Drifter Pale Ale | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

very good
409 Reviews
Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

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

Added by madtappers on 12-23-2008

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Reviews: 409 | Ratings: 963
Photo of Flounder57
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger head that has reduced to a thin layer quickly. The color of the beer is a nice orange amber very similar to an IPA. There are also signs of carbonation coming up through the center of the glass.

Smell: Sweet sweet malts and some nice citrus notes.

Taste: There is a very nice blend of grapefruit and caramel malts. Some biscuit towards the end too. Well balance of hops and malt.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, a little chewy, and medium to high carbonation. Slightly smooth and easy to drink.

Overall: This is actually a good APA that I can see myself drinking from time to time. Will have to thank a buddy for leaving this treat in the fridge. Will have to invite him over more often for Sunday football.

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Photo of droomyster
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very good pale ale. Pours a copper colored body with an off-white head with good retention. Aromas are a bit atypical from what I'd expect from an APA, but I like them: I get a lot of pineapple and grapefruit notes from the hops with caramel maltiness playing a less pronounced role. These flavors define its taste as well, but the caramel malts are more prominent, making for a well-balanced beer. Well done, Widmer.

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Photo of birdypowder
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good example of the APA style with all the right qualities in the right amounts. Well done.

Appearance: Brilliant clear copper in color, capped by a fat finger of off-white foam. Looks the part of an APA. Lacing makes a noble effort.

Smell: Very clean, allowing the fruity/citrusy hops to emerge. Caramel breaks through later.

Taste: Balanced, clean, sweetness not over the top, slight grainy astringency at the end, a bit of a dry finish for style. Medium light to medium bodied.

Overall: Highly drinkable, well made, classic example of style, enjoyable.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: amber and clear with a single finger head nd lots of lace

S: light on the aroma, mostly pine an grapefruit, some malt

T: spicy hops with pine, grapefruit and ginger notes. Not too bitter. Hops are a little lighter than I was hoping for

M: moderate to high carbonation , medium body

Overall: an average pale ale without many memorable aspects to it. Very refreshing for a pale ale

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Photo of TippySelenoid
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

It's coppery and pretty clear with a white head that quickly turns into lace. Leaves a decent lace on the glass.

It smell citrusy and piney.

It tastes very citrusy with some pine notes. It's got a bright flavor. Some malty sweetness but this beer is dominated by citrus hops.

It's medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall this is a great beer for its price. I was leery of it because it's attached to Widmer. But this may be one of the best affordable beers I've had. Very nice.

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

Bottle BB Aug 10, 2011 bought two weeks ago from a selection pack packaged on June 26, 2011 at Happy Harry's, 45th St. Fargo. Only good for a little over a month after packaging, WTF?

A: Clear, amber body. ~1cm white head with light lacing.
S: Malty, caramely, a hint of booze, piney hops with a touch of citrus.
T: More bitter than expected. Some sweet notes but not nearly enough to balance the bitterness. Moderate to strong hop flavours of grapefruit, citrus and a hint of earth and pine.
M: Biting carbonation, lingering bitterness with a slight metallic aftertaste.
O: Fine enough for what it was, but I won't be reaching for it any time soon...

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Photo of Gatch
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep amber with a short, off-white head. Settles quickly.

S - Nice combination of malt and hops. Once the head recedes, malt dominates the nose.

T - Balanced well between piney hops and sugary malt. Slightly roasted character.

M - Good flavors fill the mouth with each sip but the malt can become monotonous and cloying.

A Pale Ale that I could drink every day.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada pint glass.

The color is a clear dark amber with a finger of foamy white head and some thin lacing left on the glass.

The smell is citrus hops with some sweet malt aroma that has some nice balance.

The taste has a spicy hop flavor with more citrus flavor and a little bit of ginger. There is also a bit of a caramel like flavor in the far background.

The feel of this beer is pretty smooth and is easy going down. It has a great drinkable feel with a good amount of carbonation.

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Photo of ronniebruner
4.58/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Widmer has done it again! This is by far the best IPA I have tried in a while. Upon first pour I noticed it smelled sweeter than average IPA. It poured a nice golden color, has minimal foam and carbonation. It has a sweeter taste and great aroma. This is a superb beer.

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Photo of kaseydad
3.27/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Sweet! I getta review after the lil white mouse. I like. Pint glass pour and I am met with a copper/amber colored ale with a beige foamy head. Slight lacing. The aroma has a nice pineapple and grapefruit combo. The grapefruit really starts shining through as it warms. The taste has a mouthfeel of hops and a very light grapefruit aftertaste. Malt backbone is definitely there. Dry and spicy finish. The mouthfeel is very watery which is disappointing....but a lot of carbonation going on too. Overall I was expecting more from this brew and it didn't live up to my high hopes. A nice Pale Ale for those wanting to get into the style though. Just not my cup o' tea.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from BevMo in Sunnyvale, CA.

Pours a brassy orange-amber colour, with a fine, but filmy head of off-white, that sits rather limply and stagnant on the top of the glass. Lacing is excellent, however, leaving leopard-spotted patches down the glass. Overall, it looks a bit flat, but not too bad.

Nose is lightly tropical and fruity, like processed breakfast juice. Mostly orange sweetness, with a touch of something else, perhaps some apricot, a little pineapple and banana. It's a little bit flat and a little pedestrian, and I certainly hoped for more from the NS hops. Oh well.

Taste is also very flat, in fact probably worse than on the nose. Here, there's nothing to back it up either: minimal body, and minimal structure to the hop character, leaving that flat tropical character to coast across the palate rather listlessly. There's little else to provide balance, complexity or even a foil to it genericness.

Quite disappointed in this. Of course, the extra Nelson Sauvin addition raised my hopes, but there wasn't a lot to it. Drinkable in its way, but drinkable in the generic way that most beer is.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Some happy hoppy oils round the nostrils, lemon and pine mostly. They rise above a clear copper penny pool. One finger of suds leaves no lace as it goes. Interesting, the flavor matches the nose save one thing. Although the hoppy nose hints at what to expect, there are no bitter biting hops inside the beverage. Ripe lemon and sweet white sugar crystals add another component to the beer. Light body also offers a hint of syrup and staying power on the tongue.

Really a nice palatable beer that a child could suck down.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the plastic cup in which it was served at 3 in Charlottesville into a pint glass that I'd saved (and rinsed out) from my previous beer. From notes. Reviewed 21 June 2011.

A: Decent head with a clearish amber-gold colour. Vaguely reddish.

S: Good; spicy. Lots of pleasantly fruity-bitter hops. If only it were stronger, it would be exceptional.

T: Not so good. Generic pale ale with a splash of sweet ginger. Spicy-hopped (floral, not bitter) endtaste.

M: Medium. Neutral. More good than bad.

O: It's okay. I guess I like it. I wouldn't recommend one, but I'd have another. Characterised by its 'sweetishness'.

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Photo of atomicbeer
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange-copper-gold with a dense tan head with a yellowish cast. Medium carbonation. Stunning citrusy orange-grapefruit-lemon-passion fruit and pine aroma. Could sniff this one all day. Good malt with pine wood taste. Dryish finish. Exceptional aroma carries the day here.

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Photo of nimrod979
3.66/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Hempen Hill BBQ. This pours a beautiful deep reddish-orange with a small off white head that eventually fades to just a small film lingering on top. Lovely sticky lacing on the side of the glass.
Aroma is citrus hops. Orange and peach aromas.
Taste is very citrusy and a bit hoppy. Nothing too overwhelming with a bit of some earthy and caramel malt to balance and smooth out the beer. Slightly watery. Mild citrusy/floral hops in the finish.
Medium carbonation. Somewhat one dimensional though not boring. I actually thought it was pretty enjoyable and refreshing. I really like the tap handle too!

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Photo of schoolboy
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at one of my favorite stores which sometimes has things older than they should (but I like the proprietor). So the slight skunky funky might be because it was too old.

But still, this is a slightlymaltier and yeastier than it should be, and less hoppy, but that makes it unique.

I need to try this again but I need to be sure that it is freshers.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

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Photo of gpogo
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear amber body with a small cream head. Very lively carbonation.

A- Sweet caramel aroma with a citrusy hop aroma.

T- Very balanced. Nice sweet malt up front followed by a spicy hit of citrus hop bitterness. Quite a bit of hop flavor opposed to just bitterness. Leaves a pleasant caramel beer aftertaste.

M- Medium body, very smooth. Moderate to high carbonation.

D- I find this to be a very pleasant pale ale. Check it out. I wish I had more of these and would consider buying them again. Lots of hop flavor opposed to just bitterness and it is balanced quite nicely.

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Photo of Kiwano
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - orange a little bit opaque with a bit of head that fades out to a thin head after a bit of time

S - yeast and citrus a litle sweetness

T - has some citrus - sweet fruit -- a little bit of yeast

M - slight carbonation

O - not a lot of complexity but nice and refreshing

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Photo of Dave128
4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle dated 5-19-11 into a Duvel tulip.

A - Having not read that label or knowing anything about the beer, the pour was surprising. Dark amber in color. As the bottle states, "Anything but pale" Lacing is not too apparent, but it rolls around the glass nicely before slowly trickling down back into the main volume of the beer.

S - sweet crystal malt and american hops. Not too strong on either one.

T - Just about the best tasting APA I've ever had. It is very well if not perfectly balanced. Sweet and caramely up front into a wonderfully grassy hop note. Bitterness was not over the top as I was dreading with most APA's these days.

M - Great for the style. closer to medium bodied than light. Great level of carbonation.

O - A very surprising beer for me, starting from the pour all the way to the last sips. I was expecting an average overhopped APA, but I thoroughly enjoyed this not so pale pale ale.

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Photo of JDizzle
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Bottle date May,5 2011.

Pours a reddish, copper color that is actually very appealing looking. The head is off white and goes away fairly quickly.

The smell is way better than I imagined. It really smells bigger than it is. The hops hit you right away with a nice sweet malt smell. Great smelling pale ale.

The taste is not as great as the smell. The hops are upfront and the malt comes right in on the finish. A good pale ale, but it won't blow you away.

At 5.7% this beer is kinda like SN Torpedo little brother. It's a great session beer for a hop head that won't disapoint.

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Photo of highTempo
2.69/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - Low carbonation. Has a good medium color for a pale ale - maybe a touch darker orange/brown than average. 1.5 finger head with a gentle pour.

S - The smell has a bit of skunk to it - definitely an odd bitter hop character. There's a little citrus in there but the unpleasant hop is overwhelming it.

T - Starts of nicely with some malty flavor upfront. This dissolves into a 'skunky' hop that matches the aroma.

M - Not a lot of carbonation. It's a smooth, decent, drinkable feel.

Widmer beers vary a good deal in my opinion and this is my least favorite of all of their offerings that I've tried. I'm not sure why it's so popular. If they'd completely change up the hop it might be a nice beer but the hop if pretty forward and pretty off-putting.

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Photo of stercomm
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A - Coppery orange in color, very slight tan head, slight lacing on the glass.

S - Getting some slight malty aweetness combined with a citrusy zest probably more orange, reminds me of the tea Constant Comment.

T - Very nicely balanced, getting the sweetnes from the malt and a very nice orange spiceiness that blends very well together.the finish is like some English Pale Ales, nice and dry leaving you wanting another sip.

M - Light bodied, medium to light carbonation.

D - This is a very refreshing beer, nothing is over the top, everything is balanced into a very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of Bockrules
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a hazy bronze orange with a 1-finger, off-white head. Low carbonation. Head falls apart about half way down the glass.

S - A bit of citrusy hops on a sweet malt background with hints of lemon rind.

T - Sweet malt and lemon zest upfront. Very peppy citrus hops give hints of lemon and grapefruit and are balanced by a light and sweet malt backbone. Flourish of bright hop notes as the beer passes over the back of the tongue transitions to a very dry, slightly lemony finish.

M - Light bodied with moderate carbonation. While normally I prefer my APA's to be thicker, this suites the bright citrusy nature of the beer quite well.

This beer is refreshing. It's light mouthfeel and strong citrus notes make it the perfect beer to reach for after a hot day and it's a refreshing change of pace from the deluge of textbook, less than inspiring pale ales on the market. All in all, a very satisfying brew that I will continue to come back to (Especially if I discover a place to buy it in New Mexico).

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Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 963 ratings.
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