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short's fest

“Today is obviously a beautiful day,” said Eric Tranchell, Beer Liberator for Short’s Brewing Company.

August 5th was, in fact, a perfect day for the brewery’s annual Short’s Fest: blue skies, 70 degrees, and plenty of beer on tap. Held against the backdrop of the Elk Rapids production facility, it was a casual summer gathering compared to the spring rave of an anniversary that happens every April at the original pub and brewery in Bellaire.

short's fest

It had a different feel, first of all. It was still a celebration of Short’s beer, but everything was less frenzied, more contained and more intimate. It was like attending a neighbor’s backyard barbeque.

The production facility, more fondly known as the “pull barn,” has  become a spot for summer pit stops. Trying something new, Short’s opened its Elk Rapids grounds to patrons for casual evening eats, Short’s and Starcut Ciders beverages, and facility tours. It has been a great success and has bonded the company with the Elk Rapids community even further.

This more casual gathering was a breath of fresh air following the previous week’s announcement of Short’s new partnership with Lagunitas, which created quite a frenzy in the Michigan craft beer world.

The Short’s staff at the Elk Rapids celebration were generally excited and glad to be together for a night, serving beer and toasting another summer amidst local patrons.

“There are a lot of unknowns for Short’s right now, but Short’s has always been good with unknowns. It just means a lot of possibilities,” said Tranchell.

Owner Joe Short was spotted scaling one of the beer trucks, maybe to better take in the crowd and enjoy the festivities.

“We never imagined Short’s was going to be this big,” said Tranchell, “and now we have a big family to take care of—and I mean every Short’s employee. And Joe himself has told me that he is responsible for every person here. He wants to know everyone is taken care of, from top to bottom.”

That united front of Short’s staff—their family—was what made the atmosphere of Short’s Fest so relaxed and welcoming.

“Short’s Fest is the pinnacle of summer,” said Emily Sullivan, marketing communication associate for the company.

Short’s beers and Starcut Ciders flowed from multiple stations on the fest grounds. Favorites of the evening were Always on Vacation, a beautiful and simple session IPA, and Gose Good With Wood, a French oak passion fruit Gose that was a perfect blend of tart, salty, and fruity. Fest-goers also had the opportunity to purchase the specialty bomber release of She Uses Tangerine, a Belgian Strong Ale made with tangerines.

short's fest

Music for the night featured Red Herring, The Mark Lavengood Band, The Go Rounds, and Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers.

Short’s Fest always takes place in conjunction with Elk Rapids Harbor Days, and tonight the last call for beer coincided with the town’s fireworks display over the harbor.

Short’s Brewing Company has lived by the mantra, “stay awesome hungry” over their 13 years of existence.

“Tonight,” Sullivan said, “I feel ‘awesome fed.’”

 

Photography: Kaitlyn Rickman

Elk Rapids, Mich. – Family owned Short’s Brewing Company, known for producing fearlessly creative beers in the hinterlands of Northern, MI, has found themselves abreast a recent political scandal involving popular flagship IPA, Huma Lupa Licious®.

Over the past week, Short’s Brewing Company has received thousands of emails and phone calls about Huma’s involvement in the FBI investigation that led to the discovery of new emails potentially related to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State.

Recent quotes from GOP candidate Donald Trump: “Thank you, Huma. Good job, Huma” have put Huma at the center of this heated political debacle.

scandal_v5.png

Short’s Brewing Co.’s CEO, Joe Short was available for comment, “The implication that Huma was involved in anything but tasting really good, is totally false. I totally see why Hillary picked Huma for her assistant though. Huma has assisted me for years, and I stand by it!”

Short’s also went on to add that it is a bipartisan company, and prefers to stay politically neutral, although highly encourages everyone to actively and thoughtfully participate in our elections.

The Real Huma®

Huma Lupa Licious® (7.7% ABV – 96 IBU) Huma Lupa Licious’ name derives from the hop plant, Humulus lupulus. It is brewed with five different hop varieties: Centennial, Columbus, Chinook, Cascade, and Palisade. Huma is known for having an intense bitterness that is balanced by a rich malty flavor. A citrus and floral aroma complements the unique qualities of Short’s flagship India Pale Ale.

Huma Lupa Licious is the product of Joe Short wanting to create the ultimate IPA experience. Originally, Huma Lupa Licious was named Humulus Lupulus Maximus, and went through several recipe changes before settling on the recipe we know and love today.

For more information regarding Huma® please visit www.shortsbrewing.com/HumaScandal

Elk Rapids, Mich. – Family owned Short’s Brewing Company, known for producing fearlessly creative beers in the hinterlands of Northern, MI, has found themselves abreast a recent political scandal involving popular flagship IPA, Huma Lupa Licious®.

Over the past week, Short’s Brewing Company has received thousands of emails and phone calls about Huma’s involvement in the FBI investigation that led to the discovery of new emails potentially related to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State.

Recent quotes from GOP candidate Donald Trump: “Thank you, Huma. Good job, Huma” have put Huma at the center of this heated political debacle.

scandal_v5.png

Short’s Brewing Co.’s CEO, Joe Short was available for comment, “The implication that Huma was involved in anything but tasting really good, is totally false. I totally see why Hillary picked Huma for her assistant though. Huma has assisted me for years, and I stand by it!”

Short’s also went on to add that it is a bipartisan company, and prefers to stay politically neutral, although highly encourages everyone to actively and thoughtfully participate in our elections.

The Real Huma®

Huma Lupa Licious® (7.7% ABV – 96 IBU) Huma Lupa Licious’ name derives from the hop plant, Humulus lupulus. It is brewed with five different hop varieties: Centennial, Columbus, Chinook, Cascade, and Palisade. Huma is known for having an intense bitterness that is balanced by a rich malty flavor. A citrus and floral aroma complements the unique qualities of Short’s flagship India Pale Ale.

Huma Lupa Licious is the product of Joe Short wanting to create the ultimate IPA experience. Originally, Huma Lupa Licious was named Humulus Lupulus Maximus, and went through several recipe changes before settling on the recipe we know and love today.

For more information regarding Huma® please visit www.shortsbrewing.com/HumaScandal

Elk Rapids, Mich. – Short’s Brewing Company announces the expansion of their Elk Rapids Production Facility. The expansion will include a new warehouse facility and upgrades to their in-house laboratory.

shorts brewing

The project, which has been described as “an investment in quality and efficiency,” is anchored by the construction of a new, 2,500 square foot warehouse and 1,000 square foot cold storage facility built on-site in Elk Rapids. With the recent expansion of both the Short’s Brew and Starcut Ciders distribution footprint to include neighboring states in the Great Lakes region, Short’s is excited to be able use this new space as a central warehouse facility.
In addition, the company will be installing an Anton Paar Alcolyzer and a new autoclave to their on-site laboratory. These instruments will not only allow Short’s Quality Department to perform additional tests on their products in Elk Rapids, but to offer a full range of lab analyses to other area brewers, vintners, and cider makers. Tests which will be available include IBU, alcohol/calorie/extract, color, pH, dissolved oxygen, carbonation & headspace air, microbiological examination and identification, and batch analysis.
According to Tyler Glaze, Short’s Director of Quality “We’re adding some awesome new equipment, and we’ve built a pretty gnarly lab crew over the last 12 years. We can handle whatever is thrown at us in-house, so we figure, why not let other local businesses throw stuff at us, too!”
The project is financed by Traverse City State Bank. According to CEO, Connie Deneweth, “Traverse City State Bank is proud to partner with Short’s in this expansion. We love working with innovative entrepreneurs in northern Michigan to make this very good place, even better! Together.”

Elk Rapids, Mich. – Short’s Brewing Company announces the expansion of their Elk Rapids Production Facility. The expansion will include a new warehouse facility and upgrades to their in-house laboratory.

shorts brewing

The project, which has been described as “an investment in quality and efficiency,” is anchored by the construction of a new, 2,500 square foot warehouse and 1,000 square foot cold storage facility built on-site in Elk Rapids. With the recent expansion of both the Short’s Brew and Starcut Ciders distribution footprint to include neighboring states in the Great Lakes region, Short’s is excited to be able use this new space as a central warehouse facility.

In addition, the company will be installing an Anton Paar Alcolyzer and a new autoclave to their on-site laboratory. These instruments will not only allow Short’s Quality Department to perform additional tests on their products in Elk Rapids, but to offer a full range of lab analyses to other area brewers, vintners, and cider makers. Tests which will be available include IBU, alcohol/calorie/extract, color, pH, dissolved oxygen, carbonation & headspace air, microbiological examination and identification, and batch analysis.

According to Tyler Glaze, Short’s Director of Quality “We’re adding some awesome new equipment, and we’ve built a pretty gnarly lab crew over the last 12 years. We can handle whatever is thrown at us in-house, so we figure, why not let other local businesses throw stuff at us, too!”

The project is financed by Traverse City State Bank. According to CEO, Connie Deneweth, “Traverse City State Bank is proud to partner with Short’s in this expansion. We love working with innovative entrepreneurs in northern Michigan to make this very good place, even better! Together.”

short's fest

Short’s Fest is the best kind of combination parking lot & lawn party—it’s fun and laid-back, and bonus, the beer is fabulous.

It’s just a pure, simple gathering of family, friends, and community. It coincides with Elk Rapids’ Annual Harbor Days, embracing the town where Short’s outside production began.

The weather is prime, the hot temperatures cooling down a bit later in the evening as fest-goers happily catch the breeze off the water. It creates the perfect atmosphere for listening to the great tunes offered, Short’s beer in hand.

short's fest

Vox Vidorra kicks things off, welcoming everyone with Motown beats and indie style. Up next is Billy Strings, who with his band, amps up the crowd with bluegrass originals that build into peaks of instrumental energy one can’t help but jam out to. And as the sun fades away, AOK is there to set the mood, allowing people to disappear right into the electro-pop feel of the night.

Without the pomp and circumstance of the Anniversary party, Joe Short himself blends in with everyone, and he uses that to flit from one group to the next. Popping in on production facility tours, sitting down on the lawn and listening to the music, and even to jumping on the taps and slinging beers alongside his staff family.

He even makes time to sneak around his production facility to give MittenBrew.com a personal tour (meaning, we get to see all of the gorgeous equipment while Short goads us into taking goofy pictures with him.) We climb up and down the catwalk, pose like Charlie’s Angels, all the while talking about the lighter things about summer—like the Short’s staff regular, early-morning water skiing runs.

On the other hand, it must be noted that it has been a crazy year for Short’s Brewing Company, especially with the move into multi-state distribution. So much growth and change—everyone has had to adjust to the new venture. But with time, comes routine.

“You know, we’re starting to see a slow-down. Everything is smoothing out,” says Short.

In talking with Pauline Knighton, Sales Coordinator, she gave more detail into how the new distribution project has significantly improved.

“One huge change, which has been very beneficial, is that we have two out-of-state reps working the market. It’s a complete game-changer. Now we have point people and we’re able to physically build relationships that I wasn’t capable of doing, but that all of the new accounts deserve.”

It’s a lot to adjust to, but the Short’s staff has been working hard to make all of these changes beneficial to everyone. And if the result is increasing the reach of Short’s beer, then everyone wins.

And the beer and cider is always surprising, creative, and delicious. Mainlines like Nicie and Huma Lupa Licious were joined by newer pub pours and gourmets. Anduril, a dry-hopped sour, seemed to be the crowd favorite, with attendees loving the tartness combined with the citrusy aroma. On the gourmet end, Nectar de La Vida offered an extra punch to its key lime and agave nectar notes with a tequila barrel-aged gravity.

Whatever one’s tastes, there was a dynamic portfolio of Short’s beers to choose from and salute the season.

And fall is on its way already, with Bellaire Brown hitting the shelves and Autumn Ale arriving soon after. Next year’s master brew schedule is in the works, and according to Short, “It’s already been changed seven times.”

But in the meantime, in a year of new adventures and new happenings, it was nice to have the tradition of Short’s Fest to mark the beginning of the end of summer.

 

Photography: Kaitlyn Rickman

shorts brewing

Short’s Brewing Company
Nicie – An American Wheat Ale Brewed with Orange Zest, Lemon Zest, Coriander, and Peppercorn
It is certainly hazy, but not cloudy. It is certainly golden, but with more of a yellow brightness. It certainly has a fluffy looking white head, but it’s not stacked up high in your glass. Before me is a beer that looks like summer and I’m delighted to partake.
My first thought when sipping became, “Zesty indeed!” As an American-style wheat ale, Nicie gets its kick from both the orange and lemon zest, with the added underbelly of coriander and peppercorn to lift it further. The coriander is oh-so-wonderful in particular with the orange zest notes in the flavor.
shorts brewing
The nose is a bit more mysterious as it only really emits the coriander and stronger peppercorn notes. The spicing  almost gives me the impression of sniffing a meal. Though it doesn’t exactly smell “savory,” the spices lean towards that end of the aroma spectrum.
As I swirl I can hear the carbonation rise up near my face and fizzle at me. Swallowing the beer gives me the eerie impression that I’ve drunk more in one swallow than I had originally intended. The flavors start out strong until you begin the swallowing process and the spritz and zest and wheat smoothness takes over to create a quaffable beer. The carbonation levels feel as though I get a zip along my tongue, but at the same time I don’t have to worry about the constant urge to belch in 10 minutes.
The dosing of the spices is truly magnificent, and I’m finding myself enjoying this beer more and more by the minute. When I think of an American Wheat, this is what I’d hope for (granted I know they have added more spices than in a traditional American wheat) and it feels like a pleasant blend between an American style wheat beer and a Belgian Witbier—in color, carbonation levels, and flavor.
shorts brewingWhy yes, I WOULD pair this little brew with food. A filet of a mild fish such as Mahi Mahi would be stellar, and I’d even take a guess that this beer would fit nicely with pistachio ice cream, using the cream to cut the peppercorn spice. The salty pistachios would lend their saltiness to the beer, giving it an almost Gose beer style kind of enhancement.
To top it all off, the Montecristo White Series cigar would be a fine cigar choice to pair with this brew. Using the orange zest and the peppercorn notes of Nicie to meld with the distinctive woodiness and hint of peppercorn notes of the Montecristo White, the imbiber would find a refreshing, yet complementary, experience.
 

shorts brewing

Short’s Brewing Company

Nicie – An American Wheat Ale Brewed with Orange Zest, Lemon Zest, Coriander, and Peppercorn

It is certainly hazy, but not cloudy. It is certainly golden, but with more of a yellow brightness. It certainly has a fluffy looking white head, but it’s not stacked up high in your glass. Before me is a beer that looks like summer and I’m delighted to partake.

My first thought when sipping became, “Zesty indeed!” As an American-style wheat ale, Nicie gets its kick from both the orange and lemon zest, with the added underbelly of coriander and peppercorn to lift it further. The coriander is oh-so-wonderful in particular with the orange zest notes in the flavor.

shorts brewing

The nose is a bit more mysterious as it only really emits the coriander and stronger peppercorn notes. The spicing  almost gives me the impression of sniffing a meal. Though it doesn’t exactly smell “savory,” the spices lean towards that end of the aroma spectrum.

As I swirl I can hear the carbonation rise up near my face and fizzle at me. Swallowing the beer gives me the eerie impression that I’ve drunk more in one swallow than I had originally intended. The flavors start out strong until you begin the swallowing process and the spritz and zest and wheat smoothness takes over to create a quaffable beer. The carbonation levels feel as though I get a zip along my tongue, but at the same time I don’t have to worry about the constant urge to belch in 10 minutes.

The dosing of the spices is truly magnificent, and I’m finding myself enjoying this beer more and more by the minute. When I think of an American Wheat, this is what I’d hope for (granted I know they have added more spices than in a traditional American wheat) and it feels like a pleasant blend between an American style wheat beer and a Belgian Witbier—in color, carbonation levels, and flavor.

shorts brewingWhy yes, I WOULD pair this little brew with food. A filet of a mild fish such as Mahi Mahi would be stellar, and I’d even take a guess that this beer would fit nicely with pistachio ice cream, using the cream to cut the peppercorn spice. The salty pistachios would lend their saltiness to the beer, giving it an almost Gose beer style kind of enhancement.

To top it all off, the Montecristo White Series cigar would be a fine cigar choice to pair with this brew. Using the orange zest and the peppercorn notes of Nicie to meld with the distinctive woodiness and hint of peppercorn notes of the Montecristo White, the imbiber would find a refreshing, yet complementary, experience.

 


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