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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: 2,417
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.21%
Wants: 81
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: 2,417
Photo of feylure
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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!


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Photo of bassboneman
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
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!

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Photo of baconsausage
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
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,

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Photo of Headyman
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of dfclav
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of fps_dean
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

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Photo of pinyin
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of lisomiso
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of mjrod2142
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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Photo of SeamusDoyle
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of TheCorkStopsHere
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of mooselvlt
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of deepchills
4.43/5  rDev +13%
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.

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Photo of powellmg
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of nickshep7
4/5  rDev +2%
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...

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Photo of onewetpaw
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of alenonbeeradv
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - nice golden and orange hues. a dainty head with a bit of a moldy look to it.

s - fresh hops and very malty. slightly sappy and resiny.

t - more malt than hops. some biscuit and nutty hints and a faint hint of fresh juicy hops. definitely a more mellow drinkable beer.

m - quite light. malty and smooth with a low - mid carbonation level.

o - sometimes a really strong IPA is to overwhelming to separate the hop flavor from the rest of it. this beer leaves room to enjoy that, and thats why i like it.

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Photo of Brewndruid
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aggressive pour from cold bottle. Full fluffy off white head.
Nice lacing
Nice clarity, light copper in colour.
Aroma strong and indicative of a strong bitterness slitghtly citrusy.
Strong bitterness up front. Balanced towards the bitter, clean and crisp, refresing. Clean finish.

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Photo of Louisville-Beer-Reviews
2.99/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, light, golden amber color, with a thick, fine, persistent head and sticky lacing down the glass.

Aroma: Bright grapefruit, and piney hops.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Immediate, biting carbonation on the tongue, with strong grapefruit flavor, and a slight touch of biscuity malt. The finish consists of exceedingly bitter, resiny hops, like pine oil.

Final Word: This one feels pretty self explanatory to me, given how few descriptors there are for the beer, as even the hop/bitterness lovers that I would recommend this to (and those are the only ones I would recommend it to) should still want something with more depth, complexity, and balance than this beer offers. The vicious carbonation, and overwhelming bitterness make for a brew that you have to brace yourself against before every sip, and even if it were in better balance, there are so few flavors present in the beer that it would still be underwhelming/bland. My hope is that the passing of time could benefit this beer by reining in the carbonation, and hop bitterness, creating a better balance. As it stands, I can only recommend this to someone craving an extremely bitter, piney tongue bruiser, and would recommend that all others find something else!

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Photo of Nuke77
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a solid pale ale but fell a little short of what I was anticipating. A very good floral and citrus scent that unfortunately failed to materialize in the taste. The body overall seemed light to me for some reason. The overall mouthfeel was clean and crisp. Not a bad pale ale at all but there are others that I prefer.

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Photo of elginirishpunk
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber color with nice carbonation. Rich hoppy aroma and light citrus and fruiy sneak through. Initial taste is smooth and hoppy like a mellow IPA and then your palet quickly clears. definitly a very unique pale ale. Great beer for warn spring or warm sunner day.

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

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.
A--Deep golden, a bit cloudy. Small head that didn't last long, but left a decent amount of lacing.
S--Vague floral & herbal notes. Hoppiness is quite apparent.
T--Yummy. Hoppy without being one of the trendy hop bombs. Citrus and floral. Not as much maltiness as I'd like to see for balance, but still fantastic.
M--Tart from the hops and a bit of a tannic finish. Crisp is an understaement, it's tart. A little creamy and quenching.
O--Excellent. Another example of a high quality craft brew from Victory. These guys just can't miss.

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Photo of Nay
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Grapefruit and grassy malt aroma, smooth German malt flavor balanced with hops and alcohol. Mild beer, per style, yet richer and much more full-bodied. Quite malty without being too sweet. Very tasty, if not delicious, a crowd pleaser, unless your crowd are lupilin-crazed hop heads.

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Photo of JoeBCBC
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at a local brewpub in a regular pint glass.

This beer smells wonderful. Citrus and pine notes from american hops. The bitterness is just right in this one and the hop flavor really comes through on the finish.

This is a very drinkable beer that i'd come back to time and time again!

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Photo of chadlebald
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
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!

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