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: 335 | Ratings: 1,127
Photo of facundoCNB
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purpley amber in color with a finger of head. Very intriguing looking beer. Smells awesome.. Like a berry salad, candy, and a hint of booze to remind you that you're a responsible adult! The flavor is very nice.. Lots of bready rye notes up front leading way to a mellow sweetness and the fruity berries hit you in the finish. Damn, this brings back find memories of smuttynose's hanami ale. Just as "beery" with a strong hint of fruit.. Medium in body, medium canon action and a hell of a thirst quencher. This beer is awesome.

 528 characters

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%!!

 298 characters

Photo of MSUEmilie
3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I believe this fruity beer could be enjoyed even by those who typically do not prefer fruity beers. It has a dark pomegranate red color and very thin head. This beer isn't cloudy or hazy but a very dark red clear pour that looks as appetizing as it smells.

You will immediately detect the strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry aromas that define this beers taste. The mild berry tartness of this beer mixes quite well it's light malty flavors leaving a very pleasant, slightly sweet, aftertaste. I've enjoyed this beer on tap as well as bottled; I would recommend people try it on tap first as the bottled version is slightly less carbonated, which I feel detracts from it's overall flavor.

Overall a delightful fruity beer even if you are not typically a fan of fruity beverages.

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Photo of lundqu23
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.75

This beer is a little fruity but not too fruity if you don't like fruity drinks. There is still a beer mouthfeel, unlike some other fruit beers out there. Carbonation is not very high, not a big head when poured. Much better from tap than it is in the bottle. I enjoy fruity drinks so I enjoyed this beer a lot but I would also recommend this beer to someone who does not enjoy fruity drinks as much.

 400 characters

Photo of kristen56
4.21/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark red, ruby color with hints of pink. A little cloudy with a little head. The aroma is delightful--all sorts of fruit notes. I definitely picked up on all the different berries. The taste is just as great. Can taste strawberries and all the fruit. Its a great beer for summer. It tastes and feels light, yet also has strong alcohol content and is so packed with flavor. Definitely one of my favorite beers!

 409 characters

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.

 299 characters

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.

 271 characters

Photo of OMills
4.04/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A beautiful brick red with poor white head and minimal lacing. The smell on the the other hand is robust and very fruity. Strawberry, raspberry, and blueberries all very noticeable. The taste is a good bitter followed by the fruitiness. The alcohol warmth is quite nice in my opinion. A the mouthfell makes this a pretty drinkable brew overall. Id say in the end this is a really drinkable brew without the the artificial taste of berries.

 439 characters

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.

 409 characters

Photo of myelo
3.24/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a cloudy, pink grapefruit color with tiny bubbles and a thin off-white head. Persistent lacing.

Mild fruity aroma -- berries with a bit of citrus.

Taste is initially berries -- blueberry and strawberry with some tartness and a hint of malt and spice. No ethanol flavor, or at least it's hidden in the fruit. Low hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium body with low carbonation.

This is well balanced -- the fruit is not overpowering and countered with the tartness and a bit of spice and malt. Fruit beers are generally my least favorite style so I'm biased here but this is a fair to good beer for the style. There's enough going on to be interesting if you like the style.

 683 characters

Photo of Jennz906
4.09/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This Is my very first sweet and fruity beer. I usually drink an IPA or high IBUs
But I actually loved this beer
A- average defiantly has a tiny of red in the color
S- amazing aroma, fruity and floral
T- you can diffidently taste the many berries! This beer may not be for everyone but I sure love it.
M- goes down nice and easy with medium carbonation with a lovely aftertaste.
O- a great beer. Having something different is always fun and I never thought I would like a sweet or fruity beer but then I tried this one. And I definitely fell for it!

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Photo of Michael-McManaman
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A dark red/pinkish rye ale with little head. It looks great almost like an iced tea. An overwhelming burst of berry aroma and taste. Hard to tell its a 9% ABV, flavors are nice but I think it's more tea-like than beer. Very soft mouthfeel. Overall a good beer but I don't think it's for me.

 290 characters

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.

 278 characters

Photo of CodyNeely
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very different feel when you take a sip; it's very light. I do want to correct the ABV, however. It's 7.5, not the 9 that is listed or the 8 some people have mentioned. If you go on the Shorts website it says 7.5. You can definitely smell and taste the fruit. A very different pinkish color.

 294 characters

Photo of importedfromdet
3.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pint from draft. Pours a solid semi opaque reddish/pink brew with an average head.

Smells of a fresh fruit dish.

Taste is a nice blend of high fruit, tapering with a hefty taste of malt and barley soon too follow. Not too sugary which is great though the aftertaste of bitterness soon follows.

Mouth feel is that of drinking a berry smoothie with a rhubarb pie. Leaves mouth a tad dry.

Pleasant overall. A good night cap.

 426 characters

Photo of Jensen83
4.14/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Strong fruit smell but amazing almost clear red color. Tastes more like a summer beer. Be careful it tastes very light but hast more than 8% ABV. Very easy to drink but it goes into the direction of lemonade more than beer. Includes blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.

 289 characters

Photo of roadsoda1
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a nice semi cloudy raspberry color with no head. Aroma is fruity with hints of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Has a very nice berry flavor but isn't over fruity. Mouth feel is excellent! Makes a very good dessert beer, I can picture myself enjoying one on a hammock on a warm summer day.

12 oz is the perfect serving size don't think I would want much more.

 429 characters

Photo of Stu_Grimson
4.31/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- amber or purple color with little head

S- fruity notes

T- lots of fruit flavor come across and are strong, hard to tell that it is 9%

M- smooth and easy drinking for a high alcohol content

O- great summer beer for getting an easy delicious buzz

 253 characters

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.

 635 characters

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.

 303 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fruit doesn't always lend much colour to a beer - or flavour for that matter - but those berries were more than generous with The Soft Parade; a dense fruit punch complexion, it isn't cloudy but it certainly isn't transparent either. There's little glow and absolutely no head.

The aroma is far from what I'd consider overly sweet, though its flavours have a very subtle 'Fruit Roll-Up'-type quality that brings me back to my (sugar-addled) childhood. It's also a little reminiscent of a fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt cup (though again is far from saccharine). Perhaps more than anything it reminds me of sangria.

The beer is brewed with 200 pounds of pureed strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, any and all of which can be tasted in the flavour. It has a vivid mixed field berry profile that is sumptuous without being overly sweet. The rye malt lends a faintly spicy, earthy character that is a flattering match to the fruit.

The beer is refreshing and highly agreeable and everything else it should be as a fruit beer, but it's also got a firm malty spine behind it and is - wait a minute, let me double check this because I don't believe it - somewhere between 7.5% and 9% alcohol (depending on the batch). So feel free to chug or savor it, either works.

Short's The Soft Parade is a fruit beer with body, character and a restrained, reasonable level of sweetness - I wish there were more on the market like it. I don't think one can expect much more from a standard(ish) fruit beer and I doubt those berry farmers could be any happier with what came of their hard work (I'd take a bottle of this to a jar of jam any day!)

 1,651 characters

Photo of mtomlins
3.69/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

A: Red in color with a brownish hue and a bit hazy. Pours to a small pinkish head that falls quickly to a thin bubbly collar and no detectable lacing.

S: Lots of sweet fruit (the strawberries and raspberries really come through) and a touch of tartness.

T: The taste is also dominated by sweet fruit (strawberries, raspberries and a bit of blueberry); there is a nice touch of acidity to help balance the beer out. The finish is short and very clean.

M: Medium-light body which is impressive given its 9% ABV; the beer is light and easy to drink. Lots of carbonation.

O: A good fruit beer whose target audience maybe the white wine drinker looking for something fruity and refreshing. For me, drier fruit and a bit of Brett could transform it into something special (though I understand that this is not the intent of the brewery). A very nice beer for what it is.

 923 characters

Photo of Ri0
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pored 12oz bottle into Teku

A - A cloudy bright ruby red that shimmers in the sunlight. One finger white head fades into a thin ring and leaves only a few splotches of lacing on the glass.

S - Fruity scents dominate, hard to distinguish any specific fruit. Some floral and rye notes are beneath all the fruit.

T - A somewhat odd blend of fruit, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, mixed with grain and a light spicy rye. It seems to improve in flavor as I drink. You really do not notice the alcohol given the ABV.

M - Light bodied, clean, fruity and refreshing, mildly tart.

O - This is decent, but I am used to New Glarus fruit beer and it lacks the fresh fruit and tart finish that I truly enjoy.

 702 characters

Photo of mhksuccess
2.83/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

poured from a bottle into a bruery snifter
darkish reddish color and not much head if any
smell is heavy berries with an emphasis on strawberry
taste is light and has is nicely carbonated
smooth really light easy drinking with a slight tartness to it from the raspberry
i would like it to be more of a sour style as opposed to more of wine coolerish
i drank about half the bottle and poured out the rest
not my favorite would pass on this next time

 451 characters

Photo of Benish
3.74/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Ordered at the Shorts Brewpub restaurant. Served in snifter glass.

It presented a ruby red color. No foam present, overall it almost has the appearance of a fruity red wine. It smelled great. I picked up primarily strawberries, other fruits and some malt. Taking a whiff of this beer, I anticipated it would taste fantastic.

However the flavor of the beer is a little lacking. Once again I tasted primarily strawberries and a little malt. But the flavor was not complex in my opinion. I expected a bit more from this; there was no pow in my mouth with this one. Indeed this would be a great beer to drink outside on a hot day to quench your thirst. It served me for that purpose.

What's really striking is that it clocks in at 9% ABV. There was no booziness that was noticeable. So you'd have to be careful because before you know it you'll finish the glass.

Overall good beer. Not something I would hunt down but is worth trying if you're in the area. I loved the smell of this beer but feel it needs a bit more complexity.

 1,032 characters

Short's Soft Parade from Short's Brewing Company
3.61 out of 5 based on 1,127 ratings.
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