Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Shift Pale Lager - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Shift Pale LagerShift Pale Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

238 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 238
Hads: 1,342
Avg: 3.66
pDev: 13.93%
Wants: 53
Gots: 170 | 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
Reviews: 238 | Hads: 1,342
Photo of Scotchboy
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Shift Pale Lager, tallboy canned Oct 2011, served in a Sam Smith nonic.

A: Pale yellow color with hints of gold, very clear; bright white head and modest lacing.

S: Hopping mixed with pale malts, bread crust, toasted grains, light citrus, lemon & orange peel, floral notes, with hints of spiciness.

T: Follows the nose. Flash of bright citrus and orange followed by lots of crackery biscuit malts and lightly toasted grains, light spices, clean finish, with moderate bitterness for a lager as the hops arrive on the back end ever so lightly.

Extremely enjoyable for a lager, of which I'm not really a fan.

MF: Light and refreshing and drinkable...watery? In a good way. Nice carbonation.

O: Solid drinker for the lager fans. Tallboy, low abv, modest hopping. I'd say this is a winner.

 791 characters

Photo of MattyG85
3.88/5  rDev +6%
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.

 1,032 characters

Photo of Philousa
2.46/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Great clarity in this light copper colored beer with a metallic sheet. Head is barely there, but some does stick to the glass. Pale malt, possibly 2 row, but I would guess there isn't much pils malt in this. Some sweetness to it, not much hops in the nose. Taste takes a while to get going. Watery without much flavor, then slightly sweet pale malt and lingering bitterness that isn't very abrasive. Super drinkable, but not watery at all. Has substance. Balanced finish.

This would be good after a long ride or run, but without much flavor, I would reach for something else most of the time.

 593 characters

Photo of NuclearDolphin
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 687 characters

Photo of riored4v
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in to a tulip. Frothy, 1.5 finger white head. Good lacing. Clear, golden body.

Aroma was surprising. Very bright and crisp with some good hop aroma. Floral and slight mineral aroma. Mellow maltiness.

Flavor was light, crisp with a moderator hop finish. Mild maltiness is first notice, slightly grainy as well. Good hop flavor of floral and light spiceyness. Very bright on the flavor. Slightly grassy in the finish with a hint of minerally flavor. Mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel was medium-light body, medium-high carbonation and a dry, crisp finish.

Overall this was very enjoyable and better than I expected. Very refreshing and good balance of flavors.

 662 characters

Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

 623 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.94/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16 oz. can poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass.

A: Pours a golden straw color with brilliant clarity and vibrant carbonation. The head is a three finger eggshell color with thick bubbles and solid retention for a lager. Nice spiderweb lacing is left behind on the glass, while a portion of the head still retains itself away from the glass edges. By lager standards, this one looks damn good.

S: There's a typical snappy grain smell of most lagers, but it's also backed up by strong lemongrass, pineapple, and breadier malt. On the other hand, I'm a little worried how the scent is slightly reminiscient of lemon Pledge.

T: Initially, there's a nicely crisp tartness from the lemony hops, backed up by a vaguely sweet grainy malt note. There's little else to this one other than light grain and tart citrus - even worse, the maltiness doesn't intermingle with the hoppiness as well as it could. Still, it's still an easy drinking, refreshing beer that hits the spot on a hot summer day.

M: Medium bodied with a crisp finishing bite. The lemon hops linger on the palate vaguely, due to its drier texture. Healthy carbonation.

O: Hardly great, but it's a good enough summertime beer nonetheless. As long as you don't go into this one with insane expectations, you'll find that it does its job quite well during this hot time of year.

 1,339 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1316th Review on BA
Can to NB Globe

Best By 16-Sep-12
Purchased a 4pk from Albertsons for 7.99

App- A big and deep orange color into the glass. with some golden yellow highlights in the center. A bit orbish looking. A big two finger white head with good cling.

Smell- It's got a ton of lager behind it. Grainy, lemony and even a bit adjunct. Has a small pale ale vibe going with a bit of malty sweetness.

Taste- Opens much more lager than I hoped. Slowly moves to a pale ale flavor for some dry piney hops and very malty with a touch of bitter.

Mouth- A medium body with a medium carbonation level. A bit of malts, orange juice and lemon on the finish.

Drink- It's just okay. Was really expecting more of a citrus hoppy explosion to this.

 749 characters

Photo of joecalderoni
4.68/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a beautifull golden/yellow color! Good fluffy Head!

S: Amazing hop aroma well balanced by pilsner malt on the back of the nose!

T: Sweet grainy taste with a well balanced bitterness! Some amazing hop taste at the after taste!

M: Light to medium body! high carbonation that accentuates the hop bitterness!

O: an amazing pale lager! suit for every occasion! perfect presentation! Cans mean you can drink them everywhere!

 432 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.22/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Poured aggressively from the can produced a big, frothy 3 finger white head. Retention was average. Color was a crystal clear and purely golden. Resulting lace is sparse, but gathers in cloudy chunks around the edges.

Smell - Hate to say it, but the predominant smell I get is light mildew. Hints of grass and lemon. One of the more unpleasant smelling beers I've put my nose to. Thankfully the aroma is subtle all in all.

Taste - Thankfully it does not taste in the way it smells. Lightly flavored, with notes of grass and lemon hops. Sitting beneath this you'll find a notes of New Belgium's classic malt profile; toasted biscuit with a touch of nuttiness. Finishes with the malt flavor coming on strong, but hops take the checkered flag.

Mouthfeel - Light in body, almost watery, but packs some serious bite. Tingles the lips like crazy.

Overall - Not a bad pale ale, but the smell is off-putting. I probably won't buy this again, but I'm glad I tried it.

 976 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big white head quickly settles into a decent lacing above a clear rich golden colored beer.

Light citrus to piney hops aroma with a little yeast and grass like hints.

A light soapy sour citrus hops with a a little bit of grain in the taste.

A dry aftertaste with a slight bitter almost soapy hops sticking around on the light to medium bodied beer.

This beer starts out looking really good with a very nice light nose and it seems to go down hill some with the taste and aftertaste.

 486 characters

Photo of stakem
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Kegatron for gifting me with a 16oz can of this. Poured into a pub glass, the brew appears a light copper to golden color with a finger of yellowish tan head. Rising bubbles of carbonation maintain the cap and some strings of webby lace stick to the glass. Through the body is some fine particulate keeping this brew from looking polished in clarity.

The aroma is sweet with a scent of caramel to buttery toffee. A light amount of citrus to herbal hop inclusion mixes with a touch of floral quality. There is a minute amount of trace mineral character present towards the back. Overall this is a typical smelling pale lager.

The flavor of this brew has the previously described notes of butter that come across with some biscuit maltiness. However, before the buttery notes have a chance to linger on the tongue, some herbal hop bitterness comes into play to clean things up a bit. The herbal aspect of the hops carries with it a touch of minerals like the aroma led on. There is a mild fruity aspect of this brew tasting somewhat floral as it warms up. This brew plays quite the contrasting role inside the mouth from buttery to herbal to toasty with grain. Overall not bad.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is light and lively inside the mouth with a crisp finish that you expect from the style. What keeps this back from being above-average for me is the way the buttery notes do not easily transition into the hops and then malt quality. Instead, each aspect seems singular and does not really come together. Overall, it is not a bad brew. It does however include a bit more of an alcohol punch than you would expect for the listed 5% abv.

 1,692 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.17/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

 511 characters

Photo of BierStein711
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Can poured into shaker

Three finger off white head

Amber body

Taste: piney, grassy, and bitter finish

Smell: lager yeast, grains

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. When I see and hear the words "Pale Lager" [sic], I generally avoid. Have this beer, and celebrate a new, and better form of this beer style.

 318 characters

Photo of TwelveOunces
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tallboy poured into a pint glass

A- Clear golden yellow with a rather lare 3 finger whitish head. Really nice lacing

S- Very crisp and grainy. A slight bitterness but an underwhelming hop profile, some pine and light citrus. A light sugary sweetness.

T- Very grainy tasting, a bit of light malt and along with some sugary flavors. Hop profile is again, underwhelming but has a bit of pine and citrus with it. Tastes fresh and clean.

M- Fairly light, both body and taste but this is a refreshing beer. Light character but leaves behind a heavy, dry and sticky aftertaste.

O- This beer isnt bad, its just a little disappointing. Miles ahead of other american adjunct lagers but behind most craft beer and and I would expect something a bit more from New Belgium. Having said that, it is a session-able beer and its good at being just that.

 842 characters

Photo of JEdmund
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear and golden with healthy head formation and great retention; lots of bubbles to be seen streaming away.

Smells a mix of cereal graininess and fruity/floral hops, though those hops are very delicately used and are not coming in strong by any means.

Immediately struck by how light-bodied yet crisp this is. Flavor is light, smooth, and balanced. Slightly sweet, clean, and a nice hop flavor, though like the aroma, it’s lightly employed. The finish has a good drying hop bite, bringing me back for more.

Overall Shift is very drinkable, but considering its price point, I feel like I should be getting a bit more flavor for my bucks. Money aside, these are easy-drinking beers with a subtle, unique twist thanks to those New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops and will go down quickly and enjoyably on hot days.

 813 characters

Photo of tlazaroff
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Light grain on the nose, nothing that stands out and smells bad (I generally don't like grain smell). I get a bit of floral hops to back up the malt. It's nice.

The beer looks pretty good! It's a golden color with a crisp white fluffy head with generous lacing. Streaming carbonation to the top of the glass.

Taste isn't too bad. It has this nice floral hop bite at first, then rolls into a cereal-like profile and is backed by finish that combines both and is quite memorable for a pale lager. It's pretty nice.

Great mouthfeel includes a light body, moderate carbonation, a dry finish, and incredibly refreshing! Overall, this could be a favorite pale lager.

 663 characters

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a Victory tulip

A- pours gold with an orange hue, with a one finger white head. Plenty of bubbles rising. Looks very nice

S- the aroma of the Nelson hops are crisp, and give off a modest citrus scent. Not very overpowering

T- the citrus lends a slight hint of bitterness to this, but again, a very crisp, easy flavor

M- trends toward the thin side, which actually helps it based on the style and packaging form

O- it's not great by any means, but at a 5% tallboy, it serves its purpose well. The price point doesn't work for me, though, and I don't think this would be a go-to for me

 611 characters

Photo of phishsihq
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

New Belgium Brewing Company's latest release, Shift Pale Lager, shows off their bottom-fermenting skills and new canning line. Available only in 16 ounce "Tall Boy" cans, we decided to pour ours into a New Belgium Globe Glass to get a better look at it. Shift pours a deep brass color with a one-inch thick white head that dissipates slowly, leaving a solid lace around the glass. Aromas of biscuity malt, faint citrus (orange) notes, and a slight spiciness are all discernible. Shift starts out with sweet malt flavors blending into some crisp herbal and spicy floral flavors. Medium bodied, this pale lager is lighter in carbonation, all the while maintaining a smooth and crisp sessionable quality. Crafts Can Can!


 726 characters

Photo of Beast35
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

For a lager this is a pretty good beer. Poured into a shaker pint, nice golden color, not your piss colored adjunct lager. Smells hoppy for a lager. Taste surprisingly does not live up to the smell. Overall though this is a good good beer, wish it was cheaper though.

 267 characters

Photo of morimech
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light golden color with one finger of head that had good retention. The head slowly settles to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass. Pretty damn attractive for a pale lager.

Aroma consists of spicy hops and toasty, caramel malt. But not a lot of aroma is coming off this beer.

Good flavor that is nicely balanced between malt and hops. The malt gives a slightly toasted, grainy, and caramel base that is just slightly sweet. The hops are herbal and spicey. Not the cleanest finish as there is some lingering grain flavor.

More body than typical pale lagers and the carbonation is lower. Overall this is a much more satisfying drinking experience.

A nice lager that rivals Brewfarm Select for pale lager in cans. A nice addition to New Belgium's portfolio.

 771 characters

Photo of cyclonece09
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can, from a beer of the the month six pack from Vintage Cellar in Blacksburg, Virginia, poured into a pint glass. Pours a real nice straw color with a nice white head that dissipates quickly, but leaves nice lacing. Smells of great sweet grain, and a little floral hop smell. Tastes of sweet grain, but unlike most pale lagers, has a nice hop bite. Beer goes down real smooth for this light bodied beer. Overall, a very good beer.

 436 characters

Photo of JMad
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 423 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pour is a light golden orange, crystal clear and off white head. The nose is very nice, well balanced grain to faint sweet malt and a zesty herbal hop. The taste follows the nose, great grain presence, very fresh, subtle caramel malt and herbal hops in the back with an assertive carbonation and gentle bitterness. Soft velvety body and crisp clean finish. This is victory esq.

 377 characters

Photo of tempest
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 453 characters

Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 238 ratings.