Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

559 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 559
Hads: 2,358
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 76
Gots: 362 | FT: 2
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:
Beer added by: thagr81us on 02-14-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 559 | Hads: 2,358
Photo of Ryan_Graham
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (391 characters)

Photo of DUBinMIA
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
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!!! (611 characters)

Photo of Bills453
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
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. (486 characters)

Photo of CMB2012
4.44/5  rDev +13%
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. (1,340 characters)

Photo of kpoole25
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (399 characters)

Photo of detlefchef
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
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. (805 characters)

Photo of dancaplette
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (368 characters)

Photo of feylure
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this stuff yesterday and decided to try it out. Enjoy by July 8th 2011

Appearance is a lovely clear gold.

Smell is quite amazingly hoppy!

Taste is a great balance of hops and barley. Not too sweet and not too bitter. Just straight up clean with a tail of the same nature.

Mouthfeel is quite full all the way around.

This is an extremely well balanced brew and one that I find to be quite drinkable. Definitely be buying this again!

Cheers (450 characters)

Photo of baconsausage
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
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, (298 characters)

Photo of bassboneman
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is an outstanding Pale Ale, despite the # it gets.
It is strong without being over powering - full of hoppy flavor.
It is an easy drinker!
For a good grill-side beer that can handle a bevy of different entrees or apps this is a great beer!
Sam (248 characters)

Photo of Headyman
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to SammyJaxxx for the beermail.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a belgian tulip.

Appearance: Pours a beautifully clear light amber. 1 inch bubbly head fades away fairly quickly.

Aroma: A pleasantly mellow citrus, with lemon and grapefruit. Some earthier hop undertones with a sweet, slightly dank finish. The aroma is quite pungent for a Pale ale.

Taste: Unlike any Pale i've had before. Begins with a nutty sweetness, that is accentuated by the high carbonation. Headwaters has a real grassy, weedy, mid and a somewhat salty sweet earthy hop finish. A bit of a peppery taste lingers.

Mouthfeel: Moderate-to high carbonation that works to bring out the hop character. Has an aftertaste that slowly changes from citrusy sweet to a slightly bitter peppery taste. Perhaps a tad watery.

Overall: Extremely interesting to say the least, and quite good. There is a nice dank flavor that evolves from the first sip to the last. A solid pale ale, I'll have to pick this up next time I see it. (1,001 characters)

Photo of dfclav
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (1,139 characters)

Photo of fps_dean
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber color with minimal head and moderate lacing.

Smells rather mildly of piney hops and caramelized malts.

Tastes much like it smells, but tasting slightly heavier in the hop department, with nothing being overpowering or offensive. Quite refreshing, and extremely well balanced.

It's moderately carbonated, and goes down incredibly smooth like almost every other Victory brew, and exceptionally smooth for a lower alcohol content beer.

Overall, a very good pale ale and a really exceptional session beer. This has been one of my go to session beers especially in the summer season, as it's fairly light and refreshing and goes down extremely smoothly while being very solid in the flavor department as well. (730 characters)

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

Very, very pretty. Smells nice. My first sip forced a double-take: am I drinking a beer, or am I munching on a bud of chronic? Seriously, you guys, this is delicious. Bitter and fresh. Nothing mind-bending, nothing revelatory, but for reals: I could drink a whole lot of them. I want to drink a whole lot of them. I'm sad I only bought two. (340 characters)

Photo of DuaneL
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

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. (182 characters)

Photo of mjrod2142
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass

The beer poured clean with a bright, orange-pumpkin-looking color with a slight hint of haze. A soft, off-white head quickly formed and left nice lacings inside the glass as it dissipated.

The aroma offers an immediate burst of grapefruit. The smell is very crisp and clean, with some bite of fresh-cut grass.

The taste gives you exactly what the smell does: a sharp grapefruit note that softens out to a malty finish. The mouthfeel is excellently smooth and rich without being heavy. Perfect carbonation.

If you love good hops, this American Pale Ale is for you. Highly recommended. (634 characters)

Photo of SeamusDoyle
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear amber with an average, frothy white to off-white head, medium retention with good lacing. Aroma is fragrant fruity, citrus, grapefruit, and pine hops and cereal malt with tropical fruity esters. Flavor is heavy hops and bitterness, supporting dry malt and fruity esters with a dry finish and a spicy character. Medium body and carbonation. (351 characters)

Photo of KidDoc
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%

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. (474 characters)

Photo of TheCorkStopsHere
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Headwaters pours out a clear golden color, with light and fluffy foam on top. Aromas are slightly hoppy, but heavy on the sweet side of things.

Just a touch of hops balance nicely with a substantial amount of malts. The hops are slightly bitter, but more citrus and piney than a sticky/bitter style. The malts are sweet, but not candy/sugary sweet. Very nice balance and a very clean smooth finish. (403 characters)

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

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A - Very clear deep gold color with a nice 2 fingers of off tan head. Excellent retention with nice lacing.

S - Subtle, good citrus hops mixing with malt backbone. Neither overtake the other.

T - A nice mix of malts and hops, much like the nose. The hops are there but leave a very light lingering bitterness, not overpowering

M - Medium bodied, very smooth with moderate carbonation. Really drinkable. I could see having this as a session brew. .

O - Very solid, drinkable pale ale. Really glad I tried it. This was the last one to go into my mixer 6er today. (596 characters)

Photo of deepchills
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this Victory Pale Ale at Majestics on Camp Bowie, $13 for a 6pk of 12oz bottle.

Pours a light gold with a small bubbly head.

Herbal/floral nose with some earthy hop and bready yeast present.

The beer has a crisp start with a malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness mixing nicely. Bready flavor and floral notes are present along with some light fruit.

The beer is brilliantly carbonated, resplendently crisp and especially effortless to drink.

A wonderful example of what a Pale Ale should be. I look forward to drink more....now. (542 characters)

Photo of powellmg
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served @ 40F in a pint glass.

Poured with a spare, off-white head, quickly gone. Clear, orange color. Subtle, hoppy aroma of orange and honey. Medium bitterness, mineral taste supported by toasted malt. Some sweetness behind the hops. Dry, lingering finish. Lighter-bodied, average carbonation. Well-balanced and drinkable. A good session beer. (346 characters)

Photo of pinyin
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle at 39F into a 16 ounce crown tumbler ( i think most Victory offerings breath and lace the best in a crown tumbler)

Overall a very distinct and original offering from Victory.

Floral hoppy nose, with a medium finishing bitterness. Not quite IPA bitter, but possibly some whole leaf hallertau and centennial. Definitely more hop forward than malty, but the malt character is still present both in the nose and the dry aftertaste.

Yeast profile is really interesting on this one. I get a sense of some hybrid ale, kolsch and pilsner yeast.

Definitely a unique beer, and worth a try if you liked 19th Anniversary, Helles Lager or Prima Pils. It almost tastes like all three of those combined.

I like that this ale isn't too sugary. The last few cases of Helles (Brandywine Valley) Lager from Victory that I have purchased seem abnormally sweet for some reason. (887 characters)

Photo of nickshep7
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber base w/ 2 finger of nice off white head. Smell is fresh hops and a touch of sweet bready malts. Taste initially is sweet and hoppy but finishes nice and dry. Overall a good brew. Reminds me of SN Pale Ale, but a little thinner. But with both brews, the first thing that comes to mind is clean and fresh... (317 characters)

Photo of onewetpaw
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Spicy hop character with some mild orange hops as well. Caramel and some nice full maltiness as well.

A- Brilliantly clear light amber with a nice white two finger head.

F- Spicy hop character reminding me of Centennial predominates initially. The malt character quickly follows and is nice and strong with some mild caramel sweetness present, but definitely in the background.

M- Full body and above average carbonation. Quick to clear the palate

O- A really nice interpretation of the APA. I'll return to this again for sure. I would chose this over many other pale ales in national distribution. (635 characters)

Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 559 ratings.