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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
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Reviews: 236 | Hads: 1,337
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 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 DrMullet
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden with a fair amount of head and lace.
Citrus and malt with some floral overtones.
A bit hopper than I would like from a lager
More of an IPA lite.

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Photo of hopphead31415
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I have tried most of the more robust beers by New Belgium and I absolutely love them, but wanted some variety so I picked up this pale lager called Shift which has 5.0% ABV.

Look-Pours an almost perfectly clear and yellow golden color that are half a hue darker than the Nooner Pilsner by Sierra Nevada (see my reviews for a description of that one). It pours a thick white soapy head that settles down into a thin layer maybe half a finger thick.

Smell-The smell is very aromatic with lots of toasted bread and cracker malts, a tinge of spiciness from maybe black pepper and coriander, finishing with a floral citrus aroma. I was surprised at how much of the aromatics I got from this pale lager!

Taste-It has a nice flavor, but is not as strong as I would like, but then again I am a “hop head”. I do detect honey and bread based malts with clover, coriander, black pepper, and a muted citrus and floral component. The entire experience is a bit attenuated and passive, but if you are paying attention (and you should), then you’ll get these flavors clear as day.

Mouthfeel-The feel is crisp and mildly effervescent with a moist dry finish. The beer is medium-bodied and clean. The carbonation lingers on the tongue for a long time after your sip which is interesting, because the carbonation bubbles were scarce.

Overall-It is quite a nice experience if you consider everything at once. It is a malt-forward, crisp and refreshing session brew. Leave it to geniuses like New Belgium to take a categorically “wimpy” beer and make it this drinkable. They have renewed my hope in non-IPAs like this pale lager. Great job, New Belgium brewers!

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Photo of Stevedore
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Clear medium golden-yellow body, thin white head with minimal lacing. Smells of caramel, grainy malt, grassiness, a bit of bread. Flavour is similarly bready with a mild grassiness and caramel. Not particularly bitter, fairly sweet. Mouthfeel is thinner bodied, very drinkable and crisp, but for the most part nothing to write home about. Overall, a decent session lager, but not a whole lot else to it than that.

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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 Jeffreysan
3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a semi-clear, pale, golden, yellow color with a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer. Honestly, it looks like a BMC beer, which to my eye, looks a little off-putting.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with lots of bready, toasted malt, imparting notes of freshly baked bread and biscuits. There are also aromas of black pepper, coriander, caramel and hits of bright, citrusy, floral, grassy, hops.

Taste: Very nice! Lots of bready, toasted malt up front, followed by lots of caramel and honey-like sweetness, black pepper, coriander, and, at the finish, a touch of beautifully restrained citrusy, floral, grassy, hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, crisp, and very effervescent as there is quite a lot of carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.0%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: While, this may look like a BMC beer, it is in actuality, a nice, malty, crisp, satisfying session beer. I could easily see myself having a few of these at a tailgate. I really, really like it!

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.21/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Clear golden color with bright orange hue. Medium-retention, frothy, off-white head. Fair lacing. Sweet malt aroma nearly overpowered by mild citrusy, rindy, almost spicy hop aroma. Taste is easier to be precise with. It's fairly bland up front and throughout, just barely lemony-tart as it lingers and has the chance to move around, with rind and crackers/pasta in the back and finnish. Thin, light to medium bodied with medium, prickly carbonation, a nice crisp feel, and a dry finish. Could be smoother. Overall, very pilsner-like.

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Photo of Nickholland
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Strikes me more as a Fat Tire "light" than a pale lager. (Has that same biscuity malt backbone.) That being said this is a great session beer. Better than their more recent attempt (Slow Ride) in my opinion. I could see this working for many occasions.

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Photo of Germanstylefan7896
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Nice beer, sure beats the doors off Coors light. A good beer to try to get new people to give up Bud/Coors Light. Very well done lager, color just a touch darker than you would expect. Just fine out of can, not quite as light as it could be and thats a good thing. One of New Belgium's better ones at the moment.

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Photo of CraigP83
3.89/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Good rendition of a full flavor extra hoppy lager. A little "tinny". I'd buy again if I wanted that style but didn't feel like an AAL. Mouthfeel is a little bit sticky so not overly refreshing, might be better ice cold

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Photo of jmbranum
4.21/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Purchased in Newton, Kansas. Brought home to Oklahoma.

Poured from a chilled 12 oz can into a wine glass.

Very pretty clear golden liquid with a white head. Nice grainy aroma.

Flavor is nice and crisp. Nicely balanced. Starts dry and finishes sweet. Very bread-like with some hoppy herbal notes. I would describe it as a hoppier than expected lager.

Very nice mouthfeel with nice levels of prickly carbonation.

An excellent session beer.

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Photo of CIBoy10
4.19/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - Pours a nice golden lager color. Head is persistent and lacing is very nice.
Smell - Bready lager-type smell with a nice hoppiness. I found it very appealing.
Taste - Piney, floral, hoppiness up front with a beautiful, bready lager finish
Feel - Extremely refreshing with a minimal aftertaste. It feels like a high quality lager with more taste than any AAL would ever ever have.
Overall - To each his own, but I find easy to drink beer with great taste very appealing.

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Photo of silverking
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%

A- it pours a pale clear golden color with one finger of coarse off white head. The head fades fast, leaving a thin cap of foam. There is a small amount of visible carbonation.

S- pine and floral hops atop a lightly bready lager. A little lackluster on the nose.

T- nice. Bright pine and crisp lager. Lightly bitter finish with a good malt backbone.

M- light, crisp, refreshing.

O- good. Easy drinking and satisfying.

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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 dcscientist
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Had this one in a can. Good flavor, and a slightly different version of the usual pale. Not super-hoppy as some of their newer offerings tend to be, and I could taste a bit of the fruity flavor that is advertised. It's a little atypical for this brewery, and I'm glad they took a chance to make this style.

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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 SamN
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Sampled this past Saturday on 10/4/14 with a good buddy of mine. Can chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a handled glass "CHEER'S-BOSTON" stein.

Pours a clear bright yellow in color with a good 2-finger foamy white head that settles down to a good 3mm or so after a bit. A good amount of lacing is seen when sipped, almost rings. The aroma is nothing real special, just of some grains with a light hint of sulfur. Bit more going on with the taste as there is a slight hint of fruit and citrus zest in the mix as well. Does have a tad of a hoppy finish. Lighter bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Not a big fan of this style of brew overall.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Nose: light grain, a hint of sulfur.
Brilliant straw, 2” fluffy bone white foam cap.
Creamy, light bodied, above average carbonation.
Palate: light grains, creamy, slight vegetal, crisp hop finish.
Refreshing with a good balance between the hops and the malts.

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Photo of FLima
2.44/5  rDev -33.3%
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.

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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 PrimeLion
3.21/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't have much to say about this one.. Mostly that the taste is a bit metallic ...or something. I don't know, but I'm not all that impressed by this New Belgium. That's not to say its a bad beer or that I would turn one down, but it wouldn't be my first choice for a pale ale.

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Photo of mpyle
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of mathmalicious
4.45/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into clean New Belgium stemmed globe. 3/4" head quickly diminished into a 1/4" head with some staying power.

Nose: Very clean, inoffensive— honey, a bit of yeast and citrus

Taste: Nascent "hoppyness" turns to a more familiar, sweeter fresh grapefruit, finishes the slightest bit smokey with the alcohol presence quite evident.

Mouth: Mild carbonation, "chewy" for a pale lager.

Overall, this offering almost transcends the category for me. It would be a great beverage for a plethora of meals.

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