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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,728 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1728
Reviews: 515
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.17%


Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: thagr81us on 02-14-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,728 | Reviews: 515 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SteveB24
SteveB24

New York

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance; clear amber, very little foam but large bubbles cling the side of the glass tightly.

smell; floral, slightly yeasty with a bit of a hop bite.

taste; citrus, floral notes, apple, slight alcohol taste.

mouthfeel; medium carbonation, light/ medium body, very crisp, slightly dry in the finish.

overall; a solid pale ale

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 02:51:05 | More by SteveB24
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Pale is dead, long live the Pale!

As the classic taste of pale ale is taking on a renovation, it's shedding much of its malt sweetness in favor of a drier backbone. This happens as hop aroma, flavor and bitterness pulls substantially forward. Maybe they're not "session IPA". Maybe they're the new look of American Pale Ale.

Headwaters Pale Ale pours as any well-conceived one would- its copper and light bronze body shows glimpses of gold about its margins. As a steady stream of bubble race to the surface, a longstanding coat of froth presumes the beer's surface. As it trails with dotted rings, the beer sings the praises of all-things-pale.

Its racy scent favors the hop cone with unmistakable Pacific Northwest grapefruit and orange peels. Propped up with medium caramel and graham cracker-type dry bready-sweetness, the malt character offers stern support while still letting the hops shine. A turn to mint, fresh-cut grass and shaven pine complement the scent with earthy vegetative character.

Conversely its the graham cracker and caramel that greets the taste buds first. Its leading sweetness trends dry and lightly toasty while the pang of citrus rapidly grows in the middle. As a crescendo of citrus strikes, it immediately develops toward spicy, piney and pleasantly grassy finish with a piquant and resinous bitterness.

Medium-light on the palate, the sweetness lingers with the creaminess of carbonation momentarily. But once the hops resinous character sets in, the sweetness escapes and the hops close the show with its own sense of dryness to match that of minty-warm alcohol.

Echoes of toasted barley malt return as the stronghold of bitterness starts to relinquish. Its refreshing and satisfying taste isn't as IPA-ish as many. Headwaters retains its caramel "Pale" roots but also modernizing them.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2014 04:37:28 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha

Arizona

4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Incredibly flavorful and interesting Pale Ale. Reviewed to style, this one is among the better pale ales I've had. Good complexity of hop aromas and flavors, balanced on the palate, yet also refreshingly easy to drink. Rivals the best of the new, trendy "session IPA" beers too, I would wager.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 01:21:29 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of andrewjraab
andrewjraab

Michigan

3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a clear golden yellow with a nice pile of white head that maintains to a thin cap that coats the glass. Good lacing.

S - lemon grass, citrus, yeast, grains.

T - Hop forward - citrus and piney. Faintly sweet, yeasty. Finishes bitter on the back end.

O - Nails it for me on the APA style. Aggressively hopped and that is a good thing.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 02:59:28 | More by andrewjraab
Photo of ThePaintedGrey
ThePaintedGrey

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Vivid amber hue with a creamy three-finger head that takes eons (in beer-time) to deflate to a 1/4" cap. Tons of lacing left behind as the head dissipates.

S: Some light citrusy hops—grapefruit, little bit of orange and tangerine, but mostly grapefruit. A decent amount of malty sweetness underneath to keep things mild and balanced.

T: A bit of citrus upfront with some lightly floral notes coming though. Hints of maltiness and breadiness balance everything else out to keep the profile very mild while still allowing the hops to shine.

M: Medium body with a crisp carbonation. Finishes dry and goes down super-smooth. This one is the definition of sessionable.

O: Another fantastic brew from Victory. This one is great for hopheads and non-hopheads alike. Well-balanced flavors, a bit of complexity, and wonderful sessionability. A recommended brew, no doubt.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 05:10:58 | More by ThePaintedGrey
Photo of FLima
FLima

Brazil

3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber copper color with a thin off-white head with low retention.
Very few times I have felt such intense aroma of papaya in a beer. Also hints of sweet strawberries and white bread.
Bitter flavor with notes of tea bags, oranges, papaya, mango, peaches, caramel, grass, earth and floral and perfumy hops. Dry aftertaste with a long lasting perfumy bitterness.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation and an acid sensation.
A hoppy and earthy APA. Papaya with lemon drops and a handful of hops.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2014 01:51:26 | More by FLima
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Opaque golden with a creamy white head.

S: Biscuity malt, sweet nectary citrus, mango, orange in the nose.

T: Starts off with citrus peel, orange, a touch of mango, then some pine and lemon, followed by a blend of all those flavors in the finish and a hint of malt comes with the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: Really good. Perhaps not the best pale ale, but definitely worth a try and recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2014 22:35:42 | More by BierJager89
Photo of mnrider
mnrider

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Bright somewhat clear amber color. The medium sized white head leaves little lacing and just a thin layer of retention. The color is outstanding.

S: Floral hops. Sweet fruity notes. Grains. Overall fresh and cool, but somewhat confined.

T/M: Bitter citric hops, mostly floral. Fruity flavors. Malt sweetness. Grains. Crisp with a creamy feel. The finish is hoppy and little gritty. Flavors linger on the palate.

O: This is a terrific pale ale. Victory continues to impress with every entry I try. The drinkability with all their beers are excellent and this one is no different. The citric hoppy flavors are solid but don't go overboard.

Cheers!!!

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 21:28:47 | More by mnrider
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
AlCaponeJunior

Texas

3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange to tan and slightly hazy, decent head and lace.

Aroma and flavor are full of fruity, floral notes with some sweet, caramel malts, and earthy malt notes.

Body is very drinkable with a lightly sweet, lightly malty, somewhat floral hops finish.

While my favorite from Victory remains Prima Pils, this one is definitely a winner too. Good job on this beer, Victory!

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 01:00:12 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of mfnmbvp
mfnmbvp

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with enjoy by date of March 14, 2014 printed on the bottleneck. Another new beer to me from Victory that just arrived in my area. Victory really seems to be cranking them out lately. Expectations are decent.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a nice bright coppery orange with excellent clarity, and just over a finger of soapy bubbly off-white head. Some thin strings of lacing. Looks very prime.

S - Very floral hops really shine here. Flowers, grass, lemons, pine, and some crisp leafy earthiness / yeast presence. A touch of grainy pilsner malt sort of smell.

T - Taste follows the nose with the addition of woodsy caramel malt. Grainy pilsner malts, leafy herbal earthiness, floral hops, resinous pine / spruce, and some bitter grapefruit. Nice and all, but I feel like it falls a bit short somewhere.

M - Feel is crisp, clean, and even refreshing. Light grainy malt and some resinous hops chilling on the palate.

Overall, a nice pale ale, but hardly distinguishable from many others in the pack. It is bright and floral with excellent balance, and a solid sipper with a moderately low 5.10% abv. I would have it again if the occasion was right.

Victory Headwaters Pale Ale ---3.5/5

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 20:16:30 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of kemoarps
kemoarps

Missouri

3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a beautiful beer no doubt about that. That rich, clear amber that you want your beer to look like. Decent little white head, sticks around a little bit, decent lacing.

Subdued aroma. Decent little hops presence, bready malts, and a mild yeastiness that could be partly my imagination.

The taste is much more pronounced than the aroma. This is a good thing. It starts out with an abrupt bitterness: pine, yes, but a lot of cooled grapefruit and pith as well. The malts are merely strings holding the hops afloat, and it fades into a bitter aftertaste with a kind of generic bitter and crackers aftertaste.
It's a decent brew. Not one I'd necessarily look for again, but I don't regret having tried it?

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 00:41:02 | More by kemoarps
Photo of PicoPapa
PicoPapa

Connecticut

4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Prime 16 in Orange. Pours a translucent amber color with a 1/4 inch of head. Good amount of lacing. Aroma is citrus and spicy hops. Slightly tropical with some biscuity malts. The taste is spicy hops with some orange peel and pine hints. Lots of hop flavor with a good amount of bitterness. Biscuit towards the end with more orange peel bitterness. Light mouthfeel with a fair amount of carbonation. This is one of the hoppier Pale Ales I've had. Overall, lots of flavor that's easy to drink. This Pale Ale is worth seeking out.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2013 23:26:17 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of goldrodent
goldrodent

Connecticut

4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A nice friendly beer that lets the malts run the show, intimidating the hops up front, letting in a little spicy bitterness at the end. Tastes very good. Looks very, very pretty. Date it. See where it goes.

Epilogue: It is probably unfair to force a reviewer to write a review longer than 250 words when a beer is this proudly simple.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 21:32:39 | More by goldrodent
Photo of Steff_Wantz
Steff_Wantz

Maryland

4.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: amber colored with clear carbonation

S: delicious hoppy, crisp aroma

T: refreshingly smooth, citrus hints, not bitter at all

M: very pleasant, does not linger after

O: Overall I love this beer! It is super refreshing and light. I really would like to try this beer on tap.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 03:15:10 | More by Steff_Wantz
Photo of Marko84
Marko84

New York

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a variety pack I recently purchased
Victory Headwaters pale ale
I like this. I like this a lot. As with Hop Devil, it doesn't smell as good as it tastes. A musty smell is forgotten the moment it hits your tongue. This was my favorite among the Victory taster pack I bought. I don't mean to draw a parallel, but it feels and tastes more like a wheat beer. Either way, I enjoyed the heck out of it.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 03:32:11 | More by Marko84
Photo of Hoperator
Hoperator

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clarity and the amber glow was exceptional. Carbonated perfectly. Dense tan head laced the glass and retention was there to the last ounce. Against the APA style this is way too hoppy, however, is more in line with an IPA standard. There is certainly a good amount of Citra Hops pushing an incredible citrusy aroma with some piney, lemony notes. The taste is the same as the aroma with a well balanced overall experience. Has a good level of bitterness, certainly more than present in APAs. This is the beer your want to have when an traditional IPA is to big but when you want all the nose and flavors. One of my favorites and is my go to beer when people like hoppy without the extreme bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 01:12:00 | More by Hoperator
Photo of jazzyjeff13
jazzyjeff13

United Kingdom (England)

3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A 12oz bottle with no visible BB date. Picked up recently from Trembling Madness in York. Named for the source of the water used in brewing Victory's beers - the Brandywine creek.

Poured into a straight pint glass. A clear orange-amber hue with low carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy white foam that lasts for a few minutes before settling as a patchy surface layer. Some lacing. Aroma of fruity hops, pine, a hint of citrus, sweet caramel malt and earthy yeast. Very nice.

Tastes of spicy aromatic hops and sweet malt, with a crisp bitter finish. Notes of pine, grapefruit, peel, citrus, grass/hay, caramel, barley sugar, earthy yeast and stewed hops. A tangy bitterness envelops the tastebuds upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with good body but lacklustre carbonation. Slightly astringent, followed by an aftertaste of pine resin, bitter hops and mild caramel.

A tasty brew - goes down nicely. Looks alright, with a fantastic aroma/flavour of hops and sweet caramel malt. Decent body, though more effervescence would add texture. Reminds me somewhat of SNPA, which is a pretty good endorsement. Could happily drink a few of these. Worth sampling if you come across it.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 01:33:14 | More by jazzyjeff13
Photo of MistahBeah
MistahBeah

Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice golden color. Amber around the top. Lots of visible carbonation. Creamy white head with nice retention. Some striated lace

Smells of biscuits and slightly grainy. Fresh oranges. Some honey. Lots of estery yeast character. Faintly metallic. Some spice too but a lot of sweetness

Taste starts off with some peppery spice. Biscuity malts with some traces of honey or caramel. Hops kick in with some juicy grapefruit. Herbal bitterness works well with the fruity esters. Very nicely balanced. Finishes a bit spicy

Feels smooth and medium-bodied. Crisp with carbonation and spice

Overall a classic in my book. I find that many pale ales - even the good ones - fall flat for me. I'll find myself saying that something's "good for a pale." This is a great beer. True to style, yet different enough to stand out and be known

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 03:15:06 | More by MistahBeah
Photo of zookerman182
zookerman182

Alabama

3.59/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gorgeous amber orange color in the glass with a one finger head that vanished quickly.
Aroma is hoppy and yeasty with no malt and maybe A hint of metallic.
Flavor is piney and a little bitter and still yeasty. Very lightly carbonated almost like a light beer but with a hoppy flavor. Not a complex beer at all and doesn't get better as it warms. But a simple solid version of a pale ale. Not my favorite frm victory but its a sessionable ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2013 21:02:54 | More by zookerman182
Photo of scotorum
scotorum

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Innis & Gunn flute from the 12 oz. bottle.

a: Clear amber with a finger thick head which dissipated quickly and almost completely. Little carbonation evident, appears flat.

t: Sharp metallic up front, reminds me of early craft beer which often seemed to taste of the metal tanks. Brief floral follow up is nice, but then the taste flattens out to just bitter beer. Not flat though, some carbonation.

m: Moderate.

o: Not much going for this other than being somewhat darker colored with some evident hop presence. The initial metallic tinge leaves a poor first impression. Thought it might be an old bottle, but the only possible information are numbers on the bottom, 30610-B1-1731, which are not in the format which Dating Beer reports. .

In any event I still love their IPAs.

UPDATE 11.11.13 Had another from the same sixpack, which seemed to lack the offending metallic tinge of the first. Still finding it rather undistinguished, but then by now I am spoiled by so many good brews. Reminded me somewhat of Sam Adams Vienna Lager, which is generally available for less money, although the Victory may have had a bit more hops presence than Sam's. Did not see much reason to upgrade my ratings enough to make a very significant difference.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2013 03:10:03 | More by scotorum
Photo of ChrisMyhre
ChrisMyhre

Massachusetts

4.36/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from the 12 oz. bottle. Best by December 2013.

a: Light copper color,billowy head with some lacing.

s: Hoppier than expected. Very little malt.

t: Hoppy, light malt but very flavorful.

m: Heavier than expected, nice smooth, easy drinking beer.

o: Great drinkable beer, very non-pretentious but flavorful. Great APA.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 23:26:19 | More by ChrisMyhre
Photo of BeerMark
BeerMark

Alabama

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Got this sixer at Derk's Fillet & Vine in Montgomery Alabama. My goodness, Alabama has come a long way in the last few years. I'm seeing world class beers sitting beside some great local selections. There's not much else that I can add to the reviews that are not here already. Headwaters Pale Ale is delicious. It's malty and hoppy and the combination of flavors is great. A very nice pale pale ale for times an IPA may be too much. Will be buying again.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2013 22:36:07 | More by BeerMark
Photo of herr_fish
herr_fish

Wisconsin

3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a bottle into pint glass, getting close to expiration date so it is probably better than i am reviewing
app- appropriate copper hue for an pa, minimal head on my pour which disappeared quickly
smell- smells great, like a pale ale should, that hoppy smell thats set my mouth to watering, i'll save you the microanalysis of describing what typed of citrus is smells like
taste- delivers what one is looking for in a pale ale. the hop punch we addicts seek, but balanced enough to be all-night drinkable.
mouthfeel- a touch thin for my preference, but not objectionable at all. good carbonation but not '"fizzy"
overall- we have a winner here. wish my local tavern had this one on tap. gives you exactly what you are looking for in a pale ale. not a mind blowingly great beer, but definitely one to put into your regular rotation. good hop flavor, yet with balance, and an abv that you can have more than one (or serveral) of.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2013 22:48:40 | More by herr_fish
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a two finger cap; decent lacing action

Smell: Grass and grapefruit with a biscuity base

Taste: A hint of the biscuity underpinnings and then the hops take over, bringing both grass and grapefruit in moderation; a bit of a mineral character, after the swallow, though the hops remain prominent

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Tremendous balance in this beer; this is the kind of beer to settle down with while watching a football game - enjoyable but happy to stay in the background rather than be in your face with every sip

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2013 22:57:14 | More by brentk56
Photo of BWED
BWED

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a tumbler

A- Golden orange pour. The head is a half finger and white. Retention isn't great, but it hangs on with a little lacing.

S- Floral hop in a good battle with some grainy malt as well. A little citrus comes out of the nose as well.

T- Some grain malt, once again, in a battle with some hop. This time more earthy and piney. Some citrus peel bitterness in there, too.

M- Medium light body. A bit of some fizz. Finish is a tad bitter.

O- A very fresh and decently balanced ale. I love the simultaneous aromas and tastes of both malt and hop.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 03:03:08 | More by BWED
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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,728 ratings.