Review: Short’s Sustenance Black Beer

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how could this picture be crooked? I hadn't started drinking yet.

Short’s says:

Black is the beer, but soft and sweet on the palate. Rich flavor stems from roasted and dark caramel grains. Sustenance is a very delightful and easy drinking lager with strong emphasis on the balanced malt profile.

Short’s Sustenance Black Beer
Schwarzbier, ?% ABV

Sayeth the Guys

Ryan: Sorry about the lack of a picture of the beer itself.  This beer, and few others I’m reviewing this week, we’re consumed out of a 6 oz plastic cup at my hotel room in Michigan during a recent business trip.  I know I have said this before, but I should at least pack a pint glass from home for these trips.

This offering from Short’s is an advertised…to an extent.  It did pour black, pitch black to be exact, with a nice khaki, tan head.  So that jives with the “Black Beer” description on the label.  But don’t let the rest of it, which reads: “For when you’re hungry and thirsty,” intimidate you.  This is a German Schwarzbier which essentially means it is a dark beer but not a porter or a stout.  Think of Sustenance as a dark in color, high in flavor and light in body beer.

Stick your nose in your glass, or in my case a plastic cup (sigh), and you smell hints of toffee and caramel.  The taste is similar to the smell; toffee, soft, chewy caramel and coffee.  Sustenance finishes with a touch of hop bitterness.

This is a very easy to drink, sessionable offering from Short’s.  Again, don’t let the label fool you.  This is not going to sit in your stomach like a ton of bricks.  In fact, you’ll probably want to head back to the fridge and polish off one or two more.

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A long-time political reporter, Ryan spearheads Guys Drinking Beer's in-depth coverage of beer news and craft beer legislation in Illinois and beyond. When he’s not digging through the annals of state government he’s looking for unique beers to cellar.