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Shift Pale Lager - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Shift Pale LagerShift Pale Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

1,313 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,313
Reviews: 228
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 14.17%
Wants: 47
Gots: 145 | FT: 1
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,313 | Reviews: 228
Reviews by hopfacebrew:
Photo of hopfacebrew
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heard good things about this, poured from can to pilsner glass the beer arrives a translucent orange copper yellow with a nice 2 finger white head, good retention, and good lacing. The nose is a little light but not bad, consisting of a light floral earthy hop and a touch of caramel. The flavor improves on the nose with a light but pleasant hop earthy flavor and mild bitterness, hints of caramel sweetness and light pilsen malt. Finishes crisp and clean. Light bodied and well carbonated. Overall, good. This will be enjoyed more and more as the temperature heats up!

More User Reviews:
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.84/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of oberon
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of tectactoe
2.84/5  rDev -21.1%
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.

Photo of Beaver13
1.94/5  rDev -46.1%
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.

Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of JupiterJesus
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Photo of bsp77
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

Nose: light grain, a hint of sulfur.
Brilliant straw, 2” fluffy bone white foam cap.
Creamy, light bodied, above average carbonation.
Palate: light grains, creamy, slight vegetal, crisp hop finish.
Refreshing with a good balance between the hops and the malts.

Photo of MattyG85
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 16 oz. can into a New Belgium Globe glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear copper golden orange with lots of rising bubbles. Big four finger white head with decent retention. Leaves lots of lacing hanging on the glass.

Smell: A pretty crisp aroma. Bready pale malts with good hints of biscuit and cracker. Wheat grains and subtle hints of citrus orange and lemons. Pretty noticeable presence of floral and grassy hops lingering around. A laid back but well balanced aroma.

Taste: A taste that is pretty malt forward but has a nice hop profile in the background. Bready pale malts and wheat grains with good notes of biscuit and crackers. Light hint of a butter like taste. Subtle hints of lemon. Decent presence of grassy and herbal hops that add some bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Very crisp and smooth drinking. Fairly tingly on the tongue.

Overall: A nice beer for the style. Well balanced and very easy drinking. Good lawnmower or after "shift" brew.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Kind of a bright yellow pour, with pretty close to virgin white head on it (i dunno, maybe its one of those oral don't count things that you used to have to go to Utah to hear). Pretty good retention and lacing. Aroma is almost of nothing but soap. Weird.

Mild cereal and like honeysuckle flavor, with a sizeable bitterness. Herbal, grassy and flowery. Light enough body considering the ample flavor quotient. A decent option to take disc golfing with for sure. A little heavy for a palate cleanser though, but relatively speaking, it might do the trick if you've got nothing but huge beers and this around.

Ultimately, I'm not a huge fan of the beer, but it is a lot better than many lagers around. It was an easy second purchase when I went into Total Wine and saw a palate of 4 packs going for only $2.99. No brainer there.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.04/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pale golden fresh cut hay with a bit of an orange copper glow, brilliant white head forms thick and fills the chalice with love. Aromatics offer up biscuit malt, mild grassy citric notes crisp blend of malts, hops, water...almost a pungent tartness in the nose. Flavor perfectly complex drinking lager, all malted barley goes along way with flavor...biscuit malts bring a bready resilience with the herbal/mineral/citric notes coming from the hops very clean snappy finish. Those hops stick around more than the average end of shift lager that this country knows all too well. I saw it labeled for 16.99 a 12 pack, which I didn't jump on however I did grab about four cans for $1.69 just enough to wet the whistle. Crisp even carbonation perfect mouthfeel semi dry finish linger hops accent the breadiness perfectly it's a true American Lager thank heavens for New Belgium. Overall I will definitely grab more of this class expression of true drinking beer.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a footed strange)
A- This beer pours a deep dark yellow body that is clear body with a gentle carbonation and a thick creamy head of egg cream that turns bubble but lasts.

S- The dry woody green hops are gentle with a slight dried citrus note and some green leaf hops aroma growing in the finish.

T- The clean crisp taste has a slightly musty dry grain and biscuit malt note with some pineapple weed hops that linger as a gentle bitterness in the finish.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a crisp little fizz.

O- As it opens it becomes a bit bitey and dry but it is well lagered with the malt a little soft the hops come through and grow in bitterness more than flavor but some woody hop notes start to add a bit of depth as it opens.

Photo of LXIXME
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big white head quickly settles into a decent lacing above a clear rich golden colored beer.

Light citrus to piney hops aroma with a little yeast and grass like hints.

A light soapy sour citrus hops with a a little bit of grain in the taste.

A dry aftertaste with a slight bitter almost soapy hops sticking around on the light to medium bodied beer.

This beer starts out looking really good with a very nice light nose and it seems to go down hill some with the taste and aftertaste.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into a 16oz nonic pint glass. Best by 30 Dec 12.

A: Pours a clear golden hue with a 1 finger white head. Average amount of visible carbonation. Head settles to a thin film. Leaves a little lacing on the glass.

S: Malty lagery aroma that is pleasant. A fresh hop in the background. Cracker and breadiness.

T: Leads with some biscuity malt, followed by an earthy hop overtone and a sweet fruity finish. Nice hop touch.

M: Light to medium body with average carbonation and a clean finish. Good for a session.

Overall a tasty, easy drinking lager that can be enjoyed by anyone who likes beer.

Photo of quirkzoo
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crystal clear golden amber color with 1.5 fingers of fluffy white head that recede to a thin cap.

Soft, floral hop aroma, honeysuckle, orange blossoms, oranges. Very clean pilsner malt profile with a dry lager yeast smell.

Decently bitter, especially for a lager. The hops are not as present on the palate which is a shame as I really liked the aroma (I am a suck for Nelson Sauvin hops).

Really light mouthfeel, very drinkable.

Overall this is a great beer, good to see New Belgium honing in a lager, I will definitely get this one again.

Photo of lnashsig
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

#BOTG 58!

I don't know how I have never had this one, but I haven't. So, here we go! I have been jonesing for sessionable beers this summer, with the wicked heat so far.

Poured from can into Karbach pint glass. Pours a nice golden pale color, nice head on the top of the beer. Looks like a lager. Smell- grassy hops, bread. Not much more there to describe, but the hoppiness of this is apparent. Taste- Nice grassy assertive hops, not much backbone behind it. Lacking a bit in balance. Really tight carbonation, borderline stingy. This is a nice, refreshing lager, full of hops flavor, and I could easily pound this beer. I'll be coming back to this one for sure again this summer.

Photo of biboergosum
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16oz glass at Craft Beer Market - I somehow missed out on grabbing a can of this at the New Belgium Denver Beer Week event last fall - oh well, now they've come to Alberta.

This beer appears a clear, pale golden amber hue, with a thin cap of weakly foamy and bubbly ecru head, which leaves some bleeding striated lace around the glass as things fall away.

It smells of lightly bready pale malt, a faint caramel sweetness, middling citrus and drupe fruit, earthy yeast, and soft leafy, earthy hops. The taste is semi-sweet pale malt, some grainy caramel, white wine, tame melon, fruity yeast esters, and floral, weedy hops.

The bubbles are fairly low-key, but supportive enough, the body an adequate medium weight, and generally smooth, with a mild tackiness. It finishes off-dry, the bready pale malt and floral, leafy hops squaring off for redemption.

A rather good amalgam of styles, very altbier-esque. Fruity, vinous, and pretty enjoyable - I hope to see the canned version available up here by summertime!

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.22/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Poured aggressively from the can produced a big, frothy 3 finger white head. Retention was average. Color was a crystal clear and purely golden. Resulting lace is sparse, but gathers in cloudy chunks around the edges.

Smell - Hate to say it, but the predominant smell I get is light mildew. Hints of grass and lemon. One of the more unpleasant smelling beers I've put my nose to. Thankfully the aroma is subtle all in all.

Taste - Thankfully it does not taste in the way it smells. Lightly flavored, with notes of grass and lemon hops. Sitting beneath this you'll find a notes of New Belgium's classic malt profile; toasted biscuit with a touch of nuttiness. Finishes with the malt flavor coming on strong, but hops take the checkered flag.

Mouthfeel - Light in body, almost watery, but packs some serious bite. Tingles the lips like crazy.

Overall - Not a bad pale ale, but the smell is off-putting. I probably won't buy this again, but I'm glad I tried it.

Photo of augustgarage
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16oz can into my Moonlight shaped pint glass.

Clear orange-tinged amber body capped by a soft soapy off-white half-finger. Good retention, soft non-commital lacing.

Sweet mellow aromatics, fairly generic with a hint of crisp green apple.

Crisp gently malty palate entry with a low bitterness leading into the gentle medium-dry finish. Aftertaste is slightly sweet and grainy (corn? or is it the Munich and Crystal talking?) with a touch of quinine. Disappointed that the hop character doesn't come across more, but then if it did, this wouldn't be to style I suppose.

Very light bodied, well carbonated, and brisk.

Clean, fresh tasting, very light lager - maybe not the best value, but worth a try if you want to mow the lawn in style.

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - clear, see-through, gold with a mountain of dense, white, foamy head with great retention

S - light, bready malt; herbal, spicy; great hop character

T - toasted malts, faint bread, herbal hops, a hint of onions, little lager yeast, a slight spicy hop finish

M - light bodied, smooth, crisp, well carbonated

This is a really solid pale lager. It has a great hop character and great balance and flavor for the style. This would be a great trade off for the usual BMC drinker.

Photo of dertyd
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

16 oz tall boy to a pint glass

A:deep golden color,one finger head that lingers for a few,nice laceing that sticks around,looks a lot like an ipa

S:smells like an ipa nice hop aroma but with a corn presence

T:corn cereal,not to hoppy or as pale as I was hopeing but this is a damn good lawnmower beer

M:realy dry after taste almost like a wine leaves your mouth dry

Overall: overall a realy good drinkable beer like I can pound theese all day wile my bmc buddies drink there light lagers lol I was hopeing for a lil more I had the sam adams double agent yesterday and I was hopeing for something close but this was way diffren a lot of corn taste in this not bad at all just hoped for a lil more going on I willndrink this again at partys and sesion events...live life....drink beer....

Photo of secondtooth
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This nicely clean amber lager pours with a massive head, and splendid, intricate, and finely-detailed lace.

Nose is malty but with an obvious hoppy citrus touch. Very nice.

Taste is light on the palate up front, but full of hopped-up citrus notes upon finish. Drinks much like a pale ale, and a solid one at that. I would buy this regularly if the price wasn't so prohibitive ($9 for 4 pint cans).

Photo of ElGordo
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright golden color with a quick flourish of white head that settles down prety quickly. NIce, clean aroma of bready malt and piney hops. Crisp, clean taste that's malt-forward and accented with some distinct lager yeast. Finish is a little tart and pleasantly bitter. I'll probably drink more than a few of these this summer.

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Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,313 ratings.