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Friday, March 30th 2012

(New Belgium Brewing Company)

Shift is the fourth canned offering from this booming Colorado brewery and is the first New Belgium beer in pint cans to roll down their new multi-million dollar canning line since its installation in early 2012. With 40 heads and a filling capacity reportedly around 360 cans per minute, this behemoth is ready to start putting significantly more cans of great brews in our fridges and coolers this summer.

A special shout-out must go to our friend and fellow beerhound Bobby T for using his boyish looks and charming disposition to sweet-talk a Fort Collins local into giving him a can of this for us to review before its official release. Cheers!

From New Belgium:

"Shift Pale Lager features the newly developed Nelson Sauvin hop, which brings forth elements of citrus and soft fruit alongside specialty malts and lager yeast. Easy to drink, crisp and congratulatory, Shift is ready for a responsible session in the backyard and beyond.

Here we go...

Pour - deep gold and a noticeably viscous pour.  Bone-white and very sturdy head sits on top as though it were challenging us break through and sample what lies beneath.

Aroma - earthy, slightly fruity, and light floral scent that seems to be unique to this hop variety.  The distinct hop aroma blends in nicely with what looks and smells like a good-sized malt bill for a pale lager.    

Taste - round, medium-bodied, and that all-important “not fizzy” mouthfeel that we like in our craft lagers.  A clean start followed by a semi-sour mango middle before finishing with a nice little zip of bitter hoppiness.  Some light sourness sticks around for a pleasant aftertaste.   

Overall - a smooth, easy drinking craft lager that is unlike any other we’ve tried in a can. At 5% abv it is definitely a good option for sessions – even in its 16-ounce format – and we think it would make a great lager to have in hand when firing up the grill this summer or just hanging out on the back deck with friends.

Note - the Nelson Sauvin (Nelson) hop variety has its origins in New Zealand and has recently started gaining favor with many craft breweries, including Brewdog who use it in their Punk IPA.  New Belgium also uses Nelson in combination with Sorachi Ace hops in their spring seasonal ale Dig, which we hope will be available in cans next year. With a canning line capable of filling 21,600 cans per hour, we like our chances!



Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Style: American Pale Lager
Brewery: New Belgium Brewing Company
Fort Collins, Colorado  
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: Nelson Sauvin
ABV: 5.0%
IBUs: ???
Date: March 30th, 2012

Posted by Trent

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