In craft beer, no name is set in stone. Funkwerk’s Māori King transformed into Tropic King, Dry Dock Brewing Co.’s Seven Seas became the generically-designated Double IPA, River North’s Hypothesis is now Hoppenberg Uncertainty Principle, and Renegade Brewing Company’s Ryeteous lives on as Redacted. Though the beer inside remains the same, the labels have changed and, for collectors, the original packaging for a renamed beer is a hot item. For those who seek out such keepsakes, move quickly on Odyssey Beerwerks’ Ghost Rider/Ghost Drifter Pale Ale (5.1% ABV); the name has legally changed but first-run cans are still available at some liquor stores!
Color: A little hop haze obscures this deep, orange-with-a-hint-of-red-colored beer and it is crowned with an off-white head.
Aroma: Ghost Drifter has a hearty malt backbone but, in the aroma, the hops steal the show. The scents wafting from this beer are dank and mildly piney like a spruce grove after a rainstorm.
Taste: Hop heads might be mildly disappointed in Ghost Drifter but those who enjoy a well-balanced beer will rejoice! One could almost say Ghost Drifter features more malt flavors than hop flavors but, certainly, the hops are far from absent. There are flare-ups of piney, resinous bitters throughout but they are fleeting and leave little in the aftertaste. Ghost Drifter has a mild bite and is perfect should one want a little taste of hops without wrecking the palate with bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Ghost Drifter is very dry and leaves the mouth feeling a tad leathery. It is medium-bodied—not too thick, not too light.
A beer by any other name would taste just as great. Whether one is drinking a Ghost Rider or a Ghost Drifter, one is still enjoying a tasty Colorado craft beer. However, for the nostalgic who want a piece of Odyssey’s history (albeit a short history as of the time of this writing), head to the nearest liquor store immediately—these cans won’t last long.