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: 2,417
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.21%
Wants: 81
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
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Reviews: 576 | Hads: 2,417
Photo of TH28
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. 7/3/14 code date. Appearance: A hazy dark golden with a thick off white foam cap. Aroma: Nice aromatic toasted bread in the malt with a hint of floral and herbal hops. Taste: Rich, bready and toasted malt dominates. Bread crust. Bitterness is crisp and strong enough to balance the malt, with some herbal/floral hints. Mouthfeel: Medium with a medium high carbonation. Finish: some lingering bitterness and bread crust. Overall: A great English style pale, with rich bready and toasted flavors dominating the flavor profile. Definitely malt forward.

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Photo of rebel1771
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of avalon07
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of Suds
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of onechordwonder
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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].

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Photo of claspada
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
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

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Photo of celticfutblclub
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.53/5  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.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

DATE TASTED: August 6, 2015 ... GLASSWARE: Brew at the Zoo pint... OCCASION: watching the Fox faux Republican debate with a giddy anticipation... APPEARANCE: clear, light amber body; bubble sparsely populate the glass; fluffy, white head leaves intricate coral lacing that is attractive ... AROMA: the given citric appropriateness of a pale ale--lemon grass, grapefruit, and soft floral hints--an overall soft suggestion... PALATE: strong carbonation livens the mouth, with a medium-bodied, reasonable finish--easy drinking and sessionable... TASTE: a sessionable, apologetic pale ale, one that does not distinguish itself in profile--no outstanding or detrimental characteristics...light bitterness with a maltiness that balances this beer nicely... OVERALL: after reading the label, I got the sense that this beer would be an ale far short of Hop Devil or Dirt Wolf...instead, it is more of an about-face or 180, softening the genre and rounding its edges... agreeable but not distinguishable...the citrus is light, there is no resin, and enough malt holds the beer in place...a lesser, yet still worthwhile beer in a Victory sampler...

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Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.53/5  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?

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Photo of 312HopBomb
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of scotorum
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Innis & Gunn flute from the 12 oz. bottle.

a: Clear amber with a finger thick head which dissipated quickly and almost completely. Little carbonation evident, appears flat.

t: Sharp metallic up front, reminds me of early craft beer which often seemed to taste of the metal tanks. Brief floral follow up is nice, but then the taste flattens out to just bitter beer. Not flat though, some carbonation.

m: Moderate.

o: Not much going for this other than being somewhat darker colored with some evident hop presence. The initial metallic tinge leaves a poor first impression. Thought it might be an old bottle, but the only possible information are numbers on the bottom, 30610-B1-1731, which are not in the format which Dating Beer reports. .

In any event I still love their IPAs.

UPDATE 11.11.13 Had another from the same sixpack, which seemed to lack the offending metallic tinge of the first. Still finding it rather undistinguished, but then by now I am spoiled by so many good brews. Reminded me somewhat of Sam Adams Vienna Lager, which is generally available for less money, although the Victory may have had a bit more hops presence than Sam's. Did not see much reason to upgrade my ratings enough to make a very significant difference.

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Photo of pmccallum86
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is by no means a bad pale ale, just not one for me. Earthy hop notes and maltyish base play well together, but just not my particular style of APA.

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Photo of phishsihq
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This Pale ale pours a burnished gold, with some copper near the edges, a frothy inch of white head that leaves some lace but is retained well throughout. Caramel malt sweetness is mostly overshadowed by floral and piney hop aromas, a lot of hop aromas for a Pale Ale! The brew is somewhat spicy and bready, with caramel maltiness balanced by moderate citrus and piney hop bitterness, leading to a clean and smooth finish. A medium-light body with lower level amounts of carbonation. A newer offering from the good folks at Victory that is well worth searching out.


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Photo of mlazzaro
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

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Photo of OddNotion
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated "enjoy by 15 June 2015". Pours a deep, clear gold with decent white head. Moderate carbonation. Sort of a floral thing going on here. Thin to medium mouthfeel. Lingering bitter, astringent finish. Probably more like an English IPA in my opinion, and English IPAs aren't my favorite. My relatively low rating is more a reflection of my personal preferences in the IPA/APA field, rather than a negative review of this particular beer.
It's really admirable that Victory donates a portion of the Headwaters revenue to local environmental groups.

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Photo of MrOH
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Brilliantly clear deep gold with thin white head. Very little lacing.

A lot of overripe pineapple and grapefruit jumps out, far more than a standard APA. Some dry bready malt and a touch of caramel underneath.

Really crisp flavor. Bitter herbs, seltzer water, pineapple, some citrus rind. Very cleansing. This beer should be in a Jewish deli, as it would probably go exceedingly well with pastrami or lox. Malt does really show itself outside of a vague pretzel impression. Fruit comes forward a bit as it warms, but never overcomes the bitter seltzer sensation.

Light bodied and effervescent, as it should be.

Meh, next time I'm having a reuben or sailor sandwich I'll look for one, but not really something I'd drink repeatedly

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Photo of Snow81
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light orange haze

Head: Small white head

Smell: Light floral hops with subtle malty grass

Taste: Starts off super grassy maltyness, hops come in to play at the end and there a bit bitter

Weight: Medium to low body and medium to high for carbonation

Finish: Hops and a thick grass

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Photo of patre_tim
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

A: Golden with a slight haze, moderate carbonation, and a finger of off white well sustained head.

S: Citrus, catnip, light pine. Light herbal notes.

T: Citrus, light catnip and pine, light sweetness, solid bitterness that comes in and finishes with a linger in the mouth.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, slight bitter finish.

O: A good smooth drinking beer. Drank on Turkey Creek Road, Clyde the first night of our arrival June 14, 2014. A solid brew by a great company.

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