Category Archives: Short’s

Review of Short’s Cup A Joe Coffee Crème Stout

Hi folks.  Thanks for checking in on this craft beer review of the Cup A Joe Coffee Crème Stout produced by the Short’s Brewing Company located in Elk Rapids, Michigan.

A big shout out goes to my Michigan connection (he knows who he is) for sending me this brew.  The few Short’s beverages that I’ve had have been worth the trade effort.

Let’s check out the website,, to see what they have to say about the Cup A Joe Coffee Crème Stout.

A brew uniquely different from most coffee stouts, we cram Higher Grounds roasted fair trade espresso beans into every facet of the brewing process. Prominent aromatics of malt, espresso, and cocoa are abundant and create a flavor robust with big malt characters fused with cream and coffee. The perfect morning night capper.  

Sounds like my kind of beer.  Let’s drink.


This beer came in a 12 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of around 7.0%.

It poured a black to deep brown color.  No highlights were seen peeking through even when I held it toward a light source.  A very small and insignificant head was formed from a relatively aggressive pour.  The crown that did develop was dark tan, smooth and creamy.  The retention time left a little to be desired and the lacing was mostly non-existent as well.

Even though the beer lacked in appearance it totally redeemed itself in the aroma.  Lots of freshly roasted coffee and espresso tones.  Very nice!!!  Just a touch of dark chocolate along with a hint or two of cream and whole milk.  I love the bouquet of these Coffee Stouts!!!

Without a doubt, the flavor presented some savors of roasted coffee bean.  Semi-bitter dark chocolate as well as some chalky characteristics.  I even got a taste of caramel chocolate candy.  I also thought that the milky aspects were quite satisfactory.  It kind of tasted like “half-n-half” cream. Very tasty in my opinion.

The mouthfeel was medium to full bodied.  Smooth, chalky, dry and chewy.  It wasn’t as creamy on the tongue as I thought it may be though.  Oh well.  The carbonation leaned toward the lower side too, but an excellent amount of pungency was left behind on the palate for me to enjoy between sips.

This is a true “coffee” beer.  Very, very good.  It would be perfect for the cooler weather of Winter.  For me, it doesn’t quite measure up to the Founders Breakfast Stout (which is the top dog of the style in my opinion), however this would be a more than worthy substitute if you can obtain a bottle.  The drinkability is good, the aroma is choice and the taste is very desirable.  The Short’s Cup A Joe Crème Stout is not trying to hide anything.  It’s all about the coffee and that’s just fine by me.  If you guys happen to be in Michigan during the Winter months and you see this sitting on the shelf…. pick it up and give it a try.  I doubt that you will be disappointed.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.05 out of 5

Grade:  A-

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Posted by on March 11, 2013 in Country: USA, Short's


Review of Short’s India Spruce Pilsner

Hello everyone.  I hope all is well.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the India Spruce Pilsner brewed by the Short’s Brewing Company located in Elk Rapids, Michigan.

I’ve only had the opportunity to try a couple of Short’s beers in the past, but I’ve found them to be very solid, so I’m hoping that this one holds true to my past experiences.

Let’s check the website,, and see what kind of information we can find about this beverage.

This Imperial Pilsner, fermented with local, hand-picked blue spruce tips is the quintessential symbol for Joe Short’s love of hops and craft beer. The spruce presence, rooted in historical brewing practices, is enormous and gives the beer a refreshing quality reminiscent of gin. This beer is impressively light bodied, considering the immense spruce flavors and the prodigious additions of hops.

Nice!!!  Let’s drink.

This beer came in a 12 oz. bottle and the ABV was around 7.0%.

It poured a very hazy, orangish/yellow color.  It looked a lot like pineapple juice to be honest.  The head was very large, frothy, soft and somewhat soapy.  The retention time was excellent and the lacing was thick, sticky and very clingy.  Quite a bit was left behind on the glass for the entire drink.  A very, very nice looking beer.

The aroma had a very forward, however very pleasing nose of spruce.  It smelled of pine needles for sure.  It was almost medicinal smelling.  Like a clean, sanitized Doctor’s office or something.  Some light Pilsner malt and breadiness helped counterbalance some of that and I even got some nice earthy tones and a touch of lemon citrus to boot.  Very unique.

The taste presented more of the spruce needles.  A bit resiny too.  The lemony aspects seemed to be a little more prominent as well.  I was even detecting some kind of spice. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what type though.  The flavor was considerably bitter, yet not over the top.  Very manageable I thought.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Dry and smooth, but crisp.  A wee bit of warmth was felt and the carbonation was of medium strength and agreeable.  A nice shot of flavor was left behind on the palate after each sip also.

Overall, this beer was favorable.  It’s as individualistic and different as anything I’ve really ever had.  The spruce never really died down as I went along and it became a bit difficult for me to drink toward the end, yet I had no trouble completing the bottle.  I’m guessing that my palate was just a bit distressed by the time I finished.  I doubt that this would be a beer that I could drink everyday, but I’m sure glad that I got the opportunity to try it.  I think you guys should pick up the Short’s India Spruce Pilsner if you get the opportunity.  I’d really be interested in hearing your opinion.  If you’ve tried it, did you like it?  Please leave a comment if you wish.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.7 out of 5
Grade:  B

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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in Country: USA, Short's


Review of Short’s Blood Orange Wheat Wine Anniversary Ale

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be drinking the Blood Orange Wheat Wine Anniversary Ale produced by the Short’s Brewing Company located in Elk Rapids, Michigan.

This brew is another gift from Mr. Liquid Bread and thus far I’ve really enjoyed all of the Short’s products that he has sent me.

Let’s see what we can find out about this brew from the company website,

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.

Let’s pour.

This beer comes in at 10.0% ABV and in a 12 oz. bottle.

It poured a slightly hazy ruby red color with a very nicely sized off white crown.  It was smooth and very soft with a thick soapiness to it.  The retention time was excellent and the lacing looked pretty darn good too.  A gorgeous looking beer I thought.

The nose brought forth hints of orange citrus and sweet mango.  Very candy like.  It kind of smelled like those dreamsicle cakes that you buy at sweet shops.  Very pleasing.  After the brew warmed a touch I was able to pick up a few notes of the light pepper.  Not too much though.  Just enough to create a bit of complexity.

The taste was very similar to straight orange juice with tons of added sugar.  Like an orange julius or something.  The bitterness was easily manageable however.  The spicy peppercorns were, again, noticed after the brew warmed and like the smell weren’t extremely prominent.  Not the most elaborate flavor, but it was quite tasty.  

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Rather dry, sticky and smooth.  Very good, lively carbonation as well.  A ton of flavor was left behind on the palate long after the sip was gone.

Well, I thought this was a very nice and somewhat unique brew.  It’s a touch one dimensional, but that’s ok.  Sometimes I find that if a brew is too complicated I get a bit confused.  It’s definitely worth a try if you can obtain a bottle.  It did become a tad bit sweet and “fruity juicy” towards the end, which lowered the drinkability somewhat, although I was still able to finish it easily.  I had to drink a full bottle of water afterwards just to cleanse my palate though.  Again, a big thanks to Mr. Liquid Bread (Chris Phillips) for sending me the Shorts Brewing Blood Orange Wheat Wine Anniversary Ale.  Be sure to check out his Youtube page for some entertaining and informative beer reviews.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.8 out of 5
Grade:  B+    

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Posted by on July 14, 2012 in Country: USA, Short's

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