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Shelter Pale Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Shelter Pale AleShelter Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

740 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 740
Reviews: 473
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 14.5%
Wants: 26
Gots: 18 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed with a premium barley and northwestern Williamette and Columbus hops, Shelter Pale Ale has a fine malt backbone and a slightly nutty flavor. It's a versatile and quaffable beer.

We named this beer Shelter Pale Ale because we think of a shelter as being a place you come home to. It just made sense for this Dogfish original.

30 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-16-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 740 | Reviews: 473 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BeerForHokie:
Photo of BeerForHokie
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

BeerForHokie, Oct 01, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a deep orange with a soapy like top not much head to speak of but I liked the rich full color,aroma was very grainy and some toastedness maybe a little buttery note but faint.The beer was served to me ice cold (litteraly)so I had to wait a few minutes to get anything from this brew but when I did it was mainly malt some fruit and an astrigent taste I couldnt pin down like sour bad fruit?Not much of a beer from DFH at least compared to others in there line.

oberon, Jul 29, 2004
Photo of RoyalT
2.05/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance – Nice, clear, light orange in color but little head.

Smell – Faint, almost nasty grainy grassy aroma. This one smells like shit.

Taste – This is a tremendous disappointment. The cheap grain and sucrose tastes like a bad macro.

Mouthfeel – Thin and light in the body.

Sinkability – This one stayed out of the sink by a hair.

RoyalT, Dec 02, 2003
Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Shelter Pale Ale, Dogfish Head sitting a 5.0%
I'm sitting on quite a few 05/09 DF 120's so I figure i'd try a pale ale from dogfish to see what there baseline beer is.

A- Pours a amber-copper color fluid with small active head that falls quickly to a froth leaving decent lacing that spiderwebs the glass.
Looks bold.

S- Has a funky yeast and malt scent. Almost a musky vanilla carmel like smell with a faint alcohol hint.

T-M- Taste buttery with hints of light carmel malt, maybe a kiss of lemon peel and bright yeasty charactor. Mouthfeel is medium with an bubbley thick astringent feel that lurks over the tongue.

D- Drinkable but would like to try on tap and see if flavors open up. Locked up APA when it comes to balance.

wesbrownyeah, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.83/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a pale orange color with a small head and no lacing. It had a fresh, spicy odor. It had a nice sweet, flowery taste with some malt flavor and hoppy bitterness showing up later. It was a very smooth, pleasant beer. More robust than I expected.

lordofthewiens, Feb 27, 2006
Photo of csmartin6
3/5  rDev -11.2%

csmartin6, Jul 21, 2012
Photo of Todd
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Todd, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of babyhobbes
2.8/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This pours a nice golden amber color. It smells like your typical macro I swear, and unfortunaely kind of like ammonia. The taste is acceptable but subpar for DFH. This is a very disappointing beer. The mouthfeel is bubbly and thin. I could drink this after a hot day mowing the lawn but not if I wanted to enjoy myself.

On a good note, this might be something to pawn off on your macro drinking friend to get him to try something different.

babyhobbes, Jan 03, 2004
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3/5  rDev -11.2%

SmellsofMahagony, Apr 25, 2013
Photo of iemailjack
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

iemailjack, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Jason, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of merlin48
3.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, honey gold. Minimal head leaves slight ring lacing.
Aroma---Wow! A DFH that doesn't knock you back from 3 feet away. Hops still grab some immediate attention, with big floral notes. Some pleasing baked bread aromas are also here to tease.
Nicely carbonated with a moderate hop bite in the mouth. Light to medium bodied.
Taste is of an aggressive American Pale Ale, with lots of piney and tart citrus up front which deliver a bitter onslaught. Lemongrass seems to be the dominant flavor. I'm missing the crazy malt and yeast characteristics of the DFH ales I'm accustomed to. This is a decent American pale ale, but I was expecting more excitement from Dogfish Head in this one. No match for their 90 or 120 Minute IPA.

merlin48, Feb 07, 2004
Photo of Billolick
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a mini growler pour, purchased at DeCiccio's in Ardsley, NY. Pours typical almond amber, minor off white head and moderate spotty lacing. Nose of mild malt and perhaps a hint of hops, on the tame side so far. Nose flows into the flavor expectadly and reveals this to be a smooth and balanced ale, not very dogfish like and this one oozes "session beer". Pleasant enough, just lacks the expected DFH punch of flavor, interest and headyness. DFH with training wheels.

Billolick, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of Byeast
3.4/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium coppery orange/brown. Head was about an inch a quickly faded to a ring with tightly packed thin layer of carbonation. Kinda citrusy , kinda yeasty smell , slight hop aroma. Taste is kind of musty , with some slight citrus and a kinda nice bitter hoppy finish. Also a fair amount of carbonation. Mouthfeel is a medium to light slick , with carbonation coming through. I found this Pale Ale to be pretty tasty and drinkable. Iv'e definatly had much better APAs, but its still a pretty drinkable brew from Dogfish.

Byeast, Jan 31, 2006
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz. amber bottle with a "packaged in" stamping of the number 12.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dull orange in color. Very fizzy, bubbly head disappears instantly. Sparse lacing of the glass.

Smell: Surprisingly sweet, with a little bit of citrusy aroma in the background.

Taste: This is a tough review to write, as I have been so impressed with the 60- and 90-minute IPA's from DFH. It's darn difficult to have sampled those two stellar creations and then have to try to review this beer. Taste is well-balanced, hops and malty sweetness combining for an above-average flavor. There was a certain "earthy" flavor that kept creeping in towards the back end that was a little unsettling. Aftertaste was even less pleasing. A grainy flavor rested on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Above average, but nothing to get excited about. Lots of carbonation create a pretty fizzy beer.

Drinkability: Not a bad beer, and certainly a thirst-quencher...something that would do very well on a hot, humid Virginia summer afternoon. A good beer to drink when you aren't in dire need to critically sample and enjoy a complex beer.

Notes: For me, I'll definitely stick with the "big brothers" of this IPA, the 60- and 90-minute IPA's.

OldFrothingSlosh, May 05, 2003
Photo of kingcrowing
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a light brown with a tiny bit of a thin head. Nose is sharp and a bit citrusy and malty.

Taste is also sharp with a light bitterness and a tinge of a toasty finish. Not too smooth but still pretty drinkable. I'd stay with the bigger dfh brews over this.

kingcrowing, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of jondeelee
3.95/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enthusiasts familiar with Dogfish Head's standard beers will no doubt be surprised that the brewery is capable of making something light and understated, but Shelter Pale Ale is exactly that: an easily drinkable ale with mass-appeal potential. The brew starts off light and appealing on the nose, full of toast and toasted grain notes, with brown sugar, apples, and oranges rounding out the aroma.

On the tongue, light fruit esters such as white grape, apples, apricots, and lychee nut appear up front, followed by a nice bed of biscuity toasted grains as the sugars peel back and fade. A slight citrus tang and bitterness evidences the presence of hops, but the beer is clean and smooth, and not at all the hop monster that might be expected from a brewery that makes a 120 Minute IPA. The aftertaste is a whisper of toasted grain. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is an excellent pale ale, full of flavor and nicely nuanced. Shelter Pale Ale should appeal to a wide variety of drinkers, and would make an excellent choice for anyone whose most exotic brew has (so far) been limited to Anheuser-Busch products: *this* is what beer is supposed to taste like.

jondeelee, Aug 04, 2011
Photo of RyanPS
3/5  rDev -11.2%

RyanPS, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Mertzy81
3.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Golden color, clear enough to easily read a book through. Big, soapy, off-white head that settles slowly; patchy, sudsy lace that slips down the sides of the glass. Aroma well balanced between bready malt, caramel sweetness, and fresh hops from the Willamette and Columbus additions.

Very nice flavor with good toasted malt character, moderate sweetness, and very fresh, complex hops. Mildly bitter, citric and herbal. Tasty and different than many other APA's. A bit more of an almost English hop profile, less West Coast vibe, no Cascade here as far as I know.

Crisp carbonation, almost a bit prickly, lots of life in the mouth. Medium thin body, lingers just a bit. Very fresh, very refreshing.

Mertzy81, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of Thrasher
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hop aroma, blossoming head, fake-buttery popcorn flavor. If you've ever raised turkeys, the smell/taste is very similar to the smell of a turkey pen. Now, that sounds like a resounding pan, 1's across the board, but there's something more to this brew. If it resembles livestock feed, it is at least grainy and healthy. The malts are substantial and pleasing, and the hop finish is clean if a little soapy. Some definite altbier characteristics. Also reminds me of a tomato-ish Vienna lager, which I guess is fitting, since apparently the barley was at one time malted in the brewpub's pizza oven. Don't know if it's still the case, but if not, I'm sure they replicated it somehow since it seems to be a defining quality of the brew.

Thrasher, May 08, 2002
Photo of far333
4.1/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright apricot color, with a large off-white lingering head. A cloud of yeast sediment descends through the head into the glass. Spicy aroma with hints of citrus, flowers, and honey, and a bit of yeast. Highly carbonated, which can be felt upon tasting. Full creamy mouthfeel that envelopes the palete. The taste is reminscent of a belgian ale, and has accents that match the aroma. Not my idea of a pale ale, but I would drink this again.

far333, Apr 26, 2003
Photo of briandaube
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

briandaube, Jun 02, 2012
Photo of doremite
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

doremite, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of Soonami
3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Live review...

Pretty average pale ale from DFH. Honestly, it's a pretty boring offering, considering the kind of beers we now expect from Sam Caligione.

The beer was poured fairly roughly to induce some foam formation, but after 20 seconds the head subsided to a scant atoll of bubbles. The foam also did not leave any lacing on the glass. The smell was mostly of bready malt and a bit of grapefruit. The taste was very clean and malt forward with a good dose of caramel sweetness and herbal bitterness to finish. The beer was refreshing and very sessionable.

Although this beer was not my favorite, it was nice to drink and I would definitely buy more if it were on sale or as an introduction to new beer drinkers. A solid pale ale, and interesting did not sense any of the diacetyl that Jason complained about, maybe the beer has been improved in the 10 years or so since his initial tasting.

Soonami, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of gunnerlincoln
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

gunnerlincoln, Sep 16, 2014
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Shelter Pale Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 740 ratings.