Short’s Brew – The Liberator

Short’s Brew – The Liberator Double IPA With Lemon and Orange Zest

Short’s Brewing Company – Elk Rapids, MI

Liberator 85x300

Information: Site – This beer is a burly double IPA with enormous amounts of hops which helps to support the healthy malt profile.  A piney, citrusy intensity of hop protrudes through the caramelized malt profile and is finished with a punch of fresh citrus compliments of fresh lemon and orange zest added after fermentation. Enjoy with caution.

So what’s the deal with beers having the unusual ‘ATOR’ at the end? Especially when referring to ‘doubles’ such as Bocks and IPA’s? Let’s find out. (Wikipedia) “The monks who originally brewed doppelbock named their beer “Salvator” (“Savior”), which today is trademarked by Paulaner. Brewers of modern dopplebocks often add “-ator” to their beer’s name as a signpost of the style; there are 200 “-ator” doppelbock names registered with the German patent office. The BJCP suggests that the following are representative examples of the style: Paulaner Salvator, Ayinger Celebrator, Weihenstephaner Korbinian, Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel, Spaten Optimator, Tucher Bajuvator, Weltenburger Kloster Asam-Bock, Capital Autumnal Fire, EKU 28, Eggenberg Urbock 23º, Bell’s Consecrator, Moretti La Rossa, Samuel Adams Double Bock.” And now ya know. Dontcha feel better having learned something?

If it’s one thing Short’s can claim, it’s certainly that their un-aptly named Brewery has nothing to do with their actual number of beers. These guys must put out a new beer ever few weeks from Peanut Butter and Jelly to Strawberry Short’s Cake. It’s an amazing collection. So anyway, today we crack into one whopper of a bitter beer. I know, because I’ve had all but this one out of a six pack already. It’s very very good.

The pour is a pumpkin-hued orangish-red with a fine, white cap. And the nose is immediately overwhelmingly bitter. Just amazingly so. You can absolutely get little hints of the citrus used in its brewing process, but the simple fact that it’s a ‘Double’ IPA is not at all lost on its initial opening. At all. Seriously guys, this is by far one of the most bitter beers I have personally ever smelled, and I’ve had ones that’ve nearly made my eyes water. Oh yeah. You really know what you’re getting into right off the bat. The scent has nothing… nothing on the taste. This beer is B-I-T-T-E-R. Yeah. With all letters capitalized. Yes, the bitter hoppiness is completely in the forefront, of this fact there is no denying. But, before you dismiss this as just another sinus-whipping and throat searing bitter beer, stop and really taste what’s going on in here: citrus rind, a bit of caramel, some pepperiness… yes, there are hidden attributes. But only once you get past the extreme bitterness. And you do need to get past that. It’s that good of a beer. Food pairings? Something this bitter needs a salty or sweet contrasting flavor. Chocolate covered pretzels.

Rating: * * * * 1/2
Bitter. There really is no other necessary word I need to describe this beer.