1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

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

1,723 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1723
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Headwaters Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,723 | Reviews: 515 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of HappyHourHero
HappyHourHero

Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 00:07:29 | More by HappyHourHero
Photo of GratefulNole
GratefulNole

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2011 17:27:56 | More by GratefulNole
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2011 18:11:26 | More by elNopalero
Photo of jacewg
jacewg

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2013 18:55:42 | More by jacewg
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 u2carew
u2carew

Massachusetts

4.49/5  rDev +14%
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!

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2013 23:38:31 | More by u2carew
Photo of DAllspaw
DAllspaw

Indiana

4.48/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2012 15:14:15 | More by DAllspaw
Photo of goindownsouth
goindownsouth

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Egesegedre!

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 17:29:50 | More by goindownsouth
Photo of Clydesdale
Clydesdale

District of Columbia

4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2011 23:57:53 | More by Clydesdale
Photo of Lemke10
Lemke10

Wisconsin

4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 05:39:19 | More by Lemke10
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

4.46/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-09-2013 04:31:00 | More by dar482
Photo of wwhomeww
wwhomeww

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a growler into an imperial pint. 1.5 fingers of off white head. It's beautiful copper color is bright and clear. Right away I get a good citrus hop presence with a hint of minerality. Body is medium with slightly oily mouthfeel not a bad thing. Finish has just the right amount of malty/bready characteristic and I'm left with a bit of metallic/mineral aftertaste. It's quenching and definitely sessionable. Fills a gap in the year round victory line up very well. All around a very good brew.

Serving type: growler

02-16-2011 23:28:59 | More by wwhomeww
Photo of CMB2012
CMB2012

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, best by date: August 17, 2011. Served in a American pint.

A- Super clean, amber/gold in color (the only real "flaw" of this beer is the color, a bit light for my liking, but this is merely a superficial argument). A semi-vigorous pour yields a wealthy two and a half finger head that dissipates slowly in a rocky/pillow foam fashion. Tiny bubbles float to the top in a steady, but minimal flow. The lacing is good.

S- Clean citrus hops up front- grapefruit and lemon, some biscuit, rustic bready malts, followed by toffee malts. Semi-sweet, but crisp hop finish.

T- Bright and citrusy up front- tangy grapefruit and again some lemon. The flavor then blends into biscuit and cracker notes, finishing out crisp and dry with a slight hop bitterness. This beer tastes almost exactly like it smells, points for the straightforward approach. Aftertaste is slightly malty with caramel undertones.

M- The feel on this is right on the mark- light to medium body with minimal carbonation, however the bubbles that are there make their presence known with a nice tingle on the tongue and throat.

O- I think this is a great APA and very drinkable. The flavor simple, approachable, but also well thought out- everything a great APA should be. Good job Victory, those who don't try this beer are missing out on a wonderful session beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 23:43:23 | More by CMB2012
Photo of jwinship83
jwinship83

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle picked up as a single that has a best by august date on it. drank from my sierra nevada hop tulip glass.

A- this one pours out a translucent light copper colored body with a tall finger of bright white head on top. the head last for a bit before falling, and leaves behind small rings of lacing. pretty nice.

S- the first thing i pick up on in the nose are hops. lots of hops. plenty of grapefruit and pine with a touch of floral. after that i get some caramel malts, which adds some sweetness and attempts to add some balance.

T- the taste starts out with some of the caramel malts which adds a solid sweet backbone. then its onto hop country. lots of grapefruit and resiny pine. a lesser amount of floral and grassy notes.

M- i find this to be on the lighter side of medium with a nice level of carbonation.

D- i really enjoyed this one. very hoppy for a pale ale and with an ABV that allows you to have more than two or three with out guaranteeing a crappy morning. this could give sierra nevada pale ale a run for its money. i wish it was year round. check it out.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2011 16:57:07 | More by jwinship83
Photo of deepchills
deepchills

Texas

4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this Victory Pale Ale at Majestics on Camp Bowie, $13 for a 6pk of 12oz bottle.

Pours a light gold with a small bubbly head.

Herbal/floral nose with some earthy hop and bready yeast present.

The beer has a crisp start with a malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness mixing nicely. Bready flavor and floral notes are present along with some light fruit.

The beer is brilliantly carbonated, resplendently crisp and especially effortless to drink.

A wonderful example of what a Pale Ale should be. I look forward to drink more....now.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2011 17:44:00 | More by deepchills
Photo of tzieser
tzieser

Arizona

4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

a: straw in color with a slight haze. nice white head that settles into a thin lacing.

s: citrus-hop aroma with a noticeable honey-like malt sweetness and subtle grassy undertones.

t: crisp, hoppy and refreshing. hop flavor hits first and foremost with notes of citrus and flowers. malt backbone is there and keeps the beer from being too bitter (which it most certainly isn't). this is one refreshing beer. it's perfectly balanced. it deserves this 5; well done.

m: great mouthfeel.

delicious. my new go-to pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2011 01:14:28 | More by tzieser
Photo of TBoneJones
TBoneJones

Texas

4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy apricot color, slight head and nice carbonation movement via tiny bubbles surfacing.
Smells great of fruity hops, maybe some apricot (kind of like the orange yellowish color), very nice and not overpowering at all.
Tastes light fruit in the mouth, then a hop finish of smoothness. Light and bitter. Refreshing.
Solid carbonation and body, goes down refreshing. If I session a beer I go to pale ales, and so far this is among my favorites.
Bitter to some, but I prefer bitter presence. Somehow more of the fruit taste would make me love this even more, more of a tropical fruit profile such as that of Zombie Dust. But Victory hasn't disappointed me yet, and this is one worthy APA.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2012 20:11:17 | More by TBoneJones
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bright and clear copper/orange color. A two finger, rocky, white head forms with good retention. The foam gently recedes and leaves some lace behind.
S: Big grassy and floral hops hit the nose at first. A light spicy zest of citrus the quickly fades. Plenty of malt that is great. Bread and biscuit. Some sweetness and finishes with more fresh cut grassy and hay aromas. Excellent.
T: Follows the nose. Fresh cut grass right up front. A zest spice of citrus and lots of malt. Toasted grains, bread and biscuit. Very dry as well. I love it.
M/D: A medium body that is just a bit watery. Though clean, dry, and very smooth. So easy to drink. I will be buying many more six packs.

An excellent pale ale that is really enjoyable. A perfect everyday drinker with lots of flavor. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 01:22:36 | More by champ103
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a couple of these on draft at Armby Abbey. The sample I tried sold me immediately with it's great aroma. Two visits and two pints later, Victory reminded me why they have been one of my favorite brewers.

Pale Amber in color with some gold/orange tones and nice clarity. Nice finger of creamy head that leaves some nice lacing.

Aroma is fruity, fresh and full of grapefruit and topical notes.

Nice little beer here. Great balance, nice fresh hop flavor with an explosion of grapefruit. Toasty malts play a nice supporting role here.

Really refreshing and bright in your mouth. Carbonation pops an brings forth the hop character.

Really enjoyed this and will look for the bottled version (which I am told exists)

Well done!

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2011 13:35:43 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of mjmbeer
mjmbeer

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

there are very few if any beers by Victory that I do not like. this one is one of the better beers in the batch though. As a Pale Ale its pretty Hoppy.. more so than I thought it would be. Not that this is a bad thing. Wonderful amber color with a bone white creamy head that stuck around nicely. the mouth feel was not as smooth as i had hoped it would be. Might be just the bottle serving I am not sure. A bit too biting of a feel to it. Almost as if it had to much carbonation in it. I will have another try at it and see how things go. Overall a great tasting beer.

It is nice to see the APA out there still getting respect and at least this not like the run of the mill. Any one can ad hops and call it a pale but giving the beer that nice biscuit taste goes a long way in my book. This beer does it quiet well.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2012 23:20:12 | More by mjmbeer
Photo of LIbeerguy
LIbeerguy

New York

4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Bluepoint shaker pint glass.

A: Pours a nice amber with a large-bubbled head. Good retention and well-defined lacing.

S: Canned peaches, mango, grapefruit, sourdough

T: toast, citrus, tropical fruit, caramel. Moderate carbonation on the palate, bittersweet aftertaste

A very good pale ale by Victory with an enjoyable and well-balanced hop character. Almost sessionable at 5.1% which is good because I could drink several of these in one sitting.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2012 02:08:51 | More by LIbeerguy
Photo of UnderPressure
UnderPressure

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice standard looking pale ale. Orange color. Slight haze. Thin head. Nice lacing, though.

Intense hop aroma. Caramel sweetness. Nice citrus and floral. Pungent undertone.

Awesome flavor! Hops everywhere. Not all that bitter. Sweet, grainy, and very hoppy.

Heavy mouthfeel with low carbonation.

Could use more carbonation and a thinner body. Otherwise, this beer is awesome.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2012 17:01:52 | More by UnderPressure
Photo of guityler83
guityler83

Wisconsin

4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A slightly hazy copper orange color, with a small bright white head with slight retention retention that sits on top of the glass as you sip your pint.

S: Just.. Wow.. An explosion of cattyness hits at first followed by the classic west coast resiny citrus. I also detect mango, melon and other tropical fruits (Simcoe/amarillo??) nice!

T: The cattyness comes through in the taste as expected, with a nice toasty backbone. The piney bitterness stays with you after you've put down the glass. Crisp and clean, this beer should be drank as fresh as possible.

M: Moderatly dry and a stickyness i describe from heavy late hop additions.

O: Bam! Victory makes some great beers this one included. While some people arn't a fan of the catty character the newer aroma type hops provide I love them in combination with the old classics. The aroma of Headwaters puts this thing in the IPA cattegory for me despite what the label says, I would love to hear the grain/hop bill for this bad boy. Good show ol' chap, good show!

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 19:51:50 | More by guityler83
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek

New York

4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottles purchased as part of a mix-six pack at Wegmans on East Avenue, in Rochester, NY.

Pours an amber orange into my Southern tier tulip. 1 inch fluffy head, visible carbonation.

Smells deliciously tropical and fruity, very clean smelling.

The taste is clean and crisp as well, I'd definitely guess this one uses a judicious amount of Citra hops. Oranges and pineapples abound, with a pleasant lingering bitterness. Some pine as well, that adds to the bitterness. Light but effective malt backbone, crackery.

Very crisp. One of the most drinkable pale ales you'll ever find.

Not one of the most balanced pale ales I've ever had, as the hop flavors dominate when fresh. The hop flavors are bright, clean, and refreshing though, and this beer is really drinkable- easy to put 3-4. Another winner from our friends at Victory.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2013 18:15:32 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single, twelve-ounce copped from Total Wine & More in West Orange. Superb depiction of the style; pours a ruddy, copper, amber-hue with slight carbonation visible. Aromatic, floral notes depicted on the palate and in the nose. Excellent, highly-drinkable brew with hints of tangerine and orange peel. A refreshing, medium-bodied pale ale with a noticeable hop presence. One of the better examples of the style I've come across in a long time. Great stuff. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2011 16:50:03 | More by dsa7783
Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,723 ratings.