Trailhead ISA (India Session Ale) - Two Beers Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Trailhead ISA (India Session Ale)Trailhead ISA (India Session Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

72 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 13.52%
Wants: 4
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Two Beers Brewing Co. visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: barleywinefiend on 05-30-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 28
Reviews by RusImpStoLuv:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to 5000 for sending this can my way.

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma has a lot of biscuit malt in it, as well as some grass and a hint of orange citrus. The flavor is more pronounced. I get some bitter orange and grass notes, as well as a good bit of sweet biscuit malt. The hops and malt are well balanced and the beer is easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked a few of these up when I was in Yakima for the barleywine cabin fest. Drank while playing disc golf. Pretty faint yellow, but laundry soap white head that was just chillin for a substantial amount of time. Aroma was moderately hoppy, there's plenty of bigger aromas in the sessiony hoppy paley department (drake's, bruery, jupiter), but this one is ok.

Good taste, plenty light on its feet, but the hops come out in the mouthfeel a little more than in the nose. A really nice beer for before noon, but really at any time. Probably pilsner malt and c hops. If you're into the outdoors, keeping your edge and having a flavorful beer with straight up old school hops, this is a good fit.

Photo of chinchill
3.84/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Undated 12 oz can poured into a Belgian snifter.

A: Pleasing apricot color; hazy with some suspended particles. Decent foamy white head soon settles to a durable top coat. Good lacing.

Nose: moderately strong, fruity hop presence with a nice apricot-peach-citrus palatte.

T: Solid malt base leaves this mildly bitter and, as intended, quite sessionable. Hop presence (level) of a typical APA. Again, nicely fruity. Excellent sweet/bitter balance. Fine dry hoppy finish.

M: medium-light body; dry finish.

O: excellent session beer for hop heads and APA lovers. Readily recommended.

Photo of distantmantra
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Now referred to as the Trailhead ISA.

On-tap at the Two Beers Brewery in Seattle, WA. August 4th, 2011.

A: The beer poured a golden yellow color with a nice white head of foam and medium lacing that did not dissipate.

S: Trailhead has an aroma of light citrus hops and a bit of bready malt.

T: The beer tastes like a caramel-y bread with some light citrus and pine notes. Slight hint of black pepper floating around in there as well.

M: Light body with good carbonation and a crisp mouth feel.

O: This was a pretty average beer, but perfect for going on a hike on a hot day, hence the new name. Not my favorite of the local ISAs (that would be Johnny Utah), but I'd definitely drink it again.

Photo of beerophilia
3.22/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper gold with a white head that lasts several minutes. Aromas of pineapple, orange rind, honey, and cereal grains. Flavor is grainy & nutty, with light hops flavors. Medium-light body, light bitterness, very drinkable. Long-lasting lemony bitterness with a light aftertaste of lemongrass.

Reading over my review, I think it sounds better than it is.

Photo of Kegatron
3.49/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can into a pint glass.

This initially pours a clear golden copper but one I get the whole can in, it dumps a lot of suspended solids into the glass. On top of that, the pour is also very foamy, with several fingers of fluffy bright-white head. This finally peters down into a frothy ½ finger, which just drenches the sides of the glass with a rich latticework of sticky lace. The aroma is piney and grassy, with some mineral (maybe even metallic notes) to it. Underlying notes of lemon zest and some softer fruit meld with the sweetness of the grains, while a leafy bitter fruit character lies a bit more in the back of the nose.

The taste has a leafy citric flavor up front, which spreads out a grassy bitterness that finishes this very dry with some lingering notes of spice and resins. There are some sweet balancing grains present, that appear to hold more of a sweeter fruit character within it (I’m getting a lot of orange coming out as this warms). As mentioned before, resins and spice really finish this strong. Unfortunately there does appear to be some of that same off-character from the nose present here. It’s got more of a medicinal plastic or “band-aid” flavor going on with it but it thankfully isn’t as noticeable as it is in the nose. The mouthfeeel is lighter to medium bodied, with a soft and overall mellow feeling crispness to the carbonation. There is enough of a light sharpness present though that prickles the tongue and gives this a little extra presence in the mouth.

I do like this beer in theory, as it does come off like an extra-hopped version of Pale Mild Ale. This just unfortunately had some issue with off-notes that were hard to ignore. I think that this new brewery has only started canning in the last couple of months, so hopefully they will get the kinks worked out with this one. I would probably check this beer out again sometime down the line, especially on draft.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


"This should NOT be in the IPA category... good hoppy pale ale for sure... American brewers are blurring boundaries.... many of the below reviews are stuck in the dark ages."

12 oz can picked up tonight at Brewforia West for a hefty $2.60ish... but ehh... new to me. Poured into my HotD goblet.

Great foamy white head.. pillowwy.. tons of lacing.. the brew is slightly hazed pale golden...

Nose shows nice snappy hop presence ... good citrus zest and a pleasant pale malt catcher.

Flavor has a bigger bitterness up front... but I would expect that from an "India Session Ale"... the palate is very nice lite/medium is great with citrus hops that are carried by a lite but everpresent pale malt component... not a lot going on other than the above, but is meshes and finds the right gears from front to back.... very well done... loving the dry hoppy finish.

Too many geeks are going to slam this one because the name... more geeks are going to miss the point of a "drinkable" beer... I am really... REALLY... digging the promise of something that provides damn near everything I like in a "PNW IPA" that I can get in a great session brew while watering the lawn.


Photo of CBlack85
3.57/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Beertunes for this one.

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a DFH shaped pint glass.

Beer pours a golden straw color with a big frothy white head that quickly recedes leaving lots of sticky lacing behind.

You get the big citrusy aroma as soon as you open the can. Very clean and fresh, with lots of citrusy hops with hints of pine and just a touch of grains in the background.

The flavor is bright and citrusy, and like the nose, has hints of pine and bready malts. Very nice and fresh tasting. The beer is fairly light bodied and finishes dry. Moderately carbonated. Really a refreshing easy to drink beer.

Really a nice beer, not sure I would classify it as an IPA, maybe a hoppy pale, but overall a really nice beer.

Photo of sendsilk
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Pixieskid for this one! Quick review on this one. I have the in-laws here today and snuck away to review this.

Great straw color with a decent head. Smells nice and hoppy. Tastes great. It's hot out today and this is a nice light and refreshingly hoppy beer that I could drink a bunch of (unfortunately I only have one) on a day like today.

A nice refreshing surprise.

Photo of woodychandler
3.89/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My thanks to inflatablechair for my latest CANQuest (TM) hook-up! I am inching closer to the nearly unbelievable 600 mark and every CAN helps at this point.

From the CAN: "Toss this beer in a backpack and hit the trail to find freedom, escape, and a more simple life. As the sky above and good friends keep you company, this generously dry hopped ISA will complete the trinity of the good life. Pack it in. Pack it out. Cheers! [undersigned] Joel"; "Crafted using Washington Hops and Grain".

Given the foaminess of one of their previous beers, I went with a gentler Crack & Glug on this occasion. I was rewarded with the appearance of two thick fingers of tawny head with great retention. Color was a cloudy orangish-yellow, not unlike fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. Speaking of which, the citrusiness of the hops barely needed me to put my nose anywhere near it. It was so pungent off of the pour that I thought that I may have sprayed air freshener. The sticky lacing that began to form even before my first sip made me dubious about the relatively low ABV. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite achieving creaminess, but still pretty big. The hops seemed more muted on the tongue than on the nose, but I was still getting my hophead jones satiated. The finish was quite dry and lingering with hops, very much like an AIPA, but without the high ABV usually accompanying the style. I liked it and I would certainly give it some cooler space on an outdoor excursion.

Photo of VaTechHopHead
2.54/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very light orange and transparent. Big 'ol bubbly head that lasts and deposits great lace. Not visible carbonation. Not a whole lot of anything in the aroma; very light Earthy hops, lemon grass, and crystal malts. The flavor is also light and seems to only utilize the hops for bittering as the flavor is mostly malt sweetness and watered down IPA. Nothing to get excited about. A session IPA is an incredibly hard style to pull off, especially at 4.7% alcohol. Bold and daring to attempt it but just doesn't do much for me. Either way, it was/is still a cool extra to get in a trade!

Photo of BobCS
3.44/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

No date on can. Label says 4.8% ABV and 48 IBUs.

A: light amber, hazy, with tall white head that falls to rocky white remnants, this beer was foaming out of the can as soon as it was popped.

S: generous fresh and grassy hops

T: hoppy and fresh, not overpowering at all, enough malt for some backbone but this "sessionable" beer is hops from start to a deliciously dry and bitter finish

M: medium bodies and well carbonated

O: very likeable, not overpowering, easy to drink and definitely hoppy. However I think it is mis-characterized as an American IPA, I think it would be a better as an American Pale Ale (and will report it as such).

thanks harrymel!

Photo of mactrail
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Attractive golden color with a generous foam in the Pilsner-style glass. Pleasant sudsy mouthfeel. Expansive aroma of flowery hops with a resiny note.

Fairly bitter but not excessive. There is just a slight malty sweetness and a wisp of malty body. Slightly bready. Tangy and a little sharp. Quite swiggable. Aftertaste is thoroughly bitter. More of a resiny hop taste. Reminds me of an actual Pilsner.

I think this is one of the better lighter-style IPAs that I've had. Of course, there's a significant difference between 4.8% and 4.0, which is more like a low-alcohol brew. From the 12 oz can purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle.

Photo of harrymel
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can date: unknown

A: Pours a golden ale with near excellent clarity. Two fingers of fluffy white head falls in a few minutes leaving sticky lumpy lacing.

S: Citrus, fresh cut grass and a hint of cilantro. Light malt presence.

T: Again pretty grassy, but really refreshing on this front. Malts are a little oxidized (like they used older malts that had been sitting a little too long). Sweet and bitter, not much complexity on the hop profiles.

M: Medium body with high carb. Dry finish.

O: This is a sessionable ale, unfortunately, for this new substyle of IPA/ESB/Pale's (session ales <5%ABV). This beer falls short of what I would consider the front runner in the style: 21st Amendment's Bitter American.

Photo of flagmantho
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz can into a pint glass. This is the "Trailhead ISA" and, according to the can, it is now 4.8% ABV.

Appearance: light, very slightly hazy yellow-orange hue. Head poured a pretty violent 3+ fingers of frothy white foam and is taking its time subsiding. It also leaves a very nice, chunky lace on the glass -- good stuff.

Smell: murky hop aroma reminds me of Nugget hops or some other big-alpha bittering variety. Not too bad but a little one-dimensional.

Taste: again, more of that one-dimensional hop flavor. It tastes very fresh, but it's not a variety that should probably be employed so much in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: pretty watery from the outset. There is a little bit of heft to it, but for the most part carbonation is low and there's not much excitement here.

Overall: this, to me, tastes like a pretty normal homebrewed IPA. High-alpha hops, problems with texture, and an interesting concept all put together mean homebrew to me. That said, it's not a horrible beer by any means.

Photo of stakem
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Kegatron for giving me this to try out. A 12oz can with a sort of shrink wrapped plastic sleeve is the label around this can. Poured into a pint glass, this brew appears a hazed light golden yellow color with a fluffy off-white head that is 4+ fingers strong. It slowly fades leaving a pattern of lacework all over the glassware.

The aroma of this brew includes hop character like grapefruit mixed with other citrus and zesty components mixed with a bit of grass. More sniffs reveal some sulfur and mineral components. There is some fruity notes almost reminiscent of lemon included that takes this brew in an interesting direction.

The taste is bitter and rindy with grapefruit flesh and pulp that turns a bit herbal. It is quite fruity at times but in a grassy sort of bite quality note fruity and juicy. The sulfur and mineral aspect that was present in the nose comes through into the flavor as well. There is a light toasty malt background keeping the hops in check a bit. The alcohol is noted with a slight warmth down the back of the throat.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a lively amount of full carbonation. It is a very crisp finishing offering that is fitting of the session ale description. I can't say I ever had an "India Style Session Ale" but this sure was interesting. The name, graphics and description on the label lead you to believe this is a hiker's brew and it fits the bill. This is a monstrously hopped version of a mild or pale. I think the light bodied nature of this brew and mild grain backing makes the listed 48 ibus really drive home a more intense bitterness than I was expecting. A couple of kinks that could be cleaned up a bit but overall an interesting twist. Thanks again Heath for sharing this with me!

Photo of lighthabit
2.97/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a "quick as i can" review

super clear yellow amber, mild head dies down fairly quick. moderate lacing at first, but not further down. taste clean, grassy, mild hop, hint of - yup - bandaids (but very subtle). mouthfeel a bit thinner than i like. easy drinker, and at 4.7, a safe bet for the summer bbq sessions . . . not bad, just nothing terribly memorable

Photo of xnicknj
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into dfh signature glass - thanks to harrymel

Pours a slightly hazed light orange color with golden hues. A thicker top of white head rests on top and retains throughout, plenty of ringed and spotty lacing on the glass.

Scents of citrus hops and light grapefruit, a decent helping of bready malt and biscuit with some caramel sweetness.

Pleasantly hoppy up front, citrus and fainter grapefruit. Notes of orange and peel, followed by a decent malt backbone. Bread crust and biscuit, slight buttery note, faint caramel. Not very sweet, but a fair balance between the hops and malt. Finishes a little dry and bitter.

Medium body, nice carbonation, smooth, a little creamy, dry on the tongue. Drinks well, a pretty tasty take on the hoppy session ale - I'd definitely pick this up if it was available, especially during the summer.

Photo of awalk1227
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed 9/14/2011 Thanks so much Harry!

No date on can

Served into White Birch glass

If this beer is hoppy and sessionable, chances are I'll like it. Well, it's 4.7%, so we're halfway there.

Pours a supremely glowing, hazy yellow into my glass. Looks unfiltered, nice! Big, massive, fluffy head with a pretty non-aggressive pour. Looks really good to me. I could honestly smell this beer while it was being poured from the can. Grass, a hint of sweet bread, and lemon/orange rind.

This beer falls a little bit short on flavor and mouthfeel. I get some light grain and hops in the flavor, and a pleasant bitter finish, but there's this hint of something soda in the beer. It's super fizzy on the tongue with my swallow, kind of dissipates too quickly for me.

Given that, this is a great beer for what it is. No telling how fresh this can is, but it was pretty pungent, so I bet it's great right off the line and into a backpack for camping/hiking/fishing. I'm always a sucker for cans, too.

Wow, just realized this is classified as "American IPA." I would NOT rate it as such. Pale ale for sure, or something else light and zippy. I realize it's "India" style, but not my idea of an IPA.

Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.43/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I snagged a sixpack of these cute new cans on the way back from work last night. I absent mindedly crack a can and take a slug Holy Crap that's good. My head shakes and before I k iw two cans are gone and I'm ready for bed.

Today I pour one in a pint an I'm still blown away. A pale body, creamy white head, floral city's nose welcome the bitter grainy body. It finishes nicely, leaving the tell tale signs of a reasonable IBU level and a dry body. Daddy like.

This is the nicest new beer I have had in ages, a complete surprise. Three cheers Two Beers!

Photo of ArrogantB
3.46/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can thanks to Harrymel. Orange color, decent head. Smells a little odd then the dry hopping comes through. The taste is decently hoppy but not much else, oddly. Overall, I'm not quite sure this is quite a session beer at 4.7%, I'd prefer 4.0% for something truly sessionable however this might be a good choice for hiking given the alcohol and the can.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.15/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a fizzy golden yellow color with good carbonation and a nice white cap

S: Hops, a bit of bread

T: A bready, perhaps light caramel taste with almost a grainy note, some light citrus, floral notes

M: Light body and good carbonation

O: Pretty average. This beer failed to to give a nice drinkable, lighter IPA. I feel they may have been going for a very sessionable IPA much like the Stone San Diego session. This beer was more toward a pale ale in style. Not a bad beer but it was pretty tame on taste, not as crisp and drinkable as I would have liked. Just not that appealing but still, not a bad beer and worth a try

Photo of beertunes
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a light golden amber color with about 3/4 inch of white head that had good retention and light lacing.

The aroma is a nice, gentle blend of citrus and pine hops with just a trace of grain in the background. The taste was fairly similar although was a sharp, bitter finish. The bit of graininess balanced out the sharp hops very well.

The body was light and thin (in a good way). Drinkability was very good, the can was gone before I knew it. Overall, a very nice brew take along on your outdoor activities. Worth seeking out.

Photo of Mitchster
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

$1.89 for a 12oz can at Siciliano's. Brewed with Base Malt, Crystals, Vienna. Hopped with Palisade, Nugget, and Columbus
OG: 1.044, SRM: 5, 48 IBU's, 4.8% ABV.

Pours out to an otherwise clear deep golden/orange, forming a billowing off yellow head with superior retention due in parts to it's very brisk carbonation, ~3.25 carbs or so. Flittering bits of what appear to be hop leaves in the glass. The nose is fresh citrus hops, with a hint of dust sitting on top of a pale malt base with cracker accent. Orange, mango, and a little pine. Mouthfeel is light and clean with a medium-light body. Bigger than the 4.8% would have you guess which is nice in a session IPA. The taste is a recap of the aroma. There is lots of citrus and pine, balanced by a pleasant hop acidity and firm bitterness. Subtle bread notes. There is a subtle note of kiwi and metallic bitterness, and combined with the gushing carbonation makes me suspect a possible early infection. The finish is bone dry and slightly biting due to the bitterness.

Overall, a nice SIPA in a can. The bitterness is a bit too firm for me, which interferes with it's "sessionability" to my tastes, but otherwise nicely brewed.

Photo of pixieskid
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been drinking the hell out of this beer since seeing it in Spokane; sometimes even out of the can...mowing the lawn.

Anyway, pours a nice golden color with a solid frothy white head.

Aroma is of citrus, grassiness, and a touch of grain.

Solid bitterness right upfront with notes of lemon grass, orange, and a great blending of grassiness, herbal hop notes, and a touch of pine. Really just a ton of mellow hop notes melding together with a touch of grain and caramel to round it out. Finishes crisp and clean with a lingering bitterness.

Really diggin the American Bitters/Session Ales, whatever you wanna call it. Crisp, hoppy, bitter, easy drinking, lower abv...these are killer and this is a solid example of the "emerging" style!

Can't wait to see the cans printed (not the sticker wrap around it) and sixers in a grocery store...obviously a long way away...

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Trailhead ISA (India Session Ale) from Two Beers Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.