One of the awesome things about the OBC is how connected we are to the brewing community at large in Portland. Many brewers got their start and encouragement from there, and more than a few businesses benefit from the word of mouth that we provide. Often members can be found volunteering at festivals (something I hope to do more of this year) and doing community outreach in the form of public brewing demos.
It goes both ways I’m happy to say. Tonight the gracious people of Widmer brewing brought us some of their soon-to-be-released Drifter pale ale. I am thrilled to say I got a chance to sample it.
My impressions should be regarded with just a touch of salt; I got a proper taste, but not a full bottle of this beer, so your experience may vary. I also was lucky enough to abscond with a press release profiling the beer, so I can provide more details than I might be able to ordinarily.
First, my impressions; the nose on this beer is heavy tangerine. I don’t know where that comes from because I’ve smelled citrus, usually in the form of grapefruit, but nothing like this. This flavor amped up the beer; I don’t want to say it reached IPA levels of bitterness, but it was much more complex than your average pale ale, in my opinion. I liked this beer a lot, and hope that it’s a success just so I can see it again.
The press release says that it was bittered with Alchemy hops, which I’ve never heard of before, then Summit and Nelson Sauvin hops for aroma and dry hopping. American Ale yeast was used, and the malts to form the base were Pale, Caramel 20-L, CaraVienne 20-L, Caramel 80-L and Carapils.
Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of Alchemy or Nelson Sauvin hops or CaraVienne 20-L malt before, which makes this beer all the more interesting to me. If you like beer I say try it, and if you like pale ales or IPAs at all I say it’s a must. It walks that fuzzy line between the two styles and is fun to get lost in.