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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

583 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 583
Hads: 2,462
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.21%
Wants: 82
Gots: 413 | 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: 583 | Hads: 2,462
Photo of wedge
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoy By: Jul 15 2011

Golden orange hue with a solid frothy head atop. Hoppy aroma...herbal, floral, zesty grapefruit notes over a subtle sugar cookie base. Leafy, sweet, juicy, spicy hoppiness on the tongue. The hops have a nice, punchy, pungency to them all around, but it's not out of control. Oily, yet fairly dry. Only a hint of the toasted malts under all the fresh, dank zestiness.

Very crisp and refreshing. Another quality beverage from the fine people at Victory that will likely find it's way into my fridge regularly. I love a good sessionable beer...

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Photo of CMB2012
4.44/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at a beer festival poured into a sampler glass. From notes: Pours a deep golden with a small creamy white head. Aroma is balanced citric and piney hops with a very sweet honey and biscuity and caramel malt backbone. Flavor starts with the same sweet caramel and bready notes, picking up some light pine and citric hop notes before a smooth clean lightly bitter finish. Medium body and a sharp carbonation. A good pale ale, balanced and fresh, smooth and quaffable.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: golden orange to light copper. Clear creamy off white head and nice lacing.
S: some citric and floral, resiny hops with some bready, light caramelly malts underneath.
T: a very nice balance between the lightly sweet caramelly/toffeeish malts and smooth lingering hop bitterness. Finishes crisp and dry.
M: just over light-bodied. Nice and frothy, and not plodding, which i like.
O: a very nicely done apa and one which id buy again. Glad to see more lower abv quality beers.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a bright amber with orange orange, lots of bubbles rising from the bottom with puffy, off-white 2.5 finger head.

S - I could actually smell this one as I was pouring. Smells of grapefruit and citrusy hops. But there's also a little bit of a dirty soap water smell in the background. A bit unpleasant.

T - Good forward amount of citrus along with some piney hop bitterness. But again, that malt in the background tastes quite soapy. It's sort of masking the overall taste for me.

M - It's pretty thin, lots of carbonation though. Very easy to drink

Overall - I thought it was a decent APA. But I'm not sure if I had a bad bottle or what, because there was just that faint trace of soapyness that became all I could think about when drinking.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a pint glass.

Pours a light amber color with a small hire head. Nose is hoppy and fresh but a but subdued.

Taste is lightly hoppy but not killer, lightly grainy taste with a bit o caramel. Mouthfeel is sharp and creamy with a good bite on the end.

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Photo of garuda
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, best-by date clearly labeled

A - Clear, brilliant orange-gold body with a one finger, soapy white head that has good retention and lacing.

S - Bready malt with some grassy, herbal hop aromas and caramel sweetness.

T - Bold bread and biscuit-like malts hit the palate first, balanced out by bitter grapefruit hops and a long, resinous finish.

M - Medium body, ample carbonation creates a light creamy texture across the palate and finishes with a punch of bitterness.

O - Nice crisp pale ale with depth and complexity crammed into 5.1% abv. A welcomed, long overdue addition to Victory's year round lineup.

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Photo of OddNotion
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into my SN 30th Anniversary bulb glass. Pours a quarter inch white head which recedes pretty quickly leaving a nice lacing for the style. A lot of bubble activity in the bright transparent golden body.

Smell: Smells nice. I get a mostly biscuity flavor with some hops in the background. Smells more towards the english style IMO.

Taste: Very light flavors. Some of the biscuity malt flavors come forward, once again with the hops taking a back seat. Some bitterness at the end of the sip, but nothing overwhelming at all. As the beer warms a little, the hop flavor becomes more apparent. Really helps round out this brew.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is thin even given the style. The carbonation gives a nice zing on the tongue which I feel enhances this particular beer.

Overall: I will likely buy this along with Prima Pils over the summer for some nice session drinking. It is light in the flavors so do not expect this to blow you out of the water but every beer has its place, this one will be a regular over the summer months given it becomes a little more available.

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Photo of avalon07
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a light amber color and a somewhat hazy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A slightly muted smell of hops, malt, and a piney quality.

T: Tasted of pine hops, malt, and a little bit of citrus. A decent enough flavor, but a bit on the thin side. Granted, APAs aren't exactly known for their complexity. Still, not too bad.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: Not a bad beer, and drinkable, but not really all that memorable.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish to yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, mellow pine hop and a small malt. In the taste, pine hops balanced with a mellow dry malt. A small hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry pine to clean aftertaste. Nice hoppy pale, nice and easy.

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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 rfgetz
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazed copper color, nice cap of khaki hand pumped head, decent retention and sticky lacing. Scent is a nice balanced combo of grapefruity, piney and grassy hops with a lightly sweet and nutty malt backbone. First sip brings stronger notes of hops then scent dictates, and the nutty and bready malt counterbalances it nicely, avoids being sweet. Good creamy cask body, smooth. A nice Pale ale that is big on both hops and malt.

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Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.69/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Light,clear orange, with a nice half-inch of fluffy white head.Lacing is rather minimal.

Sweet citrus,floral hops, combined with nice sweet malt backbone. Wow,very inviting. I love this very pleasant aroma,nice citrusy hops are there right in your nose,with the steady level of malt sweetness. Yes.

Upon sip,what I experience in the nose is pleasantly repeated on the tongue. Good bitter citrus hops,yet very restrained, which is appropriate for a pale ale. Sweet caramel malts. Good medium body,with average carbonation,not too much,just the right amount of it.

Yet another winner from Victory,they never cease to amaze me, and always fail to dissapoint me.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2011-03-09 at The Drafting Room while waiting to get my ticket for Pliny the Younger. Had it again on 2014-05-07 in Columbia, PA and raised my ratings.

A - Clear gold with a 1-finger, white head and moderate lacing.

S - Light grain, floral hops. Nice.

T - Crisp, light grain, mild sweetness, herbal, moderate bitterness. Dries quickly.

M - Light body and medium carbonation.

O - 2014. My oh my, how my tastes have changed / evolved. I now really appreciate the extra bit of sweet malt flavor in this beer. I just had it side-by-side with the Victory Summer Love (Blonde) and liked this more; specifically for the better malt flavor.

O - 2011. Easy to drink. Too malty for my tastes. I'd rather have a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a 21A Bitter American or even a Victory Summer Love when I want a sessionable ale.

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Photo of jkrich
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with "enjoy by" date stamped on label. This is a very attractive pour: clear, bright and shiny gold with a slightly off-white head that dissipated leaving intricate lacing.

After opening the bottle, the unmistakable, bittersweet fruity american hops greets the olfactory.

This is a celebration of hops, yet it is never over the top. The initial sip is restrained, fresh grapefruit flavor with a very nice, soft and light, sweet malt coming through to balance the flavor.

The body is light which is perfect for this crisp, hoppy thirst quencher. Slight hop bitterness gently coats the palate. The zesy carbonation adds to the refreshing qualities of this APA.

The market seems crowded with a lot of these hoppy,american style pale ales. The overall quality of this offering sets it apart from most. With the low ABV, this is very sessionable. And great thing about this product, you can always know you have a fresh bottle with "enjoy by" date clearly marked.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very crisp copper with golden hues and a foamy white head packed with dense bubbles of carbonation that leaps from the bottom of the glass.

Floral and herbal hop aromas waft from the glass offering scents of grass, pine, and straw with just a hint of citrus. There are lingering hints of malty sweetness as well.

The first sip reveals just the right touch of pine amongst the herbal and floral hops. Similar to the aroma, there are underlying notes of malt, but ultimately a return to the delightful floral hops.

This APA is lighter in body, but with generous carbonation and a crisp, clean, and refreshing finish that seems to cleanse the palate.

This is quite a good beer, and another job well done from Victory. This offers just he right amount of flavor for the style without going overboard to escape its boundaries.

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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 KarlHungus
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear deep copper color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is of freshly cut grass with a hint of grapefruit. It is a rather strong aroma. The taste is a nice balance of citrus and grass. Bitterness is firm without being overpowering. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a silky texture, and moderate carbonation. Overall, this is one of the best American Pale Ales I've had in a very long time. It has nice complexity. I can see this beer becoming a regular for me.

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Photo of thain709
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A clear, copper body with some golden highlights...the head is creamy and stands about two fingers tall...it never fully goes away and it leaves some lacing

S - First whiff I pick up a lot of hops...the are citrus dominating with a bit of floral aromas as well...there is a balance of malt lingering in the background

T - The balance continues into the flavors...just like the aroma the hops start things off...they are very bright and sweet from the citrus flavors (grapefruit, orange, lemon)...the middle-end of this beer really shows the balance as the caramel malts continue the sweetness but there is also a bready malt presence...this also brings in a grainy flavor and a buttery flavor as well...the hops come back and make the finish long and bitter

M - Medium bodied...with the nitro there is still a crispness to the beer...it's very refreshing...the hops make a lingering bitterness

O - This started off as a hoppy APA but it showed to be very balanced...Victory did a nice job with this beer...I could session with this and not have a problem...happy anniversary Victory

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Photo of Clydesdale
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a lightly hazy orange color with some active, effervescent carbonation visible. The off-white head is initially tall, with a thick, densely frothy texture. Retention is sturdy, and some soapy splotches of lacing stick to the glass as the head fades.

S: Some biscuity and light caramel malt aromas. Bright, citric hop aromas are quite vibrant. Lemon and grapefruit are prominent, with some orange oil for good measure. Light tropical notes as well. My money is on Citra hops; I recently brewed a Citra IPA and this smells fairly similar.

T: Fairly firm biscuity maltiness. Caramel sweetness isn't absent, but it's rather light. Bitterness is strong. Hop flavors are primarily citric (again, grapefruit with some lighter lemony notes), with some faintly floral/grassy flavors following.

M: For a 5.1% abv pale ale, this has surprising body. Full and complemented by medium carbonation and some hoppy oiliness before a crisp, dry finish.

D: This is a very good pale ale from Victory. A big, interesting hop profile is joined by a persistent malt backbone - all wrapped into a neat little pale ale. It's hoppier than some IPAs, but it manages to fit well within the style. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of deaconoflove
3.06/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ap. Beautiful, bright amber color with frothy off-white head. Nice lacing, too.
Sm. Grapefruit, first and foremost and really the only thing.
Ta. Grapefruit...maybe some malt way back int he corner.
Mf. Light, crisp, good carbonation. Good.
Dr. Goes down easy.

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Photo of Brenden
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a clear dark amber in color. A soft and fluffy but dense head about one finger high retains itself moderately well and leaves a little thin lacing spotted down the glass.
The nose was strongly hoppy, more floral than anything but with some resin, complimented by a tangy lemon and citrus peel. There's a bit of dry malt balancing as well.
The taste follows suit. This is a very hop-forward pale that doesn't entirely throw out balance. This is a dry flavor given a lower sweetness and what seems like a dry malt base behind the floral, herbal and lightly citrus notes of the hops.
The mouthfeel is clean and crisp in a medium body. Fuller and more interesting than average, but missing something that would put it up there in my mind.
This is another very nice offering from Victory, who never disappoints.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bright clear gold with plenty of bubbles. Thin white head upon pour, dissipates rather quickly. Not much lacing.

S: I get a whiff of Centennial hops up front with notes of pine and citrus, fairly big malt profile contributes bread and caramel character. Citra hops come through at the end with a lemon zest.

T: malty flavors come through first with notes of bread and caramel. Some sweetness sneaks in next with notes of honey. Bitter notes follow with a citrus/pine hop character. Finish is crisp and well balanced. Very refreshing.

MF: light body, high carbonation, crisp

O: This is a nice flavorful pale ale and is very well balanced. The drinkability is great. Based on the description, I was hoping for a bigger impact from the Citra hops.

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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 magnj
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Brilliant clear orange-amber body with a frothy 1 finger head.

S - Aromatic during the pour! Smells well balanced with nice earthy hop tones and bready malt. Somewhat sweet?

T - Less hopaliscious than the initial nose suggested but being an APA this is a good thing. Extremely well balanced, really. Leads with grainy, raw pale malts and citrus, then gives way to just a little bit of earthy hop flavor and bitterness. Again ends grainy and reminds me of a typical brewpub house pale ale.

M/D - It took me a minute to figure out what it was about this beer that was giving me mixed readings. Despite all the flavor described above I still felt like it was almost watery. To me I think it's way under carbonated. Aside from that issue it's a great beer but it does affect it's drinkability.

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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 583 ratings.