Shift Pale Lager - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Shift Pale LagerShift Pale Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

1,323 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,323
Reviews: 231
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 14.17%
Wants: 47
Gots: 156 | FT: 1
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,323 | Reviews: 231
Photo of beertunes
3.32/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Photo of Apellonious
3.16/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

Photo of Beaver13
1.94/5  rDev -46.1%
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.

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Photo of JupiterJesus
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tastes like an APA, but with a bit of the stinky lager character.
Richer than most pale lagers, with a good amount of malt character. Too bad half of that malt character is DMS >.<.

Still, the stinky bready, corn-like DMS-y lager character is lower here than in other pale lagers and has a bit more complexity. It's also masked partly by hops.

The aroma is typical nasty lager, but the taste is nicely bitter and has a cool hop character that is unfamiliar but delicious. Good summer brew. I wonder how it would taste with just a bit of dry hop at the end of the lagering period.

Photo of ElGordo
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright golden color with a quick flourish of white head that settles down prety quickly. NIce, clean aroma of bready malt and piney hops. Crisp, clean taste that's malt-forward and accented with some distinct lager yeast. Finish is a little tart and pleasantly bitter. I'll probably drink more than a few of these this summer.

Photo of jar2574
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

Photo of facundoCNB
3.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

clear golden yellow with 1/8" of white head, excellent acing. smells of honey, lemongrass, bread. tastes slightly bitter from hops with a bready backbone.. tastes more like an american pale ale than a lager, which is a GREAT thing in my book. a very refreshing beer, light bodied, thirst quenching with a dry finish. this is an excellent session beer. unfortunately for me i only received one can through a trade, but if i had this available, i think this would be a go to for session drinking. it's light tasting with a moderate abv, refreshing for a hot summer day (or when you wake up in the middle of the night, such as now, with a dry mouth). it's just overall a nice session beer.

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

Poured from 16oz can into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich golden hue with a clear body and nice effervescence. Head is a thin finger of pillowy white foam; nice.

Smell: mild malt aroma with an interesting hop character. Hops are citrusy but dank; they're funky, earthy and last of all spicy. Not at all what you'd expect from a pale lager, and not too badly executed to boot.

Taste: nice malt flavor with some of the same hop characteristics with a heavier tilt to the citrus. The middle of the flavor has a good grapefruity ring to it, which I quite enjoy. Bitterness is relatively low, befitting the style.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a good, effervescent creaminess. I like it.

Overall: this one was a surprise to me. New Belgium does not always produce my favorite beers, but Shift is darn good. I'm glad I gave it a try.

Photo of stangski83
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to admit, I am happy to see craft beer in cans in major retailers finally. Picked up a 4pk of tall boys to give this one a try. Not bad, good hop notes for a pale lager - much more than any of the big macro boys, but something isn't quite right with this one. Very frothy head, and very thin, light pour, but the balance is slightly off. Certainly not a bad pale by any means - but I can't quite put my finger on why I'm not in love with this beer. It's certainly not bad - and a better supermarket choice than most - but I'm not sure I can justify $10 for a 4pk when there are tall boys of Half Acre and Finch's waiting for my consumption in the Chicago area, and both of those don't leave me with a critical, pondering feeling like this one does.

I feel bad bashing this, as I really want to like it, but...it's just so-so. Cool packaging/can design for sure, and nice to see cans of craft I can take tailgating for baseball season. In other news, it sure beats the cheesy marketing of other canned beer lately, such as the Miller "Punch Top" can!

Photo of secondtooth
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This nicely clean amber lager pours with a massive head, and splendid, intricate, and finely-detailed lace.

Nose is malty but with an obvious hoppy citrus touch. Very nice.

Taste is light on the palate up front, but full of hopped-up citrus notes upon finish. Drinks much like a pale ale, and a solid one at that. I would buy this regularly if the price wasn't so prohibitive ($9 for 4 pint cans).

Photo of Chaney
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

Photo of blakelive784
2.64/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

16 fl oz can served in a generic pint glass, reviewed from notes:

A - Presents a pale transparent golden color with a thin rocky head of one finger. Retention is average at best. Standard and generic.

S - Clean mild barley and light malt character with fresh grassy hops. Simple, clean, mild and pretty inviting.

T - The hopping is much more aggressive than I though it would be based on the aroma. The clean mild barley body doesn't stand a chance. The hops are certainly fresh, but they're imbalanced and simple.

M - Thin, light bodied and over carbonated.

D - Light and easy drinking. I applaud the attempt at the style though I think it's poorly executed, simple and imbalanced.

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

Finally found this on shelves locally and based on a recent, lively discussion about US and German lagers, thought I'd give it a try. $9 for a 4 pack of 16 oz. cans.

A -- Pours a clear, deep gold (deeper in color than any other American Pale Lager I've ever seen) with a dense, white head that holds up well.

S -- Lightly citrus and mildly piny nose. More Pale Ale in character than Pale Lager. I'll give it points for being appetizing, but knock some off for style.

T -- Somewhat resiny, mildly bitter hops, not as overpowering as this hop mix could be. Light graininess fighting valiantly against the hop character. Dry, resiny bitter finish and aftertaste. Not really lager-like, so I'm scoring as I did aroma.

M -- Mouthfeel is crisp and dry with a light-medium body.

O -- Not what I'd expect in picking up a beer labeled "Pale Lager," but it doesn't turn me off either. If I didn't have some true Pale Lager waiting in the wings, I might have been disappointed, but the refreshing flavor and body of this new beer makes for a good first drink of the afternoon.

Photo of Kegatron
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear golden copper, with a couple fingers of white head that has a bit of an off look to it. This retains with a thin creaminess that drenches the sides of the glass with a ton of sticky lacing. Nice look. The aroma smells fresh, grassy, and dank, with a smack of tart lemon in the nose and then some more green bitter notes. A tight grainy sweetness and a touch of eggy smelling protein sit along the back.

The taste is leafy and herbal in the mouth, with a crisp citric bitterness and that same smack of lemon that I picked up in the aroma. This melds into that tight sweet graininess of the Pils malts, which do a nice job of propping those hops up. The finish is dry and pithy with some lingering dankness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and sharp on the tongue which works itself into more of a smooth creaminess as this moves out in the mouth. An oily slickness from the hops really keeps this easy feeling.

This was a borderline IPL at times with those American hops really adding a lot of character to this. Maybe a bit too much though, as this got REALLY herbal feeling as things warmed up. I recommend having at this one while it’s still fairly cold, as it’s got quite a flavorful and crisp hop bite before things start loosening up. It’s nice to see New Belgium going with the tall boys now.

Photo of kojevergas
2.55/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

500 ml can served into N'Ice Chouffe stemware in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I've historically been underwhelmed by this brewery but I tried La Folie last night and it blew me away.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 2.5 finger head of nice fluffy cream, decent thickness, beige colour, and standard retention for the mere 5% ABV. Colour is a transparent yellow. Standard fare for the style, but generally appealing.

Sm: Full pleasant barley and some fresh floral hops. An average quality moderate strength aroma. I'm looking forward to trying it.

T: Barley with fresh floral hops. Simple and somewhat bland, but fairly enjoyable. Not subtle or layered. Pretty boring. There's very little to say about it.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some cream. Far too wet and thin. Weak. Doesn't quite support the flavour profile, minimal as it is.

Dr: A boring bland beer from New Belgium that I won't be getting again. Might make a decent beer pong beer; it's pretty drinkable if overcarbonated. Priced alright.

Low C-

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by 9/9/12.

Pours a clear orange with a 2 inch foamy orange-white head that settles to a thin cap on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of metal, grain, and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is of tangy malt and some herbal hop flavors. There is a mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good lager but I was expecting a crisper level of carbonation.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Finger of head on a clear and golden body. Good lacing as the drink goes down.

Its aroma is faint; metallic and grain smell.

Tastes malty (for a lager) and then suddenly big splash of bitterness. One, two flavor profile.

Smooth and crisp texture, low carbonation and light body.

Tasty and drinkable for a long night or day.

Photo of russpowell
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BBD of 24 Jun 2012

Pours a super-effervescent gold/bronze color with 4 fingers of fluffed up pearl colored head. Great lacing & above average head retention

S: Serious bready notes, grassyness & lemons as well

T: Grassyness, faint lemon rind, crackery notes along with some bready sweetness. Some mineral & soapy hoppyness as this warms along with more grassyness & some grainyness. Finishes grassy, citrussy & fairly crisp

MF: Medium bodied, crisp carbonation, alright balance

I'm sure a few of these will go down great out on the lake or chilling this summer; but this is a little too stripped down for me, give more hops & or malt please. I doubt this will even make my summer canned beer rotation this year...

Photo of donmonkey1
3.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Really nice golden color with a nice white frothy head and great lacing. The carbonation was excellent and inviting.

Smell: 80 wt gear oil with the smallest touch of floral hop.

Taste: Oily with a really nice, moderate, floral hop taste.

I like this beer a lot, and I love the hops, but I sure feel like I'm drinking a beer with a couple drops of car oil in the glass.

Photo of rfbenavi80
4.33/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

Photo of lstokes
3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright clear gold with a pleasant three fingers of foam and good lacing. Also, it comes in a can, so more appearance points there!

Smell is clean biscuit, taste has some real character--some spice, some tart apple, dried grass, a crisp finish with a punch of hop. Very drinkable, clean lager which is actually quite enjoyable to drink *during* work.

Photo of rangerred
3.46/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy light gold with a thick one finger head. Plenty of lacing clings to the sides of the glass.

Smell has some cooked vegetables along with some biscuit and grassy hops.

Some caramel and biscuit on the taste along with a little bit of yeast. Grassy hops contribute a nice flavor along with a light to moderate bitterness to balance out the malt. Mouthfeel has enough body to make it interesting but it is still quite refreshing.

There isn't a ton going on with this brew but it would be great for sessioning. This could potentially be a good gateway beer from BMC.

Photo of hopfacebrew
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heard good things about this, poured from can to pilsner glass the beer arrives a translucent orange copper yellow with a nice 2 finger white head, good retention, and good lacing. The nose is a little light but not bad, consisting of a light floral earthy hop and a touch of caramel. The flavor improves on the nose with a light but pleasant hop earthy flavor and mild bitterness, hints of caramel sweetness and light pilsen malt. Finishes crisp and clean. Light bodied and well carbonated. Overall, good. This will be enjoyed more and more as the temperature heats up!

Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,323 ratings.