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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

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

1,913 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,913
Reviews: 526
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 58
Gots: 133 | FT: 3
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Headwaters Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,913 | Reviews: 526 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BBD: Aug 17 2011

Burnished gold color, offwhite cream colored foam that maintains itself well. Random spotty lace and a partial sheet of foam sticks to the glass. Slowly ascending visible carbonation.

Honeyed malt, mildly aromatic floral hops. Fairly mellow with a sweet, malt forward aroma.

Soft sweet malt, grassy hop, light lingering bitterness. Very simple and understated malt character. Hops come across as slighty spicy and floral. Light carbonation, easy drinking. A bit simple with no real flaws, slightly sweet for my taste personally. Still it's a quality offering, like the majority of Victory's output. Good craft transiton beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2011 01:59:26 | More by emerge077
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a small, off-white, bubbly head of foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled piney with some tropical fruit. A touch of caramel, too.

T - It tasted fairly spicy with some sweet caramel maltiness. It had a tropical fruit hop presence with just enough bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a very nice APA. Victory is very consistent with their year round brews.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 04:43:17 | More by zeff80
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

02-11-2012 15:28:35 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

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

I recently consulted with a brewery that was soon to be starting up and when they asked what beers I thought they should brew (which was really the LAST thing to consider given the many unanswered questions regarding just getting the brewery built!), I told them "forget doing a pale ale and just brew an IPA". My point was that hops are what's selling now; and that a lot of beer geeks just aren't interested in basic pale ales anymore - they want "WOW"! Besides, it's a very hard sell to get your pale ale on tap when they're already being squeezed out by different styles (Belgians, IPA's, ...). That said, I'd questioned why Victory, or any brewery would bring out a pale ale at this point. I didn't know what to expect of it, but now I do - it's got some "WOW"!

There are a lot of breweries making IPA's that are really just hopped up pale ales. That's not even an option for Victory given their IPA's. This is a pale ale. It's medium light in body and drinkable. The bitterness is at a reasonable level, somewhere around 36 IBU's; and it's got a nice, caramel-drizzled malt base to it (giving a nod to its English ancestors). The difference is they've used some new and different American hops. I'm not sure what they are, but there's a sharp edge in the nose, and at the front of the mouth in the flavor. It's pungent and somewhat citrusy (tangerine). That's the attention grabber! Unlike a lot of other breweries that would have just taken that and run with it (read as - hammered you over the head with it), Victory has decided to go for more balance. They've blended their hops so that it's not just one gleaming component that blinds you from the rest of the beer. It's right up there in front, yes, but then it settles down and you find more leafy, floral, earthy, and even somewhat piney hops across the middle. There's a lot of character, but the hops still don't overwhelm the malt. It just goes from sharp at the beginning, to wide and malty with more bitterness showing across the middle, and then it steadily reduces in a dwindling finish that's more earthy/piney than citrusy. Everything is kept in balance, which leaves it remarkably drinkable.

The only question is, are today's craft drinkers savvy enough to recognize that balance, or will they still be blinded by the next bigger and better (read as less-focused but brash or bold) thing? Headwaters is a great American pale ale that carves its own little niche; and hopefully will be rewarded rather than passed over.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2011 18:22:46 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 05:44:54 | More by nickfl
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 4/27/2011 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, earthy hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a strong but not over-powering hops bitterness followed by sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. The malt character is hearty and there’s some smokiness in the background creating a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, it’s a decent beer but there are others in the style that I would pick first.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2011 15:15:07 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I remember way back when this beer was newly released, I was more than happy to see a new Victory beer available and on the market.

But as far as the beer goes:

This has a nice hoppy bite to it. Good spicy tones with a thorough bitter bite. It's nice. Real nice. I like it better than when I had it on-tap. Maybe it was the place I had it at. Either way, this is a good one, which is no less than I expect from Victory. Try it if ya got the chance.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2012 06:57:47 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Victory Brewing Company (Downington, PA) on 2/15/11 during their 15 Year Anniversary Celebration. Served in an imperial pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, topped with 1 ½ fingers of stiff bright-white foam. Wow, just beautiful head retention on this, with this continuing to release the whole duration of the glass and holding tight across the top of the glass with a thick finger. Rich patchy lacing just coats the sides of the glass. Great look here! The aroma smells flowery and dank, but things don't get too loose in the nose, as it is propped up by stiff notes of bitter citrus. The malts soften things up across the back, with some toasted biscuit character and light eggy notes.

Wow, the taste just pops in the mouth with green citrus, which have some bite but aren't totally aggressive with it either, as fresh hop flavors push to the forefront. The malts add some extra tightness here but have just enough bready sweetness to them to balance out that earthy bitterness. This finishes with a grassy and herbal feel that lingers on the breath after each sip. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fantastic tight and crisp feel in the mouth. There is just enough underlying slickness present and this is probably where I feel the herbal qualities of this beer the most, as it adds some extra ease to the body without countering the fresh pop in the mouth that this provides.

Man, I liked this. Bright and full hop flavors that were well balanced and that super crisp and easy body made for a most thirst quenching and drinkable presentation. This was just so fresh and vibrant here on draft during its premiere. I'm looking forward to seeing how this translates to the bottle as well.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2011 20:33:15 | More by Kegatron
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm running out of beers wtih several hundred reviews that I've never had, but this is definitely one that I've managed to overlook for the past decade, that ends today. On tap at Meridian pint.

Beer is light amber and clear with moderate to light carbonation, a thin white head of small bubbles, some lacing, looks nice.

Aroma is sweet, mildy hoppy, a little earthy, smells fine.

Beer is medium to light in body, easy drinking, wet finish, wet throughout, the hops are subdued and under emphasized, there is a mild graininess to the finish but overall a decent APA.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2012 02:37:34 | More by drabmuh
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a case at McBroom's today, thank god my sister is living a block away. So I always have a good excuse, to get up to D'z and McBroom's. Fresh cases of Headwaters Pale Ale. Appears a pale copper, full thicket of light beige head with fine even lacing. Light speckled lacing, with aromatics have a pungent citric/floral aspect no pine or earthiness. Hints of sugar coated biscuit malts in the nose, very nice malt base with sturdy citric hops standing up to the malts. I believe they're using Citra hops with a combo of other hops for this brew, I tried the Dorado version of Pursuit of Pale Ale. Flavors just work with this brew, herbal/citric hops blended effortlessly with a nice biscuit sugar coated malt profile that matches perfectly, low alcohol by volume makes for a very sessionable brew, right at the time when America really needs this style of beer Victory is there for us old school craft beer drinkers that would rather have an accessible pale ale versus the next big beer that is released by the thimbleful to the line of people camping out to drink it. Mouthfeel is medium bodied slight oily texture from the hop resins with ample carbonation, I can't complain. Drinkability, excellente low alcohol meant for consuming with friends over many a conversation and celabratory song. In all reality it's quite tasty with enough booze and flavor to keep you interested great beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2011 04:17:07 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up from Wegman's in Mechanicsburg as part of a mix-a-six. The brown bottle was poured chilled into a willybecker.

The shade is deep golden with amber hues bordering on copper with great clarity, the head rises and falls to about 1/2 inch of rocky off white with an average sized bead and stringy lace clings. The carbonation is visible in the liquid. I like the aroma, I just wish there were more of it -slightly citrus hop odors w/ a slight toasted malt aroma, slight hints of mineral or yeast scents in their too. I enjoy the balanced feel this beer presents with moderate bitterness and carbonation with slight toasted malt and light sweetness, the pale finishes semi-dry with some lingering hop astringency.

Headwaters is a tasty pale with some citrus notes from the hops with a slight lemony and herbal effect with mild hints of bitter flavor interwoven among a slight bready and dry toasty malt which doesn't quite get to the nutty realm but the lingering acidity of the hops seems to give the flavor more of a dry taste toward the end which is refreshing. I have had many American Pale ales and I think this one is pretty solid, it has the Victory signature taste, pretty nice balance which is a sign it was brewed to be drinkable. I think Victory achieved that with Headwaters.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 15:03:48 | More by Slatetank
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big fizzy head of 1.5 fingers hits the top of my SA perfect pint glass perfectly, and lots of bubbles from the bottom reinforcing it so it sticks around for a while. The beer is a crystal clear pale amber orange color. slight sticky lacing.

Nose has some nice hops, fresh hops with just a touch of musty resin, light grassy, barely a touch of tropical fruit, not much by way of malts.

Taste is light and refreshing, low malt feel but a bit of a malty flavor, some hops again, light musty resin, fresh wet hop like flavors, light spicy and grassy hops, very light tropical fruit. Dry finish, gets fairly bitter and slightly astringent, very light mint flavor too. Light lingering citrus and musty resin.

Mouth is a bit lighter bodied, but good carbonation, crisp.

Overall fairly decent, not the best APA but a decent hop addition, light malts, very drinkable and refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2011 02:23:42 | More by jlindros
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a wonderful malt character that boasts of pale and biscuit malts along with a floral hop nose. It's refreshing, yet displays a good bit of complexity. The taste is good as well. It has a solid malt flavor that's easy drinking with a touch of biscuit malt character in the finish. It's smooth with only a moderate bitterness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a terrific APA. It's balanced and easy drinking; a fine session pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2011 23:38:29 | More by WesWes
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden-orange color with a white head. The aroma is very hoppy for a pale ale. I get a lot of piney hops, as well as some resin and grass notes. There is also a little bit of cattyness in the hop aroma. The flavor is a little milder than the aroma. I get some resinous and grass-like hops, but they are balanced somewhat nicely by the biscuit malt. The bitterness is low, as expected in the style. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 20:51:44 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Victory, Downingtown, PA

Golden-orange pour into an imperial pint, clearish, with a solid layer of white head that leaves a bit of sticky lacing on the glass. Aroma is hop dominant, almost IPA-ish in nature, fresh citrus and lots of it, with notes of grass and pine, sweet biscuity malts in the background. Again in the taste, I felt this walks the border between APA and AIPA, lots of fresh citrusy hops, pithy and considerably bitter, with a touch of pine resin; maltiness is present but generally subdued. Medium body. Not nearly as smooth as some of your other APAs, but still quite drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2012 11:22:44 | More by Rifugium
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

cool environmental cause here. pours a orange blossom honey color with a fading white head. little bit of cloudiness. smells like citrus all the way, really pungent lemon/limey hops and just a touch of english feeling pale malt. flavor is less hoppy than the ipa nose indicates, but still a nice fruity character to the hops. really nice evolution in the mouth fruity hops first, then thick amber-esque malt flavor, then a nice bitter hops, delicate finish. feel is decent, body feels a little heavier than it should, and definitely heavier than it looks. it would be appropriate if the abv was a few percent higher, but its just a tiny bit out of balance there. overall a great beer for a great cause. hops are the star here, really nuanced flavors. yum

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2012 01:42:26 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear amber color with a half finger of fluffy off white head that leaves a ring around the pour and some mild lacing.

Smell: Light malt with a citrus peel hop note in front. Not particularly interesting, but still nice.

Taste: Could use a bit more malt in the background, but the hop profile is nice. Citrus peel hop bitterness builds through the sip to the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thin side of medium with fluffy carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really drinkable pale ale. Nothing to think about too much, but I enjoyed it enough.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2012 00:16:46 | More by oline73
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really interesting aroma of flowers and the strangest hint of cat box. Light, refreshing body. So crisp and clean. The acidic touch is balanced by a biscuity malt that is delicate. Clear light amber, great foamy attributes.

I think this nicely shows how a more subtle kind of beer can showcase so many flavors. Massively drinkable. Just pleasantly bitter with real hop flavors. Makes me think of their Summer Love. Another win for Victory.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 04:57:40 | More by mactrail
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at a local restaurant last year. Reviewed from notes that were lost, but recently found.

Pours amber with a thin lasting head. Dotted lacing sticks.

The smell is hoppy with citrus and pine.

The taste is of pine sap with citrus - tangerine, orange and grapefruit. Finishes with a sharp dryness.

The body is fitting for a pale ale, though a bit sharp - could be creamier.

This is a tasty, hoppy pale ale!

Serving type: on-tap

01-12-2012 19:09:22 | More by jwc215
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a light amber with a mild soapy white head, good retention, spotty lace.

S: Nice grassy and herbal aroma. Lawn clippings for sure, some biscuity maltiness.

T: Very grassy and green, bitter hopping well to the finish. Light maltiness, good flavour in the style.

M: Frothy, soapy, light-bodied. Crisp, fairly smooth.

D: Really nice pale ale. Classic flavours, a winner from Victory. Very much a mini Hop Wallop, they both have very similar hop profiles.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2011 02:22:56 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Starts to slowly overflow the bottle, but the pour produces a standard sized head. The liquid is hazy with a light amber color. Leaves some streaky ring lace.

Classic blend of paler malts and aromatic hops. Very pleasant while being fully predictable (in a good way).

Great balance in the flavors. Light earthiness but there's also a smoothness to the malt flavors. The hop shows up mid-sip and continues through the swallow. The bitterness is less complex but is perfectly appropriate for this style. The body is as to be expected with a slightly high level of carbonation. In short, this is a fine pale ale. In fact if I were to suggest one to give as the example of the American style, I would choose this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 22:09:43 | More by smcolw
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

06-28-2012 04:13:30 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of beernads
beernads

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

02-07-2013 06:34:43 | More by beernads
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

07-04-2014 15:49:16 | More by GClarkage
Photo of XmnwildX12
XmnwildX12

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

12-13-2013 05:20:39 | More by XmnwildX12
Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,913 ratings.