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Short's Soft Parade | Short's Brewing Company

330 Reviews
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Short's Soft ParadeShort's Soft Parade

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

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: 330 | Ratings: 1,103
Photo of Cylinsier
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz

Pours a slightly hazy amber red, white lacing for a head.

Smells of citrus, grapes, and mixed sweet berries.

Tastes of citrus, grape, raspberry and blueberry. Light mild biscuit malt undertone. Tart aftertaste.

Light to medium body with lightly tingly carbonation on the tongue.

A very nice fruity ale, drinks easy for its strength but has lots of flavor too. Wine-like in appearance, aroma, and flavor. Worth a try for something a little stronger that still drinks nicely and refreshingly in the summer.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. Served in a snifter glass.

Pour is a medium brown body with a lighter orange hue. One finger white head, plenty of retention, bits of lacing. Smells of raspberries and a light strawberry fruitiness, a bit of spice, cereal grain sweetness, touch of dark fruit. Smells fairly nice, even if a little muddled. Flavour is similarly fruit-forward, mostly raspberry and strawberry, not so much the blueberry. Light raspberry tartness, a small amount of lactic acid. Grainy sweetness in the background. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a decently hefty body for the style, a heavier carbonation, nice fruity finish. Overall a solid fruited beer. A bit heavier in body than I would expect from the taste, but I won't complain all that much. A solid fruited ale.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy reddish orange in color (almost like the color of berry jam) with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and faint purplish highlights. The beer has a finger tall slightly pinkish white foamy head that reduces to a large patch of mottled very thin film covering a little more the 80% of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to medium amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of jammy berries - strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are all detectable at different points of the beer warming up. Very light aromas of grainy malts. Overall there is a fairly sweet aroma.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of grainy malts with a light amount of rye spiciness. That is followed by a moderate to strong flavor of sweet jammy berries - strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries in descending order of intensity and sweetness. Just a hint of berry tartness in the finish which lingers slightly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of soft carbonation. Very light amounts of acidic prickliness in the finish.

O: A very enjoyable rye fruit beer with a decent amount of complexity and I can easily see this appealing to beer and wine drinkers. Easy to drink with well hidden alcohol. Enjoyable and I would probably have this one again if I ran across it.

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Photo of DadsDrunkAgain
3.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not your typical fruity beer. The Strawberry stands out, but not sweet. You get the bitterness right away. This chick beer has two stinky nuts swinging off it. Not bad.

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Photo of Kevin_Langford
3.42/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Great beer. Very fruity (obviously), but enjoyable - especially on a hot, summer evening. You can actually taste the different fruits, but the beer taste is also fairly prevalent. I enjoyed this one and will get it again if I have a chance.

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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.

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Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
4.13/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a reddish color. The head was frothy, but dissipated quickly. The nose of this beer is fruity, and tart. The taste is light, fruity, slight tartness. It's a very easy drinking beer for the ABV.

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Photo of bnes09
3.49/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange, reddish berry color. Descent head and white lacing. Aroma of fruit punch. Lots of berry flavor. Medium body. Nice carbonation. Descent offering. A little sweeter than I prefer.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Church Key. Poured into a small snifter.

This beer would have a place in on my tap list. Different, but still beer. Very wine like in that this beer has the fruity vinous tastes but the alcohol breaks through to give a sharper mouth feel. Almost like a rose? Shorts may have made this for the wine drinkers but it still has its beer qualities. 3.75

A - Pours a clear, burnt pink with a thin white head and low carbonation. 4

S – Vinous, strawberries, kiwi. 3.75

T - Fruity, strawberry, but not sweet, with some tang and the slightest bit of alcohol sharpness. 3.75

MF - Medium body with a semi-dry finish. 4.25

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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 wuthrichj15
3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not the best brew in my opinion. Kind of tasted like wine. Then again, it is a fruit beer. Pours a red/purple color Not a whole lot going on here. Does have a decent mouthfeel though

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Photo of brian44556
3.32/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip. Bottled 2/29/16.

It pours a ruby red hue with a thin, almost purpleish head. Decent lacing lines the sides of the glass. Very sugary, almost artificial, fruity smell. Strawberries and raspberries highlight the aroma, could be mistaken for a wine cooler. There is a lot of overly sweet fruity tastes here. Specifically strawberries, not a necessarily a bad taste, but it comes across as artificial. I was hoping it would be a bit more tart, but the sweetness is overwhelming. Light-bodied, overly sweet, and a bit refreshing. I have hard time finding a great fruit beer. This one is no exception to the rest. Mediocre at best.

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Photo of DJChaseTheBase
3.56/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a nice beer to drink w/ the lady if you are planning on sharing a 6 pack or what not. There is so much fruit in this beer to the point you question if you are actually drinking a beer or not. It's not a bad beer, but is definitely a beer to take the beach or drink on some of the hottest summer days. It goes down really easy for that 7.5% w/ no alcohol taste. The beer is just a little to over powered by the fruity flavors.

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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.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.26/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. The bottling date of 2/18/2016 printed on the neck of the bottle. The description of this beer on the label reads "a high gravity ale fermented with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

Pours a beautiful bright red color with orange and golden hues when held up to the light. The head is fizzy and quickly dissipates. The nose is very fruity with the raspberries being most notable along with faint strawberries as well. The first thing I though of when I tasted this beer was that it was far less sweet and a lot drier than I expected. There is a little bit of tartness up front with a moderate amount of sweetness giving way to a lingering medicinal bitterness and warmth from the alcohol in the finish. The mouthfeel is light bodied with prickly carbonation hitting the tongue and the roof of the mouth. Overall, not bad but not something I'd seek out again.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a two finger white head that fades quickly leaving no lace. Clear reddish color, looks like a strawberry cooler. Light-medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Tart strawberry nose, flavor is light tart strawberry reminds me of a unsweet wine cooler. Slightly higher ABV is hidden. $2.69 for a 12oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Short's Brewing Company "Soft Parade"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, production coded "02/18/16" and sampled on 04/05/16

Short's "Soft Parade" has a pinkish cast to it beneath a bright white head. The retention isn't great but it does leave some nice lacing behind. It smells like berries and fresh green leaves. Is the leafy aroma coming from the rye? Perhaps a combination of the spiciness of the rye and something else? Hmmm, that vegetal note carries over into the flavor a bit as well, although it's mainly fruity over a soft, grainy-toasty malt base. A spritz of alcohol comes through as well, helping to dry it in the finish along with a moderate bitterness and subtle spiciness from the rye. Perhaps it's the hops, as the finish is a bit grassy? Odd. It's not bad though, just a little distracting, and I can't tell if I like it because it gives it a bit more character, or if it bothers me because it's distracting. At the very least it feels authentic, the fruit is absolutely real and there's no hint of anything artificial, so I'd take this warts and all over a smoother but more synthetic version any day. Finally, probably it's biggest strength is the way that the berries come through, each showing its character at times rather than melding into a homogenized berry-blend. On the down-side I detect some higher alcohols, although I think most people wouldn't really notice them. Interesting for sure, and certainly worth trying!

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, bottle on 02/18/2016 printed on the bottleneck. "High Gravity Ale fermented with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries". Sounds good to me. No abv listed on the bottle.

Poured into a Duvel tulip snifter.

A - Pours a nice juicy bright pink body, one finger of thin wispy pinkish tinted white head that doesn't stay for too long. Some thin scattered fluffy lacing. Very nice color.

S - Fresh, fruity, authentic berry aromas. Earthy, fruity, juicy, vegetal / grassy. Definitely evokes notes of fresh picked jammy berries. Very fresh, fruity, and authentic smelling.

T - Bit of a subtle alcohol bite, but lots of very fresh juicy authentic berry goodness. Juicy, with subtle tartness. Berry flavored fruit roll up. I feel like the strawberry and the raspberry come through the most. Very nice stuff. Minor warming alcohol on the finish. A touch of bready yeast / malt base noticeable on the finish also. Very interesting stuff.

M - Feel is smooth, crisp, juicy, with minor tartness. Medium-bodied with good carbonation. Very nice drinking stuff.

Overall, a very enjoyable berry fruit beer from Short's. Reminded me of a much more drinkable and accessible version of Dogfish Head Fort. Very nice stuff.

Short's Brew Soft Parade -----4/5.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the scent it's obviously a puréed fruit beer, but the taste seems a bit over run by a sharp spritzer taste. I get blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries with a light champagne. All the while the spritzer is harsh and at times overwhelming.

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Photo of BB1313
3.93/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 2/24/16. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a ruby red with a white head that fades leaving decent retention and lacing. The aromas are nice. Lots of strawberries and blueberries. Malts are there with a touch of wheat. The flavors have a nice blend of berries. You name a berry and I'm sure it's present. It's sweet, but definitely not cloying. It has also has a subtle earthy bitterness to it. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's thin and smooth. Dangerously drinkable.

This was a pleasant surprise. I'm usually not the biggest fan of "fruit beers", but this one is very enjoyable. This would really hit the spot during the hot weather. I really like this one. Well done.

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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.

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Photo of kalosjakar
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy reddish/pink with an slightly pink hued head.

Raspberries front and ceneter. strawberries and blueberries are there as well of course. blackberries too, its quite nuts for the aroma. they are all there and its potent as f&*k.

Medium mouthfeel. almost velvety.
good lacing.

strawberries and raspberries come through most in the taste, dry, slightly tart, blueberries are faint, dont detect any blackberry in the taste.

not bad, im not much of a fruit beer fan but this stuff is pretty good.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

We recently began getting distro of Short's B.C. beers here in south-central PA & I am pretty excited about it! I have known those guys for years, between BA fests in BOS & my (usually) annual excursion to Madison, WI for the GTMW. I don't care if they are in bottles since I never expected them to come to me!

From the bottle: "Handmade by people who care. (tm)"; "High Gravity Ale fermented with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries".

The original notes that mention "... brewed special for those ladies who enjoy their wine" strike me as dated. I know a lot of women who would pass this over for something else, as well as a number of guys (including me) who will happily drink this. It can act as a panty peeler and it also blends well with stouts and porters.

I Pop!ped the cap and gave it a fairly heavy-handed pour. This netted two fingers of fizzy, pinkish head that resembled cotton candy before disappearing into wisps. Color was a pinkish Rose color (SRM = N/A) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled like my late-paternal grandmother's garden in the summer: raspberries & strawberries, certainly, plus the roses in which she took a lot of pride. The berries went into pies and at the end of the season, preserves. Once I got into HomeEc in high school, I began to help in the production of the preserves & the nose reminded me further of her kitchen. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste had a tartness that might seem unexpected to the uninitiated. Raspberries always exhibit a tartness in alcohol, whether beer or wine. It was not overwhelming, but it might startle some consumers. The finish was in that twilight zone of semi-sweet to semi-dry. it really was not vinous, but at the same time, it was not fructose sugar-sweet, either. I really dig it in the summer or when I encounter those women who say that they just cannot find a beer that they like. I also recommend it as a blend with a chocolate porter or stout.

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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.

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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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Short's Soft Parade from Short's Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 330 ratings.
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