[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #d47a54;”] B RAG is one of my favorite things. That’s Bike Ride Across Georgia. Unfortunately this year I didn’t get to ride. But that didn’t keep me from at least driving over and visiting the gang.

Another reason to visit is riding buddy Vern, who was supposed to ride this year, found out the pork BBQ dinners and Chinese buffets from previous BRAGs left a little present. He had to visit the Anderson Hospital crack heart clinic after the Hartwell ride for a little rotorooter work.

He drove over from Columbia and we drove to Winder where they are stopping for the night. We stopped by Five Points Bottle in Athens on the way. Picked up a Shift Pale Lager by New Belgium. Shiny can reminds you off an early Atlas rocket. There’s a little motto around the top…. When work is done you’ll want one. Today I’m pretending my work is done.

This is one hoppy beer but not bitter. Not all hops are created equal. Not sure which ops they use… Hey I just checked: Target, Nelson Sauvin, Cascade, Liberty. But it’s 29 ibu so like I said, very hoppy without being bitter.

Now us bike riders like to think this is a beer named for us…. After a day of shifting gears on a bike and pumping up mountains you want a nice brew. But really it’s named for the owner-employees of New Belgium who have a beer at the end of their work shift. That explains the motto. This brew has nice malts to keep the hops from getting too bitter and taking total control.

I remember having a Thomas Creek brew at All About Beer Magazine‘s World Beer Festival in Columbia where they used their hopinator…. The tap line ran through a water filter backed with fresh sweet hops. It was like drinking milk straight from the cow’s teat.

This beer reminds me of that sweet hoppy but not bitter taste.

The malts are Pale, Munich and C-80.

At 5% this isn’t too much too drink with a 16 oz can.

I actually tried a half can of this brew at the Madison Spring ride where New Belgium sponsored a beer garden In downtown Madison. They had run out and a friend had one and didn’t like the hoppiness. It was a nice brew even though it was warmed up and half drunk.

I’ve been told that New Belgium sponsored a beer garden in Roswell last two days serving Shift (one brew per customer). But the cool part was they had free arts and crafts so you could design your own coozy with New Belgium art work. And they look like they fit the tall boy cans. I’m jealous as I sit here and see one sitting on the ground.

If you like hops without the bitterness try this brew. I need to see where they sell this in Augusta.



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