1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. 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

1,734 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1734
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: 1,734 | Reviews: 515 | Show All Ratings:
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 BeerThursdays
BeerThursdays

Delaware

3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Burnt orange in color with a think white head. Head dissipates quickly to leave a thin white layer of bubbles. Brew is relatively clear with very few bubbles coming from the bottom. Some lacing, but not the rings I love seeing.

S - Very nice for a pale. Piney Hops, bready malts. Exactly what one would expect, but not over powering at all.

T - Very light taste. Sweet at first, giving way to decent hop character. Less of a bite than some pales, with a clean finish. Less than stellar. Bready malts make an appearance, along with a slight caramel flavor.

M - Low alcohol, light bodied, and easy drinking. Goes down clean.

Overall, is a decent brew. I would drink this one a nice hot day after doing yard work.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2011 13:02:41 | More by BeerThursdays
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear toasted straw color with a small tight off white head that dissipated into a light cap.

The aroma is of a light fruity and peppery hop, slight metallic twang. Pretty standard APA aroma.

The flavor is of a sweet bready malt base with fruity hop flavor, a bit grassy at time, with hints of pepper. Light metallic notes in the finish. The hops seems to be more for bittering than flavor. Again, standard for an APA. Solid but not spectaculiar.

Moderate body with tingly carbonation. Some sweetness on the palate but finishes with a slightly dry bitterness.

A very standard APA, I'd prefer a bit more hop flavor. A good outside drinking beer during a bbq.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 04:06:54 | More by Gmann
Photo of rdub
rdub

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my favorite pint. Frothy white head and nice lacing. Floral hops on the nose emanate from the clear bright liquid. Yum. The best way to describe this brew was Nugget Nectar Jr. Nice balance of strong flavor vs drinkability. Would definitely have again.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2011 16:29:35 | More by rdub
Photo of facundoCNB
facundoCNB

New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a beautiful clear amber/copper in color with 2 fingers frothy white head and great lacing. smells mildly hoppy, grapefruit, lemon peel, caramel. taste of toasted grains up front with a slight grapefruit bitterness/citrus zest.
light-medium body with a mild amount of creaminess and mild carbonation. overall a nice session ale for the spring. very well balanced and surprisingly refreshing.

Serving type: growler

07-07-2012 01:06:08 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Here is a hazy, golden brew...thin white head. The aroma is of aggressive, piney hops and grain. Citrus and a pungent tree bark quality. Almost cheesy hops. Odd. The taste is moderately dry, sharp , bitter hops. Some companies may call this an IPA. Crisp, bitter, and clean. Full mouthfeel, firm body. Refreshing, and very enjoyable after an afternoon of hiking.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2013 19:42:28 | More by Suds
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 avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a light amber color and a somewhat hazy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A slightly muted smell of hops, malt, and a piney quality.

T: Tasted of pine hops, malt, and a little bit of citrus. A decent enough flavor, but a bit on the thin side. Granted, APAs aren't exactly known for their complexity. Still, not too bad.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: Not a bad beer, and drinkable, but not really all that memorable.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2011 12:06:11 | More by avalon07
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 4/27/2011 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, earthy hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a strong but not over-powering hops bitterness followed by sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. The malt character is hearty and there’s some smokiness in the background creating a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, it’s a decent beer but there are others in the style that I would pick first.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2011 15:15:07 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of onechordwonder
onechordwonder

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased direct from Victory after a meal in the brewpub, God it's great living in Downingtown.

A - A beautiful amber color, with a thick head that clings and laces the whole way down the glass.

S - Not very strong, but kind of yeasty/bready with the trademark pine and citrus of a a heavily hopped APA.

T - Not terribly bitter, with a very quick citrus bite that is more grapefruit than lime. Malt comes on quickly and mirrors the sourdough smell the beer has. Feels like it's lacking a little, though.

M - Slightly creamy, with a good level of carbonation. Really easy drinking.

All in all, a nice try at the style, but I think there are both better offerings in the APA market [Sierra Nevada, BR XP] and from Victory [Hop Devil, Golden Monkey].

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2011 04:17:41 | More by onechordwonder
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a standard pint glass.
I hated this beer out of the bottle... But, getting a chance to sample it again is still welcomed here.

A dark golden orange color. Whitish head. Decent lacing, but retention is a little weak. Not too bad looking.

Smells hoppy-- citrusy grapefruit notes work well over a biscuity malt profile. The taste is nice. MUCH better this time around.
The body is thin, little watery, but not bad. Decent carbonation.

Overall, I am willing to drink this beer again-- and I wonder what the hell the problem was with the batch I gave an F to?!
In any case, THIS beer is not bad. My biggest complaint is the finish has a note of alcohol (which is crazy because the ABV isn't that high?!). Perhaps another issue is that the carbonation is low for my taste... But still, not bad.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2011 05:40:54 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of rebel1771
rebel1771

Florida

3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours honey colored with a big fluffy head that stays around a long time.

S: Plenty of hops in the aroma. Heavy notes of pine and citrus intermingle with some floral notes. Seems a little strong for an APA.

T: Just like the smell the taste is dominated by hops. Pine and citrus again dominate.

O: Overall this is a good beer but it could be better IMO if they pulled the reins back on the hops a bit.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2011 23:50:45 | More by rebel1771
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a pint glass.

Pours a light amber color with a small hire head. Nose is hoppy and fresh but a but subdued.

Taste is lightly hoppy but not killer, lightly grainy taste with a bit o caramel. Mouthfeel is sharp and creamy with a good bite on the end.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2011 01:24:59 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aromas are initially bright and citrusy hops ; lemon and grapefruit are prominent. Lesser tropical notes with some biscuity and light caramel malt notes.
The taste begins with a decent biscuity maltiness. Bitterness is strong with orange and lemon hop flavors; some light floral and grassy flavors as you sip further.
The mouthfeel is surprising full for such a light ABV beer; medium carbonation and some hoppy stickiness before a crisp, dry finish.
Overall this is a very good pale ale from Victory. Nothing revolutionary or mind-blowing but a good sessionable Saturday day drinkin' and grillin' beer. Recommended indeed

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 19:13:54 | More by claspada
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 Frankinstiener
Frankinstiener

Illinois

3.54/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I've been wanting to give this a try for a while but never got around to it for some reason.
Freshness date printed on bottle: Enjoy by June 23, 2013. Pale gold in color, about what you expect for the style. Nice head almost filled up the rest of the pint glass then shrank down to a thin layer leaving faint lacing. I thought I got more of a citrusy hop smell right when I opened the bottle, but after pouring it into the glass and taking a wiff I'm getting more of an earthy type smell thats hard to put my finger on but not as impressive. Taste is crisp an well balanced and leaves a little bitterness behind. Solid pale ale overall definataly a good example of the syle but nothing new or special here. At 9.99 a six pack there are couple pale ales right in the same price range that I would prefer.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 00:33:56 | More by Frankinstiener
Photo of mlazzaro
mlazzaro

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very clear amber color. High carbonation, looks like the carbonation of a soda. Very low head retention. I thought it was the glass but multiple beers in a row, with low retention.

Smells of American hops. Mild by what I am used to.
It is refreshing and smooth. But really just kind of boring. Citrus hops are really subtle. Especially up against the bitterness. What tastes like English yeast is very neutral in flavor. It's pretty good beer. I am a very picky beer drinker.

Also a bit watery for my taste. High carbonation and thin body are really not a good mix. I am able to drink a good amount of this beer. It is probably just designed to be a sessionable beer. The flavors that are happening are tasty. But it has enormous room for improvement I feel.

I declare misuse of the word "head". I isn't nearly as heady as I presumed.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 18:34:33 | More by mlazzaro
Photo of pmccallum86
pmccallum86

Minnesota

3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden red color with a healthy bubbly head.

Smell is very earthy, tons of earthy hop aromas in the nose, not much else.

Taste is bitter in front with a very earthy hop character. Nice tasting beer, not much of a malt presence, but not bad.

Mouthfeel is slightly thin and dry

Overall a decent beer, nothing special but above average.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2011 04:29:48 | More by pmccallum86
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2011-03-09 at The Drafting Room while waiting to get my ticket for Pliny the Younger.

A - Super-clear straw with a 1-finger, white head and a bit of lacing.

S - Light grain, floral hops. Nice.

T - Crisp, light grain, mild sweetness, moderate bitterness. Dries quickly. Good but not a great taste.

M - Light body and medium carbonation.

O - 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.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2011 12:13:25 | More by Tucquan
Photo of OddNotion
OddNotion

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into my SN 30th Anniversary bulb glass. Pours a quarter inch white head which recedes pretty quickly leaving a nice lacing for the style. A lot of bubble activity in the bright transparent golden body.

Smell: Smells nice. I get a mostly biscuity flavor with some hops in the background. Smells more towards the english style IMO.

Taste: Very light flavors. Some of the biscuity malt flavors come forward, once again with the hops taking a back seat. Some bitterness at the end of the sip, but nothing overwhelming at all. As the beer warms a little, the hop flavor becomes more apparent. Really helps round out this brew.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is thin even given the style. The carbonation gives a nice zing on the tongue which I feel enhances this particular beer.

Overall: I will likely buy this along with Prima Pils over the summer for some nice session drinking. It is light in the flavors so do not expect this to blow you out of the water but every beer has its place, this one will be a regular over the summer months given it becomes a little more available.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2011 16:39:22 | More by OddNotion
Photo of Jimmys
Jimmys

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: a pale amber with a white fully head. reasonable retention and thin lacing. carbonation is average.

S: pungent grapefruit makes me thinking im drinking an imp. a malt sweetness that comes to balance things out.

T: bitter but refreshing, body is surprising light. more of a session APA. citrus hop flavor with a hint of caramel sweetness.

M: medium body with medium carbonation.

D: definitely a super drinkable APA. more on the session side than APA side in my opinion. a good beer from victory but not my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2011 01:56:26 | More by Jimmys
Photo of KTCamm
KTCamm

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from twelve oz bottle into a pint glass

Pours copper with some foam that settles out. No lacing. Piney hoppy smell. Malty taste. Up front hop bite oily through the middle fades out. Smooth. Watery in a good way. Thin carbonation some grapefruit notes. Overall good beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 01:54:39 | More by KTCamm
Photo of celticfutblclub
celticfutblclub

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

twelve-y poured into a pint glass.

comes out a nice shade of orange with a pure white head that has great retention and decent lacing. the nose is powerful and full of doughy malts with oily hops citrus and grapefruit. tongue picks up doughy malts again with a piny hop character to it. its pretty good but nothing too amazing. this is a light bodied brew with medium carbonation. not too much of a hop bite on this which is good. overall its a decent beer but nothing that i'd go out of my way to find.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 21:45:29 | More by celticfutblclub
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear amber color with a half finger of fluffy off white head that leaves a ring around the pour and some mild lacing.

Smell: Light malt with a citrus peel hop note in front. Not particularly interesting, but still nice.

Taste: Could use a bit more malt in the background, but the hop profile is nice. Citrus peel hop bitterness builds through the sip to the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thin side of medium with fluffy carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really drinkable pale ale. Nothing to think about too much, but I enjoyed it enough.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2012 00:16:46 | More by oline73
Photo of 312HopBomb
312HopBomb

Illinois

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

A burnt amber color that is clear with a slight eggshell cap and little lacing.

Aroma that is slightly fruity with pine sap hops..

Taste begins with a blast of hop bitterness that is dry with some acidity. No tropical or citrus that I was expecting, just a sharp bitterness that lingers. Doesn't taste fresh.

Mouthfeel is medium with light/medium carbonation.

I was disappointed with this because I it's a Citra hop brew that does not compare to the Zombie.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2013 03:14:34 | More by 312HopBomb
Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,734 ratings.