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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Shift Pale Lager Alström Bros
Reviews: 233 | Hads: 1,329
Photo of gregb13
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Light cereal grain sweetness, citrus hop, white wine. Minor knock for slightly under-carbonated lending to slightly flat quality. About what I'd expected, but a bit less pleasant than I'd hoped for. (198 characters)

Photo of secondtooth
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
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). (399 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (660 characters)

Photo of CloudStrife
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
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. (612 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear gold, topped by an airy, yet persistent white head. Grassy, herbal hops are first to the nose...soft, warm, bready grain and some dankness. Crisp spicy hop flavor with mild citrus, clean lager yeast, and dry, almost biscuity malt. There's a nice leafy/oily hop note tying it all together nicely. Medium-light in the mouth - crisp and tidy. They were going for a quality, refreshing, general-purpose lager, and I think they succeeded. I could down a few of these, but the price is a little high from what I've seen. (520 characters)

Photo of cyclonece09
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can, from a beer of the the month six pack from Vintage Cellar in Blacksburg, Virginia, poured into a pint glass. Pours a real nice straw color with a nice white head that dissipates quickly, but leaves nice lacing. Smells of great sweet grain, and a little floral hop smell. Tastes of sweet grain, but unlike most pale lagers, has a nice hop bite. Beer goes down real smooth for this light bodied beer. Overall, a very good beer. (436 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, lemons, some sweetness. Taste is crisp, tart, citrus, some hops, more pale ale like than lager. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an easy drinking and enjoyable beer. (271 characters)

Photo of vkv822
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz can : tulip glass
from notes.

Clear golden yellow, billowy white head.

Floral hops as well as some fruity hops, sweet grassy, malty grains.

Light body overall, but medium for the style with prickly medium carbonation.

Hoppy, well done lager, prominent flavors, but still easy drinking. (294 characters)

Photo of lwillitz
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16-oz can into New Belgium globe

A - 2 fingers of white foam atop a crystal-clear golden body, moderate carbonation bubbles, nice lacing

S - grass, pine, fruit (apples, pears, peaches?), light grain, pepper/spice

T - pine, pepper, apple, biscuity malt backbone, dry finish; bitterness is pleasantly complex

M - medium body, medium/high carbonation, refreshing

O - complex, bitter, and refreshing (400 characters)

Photo of irrgalaxy
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New 16 oz. can from the New Belgium line.

Light gold color and good head. Smell is crisp, clean with hints of ocean. Surprising amount of hops for a lager, but well-balanced. Medium palate.

Excited for future outdoor events of all kinds, but mostly praying this appears at the ballpark at some point. For backpacking, I'll still go with Dale's Pale Ale for a smaller size, but can't wait to bring a four-pack of these to my next car-camping trip. (450 characters)

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium globe glass.

Look: Copper amber, very clear. Foamy eggshell colored head that hangs around forever. Huge lines of lacing.

Aroma: Woody, spicy, hops, black pepper.

Taste: Starts off with some malty sweetness but soon a peppery, woody note comes in. Very hoppy and herbal. Faint fruits .

Mouthfeel: Medium, bright.

Overall: Very pretty, tastes good. Very New Belgium, tastes like a lot of their brews. Like a band that writes every song in the same key. (482 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoy By: 30 Nov 2014

Pours a very nice dark golden color, very nice carbonation, two-finger creamy white head, which leaves tons of sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy with a nice touch of malts, some citrus, very slight yeast note. The taste is very nice hoppy, with some maltiness, nice touch of citrus. Medium body, with a nice bitter/dry finish. Overall a pretty tasty brew, would buy again. (401 characters)

Photo of morimech
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light golden color with one finger of head that had good retention. The head slowly settles to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass. Pretty damn attractive for a pale lager.

Aroma consists of spicy hops and toasty, caramel malt. But not a lot of aroma is coming off this beer.

Good flavor that is nicely balanced between malt and hops. The malt gives a slightly toasted, grainy, and caramel base that is just slightly sweet. The hops are herbal and spicey. Not the cleanest finish as there is some lingering grain flavor.

More body than typical pale lagers and the carbonation is lower. Overall this is a much more satisfying drinking experience.

A nice lager that rivals Brewfarm Select for pale lager in cans. A nice addition to New Belgium's portfolio. (771 characters)

Photo of dfillius
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, thank heavens for tall boys!
A: Moderate pour yields 1 finger of tight white head with good retention. Clear, bright shiny brass colored liquid. I love the head and the color is pretty.
S: Clean biscuit with slight herbal hop. Some metallic flavor is quite strong, maybe it's a noble hop though? Points knocked off for metallic aroma.
T: Pleasantly balanced bread and herbally hopped. Tang of hop is bigger in the finish. Definitely noble, not citrusy enough to be American hops methinks. Almost savory like a nice lof of crusty bread. Nice but not exceptional.
M: Smooth and creamy. Dry, crisp.
O: Glad to see a decent, solid lager from these guys. I would probably buy this again and would order another. A nice beer to bring to a party. I'm glad NB is now in MI! (791 characters)

Photo of beagle75
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16 oz. can into a becker glass.

A: Clear, brassy golden color with over one finger of rocky white foam head that collapses to a lofty and persistent pad. Moderate stepwise lacing remains on the glass and diffuse bubbles rise in the column.

S: Hops are revealed most obviously by their herbaceous and citrus notes. A lesser malt presence of crisp cracker is also identifiable.

T: Begins dry, with dynamic hop aromatics that are green and herbaceous; astringent at times. Acidity is very restrained into the middle where mild astringent botanical qualities continue, joined by a touch of complimentary pale malt. Bitterness is mild and herbaceous during the brief and clean finish.

M: Thin viscosity, resinous on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This remarkable beer outshines its modest labeling as a "pale lager" by challenging the palate and forcing the drinker to take notice. The look of it alone demands a recalibration of expectations, pouring a deep and healthy honey golden color, rather than the expected light yellow that is more characteristic of the style. Hop qualities are featured throughout, manifesting their extract-like plant attributes in a way that refuses to apologize or appease the masses. Comparisons to Sam Adams Noble Pils come easily, with this beer's flavor profile being not quite as interesting. (1,355 characters)

Photo of JWU
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. tallboy can, poured into a mug.

A- beautifully clear, deep gold which reminds me of a dortmunder lager. A nice off white head sits on top and laces very nicely.

S- Peaches, pineapple, and a biscuity/crackery malt base.

T- A nice flash of hop bitterness, which is balanced by the nice mild malt sweetness. Hops are very fruity, pineapple, and peach mostly.

M- Medium bodied, and crisp. Dry on the finish for a lager.

O- The most interesting pale lager I've had in a long, long time (492 characters)

Photo of lstokes
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright clear gold with a pleasant three fingers of foam and good lacing. Also, it comes in a can, so more appearance points there!

Smell is clean biscuit, taste has some real character--some spice, some tart apple, dried grass, a crisp finish with a punch of hop. Very drinkable, clean lager which is actually quite enjoyable to drink *during* work. (350 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
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. (753 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
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! (1,014 characters)

Photo of silverking
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%

A- it pours a pale clear golden color with one finger of coarse off white head. The head fades fast, leaving a thin cap of foam. There is a small amount of visible carbonation.

S- pine and floral hops atop a lightly bready lager. A little lackluster on the nose.

T- nice. Bright pine and crisp lager. Lightly bitter finish with a good malt backbone.

M- light, crisp, refreshing.

O- good. Easy drinking and satisfying. (436 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 ounce can into pilsener glass, best before 1/27/2013. Pours slightly hazy golden straw color with a nice 1-2 finger dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of lemon zest, apple, pear, cracker, bready grain, floral, grass, pepper, and herbal earthiness. Damn nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and strength. Taste of lemon zest, pear, pepper, apple, cracker, bready grain, floral, grass, and herbal earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, pepper, cracker, bread, floral, grass, and herbal on the finish for a bit. Very nice flavor balance and good complexity of hop/malt notes; with zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice pale lager. Very nice balance of hop/malt flavors; and extremely smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable and refreshing offering. (1,125 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a two-finger, egg-shell white head of bubbly foam. It left sticky patches of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled floral and grassy with some sweet caramel.

T - It tasted spicy and hoppy with a nice bitterness. Sweet caramel and grains add backbone.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied lager with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a pretty tasty lager. I'm impressed. I could see people taking this good canned beer on camping trips, etc. (503 characters)

Photo of CraigP83
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Good rendition of a full flavor extra hoppy lager. A little "tinny". I'd buy again if I wanted that style but didn't feel like an AAL. Mouthfeel is a little bit sticky so not overly refreshing, might be better ice cold (218 characters)

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving type: 16-ounce can. The freshness date printed on the bottom of the can is “07 OCT 12.”

Appearance: Poured into a pilsner glass. The color is straw leaning to gold. Two fingers of dense-ish, off-white head dissipated to leave trails of foam along the glass, a rocky lacing, and a buttery ring around the edge.

Smell: Very reminiscent of a lighter pale ale; grapefruit/orange/lemon hop citrus offers an invigorating kick to what I expected to be a straightforward lager. As the beer warms, the citrus fades (a little) and light grains try to shoulder in. Caramel makes it itself known but otherwise all I smell is the citrus.

Taste: Though on the light side, the mouthfeel is smooth and a little creamy; it goes down easy — a big plus, as always. The hop citrus is evident: grapefruit and a little lemon, orange, and perhaps tangerine. It has a substantial hop bite for a lager, which I really like; it truly is a “shift” in a different direction. Beside the bitterness and citrus, the malts offer a light caramel and light toasted flavor. Otherwise, the malts give the beer a nice body.

Drinkability: This is lager for hopheads. I am impressed. At first I was miffed about the price but now think it is partly justified. (1,243 characters)

Photo of imthaschmidt
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of my go to beers

Pours light, with a great head and leave lace down the side of your glass.

The taste is exactly how it looks, light, crisp, and hoppy. Though it seems to be a bit sweeter than most hopped up beers. not as bitter of an aftertaste

The smell is hoppy

A clean taste in your mouth , doesnt leave a bitter aftertaste on the tongue

New Belgium does it again!

Comes in a pack of 4 cans (414 characters)

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