Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

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 MatthewWilde
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sample: 1 bottle 2012

A: Copper-orange in color, completely translucent, mild internal carbonation, pours a small foamy head that dissipates into respectable lacing

S: Heavy citrus and tropical fruits, definite orange peel and some papaya, pretty fragrant all-in-all

T: Pretty weak in terms of flavor, quite similar to the nose, tropical fruits, light hops, of course, still a good sour/bitter balance, but missing something

M: Very smooth and drinkable, light citrus aftertaste, not drying or overpowering on the palate, but to be expected for the style and with such a low abv

O: Light, fragrant, and smooth, but nothing special, just a simple pale ale, pretty average

 675 characters

Photo of JoeBCBC
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at a local brewpub in a regular pint glass.

This beer smells wonderful. Citrus and pine notes from american hops. The bitterness is just right in this one and the hop flavor really comes through on the finish.

This is a very drinkable beer that i'd come back to time and time again!

 301 characters

Photo of WankelEngine
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a wine glass

A: Pours a vibrantly clear (so clear I can read text through it like an orange-tinted magnifying glass haha) amber-orange color. There is a small, off-white head which quickly fades to nothing but a small ring of foam. Mild lacing.

S: The first thing I pick up is a good dose of tropical fruits, very citrusy. Mild pine and some toffee follow, but the nose is dominated by the tropical aromas.

T: Not nearly as fruity as the aroma, but with a bigger emphasis on the citrus. A good dose of grassy hops greets the mid-palate and lingers through to the finish. The malt here is light and mild but provides just a bit of balance with some caramel flavor. Moderately bitter overall with a mild but long finish.

M: Fairly thin mouthfeel, but not overly so. Carbonation is on the mild side of moderate, but still effervescent. A little watery as I swallow.

O: A decent pale ale. Citra hops are here doing their thing which never hurts. Easy drinking with decent flavor.

 1,011 characters

Photo of SteveMi
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass. Note: bottle felt colder than the beer actually was so this review is focused on a warmer than normal pour.

A - Pours golden with some slight red/orange. Fluffy white head which falls from about half an inch to a quarter inch after 30 seconds. Just the right amount of carbonation.

S - Citrus and hops. The bitterness is right behind the grapefruit.

T - Very grapefruity with hops trailing right behind it. Not very complex but satisfying. Seems like this would fall more under IPA but maybe I'm still a bit new at this...

M - On the ligher side of medium. Slightly dry. Very, very drinkable.

O - Impressed and am wondering why I haven't seen more of this one around.

 705 characters

Photo of PCampbell
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Has a good orange / copper color when poured. 1 inch head that dissipates into a thin layer with nice lacing.

The nose is full of citrus and grapefruit hop notes with some caramel maltiness in the background. Flavorful bready malts with some grapefruit, citrus flavors as well. Has a nice mouthfeel with good carbonation.

A great, refreshing pale ale that goes down well in the summer months.

 441 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
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

 1,221 characters

Photo of rlee1390
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear carbonated orange with a one finger head

S-Malt, some citrus hops and buttery notes

T-Starts with malt and some spices, pepper-like, some citrus notes and a little bit of grass.

M-Light to medium bodied, some carbonation

O-The best buy date was two weeks away when I had this beer, but it seemed to have started to turn. I'll look for another fresh one but so far I was disappointed.

 395 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A new victory bottle, like the 10th one I've seen in the past year, always worth a shot I suppose.

A- Light amber colored body with a white head that builds to about two fingers. A few nice patches of lace.

S- Slight tropical fruit, citrus and earthy pine hops balanced out nicely with light caramel malt and bread. Fades somewhat to pine heavy but holds a nice pale ale aroma.

T- Hops lend a good amount of pine and floral notes, a slight amount of citrus. The malt provides a light pale ale feel and some sweetness. A presence of bread hints from the yeast.

MF- Light overall substance, somewhat creamy. Hops lend a moderate bitterness. Smoothly carbonated.

DB- Pretty straight forward with a nice flavor. Maybe a bit big on the bitterness for a smaller pale ale.

 770 characters

Photo of alenonbeeradv
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - nice golden and orange hues. a dainty head with a bit of a moldy look to it.

s - fresh hops and very malty. slightly sappy and resiny.

t - more malt than hops. some biscuit and nutty hints and a faint hint of fresh juicy hops. definitely a more mellow drinkable beer.

m - quite light. malty and smooth with a low - mid carbonation level.

o - sometimes a really strong IPA is to overwhelming to separate the hop flavor from the rest of it. this beer leaves room to enjoy that, and thats why i like it.

 508 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Black Sheep, Dublin.
Very pale gold with a white collar of foam. 3.75
Husky grain on the nose with just a hint of melon. 3.5
Toast, then lemon, herb, and grass - fairly light. 3.5
Canary melon finish and clean linger.
Crisp, slight cling, light. 3.75

Relieved to find this was around 5%, because it’s not up to much more. Subtle hopping could build to something given enough time/pints, which could be by design, but it’s just dumb and drinkable to start. There was some palate fatigue at that point in the evening, but this still falls in that strange new gap between an APA and a session IPA - too light for the former, too mild for the latter.

Victory can do much better. 3.75

 696 characters

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Headwaters has a nice copper-colored body has an off-white head that doesn't have much going on in terms of lacing or retention.

It smells like there is an interesting variety of hops in this one, with a mix of citrus and earth aromas. A good bit of caramel malt also.

There is even more of a multitude of different hop flavors than what I noticed in the aroma. A good bit of citrus flavor is followed by a strong, grassy flavor and a bit of earthiness. The fairly-sweet caramel malt backbone balances these hops out a little too much for my tastes. I would really let these hops shine given the chance, because although they are not in-your-face-overpowering, they are really interesting.

Victory always does a good job with the mouthfeel of their beers, and this one is no exception.

Overall, I like this one. Solid pale ale.

 831 characters

Photo of Schracky
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a six pack of this when I was down in Pennsylvania. I am a big fan of Victory, so I was excited to try this beer.

A: Very light copper. Head settled quickly.

S: Best part of this beer. Great hop aroma. You can smell the malts too. The hops are spicy in smell, more floral than citrus. Very nice smell, good balance between malt and hops.

T: Better than average taste. Initial malt character hits you followed by the nice spiciness of the hops, much like the smell. The aftertaste sticks around for awhile though and leaves a bitterness on the tongue.

M: Nice mouthfeel. Good carbonation.

D: Nice beer to have with dinner. I had it with a fish burrito. It paired well. It goes down smooth and is an easy drinker.

 728 characters

Photo of tone77
3.64/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head. smell is of hops, some citrus. Taste is hoppy, bitter upfront, some citrus, pine as well, smooth and enjoyable. feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

 254 characters

Photo of Bone53
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass at around 40° F

Appearance: Copper color with a frothy two finger off white head

Smell: I get a ton of biscuit malt and maybe a hint of citrus

Taste: Too much biscuit malt flavor and not enough hops

Mouthfeel: Light body; Crisp and refreshing with a slight bitter finish like a pale ale should be

Mouhfeel: Pretty decent, but far from great. VERY biscuity which reminds me a lot of DF 60 Minute in that regard. I was a bit let down with this one. However, it's still very refreshing and a solid offering during the warm months.

 573 characters

Photo of BeerThursdays
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

 718 characters

Photo of zookerman182
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

 442 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

 390 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

 677 characters

Photo of Jesse13713
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Looks like your traditional pale ale, pouring a pale yellow and caramel brown color. Average lacing to the glass. Slightly over two fingers of creamy head.

Smell - Definitely a strong hop presence. Slight hints of caramel and barley as well.

Taste - A very hoppy and floral pale ale. The floral notes are very prominent from start to finish. The bitterness is accompanied by sweet candy-like caramel. Just very hoppy in general. I

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - The hops are very strong, fresh and tasty. They are not overpoweringly bitter, but I definitely would not prefer them to be any more bitter or this would probably be classified as an IPA.

 661 characters

Photo of Cresant
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served this 12 oz. bottle in a Sam Adams glass. Date was unreadable. The body was clear and golden. The head left only a few veins of lace.

The smell was grainy. Damp hay too.

The taste was more like an IPA to me. grainy malts but also some bold leafy hops. Finishes with a grapefruit pith bitterness that dries the mouth.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a coarse texture that I really liked. Plenty of carbonation. This one is a keeper.

 446 characters

Photo of rdub
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

 280 characters

Photo of AleWatcher
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

 804 characters

Photo of craftbeersweden
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark amber colored beer with a two finger high head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

Nose: Floral hop, tea, pine, malt, butter, honey and bread.
Taste: Grapefruit, orange marmelade, dried fruit, caramel malt and lemon zest.
Body: Medium body and crisp carbonation. A bitterness in the end. Smooth mouthfeel.
Overall: A easy beer to drink. Smooth and tasty. Nothing overwhelming but solid.

 408 characters

Photo of Tonyjenlasc
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bready/biscuity/crackery malts, lemon, lemon zest, slight herbal/floralness to it. Super light, crisp and crushable. Good but nothing really stand-out'ish. Great bbq'ing beer on a hot summer day.

 195 characters

Photo of thomasdlynch
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured out of 12oz bottle, really nice copper color with decent lacing

S: grapefruit, citrus scents but otherwise couldn't pick up much

T: hoppy taste balanced by malt won't make you pucker with a slight bitterness at the finish

M: crisp and clean, not too hoppy or too sweet

O: very drinkable and with a relatively low ABV great for enjoying a few on a summer afternoon as I did

 386 characters

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