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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
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Reviews: 235 | Hads: 1,333
Photo of Beaver13
1.94/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

16oz can. Pours clear light gold with a medium frothy white head that goes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet husky wheaty malts with some vegetal notes and a little stinkiness.

The flavor is earthy, grainy, biscuity malts and some sweetness with some herbal bitterness in the finish. Kind of reminds me of a cream ale. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, better than macro lagers but not my thing. Vegetal notes, too much biscuit malt with earthy notes. (513 characters)

Photo of Foyle
2.08/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: significant 3” head that settles slowly leaving lots of lacing. Dark straw color and clear. Significant carbonation.
Aroma: piney and citrus hops, toasted grains, bread.
Mouthfeel: light (though not as light as macro lagers). Slightly sticky with a dry finish.
Flavor: Bitter hops dominate. There is some sweet malt in the start and middle but the bitterness dominates the flavor throughout the taste. It also lingers in an unpleasant way (like when you eat something bitter and want to get the flavor out of your mouth).
Overall: Disappointed. There are many better lagers available at much lower prices. (623 characters)

Photo of homohabilis
2.11/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

First off, what the fuck is a pale lager? Sounds like some suspect bullshit to me. Like they didn't want to commit to either pale ale OR lager. I guess the focus groups must have eaten it right up though.
Regardless, this stuff tastes like fat tire mixed with water. Same dirty, decaying hop taste without all the malt backbone.
I drank all four of these bastards today just to get them out of my house and I just got angrier with each one that went down the hatch.
Shoulda saved myself three dollars and got PBR instead. Woulda got two more to boot! (553 characters)

Photo of hardy008
2.26/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Clear gold with a 1 finger white head with decent retention and spotty lacing. The aroma has grassy and floral hops with some lemon. Also has biscuit malt.

Tastes just like it smells with lemon. floral, and grassy hops, with biscuit malt. Very underwhelming. Not a good combination of flavors in my opinion.

Light bodied with plenty of carbonation. Has an unpleasant aftertaste. I'm glad I only picked up one of these. Not a fan, and I won't be trying this again. (466 characters)

Photo of sommersb
2.39/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Tasted On: 04-06-2012
Freshness: Best by 09-09-12
Packaging: 16 oz. can
Glassware: New Belgium globe
Purchased: 4-pack from Midtown, Nashville

A: Clear, dark golden color, with a white head of 2 fingers. Very good lacing and good head retention.

S: Floral and grassy hop aromas, plus some sort of unpleasant vegetable odor.

T: Low bitterness, but the taste is marred by the same vegetable or skunked element as noted in the smell. Seems to be less evident as the beer warms up, thankfully.

M: Medium bodied with hi carbonation. The aftertastes are moderately bitter but also have the off-flavors present.

O: I was looking forward to trying this beer, but now I regret that I have 3 more in the fridge. I can't recommend this one. (735 characters)

Photo of FLima
2.44/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice golden bright color with a thin head but keeps a constant plate.
Light aroma with notes of peaches, bread and butter (DMS), sulfur, melon and lemon sourness.
Flavor with lots of nectarines, spices, oranges, lager yeast, herbal hops, tobacco and peaches. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Light body with proper carbonation.
Very fruit beer with a slight tartness, though something was out of balance here. (403 characters)

Photo of Philousa
2.46/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Great clarity in this light copper colored beer with a metallic sheet. Head is barely there, but some does stick to the glass. Pale malt, possibly 2 row, but I would guess there isn't much pils malt in this. Some sweetness to it, not much hops in the nose. Taste takes a while to get going. Watery without much flavor, then slightly sweet pale malt and lingering bitterness that isn't very abrasive. Super drinkable, but not watery at all. Has substance. Balanced finish.

This would be good after a long ride or run, but without much flavor, I would reach for something else most of the time. (593 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.55/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

500 ml can served into N'Ice Chouffe stemware in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I've historically been underwhelmed by this brewery but I tried La Folie last night and it blew me away.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 2.5 finger head of nice fluffy cream, decent thickness, beige colour, and standard retention for the mere 5% ABV. Colour is a transparent yellow. Standard fare for the style, but generally appealing.

Sm: Full pleasant barley and some fresh floral hops. An average quality moderate strength aroma. I'm looking forward to trying it.

T: Barley with fresh floral hops. Simple and somewhat bland, but fairly enjoyable. Not subtle or layered. Pretty boring. There's very little to say about it.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some cream. Far too wet and thin. Weak. Doesn't quite support the flavour profile, minimal as it is.

Dr: A boring bland beer from New Belgium that I won't be getting again. Might make a decent beer pong beer; it's pretty drinkable if overcarbonated. Priced alright.

Low C- (1,212 characters)

Photo of blakelive784
2.64/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

16 fl oz can served in a generic pint glass, reviewed from notes:

A - Presents a pale transparent golden color with a thin rocky head of one finger. Retention is average at best. Standard and generic.

S - Clean mild barley and light malt character with fresh grassy hops. Simple, clean, mild and pretty inviting.

T - The hopping is much more aggressive than I though it would be based on the aroma. The clean mild barley body doesn't stand a chance. The hops are certainly fresh, but they're imbalanced and simple.

M - Thin, light bodied and over carbonated.

D - Light and easy drinking. I applaud the attempt at the style though I think it's poorly executed, simple and imbalanced. (691 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
2.84/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 16-oz can into a pilsner glass. Pours a golden-straw color, lots of clarity with a very, very, very slight bit of hazy. Steady stream of carbonation bubbles rising to the top of a relatively thick, ghost-white head that lasts much longer than expected. Nose is very yeast-heavy; bread, biscuits, and wheat are abundant. Deeper down in the aroma I get a bit of corn and mild sweetness. Hops are faintly present, but give way pretty quickly to the rest of the aromas. The taste is pretty basic - reasonable helping of hops up front, somewhat rose-like, mild citrus and pine; bready and malty with a touch of sweetness, and again, a huge dose of corn and wheat from the middle to the finish. Very crisp and clean thanks to the heavy carbonation. Thin-medium body.

I did not enjoy the abundance of corn that I was tasting... it wasn't awful, but it wasn't enjoyable, either. Lackluster beer overall, there are many better pale lagers out there. Hell, I'd probably take a PBR over this. Uninspired and blah. (1,017 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
2.9/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Starts nice with a good appearance - pale golden, honeyed look, with medium sized white head that laces well. Nose was alright too with some floral citrus, which was a bit surprising for a LAGER. Palate though had some soft malt sweetness, but then also this quasi-ureic quality that was off-putting, but also not clearly a flawed or ruined example (it wasn't lightstruck, infected, etc.). The floral citrus just sort of runs into a urea like flavor that isn't so nice. Finishes semi sweet. Seems ale-like in many ways. (519 characters)

Photo of Murrhey
2.92/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a pint can into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- Poured a two finger creamy white head. Nice and dense, some foamy lacing and nice retention. Extremely pale straw color, near-water clarity.

S- Light bodied malts, Amarillo hops maybe? Straw and sweet smelling grains.

T- Light flavor, strong pale ale taste with a grainy flavor that must be the lager creeping in.

M- Light yet grainy feel. Not the best.

O- Passable, drinkable beer with a nice American Pale Ale sort of taste, with a Lager body. Nothing special though. (536 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.94/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16 oz. can poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass.

A: Pours a golden straw color with brilliant clarity and vibrant carbonation. The head is a three finger eggshell color with thick bubbles and solid retention for a lager. Nice spiderweb lacing is left behind on the glass, while a portion of the head still retains itself away from the glass edges. By lager standards, this one looks damn good.

S: There's a typical snappy grain smell of most lagers, but it's also backed up by strong lemongrass, pineapple, and breadier malt. On the other hand, I'm a little worried how the scent is slightly reminiscient of lemon Pledge.

T: Initially, there's a nicely crisp tartness from the lemony hops, backed up by a vaguely sweet grainy malt note. There's little else to this one other than light grain and tart citrus - even worse, the maltiness doesn't intermingle with the hoppiness as well as it could. Still, it's still an easy drinking, refreshing beer that hits the spot on a hot summer day.

M: Medium bodied with a crisp finishing bite. The lemon hops linger on the palate vaguely, due to its drier texture. Healthy carbonation.

O: Hardly great, but it's a good enough summertime beer nonetheless. As long as you don't go into this one with insane expectations, you'll find that it does its job quite well during this hot time of year. (1,339 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.01/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Best by: 19SEP12
Pours light amber, lots of white billowed foam. Earthy hops and reserved, amber malts. Nice nose for a session IMO. Some corn pops up front, some malts, and some hints of wood. Meh. Thin bodied and hi carb, as expected. Has a semi dry finish. I would say this is great for 80 degree weather honestly, not that bad, but not that great. Slightly sweet. (367 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big white head quickly settles into a decent lacing above a clear rich golden colored beer.

Light citrus to piney hops aroma with a little yeast and grass like hints.

A light soapy sour citrus hops with a a little bit of grain in the taste.

A dry aftertaste with a slight bitter almost soapy hops sticking around on the light to medium bodied beer.

This beer starts out looking really good with a very nice light nose and it seems to go down hill some with the taste and aftertaste. (486 characters)

Photo of iSip
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

New Belgium Shift Pale Lager: The New Belgium Brewery has a great product set. Their Belgian style Tripel & Dubble are very good and a bargain compared to an expensive imported bomber of the same. So why go head to head with the Buds and PBR’s of the world? The Shift has a darker golden color and a nice billowy head. The aroma of malt and hops is pleasing and indicative of a handmade product vs. the more industrial notes you get from more mass produced products. Good flavor with some bitterness up front, then thinning out into a clean aftertaste. More body than the standard American Adjunct Lager, but still light enough to be easy drinking. So yes, the Shift is a better brew than any of the mass produced lagers from the big brewers. I expected as much from New Belgium, and they delivered. But $9 for four tall boys? The Shift is not that much better than a PBR or a Bud. New Belgium made it big with Fat Tire, which is worth the premium over a Bud if you are in the mood for a good ale vs. a light lager. But if you want a light lager will you pay a premium for a Shift? Not in my book. (1,099 characters)

Photo of carlborch
3.04/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours brilliant gold with an off-white two-inch creamy head. Settling to a 1-inch pocketed head. Hops and cut grass in the nose. Crisp forwardness with a light malt palate. Fresh, bright and delectably sharp with cereal notes (Corn Flakes?!), however, this is all malt!? My palate must be at odds with reality today. Modest carbonation. Broad Belgian lace forms. It is very nice. May not seek it again, but would not decline if offered. (436 characters)

Photo of MickeyBeer
3.04/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz can poured into a pint glass

A- Pours a clear golden color with about one finger of frothy white head that dissipates somewhat quickly.

S- Not a very powerful aroma with this beer. I am picking up on a little bit of citrus hops and malt, but neither of them are very prominent. Was hoping for more aroma here.

T- Some hop flavor is present and a little bit of malty sweetness. Somewhat citrusy with lemon flavor that tastes a bit soapy.

M- Mouthfeel is rather light and it has a medium-light amount of carbonation. Pretty easy to drink, but not the tastiest brew I have ever had.

O- This is a decent beer, but I wouldn't seek it out. Nothing about it is particularly special, but it is easy to drink. (711 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
3.09/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Huge white foamy head come from this typically styled NB CAN. Decent outer ring of bubbles surround the foam. Brew is crystal clear orange-yellow. Looks like pretty low carbonation, very little bubbling. Nice lacing, good job NB.

Not too much scent, typical NB; not aggressive. Smells like a Bud Light, wheres the craft? Seriously, are there any Hops in here? Smells like: corn, slight chile, white pepper, biscuts, and bread.

Well carbonated. Very light and session-able. Not too much to report on flavor other then it greatly reminds me of BMC... Tastes a bit like a farm would (corn). Bread-y and biscuit-y.

I think it's safe to say NB came out flat on this over-hyped brew. If they tried to brew a Bud Light clone using a slightly different recipe, well, they succeeded. There is zero complexity to this brew. This brew never quite shifted my gear to become recommendable. It's far from craft and closer to Macro, drinks great from a can and very poor from a glass. Give ME an Avery Joe's! (998 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.09/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shift pours a dark golden color with a nice large lacing white head. There is a sweet and malty aroma. The taste is also very sweet, malty, and almost has a sugary flavor. Drinkable and has a nice feel, but too sugary. Overall its a very OKAY beer, not horrible but a bit too sugary. (283 characters)

Photo of nimrod979
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz tall boy poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Perfectly clear straw yellow. Two finger white head fades to a small film. Hint of lacing where the head sat but nothing sticks as you drink it.

Aroma is hay and grassy hops. Biscuity and Pilsener type malts.

Taste - You get that same pilsener and biscuit malt flavor. Has that "signature" New Belgium malt profile I detect in many of their beers. Mild grassy hops.

Clean and very drinkable. Moderate carbonation. Finishes quick with mild hop bitterness. A little on the lighter side of medium bodied.

All in all, it's not all that bad. Very sessionable. And for it's style, it's something I'd reach for on a hot day if it were lying around. (699 characters)

Photo of Apellonious
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can from the 4 pack.

A - golden orange, clear pour. Two finger fluffy head that dissipates slowly. Lace hangs on the side of the glass.

S -bread, malts, some grain.

T - more of the same. Some back end bitterness.

M - standard for a lager. Has some slight stickieness.

O - not overly plussed with the four pack (lagers need six, don't they?), but it is drinkable, and a step above the macros. (403 characters)

Photo of KajII
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

[Suggested Glassware: Lager Glass]

The pour was a clear pale golden yellow with a small (less than 1 finger) white creamy head that diminished rapidly, leaving behind a thin film and small collar with very good sticky lacing.

The aroma was mild of a light grain malt, floral and grassy hops and a doughy yeast with a note of citrus (lemon and grapefruit) and a light fruity ester (apple and pears).

The taste was lightly bitter and rather grainy with a mild fruitiness from the start, becoming lightly hoppy with a nice grapefruit presence and a bitter lemon peel taste towards the finish. The flavor hung around for a good while following the swallow, with a bold citrus peel bitterness left behind.

Mouthfeel was light in body with a thin dry texture and a lively carbonation.

Overall this brew was a lot better than I expected out of a Pale Lager. It possessed a very nice bold bitterness along with a slight fruity sweetness, which working together created a well balanced and easy to drink brew...

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews (1,051 characters)

Photo of mjshearer1
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Like a lager should be. Standard gold color, nothing too fancy.

S: Smells like a lager should be as well. If Budweiser got rid of it's stank and actually was brewed with any amount of effort, it'd smell like this.

T: Muted hops, clean finish, refreshing.

M: Light body, lots of carbonation

O: It's a decent brew, certainly one that I'd recommend to someone looking to get their foot in the door of the craft beer world. (426 characters)

Photo of JupiterJesus
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tastes like an APA, but with a bit of the stinky lager character.
Richer than most pale lagers, with a good amount of malt character. Too bad half of that malt character is DMS >.<.

Still, the stinky bready, corn-like DMS-y lager character is lower here than in other pale lagers and has a bit more complexity. It's also masked partly by hops.

The aroma is typical nasty lager, but the taste is nicely bitter and has a cool hop character that is unfamiliar but delicious. Good summer brew. I wonder how it would taste with just a bit of dry hop at the end of the lagering period. (588 characters)

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