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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

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

1,725 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1725
Reviews: 515
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.17%


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
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Ratings: 1,725 | Reviews: 515 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of lsummers
lsummers

California

4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a growler with a one finger bone white head. Very clear bright copper. It's so clear it's actually quite attractive. Smells of some spicy nutty piney hops. There's a malty sweetness in there along with some lemon zest. The taste doesn't hit as hard with the hops up front. Starts a bit nutty and has a herbal, earthy, pine with that lemon zest hop notes. Ends with some roasted malt notes. Mouthfeel on this is hard to judge since it's from a growler. It has a milder carbonation and feels fairly round on the tongue.

Overall, I really need to try this bottled or on tap to gain a better gauge of the mouthfeel. It's tasting fantastic and is a solid pale ale.

Serving type: growler

05-14-2013 02:46:44 | More by lsummers
Photo of facundoCNB
facundoCNB

New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a beautiful clear amber/copper in color with 2 fingers frothy white head and great lacing. smells mildly hoppy, grapefruit, lemon peel, caramel. taste of toasted grains up front with a slight grapefruit bitterness/citrus zest.
light-medium body with a mild amount of creaminess and mild carbonation. overall a nice session ale for the spring. very well balanced and surprisingly refreshing.

Serving type: growler

07-07-2012 01:06:08 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of Ego
Ego

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$8.99 for 64oz @ joe canals.. not bad

eyes...
3 full fingers of craggy off white head, clean orange hue with a good amount of carbonation rising up keeping that mountain of foam well alive for some time, the head finally settles down after a game of peggle. good looking brew.

nose...
honey laced herbs, citrus with hints of cinnamon sticks, malty sweetness lurking in the background, aggressive for an APA but not overly

taste etc...
light body, has the flavor of some "bigger" IPAs but doesn't club you over the noggin with ABV.. which is nice, this has some nice hop bite (floral) but is not overly bitter, very easy drinking here, lots of bright floral notes throughout, lingering after taste and then it disappears waiting to force you into another sip, almost tastes more like a red than an APA but that is just being picky

verdict?
tasty, really smooth on tap, great bbq summer beer for those who want a good amount of flavor/character but not a ton of alcohol, not worth going crazy out of your way for but any locals should definitely try this (pa, nj, ny etc)

Serving type: growler

05-28-2012 04:56:59 | More by Ego
Photo of Nuke77
Nuke77

Tennessee

3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a solid pale ale but fell a little short of what I was anticipating. A very good floral and citrus scent that unfortunately failed to materialize in the taste. The body overall seemed light to me for some reason. The overall mouthfeel was clean and crisp. Not a bad pale ale at all but there are others that I prefer.

Serving type: growler

11-13-2011 22:52:00 | More by Nuke77
Photo of doopydoogle
doopydoogle

Nova Scotia (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice golden amber with orange and red hues. A glorious creamy white head that really sticks around.

S - Pineapple, tropical fruity, pine and juniper, some bubble gum, slight caramel from the malt, fresh herbs, grass

T - Clean malt forward with subtle hops that kick in with a bit of bitter and some citric and pine quality. The ale is very well balanced and leaves you with a good hop profile while not overwhelming the malt. The minimal bitter comes through the finish. There's a decent herbal quality as well which gives the beer an almost medicinal quality.

M - Good carbonation and clean mouthfeel

O - An enjoyable, crisp, and sessionable pale. Seems more refined than some of its APA brethren.

Serving type: growler

10-30-2011 03:11:00 | More by doopydoogle
Photo of BLove
BLove

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, light orange hue with thick cottony head, small bits of lacing.

Citrus & floral hop aromas with sweet malt undertones.

Tastes like....VICTORY. No big surprises here...citrus hops are bitter but balanced nicely with sweet & crisp malts. Medium body & avg carbonation...just enough, not too much.

Well done & enjoyable pale ale...think I'll pour myself another. ;)

Serving type: growler

07-24-2011 19:56:40 | More by BLove
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Headwaters Pale Ale has the customary perfectly clear, toasty golden complexion. Its otherwise ordinary, standard sized head leaves intricate and unique patterns of lacing that would require the investigation of a blood-splatter analyst to make sense of.

This pale ale smells like it's been schvitzing for a month in some kind of hop bathhouse. The smell of actual hops - by which I mean the actual buds you pick from those tall vine plants - combines with the conventional smell of boiled hops - the more citrusy and floral effervescence found, not in nature, but in beer. Malts have been lost in the shuffle.

By using a blend of Citra and Centennial hops you're practically begging for fruity, citrusy, floral flavours to dominate your beer; indeed, they have. Notes of passion fruit, rose water, lemon and gooseberry prevail over an (all German) malt bill that is so clean and efficient that it hardly allows its dry, crisp, communion wafer-like taste to be noticed.

Despite the whole flower hop aroma and an ample dosage of kettle hops, this beer is considerably tempered; the bitterness doesn't get too out of hand and the hops brush the palate with the lightness of a feather, rather than falling on it like an iron anvil. The finish is expressly floral, as if I've eaten been eating flower petals all this time.

Victory Brewing is as constant as the north star. It's no surprise that their pale ale turned out as solid as everything else in their lineup. Its delicately floral, fruity hoppiness showcases that there is beauty in simplicity and that you don’t have to read Walden to find heaven in nature. This is definitely no ego-stroking anniversary beer - it's the kind of flavourful, characterful, quality brew this brewery made a name for themselves with.

Serving type: growler

04-20-2011 23:39:57 | More by biegaman
Photo of welldigger888
welldigger888

South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from growler a nice copper gold with a white head that laced ok.

Nice resonious hop forward profile for the style, caramel maltiness to balance.

Like bread & butter, The resoniuos hop pine & sweet bready caramel maltiness play well together.

Medium bodied easy drinker here with spot on carbonation.

Victory realy know what they are doing up there! Nice beer,Send more down south please!

Serving type: growler

04-17-2011 18:02:09 | More by welldigger888
Photo of jwhancher
jwhancher

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got a growler from Victory yesterday. Pours a nicely clear copper color with great carbonation and nice head. Smells mostly of citrus hops with a slightly sweet malt aroma. Tastes a little more malty with slight bitter tinge. Glad to see the malt backbone and not have the hops completely dominate. A light refreshing beer, but the sweetness does seem to weigh it down a little. As this one appears to be Victory's new yearround offering, I'll be looking forward to having this one in the warmer weather. A welcome new addition to an already solid lineup.

Serving type: growler

03-07-2011 23:14:52 | More by jwhancher
Photo of PDXHops
PDXHops

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured into a Duvel tulip. Bright and light amber with a huge frothy head that settles down to a thick skim. Good retention from then on. A ring of crackly lacing up top, soapy patches down below.

Some honeyish sweet notes along with biscuity malt. Hop aromas are plentiful, bright and floral. Even more hop-forward than the nose suggests; this is definitely one of those 'IPA light' pale ales. Juicy citrus followed up with a grassy and slightly metallic bitter finish. The malt holds up its end of the bargain nicely; a touch of sweetness, plenty of toast, some cereal grains. Some lingering citrus and a touch of alcohol in an otherwise crisp finish.

Overall impression: What took ya so long to brew an APA, Victory? This will surely demand an occasional spot in the beer fridge as the temps warm up.

Serving type: growler

03-03-2011 23:01:14 | More by PDXHops
Photo of yourchoice
yourchoice

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

Serving type: growler

02-19-2011 03:05:47 | More by yourchoice
Photo of wwhomeww
wwhomeww

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a growler into an imperial pint. 1.5 fingers of off white head. It's beautiful copper color is bright and clear. Right away I get a good citrus hop presence with a hint of minerality. Body is medium with slightly oily mouthfeel not a bad thing. Finish has just the right amount of malty/bready characteristic and I'm left with a bit of metallic/mineral aftertaste. It's quenching and definitely sessionable. Fills a gap in the year round victory line up very well. All around a very good brew.

Serving type: growler

02-16-2011 23:28:59 | More by wwhomeww
Photo of SteveB24
SteveB24

New York

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance; clear amber, very little foam but large bubbles cling the side of the glass tightly.

smell; floral, slightly yeasty with a bit of a hop bite.

taste; citrus, floral notes, apple, slight alcohol taste.

mouthfeel; medium carbonation, light/ medium body, very crisp, slightly dry in the finish.

overall; a solid pale ale

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 02:51:05 | More by SteveB24
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Pale is dead, long live the Pale!

As the classic taste of pale ale is taking on a renovation, it's shedding much of its malt sweetness in favor of a drier backbone. This happens as hop aroma, flavor and bitterness pulls substantially forward. Maybe they're not "session IPA". Maybe they're the new look of American Pale Ale.

Headwaters Pale Ale pours as any well-conceived one would- its copper and light bronze body shows glimpses of gold about its margins. As a steady stream of bubble race to the surface, a longstanding coat of froth presumes the beer's surface. As it trails with dotted rings, the beer sings the praises of all-things-pale.

Its racy scent favors the hop cone with unmistakable Pacific Northwest grapefruit and orange peels. Propped up with medium caramel and graham cracker-type dry bready-sweetness, the malt character offers stern support while still letting the hops shine. A turn to mint, fresh-cut grass and shaven pine complement the scent with earthy vegetative character.

Conversely its the graham cracker and caramel that greets the taste buds first. Its leading sweetness trends dry and lightly toasty while the pang of citrus rapidly grows in the middle. As a crescendo of citrus strikes, it immediately develops toward spicy, piney and pleasantly grassy finish with a piquant and resinous bitterness.

Medium-light on the palate, the sweetness lingers with the creaminess of carbonation momentarily. But once the hops resinous character sets in, the sweetness escapes and the hops close the show with its own sense of dryness to match that of minty-warm alcohol.

Echoes of toasted barley malt return as the stronghold of bitterness starts to relinquish. Its refreshing and satisfying taste isn't as IPA-ish as many. Headwaters retains its caramel "Pale" roots but also modernizing them.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2014 04:37:28 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha

Arizona

4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Incredibly flavorful and interesting Pale Ale. Reviewed to style, this one is among the better pale ales I've had. Good complexity of hop aromas and flavors, balanced on the palate, yet also refreshingly easy to drink. Rivals the best of the new, trendy "session IPA" beers too, I would wager.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 01:21:29 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of andrewjraab
andrewjraab

Michigan

3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a clear golden yellow with a nice pile of white head that maintains to a thin cap that coats the glass. Good lacing.

S - lemon grass, citrus, yeast, grains.

T - Hop forward - citrus and piney. Faintly sweet, yeasty. Finishes bitter on the back end.

O - Nails it for me on the APA style. Aggressively hopped and that is a good thing.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 02:59:28 | More by andrewjraab
Photo of ThePaintedGrey
ThePaintedGrey

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Vivid amber hue with a creamy three-finger head that takes eons (in beer-time) to deflate to a 1/4" cap. Tons of lacing left behind as the head dissipates.

S: Some light citrusy hops—grapefruit, little bit of orange and tangerine, but mostly grapefruit. A decent amount of malty sweetness underneath to keep things mild and balanced.

T: A bit of citrus upfront with some lightly floral notes coming though. Hints of maltiness and breadiness balance everything else out to keep the profile very mild while still allowing the hops to shine.

M: Medium body with a crisp carbonation. Finishes dry and goes down super-smooth. This one is the definition of sessionable.

O: Another fantastic brew from Victory. This one is great for hopheads and non-hopheads alike. Well-balanced flavors, a bit of complexity, and wonderful sessionability. A recommended brew, no doubt.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 05:10:58 | More by ThePaintedGrey
Photo of FLima
FLima

Brazil

3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber copper color with a thin off-white head with low retention.
Very few times I have felt such intense aroma of papaya in a beer. Also hints of sweet strawberries and white bread.
Bitter flavor with notes of tea bags, oranges, papaya, mango, peaches, caramel, grass, earth and floral and perfumy hops. Dry aftertaste with a long lasting perfumy bitterness.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation and an acid sensation.
A hoppy and earthy APA. Papaya with lemon drops and a handful of hops.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2014 01:51:26 | More by FLima
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Opaque golden with a creamy white head.

S: Biscuity malt, sweet nectary citrus, mango, orange in the nose.

T: Starts off with citrus peel, orange, a touch of mango, then some pine and lemon, followed by a blend of all those flavors in the finish and a hint of malt comes with the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: Really good. Perhaps not the best pale ale, but definitely worth a try and recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2014 22:35:42 | More by BierJager89
Photo of mnrider
mnrider

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Bright somewhat clear amber color. The medium sized white head leaves little lacing and just a thin layer of retention. The color is outstanding.

S: Floral hops. Sweet fruity notes. Grains. Overall fresh and cool, but somewhat confined.

T/M: Bitter citric hops, mostly floral. Fruity flavors. Malt sweetness. Grains. Crisp with a creamy feel. The finish is hoppy and little gritty. Flavors linger on the palate.

O: This is a terrific pale ale. Victory continues to impress with every entry I try. The drinkability with all their beers are excellent and this one is no different. The citric hoppy flavors are solid but don't go overboard.

Cheers!!!

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 21:28:47 | More by mnrider
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
AlCaponeJunior

Texas

3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange to tan and slightly hazy, decent head and lace.

Aroma and flavor are full of fruity, floral notes with some sweet, caramel malts, and earthy malt notes.

Body is very drinkable with a lightly sweet, lightly malty, somewhat floral hops finish.

While my favorite from Victory remains Prima Pils, this one is definitely a winner too. Good job on this beer, Victory!

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 01:00:12 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of mfnmbvp
mfnmbvp

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with enjoy by date of March 14, 2014 printed on the bottleneck. Another new beer to me from Victory that just arrived in my area. Victory really seems to be cranking them out lately. Expectations are decent.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a nice bright coppery orange with excellent clarity, and just over a finger of soapy bubbly off-white head. Some thin strings of lacing. Looks very prime.

S - Very floral hops really shine here. Flowers, grass, lemons, pine, and some crisp leafy earthiness / yeast presence. A touch of grainy pilsner malt sort of smell.

T - Taste follows the nose with the addition of woodsy caramel malt. Grainy pilsner malts, leafy herbal earthiness, floral hops, resinous pine / spruce, and some bitter grapefruit. Nice and all, but I feel like it falls a bit short somewhere.

M - Feel is crisp, clean, and even refreshing. Light grainy malt and some resinous hops chilling on the palate.

Overall, a nice pale ale, but hardly distinguishable from many others in the pack. It is bright and floral with excellent balance, and a solid sipper with a moderately low 5.10% abv. I would have it again if the occasion was right.

Victory Headwaters Pale Ale ---3.5/5

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 20:16:30 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of kemoarps
kemoarps

Missouri

3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a beautiful beer no doubt about that. That rich, clear amber that you want your beer to look like. Decent little white head, sticks around a little bit, decent lacing.

Subdued aroma. Decent little hops presence, bready malts, and a mild yeastiness that could be partly my imagination.

The taste is much more pronounced than the aroma. This is a good thing. It starts out with an abrupt bitterness: pine, yes, but a lot of cooled grapefruit and pith as well. The malts are merely strings holding the hops afloat, and it fades into a bitter aftertaste with a kind of generic bitter and crackers aftertaste.
It's a decent brew. Not one I'd necessarily look for again, but I don't regret having tried it?

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 00:41:02 | More by kemoarps
Photo of PicoPapa
PicoPapa

Connecticut

4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Prime 16 in Orange. Pours a translucent amber color with a 1/4 inch of head. Good amount of lacing. Aroma is citrus and spicy hops. Slightly tropical with some biscuity malts. The taste is spicy hops with some orange peel and pine hints. Lots of hop flavor with a good amount of bitterness. Biscuit towards the end with more orange peel bitterness. Light mouthfeel with a fair amount of carbonation. This is one of the hoppier Pale Ales I've had. Overall, lots of flavor that's easy to drink. This Pale Ale is worth seeking out.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2013 23:26:17 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of goldrodent
goldrodent

Connecticut

4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A nice friendly beer that lets the malts run the show, intimidating the hops up front, letting in a little spicy bitterness at the end. Tastes very good. Looks very, very pretty. Date it. See where it goes.

Epilogue: It is probably unfair to force a reviewer to write a review longer than 250 words when a beer is this proudly simple.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 21:32:39 | More by goldrodent
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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,725 ratings.