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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: 958
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 20.63%
Wants: 24
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 (81) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Drifter Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 406 | Hads: 958
Photo of akk101
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz glass poured into pint glass

A - Pours lght orange amber color, minimum head that disapears quickly. Nice simple bottle labeling

S - Refreshing citrus notes

T - Nice citrus hops throughout with a clean finish. Hop presence isn't overbearing

M - Very drinkable but could use some more carbonation

O - Very drinkable pale ale. After drinking the latest christmas/winter offerings it's great to try something opposite. Citrus notes all around but lacks in carbonation

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Photo of raninator84
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap @ Cork & Vine in Dayton Ohio. Drifter is a surprisingly solid pale ale, solid but not amazing. Pours almost amber and darker hue than most PA's I've drank. Smells of hop infused with a bit of a caramel and bitters but the smell is weak. Tastes like a traditional pale ale. Hops aren't overpowering and malt character although not perfectly balanced is present. Overall a solid Pale Ale Session brew.

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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 kjritt
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served from a bottle into a glass.

a. poured a short head with a bit of lacing. slightly murky red orange color. not as attractive as it tastes.

s. average at best. very little hop and the low ibus certainly supports that.

t. not as mild as many many other pale ales i have encountered, and much more character. exciting on the tongue and the back of the mouth. almost fizzy. a very strong pale ale.

m. carbonated and brisk. kind of dances around in the mouth. very exciting.

o. when i first discovered this several months ago, it immediately became my favorite pale ale. with flying dog and bass in the same conversation, it yet remains my favorite.

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Photo of PapaJ
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from mobile tap at the West Bank Summer Solstice Festival in Independence, Oregon, the afternoon of 20 June 2009.

a: clear amber with thin head which quickly subsided
s: hoppy aroma with complex citrus references
t: complex/light mild hop taste with grapefruit finish; distinctive/unique
d: very drinkable, particularly out-of-doors on an Oregon Summer afternoon

Overall I found Widmer Bros. Drifter exhibits a complex/distinctive taste and was very drinkable on tap; I would drink again when offered on tap.

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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 Malt
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is more amber color than the Drop Top Widmer makes. Good lacing(drinking it in a pint glass right now). Minimal carbonation, very thin head and there is hardly any citrus taste to me and my brother(we are rating this as we speak).. My brother says( IT'LL GETCHA DRUNK)!!!! LOL... Anyways we like this better than the other Widmer product... I would definatly buy this one again!!!

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Photo of SSSBR1509
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Apperance - coper like color not hazy at all with a white foamy head
Nose- biscuity on the front and a slight caramel like sweetness almost a apricot or dark fruit note slight pine hop presents and a little grapefruit
Mouthfeel-medium bodied with nice carbonation
Taste- pretty much like the nose but not as muted pretty much a basic pale ale. very nice drink ability
Overall- nice sipping beer wouldn't seek it out but i would drink if offered

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Photo of PDX2LA
4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a nice amber color, but not a whole lot of head. When I initially smelled it I got a ton of fruit. The second time I smelled it, I got a nice bouquet of flowers. As fas as taste, I got a a lot of fruit up front and a nice subtle bitterness on the back end. It had a nice clean finish and no lingering after taste.

Overall, this is a good beer. It is refreshing, easy to drink, and tasty. If it wasn't for the alcohol in this beer, it would be a great replacement for water and soft drinks.

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Photo of tblfan04
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours nice with a copper/brown appearance with a good summer cherry smell to it. with the first taste it has a good crisp almost fruity taste with a decent drinkabilty and I can taste a nice hint of the Hops which is always nice however not the best Pale Ale I have ever had maybe not even in my top 5 but a good pale ale none the less. I might buy it again if Sierra Nevada is not on the shelf

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Photo of purplesugar
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ya know, if this beer had blew me away, I would do the whole ASTMO thing and spend more time on it. But, it WAS a pleasant surprise. I love their spiced ipa, and was skeptical to try this PA (cause I often stick to IPA's), but it was good. Citrus-y.

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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 EVaughan
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - light amber to copper, 1/4" to 1/2" head, only slightly opaque, head dissipates quickly (bad pour?)

Aroma - pleasant citrus aroma

Taste - good malty taste, very subtle citrus and pine taste

Aftertaste - noticeable bitterness, some hoppy/citrus flavors. No astringency. Nice and smooth

Overall - mild bitterness for a pale ale. The malty taste nearly overrides the subtle citrus flavor. Very drinkable but not entirely memorable.

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Photo of Azntaiji
3.36/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought in a six pack, 12 oz bottle. Poured into oversized wine glass.

Pours a beautiful amber with a huge head.

Smells decent and sweet, although nothing that stands out among similar pale ales.

Tasted okay, again nothing astounding. Just tastes like a low IBU pale ale. Very crisp, and very drinkable for a pale ale.

Overall not a beer that stands out among the rest, but a good session ale. I probably won't buy it again though.

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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 EternityofNight
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fizzy beer like this could easily disappoint, but on the contrary, it is a clear winner, with a lively carbonation complementing its lovely fruity aroma and balanced flavor. This is a happy and good natured beer that will offend few and delight many!

PS, at $7.49 for a 6 pack it is also cheap.

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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 badmoonrison
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good pale ale. The "bite" is grapefruity but not too harsh like some. I bought it as part of a sampler pack at my local Hy-Vee liquor store... purely on a whim. Probably mellow enough to enjoy at dinner, yet quite drinkable if you're trying to get a little tipsy.

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Photo of Messiahbolical
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Got this at a local gas station, $7.99 a sixer. The selection there was horrible, like most gas stations, so this caught my eye and I decided to try it.

Appearance: Just about as good as a beer can get. Dark golden amber color, almost brown... looks gorgeous. Moderate amount of carbonation bubbles rising and sticking to the sides of the glass. Head is creamy light tan with lacing down the glass. Looks great.

Smell: Not much to say here. A slight hoppy smell, pine and citrus alike. Smells a lot like marijuana to be quite honest. I like the smell a lot, but I just wish there was more of it. The smell is a bit too faint for my tastes.

Taste: Similar to the smell, however the citrus seem to be the most dominant here by far hop-wise. Not a whole lot of malts going on here that I can tell... there IS a sweet malty backbone that's especially present in the aftertaste, but nothing jumps out at you. The aftertaste is actually one of the best parts of this beer. Makes you want to drink slowly, since it leaves your mouth with a really good taste that lasts for a little while and slowly disappears. All in all, tastes good. Not nearly as bitter as I was expecting(hardly any bitterness at all actually) but really pleasant altogether. I'd label the tastes as somewhat "complex" but not "strong". My only problem with the taste is that at times I wished it was a bit more powerful. It's good, but not great.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light to somewhat medium body with the carbonation bubbles leaving a crisp, clean finish in your mouth. At times the beer can feel TOO light, especially for a pale ale, leaving you craving something with a bit more substance. The good amount of carbonation helps save this beer a bit from it's otherwise weak mouthful.

Drinkability: Couldn't get much higher. The light body does help here, and the alcohol(5.7%) isn't all too high compared to a lot of beers but can catch up to you after drinking enough of it. I'd say this is a damn sessional beer especially for someone like me with a bit of a tolerance. I also have to note that this beer isn't filling at all. It wouldn't be hard to put down a 6 pack of these in one sitting.

All in all, I'd recommend this. It's a pretty good beer. Nothing that'll blow you away or anything, but a great looking, good tasting pale ale with mild biterness and high drinkability.

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Photo of B-Rad
2.53/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I'm not a fan of this ale. I kept getting this tasted of body odor while drinking it. It looked nice in the glass- a pretty amber color with carbon bubbles rising. Interestingly it didn't smell of body odor; it has a sweet hoppy aroma. The mouthfeel was kind of thin. I just cannot get over the body odor flavor to it. I poured it into a glass to let it breathe thinking that the BO like flavor was from bottle skunk but the flavor didn't change much. I would not recommed this ale to anyone.

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Photo of helloglob
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I have a couple 22's of this brew that were gifted to me... my previous experience with widmer was unsatisfying but thought i'd give it another shot.

a: pours a clear amber with pretty decent head retention. a bit lighter than i expected.
s: smells sweet and hoppy. however, not in a pleasing way! the scents seem to contradict each other. i suppose you could say it's balanced?
t: i gotta say... very boring... although i'm not much of a fan of pale ales in general, i think they sweetened up too much. aftertaste is unpleasing.
m: the best part of this beer. it's got a very milky mouthfeel and an overall pleasant relationship with the tongue.
overall: this beer is pretty average.

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Photo of ColdBrains
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours golden yellow, with a two finger, billowing head.

S - Pleasant aromas, with a slight crisp citrus smell. But generally somewhat aromatically challenged.

T - Again, pleasant and quite enjoyable but somewhat unmemorable. Great balance of bitterness. Drinkable.

M - Bit heavy on the carbonation.

O - This beer didn't blow me away or change my drinking worldview. However, it did offer a very pleasant drinking experience. If I found one in my friend's fridge, I'd certainly give it a whirl, but wouldn't purchase one myself.

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Photo of ttam281
1.8/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

I had high hopes for this beer as I love Broken Halo and their hefe. But this on just didn't work out for me. The amount of bitterness is perfect for an american pale ale but the type of hops they used disagrees with my palate 100%. Their website said they used summit, nelson sauvin, and alchemy hops in this beer. I'm assuming its the summit or the Nelson Sauvin hops because I like their IPA and it has alchemy hops in it. Would be a great beer if they used something like cascade instead. But then I guess it'd probably just taste like Sierra Nevada.

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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 jonbad19
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pleasantly surprised to find this kind of output from widmer. I poured it from the bottle into my chalice. The head didn't stick around for that long, the beer had a nice clear, slightly ruby hue. The smells were the highlight of the beer for me, without looking i would guess it was some combo of west coast hops. Very nice. The taste was nice because the hops came through initially but it was a surprisingly balanced pale. The nose prepared me for a near ipa style, but it was nice to have the balance between the hops and the malt. The mouthfeel definitely fit the style, and i felt like i could definitly drink a few more of these upon finishing. Spot on widmer...spot on.

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