Shift Pale Lager | New Belgium Brewing

BA SCORE
83
good
1,378 Ratings
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
Ratings:
1,378
Reviews:
244
Avg:
3.66
pDev:
13.93%
 
 
Wants:
66
Gots:
203
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,378 |  Reviews: 244
Photo of craigbelly
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of hermit990
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Josholson666
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

 880 characters

Photo of BEER88
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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 robebo44
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of South2NW
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jhutt
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of aaronyoung01
3.64/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JLaw55
4/5  rDev +9.3%
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

 523 characters

Photo of gilgar
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

 1,846 characters

Photo of jpuetz
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of DrMullet
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

 165 characters

Photo of Joe_recker
4.45/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of hopphead31415
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
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!

 1,658 characters

Photo of MJ64
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Jenebauer
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of lemmy187
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Stevedore
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

 413 characters

Photo of Nystrodomus
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of gregb13
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

 198 characters

Photo of mrshl
3.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
3.66 out of 5 based on 1,378 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe