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Drifter Pale Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

901 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 901
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%

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:
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

(Beer added by: madtappers on 12-23-2008)
View: Beers (70) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 901 | Reviews: 406 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of AgentMunky


3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the plastic cup in which it was served at 3 in Charlottesville into a pint glass that I'd saved (and rinsed out) from my previous beer. From notes. Reviewed 21 June 2011.

A: Decent head with a clearish amber-gold colour. Vaguely reddish.

S: Good; spicy. Lots of pleasantly fruity-bitter hops. If only it were stronger, it would be exceptional.

T: Not so good. Generic pale ale with a splash of sweet ginger. Spicy-hopped (floral, not bitter) endtaste.

M: Medium. Neutral. More good than bad.

O: It's okay. I guess I like it. I wouldn't recommend one, but I'd have another. Characterised by its 'sweetishness'.

Serving type: on-tap

10-09-2011 20:09:45 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of nimrod979


3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Hempen Hill BBQ. This pours a beautiful deep reddish-orange with a small off white head that eventually fades to just a small film lingering on top. Lovely sticky lacing on the side of the glass.
Aroma is citrus hops. Orange and peach aromas.
Taste is very citrusy and a bit hoppy. Nothing too overwhelming with a bit of some earthy and caramel malt to balance and smooth out the beer. Slightly watery. Mild citrusy/floral hops in the finish.
Medium carbonation. Somewhat one dimensional though not boring. I actually thought it was pretty enjoyable and refreshing. I really like the tap handle too!

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2011 22:18:46 | More by nimrod979
Photo of biglobo8971


4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-24-2011 21:15:27 | More by biglobo8971
Photo of weller1js

West Virginia

3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

appearance: pours a healthy copper red, moderately carbonated with offwhite foam, leaving similar lacing.

smell: hops are floral and piney, with a light sweetness present in the undertones.

taste: begins clean, light malty undertones yield to a mellow yet floral hop sensation, finishes crisp with a light bittersweetness.

overall: well hopped pale ale, has everything you need in a basic pale ale, very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2011 01:09:18 | More by weller1js
Photo of DrinkingDrake


4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz glass of dark red goodness. Almost no head but a good ring around the glass makes me think it was just the pour. The aroma has a solid amount of caramel and sourdough but that is dominated by a large amount of orange citrus and grapefruit. I was expecting more malt in the flavor but I was overwhelmed with fruity hop flavors. A ton of grapefruit and orange, like the nose, but with a tasty combination of malt and hops that is fruity, tangy and sweet. This went down very smooth because of how tasty it was. Medium/light body with a juicy, thirst quenching finish.

Serving type: on-tap

06-29-2011 00:56:34 | More by DrinkingDrake
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap and served in a pint glass, the beer is a deep, auburn-copper color with a smooth, creamy white head. Decent lacing while you enjoy. The beer has a semi-sweet citrus and caramel aroma, with some floral notes. Light, sweet flavors, with very light spicing. Notes of lemon zest, caramel, and light hops. Peppery and tangy sweet aftertaste, with a spicy and astringent finish. Easy drinker, and great on a hot day.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2011 00:51:34 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of RonaldTheriot


4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
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

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2011 19:58:30 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of soju6


4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Served a deep amber color with a good head and lacing that lasted throughout.

S: Aroma of mild citrus and a nice caramel malt sweetness.

T: Has a nice subtle bitterness throughout with a touch of malt sweetness and a dry finish.

F: Medium body, quite clean and smooth. Very well balanced.

O: Very enjoyable beer, much better than I expected. This is not an in your face kind of beer. Goes down easy and ordered another without hesitation. Well worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2011 20:58:39 | More by soju6
Photo of MaxBrewell

West Virginia

3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on-tap at Madelein's on High Street.

A - Clear, medium, amber. Off-white head that faded rather quickly.

S - Citrus hops and some floral notes blended with some bready malts.

T - Tastes like a ruby grapefruit, which is ok if you like that sort of thing. Bready malts become more apparrent as it warms. A decent Pale Ale.

M - Medium body and carbonation.

D - A very drinkable beer. Initially the grapefruit took me by surprise, but I warmed up to it. I would certainly try this one again, maybe from the bottle next time.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2011 00:02:40 | More by MaxBrewell
Photo of MaltsOfGlory


3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice one finger head, it’s very see through though. The body is amber in color and it has lots of carbonation. It looks like a pale ale, but not quite as thick as I would like, it looks decent though. The smell is nice and hoppy with a little malt sweetness. It doesn’t smell like a weak pale ale at all, it smells legit. Yeah, nice hoppy flavor on the taste. Not too overwhelming, but good and hoppy with a nice malt balance on it. This beer is very drinkable, not too watery though. The mouthfeel could be a little bigger, but it’s not too bad. There really isn’t anything wrong with this beer at all. Overall a good pale ale!

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2011 10:35:01 | More by MaltsOfGlory
Photo of theperfectGF


3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was my first experience with beverages from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company. Had a great grapefruit scent that carried through to the taste. Was crisp with good hop flavor. Nice amber coloring. Easy drinking and very enjoyable, could definitely have a few of these. Will be sure to look for it again.

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2011 17:35:40 | More by theperfectGF
Photo of oldsailor


4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the Brew's Best Craft beer festival this weekend. It was my first taster of the day and was such a good choice. Fruity smell was the first thing I noticed. Crisp feel once it hits your mouth which is a delight on a warm day. Clean taste after you're finished, no lingering after-taste. Overall I would definitely pick this beer up again.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2011 13:32:24 | More by oldsailor
Photo of theboozecruise


3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Front Porch Pub in Houston - served in a shaker pint.

This is the best looking pint of the night... a clear deep reddish color with a pretty impressive head. Not bad at all.

The aroma was a good combo of citrus hops and sweet caramel malts. The blend I look for in a good APA was there, and definitely want to give it a taste.

The flavor is more of the hoppy fruit flavors than the malt, but the malt still comes through as well. The sweeter flavors are there when you swish the beer around in your mouth and the beer rolls over the tip of the tongue. On the swallow, the hops come through even moreso.

A good beer, best one of the night, and one I went back for seconds of.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2011 16:22:49 | More by theboozecruise
Photo of bboelens


3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the pour house, poured into a pint glass.

A-Dark clouded amber, with a medium white head, that left a small amount of lacing.

S-The nose was rather weak for an APA, malts and caramel are the predominate smell with hop and slight citrus bringing up the rear

T-Essentially the same as the nose with a bit more hop bite to it than expected from such a weak nose, but nothing spectacular, the citrus is identified as orange with perhaps a bit of grapefruit. And there's a certain faint yeast taste to the finish.

M-Smooth and well carbonated

D-Overall a very drinkable beer. Not exactly the best example of an APA but still a good beer nonetheless.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2011 05:28:40 | More by bboelens
Photo of EtOHMD


4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Globe in Boston on XMas Eve procrastinating from shopping. This beer is a good diversion. Clear burnt orange color with reddish tints and thin white head. Decent lacing. Smells mainly pine. First sip was bad for some reason but rest was really good and kept getting better. Mild hops, resin, pine up front followed by refreshing mildly spicy (clove) citrus and apple. Excellent taste. Crisp smooth feel. Could go for a few but alas last minute shopping calls.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2010 20:21:13 | More by EtOHMD
Photo of kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at some dive bar in Vancouver, Washington. This was only craft on tap that I hadn't had, so figured I should try it out. This poured an amber-orange colour with thin white head, not too much lacing. Smells very mildly of hops, with some bread and caramel malt. Flavour is a bit bland for a pale ale, but there is nothing off about this. Medium-bodied carbonation. I could see drinking this if it was cheap, but I wouldn't seek this out again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2010 04:07:40 | More by kwjd
Photo of FreshHawk


3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear, radiant pumpkin color with a slightly smaller than average, foamy, bubbly, white head. Decent retention leaving only a thin ring of lace.

S - Sweet orange and grapefruit citrus hops and caramel malt is strongest. Some tea like hops as well. Pretty hoppy aroma for a pale ale, but smells like it will be more sweet than bitter.

T - Follows the nose. Plenty of sweet orange and grapefruit (some tropical fruit as well). This mixes with a pretty strong showing of caramel malt. Some tea like hops and some light biscuit/bready malt in the background. The hops don't provide much bitterness though.

M - Lighter body with average carbonation. A little thin, but really pretty much a typical body for a pale ale.

D - Pretty easy to drink pale ale. Nothing overly special, but I enjoyed drinking it, and wouldn't turn down another one.

Notes: A good level of hops, but not really bitter, much more sweet. Orange, grapefruit, and some tropical fruit along with caramel provide most of the flavor. I enjoyed it, but I don't know if I would search it out.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2010 06:52:05 | More by FreshHawk
Photo of TheKingofWichita

North Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +22.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2010 14:29:00 | More by TheKingofWichita
Photo of AdamBear


2.83/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A-dark amber, impressive cream colored head

S-creamy citrusy hops. medium strength. smells quite pleasant!

T-well first of all i must say there's a unique bitterness throughout the entire experience. its not a completely welcomed bitterness. it hits with a quick shot of citrus. it hardly lasts long enough to get a hold on the taste. the hoppiness is minimal. it then goes in to a tangy creaminess that's very undesirable. the after-taste is of barley...this is probably the best aspect to the taste. I guess you could say its a complex beer...it just doesn't have a good complexity.

M-medium to heavy carbonation with a watery finish

D-it goes down easily due to the lightness but the tastes just are not something you want a lot of.

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2010 03:28:50 | More by AdamBear
Photo of epicness

New York

4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an orange-amber color with a frothy white cap. There was pretty good head retention throughout the tasting with decent lacing from a nice ring and cloud that stayed on the top of the beer.

S - Huge aroma of hoppiness and light caramel malts with traces of some pine.

T - A different taste based on the scent. Surpising. Citrus hops are present in the taste which I didn't find at all in the scent, even after I was tasting the beer. The finish is made up totally of bready and caramel malts. It's a great tasting beer, very flavorful, something I wasn't expecting at all.

M - Low bodied and slightly thin. Low carbonation also. Interesting how there's barely any aftertaste, it just rolls right off the tongue.

D - It's refreshing and sessionable. It's crisp and smooth to drink. Although it's a pale ale, it really has no true bitterness substance to it.

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2010 14:12:37 | More by epicness
Photo of keeganfrank


4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2010 00:16:18 | More by keeganfrank
Photo of ExtraStout


3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thin white head but with good retention and lots of big, popping bubbles, not much lacing. Red copper color just deep enough to hold your gaze and get past transparency, nice fade to burnt orange hues along the rims. Admirable mix of pink and white grapefruit in the nose, floral with chamomile tea notes, spoonful of pine sap, no herbaceous nor ultra-sweet elements, stays within itself and on message, you could sniff it for some time. Medium-bodied, however, most of it is palate pressure and a sense of marching forward rather than flavor. The grapefruit and tangerine citrus starts things off well, after that there's momentary pine, green hay, wet stone aspects. But after that it's evanescence leads to homogeneity. Credibly, the carbonation ratchets it down to fit the body profile. It's drinkable enough for a bottle or two before your mind starts to wander. If the palate could match the nose, that would be something.

Serving type: on-tap

09-11-2010 00:57:16 | More by ExtraStout
Photo of Amalak

New York

3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had off the tap a Barcade in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
A- It has a copper color, basically clear, with a nice head and some lacing.
S- It has a sweet scent, probably caramel.
T- Sure enough, the caramel definitely comes through. It has a hoppy bitterness to it. But I don't know. It lacks a little something. Maybe more of a floral taste would've been nice. The sweet and hops aren't mixing for me. Not bad. I'd like to try again.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2010 21:22:52 | More by Amalak
Photo of gameface23


2.35/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Hazy amber with a silky, creamy off-white head.

S: Slight citrus hops and a heft dosage of caramel malts.

T: The taste starts off with a tongue coating of thick and rich caramel, which becomes ever-so-slightly cut with citrus bitterness, but not to an extent that prevents the beer from being cloying. I really didn't enjoy this. Looking up the malts on Widmer's website, it says, "PALE, CARAMEL 20L, CARAVIENNE 20L, CARAMEL 80L, CARAPILS." The fact that they use three caramel malts doesn't surprise me.

M: Medium bodied

D: I finished it, but moved on to other selections after the first one. Maybe this would be a good beer to have in the fall or winter, but on a hot summer day, I needed something with more bitterness or less caramel.

Serving type: on-tap

07-09-2010 12:49:20 | More by gameface23
Photo of ktrillionaire


4.43/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2010 02:52:33 | More by ktrillionaire
Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 901 ratings.