1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Shift Pale Lager - New Belgium Brewing

Shift Pale LagerShift Pale Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

1,017 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1017
Reviews: 210
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 14.17%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 03-14-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Shift Pale Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,017 | Reviews: 210 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pour is a light golden orange, crystal clear and off white head. The nose is very nice, well balanced grain to faint sweet malt and a zesty herbal hop. The taste follows the nose, great grain presence, very fresh, subtle caramel malt and herbal hops in the back with an assertive carbonation and gentle bitterness. Soft velvety body and crisp clean finish. This is victory esq.

Serving type: can

05-10-2012 15:51:12 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of StoutHunter
StoutHunter

Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a four pack of New Belgium's Shift Pale Lager a couple days ago for $6.99 at Meijers. While doing some grocery shopping I saw that the store just got a bunch of New Belgium beers in that just now became available in Michigan, I don't know much about this beer but it seems like it's suppose to be pretty drinkable and that's the kind of beer that I'm in the mood for right now, so lets see how it goes. No visible canning date, but it has to be pretty fresh. Poured from a tall 16oz can into a imperial pint glass.

A- I like the way this can looks, the gears and chains look nice and go win the New Belgium's constant bike theme. It poured a very clear golden yellow color that I would expect from a Pale Lager. It had two and a half fingers worth of creamy white head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and left lots of nice sheets of lacing. This is a good looking Lager, the color and clarity were true to style and the creamy head was nice, no complaints here.

S- The aroma starts of with a nice malty presence, it has a medium amount of sweetness to it and imparts some bready and grainy aromas along with a little bit of earthiness and grass. Up next comes the hops, which are nice and citrusy with lemon zest sticking out the most but I also picked up some slight floral and spicy hop aromas towards the end. I like the aroma of this beer, its hoppy and has more citrus to it then I thought it would, but the hops don't overpower those nice bready malts.

T- The taste seems to be almost exactly the same as the aroma and it starts off with a slight bit of bready malts that have a lower amount of sweetness, they are quickly followed by a good amount of hops that are are mainly citrus with lemon zest still sticking out the most. Up next comes a little more bready and grainy malt flavors. Towards the end comes some spicy and slightly floral hops that impart a nice spice hop flavor on the finish and impart a light amount of medium bitterness with a pretty spicy aftertaste. This beer tasted good, I really liked the balance between the bready malts and the citrus and spicy hops, it was nice.

M- Very smooth, refreshing, crisp, light bodied, with a nice amount of slightly higher medium carbonation. The mouthfeel worked well with this beer and was very true to style.

Overall I liked and was impressed by this beer and I thought it was a very good example of an American Pale Lager and so far the best one I have tried. It had really good drinkability, it was really smooth, crisp, refreshing, and the flavors did a great job at holding my attention, I could see taking out a four pack on a nice warm summer day, this beer is pretty much the definition of drinkable. What I liked most about this beer was how nice the hop aspect to this beer was and how nicely it was balanced by the bread malts, the balance is really impressive and the drinkability was really nice. What I liked least about this beer was nothing, there isn't anything that I would want to change with this beer, it's great just the way it is. I would for sure buy this beer again, in fact I already got two more four packs before the store jacks the price up, I highly recommend this to anyone and this would make a great choice for someone just getting into craft beer. All in All I was flat out impressed by this beer and it could be one of the best lagers I have ever had, New Belgium hit it out of the park with this one, they gave the people what they wanted, a lager that doesn't suck, great job guys this beer just earned a spot in my beer fridge.

Serving type: can

09-03-2012 23:01:30 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of MostlyNorwegian
MostlyNorwegian

Illinois

4.09/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Not a big smell on the sniffer here. But pleasant with citrus, perhaps slight pine, faint pear into lemon kinda thing happening.
Big attractive head off a vigorous pour. Atmospheric lacing rings populate the glass, with a murky faint swamp like head which drops off the deeper you get in. Shift is a very sexy beer.
Grassy straw notes. and a bit spicey with resined lingering bitterness for the mouth. Very solid beer and burger beer and a nice drinker.

Serving type: can

12-15-2013 23:37:53 | More by MostlyNorwegian
Photo of Kromes
Kromes

Georgia

4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A crystal clear light gold color with a thin soapy white head and a little bit of lacing on the glass.

S: Biscuit malts and a fruity peach aroma with some peppery and citrus hop.

T: More biscuit malts with a nice citrus fruit flavor finished off with a tame grassy hop.

M: Light with what I would say is less than average carbonation for the style. Makes it very drinkable.

O: A tough style to rate. May not be the best beer ever, but within the pale lager category, this one is excellent. This is definitely a summer beer that has good flavor and is still light and refreshing. Has all the right qualities.

Serving type: can

04-06-2012 21:18:56 | More by Kromes
Photo of Docer
Docer

Washington

4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: (3.5)

- Pours an ultra clear straw yellow bubbling lager. Couple fingers of white foaming head settle quickly to a chalky thin layer to remain. Overall a pretty standard looking craft lager.

Smell: (4.0)

- Pretty balanced aroma. Crisp grassy hops, light floral and fruit notes. Sweet biscuity grain and common lager aromas. Nice grains and just crisp beer. Liking the smell.

Taste: (4.0)

- Nice light bitter grassy and herbal hops with a nice little touch of zesty and spice. Balanced perfectly with a light bready sweet grain. This is a solid and refreshing drinker.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)

- Light bodied, well carbonated brew with a slight spicy dryness and mouth watering quality.

Overall: (4.5)

- This is a pretty simple review for a simple beer. But this beer is pretty damn good. Perfect for a hot day and as they have noted, perfect for after a shift of work. Very well balanced, and slightly better than other lagers due to their interesting and zesty combination of hops. This just proves that even the simplest of styles can still come out on top.

Serving type: can

04-09-2012 01:47:53 | More by Docer
Photo of jar2574
jar2574

Missouri

4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 16-ounce can.

Ends up with a decent pale white head over golden yellow highly carbonated beer. Smell is mild citrus hops over sweet honey malts, very pleasant.

Taste is a nice easy-drinking blend of slight hop bitterness and smooth honeyed malts with a dry crisp finish. Not too dry though - the creamy head retention supplies a nice counterpoint to the dryness in the finish. Good lacing all the way down.

This is what an easy-drinking summertime beer should taste like. Very good beer for its style, or any style for that matter.

Serving type: can

04-28-2012 22:54:36 | More by jar2574
Photo of garymuchow
garymuchow

Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This can has just a bit of age on it, but it is still drinking just fine.
Nice fresh hop aroma. This really comes across as though it's gonna' drink like an ale.
Very clear and big full white head. More golden than most lagers.
Nicely hopped drink with full hop flavors but tame bitterness (not none, but tame). Nice drying on the end.
My one complaint is too much carbonation and it is quite sharp. Otherwise feel is lighter in body, but not too small. There is a aqueous quality to the drink at times in feel and taste.
This is a very solid lager. Consistent with the high quality and drinkability of most beers from New Belgium.

Serving type: can

11-16-2012 02:00:30 | More by garymuchow
Photo of ZoomanCru
ZoomanCru

Colorado

4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Shift – Pale Lager (5%) – New Belgium Brewing Co. (Colorado)
☆☆☆☆

App: Deep golden color with hints of copper in direct light. Rocky white head throws up one finger, settling to a half that retains well with a constant stream of bubbles feeding it from the bottom.

Smell: Aroma is light and bready and slightly metallic, with some subtle noble hops character.

Taste: Essentially follows nose. Foretaste is light and cereal with some hops bitterness coming through, especially on the aftertaste. A lot maltier and more in line with a Bohemian Pilsner in terms of flavor, but with significant hopping that balances it well. This beer is super easy to drink and probably one of my favorite lagers. Perfect for the lake or lawn. Actually prefer this out of the can rather than draft.

Mouth: Light and crisp. Flavors linger lightly, but do not coat the tongue. Carb is spot on.

Home tasting, 16oz can into Pilsner Glass. 2/28/14.

Serving type: can

03-01-2014 00:50:05 | More by ZoomanCru
Photo of bsp77
bsp77

Minnesota

4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Serving type: can

04-15-2012 20:49:09 | More by bsp77
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can is dated "02 SEP 12" on bottom of can.

"Pale" bright orange with languidly rising carbonation. A sizable head of foam rises and leaves seafoam lace inside the glass. Retention is good, and it takes awhile for the skim to break on the surface.

Subdued aroma, but there is some hoppy grassiness and orange peel present. It's clean with a slight sweetness.

Flavor is crisp with a bit of hoppy bitterness, orange peel, and crackers from the pale malt. Light bodied and not sweet, it has a crisp bitter dryness that is perfect for hot weather. Supple feel, full flavored, and easy drinking. A lager with traces of IPA citrus, dry and crisp, a perfect summer refresher. Pretty hard not to "get" this... Simplicity is underrated these days.

Regretting not picking up more than a single now, but will get more soon.

Serving type: can

05-02-2012 02:14:24 | More by emerge077
Photo of PicoPapa
PicoPapa

Connecticut

4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz Tall Boy with a Best By Date of 23 SEP 12 on the bottom of the can. Lots of lacing. Pours a translucent amber color with over an inch of frothy head. Aromas of tropical and citrus fruits with some dank hop aroma as well. Taste is more of the tropical fruits. Some nice bitterness towards the end. Very flavorful. Nice mouthfeel with lots of carbonation. Had to wait for the head to fade to drink it but it wasnt too long. Overall a well made Pale Lager with alot of flavor thats worth having again.

Serving type: can

06-11-2012 04:29:37 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of BDIMike
BDIMike

Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark golden color with a slight amount of carbonation. A nice fluffy white head sits on the top of the beer throughout the drink.
Smell doesn't have a ton going on. A bit of nice wheat with a nice under-toned hop too.
Taste has an awesome balance of hoppy goodness, but a good balance and drinkability as well.
Mouthfeel is very nice. A good thickness and a really nice amount of beer that does down nice and easy.
Drinkability is awesome. This beer was designed as the perfect beer to end a shift at work. Could not be more successful. Coming home to one of these beers every day would be perfect. A great beer to drink every day.

Serving type: can

07-01-2012 01:57:01 | More by BDIMike
Photo of longbongsilver
longbongsilver

Missouri

4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saw this at the store recently. I wondered when they first announced it what their purpose was in doing a pale lager -- which is is probably the beer style that comes with the least expectations as far as taste. According to my Try Anything Once rule, grab it. What the hell, I like their other stuff.

First of all, it's not only a pale lager, but a canned pale lager. I poured some just to be able to see it, but all else I describe comes straight from the can. The pour for appearance evaluation purposes revealed the typical yellow, but a big creamy head more akin to a kolsch. Scent is vastly more citrusy than typical for this style, meanwhile the malt character firmly plays background. The balance of this is IPA style, though the hops themselves are obviously not that strength.

Taste is melon-like, plus a slight cracker backing. The citrus really comes through, almost as if to smack you upside the head with "I am not a typical pale lager!!" flavor. That said, the finish is lawnmower brew clean.

It's a damn good beer. I'd even say it's the best pale lager I've ever had, though that's probably because it tastes like anything but. If taking a pedestrian style and showing what it can achieve with the proper effort was their aim, then they succeeded, and I only have one suggestion: a high gravity variant called Overdrive.

Serving type: can

04-07-2012 05:30:50 | More by longbongsilver
Photo of pburland23
pburland23

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz. tallboy can into a standard shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Beer pours a very clear slightly dark golden color with two finger of very delicate white head. Very nice lacing and head retention.

Smell: Citrus fruits - orange peel and lemon. Some wildflowers, graham cracker, cinnamon and honey. Very nice smelling lager.

Taste: Floral and slightly sweet. A touch of honey as well as more ripe citrus fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel: Eminently drinkable at 5.0%. Light in body with sharp biting carbonation. Slightly creamy throughout with a nice, dry finish.

Overall: This is a surprising beer. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I certainly enjoyed. This is a sessionable, hoppy lager and though this one was reviewed from a glass I can attest it drinks very well from the tallboy can.

Serving type: can

10-16-2012 00:32:00 | More by pburland23
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Serving type: can

02-15-2014 20:19:42 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: can

04-14-2012 20:00:06 | More by tdm168
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

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

A: Poured from a can to a pilsner glass. Had a golden yellow color and a clear texture. There was an inch of creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: Hoppier than I expected, with a definite grain presence to be had.

T: Tasted of light hops, malt, a little citrus (lemon), and some grain in the finish. A light, refreshing flavor that seems more like a pilsner than anything else (not bad thing in this case).

M: A good amount carbonation with a smooth, lively finish. Light-bodied.

O: The American Pale Lager style doesn't lend itself to complexity, and this beer won't win any prizes for that. However, it's an easy to drinkable likeable beer.

Serving type: can

04-16-2012 22:51:53 | More by avalon07
Photo of riored4v
riored4v

Colorado

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

Poured in to a tulip. Frothy, 1.5 finger white head. Good lacing. Clear, golden body.

Aroma was surprising. Very bright and crisp with some good hop aroma. Floral and slight mineral aroma. Mellow maltiness.

Flavor was light, crisp with a moderator hop finish. Mild maltiness is first notice, slightly grainy as well. Good hop flavor of floral and light spiceyness. Very bright on the flavor. Slightly grassy in the finish with a hint of minerally flavor. Mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel was medium-light body, medium-high carbonation and a dry, crisp finish.

Overall this was very enjoyable and better than I expected. Very refreshing and good balance of flavors.

Serving type: can

05-28-2012 21:56:43 | More by riored4v
Photo of dbossman
dbossman

Nebraska

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

A: Pale, light copper hue with a really big 3-inch frothy and bubbly head

S: Nice combination of floral and citrus hops--even some weed and musty grass; sweet bready grains; this smells so good--I'm excited to dive into a a lager

T: Nicely bittered up front and though the sweet bready malts balance things out this stays nicely bitter and hoppy; grainy, weed, breads, citrus, mmm

F: Medium body and sticky and oily and really balanced mouth feel

O: This is such a good, drinkable, thirst-quenching lager--I'll sign up for the double shift

Serving type: can

06-06-2012 03:25:13 | More by dbossman
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

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.

Serving type: can

06-18-2012 04:03:30 | More by Mora2000
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

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

16 ounce can, best before October 7, 2012. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a clear golden/amber color with an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing is both good. Aroma is grainy malt, and grassy and citrusy (orange peel, grapefruit) hops. Taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but the bitter hops stand out a little bit more in comparison to the aroma. The flavors also seem a bit stronger than the aroma would lead you to think. Mouthfeel/body is light, it's a bit slick and very easy to drink. Good carbonation. I think this is a good summer brew (and good brew overall). I keep hoping New Belgium will distribute to Ohio in the near future....

Serving type: can

06-23-2012 00:46:40 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of dannydetox
dannydetox

California

4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

shift is, as i reckon it was intended to be, a session beer when you want something simple, yet interesting that you can consume multiple rounds without feeling too full or too buzzed. pours a golden yellow lager color, but leaves rings of suds on the side of the glass unlike the typical american macros. the aromas are my favorite part: chardonnay-like tropical fruit from the nelson(?) hops with notes of lemon peel. maybe a bit of crystal malt in the back. i get more mango as the beer slides over the palate. the drawback? a very thin mouthfeel gives this beer a watery feeling. still, i like it and would definitely bring this one along to a cans only venue or a hiking trip. added bonus - the blue and silver can looks mighty close to a red bull can. this might make for a good street sipper or road beer.

Serving type: can

07-28-2012 04:33:46 | More by dannydetox
Photo of JackieTH
JackieTH

Minnesota

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

From notes, from the only one of these I've ever poured out of it's pint can into a glass.

Golden colored with a fluffy white head that persisted, leaving nice lacing. Smell was lightly malty/grainy with faint but delicious orange, pineapple notes. Taste followed the nose, cleanly malty/grainy with an array of light tropical elements, oranges, pineapples. Mildly balanced to the bitter side. Light, clean and refreshing in a medium bodied beer with a dry finish.

Session beer I'd drink more if if it was a little less expensive.

Serving type: can

09-04-2012 17:33:37 | More by JackieTH
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the source, on to the beer:

Sometimes simpler is better, and New Belgium get it with thier Shift Lager. It's a golden colored beer, leaving a good proportion of lace around the glass. The nose is no-frills but does the job, bringing floral, crackers, and bread to the mix. And while the taste may also be no-frills to some, there's something about the way this beer seduces me that I can't help but like. Its taste is lead by honey, bready, and floral flavors, and pair that with the flavors having harmony with one another, it wins. Light bodied and moderately crisp, this lager is very easy to drink and very refreshing without boring your palate.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2012 05:08:22 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of DeanMoriarty
DeanMoriarty

California

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

Picked up a 4-pack of tall cans from Sunshine Liquor in Ocean Beach...can't remember the price -drank it straight from the can (as one should).

A: Being that I did drink straight from the can - I'll average the score based on its other aspects.

S: Very traditional pale lager malt smell right off the bat - grainy, bready and slightly sweet. Faint hit of orange blossom and earthy hop in there too.

T: Taste is pretty much on point with the nose - the hop is cranked up a bit though, especially in comparison to many others within the same genre - hop goes for a while - very nice!

M: Light-bodied but on the verge of medium, crisp and well carbonated, goes down smooth and finishes clean. Hop oils linger a bit.

Overall a super tasty session ale that has enough hoppiness to please the hop snob (like myself) but approachable enough for those of you not buying into the hop craze.

Serving type: can

12-14-2012 23:34:39 | More by DeanMoriarty
Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,017 ratings.