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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

583 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 583
Hads: 2,462
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.21%
Wants: 82
Gots: 413 | 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: 583 | Hads: 2,462
Photo of match1112
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: clear amber body, fingers worth of head settles to a thin ring.

s: grainy, floral hops, caramel

t: sweet cereal grains, citrus hops, caramel malt

m: just a tad thin, decent carbonation, a little dry bitterness on the finish.

o: pretty tasty, easy drinkin, glad i grabed a six pack.

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Photo of phillybeer7779
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Golden colored, some head, not much lacing on the glass.

Smell- Some citrusy hops with a malty undertone.

Taste- Very balanced. Citrus flavors balanced by a solid malt backbone.

Mouthfeel- As drinkable as a hoppy craft brew gets. Nice body, nice carbonation. Good hop flavor, but doesn't destroy my palate.

Overall- Another quality offering from Victory. A very good pale ale. Definately not one of those APAs that are basically IPAs, so do not expect a hopbomb. Just a quality beer you can drink a six pack over the course of a night and not regret it in the morning.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a shaker. Poured a hazy straw yellow with a one finger pure white head that subsided to a half finger slowly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, and slight pine hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, banana, and pine hop. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. Definitely had robust 'in your face' flavoring going on in here. However, the flavors were not awe-inspiring. As the previous reviewer stated, I didn't get ANY citrus aspect in this one at all. I even mentioned to Cameron (regional rep) that it would have been much better with a citrus aspect. To each their own I guess. This thing did have a very nice aroma going on in it though. It is worth trying at least once, but that is about it for me.

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Photo of stella77artois
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into pilsener glass.

A - Pours a medium golden-brown, shining a reddish-amber in the light. Not a lot of carbonation noticeable. Very light head, less than 1 finger. Dissipated quickly, almost zero residual left.

S - Malt up front, followed by a good amount of hops. A slight overall fruity aroma, as well.

T - A very good combonation of malt and hops up front, with much more hoppiness in the aftertaste. An ever so slight hunt of grapefruit in the aftertaste. Not outstanding, not bad. Some dirt bitterness though, not what I expect from quality hops.

F - Refreshing, like a pale ale should be. Good feel with just a touch of dryness.

O - Not a bad beer, not an outstanding one. A good refreshing pale ale with a good amount of flavor. Again, nothing outstanding, but it's a good beer.

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Photo of farrago
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straightforward finger of off-white foam, nothing unique about its retention, the lacing holds on in spots, transparent and spotless liquid of a red-tinged orange color, metallic sheen, very few bubbles to be seen, if any. During the pour a bodacious amount of pink grapefruit, orange citrus bursts forth, lively bitter hops keep you on your toes, some pine tar and earth, baguettes, salt and pepper, a pinch of bittersweet chocolate powder but not that malty, conversely the hops never use this opportunity to go for the jugular, quiet confidence leads to extended nostril presence and overall balance. Light to medium-bodied, the carbonation is made of tiny, scrubbing motions with little foam. Strong mineral water, quinine, metallic character which gives it a raw and rugged freshness. Sourdough and wheat bread notes, salted pretzel dough, dried lemon and white grapefruit pulp, green lawn grass, some pine. Carob and mocha but no real sweetness in any of the usual malt-derived flavors. Florality spreads enough to allow it to avoid astringency. The hoppiness suggests pineapple, nectarine or papaya but, again, lacks the sweetness to deliver on this. More interesting warmer, more satisfying colder. A tactful, almost patrician, quaff.

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Photo of tsauce2
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P: On-tap in to a pint glass.

A: SRM is light amber. Translucent. Head is off white, minimal, dissipates to the outsides of the top of the beer. Medium carbonation. Light lacing.

S: Moderate floral hop notes with some piney scents and a light touch of malt.

T: Balanced hops give a mild bitterness and piney essence. Malt base holds up to hop presence and adds a light caramel sweetness.

M: Medium body. Hops are dominate in the hop/malt balance, but are still a light/medium presence and give a moderate bitterness and citrus and piney components to the feel. Malt comes in with a touch of caramel sweetness that adds body to the feel and balances the hops. Wet finish.

O: Exactly what I think of when I hear "APA". Moderate flavors, hop forward, nice malt base, average ABV. I liked the piney and citurs hop balance and also enjoyed how there was just enough malt and a touch of sweetness to really balance everything. I would buy this beer again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Photo of birderbeerer
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden beer with a slightly off-white, two-finger head.

What is that hop? It's the same aroma as Daisy Cutter and Nugget Nectar--a clean and pungent hop. Like a juicy pine cone. Hard to pinpoint. But it's very nice.

And, like Daisy Cutter, the taste just isn't as nice. The hop tastes more bitter than it smells. The malts are very sweet and this is a good beer. But it's not blended well and the hops are a little off-kilter with the rest of the beer.

This beer is best as a hoppy chug after doing something outside on a scorcher day.

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Photo of mryuk
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a filtered golden brown with very little head.

smell is fresh piny hops but it is very light and not overwhelming.

taste is light fresh and smooth. slightly bitter finish with very light flavor.

mouth is light bodied with good carbonation.

this beer is ok but really stops short of what it could be. definitely leaves something to be desired from a hop perspective. the lightness of the beer was the star here but it still was not amazing.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a light amber with a mild soapy white head, good retention, spotty lace.

S: Nice grassy and herbal aroma. Lawn clippings for sure, some biscuity maltiness.

T: Very grassy and green, bitter hopping well to the finish. Light maltiness, good flavour in the style.

M: Frothy, soapy, light-bodied. Crisp, fairly smooth.

D: Really nice pale ale. Classic flavours, a winner from Victory. Very much a mini Hop Wallop, they both have very similar hop profiles.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. This one has a nice light golden color without haze. The head is off white and is about half an inch, shrinking to a thin rim around the glass. There is a bit of sticky lacing left.

Nice hop filled aroma with a good dose of pine. A faint aroma of bread is noticed as well.

The taste starts and finishes dry and crisp. The piney hops are a huge part of the profile, with a good balance of bready malt.

The mouthfeel is light and crisp. Very refreshing.

Great pale ale. It's a little like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but with pineyer hops.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden color with a slight tinge of orange, small sized head that fades quickly, no lacing on the glass.

Smell has a sweet malt aroma mixed with a light grassy presence.

Taste is a well balanced between malt and grassy hops, neither is overly strong to overshadow the other aspect but that also means there's no shining star, carbonation is decent with a slick mouthfeel, very easy drinking and sessionable.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - One very nice looking brew - glowing yellow gold, bright and clear, with a nice white head, decent lacing. A very attractive pour.

S - Sour notes and dankness holding court, with grass and herbal elements offering accents. It is a hard smack of unruly hop notes, with a hint of lemon.

T - The spiky hop, horsey with oregano and basil, to a biscuit malt, and a sharp bitter close, verging on medicinal.

M - Brisk and drying. A robust feel for a beer that barely cracks 5% ABV.

O - Decent, but not spectacular pale. Shockingly powerful flavors, but not necessarily the ones I like to see front and center, making it interesting and respectable, but not one I necessarily want to revisit.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2011-03-09 at The Drafting Room while waiting to get my ticket for Pliny the Younger. Had it again on 2014-05-07 in Columbia, PA and raised my ratings.

A - Clear gold with a 1-finger, white head and moderate lacing.

S - Light grain, floral hops. Nice.

T - Crisp, light grain, mild sweetness, herbal, moderate bitterness. Dries quickly.

M - Light body and medium carbonation.

O - 2014. My oh my, how my tastes have changed / evolved. I now really appreciate the extra bit of sweet malt flavor in this beer. I just had it side-by-side with the Victory Summer Love (Blonde) and liked this more; specifically for the better malt flavor.

O - 2011. Easy to drink. Too malty for my tastes. I'd rather have a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a 21A Bitter American or even a Victory Summer Love when I want a sessionable ale.

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Photo of rangerred
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy medium copper with a thick 1.5 finger off-white head. Really good head retention.

Aroma is full of citrus hops backed up by a little bit of malt underneath. Hops really overpower everything, though and are very inviting.

The flavor really pulls the malt and hops together with lots of citrus up front carried by some toasted caramel underneath. A little bready malt as well. Bitterness ends up being on the light to moderate side and I really wish there was a little more malt. The beer finishes relatively clean and slightly sticky.

Overall, another great beer from Victory. A great summer beer and one that is highly sessionable.

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Photo of GOBLIN
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I really liked this pale ale. Nice aromas and flavors. A solid beer from Victory. Taste is lemon and citrus with a touch of grapefruit. Malt forward with a noticeable hop bite. Enjoyable crisp feel too. This is about what I'd expect from and old school pale ale. Similar to the Sierra Nevada, Troegs, Columbus and other established flagship pale ale's.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Willis tower pint glass.

The color is a clear yellow/gold with two fingers if foamy white head with a thick layer of lacing left on the glass.

The smell is a grassy hop aroma with a light malt aroma in the back. There is a fresh cut grass aroma mixed with a slight citrus note here in the nose as well.

The taste is sweeter than expected with a slight sugary flavor comes out first jumping ahead of the hops. The hops then push aside everything else and leave more grassy flavor throughout. The bitterness is present and does build toward the end but doesn't push too hard on the tongue. There is then a slight biscuit flavor that makes an appearance.

The feel of this beer is light bodied with a really smooth finish. There is a pleasant drinkability that helps this beer go down easy.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 13 oz tulip. Pours a bright orange yellow, with a nice 1 inch white head, that leaves some nice lace. Smell is tangerine, grass, flowers, and pineapple. Taste is less pungent, with hints of grapefruit in the finish. Body is pretty standard, plenty of carbonation, on the drier side, and easy drinking. Little disappointed because the taste couldn't live up to the smell. Still a good pale ale, but the smell is outstanding.

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Photo of magnj
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Brilliant clear orange-amber body with a frothy 1 finger head.

S - Aromatic during the pour! Smells well balanced with nice earthy hop tones and bready malt. Somewhat sweet?

T - Less hopaliscious than the initial nose suggested but being an APA this is a good thing. Extremely well balanced, really. Leads with grainy, raw pale malts and citrus, then gives way to just a little bit of earthy hop flavor and bitterness. Again ends grainy and reminds me of a typical brewpub house pale ale.

M/D - It took me a minute to figure out what it was about this beer that was giving me mixed readings. Despite all the flavor described above I still felt like it was almost watery. To me I think it's way under carbonated. Aside from that issue it's a great beer but it does affect it's drinkability.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

870th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint
12 oz

Best by: 10/25/11

App- A dark orange/amber with a good solid one finger white head. A good sheen and cling of lace.

Smell- A lot of caramel with some malts and a slight bitter note behind it. A little bit earthy and citrus.

Taste- A pretty straightforward brew. A lot of malt behind its profile with some earthy tones. A slight citrus component with a small dampness behind it as well.

Mouth- A medium bodied beer with a paired medium carbonation. A good earthy and juicy residual flavor.

Drink- Not as refreshing as I had hoped but still tasteful. A bit fuller than most pale ales and a tad darker and more layered.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy by: 1/13/16.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy 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 grain, black tea, earth, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with earth, citrus zest, and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop and earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: can.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from a 12 oz bottle. Pours a bright amber with moderate white head and light lacing. Nose of citrus and pine hops with a light malt background. Flavors of hops to the front and aftertaste. Citrus hops meld nicely with sweet caramel malts with bittering hops in the background. Decent session pale ale.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a translucent orange with a small white head. Smells of citrus hops and slight flowery notes. Tastes of earthy and slight citrus taste from the hops a a nice malty body. Beer is light/medium bodied and carbonated well. Overall a very good beer.

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Photo of leantom
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Most certainly an APA. Here goes:

A: Quite good. Orange with a large head and a ton of lacing. Thoroughly enjoyed the beer's appearance. 4.5/5.0

S: Just hops, son. Don't smell any malt whatsoever. Grapefruit, citrus and pine. However, these smells aren't as robust as in other APA's. Overall, somewhat underwhelming: 3.75/5.00

T: Good, but somewhat light for my palate. A slight inkling of lightly-kilned caramel malt, but the hops immediately take over the beer's flavor profile. Grapefruit, lemon, pine and grass (very grassy-tasting beer, actually). OK, but the light, watery taste somewhat impairs the flavor. 3.90/5.00

M: Very mixed review. Good carbonation, but the beer is too light. 3.5/5.0

O: A good beer with major flaws. Hops mitigate the lightness somewhat, though. 3.75/5.00

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I gotta say, this thing bleeds Simcoe. At first its cat pee (dont even yet), but then I get a bit of pineapple and lemons--enough to cancel out the flavors I dont like from Simcoe hops. Light bodied and slightly sweet. Theres enough malt and fruity hops to pull this thing through. Might be the best use of Simcoe Ive had yet.

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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 583 ratings.