Shift Pale Lager - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Shift Pale LagerShift Pale Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

233 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 233
Hads: 1,329
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.99%
Wants: 49
Gots: 158 | 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
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Reviews: 233 | Hads: 1,329
Photo of longbongsilver
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
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. (1,340 characters)

Photo of ZoomanCru
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Shift – Pale Lager (5%) – New Belgium Brewing Co. (Colorado)
☆☆☆☆

App: Deep golden color with hints of copper in direct light. Rocky white head throws up one finger, settling to a half that retains well with a constant stream of bubbles feeding it from the bottom.

Smell: Aroma is light and bready and slightly metallic, with some subtle noble hops character.

Taste: Essentially follows nose. Foretaste is light and cereal with some hops bitterness coming through, especially on the aftertaste. A lot maltier and more in line with a Bohemian Pilsner in terms of flavor, but with significant hopping that balances it well. This beer is super easy to drink and probably one of my favorite lagers. Perfect for the lake or lawn. Actually prefer this out of the can rather than draft.

Mouth: Light and crisp. Flavors linger lightly, but do not coat the tongue. Carb is spot on.

Home tasting, 16oz can into Pilsner Glass. 2/28/14. (945 characters)

Photo of Docer
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: (3.5)

- Pours an ultra clear straw yellow bubbling lager. Couple fingers of white foaming head settle quickly to a chalky thin layer to remain. Overall a pretty standard looking craft lager.

Smell: (4.0)

- Pretty balanced aroma. Crisp grassy hops, light floral and fruit notes. Sweet biscuity grain and common lager aromas. Nice grains and just crisp beer. Liking the smell.

Taste: (4.0)

- Nice light bitter grassy and herbal hops with a nice little touch of zesty and spice. Balanced perfectly with a light bready sweet grain. This is a solid and refreshing drinker.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)

- Light bodied, well carbonated brew with a slight spicy dryness and mouth watering quality.

Overall: (4.5)

- This is a pretty simple review for a simple beer. But this beer is pretty damn good. Perfect for a hot day and as they have noted, perfect for after a shift of work. Very well balanced, and slightly better than other lagers due to their interesting and zesty combination of hops. This just proves that even the simplest of styles can still come out on top. (1,077 characters)

Photo of Kromes
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
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. (615 characters)

Photo of jar2574
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 16-ounce can.

Ends up with a decent pale white head over golden yellow highly carbonated beer. Smell is mild citrus hops over sweet honey malts, very pleasant.

Taste is a nice easy-drinking blend of slight hop bitterness and smooth honeyed malts with a dry crisp finish. Not too dry though - the creamy head retention supplies a nice counterpoint to the dryness in the finish. Good lacing all the way down.

This is what an easy-drinking summertime beer should taste like. Very good beer for its style, or any style for that matter. (552 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This can has just a bit of age on it, but it is still drinking just fine.
Nice fresh hop aroma. This really comes across as though it's gonna' drink like an ale.
Very clear and big full white head. More golden than most lagers.
Nicely hopped drink with full hop flavors but tame bitterness (not none, but tame). Nice drying on the end.
My one complaint is too much carbonation and it is quite sharp. Otherwise feel is lighter in body, but not too small. There is a aqueous quality to the drink at times in feel and taste.
This is a very solid lager. Consistent with the high quality and drinkability of most beers from New Belgium. (632 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a four pack of New Belgium's Shift Pale Lager a couple days ago for $6.99 at Meijers. While doing some grocery shopping I saw that the store just got a bunch of New Belgium beers in that just now became available in Michigan, I don't know much about this beer but it seems like it's suppose to be pretty drinkable and that's the kind of beer that I'm in the mood for right now, so lets see how it goes. No visible canning date, but it has to be pretty fresh. Poured from a tall 16oz can into a imperial pint glass.

A- I like the way this can looks, the gears and chains look nice and go win the New Belgium's constant bike theme. It poured a very clear golden yellow color that I would expect from a Pale Lager. It had two and a half fingers worth of creamy white head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and left lots of nice sheets of lacing. This is a good looking Lager, the color and clarity were true to style and the creamy head was nice, no complaints here.

S- The aroma starts of with a nice malty presence, it has a medium amount of sweetness to it and imparts some bready and grainy aromas along with a little bit of earthiness and grass. Up next comes the hops, which are nice and citrusy with lemon zest sticking out the most but I also picked up some slight floral and spicy hop aromas towards the end. I like the aroma of this beer, its hoppy and has more citrus to it then I thought it would, but the hops don't overpower those nice bready malts.

T- The taste seems to be almost exactly the same as the aroma and it starts off with a slight bit of bready malts that have a lower amount of sweetness, they are quickly followed by a good amount of hops that are are mainly citrus with lemon zest still sticking out the most. Up next comes a little more bready and grainy malt flavors. Towards the end comes some spicy and slightly floral hops that impart a nice spice hop flavor on the finish and impart a light amount of medium bitterness with a pretty spicy aftertaste. This beer tasted good, I really liked the balance between the bready malts and the citrus and spicy hops, it was nice.

M- Very smooth, refreshing, crisp, light bodied, with a nice amount of slightly higher medium carbonation. The mouthfeel worked well with this beer and was very true to style.

Overall I liked and was impressed by this beer and I thought it was a very good example of an American Pale Lager and so far the best one I have tried. It had really good drinkability, it was really smooth, crisp, refreshing, and the flavors did a great job at holding my attention, I could see taking out a four pack on a nice warm summer day, this beer is pretty much the definition of drinkable. What I liked most about this beer was how nice the hop aspect to this beer was and how nicely it was balanced by the bread malts, the balance is really impressive and the drinkability was really nice. What I liked least about this beer was nothing, there isn't anything that I would want to change with this beer, it's great just the way it is. I would for sure buy this beer again, in fact I already got two more four packs before the store jacks the price up, I highly recommend this to anyone and this would make a great choice for someone just getting into craft beer. All in All I was flat out impressed by this beer and it could be one of the best lagers I have ever had, New Belgium hit it out of the park with this one, they gave the people what they wanted, a lager that doesn't suck, great job guys this beer just earned a spot in my beer fridge. (3,574 characters)

Photo of MostlyNorwegian
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Not a big smell on the sniffer here. But pleasant with citrus, perhaps slight pine, faint pear into lemon kinda thing happening.
Big attractive head off a vigorous pour. Atmospheric lacing rings populate the glass, with a murky faint swamp like head which drops off the deeper you get in. Shift is a very sexy beer.
Grassy straw notes. and a bit spicey with resined lingering bitterness for the mouth. Very solid beer and burger beer and a nice drinker. (455 characters)

Photo of alk3kenny
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a slightly dark golden color awesome some grassy notes cereal some hops... Initial tasting slight bitterness not much sweetness can taste some hops and grain carbonation bubbles on the tongue very easily drinkable could put back the whole 4 pk of pints on a hot day off for sure. mouthfeel is light crispy pleasant. (329 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
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 Phocion
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. can poured into 16 oz. shaker pint. Well, most of it. Pale, translucent, golden/dark straw colored body with a thick bubbly off-white head that doesn't want to break. Big, intermittent chunks of lacing around the edge of my glass.

Whoa. Okay, when I read "pale lager" I'm not expecting to smell this big of dose of Northwest hops. Floral, citrus, and resiny aromas dominate and mix well with the big, bready malt backbone of this beer. Quite a bit of earthy aromas as well.

The flavor doesn't quite hold up to the nose. The hops are a bit more subtle, with big bread dough flavors coming out. Just a touch of sweetness. Overall, pretty well-balanced.

Clean, crisp mouthfeel. Light-medium body and medium carbonation.

Okay, I'm normally rather unimpressed with New Belgium's standard offerings, but this is pretty good. This is what a "pale lager" should be. (868 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
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 Jimmys
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can into hardywood park tulip. best before sept. 30 12.

A: very rich golden hued body. head is bright white with great retention and thick clumps of lace.

S: slightly sweet, slightly minty aroma. if i had to guess, i would say saaz was used in this brew. a very inviting aroma, even if it is one not typical of american pale lagers.

T: a little eggy. there is an underlying chalky, earthy noble bitterness throughout the entire drink that slightly reminds me of a german pils. the malt is there, but really as a backboard for the hops. smoooth.

M: moderate carbonation on a light/medium body.

D: i really like this beer. good flavor on a very drinkable lager. glad it is in a hogsleg. (700 characters)

Photo of CIBoy10
4.19/5  rDev +14.2%
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. (476 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is currently ranked #14 in the American Pale Lager category. With a score of only 83%, this is certainly not a popular style.

Served in a Stone Brewing Co. pint glass.

A: Poured a clear, sunflower yellow color with a sticky white head that stuck around for a while.

S: I got some sweet barley and corn upfront along with a substantial amount of fruity goodness considering the style.

T: It totally drank as an IPA once it hit my palate, but once the flavors were fully release, the yeast (as opposed to grapefruit-like citrus) took center stage. Delicious!

M: I like the spritzy carbonation which made this all the more drinkable. There was lots of lacing left on the glass, but the palate came out clean overall, with just a nice bitter kick at the end.

O: I think deserves a higher rating for sure and will keep this one in mind come pool season. (860 characters)

Photo of jmbranum
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
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. (442 characters)

Photo of Arborescence
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear, golden, pours a nice and creamy ~1 finger head, which is even surprisingly persistent for a lager. Looks fairly carbonated.

Aroma: Fresh and hoppy, with citrus aromas and some spices; orange peel, grass, cardamom? Quite promising!

Taste: Hops are a bit milder than expected, there is also a strong malt background. Not as light and refreshing as I thought it would be, but there's certainly some flavour. Hop bitterness in the aftertaste. The spices in the aroma are not evident, but I'm reminded of freshly baked rolls.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Bready texture.

Overall: For a lager in a can, this is excellent. Not my favourite type of beer by any means, but it's great to see an inexpensive, easy drinking session lager with some originality and flavour. Hopefully it can convert some of the masses into better beer... (864 characters)

Photo of Megahertz
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz Can

A: Deep gold, crystal clear, massive white head falls into a thin film. Significant lacing suggesting malt content. Looks like a real beer.

S: Faint graininess with very subltle hint of german-type hops. Smells like a real beer.

T: This is a real beer. Restrained malt sweetness with extremely subtle toasted bread note, very light honey-like sweetness, no flaws noted. Seems very 'lively'. Bitterness is assertive for the style, but within reasonable limits. No major hop flavor. Finish is extremely dry.

M: Crisp, light bodied.

OI: Excellent example of the style, one of the best I've had. If macros could make this, the world would be a better place. (668 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

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. (266 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can poured into a New Belgium globe.
5% ABV, 02 SEP 12 printed on bottom.

A - Pouring out a shimmering goldenrod color with vibrant clarity, Shift is capped by a well formed and well retained, faintly off-white head. Rings of open lace circle the glass like delicate chains.

S - Bright, crisp, and simply inviting, Shift has a delightfully delicate aroma of pale and pils malt supporting citrusy hops. Notes of earth punctuate the light lemon zest.

T - Thin lemongrass citrus washes over the tongue briefly before the maltiness takes over with a pale grainy flavor that eventually gives way to a little soapiness across the finish.

M - Light-bodied and easy drinking, this pale lager has a well-balanced level of carbonation to bring crispness and refreshment without being overbearing. Despite it's wonderful drinkability, Shift still seems to remain a little thin feeling. The dry, faintly bitter hops could be adding to that effect but easily drinkable it remains.

O - Hellooo tailgating beer! Well constructed and flavorful, Shift offers a simple but tasty marriage of malt and hops for a summer beer that will refresh wonderfully. Appealing to all masses, the triple hops brewed crowd will shift gears with this great gateway beer while craft drinkers will reach for it's clean lager characteristics and smooth flavor. (1,334 characters)

Photo of CHickman
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review from 7/11/12: pours hazy gold color with a ton of bubbles racing up the middle and a 2 finger foamy snow white head that faded slowly and left great foamy lacing clinging to the sides.

Smells of sweet malt, orange peel, lemon zest, caramel, brown sugar, grains and spices like cinnamon and coriander. Spicy and floral, the nose is sweet, airy and quite enjoyable.

Tastes of sweet malt, orange peel, lemon zest, citrus hops, caramel, brown sugar, grains, yeast, grass, pepper and other spices like cinnamon and coriander. Sweet overall with nice citrus and malty flavors complimenting each other.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth and almost watery, with a light body, light zesty carbonation, and high drinkability. A definite session beer, this was light, refreshing, flavorful and very enjoyable.

Shift was great out of the can and in a glass, and the name is quite fitting as this is a perfect quenching beer to throw down after any shift. Outstanding drinkability, I could drink this on a regular basis and always be happy. (1,034 characters)

Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured from 16 oz can into pilsner glass, golden amber colored with huge 3" bright white head that slowly dissipates leaving fine frothy lacing, crystal clear with lively bubbles
S: citrus hop nose rounded with sweet malt, floral, cereal grain
T: sweet biscuit followed by a good bitter hop punch, lemongrass, light and simple yet perfectly balanced between malt and hops
M: proper lively carbonation with a crisp clean finish, thinner as a pale lager should be
O: every American pale lager made by the big three should be embarrassed that they don't taste like this beer, if you have shied away from the pale lager style due to the abuse it has received try this to be pleasantly surprised (693 characters)

Photo of rfbenavi80
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First craft can. Excited about this one.

Agressive pour straight down into a pilsner glass.

A- Pours a very nice clear gold, with lots of frothy, foamy, white head that leaves a thick cap on top of the beer and thick lacing.

S- Some earthy hops. Plenty of sweet malts. Some bread dough, and biscuity.

T- Hoppier than I expected, but the bitterness is moderate. Sweet caramel malts comes out.

M- Medium body, thicker than I expected.

O- Highly drinkable. Bonus points for the whole craft can thing. Very refreshing. I like their slogan about finishing a shift at work and popping one of these open. (608 characters)

Photo of BierStein711
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow!

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 mathmalicious
4.45/5  rDev +21.3%
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. (507 characters)

Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 233 ratings.