Short's Soft Parade | Short's Brewing Company

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Short's Soft ParadeShort's Soft Parade
1,198 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,198 |  Reviews: 354
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev 0%
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 -3.3%
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 StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a couple of things about this beer really set it apart. for one, fruited drinking beers like this rarely sneak up this high in abv. it tastes like a fruity summer beer, but has a nice punch to it, but only in effect, not in drinking experience. i like that, and it makes this unique. the rye malt also makes it distinct. in a lot of fruit beers, the malt is an afterthought, or at least intentionally played down, made simple on purpose, and relegated to the background so the fruit can stand out. the rye here is dry and earthy and classic pale rye malt tasting, but we can taste it, and thats a positive. it i think works great with the fruit, and its nice to have it there, it keeps this beery and not juicy, nice touch in the recipe! the other thing i will say for it, is that usually "generic berry" as a flavor descriptor is a negative, its like i get fruit but cant place a raspberry or cherry or something, and so its often a critique, but when i ascribe it to this beer, its a huge positive. its such a well rounded and balanced berry complexion that none of the four berries stands out in the beer above any of the others, its the whole fruit experience without the simplicity or vagueness that some have, and i dont need blueberry specifically to appreciate what it adds to this beer. thats a unique comment to this single beer i think, and it kind of blew my mind. this isnt the kind of beer on paper that i normally reach for, but huge cheers to shorts for making something like this have so much beer geek appeal. this is a unique beer in the world for that reason... bravo!

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Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
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 oriolesfan4
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.74/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
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 oline73
3.54/5  rDev -3%
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 emerge077
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
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 superspak
4/5  rDev +9.6%
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 brentk56
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
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 SocalKicks
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of mothman
3.65/5  rDev 0%
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 dbrauneis
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

 1,425 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.05/5  rDev +11%
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 jlindros
3.46/5  rDev -5.2%
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!

 1,162 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of chinchill
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

 635 characters

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Clear reddish orange color with pinkish head. Aroma is really fruity with strawberries and raspberries coming out most. Also some cream/yogurt like notes. Taste is just slightly fruity with some astringent bitterness on the finish. Medium body and carbonation. Not what I expected from the aroma. The flavors don't combine well together.

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Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +9.6%

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Short's Soft Parade from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 1,198 ratings