Located in the far northern region of Michigan's lower peninsula Short's Brewing in Bellaire has become somewhat of a holy grail to Great Lake State beer lovers the last few years. People travel sometimes almost 400 miles (some folks even more) specifically just to taste the wares straight from the source because that was the only way a person could taste them unless someone brought a growler or such back home to them. Back in the spring or so it was announced that the brewery would start bottling and making their brews available to a wider audience. Beer geeks all across Michigan jumped for joy and for good reason too because they are one fine crafter of the hops & grains.
Pandemonium Pale Ale
Cloudy & rust orange in color with a 1" head that fades into bubbly cap and decent amount of thick lacing. The aroma is that of fresh baked bread upfront from the malts with the hop profile providing a crisp and lemony backbone. Nothing superstrong stands out in the scent but it is quite pleasant and crisp.
On first sip I'm convinced that I have found a new favorite pale ale. The malt complexities come out at first on the taste buds with roasted and caramel nuances. The grapefruit and grassy tasting hops follow up and a bring the exact kind of bitterness I look for in an American Pale Ale. The meshing of the malts & hops compliment each other perfectly balancing each other out and though the finish does hold on to a bitterness there is a crispness to this too that is all it's own. The only other pale ale that takes priority over it as my go to this summer has been the excellent Founders Pale Ale. We all now how great of a brew that is...and yes, Pandemonium is actually that good enough to keep such company. Anyone big fan of pale ale's out there looking to try one a bit different and great this is worth seeking out.
Huma Lupa Licious
Slight cloudy and rich gold in color. About a 3/4" head that melts away in due time leaving patchy lacing. A very clean and refreshing scent. Slightly sweet & lemony along with something rustic and relaxing on an up north summer day. Nothing jumps out too much on the nose but the aromas to blend nicely.
The hop profile comes out quite much more in the flavor with lemon peel, green apples but, like the scent, subtle courtesy of roasty, rich malts mellowing it out. The twist comes in the end where a hop bitterness comes out the most, sticking to the back of the mouth but not as oily as with some other IPA's. Very interesting and very good. Though the brew is pretty full bodied it's carbonated in a way to give it an pleasant sparkle.