Feb 13, 2009

Widmer Brothers Drifter Pale Ale

Beer Label: Widmer Brothers Drifter Pale Ale

Widmer Brothers decided to bring out of retirement this pale ale that was shelved back in 2007. Before I even get into the tasting notes, I’ll tell you right now, I’m damned glad they did. Drifter Pale Ale is one of the best, if not THE best, pale ale I’ve ever consumed.

Let me clarify that a bit.

Pale ale isn’t one of my favorite styles of beer, but I have enjoyed my fair share in the warmer months. Flying Dog, Anchor, Sierre Nevada and Stone are just a few of the breweries whose pale ales I’ve consumed over the years, but Widmer Brother’s Drifter is a refreshing take on the style. The brewery’s interpretation of the pale ale is driven by the use of Summit hops in the recipe. I don’t know enough about that hop variety to delve further into it, but I can tell you that it certainly adds a certain something special to the beer.


Drifter pours copper in color with a decent, full head that faded slowly to a decent lacing.


It’s definitely one of the more aromatic pale ales I’ve had. The hops are right there in the front, but not too demanding as wonderful citrus notes are there as well. There’s a subtle sweet maltiness, as well.


This is a pretty well balanced beer. Bold, yet not overbearing, hops and citrus are followed by a decent malt presence to create a rich, refreshing beer. There’s a wonderful, yet mild bitter bite in the finish. It’s a very clean and fresh tasting brew.


The three samples that came in the mail were not nearly enough to satiate. The Drifter is one hell of a beer that’s incredibly drinkable and smooth with just enough depth and complexity. My refrigerator will most certainly be stocked with this one in the coming months as the weather warms.

Rating: 4.5/5

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