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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

576 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 576
Hads: 2,419
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.21%
Wants: 82
Gots: 393 | 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: 576 | Hads: 2,419
Photo of apbarwood
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Headwaters Pale presents with a pale amber color that catches the light nicely. A nice looking beer sitting on the railing of my deck on a spring afternoon. Head retention is minimal; a thin layer of bubbles clings to the surface and leaves a little to be desired. Not bad overall.

The aroma is inviting with notes of damp pine needles and bitter orange peel. Those aromas carry through onto the taste with a little earthy depth for good measure. It has really nice balance with a pleasant bitterness that's noticeabet but not at all overpowering.

It's crisp and refreshing, with a clean taste and lively carbonation that cleanses the palate. It has enough body to carry the flavor without being too sticky on the finish which leaves the lingering flavors of ripe grapefruit as it fades.

All things considered I found this to be a really good pale ale. I would have liked the flavors to be a little brighter and fuller perhaps but I don't have a whole lot of complaints. Very pleased with this one and definitely something I wouldn't mind revisiting from time to time.

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Photo of nc41
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one very hoppy PA without the stinging bitterness of an IPA. Very fruity so you can get your hop fix even if your not a real IPA fan or want to cool on the bitter finish. Looks great. nice head, the nose isn't anything special, but much better than say Hop devil which IMO smells funky. This one is all about the hops, and the only other similar PA I've has would be Burning River. One really well done PA that gives you a nice fruity hop lick without crossing over into IPA territory. Worth a shot by any beer lover.

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

Poured from the bottle into my Victory tulip. Clear, amber in color with about 2 fingers of white head that fades to a thin skimming. Quite a bit of lacing as it goes down.

Smell is quite hoppy. Citrusy grapefruit hops mostly, some pine. There's a solid amount of toasted malt coming through as well.

The hops in the nose aren't quite as strong on the tongue. The classic Victory malt profile comes through nice and strong without being overpowering. Hops aren't as prevalent as you would expect after smelling the brew. They are there though. Flavor lingers surprisingly long for the style. The finish is on the sweet side, but doesn't detract too much.

Perfect carbonation. Nice smooth mouthfeel. Overall a well balanced, tasty APA. Not the best I've had but a nice effort from Victory and well worth picking up a sixer.

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Photo of StaEva
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a groovy pale ale. I'm not a huge IPA nerd myself, so I generally tend to gravitate towards the pale ales and appreciate their mellow bitterness and great aromatics more than harshly hopped IPA.

It's got a great clear, light-amber body with two fingers of marshmallow-white head. Good retention and a spotty lace.

Smells like floral, citrussy, piney hops on top of dry biscuity malt. Straightforward and damn good.

Hop flavor hits up front, but quickly give way to bready malt and a bit of implied grapefruit from the olfactory. Clean, bitter finish. Impressive malt presence without becoming sweet and juicy or losing the bitter dryness. Full and prickly carbonation feels just right for this refresher.

I might be crucified for saying this, but I like it more than Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale, and I stand by that statement 100%!

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Photo of BeerTwigs
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on Tap at the Golden Rail in Newburgh, NY. It pours an a nice clear amber color with some off white head and good lacing.

The aroma has some great herbal hoppiness with a trace of malt which is very pleasant.

This beer tastes very good with balance of herbal hops and slight maltiness.

A very drinakble beer which is smooth and light medium bodied. I would definitely recommend trying this beer. This beer could definitely replace one of my everyday beers.

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Photo of Blargimus
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Enjoy by June 24, 20... the stamp fades here, but I assume it's 2012. I hope.

Crystal-clear amber-straw color. A teeny bit darker than I expected. 1-2 fingers of head fade down to a nice lacing. Attractive beer.

Smell is full and very rich with deliciousness. This is likely in my head, but I think I detect a hint of corn. I actually like a little bit of corn, so that's not a deduction for me. VERY enticing.

The taste is hoppier than the smell would suggest. Excellent initial level of bitterness, followed by that same richness of malt. Despite the smell, I don't taste any corn. Very tasty.

Light-medium fullness. I could do with a bit less carbonation. Leaves bitterness behind, but doesn't coat the tongue and finishes fairly dry. This is the beer's weakest category, but it's certainly not bad, or even below-average.

Odd that I've had so many other Victory beers before trying their flagship offering. It's a very solid pale ale, enough so that it might compete with Great Divide DPA as my go-to choice if it was more readily available in Colorado.

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Photo of Keith238
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Terrific pale ale with great pine and citrus aroma and flavor. An east coast pale ale with that west coast feel.

Tons of citrus (orange) aroma and flavor. Also present is a nice pine flavor. It pours with a thick white head that keeps tons of lacing in the glass. This one give Sierra Nevada Pale Ale a run for its money.

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Photo of BeerMark
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Got this sixer at Derk's Fillet & Vine in Montgomery Alabama. My goodness, Alabama has come a long way in the last few years. I'm seeing world class beers sitting beside some great local selections. There's not much else that I can add to the reviews that are not here already. Headwaters Pale Ale is delicious. It's malty and hoppy and the combination of flavors is great. A very nice pale pale ale for times an IPA may be too much. Will be buying again.

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Photo of jmarklan
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden / copper color, white head leaves a few nice rings of lace. Lovely look, very attractive.

Spicy hops dominate the nose, herbal and citric. Fresh tangerine aroma with a touch of malt sweetness.

Slightly spicy hops, herbal and citric, lemon rind, sweet tangerine asserts itself in the middle (I just love that flavor) along with a slight grassyness, cracker/biscuit malt towards the end, finishes with an herbal hop bitterness on the palate.

Somewhere in between light and medium bodied, very crisp and a bit dry.

Overall: Another fine beer from Victory. Sessionable and full of hop flavor, just like an American pale ale should be.

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

Beautiful color. The smell is a light mix of malt and hops. The taste is really solid and balanced. This beer is definitely malt fotward but really tasty and enjoyable. yb

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Photo of GregBlatz
3.19/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Clear light copper color. Light tan head.

S - Esther fruitiness and grain sweetness. Slight iron aroma. Very little hops are noticeable.

T - OK, now I get it. This isn't a bold American pale ale, it is more of a simple session pale ale. The grains and esthers are dominant. Hops are subtle but provide a nice bitterness in the finish that helps to even out the sweetness that helps the finish dry out.

M - Thin and medium carbonation.

O - This is a very nice easy drinking pale ale. In fact I would like to put a few more of these down. The hops are subtle but they start to come out after a few sips. Very nice.

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Photo of Mardukk
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with some off white head and noticable lacing.

The smell is an exceptional blend of herbal hops with some faint malt. Probably the best quality of this beer.

The taste is dominated by the herbal hops with a touch of lightly roasted malt to balance the hop bitterness. The taste very good overall.

The mouthfeel is a tad thin for the style and is the biggest drawback of this APA. With medium carbonation and a nice smooth yet yummy herbal hop flavor this is an easy one to drink.

This is a very nice quality APA that I would definitely buy again.

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Photo of doopydoogle
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of kpoole25
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really good APA, dry, not heavy on the tongue. It has more hop flavor than bitter which I like, and a little more in the lemon / citrus hop zone than piney / resiny. According to their web site they only use 2 row malt but I would have thought there was a little pilsner or something to give more complexity (although the site says malt is imported, maybe that's the difference). Would buy again.

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Photo of DJED69
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well done Victory! A really nice pale ale. Pours a deep copper with good head and lacing. Smells nice with good hop presence. Taste is more hop forward vs malt. But it's a good balance overall. Sort of like an IPA-lite. Finishes dry and crisp. At 5.1% abv---you can reasonably enjoy a few of these. I would put this brew firmly between Sierra Nevada and Dale's pale ale---not bad company! Had mine with Asian take out and it made a tasty combo. This is one I'll be returning too!

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Photo of DuaneL
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

This ale is a one-of-a-kind. Wonderful! Haven't yet tried anything that is close to it. You've got to try it - it defies description. But you definitely have to like dry…very dry.

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Photo of znichols
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into Gray's Tied House pint glass.

A- Deep, rich gold color with a soft, two finger white head. Somewhat opaque. Looks like your average pale ale.

S- A little bit of sticky hops and light maltyness. Very balanced aroma. Sort of like crackers and lemon butter. It's there but not anything overly intriguing.

T- Very citrusy northwest hop resin hits the tongue first. The hop flavor isn't quite "potent", but the perfect level to enjoy without having to pucker up. The bitterness is pretty subdued at first then comes up a little bit late. A little bready malt flavor round out the sip and then everything dissapears pretty quick. This one doesn't really stick with you long flavorwise.

M- Very easy drinking. Pretty light bodied with a higher level of carbonation and a sticky finish. Enjoyable for a session beer.

O- I would easily go through 6 of these in a night and enjoy every one. A lighter American Pale Ale with a very oily, sticky mouthfeel and a easygoing lemon and sweetmalt flavor.

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Photo of mryuk
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a filtered golden brown with very little head.

smell is fresh piny hops but it is very light and not overwhelming.

taste is light fresh and smooth. slightly bitter finish with very light flavor.

mouth is light bodied with good carbonation.

this beer is ok but really stops short of what it could be. definitely leaves something to be desired from a hop perspective. the lightness of the beer was the star here but it still was not amazing.

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Photo of Ryan_Graham
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Reddish brown with a one finger head. Gives off a strong smell, like bread and raisins. Very smooth at first. Light and refreshing on its way down. Bready yeast flavor come through. Aftertaste is different. Leaves a light fruity taste on the pallet. Yeasty feel clings to the back of the tongue. Overall, a pretty decent beer. It's more refreshing than most but lacks a complexity of flavor.

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Photo of DUBinMIA
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a Sam's Bulb glass from a bottle. Looks orange and slight chill haze. thick head with some foam and decent retention.

Smell is hops up front. citrus like floral notes. then some malt and yeast come through in the end. Not a strong aroma just enough to get the point across.

floral and citrus hop flavor zing to begin... followed by smooth malt and grainy character towards the end that finishes crisp. A very simple flavor that is in my opinion very well done.

medium body that allows flavors to absorb but not linger too long.

Overall a very nice pale ale... very refreshing and drinkable!!!

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Photo of Bills453
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle.

Appearance - a beautiful golden color with some red tint. Nice one and heif finger head. Sticks around nicely.

Smell - this one is very citrusy. Lemon, lime grapefruit. Hops as well.

Taste - delicious refreshing citrus flavor with fantastic bitterness and hoppiness. Very nice taste.

Mouthfeel - very nice, refreshing.

Overall - a great offering from Victory. Victory is a pretty underrated brewery in my opinion. I really enjoy all of their beers I have tried.

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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 KidDoc
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

Poured a 12 oz beer into a standard pint glass. BB date of 3/2015. Deep clear coppery golden color with one-finger head that dissipated fairly quickly. Medium lacing. Nose is predominantly earthy piney hops with minor touch of citrus. Taste is assertively hoppy with nice lighter maltiness in the background. Decent bitterness dries the palate at the finish. Great example of an APA and, frankly, has a bit of IPA profile to it. If you like hops, you will like this.

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Photo of detlefchef
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I suppose there's a cap on how "exceptional" a beer like this can be. Mostly because I don't think it sets out to be "exceptional". So, with that in mind, I suppose I can understand the good but not great reviews.

And, I guess, that explains why I'm not giving it 5s all across, because I certainly could were I simply judging it on how well it does what it should do.

I mean, assuming the goal was to produce a delicious and sessionable brew that goes down easy but reminds you that you're drinking something tasty, then I've got to say they nailed it.

Honestly, this beer was love at first sip for me and I could drink a vat of it were I more thirsty.

Juicy malts set off by lively but not over-aggressive hops.

Is the new standard bearer as far as I'm concerned for the modern American Pale ale.

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Photo of dancaplette
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

headwater's has a bright copper color to it , slight carbonation that lasts through the pour. it retains a one figure head with a nice lacing.

it has a citrusy smell to it, more than I expected for a pale ale, very pleasant.

it has a nice mouth feel, I can describe as a light, but creamy smoothness and nice bitterness.

overall a good effort, as usual by victory.

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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 576 ratings.