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Shelter Pale Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Shelter Pale AleShelter Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

753 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 753
Reviews: 474
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 14.5%
Wants: 27
Gots: 25 | 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: 753 | Reviews: 474 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reagan1984
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer came bright Amber in color and very clear. There was a thin one finger foamy head that did vanish rather quickly. There was quite a bit of lacing left behind after the beer was consumed.

Aroma was of toasted malt or baked dark bread.

I thought the flavor was well balanced front to back and pretty nice.
Finished rather crisp.... And there was a subtle hop finish. Slightly nutty flavor.
Pretty light body and pretty drinkable.

Good Pale Ale. Not great.

Photo of atigerlife
3.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed at the DFH brewpub in Rehoboth.

Pours a copper color with a small creamy white head. No carb. rising.

Aroma of hops, sweet malts, fruit and sort of grassy.

Taste is sweet, light hops, malts and slightly grainy. Some fuits [cherry] in the background as it warms.

Mouthfeel is light and cleansing.

Overall, a decent brew. Good, clean beer. Pretty drinkable. Not outstanding, but worth a try.

Photo of bkilpatr
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 06/29/08.

Pours a golden orange color with about a finger of beige head. The head settled quickly to a thin layer and didn't leave much lacing. Aroma is mostly grassy hops with a touch of malt.

The taste is pretty good. Starts with sweet malty biscuit flavors with a hint of butter. That quickly turns into a bitter hop flavor on the back end. A bit on the malty side for a pale ale but still has a nice hop presence.

The feel is also good. Medium body and carbonation. No stickiness, just a very crisp and clean finish. Drinkability is also very good. The ABV is just right, and it goes down easy. I could easy drink a few of these .

Overall a pretty good pale ale. Probably not for the hop heads, but very solid.

Photo of USCTrojanBrian
3.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic

A - One finger medium bubble white head, typical Dogfish Ale pour. Amber, medium cloudy. Not much carbonation is visible.

S - Sort of a lightly sweet, fruity/syrupy aroma to go with the hop presence. Smells a bit like their 60 minute IPA with a few more dips of the nose.

T - Couldn't get much out of the first few sips, but a slightly peachy flavor is now coming through. Weird.

M/D - Nothing too bitey or caustic, very easy to drink but somehow I doubt that's the goal with this beer.

Photo of bosco7
4.08/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick and creamy head that leaves a blanket of lace on the glass' sides. Golden orange in color. Inviting.

Preserved peaches, orange, caramel, wild flowers and some almond in the nose.

Tastes much like it smells, starts with some caramel and almond flavors, then the peachy/apricoty flavors from the hops shine. The finish is floral and dry. Some bitterness to balance the sweet. Plenty of flavor to go around.

I love what DFH is doing with it's "session" beers, full of flavor at a low ABV. Recommended.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Pint glass.

Apperance- Poured Amber in color, with decent head and good lacing on the glass.

Smell- Slight hops and malty aromas

Taste,Mouthfeel- Roasted grains and malt in the front with a clean, crisp hop finish.

Drinkability- A very nicely balanced beer, well put together. Refreshing

Photo of Pencible
4.07/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm told this is one of Dogfish Head's biggest sellers, although it's far from the first of their beers I've tried. It poured a clear amber with smooth white head, and it smelled of pine hops. It tasted like hops with a bit of malt, not too bitter but very refreshing. It had good body to it with moderately smooth texture and a bit of carbonation. Overall this was very clean and easy to drink, and a solid pale ale.

Photo of mfhlucky13
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice amber yellow with a thick head that settled to about an inch.

S: Malt and some hops, boxwood (sounds crazy) .

T: Lightly malty with a nice balance of the hops, leafy.

M: Smooth with a fair amount of carbonation.

D: Goes down easy, but not my favorite DFH. I will agree that this is their most approachable beer.

Photo of BeerSox
3.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into nonic.

Honey amber color with a one finger off-white head that settles to a thin cap. Spotty lacing along the glass

Light biscuity malts with a grassy hop aroma.

Grainy malts with hop flavor, but not much bitterness. It's a well rounded beer and very quaint. Light bodied with good carbonation. The finish is grassy hops. Almost a mint quality to the herbs.

I guess this is one of the sessionable beers in the DFH stable. Recommended.

Photo of CrellMoset
4.02/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Falls Church DFH Alehouse.

Appearance: Transparent honey brown, with thin carbonation and minimal head. Lacing is similar. A pretty beer, nothing outstanding.

Smell: A mild smell, but still noticeable - malty sweetness is present, with a slight roasted/caramel note also detectable. Slight floral hop smell is also there. Very nice.

Taste: Sweet! Maybe I'm used to the hopattack I'm subjected to everytime I pop open a Sierra Nevada PA (my go-to APA of choice, if only because it's so readily available), but this beer is very sweet and malty. That's not to say it's cloying, because it's still crisp and the hoppy notes are still very much in the foreground. The finish is nutty and buttery (there're those walnuts!). A good balance, and I don't find the diacetyl too distracting.

Mouthfeel: The first thing I noticed, actually. Perfect mouth. Very thick and creamy without being overpowering or sticky (always a danger when the beer is somewhat sweet).

Drinkability: Great, standard ale. Very tasty, nice balance, not too strong.

I've never seen a sixpack of this, although I may just not be looking hard enough. I really enjoyed this beer, and if I ever see it will definitely pick up a pack - a good alternative to SN PA, not better, just different.

Photo of BoitSansSoif
2.91/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Poured an orange golden amber and formed a 1-finger off-white head that dropped into a thin persistent cap. Even and steady carbonation throughout, and nice lacing.

S-Buttery caramel that borders on pungent and blends with hops. I'm also getting a bready malt, vegetation, minerals, and some citrus tones.

T-I'm picturing a biscuit w/a pat of melting, salted butter; faint hops, and slightly flinty flavor. It is an interesting blend of flavors. Unfortunately, I'm not to crazy about any of them. Aftertaste is slightly dry and bitter with metallic sensation.

M-The best part of this APA. The carbonation is decent, and I have trouble discerning between the creaminess of the body, and the diacetyl, but the result here is the same.

D-Not crazy about this one. It's interesting, and I would drink it again, but only to retry it.

Photo of alysmith4
2.66/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer was pretty good.. tasted like a nice representation of this style. I'm not sure why anyone would drink this when the 60 and 90 minute IPA's are available, but that's besides the point. It was a nice golden, reddish color, and the smell wasn't great. The taste was definitely not very fresh either. Worth trying, but not one that I would recommend.

Photo of tugdriver7
4.3/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Gaithersburg Alehouse. Nice gold/orange color, slight hops with malt edge in nose, with a bit of head retention (others at the table seemed to have a bit more). Taste was wonderfully balanced malt with a nice APA hop bite that just lingered enough to lend drinkability to the beer. A bit slick on the downside, but a great fresh flavor that held right to the last bit in the glass. Nothing like the often fiery IPAs Dogfish Head is famous for, but for me that was a good thing. Great with their fish and chips, by the way.

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

A-Orange copper with a small off-white head that left nice lacing.

S- Sweet malt presence with a small amount of hop aroma.

T-Malty and sweet with a nice peppery/citrus hop presence. Nothing crazy or over the top...a simple straight up beer.

M-Light bodied and a little weak. Maybe slight overcarbonated for my liking.

D-A solid offering. Nothing crazy here. A simple, soild, everyday kind of drinking beer...the kind you would have as a fall back beer.

Photo of PhageLab
4.03/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Single purchased from Total Wine & More. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Bright orange to bronze coloration, complete with a murky swirling effect in the middle. Produced a small head, but it stuck around a while and laced rather well. Nice presentation.

S - Nice earth tone, slight malt presence, and a bit sweet.

T - Nice refreshing quality to this dry, nicely bitter brew. Finish is citrusy but not overly sweet, this goes down nice and easy. A bit peppery and well hopped.

M - Light bodied, nice carbonation level, slight hint of grapefruit in the aftertaste. No real residue and a nice dry feel. Prety impressive.

D - Excellent, this could easily be a perfect beach beer. I can see this being a staple for me. Definite recommendation here.

Photo of wheelinshirt
2.94/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 12 oz bottle of this at Abe's in Bethlehem, mostly to round out my collection of DFH bottles (still need a couple of their strong beers, but i'm working on it). Poured into a pint glass. Bright, clear copper color with a finger of white head that receded and left a little lace. Not great but it doesn't turn me off.

Smell is, hmm, maybe cat piss? Not as bad as it sounds, really, but it isnt a good smell. Taste is a bit lacking, but not really full of the off flavors that i was expecting from the smell. I don't know how long this one has been sitting around on the shelves, could have been quite a while. I need more hops, more anything. I would like to re-review this beer when it is fresher.

Mouthfeel is medium light, good carbonation, drinkability is good except for the weird smell and lack of oomph in the taste. Would like to try again when i knew it was fresh.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Dark gold with light head. Small amount of lacing.

S = Light smell with pretty equal balance of malt and hops, both somewhat lowkey.

T = Fair hops flavor. I expected less after the smell. Good balance of flavors but not incredibly complex. A good straight forward pale ale. Aftertaste does not linger as long as I might like but it is pleasing.

M = light body, good carbonation, nicely coats the entire mouth.

D = This has good drinkability. It is not so good that I would plan an evening around having it, but it goes down smoothly, it tastes pleasant.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.17/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle, no idea how old it is but the bottle was dusty when I bought it. Figured I'd try it anyway. It pours copper, with a lot of carbonation. It took a while for the head to settle down. Head retention and lacing are both good. The aroma is sweet, it smells like honey, some kind of fruit and earthy/grassy hops. It's an interesting aroma, that's for sure. It tastes the way it smells, good balance between the malt and hops. Mouthfeel is light/medium, but has way too much carbonation. Drinkability isn't too good, only because of the high carbonation. I'd like to try this beer fresh to see how it really should be.

Photo of callmemickey
2.53/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Golden orange body with a minimal head.

S: Soft pale malts and a cloudy fruit/bitter profile that is kind of off (not skunked).

T: Follows the aroma... this is kind of murky and the flavors aren't very discernible from each other... the malts blend into hops in a muddled way

M: A thick, cream-like mouthfeel with a bit of carbonation here and there... leaves a film in the mouth.

O: A pass.

Photo of umustdrink
2.67/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Dark orange color, opaque. Head fades to a film.

S - Very sweet earthy maltiness, sort of musty (diacetyl). Kind of funky when agitated, smells a little bit like garbage...

T/M - Starts out with a hard carbonation burn Creamy, buttery and sweet, with some light apple-like fruity tastes. Very faintly bitter. Leaves a buttery sort of feeling afterwards.

D - Probably want to avoid this, unless you like the whole diacetyl business, I think its gross (buttery beer??).

Photo of sirpsycho
3.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a hazy orange with a small, thick off white head. The aroma has some sweetness, honey, with floral hops. An average beer from an above average Brewery. My least favorite from DFH so far, but that does not make it a bad beer by any means. This beer was easy to drink, not heavy. Many big, mainstream brewers wish they could make a beer this tasty.

Photo of schoolboy
4.57/5  rDev +35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this both on tap and in bottle. The bottle does the tap justice. Unfortunately I can't normally get this, and I have consumed the supply I brought back from Delaware (to Ohio).

It's a very nice IPA/APA. A bit on the tame side (balanced), and thus extremely drinkable. One could consume a mess of these and not loose one's mind or palate (you could eat too!).

I need to find an excuse to go back to Delaware to get more.

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.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.9/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean copper color with an off white head. Aromas of hops and a sweet malt. In the taste, a bitter malt and a nice hop presence. The mouthfeel is very clean with a small malty aftertaste. A very nice pale, a nice hop and a great deal of malty presence.

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

Pours a clear amber color with a smallish dense off-white head. The smell is of light buddy/grassy hops, caramel malt. The taste is buttery with a light grassy hop, caramel malt, light honey, light rubbing alcohol flavor. All of the flavors are pretty mellow. The brew has a moderate body that has some tight carbonation, finishes very balanced. A respectable APA, probably not something I would expect out of DFH. It could use a touch more hops but other than that I think this is a good beer.

Shelter Pale Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 753 ratings.