Drifter Pale Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

954 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 954
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.37%
Wants: 22
Gots: 35 | 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

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

hops:
Bittering: Alchemy
Aroma: Summit, Nelson Sauvin
Dry Hopped: Summit, Nelson Sauvin
View: Beers (73) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 954 | Reviews: 406
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.52/5  rDev +20.9%
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...

Photo of michaelgrant1983
4.52/5  rDev +20.9%
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.

Photo of beernut0875
4.52/5  rDev +20.9%
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.

Photo of Hoopster4hire
4.52/5  rDev +20.9%
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

Photo of leokbelo
4.52/5  rDev +20.9%
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!

Photo of Ethanol4one
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

Photo of ancientelixir
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

Photo of edfish
4.49/5  rDev +20.1%
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!

Photo of wrb357
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

Photo of NoCurse2012
4.46/5  rDev +19.3%
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.

Photo of Dave128
4.43/5  rDev +18.4%
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.

Photo of hopman333
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
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....

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
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.

Photo of olmatty
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
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.

Photo of yesyouam
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Widmer Brothers Drifter Pale Ale is a very clear, sparkling, amber ale with a soft, thin, off white head that leaves nice lacing. It has a fresh hop aroma, like pine trees, sweet caramel and a light toastiness. It's pretty light bodied and very smooth with a clean, dry finish. It has a lightly bitter, grassy, floral flavor. It tastes very tea like; very herbal. It's very refreshing. It's clean, but not weak. It's very drinkable.

Photo of hoplover82
4.4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a clear deep amber-tinted golden color with a creamy medium off white head that has pretty good retention and leaves very good lacing all the way down the glass.

S-Right away I get very citrusy lemon and orange hops, and maybe a sweet hint of grapefruit. Very very nice. No real malt aroma. Which is fine with me.

T-The flavor of the Summit hops are sooo nice. It's like ... lemon juicy hops and a little sweet pale malts and slightly bitter. The bitterness is there but it's so clean and soft. It's nice.

M-Has a solid medium body with a sweet malt backbone that coats the mouth very well. Well balanced beer indeed. But the hops shine in this offering from Widmer. My favorite thus far. Their two new ones are soooo good. They are really stepping up their game. I'm excited to see what they will offer in the future.

D-This I could session all night long. Very drinkable. Please go out and get a sixer of this bad boy. You wont be dissapionted.

Photo of RobH
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. brown bottle

Sample bottle obtained via area Widmer rep. I'm not generally an APA fan, but having been told this one has unique hop characteristics, I was anxious to try it.

A: Lovely copper color with a two finger off-white head leaving nice lacing as I drink it.

S: Hops fruit comes through on the nose. Different and pleasant.

T: This is certainly a hops-forward beer, but the hops neither bite/rip the tongue nor plaster it with bitterness. Definitely the citrus flavors shine through and envelop the character. Seems very drinkable thus far.

M: Smooth. Nice carbonation but not overly bubbly. Just right it seems. Yes, I am enjoying this beer very much!

Drinkability: Indeed, a highly quaffable brew. Worthy of the high scores it seems to be generating out of the chute. Well done and looking forward to this beer hitting the east coast soon!

Photo of KarlHungus
4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear bright ruby color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is of floral hops, tea, hints of citrus. It is very nuanced. The taste leans towards the hops, but it is quite balanced. Tea, flowers, cirtus, and nice caramel notes throughout. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation, and a smooth texture. Overall, this is a very good APA. I was really not expecting something this good from Widmer Brothers so kudos to them. I will certainly drink this again.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drifter Pale Ale has a creamy, off-white head, which would probably be thick and fluff,y had the barmaid poured it in a manner to build such a head (this was on draft). Lots of thick lacing rings are left down the pint glass. The aroma is initially almost nil, but as one drinks down the glass, the citrus and pine really show out. The taste is pleasantly hop forward, with strong citrus and piney aspects. Some say it has grapefruit taste in it, but I’m not sure I found that. There is a good bitter aftertaste with this. Mouthfeel is medium, and Drifter Pale Ale finishes mostly dry and has a relatively crisp finish. Overall, this is a very enjoyable and delicious beer. RJT

Photo of biglobo8971
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had this on tap at a bar that I wasnt expecting to get a good beer from. It took some time to convince the bartender not to keep pouring it into frozen pints, once I got him to pour it in the same glass that I ordered my original from, I really started to enjoy this beer.
Pours a very orange amber color with a nice inch and a half head with lacing present the whole glass. Very pleasant taste, nice faint bitter hoppiness with a well balanced blend of malt and caramel. The taste is enjoyable from the beginning to the end of each sip.
Would definitely order this beer again. Probably wont seek it out, but will not have any issue of buying it in the future.

Photo of canucklehead
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Seems like Widmer has been stepping their game up the last few years and this is a great example of how they got it right in making an APA. The hops are there but so well melded into the malt profile that you want another one before you have finished the first. I really see this beer developing into a PNW classic like Deschutes Mirror Pond . Complex yet drinkable to the tenth degree.

Photo of keeganfrank
4.34/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Galvin's in Georgetown, KY. Didn't see it being poured, but arrived with little head. Much of the glass was covered with lacing as I drank it, though. Beer is a transparent copper, way more transparent than ale usually is. Smells just like sweet grapefruit. Tastes just like sweet grapefruit. So much so that I can't even bring myself to find other flavors or scents. Drifter is very crisp and satisfying to drink, I could have had two or three more pints.

Photo of Kromes
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber with thick off-white head. Good lacing down glass. Smells like sweet grapefruit hops. Smells great, but kind of one dimensional. A nice blend of citrus, fruity grapefruit hops and toasted malt. Mouthfeel is a little thick and full for a pale ale but good. Great drinkability, could drink these all day.

Photo of mattkoon
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer was a very very pleasant surprise. The color is a beautiful golden brown. The smell is of grapefruit and floral citrus. The taste of drifter is a very interesting grapefruit combined with complex piney florals. All of this flavor is surprisingly smooth and drinkable. This was the first time I have ever had drifter pale ale but it won't be the last.

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a surprisingly rich bold amber hue with hints of gold and ruby. A strong one-finger head of an eggshell color erupts seemingly from nowhere and has impressive retention, deflating to a foamy cap leaving impressive spongy lacing down the glass.

strong citrus hop aroma with green, floral and herbal notes. almost reminds me of simcoe hops... I suppose it's the summit hops? vanilla, cakey malt... rich and slightly sweet. Smells intoxicating.

Taste is delciously hoppy with that same cakey malt... almost banana bread and vanilla muffin malt backbone, with some amazing grapefruit and herbal hop notes. a light but delicious clean bitterness. Deliciously bright juicy citrus hop profile without being overly hoppy - the pale and caramel malts balance almost perfectly, yielding something not all that far from perfect, and more citrusy and vibrant than your average APA.

mouthfeel is smooth, a touch thick for the style, fairly creamy with ample carbonation. Truly enjoyable to drink, it goes down smoothly and has just enough crispness and light drying to keep things feeling light and uplifting.

I'm sold. this may be my apa/ipa six-pack choice for a while. Enjoyable on all levels, with enough character and pop to make each sip enjoyable. definitely one of my favorite recent bottled offerings from Widmer (by a long shot, actually). Definitely worth a try if you have any appreciation for balanced hopping what-so-ever.

Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 954 ratings.