I've read a good number of cranberry beer threads (most of them wheat beers or stouts) which described the results as mediocre at best. I love cranberries, so I decided to give it a go anyway, and the results are great! For you fellow Michiganders, the name is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Soft Parade, a beer brewed with fresh berries from Short's, which this beer somewhat resembles. The major difference is the great tannins from the cranberries.
The original idea was to add cranberries to a traditional Kölsch, but after reading the aforementioned threads, I decided it might come out too tart and went with a darker base grain and higher gravity like Soft Parade. I stuck with a German yeast for a clean finish and to let the cranberries shine through as much as possible. The high mash temperature left a bit of residual sweetness which blends fantastically with the sourness of the cranberries.
12 lbs. Maris Otter Pale Malt
Mash @155 for 1 hour.
1 oz. Tettnang @60
Ferment with Wyeast 1007 German Ale, 2 weeks primary, rack onto 2.25 lbs. (3 12 oz. packages) of fresh cranberries, frozen then thawed and smashed up a bit, for 1 week in the secondary, then rack to a tertiary to clear. I added gelatin and cold-crashed for 2 weeks, which some of you may recognize from the thread where I got a weird two-toned effect for a while. It eventually cleared fine.
ABV: ~7.5%-8% (I'm not sure how much the cranberries contributed.)
This beer is a lovely color and dangerously drinkable. My webcam is pretty shoddy, but here's a picture of a finished pint. (The head had been sinking for a bit while I fiddled with the camera.) Also a pretty nice partial shot of my 1930's Smith Corona portable typewriter.
Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.