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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: 2,459
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: 2,459
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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Photo of mdagnew
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

330ml bottle bought from Light House Wines, Jordanstown

Poured a clear amber colour. Light tan head poured quite loose and faded quickly to almost nothing... barely any carbonation and very little lacing...

Aroma - Grassy hops, good caramel maltiness, faint nuttiness, some light buttery traces, ground pepper, floral honey notes, some herbal hints, some saltiness, grapefruit and citrus fruitiness...

Taste - Quite malty first then grassy hops come to the fore... some sweet honey traces, grapefruit and orange fruitiness, toasted bread traces, quite floral, some saltiness, the faintest of metallic notes..

M&D - Quite crisp and dry... light / medium bodied... Very refreshing and drinkable and pretty sessionable...

Overall - A pretty decent APA - nothing groundbreaking just a good, clean well made APA... recommended...

09-03-2010 10:14:08 | More by mdagnew

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

Enjoyed this 12 oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Golden orange color with a frothy 1½-finger head that lingers awhile and leaves a nice trail down the whole glass.

S: Mild hoppy aroma with scents of citrus and pine. Not overwhelming by any means, but a pleasant fragrance to the nose.

T: A smooth crisp mildly hoppy flavor, which is appropriate for the style. This is a slightly bitter ale with a good caramel malt base.

M: Medium body and carbonation

O: A decent well-balanced pale ale. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a regular pale ale, since everything seems to be IPA’s these days. It was a nice change and a good beer.

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

On tap at a beer festival poured into a sampler glass. From notes: Pours a deep golden with a small creamy white head. Aroma is balanced citric and piney hops with a very sweet honey and biscuity and caramel malt backbone. Flavor starts with the same sweet caramel and bready notes, picking up some light pine and citric hop notes before a smooth clean lightly bitter finish. Medium body and a sharp carbonation. A good pale ale, balanced and fresh, smooth and quaffable.

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Photo of Frankinstiener
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

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

Beautiful color. The smell is a light mix of malt and hops. The taste is really solid and balanced. This beer is definitely malt fotward but really tasty and enjoyable. yb

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Photo of KYGunner
3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very clean, very light Pale Ale that has a nice hop profile of pine and herbal notes while delivering a light malt backdrop. The appearance is very light in its copper hue with a thin fizz for a head. The aromas are subtle with pine, floral notes and a touch of caramel. The flavor follows suit with a very clean light finish. This is a good example of a Pale Ale but does little to set itself apart.

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Photo of BeerCon5
3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color with not really anything but a thin film of white head.

The scent is dominant of citrus hops, there is also notes of caramel malt.

The taste is also dominant of bitter citrus hops, bready and caramel malt are slightly noticeable.

Light body, smooth and creamy with a crisp dry finish, low carbonation.

This was an average pale ale, I thought the flavor was a little thin but nothing too off-putting. Overall a pretty decent beer, but next time I think I'd pass on the cask.

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Photo of chinchill
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured clear, medium amber in color with a small, off-white, short-lived head that left spotty lacing on the glass.

S: Mainly hops, with piney, citrus, earthy and herbal notes. IPA strength of aroma.

T: Strong hop presence with a lingering grapefruit peel note. The bitter finish soon retreats to a more welcome malty/bitter hop mix.

M: Smooth for style; Medium bodied; Medium-high carbonation; semi-dry finish.

O: a nice APA that leans to the hoppy side.

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Photo of Blanco
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

light orange color and transparent with sizeable white head. lots of apparent carbonation.

smell is very clean and fresh with just a hint of hops.

taste is similar while heavier on the malt side. I was expecting a bit more bite from the hops but it seems Victory chose to keep that muted.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly creamy.

This is a very sessionable beer. Drinkability is high due to the fact it seems designed to not push any boundaries and hover in a very neutral place. Not bad if you can't figure out what you are in the mood for. A little disappointing as I've had better Pale Ales from Victory and when I heard they were making one as a flagship I thought they would taste similarly.

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Photo of Brad007
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mild amber color with a thick head into my glass. The head recedes, leaving some lacing on the edges.

Aroma contains a slight hint of biscuit malt with some grassy hops. Very clean and basic.

Lots of grassiness upfront with very little malt underneath. Not much appeal otherwise.

Finishes clean with lingering grassiness. Meh.

My overall impression is that it's a very basic, yet unimpressive example of the style. I was expecting more flavor.

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Photo of Brewndruid
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aggressive pour from cold bottle. Full fluffy off white head.
Nice lacing
Nice clarity, light copper in colour.
Aroma strong and indicative of a strong bitterness slitghtly citrusy.
Strong bitterness up front. Balanced towards the bitter, clean and crisp, refresing. Clean finish.

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Photo of almostjay
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I want to love this beer, and feel like I should given the brewer and the hop bill, but it just doesn't hit the spot for me. Solid, but average beer. This is a legitimate APA though, and I feel like some other higher rated ones have clearly crossed into the IPA category.

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Photo of cbless97
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Cloudy orange hue. Very light lacing

S- Clean hops, slight orange aroma

T- Very clean floral taste. Bit of a slight orange tang comes through.

M- Nice mellow carbonation and well balanced hops.

O- A very good Pale Ale. Nice blend of all characteristics. I will definitely enjoy this again. Great for watching a game

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Photo of tarkulich
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear golden color with a creamy white head. The nose was barely perceptible; a floral hop smell that quickly faded. Immediately on the tongue is a moderate-high hop flavor and a grainy-malt aftertaste. Floral and earthy hop flavors dominate with a lingering but not overpowering bitterness. The malt taste disappears after a bit and replaced solely by the bitterness of the hops. Mouthfeel is crisp and medium bodied. There may have been some slight oxidation off-flavors in the background.

Overall, I was a bit disappointed. Until now, every beer I've had from Victory has been a winner. This one was more or less average. Still, not a terrible beer, just not what I was expecting based on previous varieties from Victory.

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Photo of MacQ32
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a nice soft copper/pale color with a finger of beautiful off white head with excellent retention. Really nice to the eye! Super clear

S - Grassy floral hops not much else, pretty weak

T - A nice crisp grassy hoppy beer with a pleasant dry bite to it.

M - lighter body, lots of carbonation which compliments its dryness at the finish

O - Kind of a summer session beer for hop lovers, really drinkable crisp and clean. Really easy to drink, not bad

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Photo of JamesMN
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Slightly hazy caramel/orange hue with a very thin soapy off-white head.

Aroma: Bready malt and light earthy hops.

Taste: Lots of bready malt and almost a buttery or spicy biscuit taste. A hint of pine and mostly subdued earthy hop flavor. Not much bitterness. Semi-dry finish. A bit of a sweet palate. Nice aftertaste of biscuit.

Mouthfeel: Just under medium in body with decent effervescence. Easy drinkability.

Final Thoughts: A good Pale Ale but nothing special. Would I drink it again? If it was offered to me.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a rocks glass at Mellow Mushroom. From notes. Reviewed 2 July 2011.

A: Light head. Very pale orange. Decent lacing. Not much to say.

S: Niceish hops, if a bit astringently citrusy. Some grapefruit. Good overall.

T: Mediocre pale ale, but pleasant. The aftertaste is full of drying, bitter hops. A bit better than originally suspected.

M: Mouthfeel is pretty great. A substantial malty dryness is excellent.

O: Pretty good. Nothing to go out of your way for, but I'd have another if not much else was on offer.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, medium bronze color with good bubblng. The head on teh other hand is about one finger after the pour, and disappears before I take my first sip.

Faint grass and mild citric hop aromas of orange and grapefruit. Good toasted biscuit and bread crust sniff from the malt.

The taste starts with calcium rich water and then toasted mlats. Caramel, biscuits, toasted cracker, make up a solid bodied middle. The middle to the finish has the hops coming into scene with orange rind, grass, and cucumber skins. The cucumber just makes think of the slight bitterness I get when I take a bite into a cucumber slice with the skin still on.

Palate is a a nice dry and wet. Dry from the hard water flavor, and wet for the quenching finish. Not a bad session APA.

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