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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

1,135 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,135
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 14.17%
Wants: 32
Gots: 61 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Shift Pale Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,135 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pokesbeerdude
pokesbeerdude

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

04-08-2012 21:16:09 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of harrylee773
harrylee773

Illinois

1.5/5  rDev -58.3%

04-08-2012 18:49:21 | More by harrylee773
Photo of KC9LDB
KC9LDB

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +25%

04-08-2012 15:26:37 | More by KC9LDB
Photo of TicoCali
TicoCali

California

3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

04-08-2012 05:23:44 | More by TicoCali
Photo of McStagger
McStagger

California

3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cans are good now.

A: Aggressive pour leads to one finger off white head. Mild carbonation. Beautiful golden color. Nice head retention, too.

S: Toasty malt with a lot of spiced/floral hop aromas in the nose. Not much on the citric hop notes.

T: Another reviewer commented on the trademark roasty/nutty/biscuity flavor this brewery seems to impart on a lot of its beers. Definitely present in this one as well. This is the first and last component of the brew you taste. In between is a great malt backbone with a good touch of the same spicy/floral hop presence. Touch of stone fruit involved as well. However, that crazy roastiness of New Belgium is all over this.

M: Spot on texture. The mild carbonation and tiny little bubbles give this beer a full bodied texture that I definitely enjoy.

O: Definitely a step above most American pale lagers. If this were in the same price range as BMC this would have gotten 5's across the board. Ah, well. You get what you pay for.

Serving type: can

04-08-2012 05:12:32 | More by McStagger
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.78/5  rDev +5%
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.

Serving type: can

04-08-2012 02:01:44 | More by Zorro
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

Serving type: can

04-08-2012 00:25:22 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of Beezee
Beezee

Illinois

4/5  rDev +11.1%

04-07-2012 13:47:08 | More by Beezee
Photo of longbongsilver
longbongsilver

Missouri

4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saw this at the store recently. I wondered when they first announced it what their purpose was in doing a pale lager -- which is is probably the beer style that comes with the least expectations as far as taste. According to my Try Anything Once rule, grab it. What the hell, I like their other stuff.

First of all, it's not only a pale lager, but a canned pale lager. I poured some just to be able to see it, but all else I describe comes straight from the can. The pour for appearance evaluation purposes revealed the typical yellow, but a big creamy head more akin to a kolsch. Scent is vastly more citrusy than typical for this style, meanwhile the malt character firmly plays background. The balance of this is IPA style, though the hops themselves are obviously not that strength.

Taste is melon-like, plus a slight cracker backing. The citrus really comes through, almost as if to smack you upside the head with "I am not a typical pale lager!!" flavor. That said, the finish is lawnmower brew clean.

It's a damn good beer. I'd even say it's the best pale lager I've ever had, though that's probably because it tastes like anything but. If taking a pedestrian style and showing what it can achieve with the proper effort was their aim, then they succeeded, and I only have one suggestion: a high gravity variant called Overdrive.

Serving type: can

04-07-2012 05:30:50 | More by longbongsilver
Photo of sommersb
sommersb

Tennessee

2.35/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Tasted On: 04-06-2012
Freshness: Best by 09-09-12
Packaging: 16 oz. can
Glassware: New Belgium globe
Purchased: 4-pack from Midtown, Nashville

A: Clear, dark golden color, with a white head of 2 fingers. Very good lacing and good head retention.

S: Floral and grassy hop aromas, plus some sort of unpleasant vegetable odor.

T: Low bitterness, but the taste is marred by the same vegetable or skunked element as noted in the smell. Seems to be less evident as the beer warms up, thankfully.

M: Medium bodied with hi carbonation. The aftertastes are moderately bitter but also have the off-flavors present.

O: I was looking forward to trying this beer, but now I regret that I have 3 more in the fridge. I can't recommend this one.

Serving type: can

04-07-2012 03:56:05 | More by sommersb
Photo of GTB
GTB

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

04-07-2012 01:16:55 | More by GTB
Photo of gatornation
gatornation

Minnesota

3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from a pint can BB 090212

A- pours a clear dark golden yellow color with a fresh white head and collar with minimal lacing

S- was pale malts with baked bread a sweet citrus smell

T- pale malts and floral citrus hops a butter bread and sweet grain taste

M- medium carbonation with a crisp floral hop palate

O- very drinkable smooth and creamy PA

Serving type: can

04-06-2012 22:31:33 | More by gatornation
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can, best before Sept 9, 2012.

It pours very nice with a 1 finger head of foam and lots of cool lacing. The colour is anything but pale...24k gold, I reckon.

The smell is of lemon and grassy hops with a bit of toasted malt.

The taste is hoppy for the style(American Pale Lager) with nice lemon flavour and just a touch of grass; the toasted malt is a bit stronger in the taste than it was in the smell.

I'm trying to figure out if I need to have this in my regular rotation once the weather gets more predictable. At $8 something a 4 pack for Shift, Schlitz 70s formula and Olympia 95% Malt are about as good though different and a lot cheaper.

Serving type: can

04-06-2012 22:19:55 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of Kromes
Kromes

Georgia

4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A crystal clear light gold color with a thin soapy white head and a little bit of lacing on the glass.

S: Biscuit malts and a fruity peach aroma with some peppery and citrus hop.

T: More biscuit malts with a nice citrus fruit flavor finished off with a tame grassy hop.

M: Light with what I would say is less than average carbonation for the style. Makes it very drinkable.

O: A tough style to rate. May not be the best beer ever, but within the pale lager category, this one is excellent. This is definitely a summer beer that has good flavor and is still light and refreshing. Has all the right qualities.

Serving type: can

04-06-2012 21:18:56 | More by Kromes
Photo of Viciousknishs
Viciousknishs

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a deep golden color with a half a finger cap of off white head. Pour retention.

S- clean pale malt aromas up front with a nice slightly elevated hop presence of citrus and pine.

T- nice burst of lemon zest citrusy hops up front. The hops soon fall off and leave a clean crisp pale malt flavor with some toasty characteristics and a good amount of bitterness.

MF- smooth crisp mouthfeel with a light medium body. Average carbonation.

D- very drinkable. A solid session brew.

Serving type: can

04-06-2012 02:12:11 | More by Viciousknishs
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There's something about certain lagers, American, that is distasteful for me. It's like a stale grain, or odd sweetness. I don't really know how to describe it--but it's in all macros and most AAL styles.

Here we have NB making a lager...a pale lager. But that staleness tastes remains. However, the yeast and hops do well to calm this off taste (for me) down quite a bit. It's there up front, but the hops clear it up and give the brew a nice zing on the end.

It's light in feel and carbonated. I'd have it again on certain moods, or if it's really hot outside.

Serving type: can

04-05-2012 04:03:18 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of corbs
corbs

Kansas

4/5  rDev +11.1%

04-05-2012 03:58:49 | More by corbs
Photo of irrgalaxy
irrgalaxy

Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New 16 oz. can from the New Belgium line.

Light gold color and good head. Smell is crisp, clean with hints of ocean. Surprising amount of hops for a lager, but well-balanced. Medium palate.

Excited for future outdoor events of all kinds, but mostly praying this appears at the ballpark at some point. For backpacking, I'll still go with Dale's Pale Ale for a smaller size, but can't wait to bring a four-pack of these to my next car-camping trip.

Serving type: can

04-05-2012 01:48:30 | More by irrgalaxy
Photo of rogerthegill
rogerthegill

Oregon

3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

04-05-2012 01:33:03 | More by rogerthegill
Photo of Listers
Listers

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +25%

04-04-2012 14:29:44 | More by Listers
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint can picked up tonight at Bier Thirty for about $2... Poured into my slim tulip glass... 3 finger white head... nice lacing and retention..

Nose is clean as expected.. a nice shot of light pale malts help deliver some minor hoppiness.... a bit of citrus... and something that I associate with Summit.. garlic? Damn I hate saying that.

Flavor shows plenty of pale malt....minor toast ... very very clean.... hops are more soapy.. odd but still decent.. a bit of lemon and hints of onion on the finish..

Medium/light body... nice carbonation... great drinkability.

I am very curious to see how NB works this into their stable.. Shift is a pretty much perfect beer to take camping, rafting, hotspringing, etc.

all 3.5

Serving type: can

04-04-2012 05:54:32 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of cradke
cradke

Texas

3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Serving type: can

04-04-2012 02:14:03 | More by cradke
Photo of Hanzo
Hanzo

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

04-04-2012 00:46:29 | More by Hanzo
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: can

04-01-2012 23:43:08 | More by spinrsx
Photo of Gatch
Gatch

Massachusetts

4.48/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Easily the best of the style. This stuff is amazing. Redefines the style entirely.

A: Clean, clear, and just as it should be.

S/T: Crisp malt, light citrus, very inviting. This is what Bud Light and others of its ilk try to smell/taste like. Maybe they did back in their heyday.

M: Easy and enjoyable to drink. I could have three more tall cans of this stuff without blinking.

O: An exceptional beer that you must try. Well done New Belgium!

Serving type: can

04-01-2012 01:06:07 | More by Gatch
Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,135 ratings.