The Folks at Widmer Brothers Brewing and the Craft Brewers Alliance were kind enough to send me some advanced samples of their new pale ale — which is currently available on draft an in 6 packs in select West Coast states and will be available here on the right side of the country by mid-April — called Drifter Pale Ale. I’m not going to say that it’s the single best pale ale I’ve ever had but it’s definitely one of the best pale ales I’ve ever had. According to the press release accompanying the samples,
“We crafted Drifter to make waves in the category and provide beer lovers with a new pale ale experience,” said Kurt Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Brothers Brewing. “Most pale ales are brewed with Cascade hops. Ours is truly an original, made with Summit hops known for their delicate flavor and undertones of tangerine, mandarin orange and grapefruit.”
Again, I don’t know if I would go as far as saying that this was the best pale ale I’ve ever tasted but I will definitely say its the best smelling pale ale I’ve ever had. The aromas of grapefruit and tangerine are truly awesome. The best part though, is that while the great citrus aromas come through in Drifter’s taste as well, they’re not alone or overpowering. But rather, the grapefruit taste is complemented very nicely by a sharp hop bite and a decent malt character to blend and meld everything together perfectly.
Drifter Pale Ale pulls up with a nice, easy-drinking but not wussy 5.7% ABV and 32 IBUs. Assuming Maine is on the Mid-April state distribution list, I think I’ve found my summertime go-to beer!
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