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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

1,271 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,271
Reviews: 223
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 14.17%
Wants: 39
Gots: 111 | 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: 1,271 | Reviews: 223 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of denver10
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a yellowy golden with a off white head. A hoppy and earthy aroma of some straw, some grass, some sweet fruit, and some malt. Taste was grainy, a little caramel malt, fruity, and grassy. Mildly bitter. A active but creamy mouthfeel. Overall, probably the lone beer in their regular lineup I like even if this isn't the most well constructed beer out there. Makes for a nice, easy drinking summer session beer. And as a sucker for just about anything to do with nelson sauvin hops, this one is right up my alley.

Photo of andrewjraab
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden yellow, huge foamy head with air bubbles. Perfect Clarity.

S - Fruity, Floral, hops, bread.

T - Smooth and crispy hop profile up front, nicely balanced. Easily sessionable.

O - Very solid pale lager. Big flavor for the 5.0% alcohol. This is a must try, and I'll try it again.

Photo of Offa
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is pretty good, refreshing, crisp, clean, but not as satisfying or tasty as I would like, or had hoped.

Deep, bright gold, it has a very big off-white head slowly shrinking to nice frothy lace - it is, at least, a beautiful beer.

Aroma is citrusy (grapefruit and orange) with faint hints of pine, honey, bread.

Taste is spicy-peppery bit with hints of citrus up front, while faint yeasty juiciness and faint honey breadiness with light minerally quality join later. It has lingering light peppery-spicy bitterness with hints of resiny citrus rind (grapefruit). It's good, but a bit thin and flat in character and a bit too sharply bitter, with that element lingering a little too much without anything else

Photo of Vixie
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear yellow with a large white head. Looks to be a decent amount of carbonation

Smell is malty, a bit bread like and a hint of biscuit as well.

Starts out a touch sweet and bread like. The hops quickly assert themselves, they tend to dominate the back end, although not completely overpowering things. There is a bit of a lingering hop bitterness in the finish.

Decent feel to it, the carbonation does make the tongue tingle on the way down.

I have not been a big fan of New Belgium, but a friend suggested I try this one. I am glad I did, it is one of their better efforts, at least to me. It is drinkable, the taste is pleasant, and is a nice beer for a hot day.

Photo of Tbrodsky
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of dhannes
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from chilled can into standard pint glass.

A=Rich orangish gold, much darker than anticipated.

S=Sweetness with some malt.

T=Very sweet, with hop background, an fruitiness...much like Magic Hat No. 9.

M=Good, but not really drinkable as a session beer.

O=I wan anticipating something more like a Sam Adams' lager, and was hit with a citrus fruit bomb. No way would I consider this a session beer to drink after work. Very sweet and fruity...I was diaappointed.

Photo of spinrsx
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz Can

Appearance - Clear yellow/amber colour with a large size fizzy/frothy off white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, noble hops, grass, bread/grains

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel, floral hops, and some herbal grassy/hay/straw notes. There is also a bit of corn, bread, and a hint of lemon. It ends with crisp herbal aftertaste.

Overall - While this isn't my favourite taste to find in a beer, for the style is very well done. Those who enjoy straw/hay/herbal flavours mixed with noble hops will surely enjoy.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a Victory tulip

A- pours gold with an orange hue, with a one finger white head. Plenty of bubbles rising. Looks very nice

S- the aroma of the Nelson hops are crisp, and give off a modest citrus scent. Not very overpowering

T- the citrus lends a slight hint of bitterness to this, but again, a very crisp, easy flavor

M- trends toward the thin side, which actually helps it based on the style and packaging form

O- it's not great by any means, but at a 5% tallboy, it serves its purpose well. The price point doesn't work for me, though, and I don't think this would be a go-to for me

Photo of MouthfulOfchris
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice golden color with with a creamy thick head that hangs around and leaves good lacing on the glass.

S: A nice combination of grain and a light grassy/pine aroma.

T: The slight taste of caramel comes though from the grains with a slight pine hop bitterness. Really well balanced with a dry finish.

M: A pleasantly medium body mouth feel with moderate carbonation tingle on the tongue.

O: Nothing really stands out about this beer but that is not a bad thing. It is a really solid session beer when sitting out on a hot summer day. *edit* moved the taste and overall ratings up. The more I drink this, the more I appreciate the subtle balanced flavors.

Photo of herman77
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Crystal clear dark yellow. Fluffy off white head. Decent head retention and awesome lacing.

S: Biscuity, bread crust, some slight hop spice. Getting just a touch of that lager yeast smell.

T: Some semi sweet grains up front along with some mild to medium spicy/herbal hops. Can pick up some faint peaches or nectarines. A lot sweeter than I thought this was going to be. Finishes fairly clean, somewhat of a slightly sweet cereal grain lingering. Thought it would be a little more crisp, the sweetness probably takes away from that crisp factor.

M: Nice medium body (thought it would be lighter). Average carbonation. Feels good.

O: Good drinkability, though I wouldn't want more than two or so pints. I can see what they are going for for sure, but I would like this to be a bit more dry, crisp and a little less sweet.

Photo of stakem
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Kegatron for gifting me with a 16oz can of this. Poured into a pub glass, the brew appears a light copper to golden color with a finger of yellowish tan head. Rising bubbles of carbonation maintain the cap and some strings of webby lace stick to the glass. Through the body is some fine particulate keeping this brew from looking polished in clarity.

The aroma is sweet with a scent of caramel to buttery toffee. A light amount of citrus to herbal hop inclusion mixes with a touch of floral quality. There is a minute amount of trace mineral character present towards the back. Overall this is a typical smelling pale lager.

The flavor of this brew has the previously described notes of butter that come across with some biscuit maltiness. However, before the buttery notes have a chance to linger on the tongue, some herbal hop bitterness comes into play to clean things up a bit. The herbal aspect of the hops carries with it a touch of minerals like the aroma led on. There is a mild fruity aspect of this brew tasting somewhat floral as it warms up. This brew plays quite the contrasting role inside the mouth from buttery to herbal to toasty with grain. Overall not bad.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is light and lively inside the mouth with a crisp finish that you expect from the style. What keeps this back from being above-average for me is the way the buttery notes do not easily transition into the hops and then malt quality. Instead, each aspect seems singular and does not really come together. Overall, it is not a bad brew. It does however include a bit more of an alcohol punch than you would expect for the listed 5% abv.

Photo of Phelps
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a shaker pint at the Mellow Mushroom.

Light orange with absolutely perfect clarity. The one-inch head is orange-white and sudsy, depositing big, sticky walls on the sides of the glass. A thin, soapy layer remains after minute, but goes nowhere after that.

Soft grain and a bit of spicy, grassy hops in the nose. Very light and spritzy.

Interesting flavor. The grainy bite of a lager met with the grassy hops of a pale. Maybe a touch of honey as well. Softly bitter, very clean, smooth and drinkable.

Medium-light in body. High carbonation pinches the tongue for just a second, then dies off. A little fizz as it moves. Super-clean.

Not the most flavorful beer, but great for a cheap lager. Nice hop presence, fantastic drinkability.

Photo of Domingo
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

NB’s second major lager offering is a pale lager (no traditional styles here) in a 16oz can.
Straw golden – nice head and retention, too.
Hops hit the nose first. Not really traditional noble hops either. Slightly citric and earthy hops. I know this is using Nelson Sauvin as well as some continental and UK variety hops in a blend, so you get a little of each. I’d say the NS’s might be the strongest note as they’re a little bit orange-peel like. The malt note is there, but it’s mild and more of a support player.
The flavor continues with that theme. A little bit of breadiness on the front of the palate and hops on the back end. It’s definitely not a hell or pils, but is charting a unique path. The NS hops give it just a little bit of lemony flavor, although there’s a tiny hint of onions I get from certain hops. There’s no DMS or diacetyl, but there’s also a very subdued malt note. I wish it had a little more body as right now it seems to be more of a supporting element for those hops.
Not bad, and probably a beer that macro fans would appreciate. It actually reminds me a tiny bit of an “Imperial PBR” although obviously hoppier.

My personal bias is that I’d rather see someone make a good “American helles” instead of all of these hop-forward lagers featuring unusual hopping. To me this is an ale brewer making a lager and as a result you get similar strengths and weaknesses. Hop heads might like this, but I wonder if it’s enough to satisfy them either. It’s an odd one, but who knows – maybe this could be a huge conversion beer?

Photo of phishsihq
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

New Belgium Brewing Company's latest release, Shift Pale Lager, shows off their bottom-fermenting skills and new canning line. Available only in 16 ounce "Tall Boy" cans, we decided to pour ours into a New Belgium Globe Glass to get a better look at it. Shift pours a deep brass color with a one-inch thick white head that dissipates slowly, leaving a solid lace around the glass. Aromas of biscuity malt, faint citrus (orange) notes, and a slight spiciness are all discernible. Shift starts out with sweet malt flavors blending into some crisp herbal and spicy floral flavors. Medium bodied, this pale lager is lighter in carbonation, all the while maintaining a smooth and crisp sessionable quality. Crafts Can Can!

Cheers!

Photo of BikingDutchman
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Has a two finger white head that stays for a while. The lacing sticks to the glass very well. Beer is a very clear golden color.

S - Smells like bready malts that are overpowered by a citrusy hop smell.

T - Surprisingly large amount of citrusy hop flavor is in balance with clean bready malts. There is more flavor here than I expected.

M - Moderate amount of carbonation. Not much to say here. Not bad, but nothing spectacular.

O - Very easy to drink, but it has more flavor than I expected it to have. A very refreshing beer, and a pleasant surprise.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a nice golden color with with a creamy thick head that lingers

S: Grass with a light citrusy note

T: The slight taste of caramel comes though from the grains with a slight pine hop bitterness. Really well balanced with a dry finish.

M: Light bodied, well carbonated

O: Pretty good, refrshing and easy to drink down.

Photo of falloutsnow
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

From: Binny's, Bloomingdale, IL
Date: Best by 6/13/2013
Glass: Standard US pint

With Shift, New Belgium has a solid "mild" American lager. The beer is somewhat hoppy, somewhat of pale malts, neither striking the palate with too much intensity. The result is a drinkable, sessionable beer that won't overpower or saturate the palate into being tired, while at the same time letting one know that he or she is drinking an American-influenced beer (mostly due to the hop choices). This was enjoyable, and one to consider if I'm seeking out a mild, lager-like beer with American-influenced hopping.

The beer pours a 1cm tall head of fairly clean, white foam, with average retention of around one minute. The head fades to a thin ring around the perimeter of the glass, leaving moderate lacing, mostly a scattered array of dots, but also a few larger blotches clinging to the sides of the glass. The body is a golden yellow color, transparent, with light bringing out lighter, paler shades of yellow. Carbonation is visible through the body, and it is both somewhat vigorous and numerous.

The aroma is generally assertive, but not aggressive or blustering: the hops are present, but not dank or heavy, and the malt is consciously tame and in the background. The mix is an interesting blend of mildly fruity (guava, mango) and citrusy hops, arising from the Nelson Sauvin and Cascade, respectively. In this can at least, the hops seem to be most prominent, the slightly toasted and sweet malt appearing as more of an afterthought. A bit one-dimensional as a result.

The overall flavor is generally hoppy and fruity, with the malts being largely relegated to the background. Again, this leads to the beer feeling, at times, rather one-dimensional. Front of palate finds fruit flavors (guava and passion fruit, with a bit of pear) with a mild pale base malt sweetness. Mid-palate finds more "heaviness" to the hop flavors, with continued pale malt sweetness and perhaps a hint of the Munich malt that's in this beer. Back of palate features mild bitterness, slightly grainy and toasted malts accompany the sweet, pale malts, and slight fruit flavors (more pear than anything tropical). Aftertaste is with a somewhat tannic, astringent, dry bitterness, with continued citrus (orange) and marginal tropical fruit (guava, mango) flavor.

Beer is light to medium-light in body, with enough carbonation to gently foam the beer completely upon the palate. The resulting mouthfeel is soft, foamy, and somewhat creamy. Closes mostly dry, with little residual stickiness hanging on the palate.

Photo of RobinLee
3.6/5  rDev 0%

Photo of JeffH
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a tulip glass.

Golden amber pour with a bright white a frothy head. This beer is crystal clear with lots of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. The lacing is fine but irregular but does stay with the glass. The aroma is classic lager- biscuit and grassy, mild hops. There are hints of tropical fruits, but they are illusive at best. The body of this beer is heavier than expected from a lager, but the difference is welcoming. The palate is crisp and clean with nice malty notes balanced nicely with a piney hop bitterness. The hops continue through the finish and linger for a good 20 seconds. Overall, a very well done lager and a fantastic sessionable beer.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

definitely not my stlye of beer, but i appreciate this one a lot for what it is. it pours a mostly clear wheat beer color, with an active white head that lasts a few minutes before fading down to froth. it smells very malty, without much hops to speak of. the flavor is distinctly czech as far at the malt profile goes. its dry and biscuity, sturdy for such a light brew. it also has a touch of sweetness and a little more hops than the nose suggests, with a bittering conclusion. mouthfeel i like, it has more body than most beers from this genre, and the carbonation is just right. stays bubbly even as it warms, although this is a beer to drink quickly. refreshing and appropriate in any season. this is a pretty decent can of beer, although i liked the mothership wit that it replaced a lot better.

Photo of lnashsig
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

#BOTG 58!

I don't know how I have never had this one, but I haven't. So, here we go! I have been jonesing for sessionable beers this summer, with the wicked heat so far.

Poured from can into Karbach pint glass. Pours a nice golden pale color, nice head on the top of the beer. Looks like a lager. Smell- grassy hops, bread. Not much more there to describe, but the hoppiness of this is apparent. Taste- Nice grassy assertive hops, not much backbone behind it. Lacking a bit in balance. Really tight carbonation, borderline stingy. This is a nice, refreshing lager, full of hops flavor, and I could easily pound this beer. I'll be coming back to this one for sure again this summer.

Photo of plaid75
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured soft pale malts with a balancing herbal hop.

The taste was very well balances with round bready malts and light herbal and grassy hops.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a tasty quaffable lager.

Photo of Siriusfisherman
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A slightly amber gold with a nice, white foamy head up top. Great lacing and carbonation streaming from the bottom.

Smell: Light tropical notes from the hops, very fresh and just a touch of toasty malt.

Taste: Very much like the nose, some hop bitterness up front and light flavor to follow. The malt is nice and robust tasting with a little toastiness. Very clean, and the hops have this very unique tropical tone that I rarely see in lagers.

Mouthfeel: Thin and lagery, but not as much as most. It is leagues ahead of the macro stuff, just nothing like a typical pale ale.

Overall: This is a tasty pale lager, one of the best I have had. It still has some of the drawbacks that almost all in the style have, and just won't be able to stand up to the broad complexity of pale ales. But still, if you are not in the mood for to much body and want something to wash down some lunch, this would be a great choice.

Photo of tlazaroff
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Light grain on the nose, nothing that stands out and smells bad (I generally don't like grain smell). I get a bit of floral hops to back up the malt. It's nice.

The beer looks pretty good! It's a golden color with a crisp white fluffy head with generous lacing. Streaming carbonation to the top of the glass.

Taste isn't too bad. It has this nice floral hop bite at first, then rolls into a cereal-like profile and is backed by finish that combines both and is quite memorable for a pale lager. It's pretty nice.

Great mouthfeel includes a light body, moderate carbonation, a dry finish, and incredibly refreshing! Overall, this could be a favorite pale lager.

Photo of SamN
3.64/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma of hoppy fruits, apricots or apples. Honey and pale malts, lots of bready aromas. Taste has a bright upfront fruity taste with a lingering malty finish, minimal bitterness. Crisp and tasty, good addition to NB lineup.

Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,271 ratings.