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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 cfrances33
cfrances33

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On cask a Khyber Pass Pub in Philly on 8/4/12, served in a shaker.

Pour: Amber orange with a finger of off white head.

Smell: Grapefruit and lots of caramel malts come out. Maybe a hint of resin.

Taste: Bready caramel malts with a substantial grapefruit bitterness. Again, some resin, but this really seemed to aim for the grapefruit aspect of citra hops.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light, and the flavor profile wasn't very big. Goes down quick. Has been on cask for way too long, this wasn't the enjoyable creamy cask beer, this was the dead flat cask beer.

Overall: Tasty, just wish I had it when it was on cask at an earlier time.

Serving type: cask

08-05-2012 13:51:39 | More by cfrances33
Photo of BeerCon5
BeerCon5

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color with not really anything but a thin film of white head.

The scent is dominant of citrus hops, there is also notes of caramel malt.

The taste is also dominant of bitter citrus hops, bready and caramel malt are slightly noticeable.

Light body, smooth and creamy with a crisp dry finish, low carbonation.

This was an average pale ale, I thought the flavor was a little thin but nothing too off-putting. Overall a pretty decent beer, but next time I think I'd pass on the cask.

Serving type: cask

03-23-2012 19:23:24 | More by BeerCon5
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on cask at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours clear amber orange with a bubbly one finger tall white head leaving small, sticky, rings of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of lightly toasted caramel malt, dulled citric hops, biscuity malt, and some dull citric fruit. Something tells me this is a bit past its prime.

T - Starts off with a good bit of sweet caramel malt slowly giving way to a mix of chewy malt and dulled citric hops. The hops are nearly gone in this one as it seems to be well past its prime. Finish is mostly malty sweetness with just the faintest hint of hop bitterness, lingering for a short period of time.

M - Medium-Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Starts off with a nice creamy feel quickly fading to a dull, slick, feel in the finish.

O - I had one of these on cask a month or two ago and it was very good. Something tells me this one is from that same back, just much older. I still enjoyed it for what it was.

Serving type: cask

06-29-2011 23:32:57 | More by orangesol
Photo of chadlebald
chadlebald

California

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

Malt is quite pronounced. Smell of multigrain bread - think there's some rye in here.

Nice balance of malt and hops - the latter of which are 'standard fare' (by that I mean not floral, citrusy or otherwise).

I think this is a nice mix between an American pale and English pale. Not sure if this is because I'm drinking it on cask, but it definitely seems to affect the overall experience!

Serving type: cask

06-20-2011 02:15:39 | More by chadlebald
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A billowing pour that leaves to fingers worth of uber fluffy cloud like pure white head... The color is a caramelly amber... The carbonation doesn't rise as much as it sticks to the sides of the glass... Loads of lacing cling to the glass all the way around...

S - The aroma is very muted... Some caramel... Some bready malts... Some earthy hop aromas... Some citrus... Simple and straight forward...

T - The palette follows closely to the aroma... Nothing too surprising here... Just enough flavor to keep it interesting... Bready malts... Citrus... Some caramel...

M - Uber smooth... Light to medium bodied... A bit creamy... Delicate... Delectable... Very nice...

D - Very quaffable... Very sessionable... A very easy going accessible American Pale Ale for most with just enough flavor and character to keep it interesting for beer geeks... Will gladly welcome into the beer fridge in the future, but not more than 6-pack form...

Serving type: cask

06-17-2011 22:19:44 | More by philbe311
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Serving type: cask

04-04-2011 15:29:29 | More by rfgetz
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 Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

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

From the hand pull at The Bulls Head Public House, Lititz, PA.

A-Lightly hazed golden kissed copper, with a medium bright white head. Head slowly reduces to a thin cap and leaves heavy ringing lace.

S-Light floral hop qualities with a zing of spiciness and a subtle hit of muddled herbs. Mild citrus notes sneak through with notes of lemon zest being most dominate. Backing body of lightly sweet biscuit malt in the background providing balance.

T-Pleasant citrus zing melds nicely with a combination of herbal dankness, sweet biscuit malt and a finishing flurry of biting spiciness. All very nice for a rather light brew.

M-Medium bodied, soft, smooth and creamy. Hop bite and spicy zip are long lasting. Becomes surprisingly dry in the finish.

D-This one is right in my wheelhouse, especially on cask! A session APA if there ever was one...not too hoppy, not too big, everything is "just right". I would like to try this on tap and from a bottle to see if it as enjoyable. I doubt it but....Victory has done a fine job with this one.

Serving type: cask

03-05-2011 11:51:30 | More by Deuane
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
Photo of Steff_Wantz
Steff_Wantz

Maryland

4.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: amber colored with clear carbonation

S: delicious hoppy, crisp aroma

T: refreshingly smooth, citrus hints, not bitter at all

M: very pleasant, does not linger after

O: Overall I love this beer! It is super refreshing and light. I really would like to try this beer on tap.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 03:15:10 | More by Steff_Wantz
Photo of Marko84
Marko84

New York

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a variety pack I recently purchased
Victory Headwaters pale ale
I like this. I like this a lot. As with Hop Devil, it doesn't smell as good as it tastes. A musty smell is forgotten the moment it hits your tongue. This was my favorite among the Victory taster pack I bought. I don't mean to draw a parallel, but it feels and tastes more like a wheat beer. Either way, I enjoyed the heck out of it.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 03:32:11 | More by Marko84
Photo of Hoperator
Hoperator

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clarity and the amber glow was exceptional. Carbonated perfectly. Dense tan head laced the glass and retention was there to the last ounce. Against the APA style this is way too hoppy, however, is more in line with an IPA standard. There is certainly a good amount of Citra Hops pushing an incredible citrusy aroma with some piney, lemony notes. The taste is the same as the aroma with a well balanced overall experience. Has a good level of bitterness, certainly more than present in APAs. This is the beer your want to have when an traditional IPA is to big but when you want all the nose and flavors. One of my favorites and is my go to beer when people like hoppy without the extreme bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 01:12:00 | More by Hoperator
Photo of jazzyjeff13
jazzyjeff13

United Kingdom (England)

3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A 12oz bottle with no visible BB date. Picked up recently from Trembling Madness in York. Named for the source of the water used in brewing Victory's beers - the Brandywine creek.

Poured into a straight pint glass. A clear orange-amber hue with low carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy white foam that lasts for a few minutes before settling as a patchy surface layer. Some lacing. Aroma of fruity hops, pine, a hint of citrus, sweet caramel malt and earthy yeast. Very nice.

Tastes of spicy aromatic hops and sweet malt, with a crisp bitter finish. Notes of pine, grapefruit, peel, citrus, grass/hay, caramel, barley sugar, earthy yeast and stewed hops. A tangy bitterness envelops the tastebuds upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with good body but lacklustre carbonation. Slightly astringent, followed by an aftertaste of pine resin, bitter hops and mild caramel.

A tasty brew - goes down nicely. Looks alright, with a fantastic aroma/flavour of hops and sweet caramel malt. Decent body, though more effervescence would add texture. Reminds me somewhat of SNPA, which is a pretty good endorsement. Could happily drink a few of these. Worth sampling if you come across it.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 01:33:14 | More by jazzyjeff13
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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,725 ratings.