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MacTarnahan's Summer Grifter - Portland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
MacTarnahan's Summer GrifterMacTarnahan's Summer Grifter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

52 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 11.29%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Portland Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
Malts: 2 Row, Munich and Caramel Malts
Hops: Chinook, CTZ, Cascade and Centennial
IBU: 54
ABV: 6.2%

(Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 04-19-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vegantreats
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

Poured into a glass this beer gave about an inch of head which dissipated quickly, leaving a slight foaminess on top.
No overwhelming hits to the nose, a bit of hoppiness.
Not overly hoppy, gives a light watery taste at first, followed with a bitterness at the back/top of the mouth. Missing the typical IPA backbone.
I wouldn't buy this beer again if other choices were available in the same price range/style.

vegantreats, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of RJLarse
2.75/5  rDev -24.2%

On tap at Tomato Street in Spokane. Served in a mug.

Rich gold color and is clear. A small but fairly resilient head tops the mug.

The smell is faint and typically hoppy for the style.

The taste is a lot about bitterness, not much citrus fruit flavor going on here.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin and watery, with a dry bitterness on the aftertaste.

Drinkable enough, but a very average (or below) IPA. I'd have it again in a pinch, but there are better.

RJLarse, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of PDXHops
2.9/5  rDev -20.1%

12 oz bottle, poured into a Duvel tulip.

Bright see-thru copperish orange body with a finger of off-white head. Too bad the head disappears so quickly- it was shaping up to be quite handsome. A small amount of lacing.

This is a beer with potential, but it's a rather tame representation of the style. The hops- lightly floral and citrusy in the nose, kicked up a notch with some earthiness and pine in the mouth- are rather restrained. The malt profile is a crisp blend of light grains, hay and grass.

Overall impression: Balanced and sessionable for sure, but a rather tame IPA for my taste.

PDXHops, Jun 25, 2009
Photo of Bfarr
2.9/5  rDev -20.1%

A clear dark orange amber with a big tan head with moderate lacing. Aroma is of slightly dirty grapefruit. Taste is similar with a blancing malt sweetness. A more tangy than bitter finish follows it up and doesn't last long. Mouthfeel is a partially sticky and dirty feel. You're also left with what I can only describe as a spongy feel on the finish.

This is a strange IPA. It's attempt at balance comes off more as sour than anything else. It definitely should have been called drifter (of course that's taken by Widmer's pale ale) due to the overall dirtiness (not to be confused with earthiness) of this IPA. Definitely an interesting beer but not for me.

Bfarr, May 21, 2010
Photo of kylemckinnis
3/5  rDev -17.4%

kylemckinnis, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of CoryR
3/5  rDev -17.4%

CoryR, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of hopdog
3.05/5  rDev -16%

22oz bottle.

Poured a medium and clear orange color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of floral hops, pine, and some citrus. Tastes of the same citrus, floralness, pine, and some toasted graininess. Lively and carbonated body with a medium bitter finish.

hopdog, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of wesclaypool
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%

On tap at Pyramid brewery in Walnut Creek.

a - Very dark for a pale ale. Has orange and brown colors with not a whole lot of head.

s - Did not have a real strong aroma, but pine hops could be picked up.

t - The flavors were a bit washed out, not all that bold. This may have been by design, as it was advertised as being a lighter, summer IPA. I wasn't able to get much citrus out of it, but the hops were certainly there.

m - Medium bodied and pretty smooth.

d - This is definitely on the lighter side of IPAs, so if that's what someone is looking for, it will work well. If you're looking for a big flavor, however, I'd look elsewhere.

wesclaypool, May 31, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%

A: Poured a nice gold color with good carbonation and a small a nice white head

S: Faint hops, some citrus and grains

T: Citrus taste, pretty bitter and average on the taste buds.

M: About average, some bitterness on the end, good carbonation

D: Not bad but these days it is an average IPA

barleywinefiend, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of rogerthegill
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

rogerthegill, Jul 05, 2012
Photo of bridgetowhophead
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%

Stole a bottle from my brother. Free beer is always worth the price.

A: Aggressive pour produces a 1" head with big white bubbles. Burnt orange color, very clear.

S: Uninteresting. Lots of citrus hops, probably Cascade and Centennial.

T: Starts off bitter and finishes bitter. More malt than I like to see in an IPA. Taste itself is above average, with enough citrus notes to keep things interesting.

M: A bit thick and overcarbonated. Not working.

D: This IPA has a somewhat unpleasant aftertaste that would keep me from knocking down more than one. The taste is fine, but nothing to write home about.

Ah, I now see that this is a Pyramid offshoot. Makes sense.

bridgetowhophead, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of ebrauser
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%

App: dull dark orange amber with a fine thick 1 inch head. Head leaves ample lacing

Aroma: fresh NW hops with. Lots of grapefruit and citrus zest

Flavor: crisp hop bitterness. Loads of hops hiding pale sweetness from the malt in the back of the flavor. Dry and fresh with only slight bitterness left in the end of the drink

MF: Medium bodied with no coating or thickness. Smooth and not so hopped-out that it is impossible to have more than one

ebrauser, Jul 06, 2011
Photo of erikm25
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%

A: Pours a darkened copper with light ginger highlights. Head is a creamy off white and quickly melts away. Very slight spotty lacing. Sits in the glass a relatively bright orange hue.

S: Citrus with cereal like grain. Vanilla. Somewhat subdued in the hops aroma but still about average for the style. Decent pine freshness with the malts coming in towards the end.

T: Taste hits quickly with a juicy grapefruit bitterness. Spiced lemons and orange rind early on in the taste. As this warms the caramel malt presents itself more. Pretty solid across the board. I liked the fact this clocked in at just above 6%. I suspect that on tap this comes across much better.

M: Medium at best with low carbonation.

D: At just under $7.50 for a six pack this was a nice little deal. The price is what sold me on this beer. It's funny how another review mentions the grifter graphic on the bottle. It seriously freaked me out and almost prevented me from buying the beer. I was able to put my prejudice about the packaging aside but don't keep this bottle near your nightstand.

erikm25, Jun 19, 2009
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%

Hazy golden color, a little bit bright. Definitely the grapefruit type of aroma, would have wished for more complexity to it.

More grapefruit, a very bitter ipa, this one definitely has its hop game, but the bitterness is a little too one dimensional without a floral hop presence, its just, dare I say, gratingly harsh, in a nice way, but it would be a very good ipa if it could somehow get some hop mouthfeel upped v. the bitterness in and of itself. Malt body seems fine, maybe more caramel would drown out the one sided bitterness.

Beerandraiderfan, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of confusedidols
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

confusedidols, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of johnnyboy76
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

johnnyboy76, Apr 29, 2013
Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

GClarkage, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of shelby415
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

shelby415, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of CHILLINDYLAN
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%

Clear orange copper. Tight offwhite cap. Sticky waves of lace.

Spicy resins and pine. Toasted bread and caramel. Slightly muted overall. Above average, but not enough to bump up.

Rush of biting citrus and pine. Rolling caramel sweetness and toasted bread. Spicy resin and pine moderate bitterness.

Some drying and some stickiness. Medium-light body. Moderate carbonation.

Refreshing tasty summer IPA. Wont blow you away, but a decent sessionable IPA.

CHILLINDYLAN, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of jsprain1
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%

A- A nice copper color with a one and a half finger head. moderate lacing and good retention.
S- Smell is of light malty sweetness, and standard western style ipa hoppyness. Citrusy, but balanced.
T- This beer opens with a bit of caramel flavor quickly followed up by rough hoppyness. There can be intense hoppiness that is smooth, but this was just hops without much reason.
M- Too light, but the carbonation was spot on to keep it somewhat lively on the tongue. between the hops and the carbonation, this could almost be described as prickly.
D- This beer was just an average ipa for me. Worth a try, but not worth going out of your way for. Light and summery enough for a couple in a sitting. My main issue was that the flavors were good, individually, but there wasn't much linking them. This is a decent beer, but with some adjustments, could be made much better.
last edit: 7/19/10

jsprain1, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%

Pours a nice clean/clear golden copper color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with lots of nice thick sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a nice little sweetness to it, slighlty hoppy, with some citrus notes. The taste is mostly malty, but with a nice hop note, bitter, slight citrus note. Medium body. Drinkable, better than I thought it would be.

Wasatch, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%

Polished kumquat that is as clear as the proverbial bell. My standard pour quickly filled the upper third of the pint glass with nicely textured foam that is some combination of beige and pale orange. Plenty of lace is beginning to appear on all available surfaces, which cements the appearance score seen above.

Despite the use of pale, Munich and caramel malts, the second and third on that list are barely appreciated in the nose. Classic 4-C hops provide a pleasant citrusiness that isn't aromatic enough to be worthy of praise. This could be pretty good beer from a brewery that is never a lock in that department.

Summer Grifter tastes and feels more like an APA than an IPA. Maybe Pyramid decided to ease up on the ingredients to make a lighter ale in the Summer IPA mold. Whatever that is. Screw the name. Give us bigger and bolder beer please.

Most of the 54 IBUs are appreciated, so bitterness is not in short supply. Unfortunately, there isn't enough good hop flavor to go along with it. That seems to be what separates the men from the boys (or the women from the girls) when it comes to the India pale ale style. A smidge of caramel is quickly overcome by white grapefruit zest that never really reaches ramming speed. If you like alpha acid-soaked APAs, have at it.

As already alluded to, the mouthfeel comes up short. It's too light for the style, but has good enough carbonation (both in terms of amount and feel) to keep the score on the happy side of average.

Summer Grifter is a little shabby, a little undernourished and a little rough around the edges. It would be better beer if it was filled out and dressed up and had a more refined manner. Considering what else in available in the Pacific Northwest, this one deserves to live on the fringes.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of sqquuee
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%

Poured this in a pint glass.

Smells of pine, oranges, dank hops.

Appearance clear good orange color. Clear, 1 good solid finger of foam. Superb lacing.

Tastes of pine, slight malt flavor (Munich), slightly sweeter than i like in a IPA, a touch of caramel.

Body is medium.

I would buy another 6er for sure.

sqquuee, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of ricke49
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%

It may be that this beer is seriously under-respected. For $1.89 per bomber it's as good a deal in IPAs as can be had. The particular blend of citrus / pine / and malt is pleasant. The head is very lasting. When compared to other budget "summer" offerings, it comes out very strong. I suspect if it were labeled with a more 'favored' label i.e. Deschutes, Sierra Nevada, Stone, etc, it would be received more favorably. But MacTarnahans / Pyramid (particularly Pyramid) is not known for exceeding expectations. I'd consider this a diamond in the rough; and if I were to host a late summer gathering I think Grifter bombers would be available in large numbers. As it is, it's a hell of a bargain and a great way to enjoy real ale without having to go broke.

ricke49, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of djeucalyptus
3.63/5  rDev 0%

six packs of Grifter were oddly on the shelf right next to Drifter, which I'd tried already... so Grifter it is.

pours a dark caramel nutty bronze with a surprisingly soft and creamy one-finger cream head that leaves some fair lacing. not off to a bad start.

aroma is fairly pungently hoppy with strong caramel, toffee, and hints of vanilla. citrusy and piney, very northwest hoppy.

taste follows aroma with some spicy hops, pine and lemon. the malt is almost entirely hidden and the citric hops definitely take center stage. the hops are a bit muddled, but certainly not offensive.

mouth is a bit on the thin side, but the ample carbonation really helps to create a smooth and creamy body. fairly simple yet powerful lingering bitterness.

If citric lemony hops are your thing, this is your beer. the lack of malt is a bit of a deal breaker for me, as the hops aren't quite impressive enough to hold up the entire thing. certainly drinkable, but between the heavy citric hopping and the bizarre branding, not quite my thing. Easily the best bottled Mac's beer I've tried in awhile... kind of nice to see.

djeucalyptus, May 05, 2009
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MacTarnahan's Summer Grifter from Portland Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.