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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

1,728 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1728
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
Ratings: 1,728 | Reviews: 515 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Star80
Star80

Illinois

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

Pours out a golden amber color, with a thinning but still creamy looking head. Smells a lot like a famous Pale Ale from Northern California that I won't name, some nice citric hop whiffs with some spiciness that is hard to point a finger on. Taste is nice a balance, some malty, breadiness but with a spicey hop background to help balance the flavors out and cleanly come off the palate. Definitely a bit more spicey than that Calfornia Pale Ale, but I think these are similar in quality, I believe they both are using lots of whole leaf Cascades, which to me is still one of the best hops on earth. Anyway, would take a point off for originality somewhere, but from the brewers standpoint why try and reinvent the wheel? A nice, high drinkable interpretation nonetheless!

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 20:55:09 | More by Star80
Photo of meatyard
meatyard

Pennsylvania

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

Pours a very clear, deep golden with a 2-finger+ white head that falls at a moderate pace leaving some decent lacing.

The smell is fruity and grassy with a bit of sweet malt.

The taste is mild grassiness and light fruit balanced nicely with a similar mild malt sweetness followed by ,,, yes, mild bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium/thin, crisp and lightly carbonated.

Overall, this is a mild but still tasty and well balanced beer that will be an excellent beer on a hot summer day and I look forward to having some fresh bottles in a few months. Victory has produced a pleasant, nicely made version of an APA.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 19:15:18 | More by meatyard
Photo of yesyouam
yesyouam

New York

4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Victory Headwaters Pale Ale is a crystal clear, lightly sparkling golden ale with a dense, bubbly white head that has outstanding retention and lacing. It has a huge, fresh hoppy aroma of pine and flowers. It has a very smooth medium body with a solid, dry finish. It's a nice, simple, hoppy flavor with perfect bitterness and perfect balance. It tastes slightly dry and piny. This is a supreme example of an American pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 16:55:57 | More by yesyouam
Photo of Morey
Morey

Pennsylvania

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

12oz bottle with a July 8th 2011 best by date stamped on the label.

Pours copper-orange in color with brilliant clarity. One finger of off-white foam topped this brew for the first couple of minutes, but has now settled to a thin lace floating on top. Pretty decent head retention.

Smell was pretty fruity and citrus forward immediately following my pour, but more malty aromas are now starting to dominate the nose.

A really nice mix of hops and malts. Really balanced at this point. Hops linger a bit in the finish, but it's pretty mild making for a very refreshing summer beer.

Thin to medium body with moderate carbonation. About what you might expect for the style.

I could easily drink this on a warm summer day during a BBQ.

Morey's Bottom Line: This is the first time that I've had this beer, and I'd like to have a fresher bottle sometime. I almost didn't review it, but if Victory still considers it to be well within the freshness realm, then why not. It was good, but I prefer Southern Tier's Pale. But then again, ST is close, so I only drink theirs fresh.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 20:40:01 | More by Morey
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Headwaters has a nice copper-colored body has an off-white head that doesn't have much going on in terms of lacing or retention.

It smells like there is an interesting variety of hops in this one, with a mix of citrus and earth aromas. A good bit of caramel malt also.

There is even more of a multitude of different hop flavors than what I noticed in the aroma. A good bit of citrus flavor is followed by a strong, grassy flavor and a bit of earthiness. The fairly-sweet caramel malt backbone balances these hops out a little too much for my tastes. I would really let these hops shine given the chance, because although they are not in-your-face-overpowering, they are really interesting.

Victory always does a good job with the mouthfeel of their beers, and this one is no exception.

Overall, I like this one. Solid pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 14:33:40 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of dfclav
dfclav

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a very clear copper, much like a new penny will look, with a 1 1/2 finger head and generous, active carbonation. A fair amount of lacing sticks to the glass, though thin and patchy. It's a pretty good look though the head left very quickly.

S - again, pretty intense for a pale ale, especially given the fact it clocks in at just over 5%. Grapefruit, sweet bread, vanilla, oranges. Flavors blend together well.

T - hmm...this kind of reminds me of their pils, only more hoppy. IPA-like grapefruit character. Malt plays a big part, and I like the aggressive hop bite they have going here. This is a beer that would pair well with many foods.

M - pretty average for the style, decent carbonation. Damn smooth. About as perfect a dry finish a pale ale can leave you. So easy to finish this off quickly.

O - while this fits into the category, it does push into some other boundaries. I do like the bite this beer has, because it will pair with foods very well and can get some new attention to the craft beer world to non-craft drinkers. Kudos for pushing a new beer into the lineup, and a pale ale of all things. This one works.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 10:02:12 | More by dfclav
Photo of jjanega08
jjanega08

Minnesota

3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle reads enjoy by Jul 8 2011 BT6

A= Pours a clear golden yellow color with a nice big white head on it that holds steady retention and lacing on the side of the glass.

S= The smell is some light floral hops with a nice sweet malty compliment. Smells like your typical easy drinking pale ale.

T= The taste is again very typical of an APA. A nice semi sweet character to it with a decent grassy floral character. The finish is clean and there is a very very subtle lingering bitterness to it.

M= Great smooth creamy carbonation.

O= A nice easy drinking beer. Actually quite nice. Weather I would buy it again is up for debate. While it is very tasty I can support the guys down the street at Summit for less money and get what I would concider a better product. Not bad by any means however.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 03:33:42 | More by jjanega08
Photo of beer2day
beer2day

North Carolina

4.22/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 02:56:06 | More by beer2day
Photo of AwYeh
AwYeh

Ohio

2.9/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On-tap at Melt Bar and Grilled in Lakewood, Ohio. Poured into shaker pint, reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a clear, golden copper yellow color, with two fingers of quickly dissipating white head.

S: Biscuity malts and grassy, herbal hops both come through strongly here. Nice balance between the two- bitter and sweet are in close proportion to one another.

T: Rather bitter with more of the grassy flavor present in the aroma, along with some light caramel sweetness lingering in the background.

M: Standard APA- light/medium body with moderate+ carbonation and a moderately dry finish.

O: The lack of any really enjoyable flavors or complexity hurts this beer's overall score; I was pretty tired of it by the end of my glass and doubt I'll be picking this one up again.

Serving type: on-tap

03-18-2011 22:22:16 | More by AwYeh
Photo of pmccallum86
pmccallum86

Minnesota

3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden red color with a healthy bubbly head.

Smell is very earthy, tons of earthy hop aromas in the nose, not much else.

Taste is bitter in front with a very earthy hop character. Nice tasting beer, not much of a malt presence, but not bad.

Mouthfeel is slightly thin and dry

Overall a decent beer, nothing special but above average.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2011 04:29:48 | More by pmccallum86
Photo of tbrown4
tbrown4

Maryland

4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. -> Dogfish Head chalice. Picked up a six pack of this at Well's in Towson, MD @ about $11. First I've seen it anywhere. Some PA friends of mine have been fluffing this brew recently, and I tend to enjoy the Victory brews. I decided to give this a shot and buy the whole pack.

A - Bright copper, medium bubble head quickly dissolves, decent carb stream, no lacing.

S - Wow. Immediately noticeable, could be due to the glassware. Very earthy, musky almost muddy. I'm not sure how I feel about this, and it's certainly unique from what I've experienced. It's a round hop aroma with a lightly roasted backdrop.

T - Tastes right about how I'd expect an APA. The big difference here that sets this one apart from the pack is how well defined each flavor note is. Really well done. I imagine this has a lot to do with the freshness.

M - Feels light to medium-light bodied. Crisp carbonation makes this feel very clean.

O - Oh wow, so no more "Drinkability"? Ok, this makes more sense anyway. So, this one is in the middle for me. The ABV makes it easy to put back a few, but as with most decent PAs it's a bit heavy on the palate. I'd certainly order this if I ever find it on tap. I'd buy a six pack again in a few months. This would be a good one to keep on hand in the fridge for the day that you want a good full flavored and moderately hopped craft ale. Nice job, Victory.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2011 01:31:11 | More by tbrown4
Photo of patoakes7
patoakes7

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Serving type: cask

03-18-2011 00:38:07 | More by patoakes7
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  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!

Serving type: on-tap

03-18-2011 00:07:52 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of EStreet20
EStreet20

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, 20 ounce curved pub glass.

A - Excellent clarity on this orangish golden colored ale. Off white head, not that big but stays and laces well.

S - Very nice hop forward nose. Pineapple, tropica fruit.

T - Very nice tasting pale ale. Pininess joins the fruit flavors a little, and a nice malt/hop balance is there. The bitterness hits mostly in the finish, and ends fairly dry.

M - Lighter body. Carbonation is smooth and on the lower side.

O - A nice, exceptionally easy drinking pale with sessionability and a great hop fix without being overwhelming in that area.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2011 19:48:13 | More by EStreet20
Photo of LittleDon
LittleDon

Texas

4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale ale or IPA, you decide.

Clear, light amber, good head retention and lace. Aroma: pineapples, a touch of caramel. Good hop/malt balance, lean toward the hoppy side. Finish is a bit on the flat side. Fairly high amount of carbonation with a medium-light body. Overall, very drinkable as a pale ale/IPA hybrid.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 22:23:03 | More by LittleDon
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
GeoffFromSJ

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An exceptional pale ale. Pretty amber color (maybe more on the yellow side). Nice head at first, but a lacing I couldn't get rid of.

I know this beer is a tribute to their main water source. For me though, it is a tribute to the piney hops they use. I'm assuming Amarillo. And it is pretty nice.

A good bit of hop taste but not overwhelming. Not an IPA. So it becomes an easy-drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 02:57:08 | More by GeoffFromSJ
Photo of jpmclaug
jpmclaug

South Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle into a nonic

clear golden body with a small white head. A very nice citrusy hop smells is present, wow, maybe a bit of pale malt too but I have to say this APA is one of the best smelling around. I'm impressed with the flavor as well. A nice citrus hop flavor is incredibly well balanced with the pale malts. Finishes with a nice hop flavor but isn't overly bitter. Mouthfeel is light to medium body with a light carbonation. Drinkability is extremely high on this one. I'm really blown away by how good this beer is. Well balanced but with plenty of hop flavor, honestly I think this is the best APA I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 00:50:51 | More by jpmclaug
Photo of JMad
JMad

Texas

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 00:47:37 | More by JMad
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of jcb890. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pour yields a copper-orange beer with a thin white head that doesn't stick around too long and really doesn't leave much lacing behind. The nose brings forward some citrus and floral notes. They are certainly faint, but come out more as the beer warms up and are quite noticeable with a good, hard sniff. Taste is a bit on the light side, though enjoyable. There's a generic "hop character" but nothing really pops out.

Feel is slightly bitter with good carbonation on a medium body. Quite drinkable. Not a huge standout, but with this ABV and overall profile, I could see myself coming back for more of this.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 22:15:20 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of baconsausage
baconsausage

Vermont

3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden color, nice lacing, smooth drinking. Aroma of big juicy fruit hops not present in the flavor. Reminds me of some of the coveted CA beers from the aroma, but doesnt get there in taste. Still good though. A little citrus and a lot of pine in theflavor, balenced, alittle bitter. Drinks smoove,

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2011 21:35:37 | More by baconsausage
Photo of projectflam86
projectflam86

Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 21:07:47 | More by projectflam86
Photo of mlazzaro
mlazzaro

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very clear amber color. High carbonation, looks like the carbonation of a soda. Very low head retention. I thought it was the glass but multiple beers in a row, with low retention.

Smells of American hops. Mild by what I am used to.
It is refreshing and smooth. But really just kind of boring. Citrus hops are really subtle. Especially up against the bitterness. What tastes like English yeast is very neutral in flavor. It's pretty good beer. I am a very picky beer drinker.

Also a bit watery for my taste. High carbonation and thin body are really not a good mix. I am able to drink a good amount of this beer. It is probably just designed to be a sessionable beer. The flavors that are happening are tasty. But it has enormous room for improvement I feel.

I declare misuse of the word "head". I isn't nearly as heady as I presumed.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 18:34:33 | More by mlazzaro
Photo of chcfan
chcfan

California

3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into Crate and Barrel tulip.

Pours a lite copper with a white head. Little bit of lacing.

Smells like it was finished/dry hopped with some variation or combination of American hops. The aroma is fairly strong.

Taste follows it up nicely. On the hoppy end of the APA scale.

Very drinkable. It would be very welcome as a year round. Really tastes like more of an IPA, but who cares? It's really good.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 02:33:09 | More by chcfan
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange with a 1 finger white head

smell: hops, malts,

taste: sweet malts, hops, dry bitter finish

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, thin / medium body

drinkability: was hoping for a bit more out of victory, this beer is just not doing it for me unfortunately.

cheers,

the CPJ

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 16:13:33 | More by THECPJ
Photo of FickleBeast
FickleBeast

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at victory brewpub.

Arrives in an english imperial pint glass. Clear pale brown color, no head. Aroma is a nice fruity hop.

First sip is nice but the body is a bit thin. Very drinkable due to the dry finish. The hop flavor does assert itself nicely. There is a slight grainy flavor as well.

As I drink this, the beer gets better and better. There is a substantial floral hoppiness that I am really starting to enjoy.

Overall, a very nice offering.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2011 14:11:41 | More by FickleBeast
Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,728 ratings.