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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
82
good

1,292 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,292
Reviews: 225
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 14.17%
Wants: 44
Gots: 133 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,292 | Reviews: 225 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden in color with a white head. Nice clean lager aroma with floral hop notes and a hint of citrus. A bit of yeast and bread, maybe a touch of biscuit in there, too. Flavor is somewhat sweet with a touch of hop bitterness. Good floral notes, light citrus, and a bit of grass. Mild yeast and esters. Well done lager.

Photo of mpyle
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Starting to dig the concept of good beer in a can. Another one courtesy of newman. Only negative is I can't reuse the container for homebrew.

App - Beautiful golden color, fairly pale. Brilliantly clear - must be filtered. Poured a nice white head with some creaminess and retention.

Smell - bit of a DMS/corn aroma typical of lagers, maybe a bit of hop, but otherwise fairly clean after the initial venting.

Taste - Very fleeting initial malt sweetness, then a whole lot of hoppiness. Hops have more of a citrus, APA/IPA kind of vibe than a noble hop vibe. Some fruitiness that hopefully is hop related, and not esters. Assertively but not overpoweringly bitter in the finish.

Medium body and med-high carbonation. No astringency or warming - MF feels right for a spritzy lager.

Not the cleanest and most refined of lagers, but definitely a lot of flavor in a refreshing beer. Slightly disappointed I just have the one can of this one - would be curious to see how it strikes me on another day.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper color. Good bubbling, lacing and foam retention. Very good looking pale lager.

Very light fruity aroma mixed with pale toasted malt pilsner malt. Clean, ghostly earthen hop aromas.

Toasty mlats, earthy, a little musty hops. Finish is toasty and a little tinny, and earthy hops. So very easy to drink this beer. Going on my session list!

Photo of donmonkey1
3.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Really nice golden color with a nice white frothy head and great lacing. The carbonation was excellent and inviting.

Smell: 80 wt gear oil with the smallest touch of floral hop.

Taste: Oily with a really nice, moderate, floral hop taste.

I like this beer a lot, and I love the hops, but I sure feel like I'm drinking a beer with a couple drops of car oil in the glass.

Photo of jakethal
3.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ElGordo
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright golden color with a quick flourish of white head that settles down prety quickly. NIce, clean aroma of bready malt and piney hops. Crisp, clean taste that's malt-forward and accented with some distinct lager yeast. Finish is a little tart and pleasantly bitter. I'll probably drink more than a few of these this summer.

Photo of TetonMike
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Zorro
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear Golden colored beer with a small white colored head.

Smell is cracker malt with some scorched sugars in there. Strong noble hop scent spicy and soapy. Distinct odor of peach in this.

Starts out slightly malty with a herbal hop after taste. Hop asserts it authority but not in a harsh way. Slight peach flavor. Herbal funk with a slight burned sugar taste.

Mouthfeel is good and full for a lager.

Overall a good lager. It does have that New Belgium signature burnt sugar trace in it.

Photo of Leag0002
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of MatthewMoskal
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Papabear55
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16 oz. can into a willi tumbler

Appearance: White head with large bubbles. Good lacing for such a light beer. Very clear but a nice golden yellow.

Smell: Citrus-hoppy and sweet malt makes it a bit bready.

Taste: Sweet malt flavor to begin with and slowly shifts to a more central hop flavor as it warms up.

Mouthfeel: Very thin and drinkable. Crisp finish thats very refreshing.

Overall: I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. I was expecting a slightly varied lager that still fell flat but got a unique beer that's well worth the price!

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gold. Clear gold. Head is bright-white and drops to a spotty cap in short order. Some nice notches of lacing. Moderate carbonation.

Smell: Slight grass. Earthy. Some lingering citrus. Pale malts. Crackers. Straw and a tiny hint of raw honeycomb. Bread crust. Mildly floral. Underlying spiciness.

Taste: Earthy and herbal with a nice bright, mellow fruit flavor. Something akin to apples with a brighter fruit in the back. Crackers and bread crust. Pale malts. Mild, and I mean very mild, roasted element. A touch of husk and grass. A mild spiciness on the back that gets all tied up with the herbal thing.

Mouthfeel: Clean, crisp, and just this side of light. Mild creaminess with a bubbly, yet moderate, carbonation. Touch dry on the finish.

Overall: A solid drinking lager. It has enough flavor to be interesting. It has the same drinkability as every standard beer from New Belgium, which is to say, a lot. Clean and refreshing.

Photo of Dshiznit321
3.84/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of RedMosquito1
3.84/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Really enjoyed this one out of the 4 pack of cans. Can't review the appearance; drank it straight from the can. Like all NB beers, this one is just solid. Easy to drink with a surprisingly complex taste.

This was my first experience with a pale lager, and it's the first I've heard of one. This was a strong mix of the best of the hoppy bitterness of a pale ale and the smoothness of a lager. I was impressed.

My only complaint is that the cans looked a lot like Red Bull.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.84/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A vigorous pour into my Gulden Draak tulip produces a three finger thick, just barely off-white colored head. The beer is a bright, gold color that shows a brilliantly clear, pale gold / yellow hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of dried hay-like grain, sweet pale malt (with touches of honey-like grain), and a supporting, but increasingly noticeable tropical fruitiness that smells like a mix of orange-scented grapes, lychee, guava, pineapple and bright fruit blossoms. After a short bit a more herbal character starts to become noticeable; slight dank, not really pine, though not full blown marijuana character either.

Dry seeming, but somehow has a sweetness to it that is accentuated by the tropical & ripe citrus hop character. There is a nice pale malt middle to this beer that contributes more body than one might expect from something labeled a Pale Lager; a touch of malt viscosity is here, but ultimately this is a very quaffable beer. Cracker like malt notes are noticeable from beginning to end, but are on the soft side of things. There is also a dried hay, almost dried grassy like note to this beer and the pale malt has a honey like character that is accentuated by the fruity hop notes.

This is a subtle beer all around. I drank it on the warm side of cool, which seems to have brought out a lot of the flavors & I find that I am quite enjoying this beer. We’ll see how I like it at a bit cooler of a temperature (around 50°F) tomorrow. The hop character, while not over the top, has that raw & fruity hop character that at a much larger amplitude would be appropriated for a hoppy Pale Ale or IPA. Much better than I expected.

At cooler temperatures the bright, tropical fruit notes fade a bit and this becomes more herbaceous and green in its hop character, but that Sauvignon Blanc like grape character also starts to come out, which wasn’t noticeable previously. I definitely like this on the warm side of cool 55°F or a bit warmer is better for this particular beer; this is certainly a bit atypical for a lager.

Photo of JMad
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden color with a thick frothy white head. The aroma is mainly grainy with a hint of caramel, lemon peel and more citrus from the hops. It has a nice bready flavor with a touch of sweetness and a slightly bitter finish with lemony and grassy hops. The beer is nice and light with moderate carbonation and a dry finish. For a Pale American Lager this has got to be one of the best, very enjoyable and simple.

Photo of flagmantho
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 16oz can into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich golden hue with a clear body and nice effervescence. Head is a thin finger of pillowy white foam; nice.

Smell: mild malt aroma with an interesting hop character. Hops are citrusy but dank; they're funky, earthy and last of all spicy. Not at all what you'd expect from a pale lager, and not too badly executed to boot.

Taste: nice malt flavor with some of the same hop characteristics with a heavier tilt to the citrus. The middle of the flavor has a good grapefruity ring to it, which I quite enjoy. Bitterness is relatively low, befitting the style.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a good, effervescent creaminess. I like it.

Overall: this one was a surprise to me. New Belgium does not always produce my favorite beers, but Shift is darn good. I'm glad I gave it a try.

Photo of cradke
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very yellow golden, not much head but some decent carbonation.

Smell: Straw with some citrus hops.

Taste: Some decent hops with some straw. Pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Some decent carbonation that plays with the intentionally thin style.

Overall. I'm quite conflicted about this. If their goal was the ideal tailgating beer, they hit this out of the park! I can really see myself taking this camping, grilling, tailgating, "bike rides" anytime I need a solid beer that is going to taste good for several cans, and might be ok if it warms up a bit. On the other hand, the beer didn't really impress on the whole scale of things. I wish they could have shoved a bit more ABV into it or made it a bit more flavorful.

Photo of NuclearDolphin
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Clear Golden/Yellow color with some great foamy head retention and some good lacing.

Smell - Yeasts, Barley, Floral Hops and a slight malty scent.

Taste - Floral Hops, Yeasts, and Barley. Much like the smell, there is a slight malty characteristic in the back. Very simple and rich taste.

Mouthfeel - Very Light and crisp feeling. It does feel a little watery but it's easy to overlook. All things aside, this is very easy to drink

Overall - Perfect beer to knock back either after a hard day at work or while relaxing. I had this while having a picnic on the beach a couple weeks ago and found it to be absolutely perfect for such an occasion.

Photo of elNopalero
3.86/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tallboys, sessionable, hoppy lagers… this has promise.

I’ve been waiting on this one though because of the price point—I’d rather spend that money on an IPA (Ranger tall boys are the same price).

I like how this looks. It’s clear and golden and has miles and miles and miles of foam on top of it. Even without a vigorous pour (I gave my first can a good kick) there’s a lot of foam. It goes away, and leaves its mark, but for a quick minute it’s there and looks good.

The aroma isn’t what you’d expect from a lager. There’s a light “fruity” note to it, along with a subdued but still present hoppiness. I get just a note of hop spice—and then, like that, it’s gone. Poof! Come back!

Flavorwise this is definitely an easy drinker. It’s lightly bodied and smooth with a clean finish. I get some hints of the hop character on the end, but again it’s there and then gone. This beer ain’t half bad—but next one I have will be to finish a round of drinking rather than the one that gets the fresh palate’s attention. And for the price there’s better options.

Photo of raynmoon
3.86/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It looks a little above average. It has a nice yellowish orange color, no haze, very filtered with a good amount of bubbles streaming upwards. The head looks sort of funny.

Light floral citrus smell. A small amount sweet malt in the background, but the hops come through the most, which is a good. I think I smell some Cascade hops in there.

I enjoy the flavor on this quite a bit. It has a really, really balance between Citrus from the hops, some tangerine and some sweetness from the 2-row malt. For the style, very good.

The only bummer really is the mouthfeel. The carbonation needs to be bumped up a bit.

Overall this one is a winner. I'll be getting more of this in the summer when I want something lighter.

Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz tall-boy can with a freshness date on the bottom.

LOOK: Healthy looking froth, bright golden color show a perfect clarity

SMELL: Bread crust, ripe peaches, biscuity, herbal, passion fruit, spice, clean

TASTE: Very smooth, medium body, crisp snap, biscuity, malt sweetness, herbal, spicy, mild fruitiness, dried grass, clean drying finish

Does this mean that 2013 will be year of the lager and New Belgium is just ahead of the curve on this one? The did get it right with opting for tall-boy size and at 5.0% it is still within the "sessionable" range. Very well balanced and great use of hops here which makes this one of the most interesting pale lagers on the market today.

Photo of MattyG85
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 16 oz. can into a New Belgium Globe glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear copper golden orange with lots of rising bubbles. Big four finger white head with decent retention. Leaves lots of lacing hanging on the glass.

Smell: A pretty crisp aroma. Bready pale malts with good hints of biscuit and cracker. Wheat grains and subtle hints of citrus orange and lemons. Pretty noticeable presence of floral and grassy hops lingering around. A laid back but well balanced aroma.

Taste: A taste that is pretty malt forward but has a nice hop profile in the background. Bready pale malts and wheat grains with good notes of biscuit and crackers. Light hint of a butter like taste. Subtle hints of lemon. Decent presence of grassy and herbal hops that add some bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Very crisp and smooth drinking. Fairly tingly on the tongue.

Overall: A nice beer for the style. Well balanced and very easy drinking. Good lawnmower or after "shift" brew.

Photo of stangski83
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to admit, I am happy to see craft beer in cans in major retailers finally. Picked up a 4pk of tall boys to give this one a try. Not bad, good hop notes for a pale lager - much more than any of the big macro boys, but something isn't quite right with this one. Very frothy head, and very thin, light pour, but the balance is slightly off. Certainly not a bad pale by any means - but I can't quite put my finger on why I'm not in love with this beer. It's certainly not bad - and a better supermarket choice than most - but I'm not sure I can justify $10 for a 4pk when there are tall boys of Half Acre and Finch's waiting for my consumption in the Chicago area, and both of those don't leave me with a critical, pondering feeling like this one does.

I feel bad bashing this, as I really want to like it, but...it's just so-so. Cool packaging/can design for sure, and nice to see cans of craft I can take tailgating for baseball season. In other news, it sure beats the cheesy marketing of other canned beer lately, such as the Miller "Punch Top" can!

Photo of gpogo
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear golden body with a white head.

A- Earthy hops, some very light bready sweetness.

T- Spicy/pepper mix with malt sweetness. Very interesting and enjoyable. Crisp lager finish and aftertaste.

M- Medium body and moderate carbonation. Sticks around a bit.

D- This is one of my favorite warm weather beers, or just a beer to enjoy and not be too serious about. It is a bit on the expensive side, but it is worth trying.

Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,292 ratings.