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: 1,156
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub, as opposed to the imperial soft parade I picked up a bottle of. Berry aroma. Reddish brown and lacey. Strawberry taste mainly. More subtle than bold but above average fruit beer. Carbonation appropriate but above average. Drinkable but not something I need to seek out.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to burnheartsMKE for sending me this one!

Pours a murky strawberry jam color with a 2 inch light red head that fades to a very thin cap. Bubbly rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. This beer smells like various berry jams. Some mild grain smells come out too. Taste is also of various berry jams with some grains (wheat perhaps). There is a bit of medicinal bitterness in the aftertaste. Carbonation is quite high and has a very prickly feel going down. Perhaps a little too much carbonation. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some nice fruit smells and tastes but it's nothing too exciting.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Capturing the essence of summer refreshment, Short's Soft Parade portrays what's best about porch sings, hammocks, and sun umbrellas. Its fruity focus is fresh and inviting to the tastbuds.

Ruby in color, the beer's mild pectin haze gives it the resemblence to Hawaiian Punch. Capped by an airy white foam, the beer retains reasonably well with sparce pocketed lace. It certainly embodies the look of fruit juice in a glass.

Bright aromas of fruit span an array of taste- from raspberry to strawberry to blackberry and currant. With such a variety of fruit, the beer seems nondescript, but wonderfully so. With very little aromatic support any bready malts or spicy rye is neglegable behind the strong fruit presence.

The rich and vibrant fruit flavors resonate well with the palate. The taste and pleasant tartness of berries and plump fruit show up on the front of the tongue with a genuine fruit taste and balanced acidity. As the beer softens and the fruit gains tartness, the spicy rye character seems to broaden the taste and heighten the bready malts everso slightly. With low hop bittering, the beer relies on the fruit acidity and the rye spiciness that mimicks oak tannin to balance in finish.

Medium-light in body, the beer's fruity tartness keeps the creaminess of carbonation dampened, and the malts crisp. While the acidity and fleeting spice fades, it allows for an extention of fruit and powdered sugar to linger slightly past the malt.

I can see why the moniker on the lable offers favorable comparisons to wine, but in the end, it's a pleasant fruit beer that's best enjoyed with a freshly mowed lawn.

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Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's a bit of a gusher though that makes for a great looking pour, with a massive head that sticks atop the orange/amber liquid; foams clumps to the side of the pint glass

Smell: Smells like berry juice - the raspberries and blueberries dominate, but all four berries used in the blend are detectable

Taste: Sweet berry flavors up front, with a tartness that balances appearing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the tartness lingers

Mouthfeel: Light bodied but way over-carbonated; prickly mouthfeel and a puckery finish

Drinkability: Intriguing, as a fruit beer, but the mouthfeel was a real problem; I don't see many other reviews noting the overcarbonation so I must have gotten a bad bottle

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Photo of emerge077
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to TheBlackMallard for the Short's hookup!

Pours a very nice crimson color, a light haze, with a couple fingers of pinkish white foam. After 5 minutes there's still a skim after a couple sips. Some berry and astringency in the nose, a beery hint of rye malt.

Astringent tartness, raspberry, medicinal bitterness in the back with a malty aftertaste. Fruit is indistinct and muddled save for the raspberry. It's like trying to identify the specific fruit in hawaiian punch. Well carbonated with a nice amount of body. The abv is certainly hidden. Not a bad choice for a summer sipper!

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Photo of oline73
3.54/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy red/amber color. The two finger head is white with a pink hue and a little bit remains throughout.

Smell: Dominated by sweet strawberries and raspberries. There is a bit of tartness as well.

Taste: Right away I pick up slightly sweet strawberries and raspberries. After that I pick up a bit of a sour/tart flavor that remains on the tongue through the rest of the sip. There is a bit of spice from the rye. This kind of reminds me of a fruity champagne drink.

Mouthfeel: This has a medium body but feels very crisp and dry. The carbonation is delicate like champagne.

Drinkability: I think the fruit and the sour flavors and rye in this one clash a bit. That being said I think it would be a good brunch beer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.91/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Thanks to mcallister for this extra.

Pours a beautiful pink ruby with a nice lightly-tinted head that has a bit of a reddish character. Nose is soft fruits with quite a few different berries; the strawberry really came through to me with the blueberry coming through to a lesser extent. Nice blueberry and strawberry flavor throughout. In the end, the feel was pretty decent and it drank well enough, but the unique concept only lasted for a bit before this started to taste less interesting and wasn't much to keep me drinking.

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Photo of mothman
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Kevin, kzoobrew, for this extra!

Poured into Ommegang chalice.

Pours a little over a finger of pinkish white head. Fades to a thin layer. Leaves some pretty decent lacing. Color is a strawberry hued ruby red.

Aroma: Lots and lots of fruit! Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries. Wow. Reminds me a little of SA blackberry wit.

Taste: Taste is a little bit of a letdown as compared to the aroma. Everything just mashes together and it just doesn't work. The blueberries seem to win the battle a little and stick out a bit.

Mouthfeel: very dry taste to it and kind of fizzy. Light to medium bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends with a super dry aftertaste.

Overall, I was expecting a little more from this beer. A high abv fruit beer sounded like a winner, but it was just a mess once I tasted it. Too much going on that the flavors mix together in a way that I didn't prefer. For the abv, it is pretty easy to drink, however.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled 7/15/2011. Pours a fairly hazy reddish orange color with a nice 1-2 finger fairly dense pinkish off white head with good retention that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some nice spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big tart raspberries, strawberry, blackberry, cherry, and spices. Nice and pleasant fruit aromas with nice complexity. Taste of lightly tart raspberry, blackberry, cherry, strawberry, pepper, clove, and herbal spiciness. Lingering notes of raspberry, strawberry, pepper, clove, and herbal spices on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance of fruit flavors with spiciness; and a nice bit of tartness to round it out. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a slightly syrupy mouthfeel and slightly prickly carbonation. Alcohol is extremely well hidden at 8%, with hardly any alcohol warming after the finish. Very smooth to drink but is still a bit of a sipper. Overall this fruit beer was a LOT more enjoyable than I was expecting. Nice balance of all flavors with good complexity; and very smooth to drink as well. Really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of jlindros
3.46/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An interesting looking beer thanks to grub.

Pours a huge head that mounds an inch + over the top of the pint glass, a pink pillowy head, that fades semi slowly with a messy looy, over a clear rosy slight pink orange red color.

Nose has lots of fruit, like fruit juice, a slight sour tart fruit but not much, mostly fresh fruit punch, strawberries, raspberries, other bright berries, light sweet malty base, plenty of malts and sweetness, and after all the fruit and the head dies down, the yeasty aroma really comes through like a strong Belgian dubbel yeast or something.

Taste is sweet to start, fruit punch, lots of fruit juices, strawberries, raspberries, bright berries in general again, light sweet malts, a bit of a bitter berry seed like taste, a bit of a yeasty taste, some creamy malts and a light toasty bready malt, fairly heavy and a bit of booze, light tart mouth watering taste. Finishes still semi sweet, sticky, a big flemmy, light warming and slightly tingly booze, malts, and lots of fruit flavors.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied but not that heavy, decent carbonation.

Overall meh, lots of fruit, too fruity, a bit boozy, very yeasty too!

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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 chinchill
3.42/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Undated 12 oz bottle continuously refrigerated since before August 2013 purchase. Served in a snifter.

Pours clear, dark rose, looking nearly red in the glass. Small weak head.

Aroma: complex and fruity, with notes of strawberry, raspberry and blackberry.

Flavor: less enticing, with a bitter-sweet nature that seems more in conflict than in balance, with more bitterness and less tartness than ideal. Eventually, there is a nice, lingering, fruity aftertaste.

Feel: light body with somewhat high carbonation.

O: about what one might expewhat one might expect for a beer created as a wine substitute. Treat as a dessert beer.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ the HopCat (Grand Rapids, MI) on 4/23/09. Served in a cervoise glass.

Pours a brilliant clear ruby with a thin head of brite-white foam. Good flareup around the edges that leaves some thick swathes of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is an even mix of lush berry fruitiness and rye notes, with some floral hop character in the back. I'm finding it hard to pinpoint exactly what berries are in this from the nose, but raspberries are sticking out to me the most. I'm also getting a layer of heavy warmth as well, that gives away the ABV a bit.

The taste is the same, with tart berry flavors up front that blends into some big rye accents in the back. Much like the aroma, this is all nicely blended together to the point that I had trouble pinpointing the extact berry flavors that I was tasting. Dry notes of rye and light bitterness pull up the finish. The mouthfeel has a medium bodied carbonation but the overall feel is very soft in the mouth, giving this a surprisingly easy feel despite the higher ABV. Very nice!

Very interesting imperial style fruit beer from Short's. Lots of fresh berry flavors going on in this and the rye character added a different layer of complexity to it. Plus it definitely earned it's name with that mouthfeel, remaining soft and easy despite the alcohol presence in this. Well done!

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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 BuckeyeNation
2.8/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

"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.

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Photo of billab914
2.87/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip. It poured kind of amberish in color but with a distinct light red or pinkish hue to it. The head was on the thinner side and also had a bit of a pink hue to it.

The aroma has a tart and slightly sour fruit flavor to it. It's a distinct flavor that seems to be present in so many of the Shorts beers I've had. I get a bit of the sweeter blueberry and raspberry like flavors coming through, but the tart and sour notes are hard to overcome.

Thankfully the taste shows a little less of the tart and sour flavors the aroma had, but it's still there. I get more of the tart and sweet flavors from the fruit throughout the beer. The raspberries seem to come through more up front, where the blueberries seem to come through more in the finish. The finish is where it turns more tart with some bitter and sour flavors lingering. Not bad up front where it showed more of the fresh fruit, but the finish just felt off.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with slightly above average carbonation. Drinkability is average, it showed some nice fruit flavors at times but also had some kind off, bitter, sour flavors at other times. Not awful, but at the same time not that great either. Given the "off" flavors I thought were there this could be another Shorts beer that has problems in certain bottles/conditions, but who knows.

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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 TMoney2591
3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Another thieved bottle from my brother. Good man, he. It pours a clear pinkish-red topped by over a finger of white foam. The nose comprises mixed berries (all sorts of 'em, baby), with a minor undertow of medicine. The taste brings back the berry bushels, dragging along some flowers, cobwebs, and a light rubber. The body is on the lighter side, with a moderate carbonation and a relatively dry finish. Overall, I didn't really enjoy this brew all that much. It sounded pretty tasty, but it seems it was executed a bit poorly.

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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 johnnnniee
3.14/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received in trade from jbck109 thanks for the opportunity. Pours a slightly cloudy pink color with a huge fluffy white head that recedes slowly but sticks itself to everything in site. Smells fruity and tart. Non descript tart fruit is really all I can find in the nose. Where's the beer? Taste is again sweet fruity and tart. I get lots of berries in the taste. A bit of sweet sugar in a relatively dry finish. Bubbly carbonation, light to medium body, slick sweet syrupy mouthfeel. Well this isn't horrible, I could drink it. Calling this beer would be a bit of a stretch, but the biggest thing is I find this boring and lacking complexity. Glad I got to try this, but one and done for this guy.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I bought a bottle of this off the single shelf at Meijer's in the 'wego and tries it with neighbors. It poured a clear faint pink with white head and no lace. The scent had ripe fruit. The taste was mix of sour with ripeople fruit. The Mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it's ok.

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Photo of Billolick
3.94/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, pours a dull shade of cherry, lasting off white head leaving a thick collar and moderate bits of lace. More fruity cherry, and berries on the nose.

Fruits galore here with strawberry, cherry, raspberry carrying the load. Summery. Delicious.

Pair this with a berry fruit tart or a fruity dessert of some sort...well worth a try, more impressive brew from Short's

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Photo of Duff27
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Billowing near three-fingered head atop clear, medium dull red beer. Lasting head and above average lacing.

S- Smells of very sweet fruit.

T- Faint but very tart fruit, all kinds of them...couldn't pick any specific ones out.

M- Better than average mouthfeel. Carbonation has a bite to it at the end of the sip.

D/O- I'd have to say the drinkability is low on The Soft Parade. It's not a bad beer at all, just something I wouldn't want to have more than one of at any given time. 9%?? Really? Glad to have tried it, thanks Chris!

-"Still Spoiled By New Glarus Fruit Beers"

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Photo of drabmuh
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a becher glass. Beer is reddish and forms a small white head of small bubbles. Leaves a lot of lacing on the glass and carbonation is moderate to low. Looks fine.

Aroma is tart and sour, not much to say here. A little weak.

Beer is mostly tart, I don't know the point of this beer unfortunately. Its about 1 flavor and its not that strong a flavor. I guess there is some non-tart sourness in there as well, I just don't care enough to talk about it. Mouthfeel is OK, drinkability is boring. Overall, I'm just really bored.

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Short's Soft Parade from Short's Brewing Company
3.61 out of 5 based on 1,156 ratings.
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