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Shift Pale Lager - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Shift Pale LagerShift Pale Lager

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

1,127 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,127
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 14.17%
Wants: 31
Gots: 54 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 03-14-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,127 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at 12 Bones Smokehouse, Asheville, NC

A: The beer is clear yellowish amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high creamy white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of toasted malts and citrus hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the flavors of hops seem to be stronger; these also contribute a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very flavorful for the style and also easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

05-29-2013 11:51:15 | More by metter98
Photo of HattedClassic
HattedClassic

Virginia

3.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance:
The beer is a clear golden straw with a strong and vigorous white head that lasts for a while.

Smell:
The beer has a strong malt smell and some light hop smell as well as a bit grainy.

Taste:
The beer has a strong caramel taste that dominates the light hop flavor. The malt flavor can be fairly overpowering to the point where it becomes difficult another one but not so much that you can't finish what you have.

Mouthfeel:
The beer feels fairly thick and medium bodied. Biting carbonation with a slightly dry finish.

Overall:
A decent session lager and worth going through every once in a while.

Serving type: can

09-11-2013 02:16:53 | More by HattedClassic
Photo of quirkzoo
quirkzoo

Colorado

3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crystal clear golden amber color with 1.5 fingers of fluffy white head that recede to a thin cap.

Soft, floral hop aroma, honeysuckle, orange blossoms, oranges. Very clean pilsner malt profile with a dry lager yeast smell.

Decently bitter, especially for a lager. The hops are not as present on the palate which is a shame as I really liked the aroma (I am a suck for Nelson Sauvin hops).

Really light mouthfeel, very drinkable.

Overall this is a great beer, good to see New Belgium honing in a lager, I will definitely get this one again.

Serving type: can

06-13-2012 17:04:53 | More by quirkzoo
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton

Indiana

3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale lager in a can? Sounds a little average for American beer drinkers. Thankfully, though, New Belgium is well above the norm in terms of pleasing the palate.

More than a month or two away from the best by date (“07 OCT 12” is printed on the bottom of the can).

A: Yellow and fizzy, but with a thicker head and a darker body than anything from a Budweiser can. The eggshell head is supported by a barrage of bubbles from the nucleation site, coming down slowly to just a paper-thin layer over the body (typical for most canned beers I’ve seen, for some reason). Tons of filmy lacing.

S: Hop-forward, but not hop-heavy; this is a mild-smelling beer. Citrus juice, lemon peel, and a crisp floweriness characterize the bitters in a unique and pleasing way, while biscuity malts lays a foundation of caramel and breads underneath. Clean, fresh aromas with a full dose of breads: definitely what I like in a lager.

T: Smooth bread crust and cracker tastes are on the forefront, though they are well-mixed with familiar flavors of pale ale caramel malt; this beer tastes like a cross between an APA and a pilsner, malt-wise. Hops aren’t explosive, but they lend a bright, rindy spiciness that livens up the palate with lemon, grapefruit, orange peel, and light pine. Tart and clean bitters. Finishes with moderate-strength malts and lingering rind flavors.

M: This beer is more slick than chewy; not as thick as I’d like, but pretty drinkable, nonetheless. A bit fizzier from the can, which brings out the brighter metallic flavors and makes it not as palatable; drink this one from a glass.

O: Good beer – that’s really all I can say. After the first taste, it becomes more and more underwhelming, but I could see myself session this for a while.

Serving type: can

08-23-2012 19:50:32 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of gatornation
gatornation

Minnesota

3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from a pint can BB 090212

A- pours a clear dark golden yellow color with a fresh white head and collar with minimal lacing

S- was pale malts with baked bread a sweet citrus smell

T- pale malts and floral citrus hops a butter bread and sweet grain taste

M- medium carbonation with a crisp floral hop palate

O- very drinkable smooth and creamy PA

Serving type: can

04-06-2012 22:31:33 | More by gatornation
Photo of obrike
obrike

Texas

3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A buddy brought these over while I was grilling fajitas last weekend.

Poured from a pint can into my Firestone Walker pint glass.

Good looking beer! It's a golden color with a white fluffy head with very generous lacing...big bubbles occassonally streaming to the top of the glass.

Very light grain on the scent... nothing that stands out but nothing smells off either. I get a bit of floral hops to back up the malt. Certainly does not pop here.

Taste is pretty refreshing. It has this slight floral hop bite at first, then moves into a biscuity-like profile and is backed by finish that combines both. Certainly quite drinkable and is quite sessionable with the 5% abv. Overall, this could be a go to pale lager in the summer for sure. This is one you could swap out with your run of the mill crappy adjunct lager to your BMC buddies at a pool party.

Not a style I visit much, but certainly seems like a good representation.

Serving type: can

03-10-2013 22:49:44 | More by obrike
Photo of Ryan011235
Ryan011235

Ohio

3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Allagash glass on 9/12/12

28 Oct 12 printed on the bottom of the can.

The beer is clear and a fairly dark golden color, it has a burnt amber sheen in certain light. The head is a mass of sticky bubbles, two and a half fingers tall. As the head recedes, raised trails of lace are left with intermittent smatterings of speckled foam.

The aroma has a hefty dose of grains as well as a doughy, biscuit-like yeast presence. The hops add interesting notes of lemon, prairie grass, pollen and hints of pine. Overall, the hops have a bit of an edge.

The taste finds more focus on citrus with a prominent orange flavor accented by notes of pine and grass. The pine offers a decent kick that becomes noticeable after a few sips. There are stray hints of herbal hops. The malt bill seems a bit clear, dropping the doughiness in favor of modest, but robust grains.

The feel has a fair shake at being medium body; it certainly isn't thin at all. Carbonation seems is too strong out of the gate, but after a while, it calms and matches the feel nicely. The finish is pretty clean with mild hop and grain residuals.

Overall, this is a good pale lager. New Belgium seldom disappoints. I can't wait for them to come to Ohio.

Serving type: can

09-30-2012 23:46:29 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of jimmah120
jimmah120

Minnesota

3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pint can at Old Chicago

Look is golden orange with a two finger pillowy head. Smell is grains and wheat, with a medicinal hop tinge. Taste is much better: rolling wheat and grains, musty yeast with a bitter earthy hop finish. Mouthfeel is crisp and full, well carbonated.

Nice and easy drinking, with some decent light wheat and hop flavor. NB does it again.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2012 11:18:39 | More by jimmah120
Photo of intensify
intensify

Colorado

3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clean, clear honey colored body with plenty of carbonation and a head that stuck around for the duration of this review. Nice lacing, but no alcohol legs which wasn't a suprise with the 5% abv.

S- Slight pine, hops and orange peel.

T- Once again, a clean refreshing taste. Identical to the smell, only a slight grainyness that was expected.

M- Medium bodied, dry finish. Nice session beer and available year around. I can drink this without hesitation.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2012 05:39:34 | More by intensify
Photo of snaotheus
snaotheus

Washington

3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pint can poured into a pint glass

Pours a clear golden amber with medium head on the pour, and low head retention, and lots of carbonation. Smell is very mild, slightly yeasty, some sweetness.

Taste is slightly hoppy, nice bitterness, some of the yeasty flavor, slightly sour aftertaste that I think is fairly common for lagers.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth. Overall, it's not a bad lager.

Serving type: can

06-03-2012 19:04:44 | More by snaotheus
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce can - $2.29 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. There is what appears to be an expiration date of 16 SEP 12 on the bottom of the can.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear, deep yellow body with a lofty, foaming, whitish head. Copious amounts of coating lacing on the way down.

Smell: An aromatic base of pale malts with a small hint of toast and grainy-scented barley, then fragrant notes of spice and white grapefruit and, just lightly, some resins.

Taste: Pale maltiness, a bit of grain, a bit of lightly toasted bread. Citrusy, floral hops with a scant hint of savory spiciness and resin drip. Reasonably bitter. Just a bit more of the sweet maltiness (just a bit), then, the spicy, citrusy finish with a low hint of lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: A fairly fine, tasty lager.

Serving type: can

06-08-2012 21:16:53 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Beast35
Beast35

Indiana

3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

For a lager this is a pretty good beer. Poured into a shaker pint, nice golden color, not your piss colored adjunct lager. Smells hoppy for a lager. Taste surprisingly does not live up to the smell. Overall though this is a good good beer, wish it was cheaper though.

Serving type: can

05-13-2012 23:19:46 | More by Beast35
Photo of WankelEngine
WankelEngine

Illinois

3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a glass

A: Pours a light orange color. There is an almost two finger head of white foam which disappears quickly on my first pour but has much better retention when I finish the can. A small amount of spotty, layered lacing.

S: Light noble hops and mild lemon zest. A good grain background. As the beer warms I can detect some lager yeast.

T: Grains and light bready malt are the first things I pick up. Mild grassy hops and herbal spice impart a decent bitterness. Aftertaste is somewhat floral. I want to say there is some tropical fruit/melon to the flavor, but it is incredibly mild.

M: Thin and a little watery. Carbonation is mild but what is there is effervescent.

O: A very easy drinking beer. A good alternative to macros when you want to have a few and not not get too full or drunk.

Serving type: can

07-29-2012 00:39:50 | More by WankelEngine
Photo of Scotchboy
Scotchboy

Idaho

3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Shift Pale Lager, tallboy canned Oct 2011, served in a Sam Smith nonic.

A: Pale yellow color with hints of gold, very clear; bright white head and modest lacing.

S: Hopping mixed with pale malts, bread crust, toasted grains, light citrus, lemon & orange peel, floral notes, with hints of spiciness.

T: Follows the nose. Flash of bright citrus and orange followed by lots of crackery biscuit malts and lightly toasted grains, light spices, clean finish, with moderate bitterness for a lager as the hops arrive on the back end ever so lightly.

Extremely enjoyable for a lager, of which I'm not really a fan.

MF: Light and refreshing and drinkable...watery? In a good way. Nice carbonation.

O: Solid drinker for the lager fans. Tallboy, low abv, modest hopping. I'd say this is a winner.

Serving type: can

05-31-2012 20:39:02 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of kaplunk02
kaplunk02

Illinois

3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Poured a very light amber with a substantial white head.

S: Smelled of citris hops, grass and grain. A bit malty as well.

T: Citrus hops, grass and grain much like the smell but also very grapefruity.

M: Nice balanced mouthfeel. Not watery or slick but very smooth with light carbonation.

O: Overall a really nice lager especially to be had at the end of a long day :)

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 07:43:08 | More by kaplunk02
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Clear honey, as expected, nice white head, TONS of cling lace. Very inviting.

S - malty, grainy, somewhat sweet with a slight floral background.

T - Very similar to smell, as to be expected with a pale lager.

M - Light body, good carb, nice clean balance.

D - Good beer. I would have another.

Serving type: can

01-20-2013 05:24:28 | More by srandycarter
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shift Pale ale is a good beer. The beer poured golden clear with frothy white head that is lacing nicely. The smell has a nice malt character. The taste includes the typical New Belgium Belgium malt. The mouthfeel is light to medium in body with good carboantion. Overall....I like it.

Serving type: can

08-07-2012 01:48:43 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall, a pleasant, easy-drinking lager, not crisp but quite smooth. The aroma has a mix of fresh bread and mild fruity hops. The hops character is an easy mix of earthy tangerine and grapefruit with only a hit of bitter rind in the finish. This beer remind me more of cream ale (like a dialed back Sixpoint Sweet Action) for the gentle hops and light barley with a more medium body. Still, I wouldn't mind having a few on a hot day, or any day really.

Serving type: can

05-10-2012 00:04:21 | More by tempest
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BBD of 24 Jun 2012

Pours a super-effervescent gold/bronze color with 4 fingers of fluffed up pearl colored head. Great lacing & above average head retention

S: Serious bready notes, grassyness & lemons as well

T: Grassyness, faint lemon rind, crackery notes along with some bready sweetness. Some mineral & soapy hoppyness as this warms along with more grassyness & some grainyness. Finishes grassy, citrussy & fairly crisp

MF: Medium bodied, crisp carbonation, alright balance

I'm sure a few of these will go down great out on the lake or chilling this summer; but this is a little too stripped down for me, give more hops & or malt please. I doubt this will even make my summer canned beer rotation this year...

Serving type: can

04-20-2012 03:58:02 | More by russpowell
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear golden copper, with a couple fingers of white head that has a bit of an off look to it. This retains with a thin creaminess that drenches the sides of the glass with a ton of sticky lacing. Nice look. The aroma smells fresh, grassy, and dank, with a smack of tart lemon in the nose and then some more green bitter notes. A tight grainy sweetness and a touch of eggy smelling protein sit along the back.

The taste is leafy and herbal in the mouth, with a crisp citric bitterness and that same smack of lemon that I picked up in the aroma. This melds into that tight sweet graininess of the Pils malts, which do a nice job of propping those hops up. The finish is dry and pithy with some lingering dankness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and sharp on the tongue which works itself into more of a smooth creaminess as this moves out in the mouth. An oily slickness from the hops really keeps this easy feeling.

This was a borderline IPL at times with those American hops really adding a lot of character to this. Maybe a bit too much though, as this got REALLY herbal feeling as things warmed up. I recommend having at this one while it’s still fairly cold, as it’s got quite a flavorful and crisp hop bite before things start loosening up. It’s nice to see New Belgium going with the tall boys now.

Serving type: can

04-23-2012 19:27:37 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 16oz tallboy to nonic pint glass on 5/7/12
*From notes

A: Daker then expected - more of a 24k gold. A decent pour yields a 1.75 bone white head that fades as expected, leaving some minor lacing.

S: Sweet corn, white bread and what comes across as a trace of whole cone bittering hops.

T: This reminds me a lot of Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold, sans the depth and desired complexity. A bit sweet up front, with white corn kernels. The mid is biscuity and bready. The finish displays a mere drop of hop oil.

M: Solid texture. This is a bit thick for the style, which I really dig. The carbonation is spot on.

O: A nice beer, especially for summer evenings on the patio or porch. It certainly seems to accomplish what it set out to. But the question I ask myself is: why buy NB's Shift for $8.99 a four pack, when I can get a sixer of GL's superior Dortmunder for $10.99?

Serving type: can

05-09-2012 21:54:13 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Giada's Trattoria in Kernersville, NC

A: Pours a clear deep golden yellow in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation as well as some apricot and lemon yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall off-white head that reduces to a medium patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of toasted and pale malts along with some light aromas of floral and citrus/grapefruit rind hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of toasted and pale malts with a light amount of grainy sweetness. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of floral and citrus/grapefruit rind hops which contribute a light amount of bitterness in the finish which fades quickly.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and pairs well with most foods - a little more interesting than the average American lager as there is a light to moderate presence of hops.

Serving type: on-tap

05-28-2013 00:28:03 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of JEdmund
JEdmund

Kansas

3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear and golden with healthy head formation and great retention; lots of bubbles to be seen streaming away.

Smells a mix of cereal graininess and fruity/floral hops, though those hops are very delicately used and are not coming in strong by any means.

Immediately struck by how light-bodied yet crisp this is. Flavor is light, smooth, and balanced. Slightly sweet, clean, and a nice hop flavor, though like the aroma, it’s lightly employed. The finish has a good drying hop bite, bringing me back for more.

Overall Shift is very drinkable, but considering its price point, I feel like I should be getting a bit more flavor for my bucks. Money aside, these are easy-drinking beers with a subtle, unique twist thanks to those New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops and will go down quickly and enjoyably on hot days.

Serving type: can

05-17-2012 02:14:12 | More by JEdmund
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought a can of this at the US Pro Cycling challenge before I realized there was another booth with Ranger. Can't comment on the appearance since I drank it straight from the can so I'll just assume and rate it good. Smell is sort of "beery" typical lager smells. Flavor has a nice grassiness followed by malt and lager yeast. This must have been pretty fresh. Honestly though I would never but this beer at a store because its completely overpriced at $9 per four pack. This needs to be in six packs of 12oz cans for like $8. not sure why anyone in Colorado would ever pick this up over OB Mama's Lil Pils...

Serving type: can

09-02-2012 22:00:47 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of Bung
Bung

Michigan

3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz. Pretty much a clear gold pour, not quite a finger of white head.

Aroma, bready biscuit, lemon citrus. Some herbal hops.

Taste, more grainy like malt with a nice dose of herbal bitterness. Some citrus. Just a little dinner roll breadiness.

Light bodied, very easy drinking. High side of carbonation, very very clean. Good, what it's supposed to be.

Serving type: can

06-08-2012 02:02:38 | More by Bung
Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,127 ratings.