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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
83
good

235 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 235
Hads: 1,333
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.99%
Wants: 51
Gots: 159 | 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: 235 | Hads: 1,333
Photo of alk3kenny
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a slightly dark golden color awesome some grassy notes cereal some hops... Initial tasting slight bitterness not much sweetness can taste some hops and grain carbonation bubbles on the tongue very easily drinkable could put back the whole 4 pk of pints on a hot day off for sure. mouthfeel is light crispy pleasant. (329 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (377 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
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. (632 characters)

Photo of Docer
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
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. (1,077 characters)

Photo of Kromes
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
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. (615 characters)

Photo of jar2574
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
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. (552 characters)

Photo of ZoomanCru
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
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. (945 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
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. (957 characters)

Photo of longbongsilver
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
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. (1,340 characters)

Photo of bsp77
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
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)

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (818 characters)

Photo of dannydetox
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
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. (812 characters)

Photo of pburland23
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
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. (802 characters)

Photo of BDIMike
4.01/5  rDev +9.3%
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. (639 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +9%
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 tdm168
4/5  rDev +9%
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. (481 characters)

Photo of dbossman
4/5  rDev +9%
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 (543 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +9%
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.... (666 characters)

Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured into a pilsner glass to a clear light gold with a two finger dense and soapy white head that retains well and leaves decent lacing
S: smells of clean grain and some citrus with a bit of pine
T: taste is smooth clean and slightly sweet malt with some slight citrus from the hops. swallow is a little spicy and citrusy
M: this beer is fairly light on the mouth but it stays away from being watery. carbonation is soft and slightly prickly and the finish is refreshing
O: a quality american lager with zero adjuncts. no real faults and it's very clean and refreshing. (575 characters)

Photo of PicoPapa
4/5  rDev +9%
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. (503 characters)

Photo of riored4v
4/5  rDev +9%
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. (662 characters)

Photo of JackieTH
4/5  rDev +9%
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. (533 characters)

Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +9%
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. (659 characters)

Photo of DeanMoriarty
4/5  rDev +9%
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. (889 characters)

Photo of jjamadorphd
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I came across a 12-pack variety of New Belgium and decided to try the pale lager. I haven't been entirely impressed with these types of beers from other brewers but from New Belgium it was very good. The pale lager has a dark tinge with a beautiful white and puffy head along with really good lacing - the best I've seen in quite some time. I was also impressed with the wheaty scent along with the distinctive IPA smell (and the other plus for me was there was none of the over bitterness that comes with an IPA). Overall, it was a great beer and I'm glad I've got a few more to go through. (593 characters)

Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 235 ratings.