Based on my last post, you might suspect that I’m an investor in Short’s Brewery. This is not the case. I visited the brewery in 2008 and was only mildly engaged by the brews (I really disliked the Rich’s RIPA). Having said that, I am definitely a big fan of their Huma Lupa Licious and Bellaire Brown.
Huma Lupa Licious is a hop lover’s delight. Even bottled, the hop flavor shines through like a frickin’ laser beam. I’m a total hop nut-case and there were days when the hops in this beer overwhelmed me. There is no confusion about the hops in this beer. It jumps in your face and beats you about the head and neck. It does not, however, attempt to compensate by overwhelming you with sweet maltiness. It just says “screw that” and slaps you about the extremities with full hoppy goodness.
Bellaire Brown is a different animal. In this case, the hops are only there to offset the maltiness of the brown. For the most part, they accomplish their goal. This is not a sweet beer. You get the full impact of the malt but there is no sweetness to it. To me, this indicates a success of balance. That dry malty taste is predominate. You don’t take a sip and wonder what you’re drinking. You are immediately clear that this is a brown beer. You can enjoy that toasted malt without someone beating you with that off-setting sweetness. If you are not a fan of hops, but enjoy a quality brew, this is worth a taste.