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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

563 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 563
Hads: 2,375
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 76
Gots: 371 | FT: 2
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:
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: 563 | Hads: 2,375
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful dark amber with a pale tan head that has just a tinge of golden amber. Aroma is rather hoppy, almost more like an IPA than a regular ale, with a malty underpinning and a hint of citrus. Rich flavor has a nice balance of malt and hops with grassy, fruity and honey hints. This ale is very drinkable! Texture is smooth and quite pleasantly fizzy. Recommended. (375 characters)

Photo of mjrod2142
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass

The beer poured clean with a bright, orange-pumpkin-looking color with a slight hint of haze. A soft, off-white head quickly formed and left nice lacings inside the glass as it dissipated.

The aroma offers an immediate burst of grapefruit. The smell is very crisp and clean, with some bite of fresh-cut grass.

The taste gives you exactly what the smell does: a sharp grapefruit note that softens out to a malty finish. The mouthfeel is excellently smooth and rich without being heavy. Perfect carbonation.

If you love good hops, this American Pale Ale is for you. Highly recommended. (634 characters)

Photo of ChrisMyhre
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from the 12 oz. bottle. Best by December 2013.

a: Light copper color,billowy head with some lacing.

s: Hoppier than expected. Very little malt.

t: Hoppy, light malt but very flavorful.

m: Heavier than expected, nice smooth, easy drinking beer.

o: Great drinkable beer, very non-pretentious but flavorful. Great APA. (347 characters)

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic tumbler- pours a clear copper/amber color with, a finger of bone-white head, light retention and lacing.

Smell is light and floral- hops predominate but are not too intense and there's a little pale malt.

Tastes wonderfully refreshing- not too heavy on the bitterness but still enough to make it crisp. Light hop bitterness on the front palate, followed by some caramel sweetness, giving way to some floral hops (I taste a bit of green apple as well) to finish it out slightly dry.

Mouthfeel is great- light to medium body, moderately carbonated, no sticky, resiny hop feeling. Great summer beer for sure. (648 characters)

Photo of meverhart53
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was pleasantly surprised by this APA from Victory Brewing in Downingtown, PA. I thought I was buying Victory's Hop Devil, but mistakenly purchased Victory Headwater Pale Ale instead. This ale gets a big thumb's up.

Brilliant copper color, pillowy head

Lots of citrus and pine

Nicely balanced malt and hops

A nice big tasting ale with a 5.1% abv (350 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. No bottle date.

Deep tawny orange, with golden edges. Small pillow of gauzy, off-white head. Nose shows off fresh citrus and piny notes mixed with spicy, almost rye-ish malt, and a bit of fruit. Nice balance.

Toasted malt up front. Hop bitterness soon follows; very citrusy, with some marmalade, grapefruit, and spice. Caramel and fruit show up in the malty base. Drier in the finish, with lingering peppery, citrusy hop bitterness and traces of caramel malt. Moderate body with a smooth, easy feel. Very enjoyable and quite sessionable. Can't believe it took me so long to try this beer! (605 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours with one and a half fingers of white foam on top of a clear, bright copper colored body. The head settles down slowly and leaves moderate lace on the glass.

S - A moderately strong, yet fresh and very green hop aroma with bready malt in the background.

T - Bread and toasted malt up front with some light sweetness. More toasted malt in the middle as well as a bit of pine hop flavor. The beer ends with more rich, sweet malt and moderate bitterness as well as a lingering pine hop flavor.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Excellent, it is mild and balanced but very full flavored for the style. The hop aroma isn't so strong that one could mistake it for an IPA, but it is pungent and very enjoyable. This has to be the best APA that I have ever had, simply brilliant. (822 characters)

Photo of EvanM
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is very beer-like. It has the color of beer and has a foam that appears when poured. Smells good and tastes great - not sour or bitter or sweet. Ask me if I like it....yes, tons! Beer is about the circumstance - not the provenance. Not too much hops and not too dry. Well balanced. (291 characters)

Photo of jmerloni
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A beautiful translucent straw yellow-orange with medium white head that spiders out on the top after it recedes. Really pleasant and clean looking. I like the looks of this a lot.

S - Yeast and honey malts. Something a little bit spicy in there, too. And hops.

T - Yeasty with a lot of citrusy hops. There's definitely some kind of spice here. I think it might be sage. Really nice and crisp, hops are fresh. This tastes like it flows from a utopian pristine creek somewhere!

M - Light to medium bodied. Hoppiness leaves the tastebuds pretty rocked. Smooth with not too much carbonation.

D - Great drinkability. Nice and light. There's a tiny bit of a gap between the intensity of the hops and the overall drinkability. It seems like Victory wanted to make it highly drinkable - and it is - but it does seem a bit watery on some sips, but it's actually nice and refreshing. Solid beer. I love what they do with lighter ales. They never ever miss. (954 characters)

Photo of BeachBrewerDude
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden to amber in color, medium head retention

Smell: Subtle hop aroma

Taste: Tar, a little bit of skunk, mossy river stone, pungent grassy bitter hops, a hint of old lady makeup, a nice mild earthy maltiness.

Mouthfeel: Nicely carbonated and chilled. Hops with a tarry essence dominate taste buds.

Overall: Refreshing, hoppy, earthy, not too malty, great hoppy pale ale. The tar characteristic from the hops is something you should be in the mood for, but goes extremely well with certain foods such as BBQ ribs. This beer plays with BBQ sauce so well! Very fun to drink! Bartender...I'll take another!!! (622 characters)

Photo of Gatch
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful copper color with a foamy, frothy, white head. No lace or retention.

S: Good balance of hops and malt but the hops stand out with a bite that I like to equate to East Coast hops. Not intense but great hop characteristics. Very pale, indeed.

T: Fresh, fruity, hoppy. Fantastic. Right amount of dryness. Malt hits the palate at the end of each sip to make this one balanced PA...from PA. (lame)

M: Smooth, refreshing, and delicious. Thinner body than I would like but the drinkability is very high.

O: A killer PA from Victory. Well done! (553 characters)

Photo of UnderPressure
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice standard looking pale ale. Orange color. Slight haze. Thin head. Nice lacing, though.

Intense hop aroma. Caramel sweetness. Nice citrus and floral. Pungent undertone.

Awesome flavor! Hops everywhere. Not all that bitter. Sweet, grainy, and very hoppy.

Heavy mouthfeel with low carbonation.

Could use more carbonation and a thinner body. Otherwise, this beer is awesome. (378 characters)

Photo of CHickman
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper orange color with a 2 finger very thick foamy beige head that faded very slowly, leaving good lacing.

Smells of big hops up front, with floral hops, orange peel, citrus hops, grapefruit, caramel, sweet malt, grains, herbs and sweet candy or brown sugar; floral hops, citrus and sweetness dominate the nose and make this smell like an nice IPA. A great nose for an APA and one that I really enjoyed.

Tastes of floral hops, flowers, orange peel, lemon, citrus hops, grapefruit, grape or apple, caramel, sweet malt, grains, herbs, piney hops, wheat, brown sugar, coriander and bread or biscuit; the hops dominate most of the taste, but then give way to the sweet malts which adds nice balance and flavor.

Mouthfeel is creamy and velvety smooth, with a medium body, very low carbonation and an easy smooth feel.

Drinkability is high, this is a very hoppy pale ale and to me it was very tasty and went down quite easy. Right in my wheelhouse, this was very well done and a beer that I recommend. A definite session beer for me. (1,051 characters)

Photo of dsa7783
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single, twelve-ounce copped from Total Wine & More in West Orange. Superb depiction of the style; pours a ruddy, copper, amber-hue with slight carbonation visible. Aromatic, floral notes depicted on the palate and in the nose. Excellent, highly-drinkable brew with hints of tangerine and orange peel. A refreshing, medium-bodied pale ale with a noticeable hop presence. One of the better examples of the style I've come across in a long time. Great stuff. Recommended. (468 characters)

Photo of tzieser
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

a: straw in color with a slight haze. nice white head that settles into a thin lacing.

s: citrus-hop aroma with a noticeable honey-like malt sweetness and subtle grassy undertones.

t: crisp, hoppy and refreshing. hop flavor hits first and foremost with notes of citrus and flowers. malt backbone is there and keeps the beer from being too bitter (which it most certainly isn't). this is one refreshing beer. it's perfectly balanced. it deserves this 5; well done.

m: great mouthfeel.

delicious. my new go-to pale ale. (567 characters)

Photo of fps_dean
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber color with minimal head and moderate lacing.

Smells rather mildly of piney hops and caramelized malts.

Tastes much like it smells, but tasting slightly heavier in the hop department, with nothing being overpowering or offensive. Quite refreshing, and extremely well balanced.

It's moderately carbonated, and goes down incredibly smooth like almost every other Victory brew, and exceptionally smooth for a lower alcohol content beer.

Overall, a very good pale ale and a really exceptional session beer. This has been one of my go to session beers especially in the summer season, as it's fairly light and refreshing and goes down extremely smoothly while being very solid in the flavor department as well. (730 characters)

Photo of BigMike
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a nice orange tangerine color. Very clear with a thin soapy off white colored head.

S: A very nice amount of candied orange and grapefruit. Light but right on for the style. Smells very clean.

T: This is a delicious Pale ale. And thats exactly what it is, a Pale Ale. Definitely doesn't cross over into IPA territory but its extremely refreshing and drinkable.

M: Light bodied but not watery by any means. Maybe a new summer time go to beer.

Overall: A solid PA from victory. After the last two sub par beers i had from them(ie Dark Intrigue and Victory Village) it's good to get a winner. Nothing earth shattering but well made. (642 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottles purchased as part of a mix-six pack at Wegmans on East Avenue, in Rochester, NY.

Pours an amber orange into my Southern tier tulip. 1 inch fluffy head, visible carbonation.

Smells deliciously tropical and fruity, very clean smelling.

The taste is clean and crisp as well, I'd definitely guess this one uses a judicious amount of Citra hops. Oranges and pineapples abound, with a pleasant lingering bitterness. Some pine as well, that adds to the bitterness. Light but effective malt backbone, crackery.

Very crisp. One of the most drinkable pale ales you'll ever find.

Not one of the most balanced pale ales I've ever had, as the hop flavors dominate when fresh. The hop flavors are bright, clean, and refreshing though, and this beer is really drinkable- easy to put 3-4. Another winner from our friends at Victory. (829 characters)

Photo of champ103
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bright and clear copper/orange color. A two finger, rocky, white head forms with good retention. The foam gently recedes and leaves some lace behind.
S: Big grassy and floral hops hit the nose at first. A light spicy zest of citrus the quickly fades. Plenty of malt that is great. Bread and biscuit. Some sweetness and finishes with more fresh cut grassy and hay aromas. Excellent.
T: Follows the nose. Fresh cut grass right up front. A zest spice of citrus and lots of malt. Toasted grains, bread and biscuit. Very dry as well. I love it.
M/D: A medium body that is just a bit watery. Though clean, dry, and very smooth. So easy to drink. I will be buying many more six packs.

An excellent pale ale that is really enjoyable. A perfect everyday drinker with lots of flavor. Highly recommended. (805 characters)

Photo of mjmbeer
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

there are very few if any beers by Victory that I do not like. this one is one of the better beers in the batch though. As a Pale Ale its pretty Hoppy.. more so than I thought it would be. Not that this is a bad thing. Wonderful amber color with a bone white creamy head that stuck around nicely. the mouth feel was not as smooth as i had hoped it would be. Might be just the bottle serving I am not sure. A bit too biting of a feel to it. Almost as if it had to much carbonation in it. I will have another try at it and see how things go. Overall a great tasting beer.

It is nice to see the APA out there still getting respect and at least this not like the run of the mill. Any one can ad hops and call it a pale but giving the beer that nice biscuit taste goes a long way in my book. This beer does it quiet well. (817 characters)

Photo of LIbeerguy
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Bluepoint shaker pint glass.

A: Pours a nice amber with a large-bubbled head. Good retention and well-defined lacing.

S: Canned peaches, mango, grapefruit, sourdough

T: toast, citrus, tropical fruit, caramel. Moderate carbonation on the palate, bittersweet aftertaste

A very good pale ale by Victory with an enjoyable and well-balanced hop character. Almost sessionable at 5.1% which is good because I could drink several of these in one sitting. (485 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a couple of these on draft at Armby Abbey. The sample I tried sold me immediately with it's great aroma. Two visits and two pints later, Victory reminded me why they have been one of my favorite brewers.

Pale Amber in color with some gold/orange tones and nice clarity. Nice finger of creamy head that leaves some nice lacing.

Aroma is fruity, fresh and full of grapefruit and topical notes.

Nice little beer here. Great balance, nice fresh hop flavor with an explosion of grapefruit. Toasty malts play a nice supporting role here.

Really refreshing and bright in your mouth. Carbonation pops an brings forth the hop character.

Really enjoyed this and will look for the bottled version (which I am told exists)

Well done! (735 characters)

Photo of deepchills
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this Victory Pale Ale at Majestics on Camp Bowie, $13 for a 6pk of 12oz bottle.

Pours a light gold with a small bubbly head.

Herbal/floral nose with some earthy hop and bready yeast present.

The beer has a crisp start with a malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness mixing nicely. Bready flavor and floral notes are present along with some light fruit.

The beer is brilliantly carbonated, resplendently crisp and especially effortless to drink.

A wonderful example of what a Pale Ale should be. I look forward to drink more....now. (542 characters)

Photo of TBoneJones
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy apricot color, slight head and nice carbonation movement via tiny bubbles surfacing.
Smells great of fruity hops, maybe some apricot (kind of like the orange yellowish color), very nice and not overpowering at all.
Tastes light fruit in the mouth, then a hop finish of smoothness. Light and bitter. Refreshing.
Solid carbonation and body, goes down refreshing. If I session a beer I go to pale ales, and so far this is among my favorites.
Bitter to some, but I prefer bitter presence. Somehow more of the fruit taste would make me love this even more, more of a tropical fruit profile such as that of Zombie Dust. But Victory hasn't disappointed me yet, and this is one worthy APA. (698 characters)

Photo of CMB2012
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, best by date: August 17, 2011. Served in a American pint.

A- Super clean, amber/gold in color (the only real "flaw" of this beer is the color, a bit light for my liking, but this is merely a superficial argument). A semi-vigorous pour yields a wealthy two and a half finger head that dissipates slowly in a rocky/pillow foam fashion. Tiny bubbles float to the top in a steady, but minimal flow. The lacing is good.

S- Clean citrus hops up front- grapefruit and lemon, some biscuit, rustic bready malts, followed by toffee malts. Semi-sweet, but crisp hop finish.

T- Bright and citrusy up front- tangy grapefruit and again some lemon. The flavor then blends into biscuit and cracker notes, finishing out crisp and dry with a slight hop bitterness. This beer tastes almost exactly like it smells, points for the straightforward approach. Aftertaste is slightly malty with caramel undertones.

M- The feel on this is right on the mark- light to medium body with minimal carbonation, however the bubbles that are there make their presence known with a nice tingle on the tongue and throat.

O- I think this is a great APA and very drinkable. The flavor simple, approachable, but also well thought out- everything a great APA should be. Good job Victory, those who don't try this beer are missing out on a wonderful session beer. (1,340 characters)

Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 563 ratings.