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Shelter Pale Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Shelter Pale AleShelter Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

756 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 756
Reviews: 474
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 14.5%
Wants: 27
Gots: 26 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-16-2001

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 756 | Reviews: 474 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An interesting American pale, with grapefuit from Chinook hops aroma. Very fresh and crisp at Smokeless Joe's, out-of-box styling, a bit like a pils. Pale appearance. Higher than average carbonation, typical for a pale. Floral herbal probably a turn-off for some, better for others.

Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of zestar
3/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of GRG1313
3.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

5% abv. This is 1 of 21 DFH beers tasted 6/13/09 in Los Angeles.

Pours a clear medium honey color with a nice white head; yeasty/biscuit nose.

Pleasant yeast/white bread flavors with a nice balance of malt and hops. A bit thin in body but all around drinks nicely.

A beer that would "go with anything" and is a pleasant "regular" drink. This is clearly the "white bread" of the Dogfish Head line.

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Falls Church brewpub.

A: Slightly-hazy golden copper with an okay head.

S: Some hops there in addition to the pale malt. Nothing special.

T: Slightly more hoppy than the smell. Definitely hoppier than out of the bottle. Refreshing.

M: Fairly light-bodied. Nothing terribly special.

D: Pretty good in this department, but no reason to ever go for this over the 60 minute.

Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is golden amber in color and has a thin head. Judging from the amount of bubbles rising to the surface, there appears to be a light to moderate level of carbonation.
S: There are gentle aromas of pale malts with some hints of floral hops.
T: There are a lot of malty and nutty flavors and the finish is somewhat dry. Overall, there's a good balance between the malt and hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate.
D: This is very easy to drink and is easily sessionable. I would definitely drink this again and particularly have it with food.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, DE

A: thin head on a clear golden with amber hues
Body. Some lacing.

S: aroma is very very light with mostly orange citrus and caramel malts.

T: sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, candied citrus and light herbal hop notes.

M: lighter side of medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: not very aromatous or flavorful. Very simple and drinkable but I wouldn't have this one again.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It's a nice beer. Its sweetness is not the spicy floral typle this is found in most APAs. Instead, the fruitiness is of ripe or fresh fruits--not so acidic or lactic. It has some spiciness, but without the sharpness or peppery like from most APA hopping. It's profile is smoother, more rifined, but less crisp or carbonated. It's a little more herbally, earthy, and with a small yeast bite in the finish. There may be some alternate sugar sources with the barley, like honey or camamile. It's a different type of APA. If I expect nothing else from Dogfish Head, I expect them to challenge my senses; even with their small beers.

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.96/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Beerandblues2: Poured a light clear amber color ale with a nice big foamy head with average retention. Aroma of light hops and weak caramel malt. Taste is a mix between some caramel malt with a light bitter finish. Body is a bit watery with medium carbonation. I never thought I would end up saying this about a Dogfish beer but this one is seriously lacking character.

Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.83/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"Oh a storm is threat'ning
My very life today
If I don't get some shelter (pale ale)
Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away"

--'Gimme Shelter' by The Rolling Stones

Okay, so maybe Mick and the boys weren't really singing about Dogfish Head beer. Burnished golden amber with a pronounced orange cast. The cream-colored head is respectably dense and is fairly long-lived. It deflates to a creamy one finger disk and leaves no more than a thick, short collar of lace.

I'm less impressed with the nose. Must be the Willamette hops. I know what Columbus hops smell like and I can't really appreciate their contribution at all. The beer is primarily malty and spicy, not really hoppy at all. It doesn't smell like it belongs to the APA family. Actually, it doesn't smell like an especially well-brewed beer at all.

Uh-oh, the flavor follows the nose into less-than-stellar territory. This tastes most like a sub-par amber ale to me. Again, grainy malt is in the forefront, with a spicy hop presence that can't come close to saving the day. The flavor profile doesn't hang together well at all. Hops try to make more of a statement on the finish, but Columbus still hasn't come ashore. The mouthfeel is neither light nor full. Unremarkable, but acceptable.

Shelter Pale Ale is not one of Dogfish Head's better offerings; not by a long shot. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of American pale ales in circulation that have this one beat. 'Gimme Shelter' indeed. Gimme shelter from disappointing beer.

Photo of Knapp85
3.62/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pale ale pours out as a golden yellow color with a pretty nice white head. The smell of the beer has a good balance of malt and hops. The aroma of the beer is pretty standard for a pale ale. The flavor is also pretty typical with a tasty malt flavor upfront and a pretty good bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light to medium, good carbonation. Overall its a good common brew for the every day drinker.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.17/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

hazy burnt amber orange with a big white frothy head that slowly faded and left behind a multitude of lacey goodness in its wake. Smell is very malty. Slight hint of a citrus hoppiness in the back but main flavors were grain and musty malty bread. Taste followed a similar route, crisp clean, and the finish was very light and orange tinged in flavor. Overall this was a very quality brew and a fine pale ale.

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.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Pours a kinda hazy pale (surprise!) straw, with a bit of white foamy head that doesn't leave much lacing at all behind. The smell is somewhat sour, though still densely populated by hoppy citrus notes. These notes are also prevalent in the taste, but there's a lot more pine here as well, followed by a modicum of wheat. The body is nicely light, though nearing an almost watery texture, making for a pretty drinkable brew.

Photo of JAHMUR
2.5/5  rDev -26%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, golden-amber in color with a thin, creamy, off-white head. The aroma is of a lightly fruity malt with very little to no hop aroma. The body is medium/light with a restrained carbonation that's fairly smooth in the mouth. The flavor combines a grainy & lightly caramel malt with grassy & piney hop flavors backed by a resonating bitterness. The finish is dry with a lingering bitterness and some gently nutty maltiness.

Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, citrus, and some of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of caramel and citrus, followed by a decent burst of hops bitterness. The malt character is on the thin side for the style but it's pretty well-balanced overall. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, there are better APA's out there, but this is still a decent beer that is worth sessionning with for a while.

Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After trying most of the Dogfish Head specialty beers like WWS, 90 min IPA, Midas Touch, I just want to try some of their regular line up. The Shelter Pale Ale pours a copper amber tone with a cream toned head that is sticking around fairly well, and is also clinging to the glass. From the aroma I am getting a lot of cereal/grassy notes, and a very mild hop character in the background of the sweetness. Smells like a bowl of Wheaties, in a good way, very pleasan and appealing to my senses. The hops become much more evident in the flavor, but I am glad to say that the malt sticks around to finish this beers flavor off to balance things out nicely. A very well built beer, with a medium to light body very nice session brew. I will look for this one on tap, and I see that Dogfish Head nows how to brew a good solid all around beer. On the other hand would Dogfish Head be as widely known if they didn't push the envelope, I don't think so. Very drinkable beer, I am not dissapointed by any means, good beer.

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

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Shelter Pale Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 756 ratings.