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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 | website

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: 58 | Ratings: 445
Photo of BEERchitect
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
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 brentk56
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
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 superspak
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
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 mdfb79
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
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 WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Appears a brilliant copper slight ruby hue to it nice caramel malts came to play, with a whole lot of hops.

Aroma bright citrus notes with big tropical fruit hanging around with each sniff including papaya, mango, a bit of passionfruit in there as well. This is well made pale ale, it’s as hoppy as most IPAs but more flavorful with a moderate level of bitterness only 55 IBUs but it’s kickin’ ass.

Flavor has a strong malt presence some nice caramelization, complemented with big expressive hop notes again with the tropical fruit citrus and herbaceous pine notes in the backend. I could drink this in number without effort, glad to also see it on tap in the Burgh...cans can be found at Fat Head’s in the Southside intermittently that’s where I sourced my six pack.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied even carbonation slick oily hop textures on the palate pretty great tasting beer. Full on lingering hop finish, very nice pleasant experience with each sip.

Overall, I’m down with this beer…quintessentially one of the best pale ales I’ve ever had hands down!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

The beer is light orange with a white head. Big hop aromas, with oranges and assorted citrus shining through. Tangy citrus, nectarines, mild sweetness. Medium bodied with ample carbonation. Solid.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.51/5  rDev +9.7%
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 johnnnniee
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
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 WoodBrew
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wife brought this gem home from a recent visit to Ohio. The beer poured a cloudy copper with thin white head that laced. The scent was mostly malt with hints of subtle pine. The taste was decent balance between malt and bitter hops....orange peel was present throughout. The mouthfeel medium body with good carbonation. Overall a solid sessionable Pale Ale.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fat Heads : Trail Head Pale Ale

Tropical hops, a solid pinch of bitterness muted caramel malts, slight roast, but insanely bitter for a pale. This can be an IPA. Aroma of pungent hops and toasted malt. Mango, herb, pine assault the palate and faint malts are trying to balance. Citra and Simcoe hops going to town giving off a very nice flavor. Medium bodied, well carbonated with a solid hop bite. Overall, this is a hell of a pale and certainly one worth trying out. I'd definitely get this again.

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Photo of tone77
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
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 puboflyons
3.82/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned on 07/08/14 so this is pretty fresh. Sampled on July 25, 2014. Received in trades from a non BA member.

There is an amber-copper pour leading up to a full off-white head and a touch of haziness.

The breaded malts are picked up in the aroma quickly but they are abruptly overtaken by the resiny, earthy hop sensations.

Medium to heavy body.

Again, I pick up a brief homage to roasted malts but the powerful hops roar in like an express train and overtake it all...leaving a long lasting bitterness at the end.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Bob's Bar in Columbus, OH.

Pours a dark orange/amber color, with a 1.5 inch head, and some good lacing down the glass.

Smells quite hoppy, with some pine needles and sap, some grapefruit.

Lots of orange and mango on the palate, slammed with some intense pine bitterness. Lots of lingering bitterness for a simple pale ale. A little bit of caramel malt flavor is drowned out by nice intense hop flavor.

Medium bodied, very drinkable despite the amount of hops. Crisp and dry mouthfeel.

An excellent beer, and my first from this brewery.

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Photo of barczar
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
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 maximum12
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%

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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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.72/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma a mellow citrus hop. In the taste, a dryer citrus hop, but more hops than malt. A small hop bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry citrus like hop in the aftertaste. Quite hop heavy for a pale, not complaining, just sayin'...

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Photo of rawfish
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours out of the can hazy amber golden with a nice fluffy two finger head. Good retention that has clingy and tight lacing on the glass. Word of advice the yeast can get chunky, pour smooth.

Big aroma comes off as highly tropical with a steady pine backing. Fruit aromas of pineapple, juicy melon, passion fruit and orange citrus ride high atop a foundation of pine resin and biscuit and doughy sweetness.

Bright grapefruit, lemon pith and pine hops are in your grill from the start with some spicy and herbaceous follow through. Doughy malt sweetness provides balance and the herbal bitterness remains bright and is a couple of ticks below the IPA range.

Average body with appropriate carbonation, the bright hop bill makes it seem more lively than it really is. Fairly clean, the pine and herbaceous hops linger quite a bit and wetness stays on the palate.

Impressive pale ale, a perfect summer crusher. It's got a good nose and balance with an All-Star cast of hops.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This poured a bronze to light copper with a dense highly retentive white head.

The scent was all hops with bountiful floral and citrus aromas. I caught gragefruit, lemon, pine needle, cannabis and resin.

Pale Ale my ass! This has so much hop character that it revivals any DIPA. I actually get no malt character at all but grapefruit, tangerines, lemon, pine, leafy cannabis and floral hop cone.

The feel is a tad too astringent and leaves a resinous metallic aftertaste. Otherwise, it moves smoothly across the palate and is easy through and through.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
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 Tucquan
4.11/5  rDev 0%

Had this on 2014-08-14 in Columbia, PA

A - Pretty clear copper-gold with a 1-finger off-white head and very good lace.

S - Dank hops, some pine, citrus, floral, pale malt. Nice aroma although not real strong.

T - Dank and bitter up front then some fruit and bready sweetness. Citrus flesh expresses itself then yields to lots of pine and finally to lingering grapefruit bitterness.

M -Light-medium body and medium carbonation. Prickly and lightly resinous. Dries nicely.

O - Sits between a Head Hunter and a Sunshine Daydream, which is a lofty perch.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4/5  rDev -2.7%
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 ONovoMexicano
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
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 thecheapies
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours out gold with some extra color. Nice foam top that holds beautifully.

Crispy floral hops with fruity notes of tropical rind, grapefruit, unripe orange, and lychee. Crackery malts showcase the hops well.

Lightly tropical with notes of mango rind, white grapefruit, flowery hops, whole cones, and tart papaya. Excellently hoppy, like a Head Hunter Lite. Pale as can be in the malt department with crackery dryness. Extra dry with the hops and a crisp bitterness that gushes out a bit. Nice and stable medium body with a pumping carbonation that acts like Winterfresh on the gums. Hard to slam because of the gassiness. Great pale ale, overall.

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Photo of siege06nd
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned on 5/28/2014. Thanks, Mark!

A. Pours a mostly clear light copper color. A stiff three finger white head pops right off the top. It calms to a finger and leaves some very soapy lacing as I sip the brew down. This is a frothy, juicy looking pale ale. Very nice.

S. Citra hopping is very prevalent, with tropical and creamy accents being quite prominent in the bouquet. An underlying herbal and grassy hop profile provides some welcome spiciness to the sweeter, softer citra. Also some very subtle malt on the nose, with a mild biscuity doughiness rounding out the bouquet.

T. Big orange creamsicle, dry, bitter grapefruit zest up front. At that point, the tropically fades out and is replaced, albeit briefly, by some herbal, grassy bitterness with hints of sage and even arugula. Tropicality then returns with sweet orange and some bready malt. Finish goes back to spicy, dry, grassy hops. Finish is slightly astringent, would have enjoyed the brighter tropical notes over the tea leaf and tobacco finish presented here. That said, it's a tasty ass beer.

M. Moderately carved with a surprisingly creamy feel. It's tropical, sweet, and light up front, though the finish really skews towards sage, herbs, and tea leaf. Perhaps a little much so.

O. This is an excellent pale ale with some great citra hopping and an initially tropical flavor profile. While the finish is a little more astringent and drying than I would prefer, it definitely gives you a classic pale ale flavor that is an interesting contrast to the brightness of the citra hops up front. The finish is just a little to herbal/tea leaf for me...almost a plasticy taste in its thin bitterness. But everything before is super top notch, and these notes fade quickly as you are left with a pleasant malt kiss and tropical residual flavor. A great pale ale, Fat Heads Trail Head is another in a long line of top-notch hop-forward offerings from one of the best brewers in the country.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Can

Appearance - Golden tan, brown with a 1/2 foamy head that disappeared quickly. Decent lacing.

Smell - Citric fruits, orange, lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, Some pale malts at the finish.

Taste - First sip is a really nice amount of piney hops, lemon and orange with some pale malts. Really Smooth with full flavor. Nice caramel/pale malts add a nice backbone. Citric fruits are throughout this beer, and provide sweet flavors.

Mouthfeel - First the hops sweeten, and bitter the tongue. Citirc fruits coat the palate, along with caramel and pale malts. Aftertaste is citric sweet, minor bitter and malty.

Overall - A really nice beer. Flavorful, loads of flavor, easy to drink, balanced and complex. A another winner for fatheads. A must try, that simple.

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Trail Head Pale Ale from Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon
91 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.
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