Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Short's Soft Parade | Short's Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
335 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 335 | Ratings: 1,129
Photo of Indianajonesy
1.07/5  rDev -70.4%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

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

 291 characters

Photo of errantnight
1.43/5  rDev -60.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

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.

 946 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
1.45/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

schro126 was kind enough to throw this in as an extra. Thanks, man! Unfortunately, it was pretty disgusting.

Mildly murky and hazy strawberry pink with a pinkish white head with good retention and a little lace, this is OK

God, this is putrid. Vegetal and fruity with a harsh and rubbery solvent character and some alcohol heat. Cooked fruit and jammy, this is disgusting.

The palate isn't as awful as the nose, but that isn't saying much. Harsh solvents, alcohol, and cooked fruit before a grassy and vegetal finish, and if that isn't enough, there's some rubber in the middle. Light in body with a medium-high level of carbonation, the awful finish just reemphasizes the trainwreck that this beer is.

 705 characters

Photo of DeFaz
1.48/5  rDev -59%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.25

I picked it up because I'm a fan of fruit beers and have a special liking for the berries, and this had all of them (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries). But this is so, so bad. Let me explain...
Look: Pleasant enough copper color, small head recedes quickly, minimal head, dashes of lacing
Smell: Strong fruit smell, but overly sweet and cloying and artificial. Sniffing too much I literally gagged (and I don't use the word literally in a figurative way...)
Taste: Odd, yeasty? flavor like a wine cooler. Disgusting. Doesn't taste like beer. Heck, doesn't taste like real fruit either.
Feel: Thin, undercarbonated, overly sweet mess. A chore to put down.
Overall: Drain pour, and an expensive one at that. Considering the price and the fact that I love the fruit that this "beer" is supposed to contain, this fits right on my list of the top worst "beers" I've had to date.

 897 characters

Photo of afksports
1.5/5  rDev -58.4%
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.

 1,041 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
2.07/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours neon pinkish red with nearly no head. Wheaty aroma with big time strawberry wine brings me back to trying to score in the woods freshman year of college with a bottle of Boon’s Farm. Tastes like watered down strawberry juice with blueberry vomit. Dirty dirty wheat finish. Tastes just like when I "scored", too (well, she scored at least). Wtf is this? Light bodied with low carbonation. This is gross, bro.

 429 characters

Photo of jt31914
2.1/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

12 oz. Bottle

A: Literally 3 1/2 fingers of head; ruby red squirt color. Foam clings to the glass and very frothy.

S: Sparkling juice smell; berry is noticeable but no specific berry can be distinguished - no beer smell traceable.

T: Tastes like sparkling juice as well - no hops or beer like taste at all; the berries conflict and do not mesh well; I love short's but this did not taste very good.

M/D: Like pop rocks in your mouth. Suffice to say this isn't the most drinkable stuff.

It's hard for me to hate on a Short's brew, but this beer just wasn't good to me.

 572 characters

Photo of basaywhat
2.11/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

12 oz bottle. A slightly hazy red beer with a huge pinkish head. The aroma has strong notes of strawberries, which is smelled far from the glass. The flavor is sweet with strong notes of berries to start off with, leading to a dry lightly tart finish. Not a fan.

 263 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
2.15/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I am just not a fan of fruit beers at all. Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass. Pours a red color with a small pinkish head. Aroma is of quite fruity and fairly tart, the raspberries and strawberries are what I smell the most along with some sugary notes. The flavor is slightly tart and very fruity with alot of raspberry along with some sugary notes and the 9% ABV is really well hidden. The body is light with a slightly dry mouthfeel. Overall a pretty solid Fruit Beer, but fruit beers like this arent really my style, this was more fruit than beer IMO.

 562 characters

Photo of crosamich
2.26/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Even considering this beer for what it is supposed to be (for non beer drinkers) I can't get behind it. Pours with no head at all. Pinkish hue. I get all the bitterness from these berries but none of the sweetness. The nose is of sour with a touch of fruit, neither is very strong. It is taking me a while to get through this beer.

 331 characters

Photo of thebeers
2.26/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Picked this up on a whim, trying a couple Shorts offerings when first seeing them at my local bottle shop. Didn't realize this was specifically brewed "for those ladies who like their wine."

Pours a pale strawberry-rhubarb color with a thin bright-white head that quickly dissipates to a thin white crown. Definitely looks fruity.

Unfortunately, it has a strong burnt-toast (more like a burnt hotdog bun) aroma with only some faint mixed berry behind it. Thought maybe I was having a stroke, but no, it's only when sniffing the beer that I get that. Had my daughter take a whiff, and, unprompted, she said "burnt garbage and ginger." She doesn't have the trained nose I do, but kids' senses are supposed to be sharper.

The taste is the same as the nose. Nothing else to say there. It's got a very thin-bodied, watery mouthfeel, with the burnt bun flavor lingering into the aftertaste.

Overall, I'd say stick with the wine, ladies.

 945 characters

Photo of Jwale73
2.29/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz. bottle courtesy of seeswo. My first Short's beer. Handmade by people who care on 032310. Served in my Maudite tulip. Pours a bright, translucent copper with a half inch, loose, off-white head that sizzles and pops as it slowly dissipates into a broken froth and a creamy band around the shoulders. Nose is musty and also slightly metallic with a suggestion of fruit syrup towards the back. Taste - not great. Tart, acidic, artificial fruit flavors, a metallic quality and some bitterness towards the finish reminiscent of grapefruit seed extract. Mouthfeel is light and carbonation is prickly and gassy. It's also fairly acidic, and not in a good way. Well, this is pretty much undrinkable - I got through about 1/3 of the bottle before having to do a drain pour (not something I do very often). I just couldn't get through this one.

 839 characters

Photo of Vonerichs
2.3/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Color is a strange reddish-taupe, almost murky. Minimal head, no lacing.

The smell is like a pomegranite and red berry fruit punch.

It tastes like fruit punch of young unripe berries. It's tart and not sweet at all. If you're going to give me fruit in a beer, at least make it sweet.

Mouthfeel is light and fizzy, like a flavored seltzer water.

I disliked every moment of drinking this one. Never again. No way.

 417 characters

Photo of
2.33/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - This beer is rusty pink in the glass with no head to speak of.
The aroma is sweet berry, but more like Swedish Berries candy than fresh raspberries.
Taste is thin, slightly tart, and finishes like Kool Aid with a bit of a kick. I expected intense fruit flavour or typical beer flavours accented with fruit; this is neither. It’s thin and vaguely sweet, almost like fruit flavoured diet pop. It has 9%ABV and doesn’t taste like much at all. If I tasted this blind, I don’t think I would even guess it was beer. It’s not an unpleasant drink, but not what I expected from any sort of beer.

 609 characters

Photo of berserker256
2.39/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Interesting peach/bronze/reddish colored body and a large pink/white head. Sticks around like ocean foam. Smell is somewhat bizarre. Kind of funky tart and sweet. I can't quite put my finger on it. It almost smells like spoiled fruit and industrial chemicals. I don't think I care for it too much, yet, it doesn't absolutely suck either. The taste is mouth-puckering tart and sour, fruity, and my burps taste like a bouquet of flowers. A bitter blanket coats my tounge. Texture and carbonation and mouthfeel are decent but I really do not want another one of these beers. The aftertaste is killing me. It tastes like I just drank some perfume.

 643 characters

Photo of Beejay
2.4/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Slightly hazy, ruby colored in the glass. Nice white head.

S: Odd. Smells like berry scented styrofoam. There is some definite burning plastic smell in here. it has me worried.

T: Very strange beast indeed. A little of the plastic taste comes through. There are some tart fruit notes, and is reminiscent of cider.

M: Fairly light, but very active carbonation.

D: Not a fan of this one. It could be really brilliant, and as I continue to drink it more of the tart berry comes out. But the tartness and the plastic thing don't mesh well with me.

In the end this is a drain pour for me. I simply have no desire to take another sip.

 640 characters

Photo of glazeman
2.45/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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.

 793 characters

Photo of AgentZero
2.5/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Bright reddish color with tints of brown. No head to speak of, basically just bubbles up like soda and disappears quickly.

S - A lot of fruit, strawberries and raspberries mostly, as would be the case, they would be the dominant berry smells out of the four listed. No real blackberry scent, and definately no blueberry that I could pick out. Really about it.

T - Tastes kind of like a bad wine cooler. No malts or hops, just a kind of skunky sweet berry hodge podge of flavors. Nothing really distinguishing itself here.

M - Slightly syrupy considering how light bodied it is. Some soda-like carbonation. Finishes sticky.

D - Yuck, more like drinking juice, seems like a beer made for people who don't like beer. Can't do any more of this.

 748 characters

Photo of maz
2.51/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Recently started getting Shorts in the Chicago market. So much hype. Picked this up in a mixed 6 pack. Glad I only have one of these. Aroma is sickly sweet strawberry. Taste... Imagine Leinenkugels Berry Weisse as a malt liquor... Not good.

 240 characters

Photo of drpimento
2.53/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Best thing about this beer is, by far, the aroma: berries, wheat, wet grain, yeast. Short lived pink head, no lace. Flavor's awful. Reminds me a bit of an antibiotic I had to take for tonsillitis as a kid. Texture is oily. Finish makes me grimace.

 248 characters

Photo of SeanSweeney
2.54/5  rDev -29.6%
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 nukem5
2.58/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a very odd color of red/ pink with a little white foam cap on top.

S: Aroma is of berries and a bunch of them at that.

T: Tart and berry like very stong fruity flavor, more like a malt beverage than beer.

M: Again more like a malt beverage than an ale, high carbonation level and like an overly carbed wine cooler.

O: Overall if it were not for the 9% ABV I would have poured it down the drain but needing to level out after working till midnight drank it down like a seditive

 489 characters

Photo of enfield249
2.58/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Clear, rose gold in color, white foam head about 1 fingers worth

S - Not much smell, maybe a little fruityness.

T - No one specific fruit, just kind of a general berry/fruit taste.

M - Fairly clean, not to much CO2, a little bit of the fruit stays with you.

D - Meh. Fruit beers are not my favorite to begin with, and this did nothing to change my mind on that account.

 378 characters

Photo of Florida9
2.63/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Reddish copper in color. Actually, one of the reddest beers I've seen. Very limp, lifeless white head with little retention.

S: Not much going on here. Some tart cherries, some toast; nothing overpowering.

T: Starts with a very light sugary sweetness. Summer fruit with the taste of unripe, tart berries, leading to a a certain vinous quality to it. Tart, but not sour. This one definitely has berries in it, but it would have been nice if the brewer would have used berries that had ripened before he brewed with them

M: On the thinner side of medium with heavy carbonation.

D: A rather unexciting beer that became almost annoying to drink. The wife refused to even taste it.

 684 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
2.63/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Bottle dated 5/14/15 at 42 degrees into snifter
$ 1.89/12 oz bottle at the Lager Mill
Aroma of raspberries
Head small, fizzy, essentially lasting until the completion of the pour
Lacing – none
Body reddish, cloudy
Flavor like Kool Aid – sweet, fruity, and cheap like a stereotypic Castro Street whore, ends tasting like plastic; no hops, no malt, no alcohol, unfortunately no diacetyl, nothing resembling beer and the Doors should sue for for use of the name.
Palate medium, syrupy, lively carbonation

Appearance 3, Aroma 2.5, Flavor 2.5, Palate 3, Overall 2.75

 566 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Short's Soft Parade from Short's Brewing Company
3.61 out of 5 based on 1,129 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!