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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

576 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 576
Hads: 2,418
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.21%
Wants: 82
Gots: 393 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: thagr81us on 02-14-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Headwaters Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 576 | Hads: 2,418
Photo of jpmclaug
4.64/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle into a nonic

clear golden body with a small white head. A very nice citrusy hop smells is present, wow, maybe a bit of pale malt too but I have to say this APA is one of the best smelling around. I'm impressed with the flavor as well. A nice citrus hop flavor is incredibly well balanced with the pale malts. Finishes with a nice hop flavor but isn't overly bitter. Mouthfeel is light to medium body with a light carbonation. Drinkability is extremely high on this one. I'm really blown away by how good this beer is. Well balanced but with plenty of hop flavor, honestly I think this is the best APA I've ever had.

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Photo of DNICE555
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Freshly tapped at Eli Cannon’s with CBaller the GC

A- Golen copper body, white head, nice lacing.

S- Floral hops with a nice spicy lemon zest. Smells magnificent out on the picnis table patio on a warm summer day listening to ben harper’s burn one down and slightly stoopid’s false rhythms.

T- Very nice herbal citrus hop kick with a spicy bready backbone. “This is a tasty beverage.” (Samuel L)

M- Nice crisp zesty beer with a dry smooth finish.

D- A nice hoppy pale ale that hits all the right marks for me. Love this one from victory. Might be my favorite.

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Photo of wvudak
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle into a stemmed tulip. This is a local brew for me, one that I've come back to often as an after work beer. A beautiful IPA, clear amber body, soft head, top smells of grapefruit. Very hoppy in front slight malt aftertaste. Leaves a nice citrus hop taste overall. This is something that one could drink over and over as I have.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.59/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$9.99 for a 6'er at BevCo. No real stats on the mfgr website, just "Imported, 2 row German malts, Whole flower American hops, 5.1% ABV".

Pours out to a very clear dark golden, forming a tall white head with good retention and lacing. The aroma is great, with aggressive pungent hops...think Simcoe and Amarillo...skunky, funky...a hint of biscuit malt maybe in the nose. The mouthfeel is crisp, clean and fresh, with a medium body. The taste is a recap of the aroma...aggressive pungent hops with a well-balanced malt body, and well balanced herbaceous bitterness. Clean finish, no perceptible off-flavors or aromas. Very well crafted.

This is a great beer. At 5.1% ABV, you can drink a few and not get tanked, but it is still very flavorful, kinda reminds me of Stone Levitation in that respect. I would definitely recommend it and would like to buy it again.

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Photo of detlefchef
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I suppose there's a cap on how "exceptional" a beer like this can be. Mostly because I don't think it sets out to be "exceptional". So, with that in mind, I suppose I can understand the good but not great reviews.

And, I guess, that explains why I'm not giving it 5s all across, because I certainly could were I simply judging it on how well it does what it should do.

I mean, assuming the goal was to produce a delicious and sessionable brew that goes down easy but reminds you that you're drinking something tasty, then I've got to say they nailed it.

Honestly, this beer was love at first sip for me and I could drink a vat of it were I more thirsty.

Juicy malts set off by lively but not over-aggressive hops.

Is the new standard bearer as far as I'm concerned for the modern American Pale ale.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Victory Headwaters Pale Ale is a crystal clear, lightly sparkling golden ale with a dense, bubbly white head that has outstanding retention and lacing. It has a huge, fresh hoppy aroma of pine and flowers. It has a very smooth medium body with a solid, dry finish. It's a nice, simple, hoppy flavor with perfect bitterness and perfect balance. It tastes slightly dry and piny. This is a supreme example of an American pale ale.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoy by date on the label reads Sep.12,2011.SO indeed very fresh.

Pours a nice translucent golden color.Left decent lacing globs all over the place.Amazing bubbling action.

The nose is simple doughy malts and a touch of caramel.The citrus hops do add another wrinkle to the game as this makes it seems more of an IPA.

Taste is superb although same as the nose there is more of a pronounced bitter hop linger on the backend. The malt billing is simple an affective it serves it's purpose in making this a more English Pale Ale then an IPA.

Medium bodied in the mouth. With a slight more watery edge to it.Excellent carbonation.

So far I have turned three normal Macro beer drinker's into really loving this one and buying there own and for $34 a case.Very well worth it and a tremendous session ale.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear deep copper color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is of freshly cut grass with a hint of grapefruit. It is a rather strong aroma. The taste is a nice balance of citrus and grass. Bitterness is firm without being overpowering. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a silky texture, and moderate carbonation. Overall, this is one of the best American Pale Ales I've had in a very long time. It has nice complexity. I can see this beer becoming a regular for me.

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Photo of ndawg42031
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Great balanced ale!! Hoppy for a traditional pale ale. A nice change from the sometimes over the top hop race over the last few years. Has a spring seasonal feel.
I would recommend with pulled pork BBQ or any traditional cook out fair. Just as good out of the bottle as in a glass.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a case at McBroom's today, thank god my sister is living a block away. So I always have a good excuse, to get up to D'z and McBroom's. Fresh cases of Headwaters Pale Ale. Appears a pale copper, full thicket of light beige head with fine even lacing. Light speckled lacing, with aromatics have a pungent citric/floral aspect no pine or earthiness. Hints of sugar coated biscuit malts in the nose, very nice malt base with sturdy citric hops standing up to the malts. I believe they're using Citra hops with a combo of other hops for this brew, I tried the Dorado version of Pursuit of Pale Ale. Flavors just work with this brew, herbal/citric hops blended effortlessly with a nice biscuit sugar coated malt profile that matches perfectly, low alcohol by volume makes for a very sessionable brew, right at the time when America really needs this style of beer Victory is there for us old school craft beer drinkers that would rather have an accessible pale ale versus the next big beer that is released by the thimbleful to the line of people camping out to drink it. Mouthfeel is medium bodied slight oily texture from the hop resins with ample carbonation, I can't complain. Drinkability, excellente low alcohol meant for consuming with friends over many a conversation and celabratory song. In all reality it's quite tasty with enough booze and flavor to keep you interested great beer.

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Photo of GratefulNole
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at The Distillery in Rochester, NY. Glass arrived fresh pulled at a nice temp. Noticed the color right away at a reddish, copper. Next, the smell was very uplifting, and hoppy. Various floral, piney, fruity scents. Small head on it with descent lacing. Taste was very nice and rolled around the taste buds sweetly. Went weel with the pizza we ordered. Would def have again. It was on sale fro $3 a pint. Cant lose there for sure.

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Photo of Gooball201
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well Victory has finally done it! They have created the NJ/NY Hop Lover's dream in a "session" style interms of alcohol level beer. Picked up a case of this as well as $1200 more of beer and wine for our annual sales meeting. As soon as I had one I knew I was headed back to my store hoping they had not sold the last case as I needed to have at least a case in my frig! Not a big fan of Victory but I LOVE this beer and plan to purchase/consume as long as it is for sale in Northern NJ!

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Photo of Jeffrey_Ryan
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

The fresh water that they brag is retrieved just a dozen miles away really does seem to make all the difference. Not very aromatic but very crisp and fresh tasting with hops that are very not overwhelming. Very drinkable

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Moderately strong pungent citrus hops over spicy noble hops in the aroma with hints of light crystal sweetness. Clean, no off aromas. Poured short, foamy, white head that faded slowly to a thin ring leaving a few strings of lace. Pale amber colored beer is brilliantly clear. Spicy noble hop flavor up front with minimal citrus flavor. Lightly sweet malt base fades as the moderate bitterness kicks in towards the finish. Fairly clean finish with just a hint of lingering bitterness. Smooth, not harsh at all. Medium body with moderate carbonation is just enough to carry the flavors while maintaining drinkability. A really clean beer that is well balanced with enough flavors to keep it interesting. Well done.

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Photo of DuaneL
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

This ale is a one-of-a-kind. Wonderful! Haven't yet tried anything that is close to it. You've got to try it - it defies description. But you definitely have to like dry…very dry.

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Photo of jacewg
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden orange color. Beautiful. Nice head, fades relatively quickly and leaves a thin head. Good lacing.

Aroma: Citra bomb. Tropical citrus fruit. A bit of simcoe-y pine and earthiness. This smells really, really good.

Taste: Really nice citrus and tropical fruit qualities. Moderately bitter. Quite dry overall. Just a hint of sweet balancing malt. Hops are the star. Hops come across a bit resiny and spicy on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Well carbed with just a touch of prickliness. A bit fuller bodied than expected for a 5% pale ale.

Overall: My go-to shelf pale ale/session hoppy beer. Underrated in my opinion. If the label said "Three Floyds" instead of "Victory" this would be rated considerably higher.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Is it the fresh river water that makes this taste so great? Heh.
This pale ale pours a clear golden color with a nice layer of foam giving off a big hoppy aroma. All the usual suspects (citrusy more than piney, and ever so floral) come together in a delicious combination. Another winner. I might just have a new favorite pale ale.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

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Photo of dorosjim
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Great light crisp body, little bit of vienna like malt comes through, biscuity and dry with an outstanding hop character that shines through, super citric and fruity with just enough bitterness to balance. American pale ale at it's best

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Photo of u2carew
4.49/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz longneck
A) Pours with a finger thick head that settles quickly learning a thin lacing of big bubbles at the edge of the glass. Clear, bronze colored body.
S) Robust hop aroma consisting of sweet floral notes, evergreens, and peaches.
T) Well balanced hops and malts. Nutty and buttery malts with leafy and vegetal hop notes. A semi-sweet hop bite lingers in the aftertaste.
M) Clean throughout. Crisp. Medium light body.
O) A delicious APA. I will be drinking another one!

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Photo of DAllspaw
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into plastic cup while on vacation, so I don’t yet have proper rating for appearance, but looks like other pale ales…it was pale with white head. Moving on, the aroma on this beer was exceptional. Very bright notes of grapefruit and citrus with a hint of pine and some subdued malt. One of the better smelling pale ales I’ve had. Taste follows suit, very fresh hope profile and a crispness in the taste that reminds me less of pale ale and more of a pilsner. The creamy mouthfeel present in so many pale ales is not as evident here, but nevermind, since a great beer in its own right. Can’t wait to have again, really made a strong first impression.

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Photo of Clydesdale
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a lightly hazy orange color with some active, effervescent carbonation visible. The off-white head is initially tall, with a thick, densely frothy texture. Retention is sturdy, and some soapy splotches of lacing stick to the glass as the head fades.

S: Some biscuity and light caramel malt aromas. Bright, citric hop aromas are quite vibrant. Lemon and grapefruit are prominent, with some orange oil for good measure. Light tropical notes as well. My money is on Citra hops; I recently brewed a Citra IPA and this smells fairly similar.

T: Fairly firm biscuity maltiness. Caramel sweetness isn't absent, but it's rather light. Bitterness is strong. Hop flavors are primarily citric (again, grapefruit with some lighter lemony notes), with some faintly floral/grassy flavors following.

M: For a 5.1% abv pale ale, this has surprising body. Full and complemented by medium carbonation and some hoppy oiliness before a crisp, dry finish.

D: This is a very good pale ale from Victory. A big, interesting hop profile is joined by a persistent malt backbone - all wrapped into a neat little pale ale. It's hoppier than some IPAs, but it manages to fit well within the style. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a single 12oz bottle of this in Summer 2011.

Pours a semi-clear copper color with a slight head but not much of one leaving a little lacing in the middle of the glass. the scent smells great with its bitter hops and blend of grains and malts. The taste isn't anything new but it is great. It has just the right volume to it as well as flavors. There's just enough hops to make the beer great without going too far overboard. Some nice citrus and wheat hints as well. A very well made beer that I definetly suggest trying!

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle consumed on 02.19.11, purchased from The Community Tap in Greenville, SC.

Clear and light copper in hue, heady with a stiff white pillow atop. Sticky, luscious head retention. Aromas glorious with spicy, citrusy hops. Clean, unadulterated.

Flavors follow with that clean citrusy hoppy goodness with some balance added by the malty, biscuity character. I am a light malt guy when it comes this style, and Headwaters does NOT disappoint. Amazingly clean and un-heavy on the finish, it leaves you wanting more.

Amazingly fresh in the nose and on the palate, this is a classic, without question. It went extremely well with spicy pulled chicken quesedillas.

This is what craft beer in the US needs more of... It is easy to "over-anything" a beer, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a simple styled beer well, over and over again.

Looking forward to trying this one from a keg, by way of growler. SOON.


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Photo of dar482
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a clear deep amber ruby color with a light two finger head.

The aroma is quite big. There’s some of citrus, grass, floral, pine. A huge hoppy wonderful aroma.

The flavor follows on the citrus, orange, floral. Then there’s a middle of caramel malt. It actually pushes on being an hoppy amber ale. It’s not a heavy sticky sweetness, but candy gentle sweetness.

The end hits you tons of pine, but lots of strong tea, earthy, resiny bitterness.

For me, this is just a wonderful pale ale. It really separates itself with the fruitiness and pine. The sweetness compliments the beer extremely well. It’s a great balance, but tons of hops, and packs lots of flavor for a 5.1% beer. Very impressed with this pale ale and definitely something I’ll be going back to.

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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 576 ratings.