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Trail Head Pale Ale - Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon

Not Rated.
Trail Head Pale AleTrail Head Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

50 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 50
Hads: 387
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 22.28%
Wants: 28
Gots: 46 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Stinkypuss on 06-02-2013

Go off the grid and give back some good vibes. Brewed with whole flower Simcoe and Citra hops, Trail Head Pale Ale is a limited edition batch exclusive to Cleveland. A portion of the proceeds from this special beer go directly to the Cleveland Metroparks Trails Fund, which supports the rehabilitation of the park's more than 270 miles of trails. Now grab your gear and take the trail!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 50 | Hads: 387
Photo of BEERchitect
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Helping the outdoors efforts of Cleveland and quenching the thirst of beer lovers all the while- is there anything that Fat Heads's can't do?

Trail Head pours with a fine-filtered copper-amber glow and a creamy, expansive foamy swath. Its balanced fragrance is equal parts caramel and citrus. But with the taste opening with a firm tilt toward malts, its caramelized barley taste rides high at first.

But the rise of hops and the relaxing of malt begins to shift the balance from something that's even-keel to something that's hoppy and smooth. Grapefruit and pineapple flow in and out of a caramel and graham cracker taste with threads of grass, garlic and cannabis slowly garnering respect.

Yet with its balance largely in check, the finish looms with the ale striking a medium level of viscocity and a drying, cleaning finish. Bitterness outweighs sweetness as the finish is snappy, sharp and ginger-like as the malts finally acquiesce to the premiere citrusy and herbal hops.

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Photo of unclejazz
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid, when fresh quite nice. Great nose, grapefruit peel and pine resin. Does not quite hit the mark in flavor, a bit too bitter and not enough malt backbone.


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Photo of Stevem68
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice light Amber. Has a mild hoppy aroma with a slight biscuit malt note. Flavor is clean, has a slight pine hop presence that is well balanced. Smooth finish and very good overall

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Photo of brewskis
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lightly hazy golden orange color with a finger of an off-white head.

Aroma is of fresh, green hops. Pine resin, grass, slight herbal note, floral, grapefruit, and very light mango. A light carmel malt is there from the hops.

Taste is definitely more reminiscent of an IPA than a pale ale with a big bitter punch. Get grapefruit, floral, some tropical fruits (mango and pineapple), and grass. Malts show some carmel sweetness and a very light breadiness. A significant pine resin bitterness for the style comes through starting in the middle into the finish.

Medium body with a slightly creamy and oily feel to it.

Overall, a very nice pale ale from an underrated brewery. For the hops used, it could use a little complexity, but I do enjoy the green hop, piney, and bitter quality.

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Photo of tone77
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A big thanks to the captain of the canship, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a pretty golden/orange color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of citrus, tropical fruits. Taste is strong of hops up front, tropical fruits, light citrus, some malts are present, more bitterness than most pale ales. Feels medium/full in the mouth and overall is a tasty and highly refreshing beer.

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Photo of Buck89
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an IPA glass. Canned about 3 weeks ago. A hazy amber-orange with a generous white head with good lacing. Great nose for a PA, with citrus, orange and caramel. Complex taste with pine, grapefruit, orange, caramel and bread. Clean bitter finish.

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Photo of zimm421
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass from a can dated 7/29/15. Appears a nice amber color with a thick off-white head that sticks around for a while and leaves great lacing. The nose is very balanced, but slightly muted. There's a good caramel and biscuit maltiness and some small citrus and pine notes. The taste is extremely refreshing with just the right amount of bitterness and sweetness. The malt comes through perfectly and the citrus, tropical fruit and pine all have their place here. Definitely worth grabbing whenever you have the chance.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.51/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This CAN came to me from one of the owners of The Fridge, proving once more that it pays to advertise, especially where The CANQuest (tm) is CANcerned! Many thanks.

From the CAN: "A portion of the proceeds goes directly to the Cleveland Metroparks Trails Fund"; "Award Winning"; "Keep It Cold. Drink It Fresh."; "Silver Medal Fresh Hop Ale Great Ameri[CAN] Beer Festival (R) 2013"; "Trail Head Pale Ale is handcrafted using Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe and Amarillo hops, geared for chillin' out after a great day on the trails. Hey, get your [CAN] off the couch, find a Trail Head and give back some good vibes ... a portion of the proceeds goes directly to the Cleveland Metroparks Trails Fund."; "Chill Out Man, Have A Beer! (tm) [undersigned] Matt [-] Chris [-] Glenn"; "Keep your [CAN] off the streets. Please recycle your empties."

I listened to the loud Crack! and responded with an inverted Glug. This produced three fingers of dense, tawny head with good retention, leaving sticky lacing in its wake as it slowly fell. Color was Amber to Deep Amber/Light Copper (SRM = > 9, < 13) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had both grapefruit and mango/peach/papaya fruity odors and my hophead mouth began to water. Mouthfeel was medium, kind of soft, actually. The tropical fruit flavors were prevalent in my mouth and on my tongue. Mmm. The lacing that was now beginning to develop was going to require a jackhammer to remove later. No wonder this medaled! It was not overly bitter, it had a great mouthfeel and it was going down really easy. A little too easily, in fact. I drank well over half of it without really giving it much thought. The finish was dry, but not so dry as to render me breathless and gasping. This was a really good use of the inherent hops.

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Photo of OGFGabv
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Another great beer from Fat Heads. Very refreshing pale ale with nice citrus and pine resin from the Citra and Simcoe. Nice hop profile for a pale ale for sure.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint at the Fat Heads Saloon in Pittsburght.

Overall, a malty thirst quenching potential 4

A 4
S 4
T 4

MF - Smooth with some lasting bitterness med light body dry finish 4

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Photo of brewohio1
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I don't know if anyone else has had this problem. I have bought 3 sixpacks of this beer from different places and 1 or 2 beer cans were pierced. I love this beer other than that.

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Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a lot of floaties (never seen that before in a pale ale); the cap levels out at a couple of inches and leaves strands of lacing

Smell: Sugary and floral, with a shortbread and caramel malt tone and tropical fruit

Taste: Shortbread with a touch of caramel (or treacle), up front, with a huge blast of tropical fruit - mango, honeybell tangelo and pineapple; increasing floral sweetness, after the swallow, though the hops really dominate at all times

Mouthfeel: Medium body, quite creamy; moderate carbonation

Overall: A really tasty APA; while some will argue that it verges on an IPA (and it does), I would stick with the APA classification due to the beguiling malt base; and I will forgive the floaties, except for the occasional clump that winds up in my mouth

Thanks, bittermestupid, for the opportunity

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Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had a taste of this on draft yesterday at the brewery and bought a sixer to go from the gift shop. I have to admit that this beer tastes much better out of a can, IMHO. A very citrus-forward pale ale.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 05/20/15 notes. On tap at the Fat Head's brewpub in Pittsburgh, PA. 12 oz. pour in a pint glass.

Pours a hazy, somewhat golden-orange color with one inch of off white head and low carbonation evident. Fruity malts, pine hops, citrus hops, soda, some tropical fruits, and breayd malts. Nice mix of hops and malts. Medium body and low carbonation, no alcohol to it at all.

Overall a pretty good APA. Not super hoppy but easy to drink, worth checking out.

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Photo of mrtoast
4.72/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Welcome to my first beer rating. Those of us lucky enough to live in NE Ohio are able to enjoy some freaking outstanding beers (most of them from Fat Heads), but this is the one I look forward to the most. It hits me perfectly in the zone between a session ale and an IPA. Totally refreshing and flavorful but without the heaviness of an IPA or the thinness of a session ale, and they do a wet hopped version that takes it to an even higher level of hoppy perfection. Can't say enough good things about this one. I'd give it a 5 but I don't want people to discount my first rating as a noobish beerjackulation.

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Photo of ZachDow7
4.51/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Another amazingly hopped beer from Fatheads, picked up a case of cans from the brewery in NO. Great out of the can, but you get the aromas of all the hops way better in a glass. Alot of floaters in the pour though...and I mean ALOT!

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a can-shaped glass. Canned on 10/29/2014.

Great-looking beer right here. Huge frothy, foamy pale white head. It's massive. The body is dark amber with golden hues and crystal clarity. 4.5

Floral and citrusy simultaneously, with neither overpowering the other. Lemony notes and pine are there too. A biscuity malt presence is in the mix too. It all works pretty well together.

Lemony citrus notes lead on the palate before giving way to the biscuity malt which then leads to a resinous finish. There's a sweet fruity quality underneath the more prominent tastes just mentioned, giving this an impressive medley of flavors. Very well done. 4.25

This beer is potently bitter, creamy and and medium-bodied with a good malt presence. Carbonation is bubbly and colorful and almost has just the right touch. 4.25

Excellent brew. Quite an aggressive pale ale, but it hits all the right notes.

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Photo of Evahflow
4.5/5  rDev +9%

A: Dark Copper, thick white head that hangs around

S: Immediately you know citra is in this. Big burst of Mango, Guava, Tangelo, Pine and Biscuity backbone.

T: Simcoe with a capital S. You get that dank pine upfront, Berries, there are berries folks, Orange pulp, Tropical fruit fusion, Caramel biscuitness.

M: Medium carb, its substantial in your mouth. They aren't hitting you with just some 2 row and an adjunct. There is a maltiness to it that is in the kitchen with you dancing while you are getting dinner ready but you never step on its toes, but its presence is known if not felt. Nice bitterness that lets you know it's real.

O: Fat Heads does it again. This is not a pale ale, step off with that. Hold your tongue. This is a straight up IPA and it's a Damn good one. Simcoe and Citra are in the spotlight while the Malt backbone plays the piano. Get this if you Can

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Photo of buschbeer
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 FL. OZ. can
Served in a tulip glass
Wet hopped 9/16/14

L - This beer is amber with golden highlights. It is topped off with several inches of off-white head that clings to the sides of the glass.

S - I get dank citrus with grapefruit and pine asserting themselves.

T - The taste is full of bitter citrus and pine with a lingering pine finish.

M- Medium with plenty of carbonation.

O - This pale ale is better than most IPA's. A fantastic example of what Matt Cole can do.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4/5  rDev -3.1%

A: I always pour light so no real head and what there was dissipated quickly, by looks the dark nature of the beer leads you to think this is a resin bomb or it's malty because of it's darker coloring.

S: you get a little bit of fruit and a touch of flower it really doesn't have a super complex smell

T: this beer lets you know it's business up front it's fruity and you can taste the oily hop taste slightly bitter through out and finishes bitter.

M: feel is pretty balanced not too thick not super light and a very slight dryness this beer doesn't really coat your tongue but you can feel it on the edges afterwards

O: I was really looking for this beer to be a fruity citrus explosion while you do get the light fruit taste up front the beer just seems to lack character to me. Although it is an APA so what do I know. Definitely drink it again seek it out probably not

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Photo of Roguer
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark copper brew for a pale ale, hazy and translucent, topped with a sizable flat white head. Retention is good, leaving behind tons of lacing.

Lots of citrus, pine, and brown sugar caramel in the aroma, matched with some pale biscuit and flowers. Very juicy: orange pulp and grapefruit peel.

Flavor is about what one would expect, although a little less hoppy and bitter (appropriate for an APA, but still a little surprising given the strong hop aroma). Slightly sweet, dancing between biscuit and caramel, with some flat, powdery bread giving a nice strong base. Hops are well represented in the flavors of the nose: grapefruit peel, citrus juice, wildflower honey, and pine resin. Fairly bitter, but nicely balanced.

Long resinous finish; the hops leave you smacking your gums for quite a while. Drinkable, slightly syrupy body.

This is a very solid APA. It's hoppy, sweet, balanced, and drinkable.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%

Canned 5/20/14 at 40 degrees into snifter
Aroma of --- sweat?
Head average (3.5 cm), white, frothy,
Lacing good – complete thick rings of tiny to medium bubbles
Body medium orange, hazy
Flavor begins like cantaloupe, bitter; no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate light, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 3, Flavor 4, Palate 3, Overall 3.5. Final weighted score: 3.6
Not bad other than that initial aroma of sweat.

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Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%

Courtesy of SomethingClever thanks Brother!

I'm going to keep it short and to the point. This brew pours a gorgeous shade of rich golden amber with a think soapy white head. The aroma is citric, tropical stone fruits and deep resinous hops in there. The flavor is as the nose describes, citrus (nice orange peel and Grapefruit) with Tropical Fruits (Pineapple and Passion Fruit) with also a Resinous Hop flavor toward the finish. The malts are present with a cracker-ish sweetness. The brew finishes bitter sweet, clean and resinous. The feel is light carbonation on point.

Overall: This brew is damn enjoyable! This is slightly off balanced with more focus on hop flavors. I'm a fan of that! The malt is there and acts as a nice backbone, yet allowing the hop resins to clearly shine in the brew. Are we sure this is just a Pale Ale? There's nothing negative to say about this beer, except it isn't Distributed in Baltimore! FatHeads, please come to Baltimore! This Brew is Recommended!

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Photo of earljones199
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Nice dark amber color with a good amount of hop bitterness balanced with a good malt sweetness. I can taste a lot of orange citrus. Like a lot of good pale ales is that it doesn't overwhelm with too much bitterness but it lasts forever on the tongue

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Photo of maximum12
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%

Thanks to fiver29 who labored to get me a 12 oz. can that was about 328 seconds old...then I let it sit in my fridge for a month. Forgive me, my friend. Please.

The pour is light-defying orange with ample carbonation. Nose brims with tangerines & more oranges - the fruit this time, not the color. Appealing.

Trail Head doesn't extend Fat Heads rep as the finest hop dealer in the Midwest, but it doesn't detract any, either. Head Hunter bitterness rears its Head (ha!) here too, backed with a smattering of orange pith, pine, light pepper, then the hot iron of bitter hell closes the deal. Sticks to the bottom of your mouth, too. I could stick more than one of these in my mouth.

I just came from San Diego, home of the world-class-hop-master. Unlike Head Hunter this can't join that pantheon, but I'd never complain about seeing it through glass. Or aluminum. Though I couldn't see it, then. Huh. Very good beer.

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Trail Head Pale Ale from Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon
91 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.