A couple months back we did a review of the New Belgium Shift and while I think we were fair, we didn’t give it the most favorable marks. I’ve thought a lot about the beer since, my feelings for it have changed and I’d like to tell you the story…
I’m a bit of beer geek. Usually this term might be one of endearment but today I use the term in a slightly more negative way. I’m a beer geek that sometimes can’t see the forest through the trees. I was given a couple cans of Shift and decided this would be a beer that I’d review. I cracked open the can and promptly poured the contents into a glass and started my note taking. I don’t do this with all beers, just ones that I want to really dig into. I wrote the review, it ended up being not my favorite beer when I sat there and tried to really deconstruct what was happening in terms of flavor, aroma, color, mouthfeel, and the usual suspects.
Anyway, Isaac and I headed to Fort Collins earlier in the summer and we toured New Belgium, Odell, Funkwerks, and Equinox during the day. At night we headed to a bar that was located reasonably close to the college campus. The bar looked like it was probably an old dive that had been converted into a now-cool place, complete with bikes hanging off the ceiling, writing all over the bathroom walls, and dapper bartenders with awesome mustaches. The night was warm, the place was filled with young people, the bike parking was completely packed and the bar had a contagious energy. Tall cans of Shift were priced at $3 and just about every single person in the bar carried one in hand. There was something completely amazing about that, I can’t exactly explain this the way I’d like to, but it’s something like magic.
Three bucks is Not Bad, so I picked one up, cracked it open and slammed it in about two minutes. I went to the bar and ordered another and went out for a smoke. I came back in for another can of Shift and finished that one off inside the bar. I wasn’t there for long, perhaps an hour, maybe a little longer, but I had at least three, perhaps four cans of this beer and I changed my mind about it. That night it was the perfect beer. And it has been the perfect beer a few times since then as well.