Stellar. No, not Artois.

Food very disappointing; the kitchen must be something like a fridge and a microwave. Anyone who makes a claim that this is good is violently misled.

I would like to return, out of season, to capture it in a more tranquil mode, where perhaps the true colors can be shown.

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Photo of langmick
3.33/5  rDev -26.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I have been a huge fan of Short's beers for a long time. There really is no one who takes the chances that Joe does with beer, hit or miss. I buy a lot of it.

The hits are usually quite delicious, and the misses just as bad the other way.

So I stopped in on the way back from Traverse City on 10/10/10, it was actually bit of a detour.

Had a sandwich, pretty good, a bit too much of the mayo, but not bad. I liked it. The pilsner was really good, the Huma good, of course.

What I didn't like was one of the bartender persons (Jessica) copping an attitude with me twice, as if I was inconveniencing her and I wasn't there spending money in their establishment. It wasn't even busy and she treated me as if it was just too much to ask for a napkin or what was in the cooler. Throwing the beer list at me without explanation is ridiculous, when I inquired what were the 22oz bottles in the cooler as is not responding to me when I asked for a napkin and then getting surly and yelling at me when I asked again. What in the world...bush league amateur stuff. I've worked in all manner of restaurants, you just don't do that. There were ten people in the bar, it was not busy.

Very disappointing, very much so. No tip, and I actually won't make it a big point of going back. You tend to remember the negatives long term, they make a bigger impression if they happen, and they outweigh the positives.

There were two other servers that were good and attentive so they weren't all as anti-social.

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Photo of Benish
3.59/5  rDev -20.4%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

My family and I were taking a short road trip in MI and thought to stop there for supper. Turns out the place was quite busy. We expected to be taken to a table and offered menus. But this was far from what we thought. Like Panera Bread, we had to order at the front before grabbing a seat. The food sounded delicious but unfortunately there was only one main vegetarian item. While I was trying to not eat a lot of meat, I ended up ordering a bacon sandwich. It was tasty but wished there were more options to pick from.

Then after ordering we had to find a table for the three of us including my 20 month old. Unfortunately it was quite a tedious task. We could not find a single place to sit. It was full and there were no tables outside either. We ended up standing for 5-10 minutes just hoping someone would leave the table so we could snatch it before someone else did. Unfortunately that did not happen. A staff was kind enough to help us find a table. She ending up asking a group of people if we could share the table with them as there were spare chairs. They were kind enough to let us sit there and all went well.

The beer was fantastic. I really enjoyed Soft Parade. Its high in alcohol and very deceptive. Before the food came, I was feeling quite a buzz. But I enjoyed it. When we left I ended up buying a pint glass and some beers for the road as my souvenirs.

Overall the food was good but struggling to find a table was a big deal-breaker in my opinion. I also wished for more vegetarian options (I know this may not matter to most people). In addition, I would also not recommend this place for kids. Too crowded with little space. My hats off to the staff though as this seemed like a stressful environment to work in.

Also what I was most impressed with was the large tap list. Too many beers to pick from and I only had one. I wish I tried another but we still had to drive to a campground.

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Photo of RocPorterFanatic
3.59/5  rDev -20.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

Made the drive to Short's from Traverse City while on vacation on Lake Leelanau. Bellaire is a sleepy, out of the way town with alot of character, but Short's is the highlight by far.

Approx. 20 beers on tap, some of their mainstream, but alot of their one-offs as well.

A flight of 5 beers ran $8.75 for 5 6oz. pours, a great way to taste the lot and not be destroyed. We had 2 flights to try all of the beers we were interested in. My personal favorite was the India Spruce Pilsner, while my fiance preferred The Magician.

We were only stopping in for a few beers and a snack, so we really didn't get to try the food, but the menu was very appealing.

Alot of diehard Short's fans know that they are huge fans of the band Ween. Their menu displays this almost infatuation with them. The menu is designed to look like an record jacket. All of the food is named after Ween songs, and some of the descriptions include lyrics as well, a nice kitchy touch, but fits in with the overall environment.

The only downfall to the entire time there was the service. When we got in, around 2:30pm, the bar was pretty empty. There were only 2 people sitting at the bar besides us, yet we waited almost 15 minutes to be greeted, then another 10 minutes to get our first drinks. When we decided on another round, we waited 10 more minutes to get our order taken, then it took a committee of 4 people to decide who would actually pour the beers.

I will definitely be back next time I'm up in this part of the country, its well worth the drive.

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Photo of BertSugar
3.7/5  rDev -18%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Got to spend a whole, enjoyable afternoon here last week. Stayed at the hotel across the street. Not driving is a good idea! The tap room is a nice airy room bustling with customers. I really didn't like the get-up-and-get-your-own-beer service scheme. That always ends up being chaotic, so at the earliest opportunity we got some bar seats. Service wasn't much better there because it was so busy.

Anyway, the beers were very interesting both good and bad. Some decent standard pales and Octoberfests, some very odd sour/fruity beers. Had the Whiskey Sour (limes and barrel aging were an interesting combo), a really good imperial porter (smoky and deep chocolate), Nicie Spicie is a mind-bending snappy peppery ginger-ish beer. I am, however, always a little paranoid about odd sour tastes in beer that could indicate poor fermentation, but what the heck do I know about infection? Don't over-interpret that because I think they have a really good thing here.

Food: Great salad, bad pizza. Other food looked good though.

This is really off the beaten path, so you had better mean it if you're looking for good beer "up north".

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Photo of kbutler1
3.93/5  rDev -12.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Stopped in while on a road trip and really liked this place. Warm and inviting you a greeted by a nice wooden bar and tables. Everything needs to be ordered from the bar but no worries as we were sitting at the bar. Got a nice sampler of six beers along with a pizza. Pizza was pretty good. Also ended up picking up some of their special release beers while there. Wish they had more beers on tap though. Shorts is in a fairly rural town so it seems everyone in town goes there. Being out of the way of Detroit, Lansing, and Grand Rapids, I would have to imagine most of the customers are local so it seems that they love when travelling beer geeks pop in and say hello.

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Photo of Giggy
4.01/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.5

Nice brew pub. Wide variety of beers. Second time at this bar but have enjoyed their beers bottled for a few years. Short's is not afraid to brew with unique and interesting ingredients. Food was very good,ordered a couple of signature pizzas. This is a place you don't want to leave. Summer in Northern Michigan :)

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Photo of Georgejt
4.05/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

We drove off our route to eat and have some of the beers at this brewpub. We were very pleased with out decision. The food and beer was excellent. The atmosphere was very welcoming, rustic, and original. We had the sampler of beers and really enjoyed The Magician brew. The place had a number of families, which I found quite odd at first. I guess I'm not used to seeing the local brewery as the place to bring the kids out for food. However, there seemed to be a lot of out of town people on vacation eating and drinking at this place. Even with the family friendly atmosphere, I very much enjoyed the place and would definitely recommend traveling to the little town to have some beers and a bit to eat.

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Photo of spartan1979
4.06/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Driving to the place felt like we were heading to the middle of nowhere. Coming from Traverse City we had to go around a big lake making 30 miles as the crow flies about 50 miles. But it was worth it. My wife and I enjoyed our time there.

It's got a cozy atmosphere and a large tap list. We started out with a sampler of five beers. I wanted to try the Strawberry Short Cake, but didn't really want a pint. It was very well done, but the sampler was more than enough for me. The other beers on the sampler were all good and I ordered a pint of the ControvsiAle. Great beer! I bought a sixer of that to take home.

The next time you're in the middle of nowhere, stop by!

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.06/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Had the pleasure of stopping in on my way back from Petoskey. 3 kids (2 asleep) and wife waited in the car while I ran in for a pint of ale. 40 minutes later, 2 trips to the car and 2 pints, 4 samples and 2 growlers were secured and a very happy man was made for the haul back to K'zoo. Really cool atmosphere with old Caddy seats but on wood furniture frames. Nice bar room and pretty coll looking stage in the back. Semed a pretty young but still diverse crowd. Ended talking to a "local" retired guy and pleasant afternoon was had.
Food and menu looked great just wasn't in the cards. Definitely worth a trip back at some point.
Service was attentive, patient and generous with the samples.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.1/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Last stop of the day as part of a whirlwind Michigan beer tour. After driving from Kuhnhenn, Dark Horse, and Bells, we were ready to chill with a good meal and great beer.

We hit up Shorts around 9:45 after a long-ass haul from Bells, and found the place totally jam-packed. We totally lucked out and got a table near the bar after we had ordered beer. I guess that a lot of places in Michigan don't have waitstaff that got to the tables? Odd. Anyways we found that they only offered pizza at that time with the kitchen closing pronto, so we ordered up quick.

Short's seems to be split up into two halves. The bar side with just a few seats at the bar and several tables, and the live entertainment side. I have no idea if there were any tables on the other side as there was just a sea of people standing.

Lots to choose from on the chaulkboard. Plenty of regular draughts with a few seasonals. Lots of growlers being filled and plenty of the Imperial 750's still for sale ranging from $16-$25. Ouch. I didn't see any of the anniversay beers for sale though, and I was dissapointed that there were no six packs available of Humalupalicious.

The Pizza was great but they really skimped on the toppings on my side. There might have been one or two slivers of onions on each slice. Minor gripe on a very good pizza otherwise.

The beer was very good, as expected. Pam had a Cup 'O Joe, and I had a Golden Rule and a Humalupalious. I hate to say it but after experiencing so many rare, over-the-top beers from Shorts at the Extreme Beers fests, I was mildly dissapointed at the selection. Loads of variety but the bigger, bolder stuff was fairly limited.

We were really beat, and we needed to unwind in a quiter space so we split after a couple and hit the sack. I feel that we really "Shorted" ourselves on this visit!
No sign of Joe either, too bad because I had a bunch of beer for him.

We would definately go back. Shorts is a long haul from the Southern part of the state, about a four hour drive, but the whole NW part of Michigan is beautifull and theres plenty to explore.

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Photo of thbeer
4.13/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Good selection of house beers. Always a wide range of styles, seasonals and year round selections. Great place to sit back and have a pint. Old building in a small town which has been remodeled without losing it's freat character. Food is not just burger and hot wings. Good variety of daily food specials without being too ecclectic. Food is an excellent compliment to the beers. Live music on weekends and special events. A mix of locals and tourists . Prices are reasonable. A definite must visit if in the area.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.18/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5

On the annual beer trip, this was the final destination. We arrived at about 8:00 on Friday, August 8, 2013.

Atmosphere - It was very crowded. It raised the question in my mind as to why a table of high school aged kids were allowed to sip soda and eat pizza in a brewpub. Shorts can not help being crowded, but they can control who they let in to the pub. I was later surprised to learn a band was playing. I could not hear them.

Quality - The facility was nice. The beer was a little disappointing because beers that were advertised earlier in the week were not available when I arrived. No one beer stood one. Per the standard I have for Shorts, I was somewhat disappointed.

Service - Bearing the crowd size in mind, I thought the service was outstanding. I felt sorry for the servers bring food through the massive crowd.

Selection - Again, I was disappointed by the selection of the beers available despite 17 being on tap. The food selection was great. Short's also had a huge selection of merchandise available.

Food - The food was the highlight of the stop. I had a sandwich called "The Tree". On sourdough bread, it was curried cauliflower, paprika potatoes, spinach and raisin yogurt. Others in my group really enjoyed the pizza.

Value - The price for a pint or a sample tray was among the lowest I have seen. The food was also fairly price.

I would recommend those planning a trip to avoid Friday nights. Also, one might consider planning a trip according to a desired beer release.

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Photo of Stigs
4.18/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

First stop on our MI brewery/pub/beer tour.

Quite the interesting environment inside - as expected from Short's unique beers. A bit on the rustic side, like the town. Quirky seating and decoration.

Quite a selection of drafts to choose from, from a light lager to BA'ed Cherry Porter and Barleywine (had both, by far the best Shorts beers I have had). We each split a flight, which was convenient and well displayed, I had those two "big" beers and got a couple six packs to go...only letdown was the lack of "special" release bottles.

Service was overall good, a bit "cold" at first but really warmed up once they found out we had traveled so far for a visit. Many nice people at the bar as well.

The food, was for the most part enjoyable. The pretzels and beer mustard was a bit disappointing, but the sandwich we shared as well as other apps were much better.

Overall, an enjoyable experience - one we will most likely make again at some point. Thank you to everyone at Shorts!

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Photo of Sammy
4.2/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

An exceptional place to visit, this is a full day drive from Toronto. A touristy area, relaxed, and that filters into the brewpub. Exceptionally friendly service, everyone seems to acknowledge you are there, and with a smile. Many, many bottles and varieties available, easing the travel burden. Many beers, mostly one-offs, on tap and there were some very good ones that invent their own style or take you someone you have never been in that style.A variation of styles on tap, a guest tap would have been interesting, and of course some casks.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.22/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Reviewed on 6/30/2010.

Shorts is a nice, cozy brewpub located in the small town of Bellaire (which I wouldn't call a touristy town based on my brief impressions of it). Most of the patrons were not locals but they seemed to be relative locals (ie somewhere else in Michigan). There were 20 beers on tap, including specialty and gourmet beers. Obviously, there is a wide variety of beers to choose from, although a lot of the styles offered were very similar. While most of what I had was pretty good, I didn't find anything great which was a little disappointing. The food was good (I split the spinach & artichoke dip plus had a bowl of soup). I liked the atmosphere - it had a very cozy feel with the long bar and the seats by the windows. There also is a small stage, but it obviously wasn't in use on a Thursday afternoon. Anyway, if you come to Shorts plan to stay awhile to try a bunch of their taps. Also they sell a limited amount of their special bottled items (1/2 of which were sold out when we were there). Definitely a great place to check out in Michigan!

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Photo of nanobrew
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I like this place, I like the relax feel of it. When ever I am visiting my family in the area I always make sure to go to Short's about 2-3 times. They always have a great variety of their own beer on tap. The prices seem really fair to me (of course I am use to San Diego prices).

There is no table service, but the bartenders bring you your food. The staff is always very friendly.

There are two main rooms, the bar, and the stage area. I like that bar area more, though it is always crowded. The stage area is nice, but it is very loud, and not even when a band is playing. All of the conversations carry and it get really noisy.

As a brew pub they have a great amount of taps and great variety. The mug club is a great deal if you are a local. I got to use it because the place I was staying had some mugs.

Overall it is good. Nothing ground breaking but nice. It is typical bar food (pizza, sandwiches, mac-n-cheese) done a little special.

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Photo of webmanspidey
4.28/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Short's pub is comprised of a room with the bar and a few small tables next to a larger room with larger tables and a stage for live music. There was a pretty wide age distribution, and pretty crowded on a Saturday night.

They have a wide variety of rotating beers on tap and their Imperial series available in 750 mL bottles to go. I was there just in time to try the 2009 Anniversary Ale.

The menu was comprised of sandwiches and pizza. Food and beer was all very reasonably priced and everything was ordered at the bar.

Definitely worth visiting if you happen to be in northern Michigan.

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Photo of JordanEllwanger
4.29/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

Living only two hours away it should not have taken me two years to visit this place but it did. Went there on a family vacation to the Traverse City area. I got there close to 5:00 P.M. on a Thursday with my in laws, wife, and our two children, ages 6 & 2 at the time. I was a little worried about bringing in the kids but the atmosphere is very family friendly. In fact after we sat down at least three other families with young kids came in. There were even a couple young teenage boys there enjoying a deli sandwich and a bottle of hand crafted root beer.

You seat yourself and have to go up to the counter to place an order, which is okay unless there is seven or more people in line to order something. There just isn't enough room at the counter to handle a rush of people. So no waitress to take your order from the table all orders are taken ant the counter. That is my only gripe. Everything else is perfect. Two beers and a growler for $22 is a very good deal for me.

If you ever visit be sure to GET THE FLIGHT! Five decent sized samplers for one low price. Still kicking myself over not seeing that till it was too late!


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Photo of DannyDan
4.3/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I went to Short's not too long ago for the first time. I walk in and it is nice and comfy. I walk around to take a look at the place. A really neat place with tables and chairs in most of the place, but they also and couches and living room style chair with a coffee table in the bar lounge. They also had living room style chairs in the lobby where the entertainment stage is. I have not seen any bands play there, but heard they have good music there. It was also cool that they had a large chalkboard telling about the 20 beers they had on tap. The service was good and the employees are very friendly. They have a very good selection of beers and you can try a sampler plate of five beers in 5oz. glasses. The prices for what you get is rather reasonable for the size they give. Most beers are $3 for a 14oz. draft and $4.50 for the larger size. After trying the sampler, I ordered my two favorites from the sampler. The Chocolate Wheat and Cornholio were really good and satisfied me very much. I did not try the food, but when I do try it I will update this review. I had a very good time there and if I could have stayed longer I would have but I got a ride to Short's and had to go when the driver wanted to go. I do highly recommend going to Short's. You will enjoy your experience there and will not be disappointed. Also it was my first time at Shorts.

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Photo of BIN29
4.3/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

It's about an hour away by the car from Traverse City, the closest city to Short's. I had great time at the brewery. The place was full of patrons during the day. I went there for lunch and shared two flights with my wife. I'm a big fan of their beers even though sometimes they don't make them right but I appreciate thier approach for experimenting. The bartender was great and friendly. It's a fun place worth visiting if you're a fan of their beers.

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.3/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I really had a blast in Michigan this past weekend. We were only staying in Bellaire for one night so I made the best of it. I tried every single beer they had on tap (got to love flights!). I enjoyed pretty much all of them.

The atmosphere is great, very relaxed lots of seating room. The staff were great, it got pretty busy at times but they managed just fine.

I ended up buying a couple growlers and six packs to take home as well as some t shirts.

If you happen to be anywhere near Shorts I would highly recommend dropping in.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.33/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Visited with with fellow BA's brewslut, Deuane and SierraGS on 11/29/08 for the annual Brew-Ski event.

Short's is situated in the quaint little town of Bellaire, MI. It was particularly cold and snowy during our visit, which was probably par for the course during this time of year in Michigan. We were able to park right outside the brewpub, which was nice. Upon our entrance, we were greeted by a decent-sized room with high ceilings and a short bar, as well as a variety of seating options, including some old car seats! On the far, "colder" side of the establishment (and down a few steps), there are plenty of tables, a side rail for standing, and also a nice-sized stage for musical entertainment. The band on this particular night was unfortunately not that great. At any rate, it is still awesome for Short's to host live music. Overall, this place has a really unique vibe.

The selection on this particular evening certainly wasn't lacking, especially for stout fans, because they had FIVE great stouts on tap, including a S'more Stout (complete with marshmallow garnish!), Coffee Stout, Irish Stout, Peanut Stout and a Mystery Stout. In addition to the special stouts, they also had a variety of excellent ales, fruit beers and more. All in all, I'd say around 20 beers on tap!

The service and food were both fine. Prices are reasonable as well, although their 750ml bottles are a little pricey. Still, we took home a bottle of Soft Parade, which brewslut absolutely loved. This definitely has a hometown feel, and I wish I lived closer! It kind of reminded me of Selin's Grove a little bit, although much bigger. But it still has the same type of atmosphere.

If you ever find yourself in the vicinity of Bellaire, MI, do yourself a favor and stop in to Short's. This place has the entire package, from a cool, unique vibe to some of the best beer around!

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Photo of jale
4.33/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I always look forward to stopping here when I'm in the area. You never know what crazy beers will be on tap. Located in an old hardware store, the pub looks laid back outside as well as inside. The menu is not too extensive, but what they offer is done well. The wait staff seem friendly and knowledgable about the beer offerings. Just a nice casual place to have a nice lunch with some great beer. They usally have a wide variety of beer styles so finding one just perfect for you is not hard. This is a place where if they only served bread, I would still come here. It is all about the beer for me.

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Photo of Billydoughnuts
4.36/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

Stopped here on a Friday afternoon in February. They were having construction going on but didn't really take anything away from the vibe. Place was around 25% capacity when we first arrived, was over 50% when we left. I was mildly disappointed by the tap list, Superfluid was kicked but they did have bottles of it. Tried a sampler flite, five for $10 a good price. This included Appollo Raisin which was listed at 15.7%! It was delicious. The others were a sour, a fruit beer, a stout and Huma. I had the beef sandwich, wife had the Italian one, both were filling and fantastic. Glad I was able to make it here, next time I'd want to visit in the summer. Part of the renovations was to include an outdoor beer garden.

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Short's Brewing Company in Bellaire, MI
3.81 out of 5 based on 25,463 ratings.
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