Short's Soft Parade | Short's Brewing Company

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Short's Soft ParadeShort's Soft Parade

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

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

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Reviews: 342 | Ratings: 1,154
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.

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

This beer was extremely pleasant from appearance, aroma, taste and after-taste. A big characteristic for me is after-taste and The Soft Parade was very discrete. In my experience the higher ABV beers tend to always effect me from an after-taste standpoint, so I was pleasantly surprised with this blend.

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Photo of AScribjr
4.9/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours with alot of carbonation as expected., considering all the different berries.The red hues is a nice look. The berry taste so delightful on your tongue. Being this is such a drinkable beer beware of the results after too many...thank you SHORTS for a nice beer

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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.

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Photo of Tom1965
4.81/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My wife has been trying to develop our future daughter-in-law's extremely limited love for beer, and I suggested she might like Soft Parade. D-i-l seemed dubious but shortly later asked if there just might be another bottle? "Fridge in the patio bar," I said, and she went off to bed happy (and just a bit goofy) after spending two hours cleaning it out. Anything capable of such a Damascene conversion deserves to be rated as a cross-the-board score. Lovely fizzy magenta pink with a smell of berries and a taste and feel just sour and crisp enough to remind you that you're still a real adult. Yup -- this guy likes it, too.

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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%!!

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Photo of bgramer
4.72/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was lucky enough to find this on tap at HopCats with 3 other Short's beers.

This is probably my favorite of the 4 they had. I got a growler to go as well. This beer poured out a light berry color with very little head but lots of carbonation. The berry taste was very prominent without being too sweet or overpowering (like a sick sweetness if you know what i mean)

There's some tart dryness and a medium body - the berry flavor blooms just before you finish it - where you can taste some zest.
This is probably a good beer to share with ladies who prefer fruity beers but find lambics too fruity.

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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.

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Photo of AdamCzap
4.68/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I found this to be an excellent summer beer to beat the heat. The high ABV means you won't need much to get the job done. I have this beer on tap from a 1/6 barrel purchased locally in Michigan.

The beer pours about a 1" foamy head. The head is a slightly pink-ish/purple color as is the rest of the beer. It's color gives perfet compliment to it's acceptable level of fruity taste. I've had "fruity" beers, but I wouldn't call this one of them. The hops are more present in this than what I'm used to. It has a nice hoppy bite to it and the fruit is more during the finish and after taste.

I absolutely love this beer - it's refreshing and certainly helps beat the heat!

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Photo of marshall8840
4.59/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good beer. Obviously fruity as it states but not too sweet. Looked perfect when i poured it to the glass from bottle. nice head. have nothing bad to say about this beer, as is usual with Shorts. Love their stuff. Cant wait to visit their brewery soon to try out other stuff.

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Photo of marburg
4.57/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The brewery rep claimed at the Beer Fest to be using hundreds of pounds of actual berries per batch.

I believe it. The second of two potent, natural fruit beers at the Michigan Beer Fest didn't disappoint.

For Michiganders, this will be visually similar to Faygo Redpop -- maybe a bit more pink -- and the aroma is packed with berries. You don't even catch a whiff of all the alcohol -- just fresh raspberries, blueberries, and some sweet cherries that have all been left in sugar for a day, sweetening them up.

Fruit syrup sweetness. Torani only wishes their shit was this potent and accurate in its fruit flavor. Well, almost. Surprisingly, this isn't really cloying or sickly sweet -- balanced by a dry acidity in the finish. 11%? Fruit barleywine? This damn drinkable? Methinks so.

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Photo of JacobKimerer
4.54/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding fruit ale. Has an amazing profound taste of berries, but isn't too sweet like some fruit ales. Just the right amount of bitterness. Aroma is sweet. Pours a nice-looking hazy red.

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Photo of B0bD0bbselbock
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into tumbler pint glass.

A-Beautiful, rosy color, appears somewhat like a sparkling strawberry juice. 2 1/2 finger bubbly pinkish white head that receded to about 1/2 finger height. Mild, even lacing.

S- Fruity, sweet, sour. The aroma seems to smell something like a dry lambic. I can almost pick out each fruit aroma, with strawberry coming through in the finish. The rye and barley seem to be hovering the background.

T- Tart, mildly sweet, effervescent fruit bouquet unfolds nicely on the palate, with the rye and malted barley coming in nicely on the finish. As with the aroma, i find i can taste each fruit collectively and individually, with the strawberries and blueberries carrying on into the finish.

M-Smooth, slightly crisp, effervescent.

D- The overall characteristics make this one, to my mind, highly
drinkable. Its fruity aroma and flavors make to easy drink quick.

I really enjoy this beer, as it has a lot of character. The seductive color and pretty pinkish head, sweet, fruity nose, and crisp, tart, fruity flavor make for one tasty beer that has both lambic and wine-like qualities overall. This is a fruit beer that i think appeals well to both men and women, as its not too sweet and not too dry. And at 9%ABV, i can certainly see why they call this one "Ye olde Leg Spreader" :)

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Photo of hoffhin2
4.49/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Red with a small head when I was served it.

Smell: has a light raspberry fruity smell with some malts

Taste: some malts, initial fruity taste of raspberry and oranges. Very smooth and light for a high percent beer.

Overall: Really good beer and I would recommend! It is unique in how crisp and fruity it is but yet still very strong and not as filling as some other beers I would compare with.

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Photo of rampency
4.49/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've never tasted a beer with so many types of berries. I have to say i have a overwhelming bias for sweet beers. All the berries flows smooth in your mouth once you have a sip, very easy to drink and just an amazing aroma. I highly recommended for anyone who likes sweet beers.

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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.47/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ the brewery, durring one of the best vacations ever. Shared a glass with my wife...

A - Not a ton of head on this one, with a very murky body. The color is a brown-peach color that lacks astetics.
S - Fresh raspberries seem to dominate here, hitting my nose with good, refeshing tartness. Strawberry sweetness seemed to highlight the aroma, and added to the farm fresh nature of the aroma. I did not pick up much from the rye malt.

T - The first flavor I noticed was raspberries, and lots of them. Right off the bat my mouth was flooded with tart, good raspberry flavor. This was again sweetened by some mild strawberry flavors. I found the rye to give the beer a nice balencing quality, adding dryness and spice to the beer at the midpalate. This spiciness combined with the tartness from the blackberries to keep my mouth happy until the surprisingly assertive spicy hops showed up, more than balencing out the finish.

M - Nothing particularly shocking here, as full as one would expect from this 9% APV brew.

D - I was really impressed by this one. The fruit tasted fresh and did not hide the fact that this was beer. The only fruit that I did not notice that was used in this beer was the blueberry, which to me says a lot about the expressiveness of the fruit in this beer. The use of rye not only helped balence the beer, but also added a nice level of complexity not always found in fruit beers. A great extreme beer in every possible sense of the word.

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Photo of busternuggz
4.45/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a chalice type glass.
Pours a very beautiful red color with an orangish tinge. Shows a 1/4" delicate white head that dissipates before too long, leaving a thin film and some persistent lacing.
The smell of sweet strawberries and raspberries are prominent, with the blackberries being more subdued. I don't really smell the blueberries.
Similarly in the taste, you get the taste of fresh strawberries, then raspberries, then blackberries on the end, just a little tart. The fruit tastes are so well presented, like fresh, juicy berries; I swear I can even taste the strawberry and raspberry seeds as if I was biting into actual berries. The alcohol does show through a little every now and then, and the aftertaste has just a touch of bitterness.
Very light bodied and well carbonated, slightly effervescent even. Smooth and easy drinking.
One of the most enjoyable and well-crafted fruit beers I've ever had.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.45/5  rDev +23.3%
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.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.42/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a darker grapefruit like pink color. Two finger light pink head that showed medium retention. Some streaky lacing on the glass but nothing too much.

S- This is plain and simple but delivers a punch. Lots of berries in the nose. Nothing more nothing less with the fruit. Some light bready malts in the backing. The fruit really seemed to jump out there.

T- Berries, berries, and more berries! Raspberries, strawberries, light plum and citrus notes throughout the entire beer. Some light bready malts in the middle of the beer with a touch of grain to them. More fruit on the backend of the beer with light alcohol in the very last second of the beer.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation was good for the beer. Berry flavor dominates the palate and long into the aftertaste. The balance on this beer is actually good even though it leans on the berries heavily. Light alcohol drying on the palate. Clean flavors through and through.

D- The ABV is well hidden in this beer. It delivers as a fruit beer should. A little girlier?? Maybe but the ABV isn't. It's easy to lay down a sixer of these without trying. I don't know if that's a good thing yet or not ;)

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

during the great pumpkin carving of 2010, this was one of many new beers sampled. served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 10/29/2010.

the pour was a bit of a gusher but settled down quickly so no worries. nice light pinkish hue to it with a foamy off white head that left a light lacing on the sides of the glass.

i am a sucker for a good fruit beer and this hit me off just right. a near perfect aroma of berries and sweet fruit notes came through the air, really just wonderful and opened my eyes instantly. smooth flavor, raspberry, strawberries, light peach and plum notes with a hint of light citrus and a spike at the end. a wonderful mix of fruit flavors and light body that is balanced to near perfection. light dry finish with a long lasting flavor sealed the deal.

overall simply wonderful and something i would have no issues with going after again. another winner from shorts.

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Photo of OZ_BORN
4.42/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This is a summer must-have! It's too sweet to have more than one or two but it's a great brew to sit with while you're watching the sun set.

A guilty pleasure is to mix it 50/50 with a Perrin Black, making a "Black Parade".

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.41/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.39/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a lovely pink color with a decent foam topping. It has a light fruity aroma. Michigan berries! I pick up strawberries, raspberries, and a feeling of springtime.

Tastes of light, fruity, and above all fresh berries. There’s a rounded fruit sweetness and a spicy rye zest on the finish. Slightly sour/tart with a light effervescence to keep it easy-going.

The last time I ordered this my friends teased me for drinking a beer that looked like Cherry 7-Up. Who’s laughing now? Ahem… now that I’ve brought some bottles to share with a group of friends who loved it. This is a real crowd pleaser that I’m happy to say I enjoy as well.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.38/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 ounce bottle into a good-old beer mug.

Appearance: Poured at a 45 degree angle. Gave myself a good 1 and 1/4 finger head, in which there was a unique pinkish tint which was very inviting. The beer itself is a medium-dark amber with a bit of red in the mix. Took head a long time to dissipate, and left a heavy lacing when it did. Outstanding appearance, absolutely without a doubt the best quality of this beer.

Smell: Just like walking into a berry field. Fruity, with a very soft alcoholic scent (surprising due to the high ABV of this beer) and gentle hoppiness. Confusing at first, but after a moment of contemplation, the smell is almost as great as the appearance. Simply magnificent.

Taste: Bittersweet in the best of ways. Despite the heavy berry aroma, it's not a "sweet" beer by any means. The flavor pallet is amazingly rich; berries, berries, berries! Just as with the smell, there's a gentle hoppiness to the taste.

Mouthfeel: Very light with a distinctly crisp feeling. A great beer for summer, so long as it is enjoyed in moderation.

Drinkability: It's a sipper, but it's a great sipper; worth every penny. Though one would probably suffice for most people, this would be a decent beer to enjoy liberally on a night preceding a day off! Outstanding performance all around.

I have had this beer on tap before, but it's generally been enjoyed near the end of a hard night of consumption. This was the first time I had the pleasure of drinking it from a bottle. I wouldn't recommend it for the average beer drinker, it's not a "crowd pleaser" by any means. However, if you don't mind lambics, this one is definitely worth a shot.

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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.

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Short's Soft Parade from Short's Brewing Company
3.61 out of 5 based on 1,154 ratings.
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