Wanderer Session India Pale Ale
North Peak Brewing Company

Wanderer Session India Pale AleWanderer Session India Pale Ale
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
IPA - American
Ranked #5,163
Ranked #29,805
3.8 | pDev: 10.79%
North Peak Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Very Good
Wanderer Session India Pale AleWanderer Session India Pale Ale
Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 169 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by leantom:
Photo of leantom
leantom from Indiana

2.33/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I don't know how anyone can like this beer. Here goes:

A: Best - and only - good thing about the beer. Dark but clear brown with a slight yellowish/gold hue. Good head and lacing.

S: Goes downhill from here. Lots of onions, garlic and earthy scents. Some caramel malt and grainy cereal in the background, but nothing to write home about.

T: Took one sip and drain-poured it. Absolutely rancid.

F: I suppose it was ok. Really just wanted to dump it down after that first sip.

O: No.

Jul 10, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of superspak
superspak from North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 8/17/2013. A bit of a gusher upon opening. Pours moderately hazy orange amber color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, tangerine, pineapple, floral, grass, caramel, bread, light pine, and floral earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good complexity of hop notes with a moderate malt balance; and decent strength. Taste of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange zest, pineapple, pine, floral, grass, bread, caramel, and floral earthiness. Good amount of earthy pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, pineapple, pine, floral, grass, bread, caramel, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and balance of bright citrus/pine hops flavors; with a crisp moderate malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very crisp and sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.2%. Overall this is a damn nice session IPA. Very nice robustness of bright hop flavors with a fair amount of malt; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Nov 21, 2013
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate from California

3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #85 (Feb 2014):

Crisp, Citrus, Clean, Bitter

One brewer’s Pale Ale is another’s Session IPA. Seems this sub-style of the IPA has caught on and is here to stay. Big orangey aroma with a clean grainy backing, and it smells like an IPA. Lighter bodied, tight crispness with a snappy hop bitterness. Grassy beginnings, orange pith to floral resin for the hop flavor. Cracker-like maltiness is just enough to hold this beer together. A solid offering.

STYLE: American IPA | ABV: 4.2% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Jun 26, 2015
Photo of BB1313
BB1313 from Ohio

3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy golden; huge fluffy eggshell white head that sticks around and leaves great lacing and retention. The aromas are subtle and full of orange peel and caramel malts. The flavors are muchmore vibrant. Lots of orange, tangerine, and grapefruit. Lots of pine needles as well. The flavors are sharp and crisp. The malts take a backseat in the flavors and the bitterness shines. Mouthfeel is nice; it's light but has a nice body to it. Carbonation is very active. This is obviously an easy drinking beer.

This is a pretty bold beer at 4.2% abv. It definitely packs a punch. It's not a game changer, but it's well crafted.

Sep 05, 2013
Photo of TheHoppiest
TheHoppiest from Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Jul 20, 2011
Photo of ribby
ribby from Michigan

4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an impressionistic review, not comprehensive tasting notes. I dead a sequential tasting of two session IPAs, North Peak Wanderer and New Belgium Slow Ride. While balance is not a common characteristic of IPAs, these two are both not too extreme in their hoppiness, and both are extremely drinkable. I have had session IPAs that were so overhopped I could not imagine having two of them. Between the two, the North Peak is a little fruitier in its hoppiness, the New Belgium a little more floral.

Mar 15, 2015
Photo of nathanmiller
nathanmiller from New York

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oct 02, 2015
Photo of Gtg642
Gtg642 from Michigan

4/5  rDev +5.3%

Dec 07, 2011
Photo of sixerofelixir
sixerofelixir from Ohio

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Jul 15, 2011
Photo of GoldenChild
GoldenChild from Michigan

4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
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

May 04, 2011
Photo of Zanico
Zanico from Ohio

3.32/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Feb 01, 2015
Photo of aasher
aasher from Indiana

3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Feb 01, 2014
Photo of SteveLyman
SteveLyman from Michigan

3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Apr 27, 2011
Photo of boyfromthenorth
boyfromthenorth from Michigan

4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Apr 27, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84 from California

3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 10/31/13.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy dark tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and grapefruit juice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with nice citrus forward hop qualities all around even though this beer is now over 5 months old at this point.

Apr 03, 2014
Photo of

3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Jolly Pumpkin, Ann Arbor.

Came to the table with a solid inch of white foam that left spotty lacing as it receded. The aroma of this beer is heavy in citrus with some caramel and herbs. The taste is more citrus, primarily grapefruit, with a bit of malt to balance it out. OVerall, a solid beer, and surprisingly flavourful for a lower ABB "session" beer.

Aug 19, 2011
Photo of StoutHunter
StoutHunter from Michigan

4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Jun 26, 2011
Photo of wvsabbath
wvsabbath from West Virginia

4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Jul 13, 2011
Photo of rkf1976
rkf1976 from Michigan

3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dec 03, 2015
Photo of ninaturner
ninaturner from Florida

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Apr 15, 2015
Photo of EricCioe
EricCioe from Montana

3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Jun 02, 2011
Photo of Lillenk
Lillenk from Michigan

4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

May 28, 2011
Photo of yankeej13
yankeej13 from Florida

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Jun 06, 2014
Photo of Thickfreakness
Thickfreakness from New York

2.77/5  rDev -27.1%
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.

Jul 12, 2011
Photo of brealbg
brealbg from Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Jul 30, 2012
Wanderer Session India Pale Ale from North Peak Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 169 ratings