Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

576 Reviews

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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
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Reviews: 576 | Hads: 2,418
Photo of patoakes7
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a-coppery orange in color, extremley clear with little to no lacing off the cask.

s- slight cirusy hop smell. Not much nose poured from the cask

t-refreshing citrus and hoppy throughout. Not overwhelming and pretty smooth

m-Very little carbonation, light bodied and easy to drink

D- Much more drinkable then off regular draft. Props to Victorys 15th anniversary beer headwaters for supplying the firkin.

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Photo of riversider76
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden with amber hues. One finger plus head with good retention and nice lace. Aroma is of citrus, hops with notes of bread. Body is the lighter side of medium with some carbonation. Taste is a crisp well balanced treat. Nice grapefruit edge to the finish. Very nice.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of JMad
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass...

The liquid was a light, copper, orange color with a thin, bubbly, white head that dissipated quickly. It smells amazing for a pale ale, there are hints of lime, grapefruit and sweet malt. The taste consists lemon and lime with a hint of bready sweet malt and a piney, hoppy aftertaste. The beer is light, with stinging carbonation and a slightly dry finish. Headwaters pale ale is highly drinkable, it's perfect for a hop-head that wants to have a nice drinking session.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Freshcraft in Denver.

10oz. pour has great clarity. The color is an amber-orange and the head is creamy but short-lived.

Aroma is fresh and hoppy with some nice citrus notes.

Flavor is really pleasant with hoppiness and great fresh citrus. It's one of those pale ales that has IPA-like hops.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and nicely carbonated.

Overall a great American pale ale. I was excited to see this on tap but I would really like to see it in bottles here soon.

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Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle accompanying my sub from Zeek's.

A: The pale ale is pale, a lighter amber color that looks like tea. Quite clear, the condensation on the outside of the glass being the only impediment. A finger of white head disappeared quickly and left no traces behind.

S: The pale ale has a well-balanced aroma, equal parts biscuit and citrus hops. The hoppy grapefruit aromas are floral and sit nicely atop the malts.

T: Very piquant, the spiciness of the hops hits a surprisingly high note. The hops have grapefruit sweetness that flicks at my tastebuds, a sharp bitterness. Caramel and biscuit are nearly as flavorful, matching most all of the hops. An excellent pale ale.

M: Balance is the key, equal parts hop and malt, bready and biting. A comfort beer. I'm glad that Victory finally listened to the masses.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I find it weird that I never seen a bottle. Got this as a free birthday beer at the Mad Mex during happy hour! I was so happy!

A - Poured glorious golden orange, darker than expected for a pale ale with a nice inch of head on top.

S - Smells pretty timid. I got some Amarillo hops, slight malt and a bit of grain. Doesn't smell too bitter so that's a plus.

T - It's weird but it's kind of like a lighter version of Dales Pale ale. You get a mild aggressiveness from the hops and bitterness from grains and then it finishes sweet with a gram cracker malt. Balanced and tasty.

M - I did find it a bit light bodied but it just might have been since I had a Mojo Risin before this so maybe it had a medium body but drank light.

Overall I really enjoyed this offering from Victory and to me it was the definition of a session ale. Moderate ABV, smooth taste and little bite with just enough to take another sip. Hopefully I can find six packs someday!

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Photo of atr2605
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a semi-transparent light amber/orange color with a slightly off white foamy head with good retention.
S-bit of sweet malt/honey, with moderate citrus and pine hop aroma
T-Citrus and malt up front followed by a bit of pine bitterness that is followed by more malt sweetness. Citrus bitterness lingers on the palate
M-medium bodied
O-Really well balanced beer with tons of flavor but still extremely drinkable. Look forward to having it again.

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Photo of Stunner97
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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

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Photo of schoolboy
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice clear, yellow brown brew with very little head or lace. The smell is not bad but not overy aromatic.

It has a nice hoppy taste with a nice finish. It has a slight bite, but is generally nicely balanced and pleasant. I would want to have this again.

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Photo of ToddT
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear light copper color topper with an thick khaki head. Head falls slowly and is sticky leaving some nice lace on the glass.

S- Floral and citrus hop dominate the nose. There are some nice malt and caramel note in the background as well.

T- Malt followed with a nice bright note of caramel, the finish is mostly a wash of floral and citrus hops and a short final bite from the hops. The finish is very clean and refreshing and crisp as well.

M- Medium in body and decent carbonation, nice feel in the mouth.

O- Very drinkable and accessible beer, low 5.1% ABV makes this a session beer.

Flavorful and well done, nice job Victory, It’s not going to replace Hopback as my favorite session beer, but I might rotate back and forth between them every couple of trips out to the bar.

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Photo of bonkers
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of Chaney
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of beer2day
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of dragonWhale
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of MistahBeah
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice golden color. Amber around the top. Lots of visible carbonation. Creamy white head with nice retention. Some striated lace

Smells of biscuits and slightly grainy. Fresh oranges. Some honey. Lots of estery yeast character. Faintly metallic. Some spice too but a lot of sweetness

Taste starts off with some peppery spice. Biscuity malts with some traces of honey or caramel. Hops kick in with some juicy grapefruit. Herbal bitterness works well with the fruity esters. Very nicely balanced. Finishes a bit spicy

Feels smooth and medium-bodied. Crisp with carbonation and spice

Overall a classic in my book. I find that many pale ales - even the good ones - fall flat for me. I'll find myself saying that something's "good for a pale." This is a great beer. True to style, yet different enough to stand out and be known

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Photo of BranfordBound
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of blackie
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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

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Photo of gabedivision
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of projectflam86
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of sholland119
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.


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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of feylure
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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!


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