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Short's Soft Parade - Short's Brewing Company

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

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875 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 875
Reviews: 301
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 16.94%
Wants: 54
Gots: 117 | FT: 3
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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 875 | Reviews: 301 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brenden
3.34/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

The color is a deep, dark red-orange, atop which builds a small and fluffy light purple head. It diminishes somewhat quickly to foam, leaving some spotty lacing around.
The fruits are right off on the nose, but I get much more raspberry than anything with a bit of strawberry sweetness to counter the tartness. Whatever other fruits is included gets a little muddled. There's little hops presence, as intended I assume, and the malt backbone is on the light side. The earthiness is heavy and odd.
This is a decent fruit beer to be sure, a good mix of tart and sweet, but has little beer character to make it appeal as strongly to a beer geek as it could and lacks the brewing expertise or method of a lambic or similar style that incorporates fruit. True, malts are there, and it's not badly brewed by any means. If anything, a bit of alcohol does give a kick. It's decent for what it is, but oddly bitter. Mixing rye with fruit was a strange idea, and it doesn't exactly compute.
Mouthfeel is good, a medium body edging on the lighter side with some carbonation. It's crisp up front and smooth in the middle, making for easy drinking.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"Fermented with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries." Yeah, I'd say it's a fruit beer.

The pour results in a color of various hues between rusty red and orange; jewel-like and glassy; a small but sturdy, foamy white head. Lace creates interesting petri dish-like organisms on the glass.

No particular fruit is prominent in the nose, but it's got a tell-tale tart sort of smell, with a bit of graham cracker (the rye?) in the background.

While it's tart and tastes generically fruity, I'm missing any kind of direction or strong character. Nearing astringent, even medicinal, which hangs tight and is most obvious in the finish. And 9%, really? Wouldn't know it (the "medicinal" noted is due to flavor, and not heat).

Feels crisp and soda-like, although a bit soft and not overly harsh. Body on the lighter side, but not insignificant or watery.

I haven't had a ton of Short's offerings, but so far my impressions have been all over the map. This one I'm not all that into, it's just decent and not much more. I feel like it's aiming for something somewhere between a tart Belgian fruit beer and those great Samuel Smith fruit ales, but not quite getting there...

Photo of TheGordianKnot
3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into chalice...

A- Deep clear red color with pink and purple hues. Pours a finger of a pale rose white colored head. Settles to a film.

S- Incredibly fruity and tart. Blueberries are most recognized but many other berries are there. Some honey sweetness.

T/M- Still fruity. Its hit and miss. Has a slightly acidic tartness, but also a solvent finish. Berries galore but a little goes a long way. Body is just too full. Carbonation is nice and lively, but body is heavy on the tongue for a fruit beer.

O- This beer is ok. I can appreciate and enjoy a fruit beer more than most BAs, but this was too heavy and alcoholic. The fruitiness was definitely there in full force, but also had some flavors to keep it from being refreshing and enjoyable. Not terrible, just not great...

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Town Hall snifter.

A- Pours a three finger white bubbly head that dissipates quickly, clear golden pink red color, splotchy lacing.
S- The aroma is very fruity and tart, raspberries and blueberries come out upfront
T- The taste is more balanced than the aroma, sweet fruity berry flavors upfront, some tartness, blueberries, raspberries are the most detectable, sweet bitterness.
M- Decent carbonation, medium/light mouth feel, smooth drinking, dry finish.
O- This beer is decent and enjoyable, strong fruity (berries) flavors upfront with a slight sourness, the abv is hardly noticeable for being 9%, not the best representation of the style but it does the job.

Photo of prototypic
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Soft Parade is a very hazy, scarlet color. Backlighting gives it a very strong red tint. It’s topped with a white head that appears to be stained a very light pink. It rises to nearly a finger in height and is quite slow to recede. Lacing was sticky and moderate in volume. Pretty good looking stuff.

The nose is rather average. It’s weak in terms of aromatics. Needs more strength. There are definitely some berry notes present, but it’s tough to distinguish them. Raspberry is all that I can truly recognize. Smells a bit acidic or tart. It is a little grainy and earthy, but that’s the only evidence of rye. Doesn’t smell spicy at all. That’s a bit disappointing. Alcohol is noticeable, but doesn’t smell like 9% abv. Eh. Just okay.

The flavor is about on-par with the nose. Up front, it does taste a little toasty and earthy. It’s a somewhat subtle flavor that comes and goes quickly. There’s no spiciness as far as I can tell. It definitely has a berry flavor, but it doesn’t taste as fruity as I anticipated. Raspberry and strawberry flavors are noted. It is a bit acidic and tart. Honestly, the fruit flavors don’t clash with the other elements, but they don’t add much either. Alcohol is there, but isn’t too strong. Finishes a little earthy, berry-ish, and acidic.

Soft Parade has a medium body. Carbonation is quite active. Perhaps Buzzy Parade would be more fitting. It’s not bad, but it isn’t quite smooth either. It goes down okay. If I liked the flavor more, it’d definitely go down easier.

I’m a big fan of Short’s Brewing Company. Unfortunately, Soft Parade is one of their weaker releases. It’s not a total disaster, but the fruit flavor seems to be lighter than it should. It also just works okay with the flavors. It’s not exactly a symphonic masterpiece. Short’s is a fantastic brewery. This is not one of their stronger releases. It's just okay. If you're into fruit beers, you might like it. Just my $.02.

Photo of NotMyRealName
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's nice the way that the different fruit flavors come together to form a synergy. This is similar to the way that a juice blend can form a more complex flavor than any individual juice. The flavor is more subtle than many fruit ales, but this isn't a bad thing. A light refreshing summer drink.

Photo of thagr81us
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to funkydelic for sharing this one. Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured a vibrant red-orange with half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, tart, berries, and fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, tart, and a shit-ton of berries. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The alcohol on this one was very well hidden behind the massive on-slaught of berries that it created. However, I happen to like fresh berries from time-to-time, so this brew really suited my palate quite well. So if you are not a fan of berries avoid at all costs. If you are, you have to try this.

Photo of bigaltemple
2.72/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz poured into my new Avery stemware

A - Pours a deep red, but shows some peach/pink hues at the edges when held to the light. Pink tinted three finger head quickly settles to thin cap, leaving some moderate lacing.

S - Bland. Was expecting to be smacked in the nose with berries, but nothing. Really had to dig in to get a scent of tart strawberry. Even then, the brew seems to come off as more of an Arbor Mist product. Don't pick up any real beer characteristics.

T - Slightly better than the nose. Do get a better sense of the raspberries and blackberries. Any hint of sweetness quickly turns acidic. Finishes quite dry.

M - Actually decent feel with this one. Light bodied with some good carbonation.

O/D - Initial pour had me pulling for this one. However, that ended up being the best part. Some sips showed promise, especially as it warmed, but not enough coming through to make it stand out.

Photo of TLJ
3.49/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This fruit beer is a beautiful crimson colour with little head, and some lacing. It has a tart cherry smell, and significant carbonation, rather resembling one of those fruit sodas, in my opinion.

The taste is also tart and dry, almost mineral, with a bitter finish. My criticism here is that the flavour finish borders on the medicinal. I do, however, enjoy that I can discern fresh-picked blackberries and wild strawberries above all. There is no sickly-sweet, jam-like syrupy fruit taste about this beer. Despite the fact that this beer is 9%, I don't find that the alcohol taste is prominent.

The mouthfeel is particularly pleasant, the lasting flavour varying throughout. For a beer as dry as this one, the carbonation allows for a smooth and refreshing brew which goes down quite easily. I wish I had some fresh goat cheese and cranberry preserve on hand.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, I couldn't really make out the date. Pours a mysterious nearly ruby color. White head has a pink shade to it, but unfortunately disappears fairly quick. A few random spots of lace are left on the glass.

Aroma is like a fruit salad. Berries really stand out, particularly blackberries and strawberries. An earthy note melds in with the berries. If I recall, there is some rye in this? That would explain this earthy, slightly spicy note.

Berries up front, but the earthy flavor keeps them from being juicy. I can't really pick up much else. Strawberries seem to be the dominant flavor here, with the other berries being softer.

Lighter body, with a good amount of carbonation. Alcohol is present, and adds some warmth. A very interesting beer here.

Photo of Lars3
3.51/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I traveled out to Ann Arbor MI for a wedding this weekend and before I left I made sure to pick up as much Michigan beer as I could get my hands on. I knew to look for Two Hearted, KBS, Jolly Pumpkin, Founders Porter and the other usual suspects, but I had never heard of this beer before my wedding date (an Ann Arbor native) suggested I grab a six pack of Soft Parade. For some reason my first thought on grabbing this beer was "The Soft Bulletin" by The Flaming Lips, so I will be listening to said album while I review this beer. Lets hope for no aural bias.

Appearance: This beer pours with absolutely zero head and zero subsequent lacing. However, the beer shines through. It is a gorgeous deep ruby. Based on color I'd give this beer a 5, but the lack of lacing drops it to a 3 1/2.

Smell: I don't smell much. I haven't been sick, and the beer is in my favorite DFH snifter, but I'm just not getting much aroma from this beer. If I really go all in and give the beer a hearty swirl I get a hint of berries, followed by alcohol and finally a bit of arm pit sweat. Not the nasty pit stink of the orange tinted Jersey Shore wannabe at the gym, but the glorious, sexy, inviting, and pheromone laden sweat of a beautiful girl after a long work out and in desperate need of a shower companion.

Taste: MMMmm, its like earthy berries. Cold from the fridge there isn't the slightest hint of alcohol, only rye, berries (I wish I could name them all) and a bit of bubblegum. As it warms the alcohol and bubblegum flavors come forward, but not overpoweringly. It is still a very easy beer to drink. Some fruit beers don't taste like fruit, they taste like HFCS, Soft Parade Tastes like fruit... the way it should.

Mouthfeel: Light and, well, light. The carbonation is soft and makes this beer go down like a dangerously alcoholic berry flavored small batch artisanal soft drink. Basically the over priced sodas you buy at stores that cater to hippies, hipsters and moms that shield their children from the real world.

Overall: This beer is as delicious as Wayne Coyne is positive. I've always said if I could be related to any celebrity it would be Wayne Coyne. He's just a stand up classy guy. This is a stand up tasty beer. I wish I could come by Soft Parade more readily here in CT, but I can't so my dream to have Wayne Coyne as an uncle is only slightly less realistic than me finding more of this beer nearby.

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as an pinkish orange codor with a pinkish white head on top that had a really good retention to it. The smell of the beer was fruity, similar to a wine cooler. The taste of the beer had rye in it which I didn't realize until I read that on here. Now that I'm aware of the rye being in there I can now place the taste or feeling I was getting in the beginning of each sip. The other flavors are dominated by the sweet wine like fruit flavors. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth, it's well carbonated and kind of refreshing. Overall I think that it's decent but not my favorite.

Photo of whatthehull
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - slightly swapy blood red, no head and no lacing

S - smells like a fresh fruit stand, fresh flowers, slight hops, a bit sweet, every dark berry, tons of yeast, a bit sour, nice clean malt, earth, tree branches and leaves

T - tastes exactly like it smells. Dead on.

M - Full bodied, well balanced, nice complexity, low acidity and medium finish

D - This is a very drinkable beer. Can't believe this beer is 9% abv. Taste so fresh and goes down easier than water. Wow

Final thought - Get this one, any way you can

Photo of Tripphop
3.42/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Received a bunch of Short's beers as extras, time to do the line-up. First pour is the Soft Parade. Bubbles shoot around in the pour, but almost no head appears, simply a pithy white foam, reduces to a ring around the glass. Color is vibrant, deep red with a burnt orange tint. Aromas have a touch of tart berry fruit, smells like a really light lambic. Flavor is mild and lightly acidic, flavors of earth and berries, light overall, but satisfying. Finish is lingering with and herbal earth note, fruit dissapears quickly. Overall a solid brew, full bodied, but mild fruit flavors. Interesting.

Photo of ebby82
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, cloudy amber into a pint glass with very minimal head.

The aroma is straight fruit, mostly strawberry or raspberry.

The taste is very sweet. You can definitely taste the raspberry and a bit of strawberry. However, there aren't any other discernible flavors. The rye isn't evident, nor is much of anything else.

If you like fruity beers, you'll enjoy this. If fruit isn't your thing, you'll hate it. I liked it, not the tastiest fruit beer I've had, but pretty good. However, the cloying sweetness and kind of one dimensional flavor prevent it from being overly drinkable.

Photo of Roke87
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle, chilled and poured into a Stella chalice.

Appearance- Pours a gorgeous almost pink hazy colour into the glass, average pour yields about a finger and a half of soapy white head that quickly dissipates to a thin ring around the glass leaving lots of lacing throughout till finish.

Smell- The aromas coming from this one are even more gorgeous than the appearance, it smells like you’re sniffing a jar of grandma’s homemade strawberry jam, very fruity and very sweet, some biscuit malt comes through in the nose towards the end as well.

Taste- Very similar to the smell, the tastes come through with a nice sweet strawberry jam flavour, the other berries really come through more pronounced on the palate as well with the blueberries and raspberries really shining through. I can kind of taste the alcohol in there more as it warms up but it really does finish sweet and fruity with some mild biscuit malt in there.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied with below average carbonation, this is one smooth, crisp and easy drinking summer beer.

Overall- I kind of had low expectations coming into this one, but I was actually pleasantly surprised, this fruity concoction actually kinds the high ABV very well and I only get a few mild hints of the alcohol when it really warms up. Great sweet fruity flavours on the aromas that really come through in the tastes, you can almost taste every single berry added at one point or another when drinking one of these. I definitely have a soft spot for fruit beers in the summer and this is close to the top of the list of fruit beers that I would drink, although probably better suited for your girlfriend this is a quality drinker for anybody and well worth a try, and I rather enjoyed it.

Photo of afksports
1.5/5  rDev -59%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Short's Soft Parade came courtesy of my good sister (I only have one, but she's my bad sister when she doesn't bring me beer), and I sampled it on a random evening with my good girlfriend.

This baby pours out sexy like the relaxing woman on the label. A deep red body leaves lace all over the glass and reminds me immediately of strawberry. I'm totally down to enjoy this one.

And that's where the fun ends, because I sniff and **zap** my parade is over. Parade to alcohol maybe, or slimy berries and skunk. This smelled like Bud and strawberry Four Loko (I've had Four Loko). It tastes the same way. Alcohol and badness. And faint berries, I give it that, but not much else. An overwhelmingly unbalanced sweetness comes in the middle to tweak the alcohol and cough syrup medicinal feel. It's like cherry chloroseptic.

Overall this light body beer isn't very drinkable, and wound up a drain pour or me. I let it warm and there was no difference to the taste. Sad. Such high expectations.

But despite the beer, she's still my good sister.

Photo of drizzam
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a hazy soft red body, topped by a nice one finger white head. Good head retention and spotty lacing left down the inside of my nonic.

S - The sweet berry aroma is certainly inviting. I'm not able to pick out one specific berry in the mix, it seems like a mixture of berry juice...it does come across a tad bit artificial, and that would be my only knock on it.

T & M - That berry aroma carried over into the taste. Strawberry seems to come across first and foremost, followed by some peach and maybe a bit of blackberry. The peach is a wildcard here, as the label states it was brewed with blueberry, strawberry, raspberry and blackberry. There is a slight bitterness amid the sweet berry flavors. Not highly complex. I am actually shocked that this is a 9% ABV brew, as the alcohol is VERY well hidden. Thin mouthfeel and it finishes crisp.

D - If the ABV is correct on this listing, I could see how this could be a deadly little brew that would sneak right up on you. I would have assumed half the ABV if I were guessing. A tasty little brew from Shorts...certainly not world class but a good fruit beer to quaff on a hot Summer night.

Photo of xnicknj
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into tulip - thanks to lgandrew

Pours a hazed dark cherry color with some lighter hues. A thinner head fades into film with some bubbled, patchy lacing on the glass.

An avalanche of fruit in the nose with strawberry, raspberry, and a bit lesser of the blackberry and blueberry. Some jam/jelly-like notes with sweetness.

Slightly acidic fruit notes right up front. A juicy, fruit cocktail wraps around the tongue with a mixed berry consistency. The red fruits seemed more prevalent to me, with some jam and fruit cake-like suggestions. Slight spice from the rye as well. Finishes with a touch of alcohol and a splash of fruit sweetness.

Medium bodied, higher carbonation, a bit prickly and sticky on the tongue. Definitely another unusual Short's beer, and a nice use of fruit without turning the beer into a complete juice cocktail.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into my Pint glass.

Another bottle thanks to Jimixr.

A - Clear, reddish amber with a big white fizzy head.

S - Fruit basket here, it is hard to place the individual fruits here.

T - Strawberry, Blueberry, raspberry.

D - Fizzy and light.

O - Refreshing, but a touch sweet due to the fruit.

Photo of BlondeBeerLover8
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Poured into a Sierra Nevada bulb glass. It pours a light red/pink color. Looks almost like cranberry juice. Minimal head.

S - Smells just like wine. Arbor Mist.

T - Very bland. Do not taste much fruit at all. Think very watered down fruit punch.

M - The mouthfeel is fairly thin, which is perfect for the style.

O - Not much flavor to it. I would like to have seen more fruit flavors poke through. Very easy to drink. Would not go out of my way to have another one, but I is not terrible.

Photo of OddNotion
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another bottle in the monster line up sent to me by kzoobrew, once again: thanks Kevin!

Split bottle poured into my Captain Lawrence stemmed glass.

Appearnace: Ruby red with no discernable head. Some soapy white bubbles cling to the edge of the glass.

Smell: Holy fruit! This smells like fruit punch meets wine meets a fruit roll up. I think the strongest scent is that of the raspberries but you can tell they are not the only player.

Taste: A little watery. I think if this beer had some sour yeast tossed in there it would be a big big winner! However, I find it to be a little lacking. The nose is much more pungent than the taste. It is fruity and the flavors blend together nicely but it does not taste like a beer other than the feel of the carbonation. The 9% abv is very well hidden, not a hint of booze.

Mouthfeel: More carbonation that I would have expected after the lackluster pour. Feel is a good complement for the taste.

Overall: Interesting concept but could have been executed a little better. As I said before, make this a sour and its a big time winner! Not a bad beer by any means but it would certainly be more of a non craft beer drinkers beer as it tastes more along the lines of a mixed drink.

Photo of gaugebozo
3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Reddish fruity color, permanent suds and serious lacing. Crazy foam when poured. Cloudy.

S - Smells fruity in the bottle, but no real smell in the glass.

T - Sour for a fruit beer, but also not fruity enough. To be honest, I enjoy this even though it doesn't really fit a style. Hides the alcohol well. Detectable bitterness with no hop aroma or flavor.

M - Good carbonation and medium body.

O - As listed above, doesn't really fit either style, but enjoyable either way. (It doesn't really say it's a particular style anyway). Excellent alcohol hiding and nice twist on a Belgian style ale.

Photo of Lillenk
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Appearance was a very nice redish pinkish color but not cloudy at all and a nice white/pink head.

Smell was not huge. I was expecting a very fruity smell and it was not there.

Taste was pretty good. Definately not your typical fruity beer. This one was beer first with a slight hint of fruit. Very nicely done.

Mouthfeel was surprisingly easy to drink. You have to be careful with this one because it does not feel like you are drinking a 9% ABV beer at all.

Overall a great beer. A fruit beer that I didn't feel was too "girly" or too "Mike's Hard Lemonade". Very well done by the guys at Short's.

Photo of Wisconsuds
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to kurdt1994 for this one. Been dying to try anything by Short's, and he finally came through. From bottle to a nonic pint.

Soft Parade looks like a raspberry iced tea, dark ruby hued with an almost non-existent amount of head. Super fruit aromas are very present with this brew as cherries and other tart fruit dominate the nose. Upon first sip, I found it to be very carbonated. It actually tastes like a sour wine, with equal amounts of sourness and sweetness throughout. Almost has a champagne-bubblyness quality to it. Short's does an incredible job masking the 9% abv...have no idea where it is in this beer. Only 14 IBUs, so there is virtually no hop presence to it.

Overall, this would make a great dessert beer, or perhaps even a drink best saved for a hot Summer day. I appreciate the style, but it's just not something i'd go for normally. Glad I got to try something from this Northern MI brewery.

Short's Soft Parade from Short's Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 875 ratings.