Review: New Belgium Shift

I tweeted the other day about comparing canned to bottled beer, assuming that I would be able to get the Shift Pale Lager from New Belgium in both packages.

According to this article, though, Shift is only packaged in a 16-oz can. New Belgium is putting Fat Tire and Ranger IPA in cans (12 and 16 oz) as well as the 12oz bottle, so I’ll definitely get to do a blind bottle-to-can comparison.

In the mean time, here are my thoughts on Shift:

The initial nose-in-glass gives a likening of Ranger IPA – the finishing hops are very present to begin with (Shift and Ranger IPA have Cascade hops in common). Head retention is awesome – like that ocean fizz that hangs around for days. That could be the last bit of conditioning in the can showing off, though. Great stuff.

This brew is somehow especially appropriate for the end of a long day. It’s not too filling or overpowering in mouthfeel, yet at 5.0% ABV it is difficult to say it’s not a perfect beer for a Tuesday sunset. And one 16-oz can is enough, especially if it’s before dinner. It has a palate friendly bitterness at 29 IBU, so it won’t ruin supper – you could even start eating before you finish it. I did.

There are so many pale brews out there that one could partake in the early evening – it’s difficult to say which one I’d pick over the other. Being me, I’d choose the one I’d never had before. If the choices were smaller, Shift would definitely be at the top of my considerations.

Again – I don’t quantify my beers, so you’re not going to get a number score. New Belgium continues to impress me with their products and their love of the craft and the culture. They’re serious about what they do and it shows. I recommend Shift to anyone who likes a crisp, cold, palatable beer after work. It’s way more rewarding than anything from the big three.


5 thoughts on “Review: New Belgium Shift

    • IBU: International Bittering Units. It’s a measure of just how bitter a beer (or any substance, I imagine) is. We (I) use it to compare the bitterness of a beer to another. Some day we’ll get together and I’ll smash your palate with IPA – you’ll feel what an IBU is, and you’ll get to use exponential math on it…

  1. Thanks for the review! Shift has been a go to beer for weeks now. Very great after work and very sessionable for me… Anyway, we here at NBB thank you for taking the time to review it.

    @Donovan Adkisson IBU= International Bitterness Units. It is a quantifiable statistic to rank the bitterness of a beer, the higher the number the more bitter the beer. For reference (if you are familiar with New Belgium beers) Fat Tire is 18.5, Shift is 29, Ranger IPA is 70

    • @MichaelBussmann Thanks for the info. Ben keeps threatening to send me a “care” package because of the tasteless bad beer that I drink from time to time. LOL

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