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Shift Pale Lager - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Shift Pale LagerShift Pale Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

238 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 238
Hads: 1,342
Avg: 3.66
pDev: 13.93%
Wants: 53
Gots: 170 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 03-14-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 238 | Hads: 1,342
Reviews by Heretodaygonetomorrow:
Photo of Heretodaygonetomorrow
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of hopphead31415
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I have tried most of the more robust beers by New Belgium and I absolutely love them, but wanted some variety so I picked up this pale lager called Shift which has 5.0% ABV.

Look-Pours an almost perfectly clear and yellow golden color that are half a hue darker than the Nooner Pilsner by Sierra Nevada (see my reviews for a description of that one). It pours a thick white soapy head that settles down into a thin layer maybe half a finger thick.

Smell-The smell is very aromatic with lots of toasted bread and cracker malts, a tinge of spiciness from maybe black pepper and coriander, finishing with a floral citrus aroma. I was surprised at how much of the aromatics I got from this pale lager!

Taste-It has a nice flavor, but is not as strong as I would like, but then again I am a “hop head”. I do detect honey and bread based malts with clover, coriander, black pepper, and a muted citrus and floral component. The entire experience is a bit attenuated and passive, but if you are paying attention (and you should), then you’ll get these flavors clear as day.

Mouthfeel-The feel is crisp and mildly effervescent with a moist dry finish. The beer is medium-bodied and clean. The carbonation lingers on the tongue for a long time after your sip which is interesting, because the carbonation bubbles were scarce.

Overall-It is quite a nice experience if you consider everything at once. It is a malt-forward, crisp and refreshing session brew. Leave it to geniuses like New Belgium to take a categorically “wimpy” beer and make it this drinkable. They have renewed my hope in non-IPAs like this pale lager. Great job, New Belgium brewers!

 1,658 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A vigorous pour into my Gulden Draak tulip produces a three finger thick, just barely off-white colored head. The beer is a bright, gold color that shows a brilliantly clear, pale gold / yellow hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of dried hay-like grain, sweet pale malt (with touches of honey-like grain), and a supporting, but increasingly noticeable tropical fruitiness that smells like a mix of orange-scented grapes, lychee, guava, pineapple and bright fruit blossoms. After a short bit a more herbal character starts to become noticeable; slight dank, not really pine, though not full blown marijuana character either.

Dry seeming, but somehow has a sweetness to it that is accentuated by the tropical & ripe citrus hop character. There is a nice pale malt middle to this beer that contributes more body than one might expect from something labeled a Pale Lager; a touch of malt viscosity is here, but ultimately this is a very quaffable beer. Cracker like malt notes are noticeable from beginning to end, but are on the soft side of things. There is also a dried hay, almost dried grassy like note to this beer and the pale malt has a honey like character that is accentuated by the fruity hop notes.

This is a subtle beer all around. I drank it on the warm side of cool, which seems to have brought out a lot of the flavors & I find that I am quite enjoying this beer. We’ll see how I like it at a bit cooler of a temperature (around 50°F) tomorrow. The hop character, while not over the top, has that raw & fruity hop character that at a much larger amplitude would be appropriated for a hoppy Pale Ale or IPA. Much better than I expected.

At cooler temperatures the bright, tropical fruit notes fade a bit and this becomes more herbaceous and green in its hop character, but that Sauvignon Blanc like grape character also starts to come out, which wasn’t noticeable previously. I definitely like this on the warm side of cool 55°F or a bit warmer is better for this particular beer; this is certainly a bit atypical for a lager.

 2,059 characters

Photo of oberon
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pilsner a clear medium golden with a a thinner white head that didi leave a few broken rings of lace as it settled.Caramel sweetness,lightly toasted grain,and a decent shot of herbal hops in the back end.Caramel induced sweetness upfront on the palate with mild grainy notes,and again a shot of herbal/leafy hops in the finish.It's not a clean lager it's actually a little sweet but the hop profile is nice,above average but not great.

 449 characters

Photo of mojohawk21
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of tectactoe
2.84/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 16-oz can into a pilsner glass. Pours a golden-straw color, lots of clarity with a very, very, very slight bit of hazy. Steady stream of carbonation bubbles rising to the top of a relatively thick, ghost-white head that lasts much longer than expected. Nose is very yeast-heavy; bread, biscuits, and wheat are abundant. Deeper down in the aroma I get a bit of corn and mild sweetness. Hops are faintly present, but give way pretty quickly to the rest of the aromas. The taste is pretty basic - reasonable helping of hops up front, somewhat rose-like, mild citrus and pine; bready and malty with a touch of sweetness, and again, a huge dose of corn and wheat from the middle to the finish. Very crisp and clean thanks to the heavy carbonation. Thin-medium body.

I did not enjoy the abundance of corn that I was tasting... it wasn't awful, but it wasn't enjoyable, either. Lackluster beer overall, there are many better pale lagers out there. Hell, I'd probably take a PBR over this. Uninspired and blah.

 1,017 characters

Photo of t2grogan
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of ratamacue
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of tbryan5
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of sicilian
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of markallmon
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of DaftPatrick
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Beaver13
1.94/5  rDev -47%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

16oz can. Pours clear light gold with a medium frothy white head that goes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet husky wheaty malts with some vegetal notes and a little stinkiness.

The flavor is earthy, grainy, biscuity malts and some sweetness with some herbal bitterness in the finish. Kind of reminds me of a cream ale. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, better than macro lagers but not my thing. Vegetal notes, too much biscuit malt with earthy notes.

 513 characters

Photo of jonphilipp
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Beerswag
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of lionnusmb
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz tall-boy can with a freshness date on the bottom.

LOOK: Healthy looking froth, bright golden color show a perfect clarity

SMELL: Bread crust, ripe peaches, biscuity, herbal, passion fruit, spice, clean

TASTE: Very smooth, medium body, crisp snap, biscuity, malt sweetness, herbal, spicy, mild fruitiness, dried grass, clean drying finish

Does this mean that 2013 will be year of the lager and New Belgium is just ahead of the curve on this one? The did get it right with opting for tall-boy size and at 5.0% it is still within the "sessionable" range. Very well balanced and great use of hops here which makes this one of the most interesting pale lagers on the market today.

 684 characters

Photo of Torey
2.3/5  rDev -37.2%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden orange color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of resin and orange citrus from the hops, as well as some biscuit. The flavor also has a good amount of bitterness. I get some lightly toasted malt, as well as some pine, resin and orange citrus. There is also some biscuit malt. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 344 characters

Photo of JupiterJesus
3.21/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tastes like an APA, but with a bit of the stinky lager character.
Richer than most pale lagers, with a good amount of malt character. Too bad half of that malt character is DMS >.<.

Still, the stinky bready, corn-like DMS-y lager character is lower here than in other pale lagers and has a bit more complexity. It's also masked partly by hops.

The aroma is typical nasty lager, but the taste is nicely bitter and has a cool hop character that is unfamiliar but delicious. Good summer brew. I wonder how it would taste with just a bit of dry hop at the end of the lagering period.

 588 characters

Photo of fenlop54
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of fdefulvio
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of chossboss
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bsp77
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from can into Frankfurter mug.

Appearance: Rich golden color with nice sized head at first, and some light lacing.

Smell: Light hay, grains, citrus and spice. Needs a little more oomph in the aroma department, but still nice.

Taste: Hay and apple form the backbone, with a nice hoppy counterbalance of citrus and a light spiciness. Despite the hops, there is virtually no bitterness; just balanced flavors.

Feel: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Crisp, clean and smooth with a dry finish.

Overall: This is essentially a Helles but with New World hops. Surprisingly, I enjoy this almost as much as Surly Hell. I also think that other than the Lips of Faith series, this is the best standard New Belgium beer along with Belgo. Very happly surprised by this.

 788 characters

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Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 238 ratings.