Shelter Pale Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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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

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Reviews: 477 | Ratings: 777
Photo of allboutbierge
3.7/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Burnt light amber orange color with white head. Nice floral scent with a grace of hops at the tip of the nose. Very mild and disapointing taste. No where near as flavorful as other pale ales such as SN or Saranac. Mild hopiness and call me crazy but something that just reminded me of a 'banana'. Drinkable and a great possible crossover beer. Otherwise a relatively boring beer from a unique and awesome brewery.

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

This pale ale poured a gold color with a slightly cloudy appearance. Thin but decent head, and a bit of lace on the glass. I was blown away by the smell at first, a strong hop / grapefruit aroma with a lush fruit bouquet. The hop presence was almost overwhelming in the taste, too...very bitter and sharp. There was a hint of banana, and possibly clove mixed in with the straw taste. The finish bore a complex taste that kept developing after the swallow...essences of fruit and bitterness fought against each other nicely. The light but creamy mouthfeel was very nice for the style. The Shelter Pale Ale was a nice APA pverall, with little to complain about from my perspective. An aggressive taste, but well done.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden with a beige head, decent carbonation and decent lace. Bitter citrusy hop aroma. Decent balanced flavor with a light bitter finish but certainly lighter on the malt character. Light-medium bodied (leans light).

A good brew but pretty average for the style.

Label states "whole leaf Willamette and Columbus hops"

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Photo of aaronh
3.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

This crystal clear beer is medium amber in color with copper highlights. It pours with a solid one-inch, off-white head that gradually fades. The aroma is very mild, with merely hints of malt, hops, and caramel. The taste is also very light. A touch of caramel, supported by just a hint of malt. The finish reveals some apparent hop bitterness, but nothing on the level of most American pale ales. Also, some fruity notes tease the tongue in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but matches the overall charachteristics of this lighter flavored beer. The drinkability is excellent, considering the light flavor profile and ABV. To me, this is what a light beer should be (not the watered down, low calorie crap that pervades the US market), light bodied, with a rich color and subtle, balanced flavor. This seems to match the traditional ale style more the the APA style, which is generally hoppier. This beer could become my regular session beer. It's not going to wow anyone, but it definitely has a pleasing, light flavor. A bit more on the aroma would make this a nearly perfect session beer.

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Photo of purplehops
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shelter pours a cloudy yellow with a thin white head that leaves little to no lace on the glass. The aroma is very faint whiffs of malt sweetness with floral notes. The taste starts with a play of carbonation on the tip of your tongue and then moves into a not unpleasant sweet maltiness. The finish comes quickly, as soon as the carbonation ends in fact. There is little or no aftertaste. There is not a lot of flavor here good or bad. The mouthfeel starts full and moves in to nothingness.
Shelter Pale Ale is not an awful beer but it dosen't have that much that is special about it. If I lived in Delaware near the brewery I might drink more of this ale (support your local brewery and all of that). But living in Maine I see no need to go out of my way to buy more. This was my first lackadaisical product from Dogfish Head brewery.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
3.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very light pale ale, and certainly not the most flavorful of ales, but exactly what I am in the mood for right now. Smooth and quite palatable. Nice head that died to a sticky lace atop a hazy golden brew. The aroma seems to contain more malt than hop, odd for a pale ale.

Truly not complex in the least. Subtle hop flavoring appears towards the end of every sip. A light and refreshing ale. Seems to be a real thrist-quencher. Would make a great sittin on the porch watchin the world go by in the summer beer.

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

Almost through the Dogfish Head brews available in Minnesota...

Pale amber color with a poor whitish head that's gone in about 20 seconds or so. Grainy aroma with a strange sense of diacetyl-like properties. Malts are front-loaded and somewhat buttered-corn like in first impression...hops are floral, somehat grassy and reserved. Decent balance but little mouthfeel. This is hardly a killer and along with the Chicory Stout, not one I'm likely to purchase again.

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Photo of MaineBeerMan
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer was a very light shade of amber, with a fairly thin head that evaporated quite fast.
Aroma of malt, with a caramel or butterscotch character to it, just a bit of fruity hops dected too, not what I expected for the style.
The flavor mirrors the aroma almost exactly, more sweet malt flavor than hops, with the latter seeming a bit fruity.
Body seemed a bit leaner than medium, almost a bit watered down with not much of a lingering finish.
Not a bad beer, easy to drink, but not a great pale ale.

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Photo of doho95fu
3.15/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is just an average pale ale. Darker Gold color with a thick head. The smell was malty and fruity. Taste seemed weak and there was not a whole lot to go on in the Hops department. The flavor was weak and quickly forgotten. The only thing that remained was an almost smoky aftertaste.

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Photo of mickstepp
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper color. Quickly fading head. Reference to the hops on the label is not born out in the taste. Lacks the hop bite and citrus aromas and qualities that I have come to love and expect from a superior pale ale. Not much of a mouth feel, rather thin. Slightly herbal even somewhat mineral in taste. Not a terrible beer but a lot less appealing than I had expected.

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Photo of HossMcGraw
3.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Completely under-rated in my opinion. This was a great and unique tasting beer. Smelled great and tasted great. I haven't been able to get any other DFH brews around here in Lancaster so I really have no basis for comparison, but I really enjoyed this. But don't take my word for it, read the book! I mean, drink the beer!

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Photo of beerluvr
3.06/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I can't believe I paid 8 bucks for this! This is what I got: a short lived thin head when poured, light and off-white. Clear light amber/gold in the glass, nose is grassy with some light maltiness and fruity yeast notes. Taste is light on the mouthfeel, some short lived hop flavors, malt sweetness, then dryness. Finshes quickly...not the most memorable offering from this otherwise fine fine brewery.

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Photo of Viking
3.22/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty average brew...
Crystal clear golden-amber body with almost no head (just a bit of fine white lace on top fo the beer). Decent aroma of herbal hops, toasted caramel malt, and light fruity esters. Tastes of bready caramel malts, with some herbal hops. Slightly bitter finish. Best as a brew to wash down a hurried dinner.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, golden-amber in color with a thin, creamy, off-white head. The aroma is of a lightly fruity malt with very little to no hop aroma. The body is medium/light with a restrained carbonation that's fairly smooth in the mouth. The flavor combines a grainy & lightly caramel malt with grassy & piney hop flavors backed by a resonating bitterness. The finish is dry with a lingering bitterness and some gently nutty maltiness.

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Photo of jreitman
2.94/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Something was not quite right with this beer. This was an off aroma that I could not put my finger on and it continued into the mouth. Dark orange with a nice white head and pretty well carbonated. Nutty aromas and flavors were evident and more minor flavors that I did not like. Sublte sweet aftertaste followed a slightly bitter finish. Overall, not a very good pale. After having it in a session with another pale, it paled in comparison (sorry for the bad joke).

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Photo of jackndan
2.98/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shelter Pale Ale, from Delaware: very pronounced hop aroma. Nice looking beer, with a big frothy head, and good retention and lace. IThe color was a very nice amber. The beer itself started off with a crisp bite of hops, with a somewhat off putting taste of malt that lasted long into the aftertaste. As it warmed, the malt flavor took on a more coffee/espresso taste. The aftertaste reminded me of cigar ashes of all things. Somewhat disappointing.

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Photo of ElGuapo
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

it was good, but there really wasn't anything that would make it great. it was good to drink went down great, and it was very refreshing. crisp with a good clean hoppy taste. but the flavoring of this beer was very subltle. i would absolutely get it again, but there is really nothing spectacular

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Photo of Murph
3.51/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear birght copper color with a decent off white head that leaves a decent lace. Somewhat musty malt aroma with some subtle hops in the background. Brew starts off with some biscuity/bready malt flavors before going decently bitter from the hops. The brew is pretty crisp and dry and remains pretty drinkable. This certainly isn't a bad brew but when compared to their others it is a bit disappointing. There are better APAs for my money.

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Photo of beernut7
2.93/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pure white head that dissipates quickly, nice deep orange color. Aroma is quite biscuity/flowery. The flavor of this one is a bit lacking. Hops give a nice light spicy character, but littel bitterness. Clean finish with a bit of a coppery aftertaste. Not up to the standards of some of DFH's other brews.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bier didn't get my blood warm....maybe I'm not a pale-ale kinda guy.... dark golden/light copper color, small fine head, and decent lace. Some malt in the aroma, but more hoppy/fruity. In general, nose was too subdued. Had no problem with body and/or smoothness.... I did not pick up much, if any, malt in the flavor; mostly hoppy notes. And those notes tended toward the mild, citrusy side. If given one, I'd happily drink it, but perhaps not seek it out. Glad I only bought 1 bottle, and not a 6-pack.

overall: 3.65
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 3.5


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Photo of frank4sail
3.93/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

10-8-02 Tasted again at Monks beer dinner. revised slightly lower on the nose and drinkability. Still solid overall, with a lively tongue!

Very small bubbles located in fine vertical channels.. which show off the golden translucent look. Sturdy rich white head allows lace to cover the entire glass. Very hoppy nose with pictures of flowery clumps of hops in your head. Soft gentle mouth with silky clean finish. So smooth in your mouth you could use it as a sexual aid! march 2002 batch.

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Photo of Thrasher
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hop aroma, blossoming head, fake-buttery popcorn flavor. If you've ever raised turkeys, the smell/taste is very similar to the smell of a turkey pen. Now, that sounds like a resounding pan, 1's across the board, but there's something more to this brew. If it resembles livestock feed, it is at least grainy and healthy. The malts are substantial and pleasing, and the hop finish is clean if a little soapy. Some definite altbier characteristics. Also reminds me of a tomato-ish Vienna lager, which I guess is fitting, since apparently the barley was at one time malted in the brewpub's pizza oven. Don't know if it's still the case, but if not, I'm sure they replicated it somehow since it seems to be a defining quality of the brew.

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Photo of Bighuge
2.18/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy dark golden color. Carbonation is at a high level. A very fizzy head develops on the pour and is gone in seconds. I get some flowery hop notes on the nose but I also get a bad soapy smell. I'm not sure if this is an old sample or just not my type, but I don't care for the taste much. (The "packaged on" notch is not visible.) Pretty light body and a bit fizzy in the mouth. Taste is void of almost anything to speak of except for maybe some of the Willamette and Columbus accents. And there is a bit of the soapiness in the taste also.

Not a good start on my run of Dogfish Head brews over the next week or so. (Although, I'd be willing to bet that better things are ahead as I've got the Raison d'etre, Immort, 90 min IPA and World Wide Stout still to go.)

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Photo of mophie
4.02/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Being from Delaware, I've had ample opportunity to sample this beer. It's almost a fall-back beer for me, one that I order if I don't find something more interesting available. Funny thing is, the more I drink it the more I think I appreciate it. Typical copper coloring, tan/white head. Smells slightly metallic. Unlike a lot of other APAs, hops are kept to a minimum, balanced somewhat by a clean maltiness. Slightly bready finish. Not an over-the-top beer by any means, but one that I'll come back to every now and then.

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

Apparently this beer made a better impression on me than my fellow BA's. Beautiful bronze color with nice head. Slightly metallic hops in the nose, carried just a little at the front on first sip. Malt picks up right away, some caramel and a slight butter. Hops follows nicely. Strong session potential.

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Shelter Pale Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.38 out of 5 based on 777 ratings.
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