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

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Trail Head Pale AleTrail Head Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon
Ohio, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

Added by Stinkypuss on 06-02-2013

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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 461
Photo of SHDoyle
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Description: Clear, golden color with a finger of foamy white head that lingers. Heavy white lacing. The aroma is clean and fresh with tropical fruits, mango and mandarin orange up front. A little touch of pine after that but it's muted. Unlike the smell, the taste is primarily bitter, certainly much more so than the fruity smell would indicate. Not bad, but maybe a little one note. It would have been nice to get more of the fruit here. Body and carbonation are both medium and unremarkable.

Suggested food pairing: Bacon cheeseburger

If you like this beer then you should also try: CBC IPA

Overall: 4 (This beer is good and I may or may not drink it again) The line between pale ales and IPAs can sometimes be blurry and I think that's the case here. It really reminded me more of the latter, which isn't a bad thing, just not what I expected. It's a fresh, smooth, drinkable beer but it would have been nice if the taste matched the delicious smelling nose a little more.

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Photo of philbe311
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pick up a bunch of Fat Head's stuff, including this one, on a recent road trip through Pittsburgh...

L - Slightly more than two fingers worth of lush creamy light-to-medium khaki colored froth comprised of big airy and chunky bubbles... Excellent retention... Becomes a bit rocky on the top as this one begins to settle... The color is a deep rich copper with some warm amber undertones... A good bit of carbonation which travel at various paces... Some slow, some rather rapid... A moderate bit of lacing clings to the sides of the glass...

S - A glorious array of hops... Layers upon layers of hop complexity... The first wave is citrusy sweet... Mango... Pineapple... Orange zest... Next is a warm inviting earthy hop presence... There is also a distinct forest piney presence... These layers of complexity sit atop a robust rich malt base of biscuit and caramel sweetness...

T - The flavor profile becomes much more one dimensional... The hops take one a very assertive fresh whole hop presence... Lots of piney notes and fairly intense hop resins... The citrusy tropical notes are no where to be found... The malt base is present but takes a very distant back seat... The one word which keeps coming to mind to describe this offering is "DANK."

F - On the fuller side of medium bodied... A moderate bit of carbonation... Dense, rich and smooth... Mostly juicy throughout with a touch of dryness creeping in on the finish... The finish provides a slightly chalky texture...

O - World class looks and smell... Solidly above average in terms of taste and feel... The end result is a highly enjoyable American Pale Ale with loads of character and complexity... The fresh hop nature add tons of depth... The overall branding for Fat Head's is something that I've also become quite found of... Very good stuff...

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Photo of justintcoons
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32 oz growler poured into a shaker pint.
Purchased at Trenton Road Take Out in Levittown, PA.

Blonde with 1 finger of off-white head. Good clarity with light carbonation.

Candied orange, bright florals, papaya, and pine.

Candied orange and grapefruit. Bright florals and pine sap. Bready, slightly biscuity maltiness. Resin lingers.

Medium bodied, semi-juicy / semi-dry, and crisp with a medium-light bitterness.

Pretty straight forward (and delicious) hoppy APA. Easy drinking, well balanced, and refreshing.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Can from the brewery
Pours a fairly clear deep golden color with a huge frothy rocky white head that persists forever. Bready biscuity crackery malt aroma and flavor with plenty of resinous pine and pithy citrus and just a touch of tropical hop character to round this out nicely. Great pale ale although it certainly is straddling the IPA line.

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Photo of barczar
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is floral, resiny, slightly dank, herbal, and grapefruit pith, with a touch of caramel sweetness.

Flavor is very floral, resiny, lightly sweet throughout, with a hint of onion and a moderately bitter finish. Not really my bag.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

American Pale Ale brewed with Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe, and Amarillo hops. A portion of the proceeds of this beer go to the Cleveland Metroparks Trails Fund. Poured from a can into a Bell's tulip. Beautiful pour! Deep gold in color with a very slight haze and 2.5 fingers of dense, persistent white foam on top. I grow thirstier just looking at it. Lots of nice tropical fruit on the nose. Lemons, grapefruit, a little cedar, and a hint of lavender.

Medium body with a firm feel and a classic American Pale Ale flavor profile. Toast and marmalade up front with a hint of caramel, then a big blast of hops. Pine, cedar, lemon, grapefruit - just about every hop flavor you can imagine is represented here. The finish is lemony, fairly dry, and lingers nicely. Overall, a classic American Pale Ale that's packed with flavor and complexity and can stand up to a good steak, but still refreshing and easy to drink.

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Photo of ajm5108
3/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Aroma features pale malt, citrus zest and a little bit of black pepper. Flavor is pretty analogous, though some more of the bitter hops comes through especially toward the end. A strong, straight-to-the-point that might lack complexity but makes up for it with a direct, clean profile.

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Photo of rjd722
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Deep, clean golden with white foam head and lots of lacing.

Aroma: Tropical, piney, and citrus.

Taste: Matches the aroma directly, somewhat sweet, resinous hops dominate.

Feel: Light and refreshing, has a piney, bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of AC-Mivsek
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours golden with a medium sized white head
S- Piney citrus hops,
T- Very hop-forward, resiny, slight malt sweetness on the finish
M- High carbonation, medium body, crisp, clean, and refreshing
O- I have nothing bad to say about this beer. Nice and hoppy, very well crafted and balanced.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce can into pint glass, canned on 9/20/2015. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy golden orange color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, passion fruit, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, caramel, toasted biscuit, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/tropical/piney hops and moderate dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, passion fruit, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, caramel, toasted biscuit, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, passion fruit, mango, lemon/orange rind, pine, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical/piney hops and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and no astringent hop flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitterness that increases through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, sticky/resinous, and fairly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent pale ale. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical/piney hops and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink, even with the fairly aggressive and resinous bitterness. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.09/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Amber with a slight haze, and a fluffy white, lumpy head.

Smell is dank, featuring light rug and cat pee, plus grapefruit and resin.

Right up front I taste spicy cucumber somehow. Then grapefruit takes over, as well as pine. The spectre of Sweet Tarts waves goodbye on the way down, but this puppy is pretty damn bitter for what otherwise might seem like a lighter IPA. They call this a Pale Ale, but this is in your face West Coast IPA all the way.

Tingly feel, medium body.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
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 -3.4%
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 -3.4%
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%
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 -6.6%
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 +1.5%
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 +5.1%
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 +10%
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 +1.7%
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 -2.4%
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 -0.5%
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 +3.4%
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 that is capped by 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 +3.2%
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 -3.9%
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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Trail Head Pale Ale from Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon
4.1 out of 5 based on 461 ratings.
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