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Shift Pale Lager | New Belgium Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
83
good
243 Reviews
Shift Pale LagerShift Pale Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States | website

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:
1,367
Avg:
3.66
pDev:
32.79%
 
 
Wants:
60
Gots:
199
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 243 | Ratings: 1,367
Photo of imthaschmidt
3.89/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of my go to beers

Pours light, with a great head and leave lace down the side of your glass.

The taste is exactly how it looks, light, crisp, and hoppy. Though it seems to be a bit sweeter than most hopped up beers. not as bitter of an aftertaste

The smell is hoppy

A clean taste in your mouth , doesnt leave a bitter aftertaste on the tongue

New Belgium does it again!

Comes in a pack of 4 cans

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Photo of RedMosquito1
3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Really enjoyed this one out of the 4 pack of cans. Can't review the appearance; drank it straight from the can. Like all NB beers, this one is just solid. Easy to drink with a surprisingly complex taste.

This was my first experience with a pale lager, and it's the first I've heard of one. This was a strong mix of the best of the hoppy bitterness of a pale ale and the smoothness of a lager. I was impressed.

My only complaint is that the cans looked a lot like Red Bull.

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

Picked up a 4-pack of tall cans from Sunshine Liquor in Ocean Beach...can't remember the price -drank it straight from the can (as one should).

A: Being that I did drink straight from the can - I'll average the score based on its other aspects.

S: Very traditional pale lager malt smell right off the bat - grainy, bready and slightly sweet. Faint hit of orange blossom and earthy hop in there too.

T: Taste is pretty much on point with the nose - the hop is cranked up a bit though, especially in comparison to many others within the same genre - hop goes for a while - very nice!

M: Light-bodied but on the verge of medium, crisp and well carbonated, goes down smooth and finishes clean. Hop oils linger a bit.

Overall a super tasty session ale that has enough hoppiness to please the hop snob (like myself) but approachable enough for those of you not buying into the hop craze.

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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 gpogo
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear golden body with a white head.

A- Earthy hops, some very light bready sweetness.

T- Spicy/pepper mix with malt sweetness. Very interesting and enjoyable. Crisp lager finish and aftertaste.

M- Medium body and moderate carbonation. Sticks around a bit.

D- This is one of my favorite warm weather beers, or just a beer to enjoy and not be too serious about. It is a bit on the expensive side, but it is worth trying.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Nice translucent golden hue with an off-white soapy head. Looks like it'll leave some good lacing.

Aroma: A hint of earthy/citrus hops and a bit of yeast. Some bready malt. Nothing fancy.

Taste: Interesting bready/peppery malt flavor. Not very powerful but makes itself known. Earthy hops in this one (saw they use Cascade so was hoping for a little grapefruit/citrus). Decently bitter for the style but not really noticeable. Bit of a crisp finish and definitely lageresque in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with average carbonation and good drinkability.

Final Thoughts: Not bad. Average average brew but nothing too interesting. I think they were going for a session beer and basically accomplished that goal. Would I drink it again? Probably not.

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Photo of tectactoe
2.84/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 16-oz can into a pilsner glass. Pours a golden-straw color, lots of clarity with a very, very, very slight bit of hazy. Steady stream of carbonation bubbles rising to the top of a relatively thick, ghost-white head that lasts much longer than expected. Nose is very yeast-heavy; bread, biscuits, and wheat are abundant. Deeper down in the aroma I get a bit of corn and mild sweetness. Hops are faintly present, but give way pretty quickly to the rest of the aromas. The taste is pretty basic - reasonable helping of hops up front, somewhat rose-like, mild citrus and pine; bready and malty with a touch of sweetness, and again, a huge dose of corn and wheat from the middle to the finish. Very crisp and clean thanks to the heavy carbonation. Thin-medium body.

I did not enjoy the abundance of corn that I was tasting... it wasn't awful, but it wasn't enjoyable, either. Lackluster beer overall, there are many better pale lagers out there. Hell, I'd probably take a PBR over this. Uninspired and blah.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This can has just a bit of age on it, but it is still drinking just fine.
Nice fresh hop aroma. This really comes across as though it's gonna' drink like an ale.
Very clear and big full white head. More golden than most lagers.
Nicely hopped drink with full hop flavors but tame bitterness (not none, but tame). Nice drying on the end.
My one complaint is too much carbonation and it is quite sharp. Otherwise feel is lighter in body, but not too small. There is a aqueous quality to the drink at times in feel and taste.
This is a very solid lager. Consistent with the high quality and drinkability of most beers from New Belgium.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden yellow, huge foamy head with air bubbles. Perfect Clarity.

S - Fruity, Floral, hops, bread.

T - Smooth and crispy hop profile up front, nicely balanced. Easily sessionable.

O - Very solid pale lager. Big flavor for the 5.0% alcohol. This is a must try, and I'll try it again.

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Photo of Offa
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is pretty good, refreshing, crisp, clean, but not as satisfying or tasty as I would like, or had hoped.

Deep, bright gold, it has a very big off-white head slowly shrinking to nice frothy lace - it is, at least, a beautiful beer.

Aroma is citrusy (grapefruit and orange) with faint hints of pine, honey, bread.

Taste is spicy-peppery bit with hints of citrus up front, while faint yeasty juiciness and faint honey breadiness with light minerally quality join later. It has lingering light peppery-spicy bitterness with hints of resiny citrus rind (grapefruit). It's good, but a bit thin and flat in character and a bit too sharply bitter, with that element lingering a little too much without anything else

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

A: poured from 16 oz can into pilsner glass, golden amber colored with huge 3" bright white head that slowly dissipates leaving fine frothy lacing, crystal clear with lively bubbles
S: citrus hop nose rounded with sweet malt, floral, cereal grain
T: sweet biscuit followed by a good bitter hop punch, lemongrass, light and simple yet perfectly balanced between malt and hops
M: proper lively carbonation with a crisp clean finish, thinner as a pale lager should be
O: every American pale lager made by the big three should be embarrassed that they don't taste like this beer, if you have shied away from the pale lager style due to the abuse it has received try this to be pleasantly surprised

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16-oz. can into a pint glass at my house on Nov. 4, 2012 (purchased at Vons in Mission Gorge (San Diego, Calif.) for $7.99 (with card) for a 4-pack on Nov. 4, 2012). Honey golden with 2-3 fingers of frothy white head. Good retention on the sides with foamy residue and pretty good on the top as well.

Smelled honey, corn, grains, cereal, skunk, grass and a hint of citrus hops.

Tasted pretty close to the nose, but more bitter. Got corn, grains, grass, honey, cereal and biscuit.

Medium-to-light body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Bitter abrupt finish.

Not a bad beer overall, especially for a lager, but I was hoping for something more.

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

Poured into a pint glass, thank heavens for tall boys!
A: Moderate pour yields 1 finger of tight white head with good retention. Clear, bright shiny brass colored liquid. I love the head and the color is pretty.
S: Clean biscuit with slight herbal hop. Some metallic flavor is quite strong, maybe it's a noble hop though? Points knocked off for metallic aroma.
T: Pleasantly balanced bread and herbally hopped. Tang of hop is bigger in the finish. Definitely noble, not citrusy enough to be American hops methinks. Almost savory like a nice lof of crusty bread. Nice but not exceptional.
M: Smooth and creamy. Dry, crisp.
O: Glad to see a decent, solid lager from these guys. I would probably buy this again and would order another. A nice beer to bring to a party. I'm glad NB is now in MI!

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into a 16oz nonic pint glass. Best by 30 Dec 12.

A: Pours a clear golden hue with a 1 finger white head. Average amount of visible carbonation. Head settles to a thin film. Leaves a little lacing on the glass.

S: Malty lagery aroma that is pleasant. A fresh hop in the background. Cracker and breadiness.

T: Leads with some biscuity malt, followed by an earthy hop overtone and a sweet fruity finish. Nice hop touch.

M: Light to medium body with average carbonation and a clean finish. Good for a session.

Overall a tasty, easy drinking lager that can be enjoyed by anyone who likes beer.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the source, on to the beer:

Sometimes simpler is better, and New Belgium get it with thier Shift Lager. It's a golden colored beer, leaving a good proportion of lace around the glass. The nose is no-frills but does the job, bringing floral, crackers, and bread to the mix. And while the taste may also be no-frills to some, there's something about the way this beer seduces me that I can't help but like. Its taste is lead by honey, bready, and floral flavors, and pair that with the flavors having harmony with one another, it wins. Light bodied and moderately crisp, this lager is very easy to drink and very refreshing without boring your palate.

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Photo of Papabear55
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16 oz. can into a willi tumbler

Appearance: White head with large bubbles. Good lacing for such a light beer. Very clear but a nice golden yellow.

Smell: Citrus-hoppy and sweet malt makes it a bit bready.

Taste: Sweet malt flavor to begin with and slowly shifts to a more central hop flavor as it warms up.

Mouthfeel: Very thin and drinkable. Crisp finish thats very refreshing.

Overall: I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. I was expecting a slightly varied lager that still fell flat but got a unique beer that's well worth the price!

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

Appearance: A slightly amber gold with a nice, white foamy head up top. Great lacing and carbonation streaming from the bottom.

Smell: Light tropical notes from the hops, very fresh and just a touch of toasty malt.

Taste: Very much like the nose, some hop bitterness up front and light flavor to follow. The malt is nice and robust tasting with a little toastiness. Very clean, and the hops have this very unique tropical tone that I rarely see in lagers.

Mouthfeel: Thin and lagery, but not as much as most. It is leagues ahead of the macro stuff, just nothing like a typical pale ale.

Overall: This is a tasty pale lager, one of the best I have had. It still has some of the drawbacks that almost all in the style have, and just won't be able to stand up to the broad complexity of pale ales. But still, if you are not in the mood for to much body and want something to wash down some lunch, this would be a great choice.

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Photo of CHickman
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review from 7/11/12: pours hazy gold color with a ton of bubbles racing up the middle and a 2 finger foamy snow white head that faded slowly and left great foamy lacing clinging to the sides.

Smells of sweet malt, orange peel, lemon zest, caramel, brown sugar, grains and spices like cinnamon and coriander. Spicy and floral, the nose is sweet, airy and quite enjoyable.

Tastes of sweet malt, orange peel, lemon zest, citrus hops, caramel, brown sugar, grains, yeast, grass, pepper and other spices like cinnamon and coriander. Sweet overall with nice citrus and malty flavors complimenting each other.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth and almost watery, with a light body, light zesty carbonation, and high drinkability. A definite session beer, this was light, refreshing, flavorful and very enjoyable.

Shift was great out of the can and in a glass, and the name is quite fitting as this is a perfect quenching beer to throw down after any shift. Outstanding drinkability, I could drink this on a regular basis and always be happy.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tallboys, sessionable, hoppy lagers… this has promise.

I’ve been waiting on this one though because of the price point—I’d rather spend that money on an IPA (Ranger tall boys are the same price).

I like how this looks. It’s clear and golden and has miles and miles and miles of foam on top of it. Even without a vigorous pour (I gave my first can a good kick) there’s a lot of foam. It goes away, and leaves its mark, but for a quick minute it’s there and looks good.

The aroma isn’t what you’d expect from a lager. There’s a light “fruity” note to it, along with a subdued but still present hoppiness. I get just a note of hop spice—and then, like that, it’s gone. Poof! Come back!

Flavorwise this is definitely an easy drinker. It’s lightly bodied and smooth with a clean finish. I get some hints of the hop character on the end, but again it’s there and then gone. This beer ain’t half bad—but next one I have will be to finish a round of drinking rather than the one that gets the fresh palate’s attention. And for the price there’s better options.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

definitely not my stlye of beer, but i appreciate this one a lot for what it is. it pours a mostly clear wheat beer color, with an active white head that lasts a few minutes before fading down to froth. it smells very malty, without much hops to speak of. the flavor is distinctly czech as far at the malt profile goes. its dry and biscuity, sturdy for such a light brew. it also has a touch of sweetness and a little more hops than the nose suggests, with a bittering conclusion. mouthfeel i like, it has more body than most beers from this genre, and the carbonation is just right. stays bubbly even as it warms, although this is a beer to drink quickly. refreshing and appropriate in any season. this is a pretty decent can of beer, although i liked the mothership wit that it replaced a lot better.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Allagash glass on 9/12/12

28 Oct 12 printed on the bottom of the can.

The beer is clear and a fairly dark golden color, it has a burnt amber sheen in certain light. The head is a mass of sticky bubbles, two and a half fingers tall. As the head recedes, raised trails of lace are left with intermittent smatterings of speckled foam.

The aroma has a hefty dose of grains as well as a doughy, biscuit-like yeast presence. The hops add interesting notes of lemon, prairie grass, pollen and hints of pine. Overall, the hops have a bit of an edge.

The taste finds more focus on citrus with a prominent orange flavor accented by notes of pine and grass. The pine offers a decent kick that becomes noticeable after a few sips. There are stray hints of herbal hops. The malt bill seems a bit clear, dropping the doughiness in favor of modest, but robust grains.

The feel has a fair shake at being medium body; it certainly isn't thin at all. Carbonation seems is too strong out of the gate, but after a while, it calms and matches the feel nicely. The finish is pretty clean with mild hop and grain residuals.

Overall, this is a good pale lager. New Belgium seldom disappoints. I can't wait for them to come to Ohio.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.69/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pint can at Old Chicago

Look is golden orange with a two finger pillowy head. Smell is grains and wheat, with a medicinal hop tinge. Taste is much better: rolling wheat and grains, musty yeast with a bitter earthy hop finish. Mouthfeel is crisp and full, well carbonated.

Nice and easy drinking, with some decent light wheat and hop flavor. NB does it again.

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Photo of MIBeerRanger4
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

These beers have just arrived here in MI. I had Shift at a tasting event. Poured from can into glass.... much too cold but it showed well.
A= Very nice color, relatively little head. Looked very enticing in the glass.
S= Light hoppy aromas of citrus.. mango, orange.. quite a nice aroma that gave up nice nutty and citrus notes when worked around in the glass.
T= This beer tasted great! Very easy going brew. Sessionable and well balanced.
M= light/medium carbonation was nice on the mouth.

O= I enjoyed it. a nice addition to the already great beer selection we enjoy here in MI.

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Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 243 ratings.
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