Maker: Short’s, Bellaire, Michigan, USA
Style: Amber Ale (Marzen)
Appearance: Auburn with a clingy, foamy head.
Nose: Sweet, malty, slightly fruity
On the palate: medium-bodied, with a lot of sweetness and spicy hops on initial entry. Lots of malt, hoops, sweetness, whole wheat toast and a whiff of smoke. Not particularly complex but well-balanced and goes well with my lunch of saltines and summer sausage.
Finish: Long, hoppy and bitter, but not unpleasantly so.
Parting Words: This is a very well-executed edition of the classic malty Bavarian Oktoberfest-type beer. It’s more aggressive than most beers of the same style, but that’s not a bad thing. Recommended.
Maker: North Peak, Traverse City, Michigan
Style: Amber Ale
Color: Amber with a fairly decent head. Good body.
Nose: Sweet and a bit funky, maybe slightly skunky. Meh.
On the palate: Some fruity sweetness with a strong bitter note.
Finish: A strong, unpleasant bitter taste that won’t go away. Like old, low-grade Gorgonzola cheese.
Parting Words: Wow, what a disappointing beer. I found myself virtually chugging these just to get them out of my fridge to make room for better beer. It wasn’t any worse than any macro-brewed ale of the same style, but why pay micro prices for macro quality? If you see it and feel tempted, pass on it and pick up some of Bud’s American Ale. Or better yet, get a good Michigan Microbrew.