Thursday, May 26, 2011

Short's Hangin' Frank: Controversy!

Oooh, nothing like a little controversy in the beer world, eh? Hangin' Frank by Short's has a story behind it. And a quick Google search shows the debates over the rather gruesome label. I have to admit, the label is what caught my eye, besides also generally enjoying Short's products and IPAs. SO, the short story is that there is a bar in Petoskey, MI, where a bartender hung himself. There is a rumor that his ghost haunts the bar, and this beer was named in his honor. Cool story, cool tribute to a small-town Michigan bar. But Short's....Really? Really you didn't think the label might be in poor taste? The early version of the label made Frank look black. Um, yeah a beer label with a hanging black man without context? Terrible idea. You know, American history and such. The label has been changed, so Frank looks white now. Still totally creepy. Anyways, the beer is to be rebranded next year. Probably a good idea.So, how's the actual beer? Pretty good! I got over the label. It's a purty beer. Nice, light amber with hints of red; almost peach-like. Mostly clear, but a bit murky. Plenty of visible carbonation and a sudsy 1/2 finger head which left lots of lacing.
Hops are quickly detected upon opening the bottle. Odors of lemon, orange, and a little bit of sweetness, almost like honey.
This is a very pleasant IPA. Lots of citrus hops, some bitter pines, with a touch of malty sweetness for balance. Strongly bitter, but not over-the-top. The feel is a lil sticky, and surprisingly light and soft compared to other IPAs. Definitely has good drinkability. I'd pick this up again for sure...Perhaps at that time with a new name and label.


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  3. This is somewhat similar to the story of Lagunitas' Censored Ale. The Short's Hanging Frank story is funny. Short's made much more of a change to the label than did Lagunitas. The current ControveriALE label has a humorus explanation of the word choice.

    In my opinion, ControversiALE IPA is quite good!