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 silks636
3.01/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle. “Packaged on” date notched.

Clear golden in color with a slight reddish hue. Ivory head with minimal retention and thin sheets of lacing. Nose is mostly grain with a slight bready aroma. Very subtle hops aroma is present as well. Taste yields a good malt presence at the start but quickly gives way to serious grain and grass flavors. Finishes watery with a wash of herbal hops. Very thin mouthfeel with heavy carbonation.

Fairly generic and certainly not aggressive. Not what I would expect from DFH. Would be good after mowing the lawn on a hot afternoon. A decent drinking beer, but nothing special. Much better examples of the style are out there.

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Photo of Mustard
3.02/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; "packaged in" warning -- in this case 08/03 -- notched on the label's left edge; purchased as a stray single from Trader Joe's for $1.00.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy, run-of-the-mill amber; smallish, snow-white head; a-cup's worth of lace; not much in the way of hed retention.

Aroma: Primarily a medley of grain and floral hops; faint hints of bready type malts.

Taste: Fairly firm, bready, biscuity malt backbone; light-to-moderate hop bitterness; not sweet in the least; quite grainy; spicy, grassy hop flavors; buttery.

Notes: Nothing bad, but surely wouldn't buy this twice.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
2.66/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear golden honey in color with a sizeable barely off-white head. Great retention on the head at first, it then subsides to an elegant crown. Pretty decent lacing.

Smell: Smells mostly of pale malts with faint hops on the nose.

Taste: Pale malt dominates the flavor. Faint bitterness of hops on the finish.

Mouthfeel: More substantial than water, but not much more.

Drinkability: I'd imagine this would be a pretty good session beer.

Other: I was expecting a lot more hoppiness on this, leading me to wonder whether or not the keg is old... I'll have to snag a 6 pack to make sure.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.34/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Starts off on the right foot with a yummy, sweet biscuity malt, topped by a fairly pungent hop aroma. The beer is copper in color with a thin head that clings mostly to the edges. Flavor starts off with just a hint of sweet barley flavor, just a wee bit buttery. Develops a bit of a metallic taste mid-palate. Finishes with a mild hop flavor, lightly floral and fairly earthy. An average drinking beer, but nothing spectacular.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dull yellow hue, thin, bubbly head with some carbonation noted. Light aroma of the grassy hops. Medium bodied up front, quite bitter and somewhat grainy. Tangy palate, medium hop detection,
but not much going on in that area. Malt balance towards the finish. Somewhat bland for an APA, a decent session beer, but nothing to write mama about.

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Photo of BitteBier
3.28/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An interesting peachy color with a slight head. Inoffensive grain smells dominate the nose and carry over to the taste. Malts are prominent, with a wheaty/bready taste that somewhat clashes with, rather than complements, the crispness the hops provide. Mouthfeel is crisp to start, then clingy. Better than any ol' macro brew, but there are much nicer pales out there.

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Photo of taez555
3.95/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a 1/2" white head that died down pretty quickly. The body was a clear brownish orange.

The nose had a nice soft malt smell. Slight lemony citrus, almost a fruity hop. Basically a nice even balance between the two.

The taste was very smooth and easy drinking. A very fine high level of carbonation. Lots of soft full bodied malt. Caramel and malt mostly. Lots of earthy yet mellow citrus peel hop flavor. A very mild bitterness that seemed to have a very slight grapefruit flavor along with it. Very faint.

The beer ended with a quick sharp bitterness and lingered for quite sometime on the earthy hop charector.

Basically it's a nice middle of the road pale ale. It seemed to me to be a nice combo of american and german hops. Nothing to go crazy over, just an enjoyable easy drinking beer.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
2.8/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saw this and DFH's 60 Min IPA at Trader Joe's and thought, "hey, gotta try those." Well, at least I have the 60 min. IPA left. Maybe it will impress me.

This poured a clear gold with a fast-fading white head. No discernible carbonation and no lace.

Smell: sweet, malty aroma with a faint tea-like smell lurking about.

Taste: earthy malty flavor dominates throughout. Slightly hoppy bite at the finish but not much to this beer. Just kind of sat there.

Feel: smooth, slick.

Drinkability: average. What can I really say? This beer did not do much to make it stand out from the average. About the best words I can use to describe it overall are "average" and "boring". I'm praying for the 60 min IPA to step up....

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Photo of beerguy101
3.36/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold color, large foamy head. Aroma is malty and slightly sweet. A nicely hopped, lightly malted Pale Ale. Nice balance of hops and malts. Nice sharp hop bitterness, some malt sweetness.Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is bitter.

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Photo of mickeymac
3.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was excited to see this for the first time on a southern California shelf today but was less excited after trying it. It looks like the typical pale ale: a nice golden color with a hint of yellow. The head was fairly thick and left a bit of lace. However, both the smell and taste are middle of the road pale ale. Although it has a nice mild hop aroma and just a bit of hop bite in the taste, things just never come together well. In addition to a somewhat unpleasant buttery flavor, metallic flavors are swimming about. This reminded me a bit of Redhook IPA, which was disappointed even for a Redhook brew. Imagine my disappointment over a DFH brew. Oh well, I also found some 60 Minute IPA and have that to look forward to.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.12/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled at From The Vine monthly beer tasting Aug 4th, 2003: It seems that a lot of brewers' "flagship" beer is usually the most tame in their line. I guess you have to cater to the masses with your flagship beer. Dark golden amber color with a medium off-white head. The aroma is ashy with some floral hops. Smooth character and not really all that hoppy. Decent malt balance. The finish is long and smooth. This beer is not bad but why go back to it when they have so many better beers to offer.

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Photo of BierReise
3.12/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A deep clear golden brew with a slight head to it. Aroma is a bit grainy with a slight hop presence. Very light web like lacing around the glass. Medium body with a slight crispness. A bit tart and bitter with malt flavor really overpowering the hops.Nothing outstanding with this ale. A decent pale but could be better.

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Photo of rabidawg
3.27/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dull, straw-colored gold. Foamy white head that lasted less than a minute. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Light maltiness with the slightest hop background. Almost like a packet of black tea. Slight yeasty spiciness; the smell makes me wonder whether this is brewed with ringwood. Odd fruitiness.

Taste: Very thin and spritzy. Initial malt sweetness, with a watery middle. Finishes sweet and spicy, with a decent hop aftertaste. Still an odd ringwood-esque fruitiness. Definite raw grain taste in the after-finish, if you will.

Notes: Decent beer, but I'm glad I bought a single instead of a "whole" sixer. Otherwise, the remainder would have sat in my fridge until someone came over to drink them, or my palate was toasted by some heavy IPAs.

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Photo of xgrigorix
2.85/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Twelve ounce brown bottle with packaging month notched on label.
Pours a clear amber hue. A thin white head quickly dissapears.
Faint floral aromas. Medium bodied and smooth. Restrained carbonation.
Simple malt flavors of biscuit and caramel give way to a mild floral finish. Lingering, mouth coating sweetness. Acceptable as a session beer, as its very plain and simple.

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Photo of Mark
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer poured a clear golden color, head shrunk after a few minutes but lace was O.K. Grassy hop smell with some malt, taste was not very impressive and seemed to change with each sip. I detected some clove on the first taste. It settled down and tasted more mainstream though a bit too much for me. Not a very distinctive beer at all, and I would not buy it again. A bit of a disappointment.

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Photo of charlesw
2.14/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a very clear, pale orange color. Dense and long-lasting cream-colored head.
The, ah, aroma really really put me off. Ok, I've got another bottle in the fridge and I'll give it a go and maybe change this rating, but, really, it was simply horrible for this bottle. But, well, how? Ok, uh, well, it smelled sour - a mixture of (sickly sweet) fruity citrus and something gone bad. The question is, of course, -what- gone bad? (Sorry - I was unable to decide!)
After that I was quite surprised to find that it doesn't taste bad! It is a light and fruity pale ale. By 'light' here I mean light on the bitterness and light on the malt but a pale ale should be at least one of those! I give it a lower note on taste for that fruitiness which I find both off-style and offputting.
I won't restock this one after I finish that other bottle.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

medium gold colored with first knuckle deep head. sort of hoppy caramel smell to it. a sharp semll of something, but i don't think it's hops. taste has a nice balance with a little caramel flavor. pleasant medium mouthfeel, like a few other reviewers, i would have liked a little more carbonation. overall not a bad pale ale, not as adventurous as any of dogfish head's other offerings though.

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Photo of Boto
3.4/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Somewhat a darker golden color, nice amount of head. Lighter aroma which I can't quite place. There is nothing unique that really stands out, yet the beer is still appealing. Not quite sure why, but it is good! A real good choice to sit and pound a few! I guess it is their "flagship" beer because it is more geared to the masses!

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

Originally sampled on 22 November 2002. I am writing this review from my notes. This pours a crystal clear golden color w/ a large head. A very well balanced, between bitter & malt. A nice session beer. It's not anything outstanding, but it's a pretty good APA.

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Photo of Morris729
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden orange color with a creamy white head that fades into a nice lace. Nose is a bit musty with notes of bread dough and raw hops. Smooth and buttery in texture with a large amount of noticeable diacetyl and additional notes of doughy yeasts and grassy hops. A decent beer though not at all what I was expecting and not up to par with other brews from Dogfish Head. Thanks to Loki for the sample!

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

This offering from DFH is an above average American Mild Pale Ale. Almost the American *Bass*. It pours a nice orange-ish, yellow colour with a creamy head. The aromas are of hops, and malts in a limited supply. The taste? More of the same. The mouthfeel was a bit thin and the drinkability was very good. A very basic beer.

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Photo of Stubbie1
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a nice golden yellow. It gave off a fast fading white head with little to no lace. The aroma was grassy, warm caramel and a hint of malt. The taste was the caramel front with malts and a slightly bitter hop finish. This beer finished dry and is easy to drink. Overall above average.

Likes: The color was clear and looks great. The aroma was nothing to rave about ..
Dislikes: I thought the taste was good but missing something.

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

This beer when poured showed a nice medium yellow with just a hint of a reddish hue. The smell of hops and barley was pleasant, but, not outstanding. The taste was just not what I am looking for. It had a mild taste of hops and barley with very little bitterness. I would recommed this beer if your not looking for anything special in a beer.

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

Sampled from a 12oz bottle with a packaged on date

Poured a light copper color with a small, tight head. Fair amounts of lacing, but nothing impressive.

Aromas of slightly overtoasted malt and some hints of grass or straw.

Tasted of light malt, maybe DME with a hop finish that was balanced, but not all that impressive. The taste is good, but not much above average and certainly not what I expected from Dogfish Head at all. I expected more taste and much more hops. Maybe my expectations were too high.

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

This beer is fast becoming a brand you can find in grocery stores for its easy drinkability and decent pricing. Cheers to Dogfish Head for making the craft more accessible. Shelter poured a light, clear, copper color and had a frothy white head receding into some loose clingy lace. The smell was a little cloying with notes of buttered apple and rasberry malts, but very little in the way of hops. The taste was toasted malts through and through, with a buttery midle. There was a damp hop flavor lurking in the background, but no bitterness to speak of. Not exactly what I expected from a Pale Ale, but then again Dogfish Head is anything but conventional.

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