Nick Carr on July 27, 2015 1 Comment Quick Characteristics Brewery: New Belgium Brewing Co. Location: Fort Collins, CO Style: American Pale Lager ABV: 5.0% IBU: 29 Hops: Nugget, Nelson Sauvin, Cascade, Liberty Malts: Pale, Munich, Crystal 80 Appearance: Pours a deep gold color with clingy off-white head; Crystal Clear Aroma: Malty Sweetness with a side of light honey; Notes of citrus and fruits make appearance Flavor: Sweet breadiness with honey-like quality; Multi-leveled hops bring notes of citrus and fruitiness; Low bitterness; Clean crispness; Refreshing Carbonation Shelf-Life: 3-6 months Suggested Glass: Pilsner, Shaker Pint, Nonic Pint Serving Temp: 40°F—45°F Availability: Year-Round Pairs With: Pastrami on Rye, Tuna Salad, Swiss Cheese, Apple Cobbler End of shift. You hit that punch card and head for the parking lot, already imagining settling in at the house. Putting your feet up, cracking a beer, and watching the evening advance across the neighborhood. Writing fulltime right now my end of the day varies a bit. But, even though I can conceivably do my writing from anywhere I still pack up the laptop and make it a point to head to the library at the same time every day. This is my office. And when I’ve hit that writing goal for the day I head home, relaxed and, of course, thinking on what sort of refreshing libation I might dip into later in the evening. How to best celebrate another day’s labor done and past? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again I’m not one for the lagers…but as I write this sentence I have to be honest and say this is getting to be less and less of a truth. I’m learning. And in learning I’m finding that there are some magnificent lagers out there… and sometimes, just sometimes a beer was made for a specific moment in time, an event, an everyday situation. End of shift. A mundane, every day happening, this thing we do day in and day out. It’s something we look forward to throughout our work, maybe some watch the clock, waiting, wanting; maybe some find it a sudden unexpected balm, “Oh, it’s quieting time already. Gee the day flew.” No matter how it approaches there is quite or exuberant relief in its coming. End shift, clock out, and walk away, “Ah, another day done.” And what libation to celebrate this most excitingly commonplace liberation? Why, a beer that speaks in a crisp symphony, equally to the manual work of a shovel and the paper work of a desk; the footwork of the ground-pounder and the speechifying of the conference. Here, together and alone, we drink memories in pale straw gold, like sunrays swallowed down, of labor well and rightly done. The freedom of a shift ended, somehow understood, codified, and liquefied. Turned to refreshing sensations. Somehow, relaxation broken apart, its shy geometries rewritten as a sensory palate to be plucked, tasted, remembered, and rebuilt. Pour and Aroma It pours crystal clear. A pleasant deep gold color, straw, but not a sun dried straw. This one is darker almost like cut straw after a hard summer rain. A two finger, clingy, off-white head; bulk of it falls rather quickly but clings to the side of the glass in its wake and leaves a froth-blanketed surface. Carbonation is medium-high. Sweet bread in the nose with a helping of light honey on the side. A background of citrus and other fruit speak to the hop presence. Mouthfeel and Taste Shift has a body the sunny side of medium with refreshing carbonation popping and pulling a clean crispness across the palate. Taste brings the sweet breadiness from the aroma into full bloom. The honey-like quality is still there too, but much more restrained then in the aroma. Hops are multileveled bringing citrus with some addition juicy fruitiness, some low floral/spiciness plays second fiddle. A low bitterness, there almost from the start, builds into the swallow, and is the main performer in the aftertaste. Finishing the Impression Very nice summer lager and it is easy to see why the name. The end of a workday is truly this beer’s moment. I guess I’m lucky enough to be able to drink this as part of my writing workday, but I’ve also known the pleasures of this beer to cap the end of a more conventional shift. It takes these duties seriously. It’s light, crisp, refreshing, and pleasantly complex. The varied flavors brought by the hops speak well to New Belgium’s judicious use of several different varieties to build complexity. It does everything right. A balm for relaxing out of a hard day. End shift.