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Short’s Brewing Company
Bellaire, MI

Style: English Pale Ale

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Recommended)

“Behold the bitter hysteria.”

That’s the tagline for Short’s pale ale, Pandemonium. Now, when you tag your brew with that, people are bound to think it’s going to be pretty damn hoppy. Unless you’re being sarcastic. People seem to have a lot of trouble spotting sarcasm these days. Maybe it’s a dying art.

Anywho, Pandemonium. I tip the devil- (or maybe it’s a minor demon, I dunno) illustrated bottle and watch the pour: a hazy copper with a restrained, cream-colored, creamy cap of foam. From the tagline I’m expecting a big American hop bouquet, but nothing at all, at least from half an arm’s length away. A closer whiff gets me biscuity maltiness with light, earthy hop notes fairly far in the background. Instead of an American-style pale, this one smells, at least, more English.

A fairly big body and heavy mouthfeel—for a pale ale—greets me on the first sip. Big CO2 acidity swells at the front, and by the time my tongue catches up, bready maltiness has firmly taken over. Musty but relatively meek hop flavors chip away at the maltiness, but the finish is medium in length, with lingering mustiness/earthiness hanging around for a while after the sip.

Not only does Short’s take on the pale ale smell English, it tastes English as well. Drinkable without a doubt, but not a lot to get excited about. (Another English touch.) Folks that like their pale’s more alt-like, with musty, Old World hops playing a decidedly second fiddle to biscuity malts will enjoy it thoroughly. Just don’t expect bitter hysteria.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on March 30, 2010.
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