Shift Pale Lager
New Belgium Brewing Company

Shift Pale LagerShift Pale Lager
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Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Lager - American
ABV:
5%
Score:
82
Avg:
3.62 | pDev: 13.81%
Reviews:
257
Ratings:
1,410
From:
New Belgium Brewing Company
 
Colorado, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  67
Gots
  208
SCORE
82
Good
Shift Pale LagerShift Pale Lager
Notes:
Reviews: 257 | Ratings: 1,410 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by vkv822:
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vkv822 from Oregon

3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz can : tulip glass
from notes.

Clear golden yellow, billowy white head.

Floral hops as well as some fruity hops, sweet grassy, malty grains.

Light body overall, but medium for the style with prickly medium carbonation.

Hoppy, well done lager, prominent flavors, but still easy drinking.

Jun 03, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of hopphead31415
hopphead31415 from Virginia

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!

Jul 25, 2015
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Gueuzedude from Arizona

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

A vigorous pour into my Gulden Draak tulip produces a three finger thick, just barely off-white colored head. The beer is a bright, gold color that shows a brilliantly clear, pale gold / yellow hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of dried hay-like grain, sweet pale malt (with touches of honey-like grain), and a supporting, but increasingly noticeable tropical fruitiness that smells like a mix of orange-scented grapes, lychee, guava, pineapple and bright fruit blossoms. After a short bit a more herbal character starts to become noticeable; slight dank, not really pine, though not full blown marijuana character either.

Dry seeming, but somehow has a sweetness to it that is accentuated by the tropical & ripe citrus hop character. There is a nice pale malt middle to this beer that contributes more body than one might expect from something labeled a Pale Lager; a touch of malt viscosity is here, but ultimately this is a very quaffable beer. Cracker like malt notes are noticeable from beginning to end, but are on the soft side of things. There is also a dried hay, almost dried grassy like note to this beer and the pale malt has a honey like character that is accentuated by the fruity hop notes.

This is a subtle beer all around. I drank it on the warm side of cool, which seems to have brought out a lot of the flavors & I find that I am quite enjoying this beer. We’ll see how I like it at a bit cooler of a temperature (around 50°F) tomorrow. The hop character, while not over the top, has that raw & fruity hop character that at a much larger amplitude would be appropriated for a hoppy Pale Ale or IPA. Much better than I expected.

At cooler temperatures the bright, tropical fruit notes fade a bit and this becomes more herbaceous and green in its hop character, but that Sauvignon Blanc like grape character also starts to come out, which wasn’t noticeable previously. I definitely like this on the warm side of cool 55°F or a bit warmer is better for this particular beer; this is certainly a bit atypical for a lager.

Sep 30, 2013
Photo of Domingo
Domingo from Colorado

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

NB’s second major lager offering is a pale lager (no traditional styles here) in a 16oz can.
Straw golden – nice head and retention, too.
Hops hit the nose first. Not really traditional noble hops either. Slightly citric and earthy hops. I know this is using Nelson Sauvin as well as some continental and UK variety hops in a blend, so you get a little of each. I’d say the NS’s might be the strongest note as they’re a little bit orange-peel like. The malt note is there, but it’s mild and more of a support player.
The flavor continues with that theme. A little bit of breadiness on the front of the palate and hops on the back end. It’s definitely not a hell or pils, but is charting a unique path. The NS hops give it just a little bit of lemony flavor, although there’s a tiny hint of onions I get from certain hops. There’s no DMS or diacetyl, but there’s also a very subdued malt note. I wish it had a little more body as right now it seems to be more of a supporting element for those hops.
Not bad, and probably a beer that macro fans would appreciate. It actually reminds me a tiny bit of an “Imperial PBR” although obviously hoppier.

My personal bias is that I’d rather see someone make a good “American helles” instead of all of these hop-forward lagers featuring unusual hopping. To me this is an ale brewer making a lager and as a result you get similar strengths and weaknesses. Hop heads might like this, but I wonder if it’s enough to satisfy them either. It’s an odd one, but who knows – maybe this could be a huge conversion beer?

Apr 12, 2012
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jbierling from Michigan

3/5  rDev -17.1%

Aug 28, 2012
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Ljoreilly from Georgia

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

May 26, 2013
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Maegodfrey14

3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Jul 08, 2012
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meschick from North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Jun 13, 2013
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Bizerk

3.16/5  rDev -12.7%

Oct 17, 2014
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Mebuzzard from Colorado

3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There's something about certain lagers, American, that is distasteful for me. It's like a stale grain, or odd sweetness. I don't really know how to describe it--but it's in all macros and most AAL styles.

Here we have NB making a lager...a pale lager. But that staleness tastes remains. However, the yeast and hops do well to calm this off taste (for me) down quite a bit. It's there up front, but the hops clear it up and give the brew a nice zing on the end.

It's light in feel and carbonated. I'd have it again on certain moods, or if it's really hot outside.

Apr 05, 2012
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SonOfKyuss from Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Nov 05, 2012
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MacStinson from Michigan

4/5  rDev +10.5%

Sep 26, 2012
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TargaFlorio from Indiana

2/5  rDev -44.8%

Jun 18, 2013
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DeeMalloy from Florida

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Aug 21, 2013
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Realchunks30

3.72/5  rDev +2.8%

Sep 30, 2014
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BBD of 24 Jun 2012

Pours a super-effervescent gold/bronze color with 4 fingers of fluffed up pearl colored head. Great lacing & above average head retention

S: Serious bready notes, grassyness & lemons as well

T: Grassyness, faint lemon rind, crackery notes along with some bready sweetness. Some mineral & soapy hoppyness as this warms along with more grassyness & some grainyness. Finishes grassy, citrussy & fairly crisp

MF: Medium bodied, crisp carbonation, alright balance

I'm sure a few of these will go down great out on the lake or chilling this summer; but this is a little too stripped down for me, give more hops & or malt please. I doubt this will even make my summer canned beer rotation this year...

Apr 20, 2012
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oline73 from Maryland

3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear amber color with close to a finger of fluffy white carbonation that fades to a ring around the pour.

Smell: Sweet malt with some light citrus notes. Not overly exciting but nice.

Taste: Fairly light and easy to drink. Malt forward, but there is enough hop presence to keep things interesting. Some citrus and herbal notes mixed in with the malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation. The bubbles are a bit large. The finish is quite dry.

Overall: This is a solid beer for the summer. Very easy to drink, I would have another.

May 28, 2012
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JimmyTango from California

3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Sep 05, 2012
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TheyCallMeYukon from Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Sep 09, 2014
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Novabrewer from Virginia

3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Aug 12, 2013
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corywalston from North Dakota

3.09/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Nov 11, 2014
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psmith161 from Indiana

3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Aug 13, 2013
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falconxman from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

May 14, 2012
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BigBarley from Texas

3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Oct 22, 2012
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retreminy from South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Sep 23, 2012
Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 1410 ratings