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: 60 | Ratings: 451
4.49/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Another great beer from fat heads. Guys must be beer wizards. Edit: fresh bottle dated December 12, 2015. Tasted on January 8, 2016. Super bright floral and citrus notes. Gorgeous light orange color with 3 finger head. Bitterness is perfect for the malts, which are there, but the hops are the stars. Wow! So so good. I'd put this fresh up against zombie dust any day.

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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 Evahflow
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

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 +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 SomethingClever
4/5  rDev -2.7%

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%
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 -12.4%

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 +2.2%

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 +3.4%

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 -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 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 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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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 peel was present throughout. The mouthfeel medium body with good carbonation. Overall a solid sessionable Pale Ale.

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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 schoolboy
4.48/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Fat Head brews have the tendency to just bowl you over. This one does it. I'm not sure how a brew can be this close to perfect. It shows exactly what is great about this style.

It pours a deep yellow with loads of lace. The aroma is fresh and crisp with sharp finishing hops aroma. The taste is that dry over the top APA, but it is a little dark and malty too, giving it some balance. It goes down bitter and stays bitter on the tongue.

The biggest problem with this brew is that I did not buy enough. I will get more at the store tomorrow and maybe stop by the brew pub and have a fresh pint next week.

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

Poured from a 12oz can into a stemmed tulip glass

Poured a slightly hazy copper color with a big white, persistent head that leaves nice lacing as it falls to a creamy collar. It has a fantastic big hoppy nose, pine, grapefruit and floral. The taste is also hop dominated with dry grapefruit, hints of herbal/floral notes, and some other citrus, but there is still a mild malt character providing body and balance. It has a medium body and good carbonation and is light, creamy and refreshing. Overall, this is a great pale ale that, with its 6+ ABV and aggressive hopping, is also a great IPA. Whatever you want to call it, it is fantastic!

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

Teetering on a 4.25 overall here. While some pale ales are so loaded with hops that you can mistake them for an IPA, Trail Head truly tastes like an APA. The bitterness is a little higher than maybe some pale ales, but it's still not on the level of an IPA. Nice sweetness, clean and solid herbal and slightly fruity hop character, and a smooth I-want-another-sip finish. Pretty thirst quenching. Fat Heads makes the most of a style of beer that a lot of people I feel look at as boring.

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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 mabermud
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This pale ale looks and smells delicious. It appears a dark, rich, orange, with a fine white head of micro-bubbles. There looks to be some yummy solids floating around in the body. The smell is of overripe grapefruit, pine, and hops. I can smell the Citra. Then, there is the taste. It smells and looks like it's going to be a hop bomb, but it isn't. What am I thinking, it's a pale ale. The taste is fantastic - light grapefruit, light pine, flavorful hops, and some maltiness. This is a session IPA, marketed as as an American pale ale. The mouthfeel holds it's own.

Overall, this is a very good pale ale, if you decide to call it that. The lines are blurred. Fat head's Brewery makes some outstanding beers.

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Photo of BrewUSA
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Fat Heads Trail Head

Look 8/10
Smell 18/20
Taste 37/40
Feel 10/10
Drinkability 18/20

Overall 91/100

Really nice pale that really drinks more like an IPA, has a nice malt back one too. Def hop forward and at 6.3 it has a fair amount of bite (for a pale) it really packs a decant hop wallop and has and exceptionally smooth feel and consistency. I'm drinking it less than 10 days old, So it's rather fresh. I could imagine it may fade with age. Still would be good I imagine...

Final Verdict: Real hop heavy and smooth pale worth seeking out~

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Photo of lundqu23
3.44/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Some good grassy flavors and light but nothing to great. Poured a hazy light orange with tiny head. Piney hops and simcoe here as well as a citrus smell. Light pale and piney undertones in the back. Medium orange rind bitterness. Medium light body. An alright beer.

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Photo of Swettenham_Shire
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Currently my highest rated pale ale. Just an amazing concoction of Simcoe and Citra hops; the taste really hits home. Well done Fat Heads.

So happy to see they finally got around to canning this. I'll always have a fresh can in my fridge when the distribution hits Columbus.

The wet hopped version tops the regular version, but both are fantastic!

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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 Omnium
3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Notes:
Served on-tap at the brewery on March 26th, 2013

A - Cloudy orange with two fingers of off white head, thick lacing.
S - Grassy, and very earthy hops, rye, pepper, biscuit, smells very spicy.
T - Earthy spicy hop resin, bread malt, light floral notes, kinda bland.
M - Medium feel, typical pale.
O - Really disappointing, not sure why, because I've heard good things about this plenty of times prior. Hopefully my review will change once bottles come out.


From a can right into a mason pint.
A - Cloudy orange in color with two fingers of soapy foamy white head, medium lacing.
S - Aroma is very grassy, vibrant, lemon zest, and orange, cracker and bread malts. Pleasant.
T - Taste is very good, lots of grassy tones, lemon, pine, vibrant bright flavors, the malt base is just enough, its like fresh bread.
M - Clean and crisp, refreshing.
O - Wayyyy better than I remember having it on tap, so I'm kinda stoked about that.

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Trail Head Pale Ale from Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon
91 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.
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