1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Short's Soft Parade - Short's Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

793 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 793
Reviews: 294
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 16.99%
Wants: 52
Gots: 81 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: fantome on 06-18-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Short's Soft Parade Alström Bros
Ratings: 793 | Reviews: 294 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wedgie9
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%

Tasted from bottle. Pours pink orange with a thick pinkish head that leaves solid lace. The nose is super fruity with strawberry dominating and a toasty malt backbone that is just underlying. The flavor is more blueberry dominant with the toastiness a little more pronounced. The body is light with heavy carbonation and a medium fruity finish.

wedgie9, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%

A: poured into a nonic, this was a bright reddish/pinkish tinged amber with a dense, creamy head and lacing that persisted all the way through to the end of the beer. high marks here mostly for the beautiful, durable head and lace.
S: berry cocktail with a hint of caramelly malt underneath. it'd be tough to tell what kind of berries are used without reading the bottle. also, there is something else going on i can't quite put my finger on-the toasted rye? probably, and it seems out of place for me.
T: SAA. medium to full sweetness of fruit balanced mainly by sourness. puckering finish. it's obvious shitloads of real fruit were used in this. i'm no brewer, but i think a paler malt base may have showcased the fruit better.
M: medium-bodied, frothy, well carbonated.
D: the mixed berries are huge in this, and it could get tiring after a while, with the big sweet and sour thing going on. also a pretty big beer at 7.2%. or is it 9%?

MrMcGibblets, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of kbutler1
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%

Bottle. Pours a very strawberry red color with a slight ligtly pink head. The aroma is not as sweet as I would have thought with some strawberry but also some sort of offputting aroma that I can't put my finger on. Hmm, the taste is well kind of blah. Some strawberry, pretty muted fruit flavors. Light mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation when you drink it. Almost has a malt liquor taste like zima to it. This one is not a winner for me and I really like Shorts. Maybe needs to be fresh from the tap to really get the full effect.

kbutler1, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%

Pours a hazy pink-ish to red color with a light pink head. In the aroma, dry fresh berries. In the taste, dry berries, not sugary of sweet fruit at all, more ale like. A smooth and light mouthfeel, with a dry berry aftertaste. Not sugary, not fruity girl like either.

OWSLEY069, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

"Lots of times you have to pretend to join a parade in which you're not really interested in order to get where you're going."

--Christopher Morley

Blazing bonfire orange and glazed brick red with a firmly fluffy crown of girlie rose petal pink filling the upper half of the snifter. Bubbles are boiling off the bottom of the glass, which should sustain the cap for quite some time. A lack of tackiness results in nothing more than a few small chunks of suds.

The beer smells like red raspberries, then strawberries, with no blueberry or blackberry whatsoever. It isn't aromatic and there's no hint of the toasted rye. If things don't turn around on the taste buds, this SBC brew will be a disappointment, at least compared to expectations.

Soft Parade is not an explosively flavorful fruit ale, in spite of Short's bona fides and the 9.0% ABV. It's also slightly more bitter than sweet (possibly due to all the CO2), which doesn't help. If you're on the lookout for a panty stripper, look elsewhere.

There's still no earthiness from the rye malt. Actually, it doesn't taste or feel like there's much malt in there at all. The fruitiness is tangy-sour. Again, like unripe red raspberries and strawberries, nothing in the 'purple berry' family at all. This is average fruit ale at best. Check that, it's worse than average.

The mouthfeel is waaay too thin for the ABV and the carbonation is harsh and stinging. A minimal amount of improvement by the bottom of the bottle doesn't change it enough for the next highest score to be granted.

Short's must have made their reputation on the rest of their lineup because Soft Parade is not good beer. This is one parade that I'm not interested in joining, watching or drinking.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of mikey711
3/5  rDev -17.8%

A: Pinkish color with some champagne like carbonatin that had a little bit that stuck around.

S: Very fruity, blackberry, blue berry strawberry and some cherries. there is a strange perfumy and a near cheese like quality to it.

T: It tastes a bit like greek yogurt with fruit mixed in. there is definitely alot of blueberry and strawberry notes going on and it is very tanniny

M: Prickly and thin. it was like cheap champagne but not as fun

D: not sure if i want to try this again. it wasnt a bad bottle, just a bit strange but not in a good way

mikey711, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of morimech
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%

Pinkish red color with a large pink head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Quite a bit of lacing is left on the glass. Looks very good for a fruit beer. I smell mostly blueberries and strawberries. I also detect some yeast of the Belgian variety. A nice aroma but not overly strong and easy to pick out the various qualities. I get a lot more malt and yeast in the flavor. The berries are still there but it is more in the finish. Strawberries being the berry I mostly taste. Something about fruit beer mouthfeel that I find unappealing. It sort of disappears from the mouth leaving a strawberry aftertaste. Not a beer I would want more than a 12oz bottle in a day, but it has good flavor and overall a better than average fruit beer.

morimech, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of sophisticated
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%

Gotta admit, the label appealed to me. It always does. I see a fruit beer that looks cool and I think, "maybe this will be the one I like." Inevitably I am wrong. However, this was better than plenty of other fruit beers I have tried.

It poured a hazy peach/red amber. Small bubbly white head. A bit of viscious residue on glass.

The smell was strong. Sweet candy. Peach. A touch of alcohol. My dad said, "fruity as all get out!" when I asked for his opinion.

I could taste strawberry, raspberry, maybe blackberry. Not much blueberry or snozzberry. Yeast tasted similar to some Belgian ales. There was a touch of artificial plasticness but it went away after a bit. Malts, tartness, and alcohol.

Wouldn't seek it out, but it was okay.

sophisticated, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of king75
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%

Looks awesome! A pinkish reddish hue, with a two inch pink foam head.

Smells of blueberries and strawberries are unmistakable.

Taste is sweet and berry flavors permeate throughout, almost like a wine but still has a good beer flavor.

Mouthfeel is really light and crisp, not oily at all.

Notes: Really different, never had a beer of this fashion so I have nothing to compare it too, but I liked it and I would definitely drink it again.

king75, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of optimistictour
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%

Served from a beautifully labeled dark bottle into a pint glass.

This one I nearly bought on name alone - Soft Parade anyone? If only it was Soft Machine, I'd have picked up a case. Thankfully a quick read of the details enticed me to drop this in my mixed six pack and open it first when I got home.

First of all, it's got a pink head. Seriously. All jokes aside, this was a surprise even given the listing of berries on the label, yet completely appropriate once I inhaled its scent and got my first taste. Darker and more opaque than most anything I've seen of its type, the appearance here signals a heartier time than most wine-leaning ales. It also signals the 7+% abv. I like it.

Smelling of everything the documentation mentions - namely blue-, straw-, rasp-, and blackberries - the presence in my nostrils still manages to underwhelm, if only for a lack of sheer presence. I'm treated to all of these wonderful fruits I love, but have to really work to reach the olfactory pleasure centers.

Taste is where this particular blend is fully redeemed. Managing to be, as the description above notes, "for those ladies who enjoy their wine," The Soft Parade never tries to pretend it's anything other than an ale. This is certainly no wine cooler. The aforementioned abv and a solid (especially for the type) mouthfeel combine to satisfy my palette as any respectable beer should while reaching for a more wine-leaning demographic in both its satisfying taste and that effervescent pink topping.

As if all this isn't enough to indicate so, Soft Parade is easy to lay down, and I'd take a session any day. Just not every day. I can't wait to pour this in front of friends and hide my smirk as they remark about the color before fully experiencing it. A proud example of its breed.

optimistictour, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of silentjay
3.03/5  rDev -17%

pours a hazy reddish amber with a generous portion of pink-tinted fluffy head that retains and laces well.

smells of tart fruits, sweet berries, a big kick of belgian-style yeast and some light bready malts.

taste is very strong in sweet and tart fruits. not the sour puckering tartness i was hoping for or expecting, but more the flavor of fruit that is not yet ripe. yeast and malt are hidden behind this which is a shame.

rather light body with plenty of carbonation and a syrupy feel going down which leads to a lingering tart/sweet finish.

drinkability gets better as you get accustomed to the way the yeast and fruit work together, though it never works for me. Relatively different, but not one I will be heading back to very often.

silentjay, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

A- I cant really complain about the appearance at all. Its a quite pretty, glowing ruby topped off with a thick white head that has only a small tint of pink. The head puts up a good fight and leaves lots of lacing. The foamy cap never really goes away. Im actually quite glad that this beer is so vibrantly red. When I get a fruit beer, especially one with raspberries and strawberries I want to see a bright red beer. Well done.

S- Smell is weird. When its cold not many berries are present. Im getting a strange smell that reminds me of pork chops with apple sauce on the side. Strawberries are the strongest of the berries. The others kinda meld together. The nose is pretty weak. I wanted a big blast of berries here.

T- Quite tart up front but I would like to see much more tartness throughout. The berry sweetness holds until the very end where a bit of the lightly toasted malts make themselves known.

M- I wish this were more carbonated to help with a crisp biting feel. Instead the carbonation is fluffy and light.

MbpBugeye, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of samie85
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%

A-Pours a clear cranberry with two fingers of glistening, rocky white foam.

S-Smells of tart cherries, strawberries, and blackberries with some light malt notes.

T-Tart and raspberry upfront followed by blackberry, a little strawberry, and some light, dry, grainy malt.

M-Heavily carbonated with a light body. The prickly carbonation scrubs the palate and the dry, crisp mouthfeel begs for more.

D-The carbonation level is pretty appropriate for this beer. If I were to change anything, it would probably be to leave out the blackberries as I feel they contribute heavily to the lingering aftertaste I experience, which I'm not a fan of.

samie85, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of MrBitterness
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%

This beer pours a deep amber with a light white head. The nose is quite fruity but the taste is all beer until the end. It is relatively clean without a long lasting mouth feel. It's a great easy drinking summer beer.

As far as fruity beers go, this is a cut above the rest. It is much more beer than fruit.

MrBitterness, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of coldmeat23
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%

GLASS: Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees

This one is a medium shade of golden amber with a definite pink overcast. The head is massive, even from an easy pour. It is fluffy and billowy and light pink in color. The retention is pretty impressive. The lacing is spotty, but very sticky.

This smells like a berry salad in my glass. Lots of strawberries and raspberries. Light traces of black/blue berries. Mostly sweet notes, but a nice undertone of tartness is easily found, also. There is also a big-time belgian yeast presence, along with a slight touch of maltiness.

The flavor is not nearly as good as the smell, sadly. This is like a very light wine, maybe a sauvignon blanc, that was used to wash berries and picked up little traces of juices from them. The flavor is good, just very muted, compared to what the nose led me to expect, anyway.

Light-to-medium body on this one, with a high carbonation level. This keeps it sharp and crisp and I'm sure that it would be quite refreshing on a hot day.

This is very drinkable. Especially since the high abv is nowhere to be found, at all.
Sure, I'd drink this again....it just might not be the first 'fruit' beer that I'd grab. I like my fruit beers to be prominently fruit-forward.

coldmeat23, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.43/5  rDev +21.4%

Pours a hazy, translucent, really reddish mahogany - quite appealing to the eye. Malty aroma has a strong overtone of berries, especially raspberries. Raspberry dominates the flavor, which includes hints of blueberry and strawberry as well as malt and hoppy bitterness. Jazzy, tingly, fizzy texture leaves a lively finish.

Cyberkedi, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of Gobzilla
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

12oz bottle courtesy of imperialking thanx bro

A: poured a ruby red with yellow highlights and a finger of pink head that left good sticky lacing on the glass.

S: there is definitely fruit aromas but not as strong as I thought they would be. I can smell the malts and yeast which also has strawberry notes that stand out more as far as the fruits go.

T: the belgian yeast really dominates the taste but has blueberry, strawberry, and slight malt accents.

M: medium body with a fair amount of carbonation that had a sweet and yeasty finish.

D: this brew is actually pretty damn good considering its a fruit beer. It drank well and was more complex than expected.

Gobzilla, Jul 05, 2010
Photo of errantnight
1.43/5  rDev -60.8%

Got this a long time ago, I forget from whom, but thank you trading partner!

Started off promisingly, pours with a rich, luxurious 4+ finger head. Served chilled and early aromas are mixed fruit. Hazy a cloudy straw in appearance. Great lacing.

That said... after this warmed up, just slightly, the solvent notes started to sneak out. Before long, it was somewhere between paint thinner and gasoline. This was literally impossible to take a smell of. I bravely took a few sips anyway (well, more than a few, as my first couple it was still too cold to get much out of it, but those weren't "brave"). What was underlying was not quite as noxious as the fumes emanating off of this. But they weren't great, either.

I've had this in my fridge basically since the day I got it, so whatever happened happened before it got to me. But this beer was literally undrinkable. I've had very few drain pours in my life, this was unequivocally one of them.

errantnight, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of glazeman
2.42/5  rDev -33.7%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a redish gold color with a 1 finger pinkish white head. Excellent retention, minimal lacing.

S: I'm not a big fan of the smell, I wish more of the fruit came through, but it doesn't. Actually it smells quite unpleasant, with a medicinal/rotten smell

T: Left a lot to be desired, especially when compared to some of the fruit beers I have had from new glarus, bells, and kuhnhenn recently. Tasted like a coors light with a hint of high fructose corn syrup mixed in. You'd probably get the same taste by mixing a light beer and a cola 4 to 1.

M: Good feel, nice level of carbonation and just the right thickness.

D: This was a one and done for me. I really was hoping for something more exciting and interesting, but was left disappointed.

glazeman, Jun 29, 2010
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.05/5  rDev -16.4%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint. Shared with schen9303.

A: Moderate pour yields a 2 finger fine white head that's a bit rough around the edges and has great retention, dropping to a thin white film atop the brew. Beer is a semi-clear reddish-grapefruit. Lacing is stringy and patchy with decent cling.

S: Nose is just as described. A bouquet of berries that's led by a strawberry aroma so intense I think I'm just drinking strawberry juice. Also a bit of raspberry, cherry, blueberry, and a hint of wheat in the back.

T: A bit watered down to start. Strawberry, cranberry, raspberry, and wheatiness. Spicy in parts towards the end with a bit of yeasty bitterness. Finishes wheaty with a coarse and grainy aftertaste that dissipates quickly.

M: Light bodied, good carbonation, and sparkling in the mouth. Watered down. Finish is slightly messy and aftertaste lingers just a bit.

D: From the description on the bottle, I would've expected a bit more complexity, and honestly, a bit more flavor overall. The substance is there but is completely watered down. Worth a try if you can get your hands on it but really not my mug of beer.

SpeedwayJim, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of Lauter73
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%

I only do fruit beers now and then, but this is one I would have again! I enjoyed a nice mixed berry taste. I would say the strawberry and raspberry were the most taste. Liked the color on this one a hazy pinkish amber I guess I would call this one. Nose was great although I cold not place what it reminded me of. If you like fruit beers your sure to like this one.

Please be advised as with all my reviews this one is IMHO. I do not have nor claim to have training in reviewing beers. I' am a simple guy who likes beer. If I do not like a style of beer I will not review it. Although I do keep the style guidelines in mind. All my reviews are simple and short. I tell you IMHO what I think of the beer and how I feel it tastes for that style.

Lauter73, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of AleWatcher
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%

Pours a grapefruity pink color with slight orangey hues to it. A pinkish white head rose a frothy 2 fingers. Thick clingy lacing. Very good looking fruit beer.

The nose is a little weaker than expected, but it reminds me of Sunkist strawberry soda. Smells "fizzy" and strawberry, raspberry. Not picking up blackberries or blueberries.

Taste is huge strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. The blackberries must be lost in translation somewhere. There is a nice dry finish that is surprising for how much sweet fruit notes are found in here. I might chalk that up to some rye being used somewhere in the wort. Very dry and crisp refreshing finish.

Medium body for a fruit beer. Good carbonation. This is very easy drinking. The wife liked it, as did the 3 guys that sampled some. Maybe not something I would drink regularly, but certainly worth a shot if you like fruit beers or red wines like Malbecs.

AleWatcher, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of Jayli
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%

Acquired this from gratefulbeerhead so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!

A: This beer pours hazy, deep amber with some pinikish hues to it. Two finger of think somewhat pinkish head that recedes quite slowly. Big, sticky sheets of lacing is left on the glass.

S: Nose is.. ok, it reminds of bubble gum. Seriously. Lots of berry fruitiness, and some mild biscuity notes.

T: Taste ... well, I get the same bubblegum flavoring up in the forefront of this beer. Then strawberry mingled with biscuity notes come in through the middle. Finish has a light but detectable blueberry flavoring.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, slightly oily body.

D: Goes down quite easily, somewhat filling, 7.2% ABV gives it a good kick with out any discernable alcohol flavoring. I could have a pint or two of this again.

Jayli, Jun 02, 2010
Photo of Shumista
3.65/5  rDev 0%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours pinkish brown with a one finger lightly pink hued head. Smells like the berry medley that is promised on the label with some breadiness. Taste is all the berries from the smell, with a little bit of citrus and some very light tartness in the finish. I get breadiness but not necessarily rye. Mouthfeel is relatively thin, highly carbonated. Goes down pretty easy for a self describe "high gravity ale". Overall a very good fruit beer. The sort of strong effort I've come to expect from Short's.

Shumista, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of pablot71
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Poured from a growler into a pint glass. Sweet fruity strawberry aroma. One finger head. Murky brown with red hues. Taste starts with a little bit of the fruit followed by notes from the malt bill. Finishes with a medium bitterness. Well carbonated slippery mouthfeel. Overall it is a unique tasting fruit beer. Although there is some alcohol in the flavor profile it doesn't stand out as being 9%.

pablot71, May 30, 2010
Short's Soft Parade from Short's Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 793 ratings.