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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
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Ratings: 901 | Reviews: 406 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of hoplover82


4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2009 05:10:04 | More by hoplover82
Photo of hopman333


4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
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....

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 20:08:57 | More by hopman333
Photo of KarlHungus


4.38/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2009 23:32:55 | More by KarlHungus
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 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 canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 00:59:04 | More by canucklehead
Photo of Kromes


4.35/5  rDev +16%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2009 00:02:55 | More by Kromes
Photo of mattkoon

South Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +16%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 22:37:13 | More by mattkoon
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne


4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper with a small, off-white head. Not much lace.

The smell is caramel and ruby red grapefruit forward. Pale malts and grass follow.

Pale malts and slight grapefruit start the taste, earth and a hint of caramel follow. The is more citrus in the aftertaste. Very well balanced. Goes down super smooth.

Great pale ale. I'll certainly pay my roommate for the one I stole. Mmm.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2011 07:47:22 | More by OBeerMeGreatOne
Photo of mjryan


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

Nice clear copper colour with no head to speak of (none of the beers at the bar were pouring with much head, so Ill put that on them and not the brewer). Hoppy, tropical fruit aroma. Tangerines, nectarines and the like. Sweet caramel malt aroma in the finish. Flavour is great, lots of fruity hops and a nice caramel sweetness, not overly sweet as to be cloying though. Bitterness is very understated and smooth, its there but doesnt bite if you know what I mean. Pretty light bodied for a beer of 5.7 % ABV. Carbonation is medium. This one falls somewhere between an APA and an IPA. Its to strong and hoppy to be an APA but just not aggressive enough to be an IPA. I really like this beer and hope that Widmer sends some bottles my way.

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2009 20:08:50 | More by mjryan
Photo of djeucalyptus


4.33/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2009 18:08:00 | More by djeucalyptus
Photo of RJLarse


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

I bought a six-pack of the new Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a deep copper color and is clear. A tight creamy off-white head forms, and is fairly resilient. Curtains of lace are left on the glass.

The smell is strong, sweet and fruity. There is an evergreen (pine or juniper) scent and some citurs aromas.

The taste is very good. Citrus (grapefruit) flavors, with a little sweet malt along side. There is a mildly bitter hop finish. A complex and interesting taste.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean.

This is a very drinkable beer. A nice multi-dimensional pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2009 01:13:26 | More by RJLarse
Photo of climax


4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

poured a copper color with excellent clarity, a finger of even head never quite disappeared and left some sticky lace

real refreshing nose on this one. strong sharp citrus and pine, a bit floral as well. sweet malt occupies the background. IPAish

taste is an extension of the nose...which is a good thing. spicey pine and citrus. a nice malty finish

mouthfeel is a crisp and clean, quite a bit of carbonation, somewhat dry and sticky aftertaste. a bit more body would have made it excellent for it was a bit light

a very drinkable beer. i think this is by far the best selection from widmer brothers.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 02:59:52 | More by climax
Photo of mtrentm


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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Nice amber/bronze color with a 3/4" off-white head that sticks around.

S: Hops...A sweet hop aroma, pine & citrus dominate & i get a faint hint of honey/honeysuckle.

T: The hops lead in with their citrus flavor. Followed with a little spice, but not too bitter. Finishes with that slight honeysuckle flavor. A great example of a west coast pale.

M: Medium-bodied, silky smooth, just the right amount of carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. This will be another go-to APA for me right next to Sierra Nevada

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 20:15:21 | More by mtrentm
Photo of uustal

Rhode Island

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

Distinct grapefruit/citrus aroma. Smooth/rich body with a medium amount of malt. Tastes just as it smells. The grapefruit/citrus flavor is evident, but well done. Nice sweetness. Finishes with a taste of citrus hops. Very good American Pale Ale, although a little light on the hops.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2010 00:28:43 | More by uustal
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 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 paxchristi


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

I go to Portland, OR about twice a year, and whenever I decide to go out, this is the beer that I choose whenever I want a steady night of the same beer. It is dependable, surprisingly complex and flavorful, and I just do not get sick of it. The fruity/citrusy undertones complement the hops well without being overbearing or getting into anything novelty. This is a reliable beer that I will love until the day I die. The ambiance of green Portland is captured in this beer. There will never be another Drifter.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 20:27:31 | More by paxchristi
Photo of hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

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

A new reason to visit Portland!

Beautiful amber colour, clear with orange and red-hued highlights. Aroma of caramelized malts, along with pine, citrus and pineapple highlights. The pineapple in the flavour is stunning, sweet with a pleasantly dry finish.

A very "different" tasting beer which is well-balanced and a true delight to drink. Wish I'd received more than a six pack, and will definitely look forward to tracking down more...

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 22:12:18 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of bump8628


4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright copper with a radiant orange glow. The white head builds high, but falls to a thin wisp of lace. Subtle, but extremely complex and beautiful hop notes, including freshly squeezed grapefruit, lemon drop, melon, peach, and an undertone of pine. Malt is sturdy, but dry with mild caramel and a light graininess. Nice and clean on the back end. I can't believe I'm enjoying a Widmer beer this much, since I haven't been too impressed with their stuff up to this point. But Drifter has an extraordinarily unique, yet understated hop profile that makes it a pleasure. This is my second or third beer brewed with Nelson Sauvin hops and each time I become more enthralled with their delicate, yet uniquely flavorful character.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2011 21:51:37 | More by bump8628
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Widmer- Drifter Pale Ale

A- Deep amber copper brown with a big thick creamy lacing head.
S- Creamy bready malt with a nice sweet grapefruit and citrus hop twang.
T- Solid sweet caramel malt with buttery biscuit and grainy bread malt. Mildly sweet citrus and grapefruit hops never overpower. Finishes off with a nice fresh hoppiness.
M- Very creamy and smooth. Perfect balance of sweetness. Hops appear fresh and juicy.

Overall- Smooth and fresh tasting. Nice balanced Pale Ale. Widmer's best offering!

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2009 22:33:40 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of scottyshades


4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours an opaque/slighty cloudy copper
color. The head is decent, retains ok

S: delicate hop aromas, floral notes. A light
toastyness, with come caramel malt, molasses, and apple?

T: really nicely balanced, hops are present (floral but not really bitter) and the bready malts balance perfectly. Caramel and
light fruit makes an appearance as well.

MF/D: spicy mouthfeel, prickly carbonation, medium/heavy in body for the style

nice surprise after their hefe

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2010 04:02:37 | More by scottyshades
Photo of HardTarget


4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A) Golden amber with a thin halo that laces the glass impressively.

S) Wow. Loaded with grapefruit hops with a Hawaiian Punch element that is very appealing. There is a little sugary base there too that promises not to go all "bitter beer face" on you.This is an IPA smell on an APA.

T) Much more balanced than the nose would have you believe. The balance is toward the hop flavors, but only a mild bitter finish that still gives a sugary malt base that is somewhat cola like.

M) Light body, bubbly without going fizzy, oily finish.

D) Yum. Hope to see this on my local shelves, I plan to get more. This is my favorite Widmer Brothers beer to date.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2009 04:18:42 | More by HardTarget
Photo of loren01


4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear medium orange color, decent head that dissipates farily quick with good lace down the glass.
S: Lots of citrus, herbal scents....smell is great!!
T: Very citrusy with floral and herbal taste in there as well
M: Light to medium bodied goes down real smooth.
D: This is a great session beer, goes down way easy, smell and taste is very nice.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 03:02:16 | More by loren01
Photo of akk101


4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 02:32:59 | More by akk101
Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 901 ratings.