Shift Pale Lager
New Belgium Brewing Company

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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American Lager
Ranked #240
ABV:
5%
Score:
82
Ranked #42,420
Avg:
3.62 | pDev: 13.81%
Reviews:
253
Ratings:
1,399
From:
New Belgium Brewing Company
 
Colorado, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  67
Gots
  208
SCORE
82
Good
Notes:
Reviews: 253 | Ratings: 1,399 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of babaracas
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear light amber, sudsy bone white cap. Cereal grains, light toasted note, mildly grassy and floral. Taste: pale malt sweetness, honey bread, clean lemony and barely piney hopping. Light+ body, crisp-ish finish. A more hopped and slightly more flavorful take.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Part of a variety 24-pack Costco $29.99
Clear golden color
Light-medium mouthfeel
Medium carbonation
Light malt flavor, slight bitterness
Overall it is an ok lager. Nothing special, but ok for the style. A little light on taste.

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz can into Spiegelau Lager glass. No date.

L: Clear Bronze, finger of white head has decent retention and excellent lacing.

S: Grainy phenols, some biscuity malts and herbal hop notes.

T: A bit hoppier on the tongue than on the nose, but follows the nose closely.

F: Light, crisp, tasty.

O: Solid beer.

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Photo of jwc215
3.64/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a throwback that was revived for the Spring 2020 Variety 12-pack -

12 oz. bottle - Enjoy by 28 June 20 stamped on label:

Pours light golden amber with a thin wispy covering. A little lacing sticks.

The smell is clean with a noble hop touch.

The taste is clean. A bit of malt with hop dryness in the finish.

It is a clean crisp basic pale lager. Refreshing. Fits the style very well.

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Photo of GStone899
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice tasting lager. Came in Balanced 4pk from Costco. Nice flavors but they could be a bit more bold. You're looking for flavors on the back end but there isn't any. Yes, it finishes clean but you're left searching. It's like the ending of Lost. Give it a try but there are far better American lagers out there.

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Photo of RedbirdRona
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

BA has this as retired but NB recently has been including it as a throwback in their variety 12 packs. This is really tasty for a lager. If you are looking for something light but with some hop presence this is for you. Some citrus flavor with a good malt backbone. Crisp and refreshing with the right amount of carbonation. Extremely drinkable and session worthy. It’s unfortunate NB has discontinued this flavorful lager besides in variety packs.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From notes 12/27/12: Pours a deep gold/light amber producing 2+ fingers of foamy, off-white, moderately lasting head that leaves beautiful webs of thick lace. Aroma is cereal, biscuity pale malt, honey, grass and lemon zest. A note of roses or black tea develops late in the pour. Taste is similar to the nose but more robust and bitter. I'm not sure where it comes from but there is a sour toast like note in both the nose and mouth of many New Belgium brews and it is present here; maybe there yeast strain? Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, creamy with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear golden colored body that becomes hazier the more you look at it, a nice foamy lumpy white one and a half finger head steadies for a minute and gently dies leaving some super clingy lacing gracing the sides of the glass; the smell is definitely the Nelson Sauvin hops, but honestly I haven’t had too many beers in my life with Nelson Sauvin so I’m going with what I’m told, faint malt in the background, the taste is slightly bitter with some malts coming through and just a little bit of a malt aftertaste, dry finish, the palate is light, sessionable, carbonation seems good for an American Pale Lager and good for me, nothing really spectacular, but nothing bad; overall, this is a good American Pale Lager that I would probably have again, but nothing really to go outa my way for.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the ancient can (2 plus years), it pours a light amber with a nice head. Lacing. Some malt with a sweetish side. Light flavor in the mouth. Acceptable even after two plus years!

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Photo of BWED
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. can poured into willibecher.

A- Crystal clear golden straw. Dense off-white head holds at a half inch. Good retention and effervescence.

S- Toasty malt. Faint sweetness with a little spicy and earthy hop notes.

T- Toasty, mild earthy hop. Clean.

M- Clean and crisp. Ideal lager. Hops add a nice snappy bitterness.

O- Well made. Clean, crisp, so so drinkable. Well made.

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Photo of delta490
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep gold, clear, with a thick cap of moderately foamy head. It has excellent retention and leaves small sticky lacing. The taste and aroma aren't exactly packing the flavor or smells in. Both offer faint hints of light roasted grain and a little earthy hops. The body is lightly carbonated and delicate on the pallete.

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Photo of Squire
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

As described by the brewer, crisp and clean. Mild in appearance but solid in flavor, this could easily be a regular around our house. Hoppiness is sufficient for the type without being dominant, malt enough to provide flavor without too much sweetness, great balance overall.

Not a World beater, or even a classic, yet good enough for what it is and highly recommended.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice bright yellow with lots of haze, white head, 3/5" over the top, lacing and retention are top notch, good looking beer. Aroma was a weird lager yeast dominance. For the hops that came through on the tongue, they didn't on the nose.

Taste was good, highly carbonated, well hopped lager. Certainly not a light beer or bland lager that is for sure. Bitterness is above that of bmc. Not my thing, but decently well done and above average for style. A dry hopped version would be nice.

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Photo of Wer34truh
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden color, with a small white head. Satisfying appearance.

Smells of slightly sour, yet predominantly sweet, malts. There's a bit of citrus in the nose as well.

Great balance in taste. Subtle malts, with just enough citrus. Mouthfeel is light, with little carbonation. This is what I like to the point!

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served in Coors Banquet Tumbler pint.

Look : Transparent blonde golden juice with a giant diseased webby looking head with tons of moss and spackle. The head alone is pretty freaking sweet. 3 fingers tall. I don't like the body but the head is impressive.

Smell : Very faint. But pale malts abound. Slight fruitiness. Cracker. Vinous. It's nice, not complex, but nice.

Taste : A bit starchy to start, with some waxy stickiness coinciding with a rotten biscuit and some strong dry dead pine notes. Some slight flavors like licking a wooden wheel. Not much good about this one.

Feel : As said, starchy, waxy, saved only by an abundant effervescent carbonation that prickles and stings the tongue.

Overall : Probably never again. I'm just not a fan of this one, there's so many better pale lagers out there for the taking. Best part was the head and that's not much to say.

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Photo of vabeerguy
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a pint nonic glass. A golden color with a slight haze. Very large head if not poured properly. Has an unexpected, but welcomed, subtle hop flavor. The taste is good and should be a great alternative to mass-produced pilsners and lagers.

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Photo of JLaw55
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this beer for what it is; a flavorful alternative to an AAL. This is easily drinkable, light on the palate, with a more grain based flavor profile and a light crisp hop finish. This is the type of beer you could drink quite a few of on a Friday night, with friends around a campfire. Straight from the can works just fine. Also, it comes in 12 pack packaging at around $14. Not as cheap as you would get with the BMC beers, but cheaper than many craft alternatives.

Would Drink Again: Yes
Would Purchase Again: Yes

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.91/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from can into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a clear golden color with a one finger head of fizzy white foam. The head fades relatively quickly leaving only a little bit of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – This beer smells like cheerios. It is super heavy in a grainy and cerealy smell with some aromas of a lighter sweet fruit of peach and apricot with a little bit of a caramel sweetness rounding it out as well.

Taste – The taste begins with a sweeter fruit flavor of a light pear, apricot, and peach along with some decent showing of a bready and cheerios like flavor that was detected in the nose. These flavors make a base taste for the brew with some light changes occurring as the taste moves on. More toward the middle of the flavor profile some light hay and grassy hop tastes start coming to the tongue. The cereal and grain increase in intensity more toward the end with some of the lighter fruit being replaced by some caramel and leaving a nice somewhat sweet, but still crisp and easy drinking cerealy taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is average to a little thicker side for a 5 % abv. lager with a carbonation that is on the slightly lower side. The feel and carbonation were decent for the style as they did a nice job for both the lighter fruit and lager characteristics all while upholding the lighter hop and cereal tastes of the brew nicely. Personally however, I would have liked a little bit more carbonation to make it slightly more refreshing, but overall it was good.

Overall – A rather nice drinking, slightly sweeter, and grainy in nature lager. This would be a great beer to have while sitting around a campfire and chatting or good for a day of football watching with some friends. Sessionable, flavorful, and overall a nice brew.

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Photo of DrMullet
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden with a fair amount of head and lace.
Citrus and malt with some floral overtones.
A bit hopper than I would like from a lager
More of an IPA lite.

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Photo of hopphead31415
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I have tried most of the more robust beers by New Belgium and I absolutely love them, but wanted some variety so I picked up this pale lager called Shift which has 5.0% ABV.

Look-Pours an almost perfectly clear and yellow golden color that are half a hue darker than the Nooner Pilsner by Sierra Nevada (see my reviews for a description of that one). It pours a thick white soapy head that settles down into a thin layer maybe half a finger thick.

Smell-The smell is very aromatic with lots of toasted bread and cracker malts, a tinge of spiciness from maybe black pepper and coriander, finishing with a floral citrus aroma. I was surprised at how much of the aromatics I got from this pale lager!

Taste-It has a nice flavor, but is not as strong as I would like, but then again I am a “hop head”. I do detect honey and bread based malts with clover, coriander, black pepper, and a muted citrus and floral component. The entire experience is a bit attenuated and passive, but if you are paying attention (and you should), then you’ll get these flavors clear as day.

Mouthfeel-The feel is crisp and mildly effervescent with a moist dry finish. The beer is medium-bodied and clean. The carbonation lingers on the tongue for a long time after your sip which is interesting, because the carbonation bubbles were scarce.

Overall-It is quite a nice experience if you consider everything at once. It is a malt-forward, crisp and refreshing session brew. Leave it to geniuses like New Belgium to take a categorically “wimpy” beer and make it this drinkable. They have renewed my hope in non-IPAs like this pale lager. Great job, New Belgium brewers!

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Photo of Stevedore
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Clear medium golden-yellow body, thin white head with minimal lacing. Smells of caramel, grainy malt, grassiness, a bit of bread. Flavour is similarly bready with a mild grassiness and caramel. Not particularly bitter, fairly sweet. Mouthfeel is thinner bodied, very drinkable and crisp, but for the most part nothing to write home about. Overall, a decent session lager, but not a whole lot else to it than that.

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Photo of gregb13
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Light cereal grain sweetness, citrus hop, white wine. Minor knock for slightly under-carbonated lending to slightly flat quality. About what I'd expected, but a bit less pleasant than I'd hoped for.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a semi-clear, pale, golden, yellow color with a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer. Honestly, it looks like a BMC beer, which to my eye, looks a little off-putting.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with lots of bready, toasted malt, imparting notes of freshly baked bread and biscuits. There are also aromas of black pepper, coriander, caramel and hits of bright, citrusy, floral, grassy, hops.

Taste: Very nice! Lots of bready, toasted malt up front, followed by lots of caramel and honey-like sweetness, black pepper, coriander, and, at the finish, a touch of beautifully restrained citrusy, floral, grassy, hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, crisp, and very effervescent as there is quite a lot of carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.0%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: While, this may look like a BMC beer, it is in actuality, a nice, malty, crisp, satisfying session beer. I could easily see myself having a few of these at a tailgate. I really, really like it!

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.27/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Clear golden color with bright orange hue. Medium-retention, frothy, off-white head. Fair lacing. Sweet malt aroma nearly overpowered by mild citrusy, rindy, almost spicy hop aroma. Taste is easier to be precise with. It's fairly bland up front and throughout, just barely lemony-tart as it lingers and has the chance to move around, with rind and crackers/pasta in the back and finnish. Thin, light to medium bodied with medium, prickly carbonation, a nice crisp feel, and a dry finish. Could be smoother. Overall, very pilsner-like.

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Photo of Nickholland
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Strikes me more as a Fat Tire "light" than a pale lager. (Has that same biscuity malt backbone.) That being said this is a great session beer. Better than their more recent attempt (Slow Ride) in my opinion. I could see this working for many occasions.

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Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 1399 ratings