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Shift Pale Lager - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Shift Pale LagerShift Pale Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

236 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 236
Hads: 1,337
Avg: 3.66
pDev: 33.06%
Wants: 52
Gots: 163 | 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: 236 | Hads: 1,337
Photo of JWU
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
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

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from can into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a clear golden color with a one finger head of fizzy white foam. The head fades relatively quickly leaving only a little bit of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – This beer smells like cheerios. It is super heavy in a grainy and cerealy smell with some aromas of a lighter sweet fruit of peach and apricot with a little bit of a caramel sweetness rounding it out as well.

Taste – The taste begins with a sweeter fruit flavor of a light pear, apricot, and peach along with some decent showing of a bready and cheerios like flavor that was detected in the nose. These flavors make a base taste for the brew with some light changes occurring as the taste moves on. More toward the middle of the flavor profile some light hay and grassy hop tastes start coming to the tongue. The cereal and grain increase in intensity more toward the end with some of the lighter fruit being replaced by some caramel and leaving a nice somewhat sweet, but still crisp and easy drinking cerealy taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is average to a little thicker side for a 5 % abv. lager with a carbonation that is on the slightly lower side. The feel and carbonation were decent for the style as they did a nice job for both the lighter fruit and lager characteristics all while upholding the lighter hop and cereal tastes of the brew nicely. Personally however, I would have liked a little bit more carbonation to make it slightly more refreshing, but overall it was good.

Overall – A rather nice drinking, slightly sweeter, and grainy in nature lager. This would be a great beer to have while sitting around a campfire and chatting or good for a day of football watching with some friends. Sessionable, flavorful, and overall a nice brew.

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Photo of lstokes
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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Photo of irrgalaxy
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of tone77
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of vkv822
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of lwillitz
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
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

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of wedge
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of gregb13
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
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).

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
3.99/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of dbossman
4/5  rDev +9.3%
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

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Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +9.3%
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....

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Photo of JLaw55
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this beer for what it is; a flavorful alternative to an AAL. This is easily drinkable, light on the palate, with a more grain based flavor profile and a light crisp hop finish. This is the type of beer you could drink quite a few of on a Friday night, with friends around a campfire. Straight from the can works just fine. Also, it comes in 12 pack packaging at around $14. Not as cheap as you would get with the BMC beers, but cheaper than many craft alternatives.

Will absolutely revisit. Awesome stuff.

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Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of riored4v
4/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of JackieTH
4/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 236 ratings.