1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Drifter Pale Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

936 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 936
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 22
Gots: 27 | 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:
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

(Beer added by: madtappers on 12-23-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Drifter Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 936 | Reviews: 406 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tiermeister
4.5/5  rDev +20%

Tiermeister, Jul 03, 2012
Photo of ancientelixir
4.5/5  rDev +20%
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.

ancientelixir, May 25, 2009
Photo of cycoduck
4.5/5  rDev +20%

cycoduck, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of BeerMeBrah
4.5/5  rDev +20%

BeerMeBrah, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of wrb357
4.47/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

wrb357, May 23, 2011
Photo of edfish
4.47/5  rDev +19.2%
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!

edfish, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of NoCurse2012
4.46/5  rDev +18.9%
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.

NoCurse2012, Nov 10, 2012
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.

ktrillionaire, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of olmatty
4.43/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

olmatty, May 01, 2009
Photo of yesyouam
4.43/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

yesyouam, Oct 08, 2012
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....

hopman333, May 14, 2011
Photo of RobH
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
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!

RobH, Jan 11, 2009
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.

hoplover82, May 22, 2009
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

RonaldTheriot, May 24, 2011
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.

KarlHungus, Feb 13, 2009
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.

biglobo8971, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of canucklehead
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.

canucklehead, Sep 16, 2011
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.

Kromes, May 30, 2009
Photo of mattkoon
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.

mattkoon, Mar 16, 2011
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.

OBeerMeGreatOne, Sep 12, 2011
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.

djeucalyptus, Feb 13, 2009
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.

climax, Mar 07, 2009
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.

keeganfrank, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of hopsolutely
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...

hopsolutely, Dec 25, 2011
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

mtrentm, Mar 08, 2009
Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 936 ratings.