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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Shift Pale Lager Alström Bros
Reviews: 238 | Hads: 1,342
Photo of BikingDutchman
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Has a two finger white head that stays for a while. The lacing sticks to the glass very well. Beer is a very clear golden color.

S - Smells like bready malts that are overpowered by a citrusy hop smell.

T - Surprisingly large amount of citrusy hop flavor is in balance with clean bready malts. There is more flavor here than I expected.

M - Moderate amount of carbonation. Not much to say here. Not bad, but nothing spectacular.

O - Very easy to drink, but it has more flavor than I expected it to have. A very refreshing beer, and a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - Can

Appearance - Copper tan/ruby brown with a foamy 1 inch head, plenty of lacing.

Smell - Sweet citric hops, pale malts, added sugars, a little caramel malt note near the finish.

Taste - A nice mix of sweet hops and pale malts. Plenty of orange, peach and pineapple in each sip. Sweet and fruity with a slight pale caramel malt flavor near the finish. Some spices provide a grainy flavor.

Mouthfeel - Fruity citric hops coat the tongue with sweetness. Palate gets pale malts and spices. Aftertaste is crisp, a little biscuity and grainy.

Overall - Decent beer, has a nice sweet citric flavor mixed in with pale malts. I guess the only knock about the beer is none of the flavors jump out at you, and you are left feeling a little unsatisfied. Great price, and its in cans, so its worth a drink for sure.

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Photo of DrMullet
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden with a fair amount of head and lace.
Citrus and malt with some floral overtones.
A bit hopper than I would like from a lager
More of an IPA lite.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.51/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can, best by October of 2012. It was poured into my Firestone Walker tulip.

Shift Pale Lager pours a crystal clear orange, with some tangerine and lemon highlights coming through. There's a little more than a finger of white foam, with decent head retention and lacing for the style. The nose is a bit on the dull side, but there is some soft grainy sweetness apparent, along with a light aroma of melon from the Nelson Sauvin hops. The flavor starts of similarly, with lightly bready malt notes. The bitterness that flows through next is perceptible, but just barely. Again, the fruity melon finish is very mild. The craft beer hophead in me wishes is was a bit more "in your face", but as is it works decently as part of an easy drinking lager. The body has just a little bit of sturdyness to it, and the carbonation is pleasantly active. The overall impression of the mouthfeel is definitely very crisp. I was really excited to try Shift Pale Lager because I'm a big fan of Nelson Sauvin hops. Having only had them in hop forward IPAs before, I think my expectation of how hoppy this beer would be could have been a little more tempered. A solid warm weather sessionable beer from New Belgium.

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Photo of marzenfannm
3.51/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Unremarkable but pleasant enough aroma. Gorgeous, classic head with considerable staying power. Blond appearance belies a tasty beer. Medium body with clean finish.

[I am copying these notes over from RateBeer ... it does not require as long of review. I tasted this some time ago so I can't add anything.]

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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.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from can into a New Belgium globe. Poured golden yellow with a half finger purewhite head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wheat, fruit, metallic, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, wheat, fruit, metallic, citrus hop, skunk, skunk hop, and earth. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. While the flavor on this one was quite complex as far as things going on, it just didn’t fire on all cylinders for my palate. However, there was a definite metallic characteristic going on in this one. Not sure if it was a part of the brew or from the can itself, but this wasn’t overly appealing. Worth trying if you are curious, but I wouldn’t go out of my way personally.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint can picked up tonight at Bier Thirty for about $2... Poured into my slim tulip glass... 3 finger white head... nice lacing and retention..

Nose is clean as expected.. a nice shot of light pale malts help deliver some minor hoppiness.... a bit of citrus... and something that I associate with Summit.. garlic? Damn I hate saying that.

Flavor shows plenty of pale malt....minor toast ... very very clean.... hops are more soapy.. odd but still decent.. a bit of lemon and hints of onion on the finish..

Medium/light body... nice carbonation... great drinkability.

I am very curious to see how NB works this into their stable.. Shift is a pretty much perfect beer to take camping, rafting, hotspringing, etc.

all 3.5

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by 9/9/12.

Pours a clear orange with a 2 inch foamy orange-white head that settles to a thin cap on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of metal, grain, and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is of tangy malt and some herbal hop flavors. There is a mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good lager but I was expecting a crisper level of carbonation.

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Photo of dcscientist
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Had this one in a can. Good flavor, and a slightly different version of the usual pale. Not super-hoppy as some of their newer offerings tend to be, and I could taste a bit of the fruity flavor that is advertised. It's a little atypical for this brewery, and I'm glad they took a chance to make this style.

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

A- pours a deep golden color with a half a finger cap of off white head. Pour retention.

S- clean pale malt aromas up front with a nice slightly elevated hop presence of citrus and pine.

T- nice burst of lemon zest citrusy hops up front. The hops soon fall off and leave a clean crisp pale malt flavor with some toasty characteristics and a good amount of bitterness.

MF- smooth crisp mouthfeel with a light medium body. Average carbonation.

D- very drinkable. A solid session brew.

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Photo of chad_e_martin
3.49/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Setting: My home, cool Spring night.

Serving type: Chilled can, poured into a glass.

Art: new art for this beer. Navy blue and beige can, with multiple gear shifts and belts.

Beer: Golden color; no distinct flavors, but hints of wheat, honey, vague malt and citrus (very vague). I don't know if I taste much of anything here, still it has a nice taste. Strange, but totally enjoyable. A lingering taste.

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Photo of EagleTalon
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out to a fluffy everlasting head, sexy lacing and light gold color. Aroma is grassy and spicy hops and faint grain and lemon. Flavor is spicy hops with lemon, coriander and pilsner malt in the backbone. Mouthfeel is sticky and rough. Light body and appropriate co2. Overall, another beer style that has been newbelgified. Not bad but I've had better.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I never thought I'd live to see the day when one of the bigger breweries in America named a widely available beer after one of the better grindcore albums made. Wait, what, Nasum didn't have a say in this? Oh well, never mind. Best by 16th Sept 2012.

A crystal clear golden amber with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and nice lacing, this looks pretty good! The nose is decent. Modestly hoppy with citrus (Cascades are most noticeable) a touch of grape (Nelson Sauvin) and lightly bittered, this smells quite nice. The malt character is light, with a toasty, mildly sugared cracker aroma.

The palate opens mildly bitter with the chalky, powdery Cascade hop flavor and bitterness being most dominant flavor. This is followed by a mild honeyed, toasty, bruleed-sugar malt character. The mid-palate, though, completely vanishes - watery and empty, there's a shocking lack of flavor here. A modest mineral character is present, which complements the hop profile. Drying on the finish with a blend of toast, light bitterness and mild citrus flavors. Light in body with a medium-high carbonation that works, and despite the watery mid-palate, the hops provide just enough resin character to tie the palate together. Solid, definitely worthy.

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Photo of steveh
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally found this on shelves locally and based on a recent, lively discussion about US and German lagers, thought I'd give it a try. $9 for a 4 pack of 16 oz. cans.

A -- Pours a clear, deep gold (deeper in color than any other American Pale Lager I've ever seen) with a dense, white head that holds up well.

S -- Lightly citrus and mildly piny nose. More Pale Ale in character than Pale Lager. I'll give it points for being appetizing, but knock some off for style.

T -- Somewhat resiny, mildly bitter hops, not as overpowering as this hop mix could be. Light graininess fighting valiantly against the hop character. Dry, resiny bitter finish and aftertaste. Not really lager-like, so I'm scoring as I did aroma.

M -- Mouthfeel is crisp and dry with a light-medium body.

O -- Not what I'd expect in picking up a beer labeled "Pale Lager," but it doesn't turn me off either. If I didn't have some true Pale Lager waiting in the wings, I might have been disappointed, but the refreshing flavor and body of this new beer makes for a good first drink of the afternoon.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can, best before Sept 9, 2012.

It pours very nice with a 1 finger head of foam and lots of cool lacing. The colour is anything but pale...24k gold, I reckon.

The smell is of lemon and grassy hops with a bit of toasted malt.

The taste is hoppy for the style(American Pale Lager) with nice lemon flavour and just a touch of grass; the toasted malt is a bit stronger in the taste than it was in the smell.

I'm trying to figure out if I need to have this in my regular rotation once the weather gets more predictable. At $8 something a 4 pack for Shift, Schlitz 70s formula and Olympia 95% Malt are about as good though different and a lot cheaper.

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Photo of rangerred
3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy light gold with a thick one finger head. Plenty of lacing clings to the sides of the glass.

Smell has some cooked vegetables along with some biscuit and grassy hops.

Some caramel and biscuit on the taste along with a little bit of yeast. Grassy hops contribute a nice flavor along with a light to moderate bitterness to balance out the malt. Mouthfeel has enough body to make it interesting but it is still quite refreshing.

There isn't a ton going on with this brew but it would be great for sessioning. This could potentially be a good gateway beer from BMC.

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Photo of rawfish
3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours darkish gold with a huge pillow white two finger head and oddly of chunky lacing left on the glass but plenty of it. Retention was nice as well.

Grainy and light malt, minimal adjuncts with subtle complexities of hay, canned pineapple and tangerine. Thankful that NB's lager yeast doesn't leave the biscuit quality all of their ales have.

Quite good though very malty. Thick dose of pale malt with some honey, spiced bread and grain husk. Slight edge from orange and pine hops. Slightly bittering with a crude hit of adjunct graincoming out on the finish.

A bit heavy throughout the drink, one can is all I care to have with this body. Carbonation is appropriate. Nicely drying. I liked it better out of the can.

Canned lager, great that craft breweries can get their slice of the pie. Pricewise I'd pass on this, it is a heavier take on a lager with a good balance but not even NB's best. I'd take a Blue Paddle over this any day.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz can, poured into my 20oz New Holland glass, body is golden in color with excellent clarity. Tall white head holds good retention and eventually dissipates into a foam atop the ale, leaving good lacing on the glass. Aromas are overly sweet, with grain, grass, and grape-like scents. Tastes are sharp and clean, with fruity characteristics - maybe apple juice or white grape juice, grain, sweet, with some herbal/grassy/earthy hops to help balance it out. Mouth is thin-to-medium bodied and smooth, finishes just dry enough to warrant another quenching taste of the lager. Overall, good, crafty interpretation of a style I prefer not to drink too often. Good for the try, but probably won't buy it again.

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Photo of soju6
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clean pale golden color with a good head that fades to nice lacing.

S: Aroma of fresh grain and mild citrus with some malt sweetness and herbs.

T: Starts with a nice bitterness and mild malt sweetness. Continues with a pleasant bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Fairly light body and smooth.

O: Easy drinker, quite enjoyable. Can put away a few of these with no problem

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Photo of Onenote81
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz can, canned on 9/2/12, poured into a pint glass. Pours a hazy honey-gold with a frothy head on top. Great sticky lace clings to the glass. Orange zest, lemon, green hops in the nose. The body is crisp, but thins out on the finish. Could use a little more 'snap' to it. NB comes through with big bitter hops as expected. They couldn't just brew a simple refreshing lager, no, this beer is like a MIPA (mild IPA). The bitter character is short-lived though, and there's not a lot else here. It's not the most flavorful beer, other than the oily hops. This was decent, but not what I expected.

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Photo of mscudder
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served into a pint.

A - Transparent straw hue with a touch of orange. Large pale head with composition of concise bubbles. Fair retention and lacing.

S - Wheat, straw, pale malts. Like the light lagers,less the funky gross notes.

T - Sweet for a lager. Follows the nose and the flavor is fairly bland. A beer that benefits from a chilled can. Feels exposed as it warms.

M - Light body with moderate carbonation.

O - What I expected: a drinkable lager which is a good substitute for those crappy light lagers you are looking to throw back on particular evenings.

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Photo of thepliceisright
3.42/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank this straight from the can.

Have no clue what it looks like, although when I popped the top a white head foam poured over on the top of the can.

Smells great, very fruity and slightly biscuit-y. Heavy pear, grapefruit smell.

I was actually surprised by the taste of this. Definitely a pale ale, but sweeter than I would have imagined. Definitely fruity, a nice forward hop taste, sometimes bitter and a definite dry finish.

Mouthfeel is dry. Thats all I can say about that.

Overall, this is a great beer to drink on a hot summer day; especially if you are looking for a session beer. The 5% ABV will catch up to you sooner than later though, with this beer.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Finger of head on a clear and golden body. Good lacing as the drink goes down.

Its aroma is faint; metallic and grain smell.

Tastes malty (for a lager) and then suddenly big splash of bitterness. One, two flavor profile.

Smooth and crisp texture, low carbonation and light body.

Tasty and drinkable for a long night or day.

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