The Optimist
Fort George Brewery + Public House

The OptimistThe Optimist
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American IPA
Ranked #5,703
Ranked #32,848
3.73 | pDev: 10.99%
Fort George Brewery + Public House
Oregon, United States
The OptimistThe Optimist
Notes: A crisp, Clean IPA with floral hints and an upbeat attitude.
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 126 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ilikepaleale
2.91/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz can and canned approx 8 weeks ago
L - Pale golden, slightly opaque
S - bread, bisquit? Not much fruit
T - Malt overpowers the hops
F - meh....not much to talk about

I love the brewery and some of their other offerings but I hate IPA's with a malt-forward taste, which this one has. I would not seek this out again.

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Photo of beertunes
3.19/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz can poured into 14oz teku. Poured a cloudy light orange color with 3/4 inch of white head that had good retention and light lacing.

The aroma had citrus and light pine hop notes upfront, with a very light grain background.

Pretty similar on the tongue, with the malt having a bit more of a presence.

The body was on the light side of medium, and had a semi-dry finish.

Drinkability was fine, no issues.

Overall, a solid and enjoyable brew.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

not as cloudy and dense looking as some of their other hoppy beers i have had recently, but not clear either, a slightly deeper color to it, a great head from the can rising above the rim of the glass and holding on well, and an awesome nose of very fresh northwestern hops, a little less interesting and intriguing to me than say their city of dreams or the recent fields of green were, but appealing nevertheless, and somewhat more classically styled in that regard. some pine, some bitter orange, and lots of resinous oils and richness from the hops swirling around in here, fresh as can be from the can too, tastes brand new to me. i get subtle grapefruit, but not a lot of bitterness there, gin botanicals, and some sweet fleshy orange as well, good balance from the grain but definitely drier in the finish. fuller medium body, long flavor journey, hop linger on the tongue after the swallow, a little green, but really appealing. i dont like it anywhere near as much as city of dreams, which i have been really high on lately, but its another very solid hoppy beer from these guys, who seem to be doing hops as well as anyone right now!

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz can

Pours nearly two fingers of off-white head into my can style glass. Retention is pretty phenomenal, after a few minutes it fell down to about a finger, but has remained there for a long time, with some serious initial lacing. The body is a dark burnt orange, pretty clear considering the dark color. Loads of carbonation coming up, surprising with this glass usually not having much nucleation. Overall looks great so far.

Nose is pretty safe. Citrus is pretty forward, light earthy notes as well. Very faint notes of rich malt, but by no means a sweet smelling IPA. Overall this is a flagship IPA, nothing too crazy.

Definitely more malt forward on the flavor, not too sweet, but very noticeable. Caramel, maybe even honey notes are present. As far as hops go, not too complex – citrus is not as pungent as in the nose, which is actually a good thing here. Other than that, some sharp hops, maybe a hair of dankness. Not bad, I like it more than the nose, but not a huge flavor or complexity bomb.

The mouthfeel is quite nice. Carbonation is about medium, maybe a touch below. Body has some noticeable chew to it, but it drinks very light. Malt sweetness gives character, but doesn’t hit too hard at all, and doesn’t linger. Bitterness is medium and doesn’t linger too much either. Overall a very nice mouthfeel, provides character without compromising drinkability.

As a whole the drinkability is very high here.

The appearance stayed true, and turned out very nice. Lovely thick lacing all the way down the glass. The head hung around in some fashion the entire way down.

Overall a nice beer. The flavor isn’t fancy, but I did start to appreciate the fact that it was drinkable while not being bland.

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Photo of nickster
2.59/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Very trendy, hipsters galore. Staff is not very friendly. Food is fair. Must have a cell phone in order to wait for a table!!! So stupid. The greeter was not willing to walk over to where we were sitting to tell us a table is free.

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Photo of Brennan27
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours orange with a good amount of sediment floating to the bottom. Smells like citrusy hops. The taste is very floral and citrus, most notably orange peel and lemon. The drinkability is very good, not too bitter but not to sweet or boring.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can served in a tulip. 05/07/18.

Pours a moderately hazy amber/orange with a medium head and a lot of very slow carbonation. Smell is nicely piney, slightly floral.

Taste is right on the same lines -- nice balance of sweet and bitter.

Mouthfeel is light and dry. Overall -- it's good.

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Photo of ckornmannn
4.24/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a can into a pint glass. Loads of citrus on the nose. Nice lacy head and good retention. Very citrus hops, a little bit on the dry side. Really well done citrus-y IPA.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked either a 4 or 6 pack of this while camping up in Oregon the first week of August 2017. That one place about 1/2 hour from Hillsboro. Pours a slightly hazy yellow color with 1/3" white head. Has a good hop nose, the ample dry hopping is evident, has a little more something, I dunno complex, exotic, or just simply different, you choose the adjective. There's another plant or flower in here maybe.

Taste, pretty dry malt body, seems to be in the West coast style but with an updated hop regimen because I'm getting some Citra in here. Simcoe is apparent as well, hefty catty bitterness meets dry honey pale malt. Back end pine like forest notes in the mouth feel. Seems to pack some alpha acid strong hops in this one, bitterness is prolly in the 60ibu range.

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Photo of jakecattleco
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can into a tulip glass. Pours vibrant copper with 1+ finger of variable density egg-white head that had moderate retention and left sporadic lacing. Nose is very piney and earthy to start, floral attributes overtake as it warms. Taste follows the nose. Finishes with moderate lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium body with medium carbonation. It's a good beer, but nothing spectacular. Won't repeat.

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Photo of stevoj
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Can from Jerry's market. Right in the ballpark for a NW IPA. Almost sessionable. Good gateway ale. Nothing stands out, nothing detracts. But extremely tasty, and since become one of my favorite IPAs.

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Photo of Hagenmccombs
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

One of my favorite grocery store IPAs. I drank this everyday for a while Delicious balance of sweetness, bitterness, tropical notes, and some pine.
L: Golden orange with white one finger head
S: One of the best smelling IPAs I've ever had. Smells of pineapple, cream of coconut, ginger, Fort George's yeast
T: taste doesn't quite stand up to the aroma, but only because the aroma is so outstanding, Fairly sweet with pine, citrus, hint of tropical pineapple, light malt
F: Medium bodied and on the heavier side for a PNW IPA
O: one of my favorite IPAs when I'm in the mood for pineapple.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.45/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Awesome floral and astringent hops dominating the smell of this one big time! Swirling it around the hops get so astringent smelling I pickup bubblegum notes. Obviously very fresh living in Oregon, I'd expect it to be at this point. If you are a home brewer its pretty much like smelling a bag of high alpha hops. Very crisp and has a nice hop bite with a bready malt and a floral hop bitterness that lingers. It reminds me of Stone IPA in some ways. Just as bitter too. Great IPA, definitely will make a regular.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Rusty russet body that's not quite clear, but doesn't venture into that other field yet either. Off white head starts off decent, settles soon into The Ring and The Skullcap. Decent lacing.

Nose opens with some bright fruits, but settles into a subdued but still present character soon enough. By the time the sips start sliding down, it's an almost peachy/pineapple underpinning that sits like a soft fuzz on the nose.

Flavour is not of the jump out at you variety, but is nice and pleasant. Introduces sweet floral/fruit notes to start, but the middle of the movie brings forth a solid support structure of grainy malt, and the finishing act brings out some hop bitterness.
Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable quaff, though not one that's likely to turn massive heads. Digging it.

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Photo of Skrumpy
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

As always Fort George delivers quality product. Poured 12 oz can into standard pint glass. Golden amber in color, slightly cloudy. Nice 2 finger head with moderate lacing. The aroma is citrus, floral - orange blossom, and malt. The flavor is very good, citrus, fresh grass, and a hint of floral sweetness when you exhale. The bitterness is there in the finish, it's like grapefruit rind. A medium bodied beer with a crisp finish, semi-dry mouthfeel. The hops kick is nice and the maltiness is just right to smooth it out and make it quite drinkable. A great IPA in my opinion.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Can from ABV.

A clear light copper with a dense, white head with good retention and lacing, this looks solid. The nose opens up with a combination of hops and simple syrup; a blend of pineapple, navel oranges and a little grapefruit. There is a sweetness present in the backbone, one that seems to be part of the FG house character. The palate opens with a pleasant bitterness, mildly pith-like with some pine, along with a moderate amount of flavor. Pineapple, citrus and some pine are all present. The mid-palate has some sweetness (similar to honey) along with a bit of medicinal bitterness. Light in body, moderately carbonated, this beer has a lingering grapefruit finish. Apart from the aspirin-like bitterness, this beer is very enjoyable. Recommended.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 FL. OZ. can
Served in an IPA glass

This beer pours a hazy amber color with golden highlights. It is topped with three inches of sticky, beige head that leaves a fair amount of lacing.

It has a big grapefruit nose.

The grapefruit translates to the flavor with a pine finish.

Medium mouthfeel

This is a solid IPA. There is nothing to really make it stand out. It's a good go to beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.71/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Ron for sharing this one at Wowcoolman's tasting.

Pours a hazy golden-orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus fruit, citrus zest, and earth aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus fruit, citrus juice, citrus zest, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with solid citrus forward hop qualities all around.

Serving type: can.

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Photo of aobrehm
4.31/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz can into tulip glass.

L- Yellow-gold color with slight haze. Creamy white head that dissipates but is retained around the edges, leaving significant lace.

S- Beautiful bouquet of hop aroma: pineapple, orange, and slightly floral. Slight biscuitty malt.

T- Crisp citrussy and piney flavor. Hop profile of flavor is less fruity than the aroma would suggest. Clean biscuit and bready malt notes. Bitterness is noticeable but not harsh.

F- Nice body, finishes fairly dry.

O- Fort George makes great IPAs and this is no exception. Great hop complexity, well-supported and not harsh. I could drink a lot of this beer.

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Photo of RichKent
4.31/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Either this is an underrated beer or Ft. George did a better job with it in 2015 than in 2014. I've had it on tap at the brewery several times, and from many 12oz cans as well.

Appearance is a little weak. It pours fairly clear and light gold with minimal head.

Smell is outstanding - citrusy, juicy, tropical.

Taste is more piney than the nose would suggest. It's a little bracing up front when cold, but opens up as it warms a bit in a tulip glass. The taste improves with every sip. After the pine I get orange, tangerine, and grapefruit. The finish is grapefruit pith with a little sap.

Mouth is outstanding. Light, crisp, well carbonated.

The Pacific NW tends to prefer malty IPAs in my limited experience, so perhaps that explains the low score on this excellent beer. If you like malt-forward beer, you won't like this. If you like a beer that showcases the hops and lets the malt take a back seat, this is your beer. If the optimist were brewed in New England or San Diego it would be rated 88 - 90 on BA.

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Photo of Moose90
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz can dated "03/18/15 B#419"

A – Pours a bright yellowy orange, very hazy and LOTS of floaties in the glass. Head is tan and thin but leaves behind great lacing.

S – Smells of orange, lemon, mango, pine, citrus, slightly sweet malt notes.

T – Notes of pine, citrus, orange juice, slightly sweet, overall very pure hop notes.

M – Medium bodied and has a fleeting finish.

O – Great year round IPA here from Fort George, very nice balance and good flavors.

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Photo of Taybeh
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 12 oz. can, 1 month old (muled by my sister from Seattle, "thanks HSB!") into an imperial pint glass

A: gold/light apricot, a little bit of haze, 1 finger of white head that subsides into a thin crown
S: fairly faint for a West Coast IPA... some guava (which is nice and interesting), blueberries, not overly ripe or juicy papaya, some flowery notes that aren't perfumed, and some caramel.
T: Nothing too complex here: the front is fairly non-descript, with some biscuity malts (and maybe even some corn?), then the flowery and hoppy notes hit, though I'm missing the guava and the other fruit I got in the nose...nothing that really has any bite or snap to it, but a gentle bitterness still lingers. I don't think all the parts add up, entirely, but it isn't bad and some of the parts are quite enjoyable.
M: medium carbonation, decent body, fairly dry on the finish.

Overall: Some interesting things here, though at the end of the day, this is in the middle of a crowded field. I liked the guava once I started picking it up, and it has a kind of hoppy restraint and dryness on the finish that remind me a bit of Daisy Cutter. I'll definitely enjoy the rest of these...

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Photo of Floydster
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can

Appearance is a golden yellow, couple inches of white head, medium lacing, good retention with thick bubbles

Smell is great and filled with pine, pineapple, guava, and mangoes, later on there is light caramel too

Taste is similar to the aroma but misses on those tropical fruits, instead it is mostly pine fading into a cereal and grainy finish with lingering bitterness, good balance overall

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, good carbonation, nice balance of bitter and dry with faint malt backtones

This was an impressive IPA from the Northwest, more hop forward than a lot from there that I have tasted in the past which was nice for me

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Photo of GilGarp
4.01/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Canned on 10/2/2014. Served chilled into a goblet.

The Optimist is a pale orange color with lots of little floaties creating considerable haze. The head is thick and has great retention.

Aroma is perhaps a little faded over the last 10 weeks but still has pleasant hoppiness.

Flavor has good depth, not one dimensional at all, with typical west coast and Pacific Northwest character. Pine, citrus, and a little grass all come through.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. Good balance for an IPA and nice depth.

Overall a very good IPA. Maybe not terribly memorable but certainly well constructed.

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Photo of ccrida
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

On draught at The Dugout in Hillsboro, The Optimist is clear gold with a small white head leaving sticky lace.

Smell is earthy, citrus hops, a little soapy. Pretty bright.

Taste is similar, some odd flavors from the hops, a little peanut butter, not as bright citrus. Stemmy. Clean malt. Firm bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light, slippery hop oils.

Drinkablity is fine, light and hoppy, it slides down easily. Something about the hop profile doesn't get me eager for another, however...

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The Optimist from Fort George Brewery + Public House
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 126 ratings