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Shift Pale Lager | New Belgium Brewing

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BA SCORE
83
good
243 Reviews
Shift Pale LagerShift Pale Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States
newbelgium.com

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 03-14-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
243
Ratings:
1,371
Avg:
3.66
pDev:
13.93%
 
 
Wants:
61
Gots:
201
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 243 | Ratings: 1,371
Photo of Philousa
2.46/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Great clarity in this light copper colored beer with a metallic sheet. Head is barely there, but some does stick to the glass. Pale malt, possibly 2 row, but I would guess there isn't much pils malt in this. Some sweetness to it, not much hops in the nose. Taste takes a while to get going. Watery without much flavor, then slightly sweet pale malt and lingering bitterness that isn't very abrasive. Super drinkable, but not watery at all. Has substance. Balanced finish.

This would be good after a long ride or run, but without much flavor, I would reach for something else most of the time.

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Photo of Phocion
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. can poured into 16 oz. shaker pint. Well, most of it. Pale, translucent, golden/dark straw colored body with a thick bubbly off-white head that doesn't want to break. Big, intermittent chunks of lacing around the edge of my glass.

Whoa. Okay, when I read "pale lager" I'm not expecting to smell this big of dose of Northwest hops. Floral, citrus, and resiny aromas dominate and mix well with the big, bready malt backbone of this beer. Quite a bit of earthy aromas as well.

The flavor doesn't quite hold up to the nose. The hops are a bit more subtle, with big bread dough flavors coming out. Just a touch of sweetness. Overall, pretty well-balanced.

Clean, crisp mouthfeel. Light-medium body and medium carbonation.

Okay, I'm normally rather unimpressed with New Belgium's standard offerings, but this is pretty good. This is what a "pale lager" should be.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a shaker pint. A half-way aggressive pour produces about 1.5 inches of billowy, frothy head of a snow white color. The head remains billowy for awhile and sticks pretty well. The beer is a moderately pale straw color with a reddish tinge and ample carbonation.

Plenty of grassy hops on the nose along with sweet malt and maybe a hint of corn (?). Also, a distinct fruity aroma on both the nose and palate, rather like a peach or apricot. Lingering hop bitterness on the tongue, along with some residual sweetness. Decent mouth feel and full body for the style.

This is one of the better offerings from this brewery, at least that make it to my area. I can't do their "Flat Tire"- too sweet, too "Beech Nut" tobacco-y, and too biscuit-y, and could really use some hops. This provides one reason why most of my ratings are on the high side- I don't like to drink beer that I don't like! Cheers, fellow imbibers! :)

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Photo of mpyle
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Starting to dig the concept of good beer in a can. Another one courtesy of newman. Only negative is I can't reuse the container for homebrew.

App - Beautiful golden color, fairly pale. Brilliantly clear - must be filtered. Poured a nice white head with some creaminess and retention.

Smell - bit of a DMS/corn aroma typical of lagers, maybe a bit of hop, but otherwise fairly clean after the initial venting.

Taste - Very fleeting initial malt sweetness, then a whole lot of hoppiness. Hops have more of a citrus, APA/IPA kind of vibe than a noble hop vibe. Some fruitiness that hopefully is hop related, and not esters. Assertively but not overpoweringly bitter in the finish.

Medium body and med-high carbonation. No astringency or warming - MF feels right for a spritzy lager.

Not the cleanest and most refined of lagers, but definitely a lot of flavor in a refreshing beer. Slightly disappointed I just have the one can of this one - would be curious to see how it strikes me on another day.

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Photo of Vixie
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear yellow with a large white head. Looks to be a decent amount of carbonation

Smell is malty, a bit bread like and a hint of biscuit as well.

Starts out a touch sweet and bread like. The hops quickly assert themselves, they tend to dominate the back end, although not completely overpowering things. There is a bit of a lingering hop bitterness in the finish.

Decent feel to it, the carbonation does make the tongue tingle on the way down.

I have not been a big fan of New Belgium, but a friend suggested I try this one. I am glad I did, it is one of their better efforts, at least to me. It is drinkable, the taste is pleasant, and is a nice beer for a hot day.

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Photo of rfbenavi80
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First craft can. Excited about this one.

Agressive pour straight down into a pilsner glass.

A- Pours a very nice clear gold, with lots of frothy, foamy, white head that leaves a thick cap on top of the beer and thick lacing.

S- Some earthy hops. Plenty of sweet malts. Some bread dough, and biscuity.

T- Hoppier than I expected, but the bitterness is moderate. Sweet caramel malts comes out.

M- Medium body, thicker than I expected.

O- Highly drinkable. Bonus points for the whole craft can thing. Very refreshing. I like their slogan about finishing a shift at work and popping one of these open.

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Photo of raynmoon
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It looks a little above average. It has a nice yellowish orange color, no haze, very filtered with a good amount of bubbles streaming upwards. The head looks sort of funny.

Light floral citrus smell. A small amount sweet malt in the background, but the hops come through the most, which is a good. I think I smell some Cascade hops in there.

I enjoy the flavor on this quite a bit. It has a really, really balance between Citrus from the hops, some tangerine and some sweetness from the 2-row malt. For the style, very good.

The only bummer really is the mouthfeel. The carbonation needs to be bumped up a bit.

Overall this one is a winner. I'll be getting more of this in the summer when I want something lighter.

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Photo of lstokes
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright clear gold with a pleasant three fingers of foam and good lacing. Also, it comes in a can, so more appearance points there!

Smell is clean biscuit, taste has some real character--some spice, some tart apple, dried grass, a crisp finish with a punch of hop. Very drinkable, clean lager which is actually quite enjoyable to drink *during* work.

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Photo of riored4v
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in to a tulip. Frothy, 1.5 finger white head. Good lacing. Clear, golden body.

Aroma was surprising. Very bright and crisp with some good hop aroma. Floral and slight mineral aroma. Mellow maltiness.

Flavor was light, crisp with a moderator hop finish. Mild maltiness is first notice, slightly grainy as well. Good hop flavor of floral and light spiceyness. Very bright on the flavor. Slightly grassy in the finish with a hint of minerally flavor. Mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel was medium-light body, medium-high carbonation and a dry, crisp finish.

Overall this was very enjoyable and better than I expected. Very refreshing and good balance of flavors.

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Photo of lwillitz
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16-oz can into New Belgium globe

A - 2 fingers of white foam atop a crystal-clear golden body, moderate carbonation bubbles, nice lacing

S - grass, pine, fruit (apples, pears, peaches?), light grain, pepper/spice

T - pine, pepper, apple, biscuity malt backbone, dry finish; bitterness is pleasantly complex

M - medium body, medium/high carbonation, refreshing

O - complex, bitter, and refreshing

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Photo of pburland23
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz. tallboy can into a standard shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Beer pours a very clear slightly dark golden color with two finger of very delicate white head. Very nice lacing and head retention.

Smell: Citrus fruits - orange peel and lemon. Some wildflowers, graham cracker, cinnamon and honey. Very nice smelling lager.

Taste: Floral and slightly sweet. A touch of honey as well as more ripe citrus fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel: Eminently drinkable at 5.0%. Light in body with sharp biting carbonation. Slightly creamy throughout with a nice, dry finish.

Overall: This is a surprising beer. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I certainly enjoyed. This is a sessionable, hoppy lager and though this one was reviewed from a glass I can attest it drinks very well from the tallboy can.

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Photo of JWU
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. tallboy can, poured into a mug.

A- beautifully clear, deep gold which reminds me of a dortmunder lager. A nice off white head sits on top and laces very nicely.

S- Peaches, pineapple, and a biscuity/crackery malt base.

T- A nice flash of hop bitterness, which is balanced by the nice mild malt sweetness. Hops are very fruity, pineapple, and peach mostly.

M- Medium bodied, and crisp. Dry on the finish for a lager.

O- The most interesting pale lager I've had in a long, long time

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Photo of BeerDocT
3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I have to give them points up front for putting the brew in a full pint can. Nice!

Appearance 3.5: Nice, fizzy CO2 head. Color is a medium gold. Definitely above average appearance.

Smell 3.75: I really enjoy the bouquet of this beer. Light hops and grains, but a certain depth of scent, which probably comes from the Cascade hops.

-Taste 3.5: Front is gone, nothing there but cool liquid. Middle is very slightly sweet and then it fades into a lightly hopped finish. Aftertaste brings out more of the combination of hops and I really enjoy the light touch of the Cascade hops.

-Mouthfeel 3.25: Slightly better than your average macro brew. There is a depth of flavor present in this beer.

-Overall 3.5: Good, basic beer. I guess the "shift" thing is New Belgium's attempt to appeal to the "common man" with this beer. While I find that condescending and a bit insulting, nonetheless, the brew itself is pretty good. Certainly not a prize-winner, but that is true of most beer coming from the self-important and (I suppose this goes hand in hand) "wind powered" brewery.

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Photo of Arborescence
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear, golden, pours a nice and creamy ~1 finger head, which is even surprisingly persistent for a lager. Looks fairly carbonated.

Aroma: Fresh and hoppy, with citrus aromas and some spices; orange peel, grass, cardamom? Quite promising!

Taste: Hops are a bit milder than expected, there is also a strong malt background. Not as light and refreshing as I thought it would be, but there's certainly some flavour. Hop bitterness in the aftertaste. The spices in the aroma are not evident, but I'm reminded of freshly baked rolls.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Bready texture.

Overall: For a lager in a can, this is excellent. Not my favourite type of beer by any means, but it's great to see an inexpensive, easy drinking session lager with some originality and flavour. Hopefully it can convert some of the masses into better beer...

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Photo of dcscientist
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this one in a can. Good flavor, and a slightly different version of the usual pale. Not super-hoppy as some of their newer offerings tend to be, and I could taste a bit of the fruity flavor that is advertised. It's a little atypical for this brewery, and I'm glad they took a chance to make this style.

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Photo of jar2574
4.07/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 16-ounce can.

Ends up with a decent pale white head over golden yellow highly carbonated beer. Smell is mild citrus hops over sweet honey malts, very pleasant.

Taste is a nice easy-drinking blend of slight hop bitterness and smooth honeyed malts with a dry crisp finish. Not too dry though - the creamy head retention supplies a nice counterpoint to the dryness in the finish. Good lacing all the way down.

This is what an easy-drinking summertime beer should taste like. Very good beer for its style, or any style for that matter.

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Photo of blakelive784
2.64/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

16 fl oz can served in a generic pint glass, reviewed from notes:

A - Presents a pale transparent golden color with a thin rocky head of one finger. Retention is average at best. Standard and generic.

S - Clean mild barley and light malt character with fresh grassy hops. Simple, clean, mild and pretty inviting.

T - The hopping is much more aggressive than I though it would be based on the aroma. The clean mild barley body doesn't stand a chance. The hops are certainly fresh, but they're imbalanced and simple.

M - Thin, light bodied and over carbonated.

D - Light and easy drinking. I applaud the attempt at the style though I think it's poorly executed, simple and imbalanced.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
3.99/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I came across a 12-pack variety of New Belgium and decided to try the pale lager. I haven't been entirely impressed with these types of beers from other brewers but from New Belgium it was very good. The pale lager has a dark tinge with a beautiful white and puffy head along with really good lacing - the best I've seen in quite some time. I was also impressed with the wheaty scent along with the distinctive IPA smell (and the other plus for me was there was none of the over bitterness that comes with an IPA). Overall, it was a great beer and I'm glad I've got a few more to go through.

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Photo of BierStein711
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow!

Can poured into shaker

Three finger off white head

Amber body

Taste: piney, grassy, and bitter finish

Smell: lager yeast, grains

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. When I see and hear the words "Pale Lager" [sic], I generally avoid. Have this beer, and celebrate a new, and better form of this beer style.

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Photo of dhannes
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from chilled can into standard pint glass.

A=Rich orangish gold, much darker than anticipated.

S=Sweetness with some malt.

T=Very sweet, with hop background, an fruitiness...much like Magic Hat No. 9.

M=Good, but not really drinkable as a session beer.

O=I wan anticipating something more like a Sam Adams' lager, and was hit with a citrus fruit bomb. No way would I consider this a session beer to drink after work. Very sweet and fruity...I was diaappointed.

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Photo of MouthfulOfchris
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice golden color with with a creamy thick head that hangs around and leaves good lacing on the glass.

S: A nice combination of grain and a light grassy/pine aroma.

T: The slight taste of caramel comes though from the grains with a slight pine hop bitterness. Really well balanced with a dry finish.

M: A pleasantly medium body mouth feel with moderate carbonation tingle on the tongue.

O: Nothing really stands out about this beer but that is not a bad thing. It is a really solid session beer when sitting out on a hot summer day. *edit* moved the taste and overall ratings up. The more I drink this, the more I appreciate the subtle balanced flavors.

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Photo of acelin
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a tallboy can into a proper pint glass.. you know, one that's actually pint sized.

Pours a golden yellow with minimal head, but decent lacing.

In the nose one can detect traditional pale malts ( biscuity, sugary, bready) and a slight floral hint.

This beer tastes about the same. Pretty average I suppose for a pale lager, i'm just glad this style is making a name for itself. Compared to other lagers, this brew is a bit hoppier. It's a good thing too.

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Photo of vabeerguy
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 272 characters

Photo of lnashsig
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

#BOTG 58!

I don't know how I have never had this one, but I haven't. So, here we go! I have been jonesing for sessionable beers this summer, with the wicked heat so far.

Poured from can into Karbach pint glass. Pours a nice golden pale color, nice head on the top of the beer. Looks like a lager. Smell- grassy hops, bread. Not much more there to describe, but the hoppiness of this is apparent. Taste- Nice grassy assertive hops, not much backbone behind it. Lacking a bit in balance. Really tight carbonation, borderline stingy. This is a nice, refreshing lager, full of hops flavor, and I could easily pound this beer. I'll be coming back to this one for sure again this summer.

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Photo of WankelEngine
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a glass

A: Pours a light orange color. There is an almost two finger head of white foam which disappears quickly on my first pour but has much better retention when I finish the can. A small amount of spotty, layered lacing.

S: Light noble hops and mild lemon zest. A good grain background. As the beer warms I can detect some lager yeast.

T: Grains and light bready malt are the first things I pick up. Mild grassy hops and herbal spice impart a decent bitterness. Aftertaste is somewhat floral. I want to say there is some tropical fruit/melon to the flavor, but it is incredibly mild.

M: Thin and a little watery. Carbonation is mild but what is there is effervescent.

O: A very easy drinking beer. A good alternative to macros when you want to have a few and not not get too full or drunk.

 826 characters

Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
3.66 out of 5 based on 1,371 ratings.
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