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MacTarnahan's Summer Grifter - Portland Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

35 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 54
Avg: 3.59
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | 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:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 04-19-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Malts: 2 Row, Munich and Caramel Malts
Hops: Chinook, CTZ, Cascade and Centennial
IBU: 54
ABV: 6.2%
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 54
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Lubiere: Poured a light amber color ale with a medium size foamy head with light retention and lacing. Aroma of citrus and piney notes from Cascade hops is dominating. Taste is also dominated by strong citrus and piney notes from the Cascades hops as well as some dry caramel notes. Body is bit thin for style with good carbonation. I guess this was an OK overall experience though nothing to write home about.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of brokennedy120
3.86/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this poured from a bottle. The hops in this beer taste very very fresh (right off the vine taste) and set it firmly above other local IPAs I have had. Fruity smell and flavor, very clear (no cloudiness) orange color, and light feel. Head comprised of big white bubbles.

I'm just disappointed there isn't more of of it!

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Photo of sqquuee
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of ebrauser
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of Zarn
4.4/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my all time favorite inexpensive IPA's nice godlen orange color, creamy head, nice lace, good mouthfeel good hop parings w/ just the right semi-doughy malt flavor combine for a very very drinkable beverage. It's not just a breakfast food anymore.

This is my go to when the cornies blow!

Z1, Vantucky,WA

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Photo of u2carew
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Brewforia in Meridan, ID on a road trip. 12oz stubby.
A) Pours with a big, two finger head that sticks around. Creamy, tight, sticky lacing. Subtle haze. Upward carbonation. Amber in color.
S) Orange. Caramel. Pleasant floral aroma. The aroma induces mouth watering.
T) A well balanced combination of malt and hops. Sweet citrus flavors. Sturdy caramel, nutty tones. Finishes with a brown sugar sweetness along with some floral tones... Heather-esque?
M) Medium body. Smooth. Creamy.
D) A delicious brew! I'd have another... if only I had picked up two bottles on that road trip!

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Photo of monkeylovebeer
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Like the name says, this beer is only drifting though town hoping to pull a couple of marks. Come the end of August, it will be gone, and so will a big chunk of your cash.

This limited edition IPA pours a tangerine-tinged gold and throws a surprisingly malt-forward nose complimented with citrus notes. Upon first sip, the malt profile holds your attention as the hops (Chinook, CTZ, Cascade, and Centennial) sneak in the back, quietly.

At a mere 54 IBUs, I would have called this an American Pale Ale; it's not what I expected for the style, but I found myself warming to this mongrel. With so many West Coast IPAs vying to each be hoppier than the last, the Grifter is a refreshing change of ... God damn it! Where's my wallet?

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Photo of allengarvin
3.66/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bright copper-colored beer pours with a substantial, stable head of foam--very pretty. The nose is a bit weak though, offering light grapefruit-citrus hop aroma and little else. Taste, likewise, is weak. This is my third IPA in a row this week that has offered lots of bitterness and little in the way of hop flavor. No other taste components are really evident to back it up either. It's drinkable enough, but not interesting.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of bridgetowhophead
3.31/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of wesclaypool
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of Bfarr
2.86/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

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.

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Photo of brownbeer
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Goose Island IPA glass. Orange with a reddish-hue and a generous, pillowy head.

Smells nice, doughy malt and a big, floral, American hop profile. Balanced.

Medium bodied, hop resins; a touch of pine; maybe a little diacetyl. Almost has a Red Ale vibe.

Finishes with a pleasant hop bite that's not too dry.

This beer is a stand out amoung IPAs, but it is a nice change of pace for a summer seasonal and another tasty, well balanced brew from Mac's. Pair it with some pizza and enjoy.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of ricke49
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

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Photo of vegantreats
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 9/2/09

12oz. brown bottle with twist off cap. Served cold in the Sam Adams glass.

This beer pours a hazy orange color with tall sticky head that leaves spotty lacing behind.

Aroma is hoppy but not over the top. It's sweet and citrusy. Flavor is mildly bitter and pretty well balanced.

Mouthfeel is smooth and not too carbonated, medium-light in body.

Definately a PNW IPA, which makes sense, but just not hoppy enough to be an IPA. If they had called it a pale ale I would be happier with it. As it is, a little underwhelming.

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Photo of Docer
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Was waiting a bit, but had to grab a bomber of this just to try it.. and I am glad I did... because so far it actually looks and seems quite good... let's see..

- Bubbly clear caramel color... copper penny... huge fluffy white head... quite slow and boiling down... lacing in abundance..

- Big citrus smell.. a little bit like a Hop Stoopid, but also a little bit like a fresh summit hop... really a nice refreshing scent.... a good smell for sure. Little bit of sweet caramel and brown sugar...

- Quite light.... great bittering hop for sure.. some zesty citrus and pine hop, and also a nice dash of lemon zest and fruit.. very light and hides the strength it says it has with great ease... actually very good... did I get a really good bomber or what.. wondering because some of the reviews are not very favorable..

- Bit dry, oily.. but light at the same time... throws a good bitter punch..

- Flavor, smell, smoothness... high marks for sure... but way over carbonated for my tastes in an IPA... little bit more west coast cloudiness and less carb. and this would be an instant classic.

I think some of the poor reviews are based on the fact that this is a large craft merger... but realize that they are some of the oldest crafts and this is a new release from them to compete with a whole new world of new treats... and I think they did quite well.

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Photo of hopdog
3.07/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.88/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of erikm25
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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MacTarnahan's Summer Grifter from Portland Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.