Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Short's Soft Parade - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Short's Soft ParadeShort's Soft Parade

Educational use only; do not reuse.

306 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 306
Hads: 974
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 30.03%
Wants: 68
Gots: 212 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer | 7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: fantome on 06-18-2004

Simply put: Fruit Rye Ale. A bountiful blend of toasted rye flakes and two row malted barley make wort fermented with 200 pounds of pureed strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries resulting in a sweet fruity delicacy. Intoxicatingly refreshing and brewed special for those ladies who enjoy their wine. 
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 306 | Hads: 974
Photo of mountdew1
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a purplish hue with a slightly pinky thin head. A few strands of bubbles rose from the bottom. Aroma was fruity, definitely could pick up berries. Predominant to me was blueberry, with hints of other berries as well. Taste was somewhat similar to the smell, a bit of sweet berry flavor, that shifted to a more grainy finish. The grain flavor didn't mix terribly well with the berry. Some times it was much more pronounced than others. Thankfully the berry wasn't overly sweet or powerful, it was fairly subtle and balanced. Felt ok in the mouth. Coated nicely, but seemed a bit over carbonated. Too many bubbles were felt on the tongue. Overall one of the more successful beers at tasting what it claims to. The grainy finish was a bit distracting though.

 801 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.21/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: a brownish color with the slightest hint of red. nearly opaque. almost no head.

Smell: strong fruit: strawberries and blueberries, and other sweet fruits. rye

Taste: again strong fruit. strawberries sometimes, blueberries others, and other harder to identify fruits. Rye comes in the back end balances the sweetness with just a touch of bitter. sometimes alcohol is apparent. quite complex and varies from sip to sip.

Mouthfeel: heavy and sticky. overall sweetness

Overall: a very good and unique beer. i like using the rye to balance out the fruit to give the beer multiple dimensions. way up there in both fruit beers and rye beers

 650 characters

Photo of yamar68
4.28/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks alelover!

Fucking gorgeous. I want Lowes to color-match this beer so I can paint my bathroom this color. Every dinner guest would comment.

Loads of berry goodness... every fruit makes an appearance. The beer beneath is less than evident which I am totally okay with. It's all about the fruity nectar.

Tooty fruity. Like a Raspberry Tart with a less aggressive sweetness but an equally well masked alcohol character (and twice the ABV...)


 461 characters

Photo of Roman5150
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle into duvel

appearance: murky ruby red with a VERY thin foam head (huge bubbles)

smell: strawberries, apple, oranges, honestly not that pleasant

taste: whole palate of fruitiness hits you instantly, blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, some orange, although to be honest it's not AS fruity as the label would make you think. not much hop or malt character, but there's some subtle rye bready notes on the backend. You do not taste any alcohol whatsoever.

mouthfeel: has the feel of juice more than a beer, highly carbonated

overall: While not a huge fan of fruity beer, for what it is this is perfect for the style. Not too fruity, but enough character to make me want to classify this as, well, not really a beer. I would recommend this basically to any women who likes those fruity beers, as this is a top notch well balanced version of the style.

 858 characters

Photo of SeanSweeney
2.54/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Like purple bag of skittles mixed with coors light. Wouldn't recommend or try again. But then again not a fan or fruity beers. But overall too much fruit to discern any specific flavors. Reminiscent of trix cereal due to not being able to tell what flavor this beer was willing to take on.

 289 characters

Photo of gcamparone
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Acquired as an extra in a trade (forgot who sent it, please mail me if you remember!)

A- Pours a clear amber body with a very small white head that reduces very quickly. Leaves some lacing.

S- I definitely get the berries on the nose - blueberry and raspberry juice but not overpowering or sweet. There's a strong buttered corn note in there too, indicating diacetyl is present, which is usually not a good thing. I kinda like that smell though, which is why I'm not slamming it on aroma.

T- It isn't the berry bomb that everyone is describing - maybe because it has some age and the berries have mellowed out? Subtle berries and caramel, with a little hoppyness in the background. Again, I get that diacetyl note, which isn't cloying but I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to be there.

M- Medium body, medium carbonation. Fairly easy to drink, I highly doubt this is 9% ABV.

One of the more unique beer's I've tried. I don't really know what to think of this one, it was decent and easy to drink but at the same time very one dimensional. Meh.

 1,093 characters

Photo of wowjimi
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Nice name - good Doors song - and appealing label/packaging. Tastes like I mixed some blackberry juice in with a microbrew beer that I found too bitter/hoppy and wanted to dilute it for drinkability. (I have done such things). main reason I am posting is I find it VERY hard to believe this is a 9% Alcohol content.

As a regular imbiber of COLT 45 and Molson XXX, I think i know my buzz factors. And i am sure if you are at this site you know it is not easy to achieve such a high % in manufacture, especially when Taste is the main objective. just sayin'....

 560 characters

Photo of fredmugs
2.65/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm writing this review in case anyone reads it before buying this beer. It tastes exactly like a wine cooler. In a blind taste test I'm not sure if I could tell the difference. It is fermented with blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. You've been warned.

 276 characters

Photo of portia99
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours a bit hazy and a strongly pink tinted amber color with practically no head...only a hint of a bubbly white collar.

S - Very fruity aroma filled with mixed berries....raspberry for sure, touch of strawberry and blackberry. Label claims blueberry, but I don't get any in the nose. Somewhat buttery base beer underneath the fruity aromas, soft malt.

T - A bit buttery in aroma mixed with some odd off bitterness, grainy, cereal malt, dry fruity berries - mostly raspberry with some blackberry character too. Light hoppy bitterness.

M - Lightish medium body with a neutral carbonation that gives a slight tingle. Fruity and bitter, noticeable diacetyl.

O - Just ok...drinkable but not wowing me either. Misses the mark a bit with some off flavors and a fruitiness that doesn't quite complement the base beer. The base seems to be where the flaws are and the fruit just can't compensate enough. Nowhere near the top of the list for Shorts beers...at least for me.

 1,017 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Pour from the bottle into a pint glass. Murky pink-red body fills the glass with some haze to it, probably from fruit and yeast. A small white head forms to about one finger but has lackluster retention. A small ring remains and lace dots are seen here and there.

S- They certainly weren't lying about the fruit additions. The aroma comes off with a general berry feel, the raspberries and strawberries make the most impact to me. It all seems muddled a lot like a fruit juice cocktail, something I expected.

T- Things get more interesting here for me. Some alcohol and strong ale feel opens up in a pretty much equal mix with the mentioned fruit juice feel. Individual fruits can be picked out but it comes off as more of a blend and with the ABV here actually does take on a vinous characteristic. Rye adds a nice dimension to this with a spicy cracker/bread flavor. I don't know if they still exist, but this reminds me of those fruit juice popsicles my mom would buy like ten years ago, in a good way. Like a nice jam/jelly.

MF- Pretty dried out body, overall I would say it is on the lighter side. Not as sweet as many fruit beers. Alcohol warmth is felt atop the high end carbonation.

Berry madness. The ABV strength can be felt but not in a bad way, it adds a nice edge to the heavy fruit feel. Nothing artificial about this one but it does remind me of a good fruit juice mix.

 1,391 characters

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.76/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A - I knew going in that this beer was made with berries, I didn't expect it to be this pink. A thin white head disappears rapidly. To hazy to note carbonation or even sediment. .

S - Holy Berries!! The raspberries and blackberries are there, but the strawberries are the star of the show. Not much more going on, but the berries are intense and fantastic. '

T - Berries and malts, berries and malts and not much else.

M&D&O - a fun drink, is well suited for the summertimes. Plenty of nice flavor. The malts arent my thing, but the quality is there

 554 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.37/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a turbid pinkish orange. Very neat color. Nearly zero head or lacing.

S-Delectably fruity. Smells just like strawberry jam. Somebody grab me some peanut butter and a couple slices of bread...its time to make a PB&J. Raspberry jam too. Lighter notes of the darker fruits (blueberry and blackberry).

T-The flavor is more of the same jammy flavor with an addition of yeast and rye. All the fruits were there and they taste great. Far from artificial, the flavor is natural and tart. I think the raspberry stands out the most. And personally, when I get raspberry in a beer I tend to absolutely love said beer.

M-Far less heavy than I was expecting. Surprisingly drinkable. The glass becomes light very quickly.

O/D-Loved this beer. Drinks like a 5% brew. The flavors are natural and delicious. Kicking myself for only buying a single and not the whole sixer...RASPBERRIES.

 881 characters

Photo of parris
2.9/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A - Brownish red. Somewhere in between amber and ruby, but doesn't really hit either well. Thin white head

S - Berries, red wine

T - Dry wine, bitter but not hoppy, booze

M - Descent carbonation, odd bitterness that hits the sides of your tongue, light-medium body

O - If I were the brewer, I would have chalked this on up as a loss, it tastes like a homebrew experiment I tried once long ago, where I added frozen fruit juice concentrate to the boil.

 455 characters

Photo of Maxwell
4.14/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a murky berry red with accents of brown syrup, and touches of salmon orange. The head is eggshell white with light pink highlights, and the lacing is thin but sticky and dry. The beer’s body is surprisingly clear of particles and quite translucent, featuring a steady stream of small carbonation bubbles. On the nose, the beer is big and jammy, with lovely thick berry scents and an excellent barley malt and rye spice background. The smell is reminiscent of “assorted berry” scents, in that no individual berries can really be picked out without really shoving your nose in the glass. The malt smells of light biscuity caramel bread and has me thinking rye toast and jam. On the tongue, the beer tastes terrifically sweet with berries while the more spicy bread malts balance the sweet, and a touch of hops adds slight earthy bitters. The flavor begins with a big rush of fruit berries, moving from strawberry, to blueberry, to black berry, and to raspberry nearly so fast that the tongue has trouble differentiating between them. The berry flavor powers through the mouth throughout the taste, building to a crescendo that tastes a little syrupy and then fading into the aftertaste, but beside the berries there is a strong underlying flavor of spicy rye bread and caramel malt which eventually brings the light earthy bitters onto the back of the palate. The aftertaste rings lightly with strawberry jam, faint earthy bitters, and a touch of aspirin. On the mouth, this beer feels on the heavier side of medium in body with some nice syrupy qualities on the tongue. The mouth is left clean with the slightest dry feeling on the tongue. The beer’s carbonation is light with effervescence, providing a slight prickle across the tongue as it moves down the throat. The beer feels clean and drinkable. Overall, this is one of my favorite non-wild fruit beers. It’s big in booze and in fruit flavors, but still lets you know there is beer beneath it, and it blends those two things very nicely. It has nice the rye flavors underlying the heavy jam, and definitely has some semblance to a fruit wine, which is nicely refreshing. This beer would be great for summer nights, and is really a nice beer. Try it.

 2,229 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Pinkish rose bodied beer with one finger of egg shell white head. Drops quickly to a thin cap.

Smell: Really sweet and tart berry notes. Get a little bit of a medicinal note from this beer.

Taste: This beer is tart upfront and it finishes sweet. A "muttled" berry medley (I really cant draw out any of the individual berries that were used to brew this beer) and some cherries that are married with a bready malt profile. Really a different animal when it comes to a fruit beer; I am not sure if I like it or not. It has a medicinal, menthol "ish", eucaliptus leaf, and a slightly metallic aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. The beer has a syrupy feel to it, but it also has some prickly carbonation when the beer lands onto your tongue. Not a very boozey beer at all.

Overall: I guess that I am spoiled with all the New Glarus Fruit beers. I have tried Apple Ale, Belgian Red, Raspberry Tart, and Serendipity; so I have a fairely good idea of what the best fruits beers are all about. This beer isnt horrible, but it is definately a little bit odd in my mind. This beer reminds me of a beer called Pink Killer and its a bit of an improvement from that beer. It is hard to finish the 12oz bottle. I bet Dan Carey could make an amazing fruit beer from the 4 berries that are used to brew this beer.

 1,375 characters

Photo of SAxDRC5
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: pinking red. white head, average lacing.

s: smells like strawberry jam. sweet smell

t: very berry. strawberry, blueberry, raspberry. wine like tannins/acidity/alcohol. no hop flavor but is balanced with rye

m: bubbbly, too much so.

o: i never expect much from fruit beers, but this exceeded my low expectations. would be a good summer beer, however, i could not see myself having more than 1 in a sitting.

 413 characters

Photo of Mavigo
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the red fox pub in royal oak. Served in a tulip

A: Poured a clear pinkish red with a short white head with good amounts of lacing.

S: Smells tart, raspberries, cranberries, wheat, grains

T: tastes a bit sweet, a little bit tart, has a kick of a hops, could use some more lavor though.

M: little too much carbonation for me, but its crisp, and refreshing

O: ah its alright, i was expecting much more, more tartness and flavor but its not bad

 457 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Capturing the essence of summer refreshment, Short's Soft Parade portrays what's best about porch sings, hammocks, and sun umbrellas. Its fruity focus is fresh and inviting to the tastbuds.

Ruby in color, the beer's mild pectin haze gives it the resemblence to Hawaiian Punch. Capped by an airy white foam, the beer retains reasonably well with sparce pocketed lace. It certainly embodies the look of fruit juice in a glass.

Bright aromas of fruit span an array of taste- from raspberry to strawberry to blackberry and currant. With such a variety of fruit, the beer seems nondescript, but wonderfully so. With very little aromatic support any bready malts or spicy rye is neglegable behind the strong fruit presence.

The rich and vibrant fruit flavors resonate well with the palate. The taste and pleasant tartness of berries and plump fruit show up on the front of the tongue with a genuine fruit taste and balanced acidity. As the beer softens and the fruit gains tartness, the spicy rye character seems to broaden the taste and heighten the bready malts everso slightly. With low hop bittering, the beer relies on the fruit acidity and the rye spiciness that mimicks oak tannin to balance in finish.

Medium-light in body, the beer's fruity tartness keeps the creaminess of carbonation dampened, and the malts crisp. While the acidity and fleeting spice fades, it allows for an extention of fruit and powdered sugar to linger slightly past the malt.

I can see why the moniker on the lable offers favorable comparisons to wine, but in the end, it's a pleasant fruit beer that's best enjoyed with a freshly mowed lawn.

 1,624 characters

Photo of Lemke10
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a semi-clear reddish color with a slight white head. The scent is fruity, but it’s not as strong as you would think for the style of beer. The taste is kind of a disaster with the clash of fruit with the “high gravity ale.” This essentially tastes like a cheap 40 that someone dumped day old fruit juice in. It’s hard to pick out the blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. This is something they really need to take back to the drawing board and I think eliminating the high gravity ale is a starting place. Finishes with a slight raspberry taste and chalky after taste.

 608 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.17/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Old Chicago. The beer pours a dark hue of pink and ruby-red - very nice looking. The head is nearly non-existent and fades quickly. The beer smells just like it looks - refreshing and full of fruit: berries and figs with malt in the background. I didn't much care for the taste of this beer. Upon sipping, the fruit profile is powerful, with a little TOO much berry for my liking. Almost tastes like carbonated juice with a hint of beer. By no means is it "bad", but it would be a challenge to drink more than one of these for me. Very sweet and even a little bit tangy, this brew is more almost more along the lines of a weird juice than a beer (aside from the 8% ABV which goes primarily unnoticed). The taste is less authentic than a "sour" and when I drink a "fruit beer", I want a heavier beer taste, with maybe hints of fruit. This beer is kind of stuck in a strange limbo. Medium-bodied beer that leaves a sweet-stickiness on your teeth as it heads down your gullet.

I tried, but couldn't get into this beer like many of my friends. It's tasty, but when I want a beer, it's not exactly what I'm looking for. Not "beer" enough to be a good fruit beer, and not authentic or sour enough to be a lambic. The 9% ABV is covered up very well, as almost no alcohol is detectable, but I will probably pass on this brew next time.

 1,338 characters

Photo of JamesShoemaker
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Strutt in Kalamazoo (closed!).

Appearance - pink! Very strange color for even a fruit beer, fizzles like soda.

Smell - you can't detect much from Soft Parade other than a mild sweetness. Plus it tickles your nose.

Taste - what an interesting taste, lots of berry presence, maybe some softer fruits like peaches or nectarines. I don't generally like fruit beer because it tastes like chemicals, but this one manages to pull off an authentic feel.

Mouthfeel - meh. Too carbonated.

Overall - this is a good beer to have at a party. It always turns out to be a hit, and it's reasonably inexpensive ($8-$11 / 6 pack).

 631 characters

Photo of SerialTicker
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with a pink hued head that dies down very quickly leaving a very thin, wispy head. Lacing is there, but barely. The beer itself is a deep red, purple, pink, hazy color. Really an unusual color.

Smell: All berries... very pleasant. Not super strong, but nice.

Taste/feel: It's mostly fruit with the exception of a somewhat malty finish, but it's not overdone. It's not a very strong or cloying beer, which is nice. I was expecting a super sweet, wine cooler-y beer here, but this isn't like it at all. You'd never guess that this was a 9% ABV, as it's well hidden. The feel of this beer has to be the best and most pleasant thing... it has a nice medium carbonation with a medium mouth feel, and it fits this beer perfectly. Almost TOO perfectly... this is insanely drinkable, but it has a high ABV, so you'd want to pace yourself with this one.

Overall, one of my favorite fruit beers. The flavors are rather subdued, but there's no denying there's a lot of berry in this. Very refreshing, and would be a great beer to have time-to-time during hot days.

 1,074 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.17/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1520th Review on BA
Bottle to Goblet

2012 bottling
Thanks to ErikKoppin

App- what an odd color. Purples, pinks, and red. Small plum color. 1/4" of bubbles. No cling or lace either.

Smell- off fruits. Like strawberry without lactic. Like a bad lambic. Sweet. Malty, thick.

Taste- I didnt particularly like this one. Had a combination of a old lambic and bad kriek and a off fruit flavor. This was muddled and off balanced. Didnt have enough layers and depth. A semi unflavorful beer.

Mouth- A fuller medium body with a fuller carbonation level. Old fruits and thicker malt residual flavors with touches of sweetness.

Drink- Shorts well you got me on this one. Not their best offering but just fell short. Sweet, like and muddled.

 739 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a pinkish-purple gemstone sort of color with a briefly active fizzy 1cm head that settles down with no real lacing. Smells and tastes of dry raspberry and strawberry essence with a much smaller amount of the blueberries in the background, and a sort of musty earthiness framing it all that I presume comes from the rye malt. Stays dry and crisp throughout, light body and carbonation levels. ABV levels are very well hidden. It could use a bit of tartness or a touch of acidity to help make the dryness of it all more interesting.

 537 characters

Photo of mattcrill
4.45/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Raspberry and grape jam aromas abound. Soft fruity esters with no hop aroma. Wonderful dark fruit aromatics dominate the nose.

Appearance: Cloudy brick red pour with a low off-white head that does not retain well.

Flavor: Similar flavor profile as the aroma. Lots of raspberry notes, blueberry flavors, and a hint of grape jam. Balance is to the fruity sweetness although there is some earthy hop notes that provide a counterpoint. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body with medium carbonation. No astringency and just a slight touch of alcohol heat.

Overall impression: Lives up to the bill. "Soft" on all the fruit flavors and still retains all the characteristics that you'd hope for in a beer without losing it's identity. Well done.

 765 characters

Short's Soft Parade from Short's Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 306 ratings.