Drifter Pale Ale | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale
Very Good
969 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 969 |  Reviews: 411
Photo of colts9016
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass at 37 degrees.

Appearance: A medium amber color with copper hues. There was a quarter inch ivory head that is foamy. There is some effervescence in the beer. The clarity of the beer is clear and slightly hazy.

Nose: A very nice maltiness with floral with citrus. There is a hint of sweetness and pine on the tail end of the beer.

Taste: A very good malt with floral citrus and a hint of pine. There is a little harsh bitterness in the beer. There is light biscuit, grass, and some sweetness.

Overall: The mouth feel is carbonated and slightly dry. The body of the beer is medium and the finish is bitter and a tad dry. I was rather surprised by this beer, this is a descent APA. It is a little harsh around the edges, but overall I enjoyed it.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.42/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 04/03/2009 (Bottle dated Jan2109):

Pours a clear brownish red color body with a small off-white head, quickly diminishing. Aroma is dry grapefruit. Some bitterness too. But pretty weak overall. Somewhat watery dry taste. Some malty nuttiness. Some hoppy bitterness. Weak bland taste.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.29/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

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Photo of Beernoisseur
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a hopstrong brew. It's surprising that it's only 32 IBUs as another reviewer mentioned. Tons of grapefruit, a little pine, and a good healthy amount of bready malt. This is an excellent APA. Dark bronze amber. Nice head, spotty lacing. The drinkability is good, along with the mouthfeel. I was not expecting this level of goodness from this little gem.

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Photo of whoneeds8
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass golden amber with a nice one finger white head. Very good lacing all the way down the glass. Smell is a nice light floral hops scent. Very faint for a apa. The taste is a light hop bite with a malted balance. Flavor isn't too strong, but it's not missing either.

Overall, this is a very good average APA that I think the average non-BA beer drinker will like alot. I would have no problem ordering this at a bar if offered.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Chimay glass. This has a dark reddish amber color, with only a very slight head. The aroma is excellent, with a bouquet of resinous, new-turned-earth hops. Surprisingly, for the enormously hoppy aroma, the flavor turns out to be hardly bitter at all. It's got a lot of hop flavor, and a good caramel maltiness, but the taste is more like a moderately sweet amber. Reasonably good, but not expected.

Weird beer--they must have added a huge amount of late-kettle hops after a very light early hopping schedule. It's not a bad beer, but it's vaguely disappointing... I take a whiff of the aroma and expect a nice hoppily bitter beer, but it doesn't ever pay back. I could understand someone else enjoying it a lot.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark amber, with a soft white head, solid lacing.

S: Pink grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, a nice pungent aroma.

T: Rather strong bittersweet malt note, lemon/orange zest, good balance of flavours.

M: Soft body, light carbonation, resiny.

D: A real nice surprise from Widmer, I think I like this one better than Sierra Nevada, well done, certainly worth a purchase at a $7.99 six-pack.

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Photo of ThePeskyDingo
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into a pint glass. yielded nearly no head, but it was a pretty gentle pour. Copper in color.

Smells kind of orangey, with hints of hops.

Tastes smooth, a tad orangey, malty.

Mouthfeel is smooth, light carbonation, medium bodied.

Goes down pretty well, easy to drink overall.

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Photo of woemad
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's for $1.19. (sale price - normally $1.39). Bottled-on date of January 27th, at 3:53 in the afternoon for anyone interested. First Widmer beer I've had in years!

Poured an orangey-coppery color, with 1 ½ inches or so of off-white foam. Moderate amount of lace, and the head was easily agitated back to life once it dropped.

Lightly citrusy hop aroma, along with a toasted bread maltiness. Doesn't smell like a flavor bomb, but it smells nice.

Taste is like the nose. This is a restrained version of the typical west coast pale ale. It's hoppy tasting, but it's dialed back enough to match the malts, which take on a slightly more caramelish flavor than came through the smell.

Mildly coating, oily mouthfeel that matches well with the fairly light body.

Were this beer not knocking on 6%, I'd say it was a great session pale ale. Definitely something I'll be buying more of as the weather warms up, and I just might go grab a sixer of it tonight. I really hope Widmer makes this a regular offering.

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Photo of Immolation
1.12/5  rDev -70.1%
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.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: enticing mix of red, crimson, orange, and yellow mingling together. The rim and base house the lighter pale shades with the darker hues hanging in the middle. Head is safely white in color with a few dabs of soft yellow. The glass housed intermittent strings and blobs of lace nicely, good look overall

S: bursting with a juicy fruit basket of smells: lemons, grapefruits, sweet oranges, and a ring of pineapple, and some pine notes. Subtle candied/honey dipped pine cones, otherwise fruity. The smell is rather delicious!

T: hhmm, no real hop bitterness, no oily residue on the tongue, strange? Smells are deceiving in this sense. Otherwise, the hops have nice initial pop of citrus with floral tea notes. After the sip it houses a clean, dry at times, flavor with a maltiness that is steadfast and even. Sweeter notes round out the flavor profile and make even the flavors. Nothing over the top about this one and pretty well rounded

M: good snap of carbonation rouses the tongue with a mild body. Feels like a good APA

D: easily a all around drinker. Has a nice standing and drinks smooth. I still found the hop flavors a bit timid for what the nose presented...still a winner

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Photo of PDXHops
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery in a shaker pint.

Body is a clear, very light amber. A quick 2 fingers of off-white head that quickly reduces to a thick, creamy skim that sticks around til the end. Decent lacing.

Nice citrusy and fruity hop nose, with a just-right sweet malt and toasted bread accompaniment. Quite tasty. Juicy orange and pineapple hops (in moderation) with a touch of grapefruit. Perfectly balanced by some honey, caramel, bread and nuttiness.

Moderate body and carbonation. Feels pretty smooth. There's some bitterness that attempts to linger, but it's chopped off by some nice toasted breadiness.

Drinkability is off the charts. Great balanced pale ale, and sure to be a summertime staple for me. This beer makes me want to buy a kegerator!

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Photo of Redrover
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap at their Gasthaus in Portland. What a great place!

The beer is bronze with a thick beige head. It has awesome lacing.

The aroma is of citrus and Pine backed with caramel

The taste is very piney and nicely bitter. It may be a bit out of balance but I like it. Citrus taste emerges mid sip. The three hops give it a great kick (Summit, Nelson & Alchemy). I'm not expert enough to know what each hop adds to the flavor and aroma, but the brewer has hit on a good combination.

The mouth is smooth and benefits from great low carbonation and slightly warmer serving temps. Easy drinker.

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

Bought as part of a mixed 6 pack.

This pours from the 12oz bottle(bottled or best by Jan 2109?) a bright clear copper colour with a 1 finger head of foam.

The smell is very hoppy....floral and citrus notes abound. I smell a very faint sweetness here but that was a tough chore to pull it out. I don't think the nose will be the best feature of this brew.

The taste has the hops up front though not as assertive as in the smell. A plus, I think for an APA. Much better presence of malt as well. Good sweet caramel tones with light bread and a touch of earth. Caramel is starting to grow the more I sip. Good. Much closer to being balanced.

Close to medium bodied with a lighter than I expected amount of carbonation, it finishes just slightly bitter. Decent head retention and with some spotted lacing.

Drinkability? On par for the style me thinks. It surely goes down easily enough and is tasty enough. Widmer did a good job with this one.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Drifter pale poured an amber color with a good 1-2 finger foam head. It had some nice webbing on the sides of the glass and retention was moderate.

The smell was good and reminded me of the brrr. It must be the same hop profile coming to mind. Brrr was a great surprise and led me to buy some more Widmer products. I am thinking it is the summit hop which seems so new to the nose. You get grapefruit light aroma.

The taste was light and had a decent malt profile with a light tinge of bitterness. It is listed at 32 ibu's and doesn't make much of a fuss that way. It was lemony on the tongue with that grapefruit and well carbonated. Overall a unique and pretty darn good APA.

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Photo of SirChugsAlot
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice pale ale brought to us by the widmer brothers.

A. Pours a nice burnt copper color with a finger and 1/2 white head that hangs around for a bit

S. Sweet malts and hoppy. with hints of citrus

T. Hoppy and sweet nicely done with Malty finish that makes you want more Also, a hint of nuttiness?

M. Medium body with lower-medium carbonation. goes down smooth and crisp

D. I wish i had a keg of this on tap. well balanced with the hops and malt

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Photo of Dubbercody
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really tasty beer. Nicely hoppy for an APA...has a moderately astringent quality that wipes off your tongue leaving you wanting another drink. Brings a citrus vibe in both the smell and the flavor. This beer can double as both a cold day and a hot day quencher, I think the balance and dance between the hops and malt help make this dualistic appreciation possible.

Probably my new favorite Widmer in a bottle. Thanks Widmer.

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Photo of mtrentm
4.32/5  rDev +15.2%
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

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Photo of jonbad19
3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of rowew
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, standard Widmer embossed bottle. Bottled on date and ABV are clearly marked.

Appearance: A bit more red than I expected from a pale, average head, decent retention.

Smell: Very floral aroma, lots of hops - almost a bubble gum aroma.

Taste: Lots of hops, the same bubble gum flavors and some citrus flowery hops - but almost no bitterness.

Overall impression: Interesting beer - tons of hop flavor and aroma with no bitterness - pretty drinkable. This is a nice gateway hop offering.

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Photo of climax
4.32/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

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Photo of MEsquandoles
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$7.99 6 pack from the grocery store. Bottle Jan28 (5 and a half weeks ago). Apparently this was the Spring Seasonal a few years ago.

See-through dark copper. Great head retention.

Strong hop aroma of citrus and pine.

Tastes like peach cobbler with some mandarin oranges and a little lemon. Unique hop presence and flavours. Very citrusy. Must be those Summit hops. Caramel too.

Must be pretty dry-hopped because there's a strong aroma but not much bitterness.

Thick and silky. Oily.

Unique and worth trying.

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Photo of Docer
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-pack from Fred Meyer.. poured into a tumbler glass.

-Nice amber color.. dark copper.. minimal to no head with slight lacing.

-Great smell.. a very citrusy and piney hop.. with a sweet caramel sent of rich malt.

-Tastes much the same as it smells.. not very bitter, but still is to a slight extent.. with some pine and citrus. Took that dry-hopping to get it i'm sure. Nice malt character and well balanced. I suppose it's the 'well balanced' that doesn't make this an IPA?

-Malty aftertaste and doesn't leave too dry. A bit on the weak side.. so a bit watery.. but it's a pale so... very drinkable and quite good. Would love to see a summit hopped Imperial IPA. Reminds me of the 3-time dry-hopped Workhorse IPA from Laurelwood... but much more mild and store-shelf ready.

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Photo of KeefD
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber color with a one finger head and some light lacing. Aroma has a nice citrus character, mostly orange, some light pine and a certain malty sweetness. Taste is very similar to the nose. Plenty of orange juiciness, bitter grapefruit, and a solid malt backbone. Medium bodied, light carbonation. This is a pretty good pale ale, though it's not an everyday drinker like SN. Very drinkable and enjoyable, though.

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Photo of TexIndy
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got from lonestarbev - many thanks! Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Front label had the bottled on date (Dec 16 08). Cool bottle. It was a hazy orange amber color with tons of carb and good lacing. It had an average off white head that settled into wisps and a collar.

The aroma was good and was citric and pine from the Summit hops. The taste was pretty solid. Starts off strong and then finishes with a good hop bite. Doesn't tear up the tongue so could have a couple per sitting. Good carb in the mouthfeel as well.

Overall, a pretty good beer. Probably the best Widmer that I've had yet. Nice change up in the APA space for me. Not sure I'd buy many six packs but could see grabbing a few singles or having on tap or taking one if offered out of someone else's stash. Recommend.

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Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 969 ratings