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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

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

591 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 591
Hads: 2,506
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.21%
Wants: 81
Gots: 441 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States | website

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: 591 | Hads: 2,506
Photo of Rockjocknroll
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Deep gold/ medium amber, nice thick head to begin. Filtered.
S: Almost garlicky hop smell with sweet orange citrus.
T: Wow. Light and crisp with the perfect amount of subtle sweet and floral/fruity flavors. Just the right amount of bitterness that doesn't linger.
M: Again, very clean and crisp. Light and easy to drink.
O: Very impressed; easily one of the best Pales I've had. This would be dangerously drinkable in the summer. One of the best hoppy beers I've had from Victory which includes almost all of their IPAs and fresh-hop series.

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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 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 Hyptochrons
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can labeled enjoy by March 29, 2016

Golden orange with a very slight haze to it. Thick three fingers of head, lacing looks sick on the glass!!

floral, earthy hops, light pine, and sweetish malt. Not getting any noticeable citrus that others have mentioned... maybe its not quite as fresh as it should be.

Dirt n hops up front, strong malt presence and bit of pine on the finish. Very light bitterness to it. Interesting blend of flavors, good balance.

Feel is a bit light for me, but maybe ive been drinking to many IIPAs. nice carbonation tho.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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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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!
Sam

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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!

Cheers

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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 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 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 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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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
88 out of 100 based on 591 ratings.