Shift Pale Lager - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Shift Pale LagerShift Pale Lager

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

1,324 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,324
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Shift Pale Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,324 | Reviews: 231
Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from can into a New Belgium globe. Poured golden yellow with a half finger purewhite head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wheat, fruit, metallic, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, wheat, fruit, metallic, citrus hop, skunk, skunk hop, and earth. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. While the flavor on this one was quite complex as far as things going on, it just didn’t fire on all cylinders for my palate. However, there was a definite metallic characteristic going on in this one. Not sure if it was a part of the brew or from the can itself, but this wasn’t overly appealing. Worth trying if you are curious, but I wouldn’t go out of my way personally.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Photo of ArrogantB
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought a can of this at the US Pro Cycling challenge before I realized there was another booth with Ranger. Can't comment on the appearance since I drank it straight from the can so I'll just assume and rate it good. Smell is sort of "beery" typical lager smells. Flavor has a nice grassiness followed by malt and lager yeast. This must have been pretty fresh. Honestly though I would never but this beer at a store because its completely overpriced at $9 per four pack. This needs to be in six packs of 12oz cans for like $8. not sure why anyone in Colorado would ever pick this up over OB Mama's Lil Pils...

Photo of Bung
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz. Pretty much a clear gold pour, not quite a finger of white head.

Aroma, bready biscuit, lemon citrus. Some herbal hops.

Taste, more grainy like malt with a nice dose of herbal bitterness. Some citrus. Just a little dinner roll breadiness.

Light bodied, very easy drinking. High side of carbonation, very very clean. Good, what it's supposed to be.

Photo of FosterJM
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1316th Review on BA
Can to NB Globe
16oz

Best By 16-Sep-12
Purchased a 4pk from Albertsons for 7.99

App- A big and deep orange color into the glass. with some golden yellow highlights in the center. A bit orbish looking. A big two finger white head with good cling.

Smell- It's got a ton of lager behind it. Grainy, lemony and even a bit adjunct. Has a small pale ale vibe going with a bit of malty sweetness.

Taste- Opens much more lager than I hoped. Slowly moves to a pale ale flavor for some dry piney hops and very malty with a touch of bitter.

Mouth- A medium body with a medium carbonation level. A bit of malts, orange juice and lemon on the finish.

Drink- It's just okay. Was really expecting more of a citrus hoppy explosion to this.

Photo of morimech
3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Clear light orange color. Two fingers of frothy white head. Retention is about average and a good amount of lacing is left.

3.0 S: Grainy malts. Some neutral sweetness, but overall quite dry. Grassy hops. A bit of dirty diaper, but not in a bad way, but rather from earthy hops. Still, not impressive here.

3.0 T: Taste is much like the nose. Grainy malts, grassy hops, mild earthiness. Lightly sweet. It has a decent amount of grassy and earthy flavors, but not a lot of malt overall. It's a decent brew, but that's all it is.

3.5 M : Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Crisp and clean without a lot of creaminess.

3.5 D: Decent, easy drinking brew, but there are better ones out there.

Photo of FLima
2.44/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice golden bright color with a thin head but keeps a constant plate.
Light aroma with notes of peaches, bread and butter (DMS), sulfur, melon and lemon sourness.
Flavor with lots of nectarines, spices, oranges, lager yeast, herbal hops, tobacco and peaches. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Light body with proper carbonation.
Very fruit beer with a slight tartness, though something was out of balance here.

Photo of StoutHunter
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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 srandycarter
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.94/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16 oz. can poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass.

A: Pours a golden straw color with brilliant clarity and vibrant carbonation. The head is a three finger eggshell color with thick bubbles and solid retention for a lager. Nice spiderweb lacing is left behind on the glass, while a portion of the head still retains itself away from the glass edges. By lager standards, this one looks damn good.

S: There's a typical snappy grain smell of most lagers, but it's also backed up by strong lemongrass, pineapple, and breadier malt. On the other hand, I'm a little worried how the scent is slightly reminiscient of lemon Pledge.

T: Initially, there's a nicely crisp tartness from the lemony hops, backed up by a vaguely sweet grainy malt note. There's little else to this one other than light grain and tart citrus - even worse, the maltiness doesn't intermingle with the hoppiness as well as it could. Still, it's still an easy drinking, refreshing beer that hits the spot on a hot summer day.

M: Medium bodied with a crisp finishing bite. The lemon hops linger on the palate vaguely, due to its drier texture. Healthy carbonation.

O: Hardly great, but it's a good enough summertime beer nonetheless. As long as you don't go into this one with insane expectations, you'll find that it does its job quite well during this hot time of year.

Photo of wedge
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Photo of yemenmocha
2.9/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

Photo of harrymel
3.01/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

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.

Photo of garymuchow
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.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.32/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

New Belgium Shift has a thick, fluffy, off-white head and a clear, bubbly, old-gold appearance, with lots of heavy lacing left on the glass. The aroma is faint, but one can detect bit of piney hops and tap water. The taste is of pine, citrus fruit (think lemon), tap water, and a shade of sweet grain. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and New Belgium Shift finishes crisp, clean, refreshing, drinkable, and dull. This is just another over-priced, flaccid, exceptionally dull failure from New Belgium, a company that seems to have a penchant for producing these depressing offerings. If you want to waste some money, this might be a fine choice.

RJT

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 jsanford
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear gold with a thin white head that fades to a slight haze and soapy ring. Crisp aromas of light, grainy malt, floral hops, and white wine grapes. Love the Nelson Sauvin hops. Taste is similarly crisp, with mild hops, light malt, grass, orange peel, and grapes. Mouthfeel is light and crisp (yes, again), with a medium-thin body and solid carbonation. Overall a lovely session beer, and solid addition to the New Belgium line-up.

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 elNopalero
3.86/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tallboys, sessionable, hoppy lagers… this has promise.

I’ve been waiting on this one though because of the price point—I’d rather spend that money on an IPA (Ranger tall boys are the same price).

I like how this looks. It’s clear and golden and has miles and miles and miles of foam on top of it. Even without a vigorous pour (I gave my first can a good kick) there’s a lot of foam. It goes away, and leaves its mark, but for a quick minute it’s there and looks good.

The aroma isn’t what you’d expect from a lager. There’s a light “fruity” note to it, along with a subdued but still present hoppiness. I get just a note of hop spice—and then, like that, it’s gone. Poof! Come back!

Flavorwise this is definitely an easy drinker. It’s lightly bodied and smooth with a clean finish. I get some hints of the hop character on the end, but again it’s there and then gone. This beer ain’t half bad—but next one I have will be to finish a round of drinking rather than the one that gets the fresh palate’s attention. And for the price there’s better options.

Photo of MattyG85
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 16 oz. can into a New Belgium Globe glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear copper golden orange with lots of rising bubbles. Big four finger white head with decent retention. Leaves lots of lacing hanging on the glass.

Smell: A pretty crisp aroma. Bready pale malts with good hints of biscuit and cracker. Wheat grains and subtle hints of citrus orange and lemons. Pretty noticeable presence of floral and grassy hops lingering around. A laid back but well balanced aroma.

Taste: A taste that is pretty malt forward but has a nice hop profile in the background. Bready pale malts and wheat grains with good notes of biscuit and crackers. Light hint of a butter like taste. Subtle hints of lemon. Decent presence of grassy and herbal hops that add some bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Very crisp and smooth drinking. Fairly tingly on the tongue.

Overall: A nice beer for the style. Well balanced and very easy drinking. Good lawnmower or after "shift" brew.

Photo of Offa
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
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

Photo of CHickman
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,324 ratings.