Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Drifter Pale Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

406 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 406
Hads: 956
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 23
Gots: 36 | 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 (77) | 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: 956
Photo of EternityofNight
3.94/5  rDev +4%
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. (297 characters)

Photo of geomedic
4.92/5  rDev +29.8%
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. (1,004 characters)

Photo of badmoonrison
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (265 characters)

Photo of Messiahbolical
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (2,358 characters)

Photo of B-Rad
2.53/5  rDev -33.2%
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. (492 characters)

Photo of helloglob
3.41/5  rDev -10%
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. (685 characters)

Photo of ColdBrains
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (535 characters)

Photo of ttam281
1.8/5  rDev -52.5%
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. (554 characters)

Photo of beernut0875
4.52/5  rDev +19.3%
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. (540 characters)

Photo of jonbad19
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (677 characters)

Photo of jdc8d8
4.65/5  rDev +22.7%
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. (321 characters)

Photo of theperfectGF
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (305 characters)

Photo of Immolation
1.12/5  rDev -70.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Wow, This is a Horrible Beer.It tastes like it was Fermented in Dirty Socks,with Body Order added for Flavor.The Date on the side says Feb 10 09.I don't know if thats the "Born on Date" or "Expiration Date".? Widmer Dropped the ball on this one.I liked everything else they produced. (283 characters)

Photo of fcarreras
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Disclaimer - I was recovering from a cold when I tried this.

Had this beer on tap at Cadillac Ranch in Tempe, AZ. This was the closest place I could find that was already carrying it, but the place is not my favorite.

Hard to judge the color as the bar was dark and lit with red mood lighting. There was virtually no head, and very little carbonation detected.

The aroma was very distinctly grapefruit, as was much of the flavor. Again, I was still a bit congested drinking this.

The taste was refreshing and clean. Very little maltiness to balance out the citrus hoppiness. Aftertaste very reminiscent of grapefruit juice. Finish had a bit of a drying effect (think tart lemonade), so not really a thirst-quencher, but a solid refreshing beer none the less.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer very much (four times over). I look forward to trying it out of the bottle at home. (876 characters)

Photo of mweinrich
3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Has a really nice aftertaste, and "after-fragrance", but not all jasmine-tea flowery (the way regular Bud is). Doesn't have much head, but I don't suppose it's meant to--and I HATE excessive, "show-off-y" head anyway! Wouldn't hurt if the hops were slightly more bitter, but I don't mean that as a criticism; the ale's compatible with its own type. (348 characters)

Photo of lofsoc
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The smell of this beer is really attractive. I generally hesitate buying beer from the left coast(being from the right) but wanted to try a number of new ales. I'm glad I did. I have many friends who, despite my best efforts, drink right from the bottle. Shame on them as they would be missing a great asset of this brew. (321 characters)

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