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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

1,190 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,190
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 14.17%
Wants: 36
Gots: 84 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Shift Pale Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,190 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oberon
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pilsner a clear medium golden with a a thinner white head that didi leave a few broken rings of lace as it settled.Caramel sweetness,lightly toasted grain,and a decent shot of herbal hops in the back end.Caramel induced sweetness upfront on the palate with mild grainy notes,and again a shot of herbal/leafy hops in the finish.It's not a clean lager it's actually a little sweet but the hop profile is nice,above average but not great.

oberon, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

westcoastbeerlvr, Mar 31, 2013
Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can is dated "02 SEP 12" on bottom of can.

"Pale" bright orange with languidly rising carbonation. A sizable head of foam rises and leaves seafoam lace inside the glass. Retention is good, and it takes awhile for the skim to break on the surface.

Subdued aroma, but there is some hoppy grassiness and orange peel present. It's clean with a slight sweetness.

Flavor is crisp with a bit of hoppy bitterness, orange peel, and crackers from the pale malt. Light bodied and not sweet, it has a crisp bitter dryness that is perfect for hot weather. Supple feel, full flavored, and easy drinking. A lager with traces of IPA citrus, dry and crisp, a perfect summer refresher. Pretty hard not to "get" this... Simplicity is underrated these days.

Regretting not picking up more than a single now, but will get more soon.

emerge077, May 02, 2012
Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -16.7%

largadeer, Apr 06, 2013
Photo of zeff80
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a two-finger, egg-shell white head of bubbly foam. It left sticky patches of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled floral and grassy with some sweet caramel.

T - It tasted spicy and hoppy with a nice bitterness. Sweet caramel and grains add backbone.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied lager with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a pretty tasty lager. I'm impressed. I could see people taking this good canned beer on camping trips, etc.

zeff80, Apr 17, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16oz glass at Craft Beer Market - I somehow missed out on grabbing a can of this at the New Belgium Denver Beer Week event last fall - oh well, now they've come to Alberta.

This beer appears a clear, pale golden amber hue, with a thin cap of weakly foamy and bubbly ecru head, which leaves some bleeding striated lace around the glass as things fall away.

It smells of lightly bready pale malt, a faint caramel sweetness, middling citrus and drupe fruit, earthy yeast, and soft leafy, earthy hops. The taste is semi-sweet pale malt, some grainy caramel, white wine, tame melon, fruity yeast esters, and floral, weedy hops.

The bubbles are fairly low-key, but supportive enough, the body an adequate medium weight, and generally smooth, with a mild tackiness. It finishes off-dry, the bready pale malt and floral, leafy hops squaring off for redemption.

A rather good amalgam of styles, very altbier-esque. Fruity, vinous, and pretty enjoyable - I hope to see the canned version available up here by summertime!

biboergosum, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

SocalKicks, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of Jason
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Jason, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pale golden fresh cut hay with a bit of an orange copper glow, brilliant white head forms thick and fills the chalice with love. Aromatics offer up biscuit malt, mild grassy citric notes crisp blend of malts, hops, water...almost a pungent tartness in the nose. Flavor perfectly complex drinking lager, all malted barley goes along way with flavor...biscuit malts bring a bready resilience with the herbal/mineral/citric notes coming from the hops very clean snappy finish. Those hops stick around more than the average end of shift lager that this country knows all too well. I saw it labeled for 16.99 a 12 pack, which I didn't jump on however I did grab about four cans for $1.69 just enough to wet the whistle. Crisp even carbonation perfect mouthfeel semi dry finish linger hops accent the breadiness perfectly it's a true American Lager thank heavens for New Belgium. Overall I will definitely grab more of this class expression of true drinking beer.

WVbeergeek, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

nickfl, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of Kegatron
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.

Kegatron, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of russpowell
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...

russpowell, Apr 20, 2012
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.

StonedTrippin, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear amber color with close to a finger of fluffy white carbonation that fades to a ring around the pour.

Smell: Sweet malt with some light citrus notes. Not overly exciting but nice.

Taste: Fairly light and easy to drink. Malt forward, but there is enough hop presence to keep things interesting. Some citrus and herbal notes mixed in with the malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation. The bubbles are a bit large. The finish is quite dry.

Overall: This is a solid beer for the summer. Very easy to drink, I would have another.

oline73, May 28, 2012
Photo of mactrail
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden amber in the glass with the classic head. A little more substance to the body than the usual lagers. A touch of resins in the nose.

Pleasant touch of hops with a slight bitter aftertaste, but nothing like the usual hop-centric Pale Ales. Enough malt to give it a toasty taste. Kind of a winey touch. Not much to distinguish it, but comparing with some other craft lagers might be educational. Seems well made and clean in its modest way.

From the tall can. I'm always glad to see more variety in canned beers. If we can't have reusable bottles for commercial brews, maybe we can have less weight and easier recycling. This seems like a good choice for a picnic beer.

mactrail, May 07, 2012
Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

mendvicdog, Aug 29, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Mora2000, Jun 18, 2012
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.

Gueuzedude, Sep 30, 2013
Photo of MarkyMOD
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

MarkyMOD, May 19, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
4.15/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. tallboy can,

A: Pours a pale golden with a medium somewhat fizzy white head, leaves spotty lace.

S: Grainy notes, sourdough bread, fairly pungent and enjoyable for the style.

T: Sweet bready malt, but balanced well by a noble like hopping. Spaten like, reminds me a lot of that beer, with an American flair.

M: Light-bodied, crisp and clean, well made and refreshing.

O: A very good simple pale Helles type lager. This is how the big boys should make them. I was quite impressed by how good this is.

Halcyondays, May 21, 2012
Photo of kojevergas
2.53/5  rDev -29.7%
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-

kojevergas, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

oriolesfan4, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of woodychandler
4.7/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Where The CANQuest (TM) is CANcerned, you CAN forget Quinn the Eskimo. It's tone77 who makes this boy jump for joy! He is my local CANTrader and this was part of a recent drop-off on his part. Let the madness reCANmence!

From the Royal Blue & Silver CAN: "When your work is done [...] You'll want one[.]"; "Alternatively empowered/Employee owned".

The Crack & Glug was music to mine ears! The two fingers of thick tawny head began to fall pretty quickly, leaving some pretty, sticky lacing in its wake. Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity and both King Midas and Croesus called to express their jealousy. Sorry, fellas, but you gotta score your own CAN, dig? I recently listened to Greg Koch rail against fizzy yellow beers (again) and all I CAN say is, more for me! The nose made me weep for what Prohibition has wrought. One adverse aspect of The CANQuest (TM) has been the plethora of AALs from a CAN and I have more than had my fill of them, although there is no end in sight. This smelled not just of the expected malt sweetness, but there were also hops readily evident on the nose! Be still, my heart. Mouthfeel was full, almost creamy, with a wonderful intermingling of biscuit malt initially, followed by a brief rush of minty hops on the tongue. Finish was quite dry with the biscuit malt and hops combination acting nicely in tandem. Great Caesar's Ghost, but this is definitely cooler-worthy and just in time for summer! Get some!

woodychandler, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of tempest
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.

tempest, May 10, 2012
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.

barleywinefiend, Aug 23, 2012
Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,190 ratings.