We are re-releasing Aorta Ale, one of our Imperial Series beers, for the first time since its original release in 2007. Aorta Ale is a double red ale that suggests an intensity of flavor simply by its brilliant deep red appearance. Though Aorta Ale contains only traditional brewing ingredients, subtle aromas of candy, brown sugar, and toasted malt are present. Sweet flavors reminiscent of raisins or figs are noticeable upfront, but give way to a roasted, cocoa like bitterness that becomes magnified by high alpha hops. In contrast to the initial sweetness, it’s a heightened bitterness that dominates the finish of this full bodied beauty. ABV 8.6%.
Joe decided to name this beer “Aorta Ale” after learning about his friend Mark Mueller’s need to undergo a life threatening Aortic valve surgery on June, 13, 2006. Mark, also referred to as “Coach Mueller,” fully recovered from his surgery and today leads and inspires our Short’s mountain bike team in endurance events such as the Iceman Cometh Challenge. You would never know that Mark ever underwent such serious heart surgery, as he continues to be one of the fastest guys around.
The 2007 version of Aorta Ale was sold at our Pub in 750 ml bottles and came with a hang tag providing specifics about the beer and including a personal narrative from Joe Short, which read as follows:
This beer has a most interesting story. Aside it being a delicious ruby red masterpiece of luscious caramel and toasted malts balanced with tons of classic American cascade hops, I dedicate this Imperial ale to an imperial dude. Mark Mueller is a good personal friend and big supporter of Short’s Brewing Company. He is probably one of the healthiest, most athletic young people I know. On June 13th 2006 Mark went under the knife for a resection of his ascending aortic arch to the root, caused by an aortic aneurysm he had some years earlier on. It was assumed to be from congenital reasons. I thought heart surgery was a strange operation for a young guy who was so healthy and active, but hey, guess you can’t pick your genes right? The procedure was nothing less than significant and quite terrifying if you think about it. I felt this beer should be a reminder to all humans who occupy the earth. It represents the beauty and awesome power of the human body and mind, and their abilities. Aorta Ale is also a symbol of life and goodness. It’s a beverage for the people around us who enhance our lives and add value to it. Mark Mueller is a person who enhances the value in my life and brings a positive goodness to it.
Like all the Imperial beers, the artwork for Aorta Ale was designed by one of four artists contracted to help create the labels for this series. For this particular beer, Fritz Hortsman’s artwork graces the label.
Only 625 cases of Aorta Ale have been released statewide, so it is extremely limited. We hope that you are able to find and enjoy this beautiful red beer. Cheers!
– Jon Wojtowicz, Short’s Beer Liberator