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Shelter Pale Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Shelter Pale AleShelter Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
77
okay

474 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 474
Hads: 763
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 13.31%
Wants: 27
Gots: 30 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 474 | Hads: 763
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. (282 characters)

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. (402 characters)

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. (429 characters)

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. (557 characters)

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. (389 characters)

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. (409 characters)

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. (628 characters)

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. (388 characters)

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. (1,503 characters)

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. (409 characters)

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. (477 characters)

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. (468 characters)

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. (425 characters)

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. (769 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.34/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served cold in a Nonic at the brewpub in Rehobeth.
A - A light amber w/ a small white head. Practically no lace is formed from this ale.

S - Sweet odors of malt and hops. Very herbal smells bordering on, but not getting into perfumy territory. Slightly citric scents w/ nutty malt and a slight tinge of spice if I sniff hard.

M - Mellow feel from hop bitterness. Light carbonation and fruitiness. Sweet with a subtle spiciness in the finish.

T - Floral hop tastes overwhelms the palate w/ light malty flavors adding substance. Mellow bitterness w/ a dry flavor in the finish. Very delicate, yet flavorful w/ hops from start to finish. Not overly bitter and a taste that made me want to take large gulps. Very smooth quaffing.

D - A good Pale ale w/ high drinkablility for me. Highly quaffable, pleasant bitterness and a lower abv add to the overall experience. I enjoy that you can taste the hops instead of just feel the bitterness. The english style is hinted at a the blend of hops is heavenly. I could drink this in sessions, I really love this ale. (1,057 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, Rehoboth Beach, DE

A very simple beer, extremely drinkable and not at all threatening. A supreme alternative to the Lawnmower Ale. Served exclusively at the Dogfish Head Brewpub.

Poured golden with a slight haze, and a bit of a white head. Aroma was of malts, grass, and light citrus. Taste was similar, light hops, smooth malts, crisp and grassy with a tad of citrus. Light body and easily drinkable. Not something I'd get when there's so much more better on tap, but a good beer for the less adventurous. (549 characters)

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. (1,013 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark golden in color (light amber?), clear, partial lace and permanent single bubble head (poured nearly two fingers).

Interesting minute amount barnyard aroma, similar to Duvel. Pale ale malt aroma is stronger than the floral hop.

Bittering hop comes across slightly harsh although the malt is still present. This bitterness continues through the aftertaste which comes across as very dry. The carbonation is high.

A decent beer that doesn't stand out in any dramatic way. There are many more complex pale ales available, but this one is pleasant enough in a pinch. (575 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
2.91/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A light amber color atop a big, creamy, bubbly head. Aroma is, unfortunately, blase. Vegetal, herbal notes, perhaps, but nothing in the fruit department, not much in the way of hops. I can already tell what they're shooting for, before I sip, a bland session ale. And, bravo, they did it, but by sacrificing flavor, and body, and taste and anything else we like to look for in a beer. There's some ale-like substance here, but not very much. Certainly nothing I'd consider a "pale Ale', in the face of so many great American versions. (534 characters)

Photo of jwc215
2.77/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours amber with a thin head that becomes a lasting patch.

The smell is of toffee, dough, slight fruitiness.. Smells candyish - not bad in itself, though not quite expected from a pale ale.

The taste is of toffee and dough. Slight metallic tinge. Buttery. Seems like too much yeast, and not enough to balance it out. Abrupt finish leaves the mouth dry, but where did the flavor go?

Thin feel, though it doesn't fall apart. But, an annoying astringency from the rather harsh carbonation brings it down.

The hops seem lost in the shuffle. The initial malr loses its potential early on. Too doughy and buttery. There is something that keeps it from being terrible, but, for me there is too small annoyances and not enough full flavor for me to be interested in this one. (779 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love dogfish head, but this beer is pretty average. Bottle served in a St. Bernadus goblet. Head is minimal, strong start but falls away quickly. Minimal lacing on the glass, not that important to me, but some people care about lacing. Color is amber / copper, and the beer is clear. Smell is nutty, some malt character, not a lot of hops. Beer is fine tasting, I just expected more from DFH. It is drinkable, just not my favorite. (433 characters)

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

Poured from a bottle into a DFH pint glass

A: Pours an amber color with a small head and very little lacing down the glass.

S: The smell is overwhelmingly malty. There are notes of caramel and molasses. There is a slight metallic note and no hop/citrus smell which is the norm in DFH 60/90.

T: I love most DFH beers, and while this is not one of my favorites, it is serviceable. It is an easy go to beer when I am at the brewpub and don't feel like anything heavier or high in abv. You can taste the caramel malt the entire time, and especially on the back end.

M/D: Its pretty easy drinking, but I would say its a little heavier than a typical pale ale. It does not have a lot of carbonation. It is certainly a a gateway beer into the world of DFH and what I would give to someone who usually drinks BMC. (812 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.83/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden color with a thick frothy white head. The aroma is a bit musty with the slight presence of aroma hops. The taste is good. It has the flavor of pale malts mixed with carapils malts resulting in a pale ale that has a little body and sweetness. The hop flavor is decent making this an all around good beer. It has a medium body and a little too much carbonation; a good drinking beer. (405 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a nice 1" thick head. Some very light lacing developed. The aroma is mild as caramel and hops are noticeable, but you need to sniff them out. The flavor has hints of caramel with a lighter balance of malt and hops. The flavor is quite simple and light for a pale ale.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and has a light / medium body. Carbonation very light. The malt and caramel last a few seconds on the tongue after swallowing. Nicely drinkable but this is a slightly bland pale ale. (508 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliantly clear copper color that is topped by a frothy tan colored head that is persistently held up by an ample carbonation. The aroma is hoppy with notes of citrus fruits including tangerines and grapefruit, I also get a sort of sweet malty caramel note. The hops are of course quite a bit restrained compared to the 60 minute. This beer is light and zippy on my palate, with a light sweetness and a restrained maltiness that pokes its way through the dominant hop notes. The hops are nicely here, while still being in balance. I get notes of grapefruit, and pine needles. The finish of this beer is nicely bitter with some astringency picked up from the fresh hop notes as well. All in all this is a nice, easy drinking hoppy pale ale, but to be honest I can't see taking this over the 60 minute, which I really do enjoy. (835 characters)

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Shelter Pale Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.