Why The Hell Did I Cellar This? Strawberry Shortscake REDUX Review

In Cellared Beer Reviews by Karl

Didn’t we just do a whole week of Shorts Brewing reviews a few months ago? You bet we did! Is that too much? That’s not for us to judge – all we know is that Karl was holed up in Traverse City, Michigan under about 31 inches of snow and he burrowed his way to the corner store for–

Oh, who the hell are we kidding.  Karl’s been home for weeks and pulled this beer out of the pantry.  It just happened to also be a Shorts beer so we figured we’d revisit it because he was stupid and drank it too late – and doesn’t want you to suffer the same fate.

Look at that dark, cloudy, tart beer. Look at that creaking iBook G4 from ’05.

Short’s says:

“A golden ale brewed with loads of biscuit malts and milk sugar fermented with fresh strawberries. Sweet strawberries up front cushioned with biscuits and cream! Perfect for dessert.”

Short’s Strawberry Shortscake
Fruit Beer, 5% ABV

Sayeth the Guys:

Karl: Like the title of this review says, what the hell was I thinking?  Ryan had a couple Strawberry Shortsscake stowed in the back of the beer fridge and divvy’ed them up a few months ago after our we-can’t-believe-it’s-this-good review.  I put one in the pantry to save for a rainy day, thinking that it was so damn good, I had to hang onto it and not waste it on a random Tuesday, right?  As it turns out, I should have saved it for a Tuesday before the clouds moved in and the snow fell, because ladies and gents, you probably could have seen this coming, but what the hell have I done to this beer.

FIRST:  I absolutely, in no way shape or form, am pointing any fingers at the fine folks of Shorts for my own dumbassery.  This is a beer to be sipped leisurely on the patio in spring and summer, not hoarded away and peeked at throughout the fall and winter months.  You drink the Strawberry Shortscake NOW, you don’t wait for the right time.  Because by the time it’s the right time, the real right time has long since passed.  This is all about me being greedy, and it bit me in the ass this time.

SECOND:  Remember back when this beer was all sorts of fresh strawberry seeds and jam and preserves and biscuit malts and milk sugars, and as Ryan put it, WHIPPED TOPPING?  Yeah, that was then.  This is now.  This beer with a few months on it has gone cloudy and dark orange-red, and exploded with foam as I opened it.  See?

Strawberry Shortscake

Say hello to my dirty countertop.

This beer was so eager to get out and into someone’s digestive system it literally burst out of the bottle in anticipation.  I’m sorry, Shortscake.  I let you down.

While it was hanging out in the bottle, the seeds disappeared, the jam left, and the sweet cakey-biscuity thing it had going on was outta there too.  What stayed was a decent amount of strawberry sweetness, which was nice, but holy mother of GOD did this beer get tart.  Tart like you just bit into a not-quite-ripe strawberry.  Did this beer break the laws of time and space?  I believe it did, yes.

There’s some yeastiness lingering in the background, and it overwhelms the aroma as well.  It didn’t take long, but this beer is almost a sour ale, which normally I enjoy like crazy, but knowing what this beer used to be and what I’d done to ruin it, made me sad for the mistakes I’ve made in my life.

THIRD: Take it from me.  Don’t do what Donny Don’t did, and don’t stick aside beers too long because you like knowing they’re there.  Don’t wait for the right time when the right time is now.  Drink these beers when they’re supposed to and don’t get all fancy with cellaring ’em when you know better.  The upside of all of this?  I’m even more eager to have another Shortscake next year.  Spring’s coming soon, right?

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About the Author

Karl

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Karl has written about food, travel and beer for Chicago Magazine, Draft Magazine, Thrillist, Time Out Chicago and more. His book, Beer Lovers Chicago, comes out in early 2017, and if you're buying, he's likely having a porter or a pale ale.