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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

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 GregBlatz
3.19/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Clear light copper color. Light tan head.

S - Esther fruitiness and grain sweetness. Slight iron aroma. Very little hops are noticeable.

T - OK, now I get it. This isn't a bold American pale ale, it is more of a simple session pale ale. The grains and esthers are dominant. Hops are subtle but provide a nice bitterness in the finish that helps to even out the sweetness that helps the finish dry out.

M - Thin and medium carbonation.

O - This is a very nice easy drinking pale ale. In fact I would like to put a few more of these down. The hops are subtle but they start to come out after a few sips. Very nice.

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Photo of rudzud
3.21/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken at the Armsby Abbey on 5/9/11.

A - A copper clear pour with a one finger head which left nice side lacing.

S - Kinda lackluster here. Typical hoppy (grapefruit) notes with a little bit of sweet malts.

T - More of the same. Everything seems somewhat dull and muted. The hops are there, as is the malts, but theres nothing complex about it at all.

M - Its not bad, decent carbonation for the style. It still feels a bit watery though.

O - This isnt a bad example of an APA, just nothing to write home about. Enjoy a better APA for a better price.

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Photo of Buggabeer
3.22/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A Nice golden color with nice lacing around the glass. It has a nice carbination and you can see the bubbles rising to the top to produce a thin head.

S Oh the Hop and Citrus (Grapefruit) aroma is wonderful. I could smell this all day!!

T Oh if I could only taste smell. As it hits the mouth it has a nice taste but after swallowing the best discription is it taste like biting into a grapefruit rind. It has the acidic bitter flavor to it.

M Nice feel with the right amout of carbination but nothing more than an average Pale Ale

O It was a dissapointment to me. After smelling the beer I so wanted to drink but after my first swallow and I got the rind taste it was all down hill after that.

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Photo of Spikester
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Clear reddish gold with one finger of white head with poor retention. Pretty good lace though.
Smell is light malts and some herbal hops.
Taste is slightly fruity hop forward with the malts bringing up the rear. A light grapefruit flavor starts to build.
Mouthfeel is light with good carbonation and a dry bitter finish.
Overall a tasty session type beer but closer to the IPA junior style IMO. Needs more malts for an APA.
From a 12 ounce can enjoy by date was 21 Jan 2016.

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Photo of phantomwyse
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours out a perfectly clear copper/caramel body – almost looks like cream soda. Half finger white as snow head rises and recedes quickly.

S: Pretty straight forward hop aromas – thick pine, slightly orange tinged citrus. Simple syrup sweet. Apple turnover, pastry malts.

T: Moderate hops, clean pine and a bit of grapefruit. Sweet in the middle, again reminds me of breakfast pastries – like the ones you get in gas stations that cost 99 cents and have a half life of 600 years. But, I mean this in a good way.

M: Medium to light bodied, halfway creamy, finishes crisp.

O: Hop Devil light. A moderate pale ale without the peppery bite of other hoppy Victory beers. Personally, that’s what attracts me to Victory beers is the assertive hop and alcohol presence. So, this beer comes across as middle of the road for them. I’m sure it opens their market up a little bit by having a less aggressive pale ale, however, there are better travel lane pale ales in my book – Troeg’s Pale Ale comes to mind.

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Photo of Khazadum
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours easy, smooth, gentle. The head develops quite nicely with very miniscule bubbles, not necessarily a creamy emulsion on top, but something appreciable. We got some disturbing medium to large size bubbles cascading up from the bottom of the glass and ripping through the cap. Copper body is clear to vision.

S- Very light floral and herby nose. A light metallic sharpness does flow through the hop character. Could be a bit of grapefruit as well. Simple, but faint at the same time.

T- Opens herby hop nature, spicy, bit sharp. Flows into a more grassy nature, bit of sweetness but very subdued. Finishes the standard bitterness that has pine thoughts, but not pine frond or bark. Bit of a simple, normal flavor.

M- Nice full body, sort of creamy. Crisp ending around the side of my tongue. Doesn't bubble the entire palate, just picks and chooses where it would like to find its nucleation points.

Not bad, not great. Just a pale ale you can enjoy when you got no other options.

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Photo of corby112
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draft at Kraftwerk on 2/17/11.

Pours a clear dark golden orange color with burnt orange hues when held to a light and a half finger white head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy aroma that's also a bit perfume like with hintsof crisp light fruit, grass and straw. Pale malt with a bit of apple, pear and phenol.

Lighter end of medium bodied with crisp, dry, earthy hops that linger throughout into a dry finish. Slightly earthy with hints of grass, sweet alcohol and light fruits, notably apricot and apple. Slightly watered down but with enough complexity to make it interesting. More hop forward than I expected but the malt presence becomes more prominent as it warms.

Not a bad beer but nothing out of the ordinary. Usually Victory makes above average beers for the style but I wasn't terribly impressed with this one.

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Photo of JG-90
3.24/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

bottle into glass

A - Pours medium/large slightly creamy head, leaves moderate lacing, very clear pale copper color

S - Not as much smell as I expected, resinous hops, bread, and a little malt

T - Huge prickly/resinous hop start (seems to me a little aggressive for a pale ale), bread, grapefruit, and a slight malt finish

M - very prickly mouthfeel, medium/light body, moderate carbonation

O - I think the prickly hops with lighter body are a little too much for my taste, seems like a sligthly watered down IPA, but still a good and interesting beer

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Photo of gatornation
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

from a 12 oz bottle best by 070811

A- was a yellow/orange sunset color with a fresh head just a litlle lacing mostly clear PA

S- was malty hay with some lemon citrus ,some floral hops

T- was wet grass,some floral hop notes mixed in were some lemon and citrus notes

M- fizzy a little watery

D- easy to drink but the taste was a watered down pale ale ..i like victory but this PA was a let down for me..and one i would not buy again.. ill try it on tap and maybe buy a single again

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Photo of znichols
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into Gray's Tied House pint glass.

A- Deep, rich gold color with a soft, two finger white head. Somewhat opaque. Looks like your average pale ale.

S- A little bit of sticky hops and light maltyness. Very balanced aroma. Sort of like crackers and lemon butter. It's there but not anything overly intriguing.

T- Very citrusy northwest hop resin hits the tongue first. The hop flavor isn't quite "potent", but the perfect level to enjoy without having to pucker up. The bitterness is pretty subdued at first then comes up a little bit late. A little bready malt flavor round out the sip and then everything dissapears pretty quick. This one doesn't really stick with you long flavorwise.

M- Very easy drinking. Pretty light bodied with a higher level of carbonation and a sticky finish. Enjoyable for a session beer.

O- I would easily go through 6 of these in a night and enjoy every one. A lighter American Pale Ale with a very oily, sticky mouthfeel and a easygoing lemon and sweetmalt flavor.

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Photo of jSehnert
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Light copper in color, with thin had on pour.

smell citrus and some malt.

taste citrus hop with thin malt balance

lingering bitterness, not harsh but good

overall good hop nose and flavor but not balanced by malt backing.

at 5.1 % may bee a reasonable balance for a hoppy session beer.

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Photo of yourchoice
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours to a clear light golden amber with a quickly dissipating white head. Some lacing, but minimal. Attractive in the glass.
S- A sweet toffee or caramel malty aroma. Some pine as well. Not much of citrus aroma...if any fruit, it something much more subtle.
T- A very neutral pale ale. I prefer something a bit more robust with the hops shining through. Some of the piney characteristic, but not much. More malty than anything else. Neutral in a non-complex kind of way.
M- Rather carbonated, with a thin feel.
D- Could you drink a lot of these? I would say, yes. The lack of complexity makes this an easy drinking beer, but that is not what I was anticipaing from it.

I think this beer may be Victory's attempt to be a little more mainstream, where people who aren't typically craft beer drinkers will venture out and drink this as a bridge to craft beers. I wasn't that impressed. I can see myself having this before a Phillies game when I want to have a beer or two with friends before heading into the game. That thought may seem random, but it gives me a setting I could see this beer being okay.

EDIT: Just read jeffthechef's review posted just prior to mine. "Generic" sums it up perfectly.

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Photo of twelvsies
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very clear light amber, rising bubbles, and a small layer of head. Citric hop nose, hints of lemon and pine, a touch of honey or caramel. Nice balanced flavor. More malt then expected, hearty bread flavor plays well with the sweet fruityness of the hops. Smooth texture and nice body. Really nothing wrong at all with this beer - it's just not super interesting. A decent sessionable pale.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Date: 24 June 2011
Glass: Ithaca English-style pint glass
Type: 12fl bottle

Poured gently, brief 1+ finger head, reduces to a light cap, fairly nice draped lacing, color is clear amber gold

Aroma is wonderfully floral, paired with touches of pine, and a quick wisp of grapefruit.

Taste is incredible for a session beer 5.1% (at least I believe it's of session quality). Taste begins with a lightly floral bitter hops, a touch of pine, and a pale malt backbone. Possibly the slightest touch of lemon, but very brief.

Mouthfeel is extremely crisp, like a quick spike. Doesn't leave a bitterness on the palate. A lemony flavor lasts few a few seconds. Light-bodied beer, great for hop-heads that don't want to spend a lot of money, and want a sessionable beer. Good job again, Victory.

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Photo of Stobin
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Really like this style, don't know if this one is a good representation. Smell has a hint of what wine people call "pipi du chat", or cat piss. Didn't care for smell, but tastes much better. Really like this brewery, and most of its offerings, but this one falls a little flat for me. Will try on tap if given the chance, but won't buy in bottles again.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%

Bottle dated BB 15 Dec 2014 at 40 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma citrusy hops
Head average (3 cm), off white, creamy, diminishing to 3 mm ring and layer
Lacing good, complete thick rings of mostly tiny bubbles
Body medium yellow, clear, continuingly rising bubbles
Flavor begins bitter and lightly citrus, ends just bitter; no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.625. Final weighted score: 3.3
This pale ale has hop bitterness in abundance but has little hop flavor. Perhaps I’m being harsh for this is an otherwise very good pale ale. The head retention and lacing are good, the nose is attractive, the palate is good – just the flavor is lacking. Since the flavor is the most weighted, a lower final score occurs.

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Photo of RhettM1
3.31/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nothing is overpowering in this beer. Smells good...but faint. Taste is there...but subtle . Great example of the style. The taste does not overpower your palette. Some breweries confuse the American pale ale and the India...Victory does not. Overall a good beer that satisfies during a hot afternoon.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Light golden with a one finger head that has poor retention. Minimal lacing.
S- This is one of the most herbal beers I've ever come across. It's like chopped cilantro and parsley. SLightly "dank" as they say.
T- More of the same here. I like the herbal presence in a lot of beers but this one goes a touch over the top on it.
M- A bit light, but good active carbonation.
O- I like when pale ales use herbal hops but this one goes too far down that road. Interesting but probably a pass for me. Sadly, my least favorite beer Victory has put out so far.

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Photo of meeekyh
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I just spend half an hour writing a review for this beer but my session timed-out. Stupid programming. The improvements to this site usually seem like they are not such good things, here is an example.

In short it was good but not great.

Slainte, but hurry!

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Photo of Murrhey
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer poured on a flight at Haven Gastropub in Orange, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger width head, good retention and carbonation. The lacing is nice as well. Orange-brown body.

S- Hoppy and light.

T- Crisp flavors, bitter and fresh.

M- Smooth and fairly dry.

O- Easy drinking beer. Tasty and floral hops. I wish I took better notes on this one.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Light caramel colored pour, good clarity, good head. Best by Sep something 11 date. Nice hoppy aroma, not picking out the specific hop varieties, but whatever the meld, it was enjoyable and even keeled to not be able to say it leaned pine or citrus wise.

Taste, starts off good, carbonation, hops, mild sweet caramel malt, average bitterness. Swallow. Wait for it, ugh, what is that aftertaste in this? Slightly off flavor. Not horrible, just not pleasant like everything else about the beer. Its fresh, it still has 3 more months on it before the best by date, and the hopping is there. The only possible descriptor that came up was like, you know those biscuits that come in the pressurized metal containers that pop open when you depress a spoon on them? This had a like, stale, metallic bitter, biscuit aftertaste really ruined an otherwise pleasurable beer.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - The pour is a radiantly translucent bronze; the head, lace, and retention are all underperforming.

S - The nose is comprised of equal parts resiny-tropical hoppiness, and a doughy malt aroma. It doesn't smell particularly strong, but as I get deeper in the glass, the doughy impression increases.

T - The taste offers a good balance of fresh and somewhat vibrant hoppiness, and an understated pale maltiness that serves well. I dig the hop profile, it is earthy, lemony, and cannabis-like. The finish is mildly bitter with some sweetness final revealed at the very end.

M - APA. Good enough.

O - This is a nice little beer, if fresh. Easy to drink, a decent option, but nothing I will seek out. Then again, there is very little I actually seek out so that consideration is somewhat worthless.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a slightly cloudy orange with a light tan-yellowish head.

S - Bread, citrus, and malts.

T - Sweet malts and carmels.

D - Low carbonation, light body overall.

O - Pretty average all around. Yawn, yawn.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Can from The Drinkery Derry
Brilliantly clear deep golden color with a good sized long lasting frothy off white head. Lemony citrus, light sulfur, light bready maltiness. Old school, a bit bland for my hop toasted taste buds.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a nice copper color with a big billowy white head. The head fades slowly giving a good amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is lighter overall, but has a nice blend of aromas. There are hints of caramel, biscuit, grapefruit citrus hop and some pine.

Taste – The taste begins biscuity and smooth. There is an ever so light sweetness, but it is very light and towards the middle it is almost completely gone. With the loss of the sweetness comes good hints of hop flavors. These are a mix of pine, citrus as well as a lighter earthy hop flavor. These flavors take the taste to the end where a bitter and lightly roasted flavor are left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is a bit above average in smoothness and thickness with a carbonation level very average. Both are fitting, but are nothing really to exceptional for the style.

Overall – It has a nice more bittering flavor and is quite easy to drink. Not bad, but not the best either.

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