Short’s Brewing Company
Bellaire, MI

Style: Brown Ale
ABV: 8.0%
Joe Shorts is becoming a Michigan legend, fabled in the way of New Glarus to Wisconsin beer fans in limiting his distribution in-state, despite demand. He seems to have no end of creativity, much as the more famous Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head has utilized in building a “must have” reputation. Having recently attended the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival, the line at the Shorts booth is regularly among the longest and his brews among the most interesting … not to mention his “booth,” which was a spectacle unto itself.
Today, I’m sampling their winter seasonal, Good Humans, which is described as a dry-hopped double brown ale, brewed initially to highlight Briess Malting Company’s Carabrown Malt, a newer product in the lineup.
It opens beautifully, with a creamy milk head that hangs around throughout the sample. For Shorts, the nose is also nicely restrained—I expected a big ol’ hoppy smack across the brow. The body, however, is pretty thin and it suffers from a touch of tin or metal at the back of the palate—perhaps an issue with the malt? That said, it’s a very nice, balanced brown with hints of toffee and raisin, albeit slightly flawed by the irritating metallic or acidic notes. These things can happen when brewing with passion, humility, and wisdom, to borrow from the label art. After all, we’re humans … we’re still the best thing ever!