PORTLAND, Ore. – Drifter is back! Widmer Brothers Brewing is bringing back an old favorite, award-winning Drifter Pale Ale, which is now available in six and 12-packs of 12oz bottles as well as on draft.
The story of Drifter’s origins dates back to the innovative “W Series,” Widmer Brothers’ yearly experimental series of the mid-2000s. When the Widmer Brothers brewing team first started brewing with Summit hops as part of the series, they created a pale dubbed Brewmasters’ Pale that won a silver medal in the American-Style Pale Ale Category of the 2006 Great American Beer Festival (GABF). At the time, popular examples of the pale ale style were brewed primarily with Cascade hops, but “Brewmasters’ Pale” showcased Summit hops, a relatively new hop varietal at the time known for delicate undertones of tangerine, mandarin orange and grapefruit.
In 2009, the beer originally known as Brewmasters’ Pale, joined the year-round lineup as Drifter Pale Ale – fast becoming a favorite and one of Widmer Brothers’ most popular beers from Oregon to Florida.
“Like Widmer Brothers, Drifter has quite the tale of experimentation and innovation,” said brewer Joe Casey, who helped develop the original version of Drifter Pale Ale. “Rob and Kurt always push the boundaries of beer, and often zigged when others zagged. That was also the case here with the use of Summit hops and Drifter,” he added.
Despite its popularity, Widmer Brothers retired the beer in 2013 to pave the way for Alchemy Pale Ale, but fans made their voices heard in the ensuing years about their love of Drifter, and now Widmer Brothers is answering that demand by bring Drifter Pale Ale back as its new summer seasonal.
“We really felt that Drifter was unlike any other pale ale when it was first released,” said founder Rob Widmer. “The beer perfectly balances Summit’s unique hop profile that beer drinkers love without the lingering bitterness,” he added.
The latest version of Drifter will be instantly recognizable to its fans, says current brewmaster Tom Bleigh.
“When we first talked about bringing this beer back, we wanted to remain true to the original’s signature hop qualities,” said Tom Bleigh, Widmer Brothers’ innovation brewmaster. “The result is a smooth, citrusy pale ale with the signature Drifter hop profile using those distinctive Summit hops – something Drifter fans will immediately recognize.”
To celebrate the return of the beloved beer, Widmer Brothers will host Drifter Days May 1-4 at its north Portland pub. Fans can expect festive Drifter-themed food pairings, Widmer Brothers swag giveaways and throwback pricing—3$/pint. The special pricing, an ode to the beer’s inception, will be available Monday through Wednesday during open hours at the pub, and culminate Thursday from 4-6pm.
In Portland, Henry’s Tavern (4-6pm on May 1), Dave and Busters (4-6pm on May 2), and Nob Hill Bar & Grill (4-6pm on May 3) will have special pricing on Drifter Pale Ale and Widmer Brothers swag giveaways.
For more information on Widmer Brothers Brewing, visit widmerbrothers.com, or keep up with the latest Widmer Brothers happenings on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About Drifter Pale Ale
Drifter Pale Ale, a fan favorite since its first inception in 2007, started as an experimental beer that grew to become one of Widmer Brothers’ most popular beers. After a three years hiatus, Widmer Brothers brought back Drifter with the same signature Summit hops, resulting in a citrusy, easy-drinking pale ale.
- MALTS: 2-row pale and caramel
- HOPS: Summit, Alchemy, Nelson Sauvin, Chinook
- OG: 14 P
- AE: 3.2 P
- ABV: 5.6%
- Color: 20 SRM
- IBU: 50
About Widmer Brothers Brewing
Widmer Brothers Brewing helped create the Pacific Northwest craft beer movement in 1984 when founders Kurt and Rob Widmer, then in their 20s, began brewing unique interpretations of traditional German beer styles. In 1986, Widmer Brothers Brewing introduced the original American-style Hefeweizen, which elevated the brewery to national acclaim. Since then, the brewery’s iconic Hefe has grown to become Oregon’s favorite craft beer. For more than three decades, Widmer Brothers has continued to push the boundaries of craft beer. Based in Portland, Oregon, the brewery currently brews a variety of beers including Hefe, Upheaval IPA, Steel Bridge Porter, Drop Top Amber, PDX Pils, and a full seasonal lineup. Additionally, the brewery continues to make a series of limited edition, small-batch beers available in Oregon and at the Widmer Brothers Pub in North Portland. For more information about Widmer Brothers Brewing, visit www.widmerbrothers.com.