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Wanderer Session India Pale Ale - North Peak Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wanderer Session India Pale AleWanderer Session India Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

131 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 131
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 5
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
North Peak Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kzoobrew on 04-21-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 131 | Reviews: 57 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BrewerB
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lightly hazy medium-dark orange with a 2 finger off-white head that receded down but retains well. Tart citrus fruity nose with a lighter mango character perched atop the toasted malts. Piney herbal hop flavor and well-formed toasty malt backbone. Bitterness is moderate, clean. Dry, medium finish with lingering hop character. Medium-light bodied with a moderate level of carbonation.

Overall this low "Session IPA" packs quite a bit of flavor for being so unassuming in strength. I could knock back a few and easily come back for more.

Photo of Jason
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

Color: hazed amber

Aroma: Dried mint, orange peel, toasted bread, nutty yeast and faint taffy.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Smooth drinking, aggressive bitterness and raw. Grainy and bready. Orange peel, tobacco and some mint. Yeasty, tamed alcohol and lingering hop bitterness.

Overall: Very tasty, but why call it an IPA ... just name the beer, who cares about styles when you are not going to be within the guidelines. Regardless, I could knock these back all day long ... I'd love to see a version that is 3% abv.

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a squat 12 oz bottle with a sparse label bearing a a date of April 13, 2011.

Pours a slighty cloudy amber, with a frothy, bubbly head that reduces leaving spiderweb lacing.

Has an aggressive citrus aroma, with plenty of grapefruit and orange notes. Mild sweet malt rounds out the aroma.

Taste is simple; dry hops up front with a bitter citrus finish. White grapefruit dominates the taste, from start to finish, with only a hint of sweet caramel malt that hints mid-tongue.

Light bodied, with a bitter, astringent gripping of the tongue that, frankly, surprises me given its low ABV and age.

This beer is advertised as a session IPA, and reminds me of Founder's Endurance. The flavor and feel of this beer is amazing, given how low the ABV is. Forget your typical session ale; this is a session ale to grab if you're sitting down for a game of cards, or an evening with friends.

Photo of sixerofelixir
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Neat, retro-ish label art. Bottled-on date clearly printed above the UPC.

Pours a nice, clouded, golden-orange. Many ultra-fine particles suspended throughout. An off-white ring sticks around. Smell is mostly leaf-litter, with a touch of sweetness. A lot of hoppiness in the taste, a touch backing of that sweetness again, and more dry-hopped goodness at the end. Finishes tight dry. The hops are downright "juicy" on this one, and at only 4.2% it is theoretically very sessionable. A score for the hopheads.

Photo of wvsabbath
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark burnt orange, tan, nice 1 inch thick creamy head and lots of lacing.

Smell - Weak, bland smell. Some hops and sugars, malts, a little floral kick, not much else

Taste - Nice hop kick with some pale yeast and malt mixed in. Has the classic bready yeast flavor of apa's with the added bitterness and bite of hops. Theres a nice mild flavor of carmal and spices also mixed in.

MOuthfeel - The hops give some bite to tounge but the beer is low alcohol and easy to drink. Aftertaste is a little dry and bitter but nothing to ruin mouth.

Overall - Very surprized by this beer. Has some kick and real hop character. North peak really got this beer to put out all it could in such a low alcohol drink. Impressed, will try more north peak for sure.

Photo of Thickfreakness
2.8/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a deep hazy red/orange with a nice fluffy, crispy white head that disappears kinda quickly leaving a nice amount of sticky lacing. Loads of carbonation!

S- Kinda smells like wet grass and a bit of citrus. A little bit of malt, but mostly wet hay and grass. Not much depth to this at all. Kind of boring.

T- Decent bitter citrus flavor. Light notes of grapefruit, bitter lemon and orange zest. Nice balance between the light grainy malt and the citrus, grassy pine.

M- Nice carbonation, Decent bitter citrus pop, but I can't get past the wet grass in my mouth! Medium body for a session IPA.

O- Decent, but not something I'd really care to try again.

Photo of zoso1967
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wanderer is served up a nice copper amber color with a parchment head that has nice retention and leaves excellent lace.

The aroma is understated with some biscuit notes and some light piney and grapefruit aromas. I am a bit disappointed since I had this on tap at Jolly Pumpkin (TC) and I am sure it is extremely fresh.

There are the hops! The flavor is much more hop forward with some really in your face flavors like white grapefruit and dank pine. The malt is slightly biscuity, but pretty much buried by the hops and hop bitterness. The hop flavors are nice, but the more I drink this the more they sort of weigh on my palate.

The body is medium with a good amount of carbonation. The finish is super dry and leaves plenty of hop bitterness behind.

Overall this was a pretty darn good beer and one of the better North Peak brews I have tried to date. I think it is perhaps a bit over the top with the bitterness, but it is a decent sessionable beer for hop heads. This beer reminds me of Founders Endurance Ale, but is less drinkable.

Photo of mcallister
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep pulpy orange juicy color and cloudy with a thick, pillowy white head leaving sticky lace in all paths behind.

Resiny, piney, citrusy hops at the forefront. Some light caramel and toffee notes. Lemon, orange, pineapple, grapefruit, grass, and pine forest. Just an amazing aroma on a IPA at 4.2.

Had Founders All Day IPA and I must say this is better. This is a great brew. Drinks much bigger than it purposes. Resiny, oily hops earthy, grassy and then citrusty, and then earthy and grassy on the finish. So well balanced with enough mouthfeel and body to not make you think its a "session IPA". Creamy, visous and deep. Great hop bitterness on the long finish and full of visceral impact. Pine, grass, grapefruit, orange zest and nectarine. Love this beer.

Photo of StoutHunter
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Wanderer Session India Pale Ale today for $1.89 at The Lager Mill. I got to try a sample of this beer last month at The World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth, I thought it was a very well done and flavorful beer, let's see if my feelings have changed. No visible freshness date. Poured from a short brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label is pretty much the same as all the other North Peak brews, but this one has a weird picture of a goat man on it. It poured a really hazy copper/orange color that was a little darker then I expected but I liked the look of it. It had two and a half fingers worth of white head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end.

S- The aroma is pretty much dominated by the hops in this beer. From the smell of it smells like it is a half and half mixture of piney and citrus hops. I pick up a little sweetness from the caramel malts, but other then that the aroma is pretty much all about the hops.

T- Just like the aroma, the taste is all about the hops and there is no hiding it. It starts with that nice hoppy bitterness on the front rather then on the finish like most Pale Ales. It seems that in the battle between citrus and piney hops that the piney hops have come out on top, I would have liked the balance of hops that I found in the aroma to be the same in the taste, but it isn't that big of a deal. I can actually pick up the nice caramel malt backbone of this beer, which has a very low amount of sweetness to it. This beer was pretty bitter at first but after a couple sips my taste bud adjusted to it and it wasn't to overbearing, the bitterness was similar to what you get in a Imperial Pilsner.

M- Crisp, refreshing and medium bodied. The carbonation on this beer was on the medium side and that suited the style nicely.

Overall I thought was a pretty damn good sessionable Pale Ale. I really like that fact that they crammed so much hop flavor into such a small beer, it really has the best of both worlds, the easy drinking of a session beer and the over the top hops flavors of an IPA. I feel this would be the perfect choice for my weekend disc golf games, its got all that flavor to hold my attention while being light enough to not fill me up or get me wasted. I liked the drinkability and aroma the most and the only thing I would change would be an even amount of pine and citrus, like how they were represented in the aroma. I will for sure be buying this again, I have no doubt six of these will be coming with me for my next disc golf game. If you like really hoppy and bitter beers then this will make a worthy choice, its nice to get all that bitterness and hop flavor without all the booze that usually comes with it, it just makes for a great bbq and summertime beer. I have yet to be let down by North Peak, they sure know how to use their hops, I will be on the lookout for any other North Peak brews I can get my hands on.

Photo of schoolboy
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like other beers from North Peak, this is a real winner. Perhaps it wins by being so unpretentious (they all are - look at the simple labels and the squat bottles on some of them). Ultimately, it delivers a great, well-balanced hoppy taste that ventures way beyond the expectations.

This may be one of the most drinkable APA's. It's a little low on alcohol, and that's a good thing sometimes. I think North Peak just moved up another notch on my A-list of very good breweries.

Photo of CWBlues
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to EricCioe for this one!

Bottle into an ale glass.

A: Pours a hazy, coppery orange. A quarter-finger of a creamy white head that dissipates pretty quickly.

S: Citrus and pine up front. Decent bit of hops there too.

T: Awesome hops in the first taste, but pine really fills up the mouth. Citrus at the back but very light.

M: This thing's kind of a kick in the mouth. The hoppy bitterness really lingers, sticks all over. Carbonation is good though. Feels like an IPA should.

O: I'm a hophead, and this is just an awesome beer. I would drink far more of these if I had them.

Photo of Brenden
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is an opaque ruddy unpoloished gold in color, nearly but not quite amber. A nearly white head is a real beauty, two fingers tall and sitting thick, dense and craggy for minutes before it fades. When it does, the thick foam never goes away. Lacing isn't quite the impressive perfection the head is, which is the only detraction from a perfect score for appearance.
There's a very aromatic pungency off the nose, with piney, resinous hops foremost. There's floral and citrus as well with some malts for balance and yeast underneath.
Like the aroma, the flavor is foremost of dry, resinous hops with some depth and balance from a light malts presence. It's not perfectly balanced, though, and while it's a very good beer a bit of chalky bitterness betrays that. Very leafy/herbal flavors develop into the finish as it warms.
This is appropriately medium bodied with enough depth to seem fuller without being remotely heavy. Carbonation is light. The body's almost as dry as expected, but pulls pleasantly away from a biting, chalky astringency with the addition of malts that are overcome in the flavor by the hops. Otherwise, this is lightly crisp throughiout and becomes creamy in the middle with a smooth finish and lingers quite dryly.

Photo of EricCioe
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours an ultra-hazy deep orange with a one finger white head that dies down to a thin film with no lace. On the nose the malt backbone is evident, a mixture of caramel and biscuit in that order. Around that are the hop flavors, largely resin but also orange peel. The nose is very well-balanced, more pale ale than IPA to me. In the mouth, there are oranges and grapefruits up top riding over bread and caramel lower down. It's definitely bitter, but the the malts do a good deal to balance this out. The body is pretty light, making for easy drinking, but the finish is long. Normally this is fine but here it gets a bit raucous at the end, a detriment for me.

Overall, this is a nice brew. This is the third North Peak brew I've had, after the Diabolical and Burly Belgo IPAs. This is a nice brewery when it comes to hops, maybe not world class, but certainly doing very good beers in the pale ale realm. I'll look into their other stuff based on the strength of these three.

Photo of Lillenk
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Appearance was very nice. A little lighter color than I would expect from the style, nut very clear with a nice head.

Smell was fantastic of citrus and hops.

Taste was great. Tons of bitter citrusy hops and finished clean.

MOuthfeel was great. A little more like a bigger IPA so I was very surprised that the ABV was so low.

Overall I think they hit the nail on the head. A great IPA. Very flavorful but still really easy to drink and doesn't knock you over with a high ABV. Very well done.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a slightly hazed copper hue, the bottle has a tone of yeast sediment at the bottom. The stubby bottle was opened with loud gasp of carbonation releasing, and the head forms thick with a fine even lacing. Aroma has a citrus pine earthiness going on with the hops with a light pale biscuit malts combination going on. Layers of hop bitterness to the point of soapiness and hop pellets. Mouthfeel is light bodied super abrasive bitterness, a beer like this should be likeable but this one is hard to get through. Carbonation is alright not offensive, the type of beer that makes me want to start homebrewing to make a low alcohol hoppy beer that is drinkable, overall the right concept with poor execution. Much better with the yeast added in from the bottom of the bottle, adds some depth balance and breadiness some malt and yeast girth to stand up to straight hops.

Photo of alexgash
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. APR 0311 stamped on label (bottled on date, I believe).

Slightly cloudy dark orange-copper body. Thumbs-width of frothy, thick, dense, bright beige head. Very good lacing. Bright, fresh hop nose. Plenty of pine, resin, dank, and a little lemon zest. Barely perceptible cookie malt.

Assertive hop bitterness right off the bat. Herbal and minty bitterness throughout. Toasted malts fight through and are joined by flashes of butter cookie and fruit. Malt flavors get pretty overwhelmed by the herbal, piny, and citrusy hop flavors. Aspirin, grapefruit, and lemon in the finish. Lingering light fruit and butter notes, but mostly resinous hops. Medium-bodied with a very creamy feel. A very nice, very hoppy session ale that should satisfy those hopheads that want a few extra beers over the course of a night!

Photo of xnicknj
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass - thanks to erikkoppin for this extra

Pours a clouded burnt caramel brown color with a one finger high off white head. Fades to some bubbled film with a few streaks of lacing on the glass.

Nice floral hop aroma with some citrus and fruit background. Biscuity malts with breaded caramel sweetness.

A decent punch of hop bitterness up front with floral and pine. Not exactly resiny, but sticky for sure. Softer fruit sweetness before a decent sized caramel malt backbone breaks through. Fairly balanced, some bready notes as well. Finishes dry and bitter.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation, a bit creamy and sticky, tingly on the tongue. This is one of those extras where I had no idea what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. Definitely a sessionable, tasty ale - I'd buy this if it was available here.

Photo of GoldenChild
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a glass

A- Tall 2 finger white bubbly head. Nice amber color. I expected it to look more watered down.

S- Piney, floral hops, I think that it needs a touch more dry hopping.

T- Pine, Citrus, And a nice malt finish.

M- med carb and refreshing

O- This is a fantastic beer, Its the best beer that i have had from north peak so far. Love it and will be buying more.... as long as i can find them??? I have only seen one 6 pack so far.

Edit: Wanted to add that i can find this beer all over now. Love it

Photo of nrbw23
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy golden orange color with a thin white head. Head has pretty good retention, turning into a cap and leaving some nice lacing.

S- Smell is tropical fruits mainly grapefriut and orange. Also a nice bready malt back bone.

T- Tropical fruits hitting with a bread malt back bone. Follows the nose well. A lot stronger tastes than what I thought with the bottle information. A bit of pine here too.

M- Medium in body and a nice amount of carbonation.

O- Not too bad. Not something I'll go out after and drink all the time.

Photo of GRPunk
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not quite stubby bottle that North Peak normally uses with date of APR0711, poured into a Lion tulip.

A- A normal pour created a 1-finger, khaki head that dropped to a nearly full covering film. Really nice rings left behind. The body was a clean, copper that was sporting moderate carbonation.

S- It had an initial rush of hops, citrus and earthy. Earthy notes increase with a little warmth. There was a sweet, malt balance. It comes off as a balanced IPA, hop forward, yet not overdone. There's nothing to say this is anything but a full-on IPA yet.

T- There it is. While not bad, it's a little lacking. Comparable to some middle-of-the-road IPAs. Lots of grainy malt. Herbal and citrus hops. The hopping isn't overwhelming, though not gentle, if that makes any sense. Kinda' different, bitter-sweet finish.

M- Moderate carbonation. Drying hops. Light-medium body compared to most in the full IPA style.

O- Not a "bad" beer by any means. Peripheral traits are fantanstic. Flavor is pretty basic. At ABV it could be a good choice for a bit of a hop blast of a session. Though I would do more than 1-2 in a sitting. Gotta' give the brewer credit for trying something new. Probably better categorized as an APA as it currently is on this site.

Photo of BradDurbin89
4.9/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured Wanderer Session IPA from a 12oz bottle to standard pint glass. It pours a slight ruby amber and golden color with a nice, frothy head that is two fingers and has great retention.

The nose is very nice, floral and pine and even a bit of sweetness. I prefer a bigger nose, but it is very pleasant.

There is a great citrus and floral flavor and I even pick up a bit of grapefruit and lemon. There is a subtle malt taste that compliments and balances this beer. Nice hop finish.

This beer has a very light mouthfeel, which I believe is the idea in this Session IPA. Great carbonation.

Overall, I love this beer. I've been waiting for a beer with these hop characteristics, but with lighter body and lower alcohol. I will drink this beer regularly. I see that it is a seasonal. I will have to stock up.

Photo of beerbears
4.93/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured form a 12oz bottle into a pint.

Two finger cap when poured and bits of lace left after a few minutes. A lovely rich amber color.

Wonderful aroma of lots of citrus with a wonderful ending.

It's a session IPA that actually has great amounts of hop flavor.

Overall a wonderful session IPA, would definitely drink this again!

Photo of boyfromthenorth
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle- What happened to their Stubbies- maybe just a one time deal- they better get those back. Packaging is important

Smell- Average. Less than Draft. Need some more dry hopping

Taste - still fantastic. Love this new style. My goal to finish the 6 pack tonight. Imagine ever saying this about an IPA never thought it would happen. Very balanced.

Mouthfeel- yes, light but perfect
Over- Fantastic. Just give me a bit more on the nose and we are in heaven.

Photo of SteveLyman
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured from a 12oz bottle to a New Belgium Brewing Company snifter. It pours a ruby amber with a large, frothy head that rises quickly and settles to two fingers that holds a bunch of retention.

S - This is relatively aromatic that has sweet honey, light floral, and pine needle notes.

T - The floral and citrus notes come through immediately. Lemon zest and watered down grapefruit arise. The malt taste is somewhat dry with a slight yeast taste. Ends quite bitter.

M - This beer has a very light mouthfeel, especially for an APA. The carbonation is too high and the finish is that of a dry wine, dry.

O - Overall this is a beer I would buy again. Although, it is somewhat dry and bitter, it could have enhanced the citrus and floral notes for me to enjoy it more.

Photo of Ryan011235
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 4/25/11

Bottled April 13, 2011

Paled and faded amber with some haziness. Two finger cap of foam is halved after a few minutes, eventually leaving 1/8th inch layer of foam. A few bubbly clumps of lace cling to the glass and compound throughout.

Boasting spicy, zesty citrus notes, the aroma is appealing. Grapefruit, lemon zest, orange pith and a nip or two of pine. Though it's tipped in favor of the hops, malts offer a toasted bread and biscuit counterpoint. Citric aromas smell ripe, especially after it opens up. The second pour smells a tad doughy.

I was kind of afraid that the aroma would be the high point and it is. Though it doesn't taste bad, Wanderer doesn't have the same depth once it hits the palate. Sharp grapefruit and lemon notes lead off, dry pine picks up in the mid-section and the latter half is nearly astringent with the bitterness. The malts are dry too; toasted bread and crackers.

Leaning toward the lighter side of medium body. Carbonation is too high for my liking; in conjunction with the prickly aspects of the flavor profile the overall perception is harsh. Finishes with fine resin and lingering bitterness.

Despite some of the brash aspects this beer could be a lot worse. It's drinkable enough that I won't mind finishing the bottle. Not as good as Vicious but much better than Diabolical (rating this as an IPA as opposed to APA). I won't be in a hurry to get it again but it'll do in a pinch.

Wanderer Session India Pale Ale from North Peak Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 131 ratings.