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Monday, August 15th 2011

Trailhead India Style Session Ale
(Two Beers Brewing Company)

One of three canned offerings now available from Seattle's Two Beers Brewing Company (with a couple more on the way). Trailhead ISA (India Session Ale) is a great example of the movement to provide more sessionable beers to an increasingly craft-leaning American drinking base. A great idea for their summer seasonal and hopefully a first of many low ABV IPAs to come.

From the Two Beers site:

"Trailhead ISA is being released as our Summer Seasonal. A Northwest India-style Session Ale (ISA) aggressively dry-hopped with Columbus and Cascade hops and brewed with light crystal and honey malts. A hoppy crisp beer perfect for the sunny days of summer."

The CAN reads:

"Toss this in a backpack and hit the trail to find freedom, escape, and a more simple life. As the sky above and good friends keep you company this generously dry-hopped ISA will complete the trinity of the good life. Pack it in. Pack it out. Cheers!"

Here we go...

Pour - nice golden, peachy color in appearance with a half inch or more of white foam on top. Carbonation looks great and this beer is screaming drink me.


Aroma - as soon as I opened this can I could get a whiff of the hops. The late addition dry hopping sure leaves a lasting aromatic impression. Fresh, green, sticky, piney hop aromas are very, very present. 


Taste - right away you can feel that this IPA isn't carrying a lot of weight compared to a lot of other IPAs that are weighing in closer to the 7% mark. Trailhead packs a nice citrusy punch and a light to medium malt backbone. Not to sweet and not too bitter. The aroma each time you stick your nose in the glass really adds to the enjoyment this beer brings. I get a bit of a peppery flavor from this as well as that of orange peel. Not sure where that is coming from but it works for me. Good stuff right here.


Overall - it seems that many brewers are scaling back these days and offering something that provides a lot of the flavors beer lovers crave but without the high alcohol - something that isn't always easy to get right. Trailhead does a great job providing a lot of the hop flavor and aroma without the booziness brought on by many bigger IPAs. I'd love to see more and more session IPAs in cans, it just seems like a perfect match especially during summer. 


Would I buy more of it? - I would as this is a great sub 5% IPA and a perfect candidate for these hot August days working in the yard. I'm looking forward to trying their Evolutionary IPA - which is also now in cans. 


Note - one that thing that makes the cans from Two Beers a bit different than some of the others you'll see, and its not entirely obvious, is that their labels are actually shrink wrapped on to the cans. Great River Brewery in Iowa has also done this with a couple of their cans as well. As this allows the brewery to can as few or as many cans as they want by just ordering shrink wrap labels and blank cans, this could be a cheap and easy way around the cost of ordering the rather large amount of cans many manufacturers currently require. 


Two Beers Brewing Company's current canned offerings

Hops Scale:
(See All Rated)
Can Scale:
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Trailhead India Style Session Ale
Style: American India Pale Ale
Brewery: Two Beers Brewing Company
Seattle, Washington  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Light Crystal and Honey Malts
Hops: Columbus and Cascade
ABV: 4.8%
IBUs: 48
Date: August 15th, 2011

Posted by Russ

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