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Shift Pale Lager - New Belgium Brewing

Shift Pale LagerShift Pale Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

1,019 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1019
Reviews: 211
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 14.17%


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
Ratings: 1,019 | Reviews: 211 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of hopfacebrew
hopfacebrew

Colorado

3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
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!

Serving type: can

04-17-2012 22:21:24 | More by hopfacebrew
Photo of nimrod979
nimrod979

Maryland

3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz tall boy poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Perfectly clear straw yellow. Two finger white head fades to a small film. Hint of lacing where the head sat but nothing sticks as you drink it.

Aroma is hay and grassy hops. Biscuity and Pilsener type malts.

Taste - You get that same pilsener and biscuit malt flavor. Has that "signature" New Belgium malt profile I detect in many of their beers. Mild grassy hops.

Clean and very drinkable. Moderate carbonation. Finishes quick with mild hop bitterness. A little on the lighter side of medium bodied.

All in all, it's not all that bad. Very sessionable. And for it's style, it's something I'd reach for on a hot day if it were lying around.

Serving type: can

04-17-2012 21:21:32 | More by nimrod979
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, lemons, some sweetness. Taste is crisp, tart, citrus, some hops, more pale ale like than lager. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an easy drinking and enjoyable beer.

Serving type: can

04-17-2012 19:11:37 | More by tone77
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a two-finger, egg-shell white head of bubbly foam. It left sticky patches of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled floral and grassy with some sweet caramel.

T - It tasted spicy and hoppy with a nice bitterness. Sweet caramel and grains add backbone.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied lager with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a pretty tasty lager. I'm impressed. I could see people taking this good canned beer on camping trips, etc.

Serving type: can

04-17-2012 03:41:08 | More by zeff80
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a can to a pilsner glass. Had a golden yellow color and a clear texture. There was an inch of creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: Hoppier than I expected, with a definite grain presence to be had.

T: Tasted of light hops, malt, a little citrus (lemon), and some grain in the finish. A light, refreshing flavor that seems more like a pilsner than anything else (not bad thing in this case).

M: A good amount carbonation with a smooth, lively finish. Light-bodied.

O: The American Pale Lager style doesn't lend itself to complexity, and this beer won't win any prizes for that. However, it's an easy to drinkable likeable beer.

Serving type: can

04-16-2012 22:51:53 | More by avalon07
Photo of bsp77
bsp77

Minnesota

4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from can into Frankfurter mug.

Appearance: Rich golden color with nice sized head at first, and some light lacing.

Smell: Light hay, grains, citrus and spice. Needs a little more oomph in the aroma department, but still nice.

Taste: Hay and apple form the backbone, with a nice hoppy counterbalance of citrus and a light spiciness. Despite the hops, there is virtually no bitterness; just balanced flavors.

Feel: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Crisp, clean and smooth with a dry finish.

Overall: This is essentially a Helles but with New World hops. Surprisingly, I enjoy this almost as much as Surly Hell. I also think that other than the Lips of Faith series, this is the best standard New Belgium beer along with Belgo. Very happly surprised by this.

Serving type: can

04-15-2012 20:49:09 | More by bsp77
Photo of chugalug06
chugalug06

Colorado

3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Huge white foamy head come from this typically styled NB CAN. Decent outer ring of bubbles surround the foam. Brew is crystal clear orange-yellow. Looks like pretty low carbonation, very little bubbling. Nice lacing, good job NB.

Not too much scent, typical NB; not aggressive. Smells like a Bud Light, wheres the craft? Seriously, are there any Hops in here? Smells like: corn, slight chile, white pepper, biscuts, and bread.

Well carbonated. Very light and session-able. Not too much to report on flavor other then it greatly reminds me of BMC... Tastes a bit like a farm would (corn). Bread-y and biscuit-y.

I think it's safe to say NB came out flat on this over-hyped brew. If they tried to brew a Bud Light clone using a slightly different recipe, well, they succeeded. There is zero complexity to this brew. This brew never quite shifted my gear to become recommendable. It's far from craft and closer to Macro, drinks great from a can and very poor from a glass. Give ME an Avery Joe's!

Serving type: can

04-15-2012 04:07:26 | More by chugalug06
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - clear, see-through, gold with a mountain of dense, white, foamy head with great retention

S - light, bready malt; herbal, spicy; great hop character

T - toasted malts, faint bread, herbal hops, a hint of onions, little lager yeast, a slight spicy hop finish

M - light bodied, smooth, crisp, well carbonated

This is a really solid pale lager. It has a great hop character and great balance and flavor for the style. This would be a great trade off for the usual BMC drinker.

Serving type: can

04-14-2012 20:00:06 | More by tdm168
Photo of isualum12
isualum12

Idaho

3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

LOVE the can. Looks so cool. Love the little saying on the rim. Extra cool.
Look clear with lots of activity and a lacy head. Golden clear.
Smell skunk kinda gross
Taste hops but not overpowering. Just the right amount of hops if your not a hop head but like it every now and the. (me)
Feel high co2
Overal nice beer. It will stay in the mix.

Thanks

Serving type: can

04-14-2012 02:39:29 | More by isualum12
Photo of Domingo
Domingo

Colorado

3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

NB’s second major lager offering is a pale lager (no traditional styles here) in a 16oz can.
Straw golden – nice head and retention, too.
Hops hit the nose first. Not really traditional noble hops either. Slightly citric and earthy hops. I know this is using Nelson Sauvin as well as some continental and UK variety hops in a blend, so you get a little of each. I’d say the NS’s might be the strongest note as they’re a little bit orange-peel like. The malt note is there, but it’s mild and more of a support player.
The flavor continues with that theme. A little bit of breadiness on the front of the palate and hops on the back end. It’s definitely not a hell or pils, but is charting a unique path. The NS hops give it just a little bit of lemony flavor, although there’s a tiny hint of onions I get from certain hops. There’s no DMS or diacetyl, but there’s also a very subdued malt note. I wish it had a little more body as right now it seems to be more of a supporting element for those hops.
Not bad, and probably a beer that macro fans would appreciate. It actually reminds me a tiny bit of an “Imperial PBR” although obviously hoppier.

My personal bias is that I’d rather see someone make a good “American helles” instead of all of these hop-forward lagers featuring unusual hopping. To me this is an ale brewer making a lager and as a result you get similar strengths and weaknesses. Hop heads might like this, but I wonder if it’s enough to satisfy them either. It’s an odd one, but who knows – maybe this could be a huge conversion beer?

Serving type: can

04-12-2012 15:57:40 | More by Domingo
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into a Pokal style glass.

A real nice brass gold, yellow to orange edges and crystal clear. Hits with a nice foamy white top and some faint lacing while drinking. Nice rising bubbles, quite good looking here.

Nose is a biscuity malt, faint sort of lemon and sour grass hop. Strange yeasty quality to this also. Somewhere between earthy and grassy hop quality, which seems fine.

Taste is interesting. Lots of white baked flour, with a strange hop finish no doubt to Nelson Sauv?. Sticky yeast quality and a faint light astringency mixing with the malts on the aftertaste. Dense but clean, somewhere in between. Not too carbonated either.

Overall, beer does what it says, but it reminds me of eating white cake flour at times with a yeasty bent. But I am usually not a fan of New Belgium, but this is a pretty easy going and enjoyable brew.

Serving type: can

04-11-2012 23:50:08 | More by smakawhat
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

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

Poured into a pilsner a clear medium golden with a a thinner white head that didi leave a few broken rings of lace as it settled.Caramel sweetness,lightly toasted grain,and a decent shot of herbal hops in the back end.Caramel induced sweetness upfront on the palate with mild grainy notes,and again a shot of herbal/leafy hops in the finish.It's not a clean lager it's actually a little sweet but the hop profile is nice,above average but not great.

Serving type: can

04-11-2012 19:30:47 | More by oberon
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Best by: 19SEP12
Pours light amber, lots of white billowed foam. Earthy hops and reserved, amber malts. Nice nose for a session IMO. Some corn pops up front, some malts, and some hints of wood. Meh. Thin bodied and hi carb, as expected. Has a semi dry finish. I would say this is great for 80 degree weather honestly, not that bad, but not that great. Slightly sweet.

Serving type: can

04-11-2012 17:25:47 | More by harrymel
Photo of alk3kenny
alk3kenny

Georgia

4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Serving type: can

04-10-2012 01:43:50 | More by alk3kenny
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16oz can into my Moonlight shaped pint glass.

Clear orange-tinged amber body capped by a soft soapy off-white half-finger. Good retention, soft non-commital lacing.

Sweet mellow aromatics, fairly generic with a hint of crisp green apple.

Crisp gently malty palate entry with a low bitterness leading into the gentle medium-dry finish. Aftertaste is slightly sweet and grainy (corn? or is it the Munich and Crystal talking?) with a touch of quinine. Disappointed that the hop character doesn't come across more, but then if it did, this wouldn't be to style I suppose.

Very light bodied, well carbonated, and brisk.

Clean, fresh tasting, very light lager - maybe not the best value, but worth a try if you want to mow the lawn in style.

Serving type: can

04-09-2012 03:11:13 | More by augustgarage
Photo of Docer
Docer

Washington

4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

Serving type: can

04-09-2012 01:47:53 | More by Docer
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 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 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
Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,019 ratings.