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Drifter Pale Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

406 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 406
Hads: 957
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 20.63%
Wants: 23
Gots: 37 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: madtappers on 12-23-2008

availability: year-round
bitterness: 32 IBU
alcohol by volume: 5.7%
original gravity: 14.0° PLATO

Pale, Caramel 20L, Caravienne 20L, Caramel 80L, Carapils

Bittering: Alchemy
Aroma: Summit, Nelson Sauvin
Dry Hopped: Summit, Nelson Sauvin
View: Beers (82) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 406 | Hads: 957
Photo of rolf17
5/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

At 12 bucks for 12 u cant go wrong here. An awesome IPA,
I drink these between the more spendy beers in my cellar (victory storm king, bells expedition stout, founders breakfast stout...). Widmers Bros (aka Brewmasters Bros : ) have created a niche - bringing an excellent beer to the masses while keeping cost down. Bravo!

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Photo of Frankinstiener
5/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has been one of my favorite beers for the past 4 years. Since it is going away I decieded to write down some notes while I still have a relatively fresh one in front of me.

This pale ale is not pale in any way. Closer to a light copper in color. Perfectly see through with a little bit of white foam on top. Occasionally I get a few small floaties (perhaps hop particles) but none in this glass.

The smell isn't overwhelming but is really enjoyable. You get both biscuity malt and citrus zest in the same whiff.

The taste is glorious as usual. This is not a hopped up pale ale that borderlines an IPA. It is well balanced, but the hops do slightly shine through. This pale ale definitely has a distinct taste. You get some tangerine flavor that eventually is balanced out by caramel malts. It finishes a bit drier than you would expect. When people say they taste onions I can kind of understand where they are coming from, but only after specifically looking for it. This is not a distraction for me, I think the taste of this beer is perfect. It doesn't leave me wanting anything else. There is a reason why I have purchased so many cases of this over the years

Overall this beer is very drinkable but yet distinct. I’m not the greatest at putting words to flavors so I will just say that I wouldn't change this beer in any way. For years it has been my favorite pale ale. It is also very affordable at $6.99 per six pack and $26 dollars after my case discount. I have always thought its the best beer for the money. RIP Drfter…. You’re a legend as far as I’m concerned.

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Photo of geomedic
4.92/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Draft in a chilled "pounder" pint glass.

A: Clear amber. Poured with a half-inch head that dissipates quickly but leaves lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Sharp odor of piney, flowery hops. Very fresh. Sweet, malty undertones... way-undertones.

T: Primary flavor is fresh, piney hops, very floral. Sweet maltiness nicely counterpoints this flavor without diminishing it. This beer is for hops lovers. The local availability of fresh hops would account for the very bright floral character of this beer.

M: Light mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

D: As a hoppy pale ale lover (note beer-style bias disclaimer) I consider this a session beer. Those that do not share a similar taste for lots-o-hops may strongly disagree. I would expect this beer to compliment many foods with shellfish topping my list.

O: Excellent Pale Ale. The fresh, bright quality of the predominant hops flavor makes me envision the Widmer brothers harvesting the Oregon Cascade hops right outside the brewhouse.

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Photo of syrupjoe
4.72/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Pours a medium-light amber color with a slight amount of haze, one finger creamy off-white head.

Nose gives off juicy mango and pineapple hop notes with slight grassiness and sweet but light honey malt presence.

Taste is also very tropical with a slight grassy/dank bite. Present but not too sweet malt backbone that perfectly balances the hops.

Moderate carbonation with a nice crisp finish. Overall an incredibly fresh, well-balanced, and interesting beer. This one went down fast! Will definitely drink again, and will likely become a fridge staple.

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Photo of jdc8d8
4.65/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

At Champps sports bar in Indianapolis on tap.

More of a red/amber color than I expected from a pale ale.

Tasted great, surprised me with the flavor in a good way.

Was easy to drink and was very smooth. Was through a 20 oz in literally minutes.

Ordered several and will be looking for six paks at my local Friar Tucks.

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Photo of ZAP
4.64/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Deep bronze color...very nice look.

A-Top notch...one of the best aroma's for a pale ale I have smelled. Juicy citrus...oranges, tangerines, sweetened grapefruiit, pinneaples and more...Better than Itasca Pale Ale from Rock Bottom which to me was always the standard.

T-Bright citrus jumps out at you....same fruits...great hop burps...I love the use of hops in this beer. Just a hint of caramel malt backing evident...it lays down a nice firm but not big backbone for this.

M-Medium bodied at best...not a big beer but not watery at all.

D-This is an awesome pale ale...maybe the best I have had.

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Photo of mempath
4.61/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

following my tasting of the Dundee IPA...

beautiful orangey pale ale...little lacing...little head.

my oh my, nice oily citrusy nose on this. amazing and sweet-bitter promise!

very strange in a good way....the thin-ness of this keeps the oiliness at bay (that is hinted at in the nose), but it's still got some interesting complexity and unique. it's no Smuttynose, but rather similar.

in a sense, this is an intensely hoppy pale (not a IPA?) that is everything except bitter. weird, but i'd sit down with these for an evening.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
4.6/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First of all, I want to get this out of the way. I am not really a hop head and tend not to like beer on the high end of the bitterness spectrum. I know this style is usually bitter (for me) and I tend not to love pale ales in general. But this beer was fantastic!
Poured into a Widmer Brothers pint glass at a local bar not known for their craft beer selection.
Pours a dark amber color with a thick luxurious off white yellowish head and mountains of lacing left on the glass after each and every sip. When held to the light it shone ruby hues on the table at the bar. Smells of pineapple, grapefruit, other citrus peel/zest, hop aroma, and a faint sweetness. Tastes of subtle bitterness from the hops, strong grapefruit notes throughout, with a well blended balance of malts to round out the flavors. I also noticed pineapple and pine and a little grass in there. A very dry finish with biscuit notes dominated the ending of the brew. Mouthfeel was medium and somewhat creamy with a mild carbonation that gave the beer good life. Drinkability is very high. I really enjoyed the beer.

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Photo of ronniebruner
4.58/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Widmer has done it again! This is by far the best IPA I have tried in a while. Upon first pour I noticed it smelled sweeter than average IPA. It poured a nice golden color, has minimal foam and carbonation. It has a sweeter taste and great aroma. This is a superb beer.

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Photo of madtappers
4.55/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had chance to sample this beer before it's release.

It is suppose to be the W'07, but I would say the have kicked the summit hops a bit.

Beer has a very notable citrusy hop aroma and flavor with a malty sweetness to balance the hops. There is an aroma of tangerine, mandarin and grapefruit to this beer.

Not your average pale but rather a twist on the same old pales that are on the market today!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz picked up today at the Coop... poured into my Chimay goblet...

3/4" head with nice lace and a firm cap atop a clear orange amber brew....

The nose is resounding citric... tangerine even..

Flavor is the same... zesty orange.. some doughy maltiness adds a little bit of sweetness.. with a light smack of caramel.. really balanced yet you still know this is a fresh PNW pale ale... medium body with a lively carbonation... even the burps taste like tangerine juice essence..

This is actually pretty damn good pale ale... I could see drinking this one for a while in the long run, and it makes me wish I would have picked up a 6'er today to have a fridge beer...

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Photo of michaelgrant1983
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Awsome amounts of citrus smell on the brew, makes you think you're going to get a real hoppy brew. Good deep amber color with a head on the beer that disapears quickly. The taste is amazing. Good hops, with a great balance. I can't say enough of how good this beer is. I'm very impressed with Widmer Brothers brewing for coming out with this one.

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Photo of beernut0875
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper carmel color with nice head retention and carbonation.

Smell: nice malty nose with the hops coming through, lots of citrus

Taste: WOW, this is very different; these hops give a lot of grapefruit notes, with other rich fruits following through. Not much in the way of bitter aftertaste, very smooth and inviting.

Mouthfeel: Decent amount of carbonation for a PA. Silky-smooth easy to drink

Overall: This beer has a flavor of no other pale ale, It is very approachable and has great flavor, making me yearn for another.

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Photo of Hoopster4hire
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured out of a bottle into a pint glass

Burnt orange/dark gold appearance with minimal lacing

Strong aroma of pine, grapefruit and hawaiian sweet bread

EXCEPTIONAL! Nice blend of hops, citrus and malt intertwined into a highly drinkable beer. Hop flavor is present, but notoverpowering. Citrus and fruit flavor is what shines here. Pineapple, papaya, guava and grapefruit at the forefront. Just enough malt to balance everything out

Great carbonation that lead to a crazily drinkable beer.

Not your typical pale ale but a great change of pace or fun and sunshine beer

Highly recommend

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Photo of leokbelo
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this one while on vacation at Florida's west coast (was able to bring some back home!).
Pours a lively copper, with a nice inch head, that dissipates into a niche half inch lacing. Right away you get a lot of hops on the nose, its bouquet is quite something. Piney and citrusy, made me think of Passion Fruit. Sweet and malty on the tongue, with a very moderate hop bitterness. Again, Passion Fruit!
Extremely drinkable.
This is one great American Pale Ale! Funny thing was that at first, before tasting it, it makes you think of an IPA, right away. So much hops on the nose, but very moderate on the tongue.
Excellent beer, one that I have never seen around the Miami area, so I'll be sad if I can't find it around here...
HIGHLY recommended!

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Reddish amber, ½” cream colored head, multi-sized bubbles S: Has rich hop aromas, citrus and some malt in the background T: Starts with a burst of creamy maltiness and then is followed by spicy herby hops and finishes with more hop flavors lingering through the finish than hop bitterness. A little lemony citrus from the hop balanced by malt sweetness. F: creamy, medium body, medium carbonation, no astringency. O: With the whiff of hops up front you expect more bitterness but this highlights hop flavors more than bitterness balanced by the malt. Very well done, drinkable, refreshing and repeatable.

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Photo of Ethanol4one
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent balance of hops with rich, if slightly muted and slightly over attenuated malty flavors. I like this beer.

The head looks bottle aged, with those awesome micro bubbles you'll find on Guinness or in a bottle aged Belgian ale that uses Champaign yeast to top it off. I just got served a second, which looked flat, and within 30 second, it's got a head like a Guinness (but tasting nothing like it).

It's deceptive, almost like a big, thin, rice brewed commercial lager but with twice the flavor and punch, or kick in the chops, however you like to think of ABV. Not very hoppy on the nose either, so you still may think you're going to get a basic lager flavor until the malt meets hops toward the back of the mouth.

Compares well to Sam Adams and blows away Shock Top sitting next to it on tap, like a vainglorious David Lee Roth posing next to, say, The Killers. Drifter's Tap handle is pretty cool too, like a clean, cartoonishly retro life saver resting on deck, there for you, in case you need it.

It's all over Florida, so it's there for you if you're lurking around the sunny-rainy "Sunshine" state. Unlike Florida, this beer always appears to deliver.

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Photo of ancientelixir
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With a pint glass it came up with one finger of head that faded fairly quickly. Smells of malt and fruitiness, peaches and apricot, with a slight hop. Clean mouthfeel with good caronation, smooth and drinkable. Tastes like a good pale ale with a decent malt/hop balance. The one thing I did appreciate about this beer was a unique citrusy, peach/apricot flavor that I enjoyed. I will probably buy this again.

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Photo of edfish
4.49/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a pint glass about 1/2 inch head dark golden color, head fades fast, thin lacing.
S-Fantastic! Piney and light citrus. Fills your nose with anticipation!
T-Starts off the same as it smells, not as rich as the smell but good, leads to a light malt taste and finished crisp and dry.
M- Is decent the flavor and carbination are good
O-One of my favorite Pales. The hop character of this beer is its best feature, the smell starts you off just right!

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Photo of wrb357
4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great session pale ale. Looks bright and inviting, smells nice, tastes of more citrus hops than I was expecting. I was expecting a flat hop sort of taste without any bite, while this beer doesn't really have "bite" it is indeed very crisp and fruity. I really enjoyed it, and was pleasantly surprised. Great beer to have a lot of, and has definitely found a place on my "go-to" beer list.

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Photo of NoCurse2012
4.46/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is the "go to" beer of choice. In my opinion, it is the best $7 six pack in the grocery store. Widmer does a great job of producing a high quality beer at an average Joe price. This is the working man's craft beer. Great amber color with just enough bite to remind you that it is a high quality beer, without the sticker shock.

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Photo of Dave128
4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle dated 5-19-11 into a Duvel tulip.

A - Having not read that label or knowing anything about the beer, the pour was surprising. Dark amber in color. As the bottle states, "Anything but pale" Lacing is not too apparent, but it rolls around the glass nicely before slowly trickling down back into the main volume of the beer.

S - sweet crystal malt and american hops. Not too strong on either one.

T - Just about the best tasting APA I've ever had. It is very well if not perfectly balanced. Sweet and caramely up front into a wonderfully grassy hop note. Bitterness was not over the top as I was dreading with most APA's these days.

M - Great for the style. closer to medium bodied than light. Great level of carbonation.

O - A very surprising beer for me, starting from the pour all the way to the last sips. I was expecting an average overhopped APA, but I thoroughly enjoyed this not so pale pale ale.

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Photo of hopman333
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sometimes I want an APA with alot of Hop flavor and not alot of IBU's , well this is it folks. This Brew hits the nail on the head.

The appearance is a very deep copper color with an almost reddish hue. And a very beige 1 and 1/2 inch head / lacing that lasts for quite sometime.

The smell is a very welcoming fruity and floral Hop blast along with some very rich malt scents to counterbalance the hops. Very very appealing aroma. It almost reminds me of juicy fruit gum.

The taste starts of with a decent amount of bitterness which in turn slides into the fruitiness of the hops balanced by a very nice malty profile that brings a totally balanced feel to this beer. One does not overpower the other, a great balance of malt and hop flavor married together make this a superb brew.

Now I know some of you Hopheads, ( I'm one too ) are going too say it's not bitter enough, but this is an immensely drinkable beer that is extemely enjoyable to drink, in other words, drinkability is off the charts with this one yet it never gets boring. This is a great session beer without blowing up youre pallette with IBU's. Do not let the Widmer Bros label fool you, this is one hell of a pale ale that you should definately try. And this is coming from a guy that loves Stone, Three Floyd's, Bells Ect Ect !!! If you see this on sale as I did ( $ 6.49 a sixer ) definately pick one up, you will not be dissapointed. Over all a wonderful Pale ale.

Just trust me on this one fellow B'as, this brew Fu$%# rocks....

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

On-tap at the Rays game, at Tropicana Field.

A - Pours a rich, deep amber hue with a generous white head and copious lace (on the Tropicana Field cup.)

S - It smells of great tropical hoppiness, citrus, tangerine, pineapple, mango, lemon, some caramel as well. Fantastic.

T - The flavor is everything I want in an APA (although on the sweet-ish side): heavily fruity hop notes including essences of grapefruit, coconut, pineapple, mango, and with a slightly piney finish. Outstanding.

M - This part is a bit underperforming, but only relative to the rest of its strengths; it just doesn't have the substantive feel that I want, but it has proper carbonation and relative weight.

D - This is very good stuff, unjustly maligned or underappreciated. Every time I've had it on-tap, I've been very pleased.

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Photo of olmatty
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-Pours a low, off-white head with minimal lacing and moderate retention, beer is a deep brown/red copper.

Smell-Very citrusy hops, strong nose of tangerine.

Taste-Citrus hops come in early and dominate throughout without overwhelming. A delicious and unique hops painted over a middling backdrop of amber malts and not much changes along the way.

Mouthfeel- Moderate body and carbonation.

Drinkability-Smooth and flavorful, medium bodied. An excellent session if a touch high ABV for one.

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Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 406 ratings.