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Belt’s Beer Garden: Short’s and Sweet

Short’s Slurm Lord & Sweetwater’s Mosaic Single Hop Hazy IPA


This week I’ll keep it short and sweet with a duo of brews, one from Short’s Brewing and another from Sweetwater Brewing.

First up, let’s start with a brewery that’s no stranger to Belt’s Beer Garden - Short’s Brewing Co.

Short’s, who is making their sixth appearance on BBG, was started way back in 2002 in Bellaire, Michigan. They’ve expanded more and more throughout the years and opened up a new production plant in Elk Rapids (about 20 miles away, on the other side of Torch and Elk Lakes). Today they can be found across the Midwest; in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Today I have one of their seasonal releases, Slurm Lord, a double New England-Style IPA brewed with Amarillo, Azacca, Citra, El Dorado, and Mosaic hops and oats. A six pack of cans costs the usual $10 and each individual can packs a solid 7.3% ABV and just 17 IBU.

This double NE IPA poured a hazy dark orange, almost copper color with very little head. No more than half a finger of off-white head ever sprouted and, quickly was down to a razor thin ring around the glass.

The aroma wasn’t nearly as juicy or potent as most and, instead, consisted of tropical fruit notes and a somewhat hoppy, slightly oaty scent. The citrus that I could pick out included grapefruit, passion fruit, and mango. It’s 7.3% ABV was even somewhat noticeable before I took a swig as there was a slight alcohol burn to the smell.

Slurm Lord started with a dash of bitterness up front but that sharp start was quickly overrun with those tropical fruit flavors. Mango lead the way with some grapefruit rind and passion fruit sweetness following closely behind.

Midway through the oats popped out with their distinctive flavor and were accompanied by a slight boozy burn that took away from the tropical fruits a bit. The citrus tries to fight back and some grapefruit and mango flavors do sneak back in but to no real avail.

As the beer ends, it does so relatively cleanly, with just a few slight hiccups. That higher ABV leaves a sting of alcohol and the hops leave a light resinous coat clinging to my tongue that has just the slightest grapefruit rind bitterness.

Overall Slurm Lord was a pretty easy to drink double NE IPA. The bitterness was kept low and the alcohol was certainly there, which is a double-edged sword when it comes to the actual taste of the beer. But nothing really stood out or was too amazing. It was good and, if you’re a fan of the style, it’s definitely worth a chance.

Up next. from down south, Sweetwater’s new seasonal release.

Sweetwater Brewing, in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the older craft breweries around – opening up way back in 1997. Over the years they have continued to grow and, in 2015, were named one of the top-15 craft breweries in the US by volume…a position they still hold today. You can find them pretty much everywhere east of the Mississippi River and in a few spots west as well.

They release a lot of new and exciting seasonal brews and, today, I have one of those for you…their Mosaic Single Hop Hazy IPA.

This seasonal beer was brewed, and double dry hopped, using solely Mosaic hops and has a 6.2% ABV and 52 IBU. A six pack of cans runs the typical $10 and will be sold throughout the fall and early winter months.

Mosaic poured a somewhat cloudy, orange color with some light copper undertones depending how much light there is. There was almost no head topping the beer after a minute as the white bubbles had completely dispersed and left nothing more than a ring around the edge of the glass and a few floating clouds in the middle.

On the nose, this brew offered up a very sweet aroma of tropical fruits and a candy-like sugary sweetness with just a tiny hoppy twinge hanging around in the background.

My first taste started off with almost no carbonation and an incredibly juicy, slightly thicker mouthfeel to it.

From there, the candy-like flavors started it all off with a saccharine sweetness of lemon and other tropical fruits. The main offenders were lemon, grapefruit, mango, and pineapple. The citrus flavors blended nicely into a tropical fruit punch flavor that, no lie, almost made me forget it was beer I was drinking.

Towards the middle of everything there was a rush of floral notes and the tiniest hint of pine. The combination of the two added a nice balance to the otherwise citrusy brew but didn’t last long before the tropical flavors once again took control.

As everything came to a close, I was surprised at cleanly the brew ended. Sure, there was a dash of dryness that mixed with that sugary sweetness but it didn’t last long and reminded me of the feeling you get after eating Lemonheads.

All in all, this was a surprisingly tasty single hop hazy IPA. I knew I like Mosaic hops before trying this brew but, this beer has shown just how tasty they are on their own. Sweetwater has done a really nice job with this one. Get it while you can.