Dismiss Notice

Site Performance Updates: We're aware of the nightly site outage, and working on resolving the issue.

Follow our progress ...

Short's Soft Parade | Short's Brewing Company

328 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Short's Soft ParadeShort's Soft Parade

Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Soft Parade is a Fruit Rye Ale brewed with rye flakes and loaded with pureed strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. The rose colored ale has aromas of ripe strawberries and grain. With flavors of fresh berries and rye, Soft Parade finishes dry and eminently drinkable.

Soft Parade was originally developed because Joe Short wanted to create a beer that incorporated a medley of berries, had a great color, and appealed to wine drinkers. The name Soft Parade stemmed from two moments in Joe Short’s life. First, because Joe worked as a brewer at the Traverse Brewing Company and The Doors album, The Soft Parade, played every day at the end of the brew shift. The second moment occurred when Joe was driving by himself, flipping through CD’s in his car, and came across The Soft Parade album again. At the time, The Soft Parade beer had not been named and it dawned on Joe that the medley of fruit infusing into the golden beer reminded him of a soft parade. That day the beer was named!

Added by fantome on 06-18-2004

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 328 | Ratings: 1,088
Photo of MispeledStalion
3.27/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Great aroma. Every berry scent is distinct and really fresh. Disappointing flavor. The eye hit too many sweet notes in the berry mash and it's really unbalanced as a result. Needed more tartness or bitterness and it would have been exceptional imo

 247 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. Bottleneck says 04/13/15.

A- Pours a hazy purplish red color with a 1/4 inch off-white head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a sheer center patch of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Fruit-forward aroma of blueberry, raspberry and blackberry. Sweet and jammy.

T- Notes found in the aroma carry through to the taste with more blueberry and raspberry. Not as sweet as it smells. More of that jam quality coming through.

M- Slightly tangy with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- Reminds me a lot of DFH's Black and Blue only more toned down in both strength and intensity of flavor. It's actually quite refreshing but I would only recommend it to those who enjoy fruit beers.

 838 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.94/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, pours a dull shade of cherry, lasting off white head leaving a thick collar and moderate bits of lace. More fruity cherry, and berries on the nose.

Fruits galore here with strawberry, cherry, raspberry carrying the load. Summery. Delicious.

Pair this with a berry fruit tart or a fruity dessert of some sort...well worth a try, more impressive brew from Short's

 384 characters

Photo of EmGM
3.84/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Look: hazy golden with a slight pink tinge
Smell: slightly hoppy smell, tart, berries
Taste: a little hoppy, very tart, berries taste is prominent, kinda tastes a little earthy
Aftertaste: pretty good, the hops don't stay too long, berry aftertaste leaves a slight pucker
Overall: pretty good summer beer. definitely would have again

 333 characters

Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a cloudy reddish pink with a one finger off-white head. The head leaves some light spotty lacing.

S - Aroma is tart and sweet berries - raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries.

T - The flavor is a blend of the sweet and tart berries. Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries throughout the flavor held together with some nice maltiness.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very crisp and refreshing. The ABV is extremely well hidden.

O - A classic from Short's. At 7% ABV this is dangerously drinkable. A great summer beer.

 564 characters

Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.83/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Absolutely one of my favorites. This one was on the first flight of brews I had from Short's and I had to get a full pint later that night when we came back. That was many years ago, and Soft Parade is still the quintessential summer brew for me.
For this review, poured from bottle to well-used tulip. Pour produces two and a half fingers of fluffy, pink-tinged white head that settles to a thin cap with some lacing. Cap disappears shortly into session.
Color is pinkish/rose orange, with some fruit floaties. Aroma is mashed berries, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, some metallic notes. Taste follows, with a wonderfully tart/sour berry flavor. Mouthfeel is effervescent and gives no hint to the ABV. Soft Parade is a sneaky one.

 748 characters

Photo of JanieClaudia
4.69/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Simply put, I adore this beer. It is my go-to for a warm summer day... The strawberry and raspberry notes are reminiscent of a glass of good red wine. Can't get enough... And for 7%+, it's amazingly drinkable.

 209 characters

Photo of robbb
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

When I first had one, I was dazzled by the taste and the ABV. The fruitness is good, but as some have said, the taste can get old after awhile. While it tastes "fruity", there isn't really one distinctive identifiable fruit taste. The alcohol taste is so obscured by this fruitiness that in no short time, you've downed two or three soft parade's and are teetering around in front of a group of 50 mostly strangers singing an Ace of Bass song for Karaoke night (even though it's not actually karaoke night).

 507 characters

Photo of mchegash
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - 3.75/5
A bright red-orange. This beer literally glows if held up to a bright light. About 1 finger of very light pink head, which dissipates within 2 minutes. Can see various small to medium sized particles throughout the beer. Sparse amount of carbonation can be seen rising up the beer.

Smell - 4.25/5
Delicious raspberry, cherry, and other fruity flavors.

Taste - 4/5
Sweet raspberry and other berry flavors. Some sweet earthy? malt flavor. A small amount of alcohol is detectable. This definitely comes close to the border between tasting like beer vs. not tasting like beer, but I think this stays on the side of tasting like beer.

Mouthfeel - 3.75/5
Medium bodied. A light amount of medium intensity carbonation. Crisp and smooth.

Overall - 3.75/5
This is a good fruit beer. Probably not as good as Founder's Rubaeus. But this is available year round, which is a plus. Not something I would want to drink everyday, but if one's in the mood for a fruit beer, this is a good choice.

 1,003 characters

Photo of docoman
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

nice mix of fruit berries in this beer and you can somewhat taste the different ones (compared to most fruit beers I've had one usually takes over) but this one blends nice. nice red color, smells very good, if you like fruit beers should give this one a try. higher ABV is well hidden, wouldn't know it was 7.5%. blush wine drinkers this beer is dead on for same flavors in a beer.

 385 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
3.12/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Finally getting to try my first beer from these guys.

A: Amber in color with a definite reddish/purplish tinge to it. Almost like a mixed berry smoothie tinge. A thin white head caps the beer.

S: Like sniffing fermented mixed berry juice. Tons of green strawberry, plum, blueberry and grape juice. Has a kind of off putting fermented smell to it that makes it harder to get near the more this warms.

T: The base beer almost reminds me of a tripel. Sweet and malty with a bit of a clove taste to it. But draped over it, you get this heavy mixed berry note with a wet hay-like edge to it. Something in the background tastes like the smell of wet dog. Not really a fan of this one.

 681 characters

Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%

A - Light red, with a slight purple cast. Very light head, a pinkish cast to the white base. Fades quickly, and only minor lacing.

S - Mostly acidic berry notes and mild funk, slight hint of lactic acid.

T - Following the nose, with berry flavors mingling with a light acidic push.

M - Very brisk carbonation. Spikey acidity. No sign of the major ABV on this fruit beer.

O - A berry beer, very subtle, but with a hidden ABV punch. Not a particularly complex brew, but quite drinkable. Enjoyable.

 507 characters

Photo of angelmonster
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pink hazy color. Head was 1/5 of and inch, white with a pink tint. Head retention and lacing were mediocre at best but the beer was such a pretty color, I decided to boost up the rating a small amount.

Smell is of strawberries and raspberries, similar to a jar of jam. Pale straw malts are also detected, apparently this beer is made with rye but i don't get any on the nose.Getting some smells of belgian yeast similar to what you'd find in a tripel. Aroma of alcohol is light in the end.

Taste is full on fruit; lots of raspberries and strawberries with some blackberries in background. Very light malts are also in the mix, again, I don't get any rye. No hops are detected either, some medicinal alcohol is tasted in the finish.

Mouthfeel is very light and effervescent, similar to a champagne or rose. No head is present which is a shame, could have used some to cut astringent aftertaste.

Overall, this was a tasty fruit ale but it was pretty one note. Could have benefited from more body but it is a good alternative to sparkling wine or hard ciders. Good beer but not available in my area, wouldn't try too hard to trade for it

 1,146 characters

Photo of thickgirth
3.52/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love the ignorant beer drinkers saying this isn't a beer. It's essentially a lower end sour there is nothing wrong with this beer if you enjoy sours. deep fruit tones with that sour finish. not my favorite but not nearly as bad as some of the reviews suggest.

 261 characters

Photo of Indianajonesy
1.07/5  rDev -70.4%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

In no way you could call this beer, the closet thing to that is a product that was put out by Oliver wine in Indiana. That product was never labeled a beer, but a wine. If you are a fan of a very dry wine you might like this, but I did not. I thought it might at least a little sweet, nope.

 291 characters

Photo of NODAK
3.99/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mildly sweet berry aroma on the nose....I'd say that I can percept blackberries, raspberries and a hint of blueberries in there. Although I will definitely say it isn't syrupy smelling...in fact, there's a twinge of tart there as well for balance. Make no mistake though, it's certainly a fruit beer.

If this was a beer made for wine drinkers, I'm unsure how it would fare with most because it isn't really all that sweet tasting and there's no real dryness to it either. What it does taste like is a very natural tasting, semi-sweet beer with definite notes of berries in it like you'd expect. Which berries? Always somewhat hard to discern, but I lean towards raspberries first and also blackberries above all else. Not sure I really can get any strawberries out of this. Hops are nearly non-existent, which isn't surprising. I'd never be able to tell this beer packs 9 percent by the way. I would have guessed 5. I'm actually stunned by that. Pretty dangerous stuff!

It's very drinkable, but those hoping for an over the top experience are going to be disappointed. It's just an easy going, natural fruit beer with a way higher ABV than it tastes like.

 1,157 characters

Photo of TTAmod
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. No date that I could locate. Poured into pint glass.

A: I probably overchilled this one. Pours dark amber with a tinge of red. Barely noticeable white head. Slightly hazy.

S: Smells extremely fruity. Lots of cherry, blackberry, blueberry and raspberry. Sweet, syrupy, candy smell, as well. Doesn't smell like a beer....more like a merlot or cab sav.

T: Very fruity in the taste, as well. Definite red berry up front. Little or no hop presence. Sweet malt base. Extremely drinkable with no perception of alcohol.

M: Smooth. Low carbonation. Easy to drink considering the 9% ABV.

O: This is a pretty interesting beer. They say there's rye malt, but it's overpowered by the strong fruit presence. Not necessarily a bad thing, though. One of the more drinkable and complex fruit beers I've had. This is more akin to a wine than a beer.

 853 characters

Photo of MBbeerking14
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Shorts Soft Parade comes from Shorts Brewery in Bellaire, MI

This beer is often labeled as a "girl beer," simply because it contains a variety of fruit. To think of this beer in that way would be serious mistake. At 7.5% ABV this beer packs a serious punch, while being extremely drinkable. Soft Parade is a high gravity ale fermented with strawberries, blueberries, rasberries, and blackberries. This beer was created by Joe Short with the intention that it would appeal to wine drinkers, and it certainly has a wine aspect to it. The smell is full of berries, and the taste is very similar. In pouring the color is a pomegranite red and a bit hazy. The head lingers.

Drinkability: This beer while absolutely delicious, would be a dangerous one to consume in bulk due to its high alcohol content. Perfect for a summer day on the boat though!

I highly recommend Soft Parade (to boys and girls alike)!

 904 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purpley amber in color with a finger of head. Very intriguing looking beer. Smells awesome.. Like a berry salad, candy, and a hint of booze to remind you that you're a responsible adult! The flavor is very nice.. Lots of bready rye notes up front leading way to a mellow sweetness and the fruity berries hit you in the finish. Damn, this brings back find memories of smuttynose's hanami ale. Just as "beery" with a strong hint of fruit.. Medium in body, medium canon action and a hell of a thirst quencher. This beer is awesome.

 528 characters

Photo of RachelZ
4.75/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Overall this is a great fruity beer with high alcohol content! It pours light/golden yellow. Aromas consist of strawberry and raspberry. The taste is consistent with the smell with a little tartness and malt flavors. The aftertaste overall is excellent and sweet. I would recommend this beer 100%!!

 298 characters

Photo of MSUEmilie
3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I believe this fruity beer could be enjoyed even by those who typically do not prefer fruity beers. It has a dark pomegranate red color and very thin head. This beer isn't cloudy or hazy but a very dark red clear pour that looks as appetizing as it smells.

You will immediately detect the strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry aromas that define this beers taste. The mild berry tartness of this beer mixes quite well it's light malty flavors leaving a very pleasant, slightly sweet, aftertaste. I've enjoyed this beer on tap as well as bottled; I would recommend people try it on tap first as the bottled version is slightly less carbonated, which I feel detracts from it's overall flavor.

Overall a delightful fruity beer even if you are not typically a fan of fruity beverages.

 783 characters

Photo of lundqu23
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.75

This beer is a little fruity but not too fruity if you don't like fruity drinks. There is still a beer mouthfeel, unlike some other fruit beers out there. Carbonation is not very high, not a big head when poured. Much better from tap than it is in the bottle. I enjoy fruity drinks so I enjoyed this beer a lot but I would also recommend this beer to someone who does not enjoy fruity drinks as much.

 400 characters

Photo of kristen56
4.21/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark red, ruby color with hints of pink. A little cloudy with a little head. The aroma is delightful--all sorts of fruit notes. I definitely picked up on all the different berries. The taste is just as great. Can taste strawberries and all the fruit. Its a great beer for summer. It tastes and feels light, yet also has strong alcohol content and is so packed with flavor. Definitely one of my favorite beers!

 409 characters

Photo of balcomjo7
5/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Soft Parade is a fruity beer. It has the perfect balance of a beer taste and fruity. This has a very high alcohol percentage. It is around 9% alcohol. The color is an autumn color. The aroma is fruity. I smell strawberry and raspberries. This is a cloudy beer and served on tap and also in a bottle.

 299 characters

Photo of Augusta3
4.37/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: dark ruby red
Clarity: very cloudy
Aroma: fruity with strong strawberry and raspberry hints
Flavor: very fruity (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry) with a very good balance of sweet and bitter flavor
Overall: I love this beer! It is fruity, smooth and refreshing.

 271 characters

Short's Soft Parade from Short's Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 328 ratings.