Friday afternoon was a case of finish work, swing by the old apartment to pick up some bits and pieces in preparation for having satellite internet installed and then a quick jaunt to the store to buy ingredients for baking as Mrs V had the urge to make cupcakes.
As is my habit I went straight for the beer aisle, which is reasonable in the Giant we shop in, and will continue to shop in as it is on the way home. Their selection is pretty diverse, serveral Samuel Adams' products, a couple of Sierra Nevada, plenty of Starr Hill, nothing that would have the hardened hophead racing over, but plenty for those of us who like to drink good beer whilst avoiding the de riguer tongue rape of whatever colour and multiple of IPA we are on these days. Nestled in amongst the selection are a few brands from New Belgium, the ubiquitous Fat Tire, Ranger IPA and as a four pack of cans, Shift Pale Lager. The choice was easy.
Lager, as I am sure you well know, is my thing. I love lager, I think the best brewers are the ones that make tasty lager, and thankfully in this neck of the woods we have 3 brewers of very fine lagers. I knew what I was getting into with Shift because on the day we closed the contract for the house, Mrs V, myself and Mrs V's running partner went out aboozing to celebrate, and the bar we went to had Shift in cans, so I had a few.
One of the things I liked straight off the bat with Shift was that New Belgium weren't trying to pass it off as a Pilsner, but I also liked the firm hop bitterness which subtley avoids being harsh and reminded me of the best Pilsners. You realise by that by "best" I mean "Czech"? Of course you do, you are a suave, sophiscated, worldly person, whatever was I thinking? The hops in question are Target, Nelson Sauvin, Liberty and Cascade, and they work wonderfully well together.
According to the marketing waffle on the packaging, which was cardboard rather than those duck strangling plastic things, Shift is the beer the guys at New Belgium drink when they come to the end of their alloted hours of employment. While I wouldn't call it a session beer, at 5% it is just a touch outside the boundaries for that, it is definitely a beer you can sit and have a few of. Just an aside, when I say "session" I am thinking of having at least 6 imperial pints, 3 pints is popularly known as "lunch".
I can see Shift becoming something of a regular in the fridge, especially for unwinding from a week of work on a Friday evening, preferably when it isn't hotter than Satan's horns outside and we can sit on the deck without developing a case of sympathy with the pains of the fried egg.