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Shift Pale Lager - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Shift Pale LagerShift Pale Lager

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

235 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 235
Hads: 1,333
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.99%
Wants: 50
Gots: 159 | 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: 235 | Hads: 1,333
Photo of joecalderoni
4.68/5  rDev +27.5%
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 -12.3%
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 -17.4%
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 -2.5%
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 +13.6%
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 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 TwelveOunces
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
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 +0.8%
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 -1.1%
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 -2.5%
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 -3.8%
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!

Cheers! (726 characters)

Photo of Beast35
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
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 +6.5%
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 +8.2%
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 +4.9%
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 +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 tempest
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
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)

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
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? (876 characters)

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. (347 characters)

Photo of beagle75
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (1,355 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
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. (675 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
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. (520 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
2.9/5  rDev -21%
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. (519 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (707 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
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. (614 characters)

Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 235 ratings.