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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 obrike
obrike

Texas

3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A buddy brought these over while I was grilling fajitas last weekend.

Poured from a pint can into my Firestone Walker pint glass.

Good looking beer! It's a golden color with a white fluffy head with very generous lacing...big bubbles occassonally streaming to the top of the glass.

Very light grain on the scent... nothing that stands out but nothing smells off either. I get a bit of floral hops to back up the malt. Certainly does not pop here.

Taste is pretty refreshing. It has this slight floral hop bite at first, then moves into a biscuity-like profile and is backed by finish that combines both. Certainly quite drinkable and is quite sessionable with the 5% abv. Overall, this could be a go to pale lager in the summer for sure. This is one you could swap out with your run of the mill crappy adjunct lager to your BMC buddies at a pool party.

Not a style I visit much, but certainly seems like a good representation.

Serving type: can

03-10-2013 22:49:44 | More by obrike
Photo of Oxymoron
Oxymoron

Colorado

3.19/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours, from a 16oz can, a golden color with crystal clear clarity. Some straw colored hues through out. A soft fizzy head with good retention but didn't last through the tasting.

The nose is a bit non-discript. Some soft pilsner notes but more of a generic malt backing. Some minor esters, peaches and a hint of grape. A light white pepper note but very soft.

The malt comes out more versus the nose but overall very limited. Some minor pils notes but less versus the aroma. More of a malt and bready undertone. A hint of nutty that makes me think biscuit malt. Some zesty, lemon balm and herbal spicy hop note. More estery notes that is a bit much. Rose peddles and a hint of green apple.

The body is light to moderate. Not as crisp as I would have liked. The lingering yeast notes are a bit of a distraction as well. Overall a bit muddled and would like more lager/pils notes and less yeast/esters.

Serving type: can

03-06-2013 05:06:32 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of HappyPappy2X
HappyPappy2X

Oregon

4.75/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

App: Pale Orange Yellow. Clear. Dense head with medium retaining.

Smell: Bread Yeast, Citrusy hops.

Taste: Dry malt, hops bitterness, lagerfunk yeast, ends slightly toasty and more hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-high carbonation. Medium body for a pale. Creamy.

Overall: A favorite of mine. This is what BMC wish they could have been. A refreshingly dry pale lager.

Serving type: can

02-19-2013 19:32:57 | More by HappyPappy2X
Photo of dertyd
dertyd

California

3.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

16 oz tall boy to a pint glass

A:deep golden color,one finger head that lingers for a few,nice laceing that sticks around,looks a lot like an ipa

S:smells like an ipa nice hop aroma but with a corn presence

T:corn cereal,not to hoppy or as pale as I was hopeing but this is a damn good lawnmower beer

M:realy dry after taste almost like a wine leaves your mouth dry

Overall: overall a realy good drinkable beer like I can pound theese all day wile my bmc buddies drink there light lagers lol I was hopeing for a lil more I had the sam adams double agent yesterday and I was hopeing for something close but this was way diffren a lot of corn taste in this not bad at all just hoped for a lil more going on I willndrink this again at partys and sesion events...live life....drink beer....

Serving type: can

02-05-2013 07:47:36 | More by dertyd
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 ounce can into pilsener glass, best before 1/27/2013. Pours slightly hazy golden straw color with a nice 1-2 finger dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of lemon zest, apple, pear, cracker, bready grain, floral, grass, pepper, and herbal earthiness. Damn nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and strength. Taste of lemon zest, pear, pepper, apple, cracker, bready grain, floral, grass, and herbal earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, pepper, cracker, bread, floral, grass, and herbal on the finish for a bit. Very nice flavor balance and good complexity of hop/malt notes; with zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice pale lager. Very nice balance of hop/malt flavors; and extremely smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable and refreshing offering.

Serving type: can

01-31-2013 04:06:21 | More by superspak
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Clear honey, as expected, nice white head, TONS of cling lace. Very inviting.

S - malty, grainy, somewhat sweet with a slight floral background.

T - Very similar to smell, as to be expected with a pale lager.

M - Light body, good carb, nice clean balance.

D - Good beer. I would have another.

Serving type: can

01-20-2013 05:24:28 | More by srandycarter
Photo of mscudder
mscudder

Georgia

3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served into a pint.

A - Transparent straw hue with a touch of orange. Large pale head with composition of concise bubbles. Fair retention and lacing.

S - Wheat, straw, pale malts. Like the light lagers,less the funky gross notes.

T - Sweet for a lager. Follows the nose and the flavor is fairly bland. A beer that benefits from a chilled can. Feels exposed as it warms.

M - Light body with moderate carbonation.

O - What I expected: a drinkable lager which is a good substitute for those crappy light lagers you are looking to throw back on particular evenings.

Serving type: can

01-20-2013 04:35:36 | More by mscudder
Photo of mjshearer1
mjshearer1

Michigan

3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Like a lager should be. Standard gold color, nothing too fancy.

S: Smells like a lager should be as well. If Budweiser got rid of it's stank and actually was brewed with any amount of effort, it'd smell like this.

T: Muted hops, clean finish, refreshing.

M: Light body, lots of carbonation

O: It's a decent brew, certainly one that I'd recommend to someone looking to get their foot in the door of the craft beer world.

Serving type: can

01-14-2013 21:53:57 | More by mjshearer1
Photo of JednoPivoProsim
JednoPivoProsim

Maryland

4.55/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 1 PINT can into a pint glass. BEST BY 10FEB13. I was really excited to try this when I first bought this about a week or so ago. I loved the Nelson Sauvin hop profile in Burley Oak Brewery's Bulletproof Tiger.

Appearance: Pours a rich, golden pale lager body. Beautiful. Decent head for the style with doughy pockets that exhibit plenty of staying power. Lacing is fantastic.

Smell: Floral bouquet of hops. I pick up the fruity mango of the Nelson Sauvin hops. Sweet green grapes. Plenty of rich bready maltiness. Slight sour lager yeast aroma.

Taste: Nelson Sauvin up front (mango, lychee, honeydew). Fades to a crisp, almost Saaz-like spiciness. Tasty bready pale malts. This lager has a lot of flavor on both the hop and malt sides of the equation and has managed to be an extremely balanced brew at the same time.

Mouthfeel: I love how full bodied this beer is despite the low alcohol and overall crispness. No aftertaste, unpleasant or otherwise. Near perfect for me.

Overall: I have been on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster with this beer since I bought a four pack and then a subsequent case (6 x 4 pack) about a week or two ago. The first sip of the first can was an explosion of Nelson Sauvin hops and I immediately declared this beer my new favorite. After a couple more cans over the next couple of days, I was fighting to detect that strong Nelson Sauvin hoppiness I so love and cherish (especially in a beer like Bulletproof Tiger). But since then, I have been literally pounding this beer on a near daily basis. It is just so damn drinkable, balanced, and great tasting (read: LOTS OF FLAVOR FOR A LOW ABV LAGER), if not delicious. Very satisfying from the can or in a glass. This could possibly be my session, daily drinker, beer for life when Sierra Nevada Summerfest is out of season. The only knock is the somewhat high price - I calculated that this works out to about a $40 standard case (as opposed to $30 for Summerfest in my area.) I would love to see more brewers doing more with Nelson Sauvin hops - my new favorite hop alongside Saaz (with Citra running a close third!)

Serving type: can

01-04-2013 23:43:09 | More by JednoPivoProsim
Photo of bnes09
bnes09

Illinois

4.83/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beautiful golden copper color with excellent clarity and large visible bubbles. Big head on the pour and coats the glass in creamy lacing.

Fresh aroma of pine needles, spinach leaves, herbs and flowers.

Solid malt backbone of mild wheat and rye. Spice hop character follows the aroma. Exceptional balance.

Light to medium body and ample carbonation brings the flavors to life.

I love seeing breweries come out with a fresh, flavorful lager for a change. Lots of malt character in this one adds heart to the brew. Tasty, refreshing and highly sessionable.

Serving type: can

12-28-2012 17:34:39 | More by bnes09
Photo of imthaschmidt
imthaschmidt


3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of my go to beers

Pours light, with a great head and leave lace down the side of your glass.

The taste is exactly how it looks, light, crisp, and hoppy. Though it seems to be a bit sweeter than most hopped up beers. not as bitter of an aftertaste

The smell is hoppy

A clean taste in your mouth , doesnt leave a bitter aftertaste on the tongue

New Belgium does it again!

Comes in a pack of 4 cans

Serving type: can

12-28-2012 16:52:02 | More by imthaschmidt
Photo of RedMosquito1
RedMosquito1

South Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Really enjoyed this one out of the 4 pack of cans. Can't review the appearance; drank it straight from the can. Like all NB beers, this one is just solid. Easy to drink with a surprisingly complex taste.

This was my first experience with a pale lager, and it's the first I've heard of one. This was a strong mix of the best of the hoppy bitterness of a pale ale and the smoothness of a lager. I was impressed.

My only complaint is that the cans looked a lot like Red Bull.

Serving type: can

12-23-2012 03:04:09 | More by RedMosquito1
Photo of DeanMoriarty
DeanMoriarty

California

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

Picked up a 4-pack of tall cans from Sunshine Liquor in Ocean Beach...can't remember the price -drank it straight from the can (as one should).

A: Being that I did drink straight from the can - I'll average the score based on its other aspects.

S: Very traditional pale lager malt smell right off the bat - grainy, bready and slightly sweet. Faint hit of orange blossom and earthy hop in there too.

T: Taste is pretty much on point with the nose - the hop is cranked up a bit though, especially in comparison to many others within the same genre - hop goes for a while - very nice!

M: Light-bodied but on the verge of medium, crisp and well carbonated, goes down smooth and finishes clean. Hop oils linger a bit.

Overall a super tasty session ale that has enough hoppiness to please the hop snob (like myself) but approachable enough for those of you not buying into the hop craze.

Serving type: can

12-14-2012 23:34:39 | More by DeanMoriarty
Photo of acelin
acelin

Kansas

3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a tallboy can into a proper pint glass.. you know, one that's actually pint sized.

Pours a golden yellow with minimal head, but decent lacing.

In the nose one can detect traditional pale malts ( biscuity, sugary, bready) and a slight floral hint.

This beer tastes about the same. Pretty average I suppose for a pale lager, i'm just glad this style is making a name for itself. Compared to other lagers, this brew is a bit hoppier. It's a good thing too.

Serving type: can

12-11-2012 04:29:53 | More by acelin
Photo of gpogo
gpogo

California

3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear golden body with a white head.

A- Earthy hops, some very light bready sweetness.

T- Spicy/pepper mix with malt sweetness. Very interesting and enjoyable. Crisp lager finish and aftertaste.

M- Medium body and moderate carbonation. Sticks around a bit.

D- This is one of my favorite warm weather beers, or just a beer to enjoy and not be too serious about. It is a bit on the expensive side, but it is worth trying.

Serving type: can

12-10-2012 07:12:22 | More by gpogo
Photo of JamesMN
JamesMN

Minnesota

3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Nice translucent golden hue with an off-white soapy head. Looks like it'll leave some good lacing.

Aroma: A hint of earthy/citrus hops and a bit of yeast. Some bready malt. Nothing fancy.

Taste: Interesting bready/peppery malt flavor. Not very powerful but makes itself known. Earthy hops in this one (saw they use Cascade so was hoping for a little grapefruit/citrus). Decently bitter for the style but not really noticeable. Bit of a crisp finish and definitely lageresque in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with average carbonation and good drinkability.

Final Thoughts: Not bad. Average average brew but nothing too interesting. I think they were going for a session beer and basically accomplished that goal. Would I drink it again? Probably not.

Serving type: can

12-02-2012 02:42:47 | More by JamesMN
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

2.81/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 16-oz can into a pilsner glass. Pours a golden-straw color, lots of clarity with a very, very, very slight bit of hazy. Steady stream of carbonation bubbles rising to the top of a relatively thick, ghost-white head that lasts much longer than expected. Nose is very yeast-heavy; bread, biscuits, and wheat are abundant. Deeper down in the aroma I get a bit of corn and mild sweetness. Hops are faintly present, but give way pretty quickly to the rest of the aromas. The taste is pretty basic - reasonable helping of hops up front, somewhat rose-like, mild citrus and pine; bready and malty with a touch of sweetness, and again, a huge dose of corn and wheat from the middle to the finish. Very crisp and clean thanks to the heavy carbonation. Thin-medium body.

I did not enjoy the abundance of corn that I was tasting... it wasn't awful, but it wasn't enjoyable, either. Lackluster beer overall, there are many better pale lagers out there. Hell, I'd probably take a PBR over this. Uninspired and blah.

Serving type: can

11-19-2012 15:48:55 | More by tectactoe
Photo of garymuchow
garymuchow

Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

Serving type: can

11-16-2012 02:00:30 | More by garymuchow
Photo of andrewjraab
andrewjraab

Michigan

3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden yellow, huge foamy head with air bubbles. Perfect Clarity.

S - Fruity, Floral, hops, bread.

T - Smooth and crispy hop profile up front, nicely balanced. Easily sessionable.

O - Very solid pale lager. Big flavor for the 5.0% alcohol. This is a must try, and I'll try it again.

Serving type: can

11-14-2012 01:58:00 | More by andrewjraab
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is pretty good, refreshing, crisp, clean, but not as satisfying or tasty as I would like, or had hoped.

Deep, bright gold, it has a very big off-white head slowly shrinking to nice frothy lace - it is, at least, a beautiful beer.

Aroma is citrusy (grapefruit and orange) with faint hints of pine, honey, bread.

Taste is spicy-peppery bit with hints of citrus up front, while faint yeasty juiciness and faint honey breadiness with light minerally quality join later. It has lingering light peppery-spicy bitterness with hints of resiny citrus rind (grapefruit). It's good, but a bit thin and flat in character and a bit too sharply bitter, with that element lingering a little too much without anything else

Serving type: can

11-12-2012 00:12:53 | More by Offa
Photo of M_C_Hampton
M_C_Hampton

Georgia

4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
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

Serving type: can

11-07-2012 01:46:18 | More by M_C_Hampton
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5

California

3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16-oz. can into a pint glass at my house on Nov. 4, 2012 (purchased at Vons in Mission Gorge (San Diego, Calif.) for $7.99 (with card) for a 4-pack on Nov. 4, 2012). Honey golden with 2-3 fingers of frothy white head. Good retention on the sides with foamy residue and pretty good on the top as well.

Smelled honey, corn, grains, cereal, skunk, grass and a hint of citrus hops.

Tasted pretty close to the nose, but more bitter. Got corn, grains, grass, honey, cereal and biscuit.

Medium-to-light body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Bitter abrupt finish.

Not a bad beer overall, especially for a lager, but I was hoping for something more.

Serving type: can

11-05-2012 06:47:05 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of Phocion
Phocion

Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

Serving type: can

10-31-2012 21:31:34 | More by Phocion
Photo of dfillius
dfillius

Michigan

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

Poured into a pint glass, thank heavens for tall boys!
A: Moderate pour yields 1 finger of tight white head with good retention. Clear, bright shiny brass colored liquid. I love the head and the color is pretty.
S: Clean biscuit with slight herbal hop. Some metallic flavor is quite strong, maybe it's a noble hop though? Points knocked off for metallic aroma.
T: Pleasantly balanced bread and herbally hopped. Tang of hop is bigger in the finish. Definitely noble, not citrusy enough to be American hops methinks. Almost savory like a nice lof of crusty bread. Nice but not exceptional.
M: Smooth and creamy. Dry, crisp.
O: Glad to see a decent, solid lager from these guys. I would probably buy this again and would order another. A nice beer to bring to a party. I'm glad NB is now in MI!

Serving type: can

10-30-2012 17:31:42 | More by dfillius
Photo of CloudStrife
CloudStrife

New York

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

16oz can poured into a 16oz nonic pint glass. Best by 30 Dec 12.

A: Pours a clear golden hue with a 1 finger white head. Average amount of visible carbonation. Head settles to a thin film. Leaves a little lacing on the glass.

S: Malty lagery aroma that is pleasant. A fresh hop in the background. Cracker and breadiness.

T: Leads with some biscuity malt, followed by an earthy hop overtone and a sweet fruity finish. Nice hop touch.

M: Light to medium body with average carbonation and a clean finish. Good for a session.

Overall a tasty, easy drinking lager that can be enjoyed by anyone who likes beer.

Serving type: can

10-20-2012 18:39:05 | More by CloudStrife
Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,019 ratings.