Shift Pale Lager - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Shift Pale LagerShift Pale Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

233 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 233
Hads: 1,329
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.99%
Wants: 49
Gots: 158 | 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
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Reviews: 233 | Hads: 1,329
Photo of dcscientist
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

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. (309 characters)

Photo of Viciousknishs
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
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. (487 characters)

Photo of chad_e_martin
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (407 characters)

Photo of EagleTalon
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (356 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (1,255 characters)

Photo of steveh
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (1,070 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (654 characters)

Photo of rangerred
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (615 characters)

Photo of rawfish
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (943 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (707 characters)

Photo of soju6
3.45/5  rDev -6%
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 (384 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
3.45/5  rDev -6%
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. (595 characters)

Photo of mscudder
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
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. (566 characters)

Photo of thepliceisright
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (671 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
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. (829 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
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. (355 characters)

Photo of jjboesen
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into a Sam Adams lager glass. it opens in a giant fluffy froth that settels into an active amber body alive with a smattering of shiny bubbles. There is a noticable nose of straw and lemon; the palate is teased with mild hoppiness along with a few blades of grass, and concludes hurriedly.

This is a light-bodied sessional to say the least, an excellent "lawnmower" beer worthy of several pours. However, it will not overwhelm and could become tiresome after a few. Still a pleasantly drinkable lager and one worthy after a hard day at work. (562 characters)

Photo of southeastmat
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A nice almost cloudy orange. A good head on the pour that sticks around and produces some nice lacing.

S: Not a lot going on here for me. Hops on the finish, a bit of sweetness.

T: Great example of what an every day beer should be in the US. It's clean, drinkable and doesn't batter your taste buds with aggressive hoppiness.

M: Clean. Almost light.

O: A terrific go at what beer can be to those folks who may never reach for a barley wine or an imperial stout. It's exactly what it aims to be: a tasty beer after a long day on the job. (545 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden amber in the glass with the classic head. A little more substance to the body than the usual lagers. A touch of resins in the nose.

Pleasant touch of hops with a slight bitter aftertaste, but nothing like the usual hop-centric Pale Ales. Enough malt to give it a toasty taste. Kind of a winey touch. Not much to distinguish it, but comparing with some other craft lagers might be educational. Seems well made and clean in its modest way.

From the tall can. I'm always glad to see more variety in canned beers. If we can't have reusable bottles for commercial brews, maybe we can have less weight and easier recycling. This seems like a good choice for a picnic beer. (675 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16-oz. can into a pint glass at my house on Nov. 4, 2012 (purchased at Vons in Mission Gorge (San Diego, Calif.) for $7.99 (with card) for a 4-pack on Nov. 4, 2012). Honey golden with 2-3 fingers of frothy white head. Good retention on the sides with foamy residue and pretty good on the top as well.

Smelled honey, corn, grains, cereal, skunk, grass and a hint of citrus hops.

Tasted pretty close to the nose, but more bitter. Got corn, grains, grass, honey, cereal and biscuit.

Medium-to-light body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Bitter abrupt finish.

Not a bad beer overall, especially for a lager, but I was hoping for something more. (651 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

New Belgium Shift has a thick, fluffy, off-white head and a clear, bubbly, old-gold appearance, with lots of heavy lacing left on the glass. The aroma is faint, but one can detect bit of piney hops and tap water. The taste is of pine, citrus fruit (think lemon), tap water, and a shade of sweet grain. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and New Belgium Shift finishes crisp, clean, refreshing, drinkable, and dull. This is just another over-priced, flaccid, exceptionally dull failure from New Belgium, a company that seems to have a penchant for producing these depressing offerings. If you want to waste some money, this might be a fine choice.

RJT (648 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured a clean, clear straw gold color with just a tin cap of white head that had no retention or lacing.

The aroma was pleasantly grainy and had some nice gentle hops for balance. The taste was the same, mostly grains with some hops to even things out. the body was crisp and clean, although there was a slight bit of sweetness that lingered on the finish.

Drinkability was good, the can went down quick and easy and I could see maybe taking some of these to a cookout or tubing on the Nooksack. Overall, a nice little beer that'll probably find a place in your summer rotation. (614 characters)

Photo of Omnium
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can > Mason Pint

A - Nice clear gold with one finger of soapy white head, very small dotty lacing.
S - Grainy, a little dark dirty earthy hops.
T - Biscuit dough malt, a little citrus, grain.
M - Medium, ok.
O - Bleh, one note kinda beer. Just is grainy and malty (267 characters)

Photo of isualum12
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

LOVE the can. Looks so cool. Love the little saying on the rim. Extra cool.
Look clear with lots of activity and a lacy head. Golden clear.
Smell skunk kinda gross
Taste hops but not overpowering. Just the right amount of hops if your not a hop head but like it every now and the. (me)
Feel high co2
Overal nice beer. It will stay in the mix.

Thanks (353 characters)

Photo of Germanstylefan7896
3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Nice beer, sure beats the doors off Coors light. A good beer to try to get new people to give up Bud/Coors Light. Very well done lager, color just a touch darker than you would expect. Just fine out of can, not quite as light as it could be and thats a good thing. One of New Belgium's better ones at the moment. (313 characters)

Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 233 ratings.