1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

1,247 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,247
Reviews: 221
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 14.21%
Wants: 39
Gots: 101 | 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: 1,247 | Reviews: 221 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rhettroactive
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 16oz tallboy to nonic pint glass on 5/7/12
*From notes

A: Daker then expected - more of a 24k gold. A decent pour yields a 1.75 bone white head that fades as expected, leaving some minor lacing.

S: Sweet corn, white bread and what comes across as a trace of whole cone bittering hops.

T: This reminds me a lot of Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold, sans the depth and desired complexity. A bit sweet up front, with white corn kernels. The mid is biscuity and bready. The finish displays a mere drop of hop oil.

M: Solid texture. This is a bit thick for the style, which I really dig. The carbonation is spot on.

O: A nice beer, especially for summer evenings on the patio or porch. It certainly seems to accomplish what it set out to. But the question I ask myself is: why buy NB's Shift for $8.99 a four pack, when I can get a sixer of GL's superior Dortmunder for $10.99?

Rhettroactive, May 09, 2012
Photo of creez
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%

creez, May 09, 2012
Photo of Jaacob
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Jaacob, May 09, 2012
Photo of plaid75
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

plaid75, May 08, 2012
Photo of beagle75
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16 oz. can into a becker glass.

A: Clear, brassy golden color with over one finger of rocky white foam head that collapses to a lofty and persistent pad. Moderate stepwise lacing remains on the glass and diffuse bubbles rise in the column.

S: Hops are revealed most obviously by their herbaceous and citrus notes. A lesser malt presence of crisp cracker is also identifiable.

T: Begins dry, with dynamic hop aromatics that are green and herbaceous; astringent at times. Acidity is very restrained into the middle where mild astringent botanical qualities continue, joined by a touch of complimentary pale malt. Bitterness is mild and herbaceous during the brief and clean finish.

M: Thin viscosity, resinous on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This remarkable beer outshines its modest labeling as a "pale lager" by challenging the palate and forcing the drinker to take notice. The look of it alone demands a recalibration of expectations, pouring a deep and healthy honey golden color, rather than the expected light yellow that is more characteristic of the style. Hop qualities are featured throughout, manifesting their extract-like plant attributes in a way that refuses to apologize or appease the masses. Comparisons to Sam Adams Noble Pils come easily, with this beer's flavor profile being not quite as interesting.

beagle75, May 08, 2012
Photo of PuFtonLyfe
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

PuFtonLyfe, May 08, 2012
Photo of mactrail
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
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 Kunstman
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Kunstman, May 07, 2012
Photo of Coplains
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Coplains, May 06, 2012
Photo of LambicKing
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

LambicKing, May 06, 2012
Photo of dav
4/5  rDev +11.4%

dav, May 05, 2012
Photo of wedge
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

wedge, May 05, 2012
Photo of yemenmocha
2.8/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Starts nice with a good appearance - pale golden, honeyed look, with medium sized white head that laces well. Nose was alright too with some floral citrus, which was a bit surprising for a LAGER. Palate though had some soft malt sweetness, but then also this quasi-ureic quality that was off-putting, but also not clearly a flawed or ruined example (it wasn't lightstruck, infected, etc.). The floral citrus just sort of runs into a urea like flavor that isn't so nice. Finishes semi sweet. Seems ale-like in many ways.

yemenmocha, May 05, 2012
Photo of JohnLynch
4/5  rDev +11.4%

JohnLynch, May 05, 2012
Photo of barnzy78
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz can, poured into my 20oz New Holland glass, body is golden in color with excellent clarity. Tall white head holds good retention and eventually dissipates into a foam atop the ale, leaving good lacing on the glass. Aromas are overly sweet, with grain, grass, and grape-like scents. Tastes are sharp and clean, with fruity characteristics - maybe apple juice or white grape juice, grain, sweet, with some herbal/grassy/earthy hops to help balance it out. Mouth is thin-to-medium bodied and smooth, finishes just dry enough to warrant another quenching taste of the lager. Overall, good, crafty interpretation of a style I prefer not to drink too often. Good for the try, but probably won't buy it again.

barnzy78, May 04, 2012
Photo of beertunes
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured a clean, clear straw gold color with just a tin cap of white head that had no retention or lacing.

The aroma was pleasantly grainy and had some nice gentle hops for balance. The taste was the same, mostly grains with some hops to even things out. the body was crisp and clean, although there was a slight bit of sweetness that lingered on the finish.

Drinkability was good, the can went down quick and easy and I could see maybe taking some of these to a cookout or tubing on the Nooksack. Overall, a nice little beer that'll probably find a place in your summer rotation.

beertunes, May 04, 2012
Photo of yaksurf
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

yaksurf, May 04, 2012
Photo of Apellonious
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can from the 4 pack.

A - golden orange, clear pour. Two finger fluffy head that dissipates slowly. Lace hangs on the side of the glass.

S -bread, malts, some grain.

T - more of the same. Some back end bitterness.

M - standard for a lager. Has some slight stickieness.

O - not overly plussed with the four pack (lagers need six, don't they?), but it is drinkable, and a step above the macros.

Apellonious, May 04, 2012
Photo of Beaver13
1.95/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

16oz can. Pours clear light gold with a medium frothy white head that goes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet husky wheaty malts with some vegetal notes and a little stinkiness.

The flavor is earthy, grainy, biscuity malts and some sweetness with some herbal bitterness in the finish. Kind of reminds me of a cream ale. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, better than macro lagers but not my thing. Vegetal notes, too much biscuit malt with earthy notes.

Beaver13, May 03, 2012
Photo of jag21
4/5  rDev +11.4%

jag21, May 03, 2012
Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev +11.4%

smartassboiler, May 03, 2012
Photo of cthrockmorton
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

cthrockmorton, May 02, 2012
Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
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 AlCaponeJunior
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

interesting looking lager, tan and clear with wisps of orange and gold, nice head and lace.

Smell and taste to me is almost a lager clone of dig. Very earthy, malty, and with more hops than you'd expect in a lager. Mostly it's just earthy though, almost like dirt. Honestly without putting them side by side, I'd swear this is dig.

It's fairly light and certainly flavorful, but I'd have trouble with this as a summer brew. It's too earthy and a bit heavy for a lager.

I'm giving it a mediocre rating because I doubt I'll buy it again.

AlCaponeJunior, May 02, 2012
Photo of chrisp1090
4.75/5  rDev +32.3%

chrisp1090, May 01, 2012
Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,247 ratings.