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 | 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:
1,369
Avg:
3.66
pDev:
32.79%
 
 
Wants:
60
Gots:
199
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 243 | Ratings: 1,369
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 BWED
4/5  rDev +9.3%
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 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 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.

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

This nicely clean amber lager pours with a massive head, and splendid, intricate, and finely-detailed lace.

Nose is malty but with an obvious hoppy citrus touch. Very nice.

Taste is light on the palate up front, but full of hopped-up citrus notes upon finish. Drinks much like a pale ale, and a solid one at that. I would buy this regularly if the price wasn't so prohibitive ($9 for 4 pint cans).

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

Clear gold, topped by an airy, yet persistent white head. Grassy, herbal hops are first to the nose...soft, warm, bready grain and some dankness. Crisp spicy hop flavor with mild citrus, clean lager yeast, and dry, almost biscuity malt. There's a nice leafy/oily hop note tying it all together nicely. Medium-light in the mouth - crisp and tidy. They were going for a quality, refreshing, general-purpose lager, and I think they succeeded. I could down a few of these, but the price is a little high from what I've seen.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can, from a beer of the the month six pack from Vintage Cellar in Blacksburg, Virginia, poured into a pint glass. Pours a real nice straw color with a nice white head that dissipates quickly, but leaves nice lacing. Smells of great sweet grain, and a little floral hop smell. Tastes of sweet grain, but unlike most pale lagers, has a nice hop bite. Beer goes down real smooth for this light bodied beer. Overall, a very good beer.

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Photo of tone77
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, lemons, some sweetness. Taste is crisp, tart, citrus, some hops, more pale ale like than lager. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an easy drinking and enjoyable beer.

 271 characters

Photo of vkv822
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

 294 characters

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 irrgalaxy
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New 16 oz. can from the New Belgium line.

Light gold color and good head. Smell is crisp, clean with hints of ocean. Surprising amount of hops for a lager, but well-balanced. Medium palate.

Excited for future outdoor events of all kinds, but mostly praying this appears at the ballpark at some point. For backpacking, I'll still go with Dale's Pale Ale for a smaller size, but can't wait to bring a four-pack of these to my next car-camping trip.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium globe glass.

Look: Copper amber, very clear. Foamy eggshell colored head that hangs around forever. Huge lines of lacing.

Aroma: Woody, spicy, hops, black pepper.

Taste: Starts off with some malty sweetness but soon a peppery, woody note comes in. Very hoppy and herbal. Faint fruits .

Mouthfeel: Medium, bright.

Overall: Very pretty, tastes good. Very New Belgium, tastes like a lot of their brews. Like a band that writes every song in the same key.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoy By: 30 Nov 2014

Pours a very nice dark golden color, very nice carbonation, two-finger creamy white head, which leaves tons of sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy with a nice touch of malts, some citrus, very slight yeast note. The taste is very nice hoppy, with some maltiness, nice touch of citrus. Medium body, with a nice bitter/dry finish. Overall a pretty tasty brew, would buy again.

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

Light golden color with one finger of head that had good retention. The head slowly settles to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass. Pretty damn attractive for a pale lager.

Aroma consists of spicy hops and toasty, caramel malt. But not a lot of aroma is coming off this beer.

Good flavor that is nicely balanced between malt and hops. The malt gives a slightly toasted, grainy, and caramel base that is just slightly sweet. The hops are herbal and spicey. Not the cleanest finish as there is some lingering grain flavor.

More body than typical pale lagers and the carbonation is lower. Overall this is a much more satisfying drinking experience.

A nice lager that rivals Brewfarm Select for pale lager in cans. A nice addition to New Belgium's portfolio.

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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 beagle75
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16 oz. can into a becker glass.

A: Clear, brassy golden color with over one finger of rocky white foam head that collapses to a lofty and persistent pad. Moderate stepwise lacing remains on the glass and diffuse bubbles rise in the column.

S: Hops are revealed most obviously by their herbaceous and citrus notes. A lesser malt presence of crisp cracker is also identifiable.

T: Begins dry, with dynamic hop aromatics that are green and herbaceous; astringent at times. Acidity is very restrained into the middle where mild astringent botanical qualities continue, joined by a touch of complimentary pale malt. Bitterness is mild and herbaceous during the brief and clean finish.

M: Thin viscosity, resinous on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This remarkable beer outshines its modest labeling as a "pale lager" by challenging the palate and forcing the drinker to take notice. The look of it alone demands a recalibration of expectations, pouring a deep and healthy honey golden color, rather than the expected light yellow that is more characteristic of the style. Hop qualities are featured throughout, manifesting their extract-like plant attributes in a way that refuses to apologize or appease the masses. Comparisons to Sam Adams Noble Pils come easily, with this beer's flavor profile being not quite as interesting.

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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 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 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 rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a footed strange)
A- This beer pours a deep dark yellow body that is clear body with a gentle carbonation and a thick creamy head of egg cream that turns bubble but lasts.

S- The dry woody green hops are gentle with a slight dried citrus note and some green leaf hops aroma growing in the finish.

T- The clean crisp taste has a slightly musty dry grain and biscuit malt note with some pineapple weed hops that linger as a gentle bitterness in the finish.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a crisp little fizz.

O- As it opens it becomes a bit bitey and dry but it is well lagered with the malt a little soft the hops come through and grow in bitterness more than flavor but some woody hop notes start to add a bit of depth as it opens.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16oz glass at Craft Beer Market - I somehow missed out on grabbing a can of this at the New Belgium Denver Beer Week event last fall - oh well, now they've come to Alberta.

This beer appears a clear, pale golden amber hue, with a thin cap of weakly foamy and bubbly ecru head, which leaves some bleeding striated lace around the glass as things fall away.

It smells of lightly bready pale malt, a faint caramel sweetness, middling citrus and drupe fruit, earthy yeast, and soft leafy, earthy hops. The taste is semi-sweet pale malt, some grainy caramel, white wine, tame melon, fruity yeast esters, and floral, weedy hops.

The bubbles are fairly low-key, but supportive enough, the body an adequate medium weight, and generally smooth, with a mild tackiness. It finishes off-dry, the bready pale malt and floral, leafy hops squaring off for redemption.

A rather good amalgam of styles, very altbier-esque. Fruity, vinous, and pretty enjoyable - I hope to see the canned version available up here by summertime!

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Photo of silverking
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%

A- it pours a pale clear golden color with one finger of coarse off white head. The head fades fast, leaving a thin cap of foam. There is a small amount of visible carbonation.

S- pine and floral hops atop a lightly bready lager. A little lackluster on the nose.

T- nice. Bright pine and crisp lager. Lightly bitter finish with a good malt backbone.

M- light, crisp, refreshing.

O- good. Easy drinking and satisfying.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 ounce can into pilsener glass, best before 1/27/2013. Pours slightly hazy golden straw color with a nice 1-2 finger dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of lemon zest, apple, pear, cracker, bready grain, floral, grass, pepper, and herbal earthiness. Damn nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and strength. Taste of lemon zest, pear, pepper, apple, cracker, bready grain, floral, grass, and herbal earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, pepper, cracker, bread, floral, grass, and herbal on the finish for a bit. Very nice flavor balance and good complexity of hop/malt notes; with zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice pale lager. Very nice balance of hop/malt flavors; and extremely smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable and refreshing offering.

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