Shelter Pale Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Shelter Pale AleShelter Pale Ale
777 Ratings
Shelter Pale AleShelter Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with a premium barley and northwestern Williamette and Columbus hops, Shelter Pale Ale has a fine malt backbone and a slightly nutty flavor. It's a versatile and quaffable beer.

We named this beer Shelter Pale Ale because we think of a shelter as being a place you come home to. It just made sense for this Dogfish original.

30 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-16-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 777 |  Reviews: 476
Photo of tempest
3.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yeah, there's really not much going on here. The malt and hop levels are on par with an English pale ale, but without any big yeast character. That leaves a clean, but fairly boring ale that comes off more like a plain, dry amber. I guess this beer reminds me a little of a mild as its very drinkable, with a dash of spicy hops and dry malts, but still relatively low in flavor.

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Photo of mempath
3.83/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

one of my favorite breweries already...this is great, but compared to their other (oddly) 'pales' (no pun intended).

a-looks a little like an almost red lager or irish red. splotchy, continent size 'lacing'...looks like a salador dali rendition of pangea in foam...

s-ok. the least impressive part of this impressive cornerstone of the DFH lineup.

t-best (and most important) aspect. obviously a pale ale. sweet hoppiness. unlike the SNevada PA, the malty/hoppy character is simultaneous.

m-maybe it's this bottle, but it's fine. nothing substandard at all, but not mind-blowing.

d-drinkable. completely. not one to ponder over. and that's one of several wonderful goals of great beers.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.42/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed 10/30/2007 (bottle):

Pours a clear light brown color, big foarmy off-white head, lasting. Skunky hoppy aroma, some malts, but mostly skunk. Sweet and some flowers. Malty, light flavor, some bitter, but balanced. Nutty taste, very light flavor. Bland with a dry mouthfeel. Some fruity taste as it warms up, not as bad. Almost like a cherry taste. Not too bad, a light session.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a plain pint glass.

A- A hard pour yielded a inch of frothy fluffy white foam. As the fizzing halted so did the head after a minute. This pale ale has a light golden color with amber spots. Thin coats of lace on the glass.

S- Very similar to 60 min perhaps the yeast. Toasted malts and grain with a faint hop sense. Some bready quality. Alot of earthiness with a bunch of grass.

T- Swet malts toast and grain with a bit of hops to back it up. The earthy taste is almost to much, too grassy. This is DFH's most approachable product so don't expect much complexity.

M- A bit of sweetness is quickly muted by a slight hop wave backed by a bitter end and crispness. Light to medium bodied and easy to drink on a hot day.

D- Sessionable but could get boring after a few. Tell the truth I got bored affter one so I am glad I bought a single. Could be called 45 minute if you ask me.

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Photo of philbe311
3.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Standard pour gives way to a finger and a half of fluffy slightly off white head... Gives way to a solid lacing... Pure golden hue... Moderate carbonation... Coats glass well...

S - Surprisingly hoppy... Citrus... Slightly musky with a faint earthiness...

T - Quick citrus hop hit to begin... Biscuit... Malt... Grassy notes... Sea salt... Bubble gum...

M - Creamy lush start... Minor hop bitterness... A slight bite from the carbonation... Turns dry on the finish...

D - As a big fan of DFH, I was slightly disappointed in this brew... Seems to have minor identity issues... Is it supposed to be a Pilsner??? A Pale Ale??? An IPA??? A Lager???

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Photo of KTCamm
3.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Poured light red/golden yellow with a high creamy foam and noticeable lacing.

Smells of faint malt/hops.

Predominant taste is water - slightly sweet, very light hop - but the taste vanishes at the finish.

Very little buzz in the mouthfeel - the malt is there, but it is otherwise oddly empty.

Have to say, I was disappointed with this beer. Just had very little "wow" to it. Very ordinary.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a crudely sanitized hotel glass. A germaphobe I am not, but I have no idea what this glass has been through.

A nice golden amber color, deeper in hue that expected but no complaints here; I like dark beer ;-) White head is small yet somehow still substantive. I dig it.

Real nice piney aroma of hops. Fresh and earthy in nature. A fair background of malt here for a pretty nicely balanced APA. Not a big hop flavor but they are there for sure. A more earthy malt profile here, surprising for the style. Even a bit grainy at times. Mildly bitter afterburn but even this dies quickly.

Easy to drink and not at all unpleasant. Nice session brew from an extreme brewer extraordinaire.

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Photo of Tomdee74
4.57/5  rDev +35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I read these reviews and I'm amazed this beer was ranked so low. This stuff flies off the shelves here. I think the color is great and it goes down like a softdrink. It's very drinkable. Very few beers make me do a backflip but this is one of them!

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

classic amber color. clear. moderate head soon fades to wisps. lacing a bit sparse.

aroma has very gentle pine, grapefruit zest and grassiness, with toasted malt underneath.

flavor is grassy hop with only hint of pine and citrus. toasted crackers underneath, but just not enough malt. moderate bitterness and clean finish with touch of resins.

not too thin, with slight resins again in the finish, but borderline watery, like the malt flavor. moderate carbonation.

malt bill is just too faint and not complex at all.

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Photo of u2carew
2.92/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(A) Clear, bronze color. Pours with a nice head that hangs around for a little while before settling.
(S) Not very aromatic. Faint pilsner-like scent with a slight fruit essence.
(T) Mellow sweetness some strawberry-like fruitiness
(M) Smooth, with mild carbonation. Light to medium body.
(D) An alright beer, not a standout which is odd for Dogfish Head.

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Photo of midaszero
2.83/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Pretty clear amber body with little white head and little bit of lacing

S - Lots of grain but not very strong. A tiny bit of malt presence

T - Just like the nose. No noticeable hops with a weird sour after taste

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

D - Okay to drink and could session it but not to be sought out

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear orange-gold color with a large, frothy off-white head with solid retention and nice lacing.

S: Some rough grainy sweetness. A bit of buttery diacetyl. Some leafy and perhaps citric hop bitterness.

T: Mild toasted caramel malts up front, followed by a subdued wave of vaguely lemony and leafy hop flavor. Some more dry, husky grain into the finish.

M: Clean and medium-light in body. Carbonation is fairly active. The finish is on the dry side.

D: This one is just slightly above average all the way across the board. It's very easy to drink, and in turn would be an extremely sessionable APA, but it's nothing to write home about. That this qualifies as a somewhat disappointing beer from Dogfish Head just underscores what a quality brewery they are.

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Photo of czfreeman
4.1/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shelter Pale pours out a light amber tone of brown, light head settles down quickly, looks easy and enjoyable.
Light malty aromas,some apricot-like sweetness, touch of fresh hoppiness, light citric spikes. Very light, subdued, and already smells like an insanely good session ale.
Taste is little malty, little hoppy,little citrusy, not extrodinarily complex, but I feel this is not the purpose it was brewed for. Mouthfeel is light, brisk, and drish on the finish. Drank side by side with the 60 minute shows the extrem amount of talen exibited by Dogfish Head in their ability to control the flavor of their brews down to the minute amount. They can make a full out Hop Hydrogen bomb (120 minute) or a little firecracker like this. This is a fantastic session.

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Photo of corby112
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden amber color with thin white foam head that settles into very thin lacing. Aroma is kind of bland with a subtle touch of hops. Bitter hops up front with a slight malt backbone. Easy to drink with crisp dry hop flavor and a slightly bitter finish.

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Photo of beckje01
3.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes:

The color is a nice gold with a white head. The nose is hoppy, crisp. The flavor is very clean hops with a nice balance. Overall the flavor of the hops is a touch citrus. It's a nice beer solid, I can't think of what to change but it's not one that is gonna really stand out from the pack.

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Photo of jeffmonarch
3.73/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Nice rich dark red brown color with a thick off white head.

S - Good sweet caramel malt.

T - Good malt flavor. Very strong. Good bite at the finish.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - Good beer. This is not one of my favorite styles but this is good.

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Photo of FordBrewing
4.2/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this in a bottle as well as on-tap at DFH Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth.

This beer pours an average size off-white head with good lacing. It displays a clear body and an amber/orange color. It has a nice light malt aroma and a decent hop scent with hints of grass and resin. It is light-bodied with a thin texture, above-average carbonation and a bitter but enjoyable finish. The flavor lasts long enough to make you look forward to the next sip.

This is a great alternative to drinking light beer if you are not in the mood for an IPA or strong ale. It has good taste, and solid but not overpowering hop flavor.

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Photo of marcpal
3.79/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had this on a multitude of occassions on tap and always thought it was top notch shit. Reviewing based on a case I brought back from Delaware and while still considerably good shit, not as strong as on tap.

A: Bright orange with a fluffy head, apparent carbonation and tremendous lacing. Hell, the first pour was in a plastic cup out of necessity in a hotel room and had lacing then.

S: The weakest part of the beer. Hide and seek with the hops. Toasted bready malts that oddly enough remind me of a worse smelling Fat tire.

T: More hops up front and balanced out really well with the bready malts. Nothing overpowering but that wasnt what I was signing up for. Nutty and sweet at times, bitter at times. Good enjoyable light drinker from the guys that usually futz with the extreme.

M: Not to bitter, very carbonated but one word that I hate to use sums it up best: crisp.

D: This is what drinkable is all about. Great for sitting back and watching games, grabbing another bottle to open, and enjoying the flavor without having to concentrate or sip. There are beers I would choose, still far superior on tap, but Im glad I got a case for a great price.

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Photo of Applesauce1
3.11/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this before on-tap at the DFH Brew House and Resaurant in Falls Church, VA. This is my first time with it in the bottle which I got at the Westover Market in Arlington.

Appearance: copper color with a 3/4" white head on the pour that looks pretty nice

Smell: hmm....i smell some coffee which i kinda weird for a pale ale, slight hoppiness

Taste: hmm....kind of a funky flavor; tastes more like a lager...low hoppiness and some cereal malts...not great but not bad

Mouthfeel: light body

Drinkability: could do two or three in a night at a party

I'd have to say, one of the less impressive beers from DFH.

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Photo of maddogruss
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My friend brought me back a four pack of this from the brewery.

A: Pours an orange-amber body with a one finger, white head with nice retention and lacing,

S: An earthy, slightly sour smell with some malt hints.

T: An earthy, hoppy taste with a burnt, meaty aftertaste. All malts seem to disappear to the background for support of the earthy hops. The taste also seemed to have some woody tones to it.

M: A medium body with an appropriate carbonation that was complimenting to the style.

D: A pretty drinkable beer. I am pretty sure that this was the first beer that I had that was brewed with Williamette and Columbus hops, so I was not sure what the taste was going to be like, but it was pretty good. A pretty interesting beer, although I was hoping that the malts would have been a bit more evident.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3.98/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had this one many times from the bottle, but this is the first time I've ever had it on-tap. What a difference.

This came to me a dark amber color with about a fingers worth of off-white head. Lots of lacing stuck to the glass the entire way down. Looked good.

The aroma is of toasted malts and a bit of hops. Nothing too amazing here, but solid.

The taste is much better, imo, fresh on-tap compared to the bottles I had previously. The hops, while not dominating, shine through the bready malts a lot more.

Medium body with playful carbonation. This is definitely a session beer to go for if your local bar has it on draught. Very easy to drink and highly enjoyable. One of the more flavorful pale ales.

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Photo of hdofu
3.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good for an APA, but sort of disappointing for a dogfish beer. Not by any means a bad beer though. Sort of orange. Head is fluffy. Has a dark cherry smell. Taste is sort of mild hops/cherry. I like it better then Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale but I don't really like that anyway. It is pretty drinkable and at 5% abv it's one you can drink motr then one of.

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Photo of changeup45
3.15/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$7 for a six pack. Decent beer. I guess I thought this would bring a little more to the table though. Pours a copper color, medium sized head and a nice amount of lacing. Not much in the way of aroma, a little sweet smelling and something that resembled hops. It's a very smooth, refreshing beer, but falls short when it comes to flavor. Citrusy, lemon taste, very light hopping and a clean finish. Decent enough for the summer but needs more hops.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.1/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single, twelve-ounce bottle just copped from New Beer Distributors on Chrystie Street in Manhattan...
This one from Dogfish has eluded me for a while...
"Brewed in little batches ussing Delaware grown barley and whole leaf Willamette and Columbus hops for ballast" on the front logo sticker...
Pours a deep, dark-orange, ruddy, copper hue with a decent-sized foamy head...
Smell: Raw, leafy, earthy, grainy notes on the nose...
Taste: Crisp, clean, refreshing... Not too big on flavor or depth, yet a solid APA nonetheless...
Unlike many of Dogfish's eccentric, big, bold brews, this one is a much more tempered, easily drinkable brew...
Medium-bodied mouthfeel...
Easily drinkable... Certainly a good session beer...
Worth a shot...

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer came bright Amber in color and very clear. There was a thin one finger foamy head that did vanish rather quickly. There was quite a bit of lacing left behind after the beer was consumed.

Aroma was of toasted malt or baked dark bread.

I thought the flavor was well balanced front to back and pretty nice.
Finished rather crisp.... And there was a subtle hop finish. Slightly nutty flavor.
Pretty light body and pretty drinkable.

Good Pale Ale. Not great.

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Shelter Pale Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.38 out of 5 with 777 ratings