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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

2,057 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,057
Reviews: 538
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 60
Gots: 181 | FT: 3
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Headwaters Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,057 | Reviews: 538 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bonkers
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a SA perfect pint glass. Nice copper colored pour, 2 inch white head, sticks around for a while, nice lacing. The aroma is a mix of pine, grass and sweet citrus. The first sip has a nice grapefruit pop. There was also some sweet pine, the finish was mostly grapefruit and it lingered. The body was medium/light and it has average carbonation. One of the better APA's, just a step below daisy cutter.

bonkers, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of Chaney
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoy by September 12, 2011.

A: Poured a mildly cloudy orange-amber color, with a nice 1/2 finger or so head that died down into a diluted Alka-Seltzer-esque foam formation.

S: Strong, fresh hop profile, piney, and almost reminiscent of some of the wet-hopped harvest ales that I've had in the past. However, it also had Victory's "sour-dough with pepper" staple.

T: Sparkly, citrusy, and bready all at the same time. I did noticed the fresh, filtered water quality that the brewery taughted on the marketing-speak. The finish was bitter without being too dry.

M: Substantial, stuck-on-glass lacing, with a little bit of hoppy, bitter linger on the palate. The carbonation was fine.

O: Victory really packed a lot of flavor into such a low ABV beer. If I were to taste this one sight unseen, I would have tagged it as an IPA. Really good stuff... and I will be drinking more of it in the near future.

Chaney, May 16, 2011
Photo of beer2day
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep orange gold color. Forced 1-finger light cream head, with very light retention. Sparse lace all around the glass. Fairly light bubble stream.

Nice mix of strawgrass and herbal hops, with a grapefruit twist. Not overpowering, but not meant to be. For a 5% glass, a pretty decent nose.

Decent malt body, but a really nice bite of grapefruit hops in the finish. Particularly good considering the relatively low abv. Lightly roasted malt with citrus winning out over the malt body. Not overpowering, but very nice in the end.

Feel is about right for the abv and style. Slightly creamy and full.

Overall a beer I'd seek out again. Especially if in the mood for more than one.

beer2day, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of BranfordBound
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle marked best before September 2011. Poured into a DFH Shaped Pint.

Pours a nice amber color with a fluffy one and a half finger white head. Leaves ok lacing.

Smells of hops, surprisingly. Suprising in that hops are extremely strong for a pale ale. Rivals their IPA.

Wow, yeah, follows with the nose being extremely hoppy. Not like other Pale Ales, this one is not all that malty. Only a hit of malts at the beginning which yield immediately to the rush of hops. Hops are herbal, grassy, and have a strong grapefruit flavor which lingers.

Lighter side of medium bodied, carbonation not too strong to distract.

Nice drinking pale ale, definitely on the hoppy side of things.

BranfordBound, May 30, 2011
Photo of glid02
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Bookhouse Pub in Atlanta.

Pours a clear light copper color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of bright citrus and floral hops with hints of tropical fruits all backed by a slightly grainy pale malt backbone.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the hops aren't as robust. Slightly dry pale malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by citrus hops. Midway through the sip the citrus hops fade a bit and allow sweeter tropical fruit flavors to work their way into things. The hops carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this is another outstanding low-ABV beer from Victory. Well worth a shot.

glid02, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of blackie
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: chalice serving, the beer is a light caramel amber in color, floating a frothy off-white head that falls back to a thin layer

s: herbal and citrusy hops accompany a biscuity pale malt body, grapefruit rind, light caramels, hops even provide a little resin while staying firmly within pale ale territory, there's nothing unnecessary or out-of-place - skilled execution really makes a great product from only a few ingredients

m: moderately carbonated, light-medium in body, satisfying and crisp

t: great structure of biscuity pale malts allows the dried citrus and grassy herbal hops to assert themselves, slight caramel sugar adds body and depth, nice grapefruit rind bitterness, finishing quite dry, clean and refreshing, outstanding balance, just a top notch pale ale

d: a superbly crafted pale ale not too far off from the hallmarks of the style produced by SN - not much of a surprise from Victory, glad to have another worthwhile, drinkable beer readily available

blackie, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of ReelBigwigFish
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a 6oz sample at work and then a serving in a bottle more recently.

a: from the sampling, it had a golden color with little head, though the vessel may have hindered head formation, retention, and lacing.

s: hoppier than expected with the usual pale malt aromas. the strong hop aromas really make this stand out for a pale ale.

t: again, the hops are what make this such a treat. piney hops are much more pronounced than in many other pale ales, but not nearly at the level of IPA'ism; this allows for an easily balanced, and subtle blending of hops and sweet malt flavors.

m: a medium bodied ale that is very drinkable. it's great to swish around to get all the flavor you can, and also great to take a nice big gulp and get that refreshing bite.

o: as a fan of ipa's, i think this really is a great beer. it's nothing too crazy, but far superior to something like sierra nevada.

ReelBigwigFish, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of fmccormi
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straight pour from 12oz pry-off bottle to a 25cl Duvel Single tulip. Freshness date of April 13, 2013 printed in white-grey ink on the shoulder of the bottle (“Enjoy By: Apr 13 2013 0182 1551”). Going by a five-month freshness period that Victory uses for this beer, I’m assuming that it was bottled on November 13, 2012. So, just under five weeks old on the date of consumption.

Appearance (3.5): Close to two fingers of very fine, velvety-looking foam rises offof the pour, capping a crystal-clear, honey-gold body. Retention is modest, but it leaves some fat splotches of lace and scattered suds as it goes down—definitely better than average.

Smell (4.0): Surprisingly funky, dank kinda smell coming off of this—which is awesome. The dry-hopping is evident, even at five weeks old. Very clean, fresh, and aromatic, with nice citrus (pineapple, mango) and mild weed tones (a little dank, a little resinous) over some solid, bready malt character that’s only modestly sweet and moderately rich—great mix and balance for the style.

Taste (4.5): A nice dose of bittering hops offers some grassy, mildly vegetal bitterness right off the bat. The body is clean and crisp, a light body of very pale barley malt that’s moderately toasty, like fresh-toasted Southern white bread—not sweet, very nice and dry but not particularly complex in grain composition, either. But it fits the style extremely well. There’s a very crisp, lemony flavor and bitterness that dominates the mid-palate and carries into the finish, which I like—very crisp and refreshing. The finish has a nice, medium-strength bitterness that’s part grass and part lemon. Awesome.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Definitely on the light side of medium-bodied, with a finish that’s crisp and dried out nicely from some modestly astringent hop oils. The carbonation is soft and full, foaming a bit on the way down. This is very, very drinkable.

Overall (4.0): Talk about crushable. This beer is so crisp and drinkable, it’s a perfect springtime beer—I can definitely see having a couple of these on the porch on a warm April evening in upstate NY. This is a great example of the style, and I will definitely be seeking it out again when I need something to shake me out of the winter doldrums and open me up to the crisp air of springtime. Good job, Victory.

fmccormi, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of gabedivision
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz'r to a pint glass.

A- Pours a crystal clear copper color with a thin white lace of a head.

S- Big bold hop scent, citrus, and strong toasted malts. Very inviting.

T- Potent bittering hops, nice grapefruit citrus, sweet bold malt with a aspriny bitter after tone.

M- Medium bodied, crisp, bitter, and delicious.

O- I took a shot on this beer, (i know im in the minority when i say this but) i cant stomach alot of Victory's beers, so it takes alot for me to plunge 12 bucks into their 6 packs. This beer may have changed the way i feel about this brewery. This was awesome start to finish, i cant put enough of this down my throat.

gabedivision, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of projectflam86
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoy by date July 8 2011

A- Pours a bright golden orange color with a thick foam head that leaves nice lacing.

S- Juicy hops and pine aromas dominate the nose. A bit of dank hop character is present as well. This baby smells quite hoppy for an APA!

T- A nice hoppy bitterness upfront with some citrus and tropical fruit flavors. Some pine and floral flavors come through with just a touch of caramel malt to balance in the finish.

M- Clean and hoppy with nice carbonation.

D- Very drinkable APA with a really nice hoppy flavor. I will definitely pick up another 6er of this.

projectflam86, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of Stunner97
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- typical of the pale ale style with good crisp carbonation and thin white head quickly faded,

Smell- very nice hop smell really dominates the smell profile

Taste- its certainly has a nice firm hoppy finish but this beer does have good balance of malt up front and that really makes things balanced, in terms of flavor i really enjoyed this beer its got a alot of hops but really the balance is perfect

Mouthfeel- good light to medium bodied and quite smooth, all in good balance

Drinkability/overall- overall i think this beer was extremely drinkable and the keyword here was balance , they managed to use to the right amount of hop ratio to malt and just perfect balance, this to me would make a great session beer that I will probably go to from time to time, just a beer i think a beer that is complex enough yet simple enough to make you want drink it through the night, good showing by victory for a solid pale ale

Stunner97, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of sholland119
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the pub, 3/6/10.

A-pour is a clear light orange with a thin pool of white head and a nice sheet of lacing.

S-Nice blast of pungent citrus hops with a lighter malt base.

T-biscuity malt in the front followed by a generous amount of grapefruit hops.

M-light bodied and nicely dry. Nice smooth finish.

D-one of the best hoppy pale ales out there. An all day drinker for hopheads.

HV

sholland119, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a semi-transparent golden orange with bright honey highlights. Not very hazy at all. A thick head with a slight orange frothy hue is born from the pour. The head retains its crown masterfully. Unreliable lacing dots the glass. Looks quite attractive.

S-There is a pretty strong hop character in the nose. The hops remind me of a dulled-down version of Titan IPA from Great Divide. I have read a few reviews about this brew before, and the word earthy is commonly used in the nose. I agree. The malts balance out the hops well but in the nose, I would sway this beer a bit closer to the side of the hops. But balance is very close.

T-A unique flavor. The hops have a bunch of citrus, more lemony than orange. I also get a strong flavor of cereal, quite like Corn Flakes. The interesting scents in the nose are expressed in the flavor. A long, clean grassy finish rounds out the flavor. There are some awesome hop flavors, but they're not very bitter. The flavor is bright, and the malt backs up the other tastes well.

M-Medium bodied. A bit slick and creamy too. Light carbonation. Only mildly dry, but quite crisp in the end despite the initial creamy feel.

O/D-I have heard mixed reviews both on BA and by those I know who have tried it. I must say that I think Headwaters is a damn good Pale Ale. I only bought a single, but would not have been disappointed if I had bought a 6-pack. High drinkability. Hoppy enough to keep me interested but not too heavy, which makes this a great warm weather beer. I would absolutely love this beer in a can. Not your average APA. Worth a try? Yes.

VelvetExtract, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of cagocubs
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap locally.

A: Pours a copper color with a 1 finger puffy off white head that lingers and laces.

S: Hoppy, citrus (orange, grapefruit), malt and grains along with some sugary sweetness. Typical and clean of an IPA/APA.

T: The hops are crisp and bitter, the citrus element comes through along with the sweet malt and spice. Some buttery bready finish give this a nice balance.

M: Light/Medium body with a good creamy texture that maintains a tingle. Easy drinking and smooth.

A solid choice for any APA fan.

cagocubs, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of TTAmod
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with no visible bottling date poured into pint glass.

A: Clear. Somewhere between gold and yellow. One finger pillowy white head with okay retention.

S: Smell is strong tropical fruit. Grapefruit dominate but there are hints of orange creme and pineapple.

T: Nice use of Citra hops (I believe this is a single hopped Citra beer.) Easy-going grapefruit and orange flavors but with the added depth of flowery and herby hops. Slightly toasted malt base keeps the hops in check. A slight bitterness lasts into the finish.

M: Pretty much perfect. Slightly less than medium body, effervescent, creamy. Obscenely drinkable.

O: One of my favorite new-ish APAs. Complex, strong (but not overbearing) hops. Interesting, complementary malt base. One of my favorite Victory Brews. This has a similar hop profile to Hop Wallop, but without the huge ABV.

TTAmod, Nov 09, 2012
Photo of feylure
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this stuff yesterday and decided to try it out. Enjoy by July 8th 2011

Appearance is a lovely clear gold.

Smell is quite amazingly hoppy!

Taste is a great balance of hops and barley. Not too sweet and not too bitter. Just straight up clean with a tail of the same nature.

Mouthfeel is quite full all the way around.

This is an extremely well balanced brew and one that I find to be quite drinkable. Definitely be buying this again!

Cheers

feylure, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Slightly hazy, amber brew with a small head and rings of bubbly lace.

S - Grapefruit - pith and flesh, pine, slight malt.

T - Grapefruit pith, light malt, watery. Aftertaste is mild, only a hint of pithy bitterness.

M - A little harsh, medium body, high carbonation, very refreshing.

D - Stellar, it is exceptionally refreshing. A really great APA, I'll have it again. Another winner from victory.

mrasskicktastic, May 21, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Victory Brewing Company (Downington, PA) on 2/15/11 during their 15 Year Anniversary Celebration. Served in an imperial pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, topped with 1 ½ fingers of stiff bright-white foam. Wow, just beautiful head retention on this, with this continuing to release the whole duration of the glass and holding tight across the top of the glass with a thick finger. Rich patchy lacing just coats the sides of the glass. Great look here! The aroma smells flowery and dank, but things don't get too loose in the nose, as it is propped up by stiff notes of bitter citrus. The malts soften things up across the back, with some toasted biscuit character and light eggy notes.

Wow, the taste just pops in the mouth with green citrus, which have some bite but aren't totally aggressive with it either, as fresh hop flavors push to the forefront. The malts add some extra tightness here but have just enough bready sweetness to them to balance out that earthy bitterness. This finishes with a grassy and herbal feel that lingers on the breath after each sip. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fantastic tight and crisp feel in the mouth. There is just enough underlying slickness present and this is probably where I feel the herbal qualities of this beer the most, as it adds some extra ease to the body without countering the fresh pop in the mouth that this provides.

Man, I liked this. Bright and full hop flavors that were well balanced and that super crisp and easy body made for a most thirst quenching and drinkable presentation. This was just so fresh and vibrant here on draft during its premiere. I'm looking forward to seeing how this translates to the bottle as well.

Kegatron, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of shand
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a very hazy orange color with a tiny head. The aroma is full of bright citrus and floral hops. Caramel malts also make themselves known. The taste is very bright, full of floral hops and citrus notes. The finish is really smooth and crisp, this is truly a delicious APA. The mouthfeel is nice, it's fairly light-bodied and has a medium level of carbonation. The drinkability is also very good. Overall, this is a solid, drinkable pale ale.

shand, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of drtth
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured is a clear golden copper color with a 1” off-white head that recedes to a patchy thin layer on the surface and a ring of foam around the glass. The head leaves patches of lacing. Sipping leaves behind some speckles of lacing for much of the beer.

Smell: The aromas are fresh and clean and include some floral and citric hops tinged with tangerine and orange zest. There is some pale malt in the background that supports the hops but is also a definite presence.

Taste: The flavor is as clean and crisp as the aroma. The flavors include some caramel malt backbone that supports the floral and citric flavors from the hops (lemon zest, tangerine), but on the whole the impression is of dryness.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied, nicely smooth and with good carbonation. The finish begins with a touch of some malt sweetness noticeable. But that sweetness passes quickly and fades away first, leaving some dry citric bitterness that gradually fades in to just dryness at the end.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I found this beer nicely drinkable, with each sip following the last quite easily. When the beer was finished I was looking forward to a second, and expect I’ll have this one on my shopping list for some years to come. My overall impression is of a well crafted Pale Ale that I could drink several of during an evening of conversations and socializing with friends and family.

drtth, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of bradcochran1234
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very happy to see this beer from Victory. This beer is a damn good example of an APA.
A-Light-golden color with a thin and quickly dissipating head.

S-Slight citrus smell. For some reason I keep getting fresh corn. My nose might be broken.

T-HECK YEAH!!! The citrus comes through right off the bat followed up by some thin malty tones. The beer starts to bitter out toward the end.

M-Slightly bitter sticking around for a very short amount of time. CRISP and CLEAN.

O- I would almost buy this as a session beer. Man up and knock some of these back because they are delicious.

bradcochran1234, May 09, 2011
Photo of kevinmaher
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%

kevinmaher, Sep 08, 2014
Photo of Permalater
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In general, a very nice looking beer. The aroma is not too bad, not too great either. The taste is for sure the best part of the beer, VERY drinkable but also VERY delicious. It's what a pale ale should taste like! Mouthfeel was oaky, nothing great but I can't really point out anything negative. Overall, this is a really good beer! I'd recommend it to any beer drinker looking for an overall good pale ale! This is what I come to expect out of victory brewery, nothing amazing, but if I'm looking for a good beer to drink, I will trust them to supply it.

Permalater, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of dragonWhale
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 6pack purchased of this fine brew was a too old 6pack at a store where craft beer moves slowly. Unfortunate, but I will speak on this beer regardless. A translucent golden amber with some sexy lace and creamy head. Typically, the nose would reveal a bit of malt and some delightful orange citrus, but right now, the malt is dominating my nose.
Still starts with that little bitterness, just right for a pale, and there still is some hop character beyond, but the malt just rides it out. Sadly, this bottle is a shell of its former self, but I know based on past experiences what this truly is. Bottle says enjoy by 9/12..shiit. Probably should've looked at that first before I bought em. Oh, well. Still a good beer.

dragonWhale, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$8.50 sixer from Liquor Outlet, Boonton.

Appearrance is just classic. Crystal clear bold gold body, topped by two fingers of snow white various sized bubbles.

Pleasant citrus aroma, not at all harsh, very inviting.

Firm semi-sweet caramel base coats the tongue. A good blast of bitterness follows with an undercoating of juicy fruit. Nice clean finish with just a slight malt/hop mix trading off in the afterglow. Extremely well balanced.

Overall, highly drinkable. Victory celebrates its anniversary by going to the style that built the craft beer movement and makes a dandy.

RonfromJersey, Jun 16, 2011
Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,057 ratings.