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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

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

563 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 563
Hads: 2,376
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 76
Gots: 371 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Headwaters Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 563 | Hads: 2,376
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 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)

Photo of alenonbeeradv
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
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. (508 characters)

Photo of Brewndruid
3.46/5  rDev -12%
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. (284 characters)

Photo of Louisville-Beer-Reviews
2.99/5  rDev -23.9%
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! (1,236 characters)

Photo of Nuke77
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (325 characters)

Photo of elginirishpunk
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (262 characters)

Photo of horshamguy
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (578 characters)

Photo of Nay
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (283 characters)

Photo of JoeBCBC
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
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! (301 characters)

Photo of chadlebald
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
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! (391 characters)

Photo of phillybeer7779
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Golden colored, some head, not much lacing on the glass.

Smell- Some citrusy hops with a malty undertone.

Taste- Very balanced. Citrus flavors balanced by a solid malt backbone.

Mouthfeel- As drinkable as a hoppy craft brew gets. Nice body, nice carbonation. Good hop flavor, but doesn't destroy my palate.

Overall- Another quality offering from Victory. A very good pale ale. Definately not one of those APAs that are basically IPAs, so do not expect a hopbomb. Just a quality beer you can drink a six pack over the course of a night and not regret it in the morning. (584 characters)

Photo of SteveMi
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass. Note: bottle felt colder than the beer actually was so this review is focused on a warmer than normal pour.

A - Pours golden with some slight red/orange. Fluffy white head which falls from about half an inch to a quarter inch after 30 seconds. Just the right amount of carbonation.

S - Citrus and hops. The bitterness is right behind the grapefruit.

T - Very grapefruity with hops trailing right behind it. Not very complex but satisfying. Seems like this would fall more under IPA but maybe I'm still a bit new at this...

M - On the ligher side of medium. Slightly dry. Very, very drinkable.

O - Impressed and am wondering why I haven't seen more of this one around. (705 characters)

Photo of sdsurfer217
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Purchased this beer because of the headwaters program. I'm always down to support a good cause.

A: Copper/orange color. Half finger worth of clean white head. Pretty sexy looking beer.

S: Citrus, hoppy, almost sweet smelling. There’s something else that I can’t put my finger on, but it smells delicious

T: Almost a caramelized orange flavor, a little bit of biscuity/toast. Touch of hops linger

M: Not very carbonated and a little thin.

O: Pretty drinkable Pale Ale. Not bad, but also not remarkable. I would probably buy this again because it goes toward a good cause and the beer is decent. (629 characters)

Photo of Buggabeer
3.22/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A Nice golden color with nice lacing around the glass. It has a nice carbination and you can see the bubbles rising to the top to produce a thin head.

S Oh the Hop and Citrus (Grapefruit) aroma is wonderful. I could smell this all day!!

T Oh if I could only taste smell. As it hits the mouth it has a nice taste but after swallowing the best discription is it taste like biting into a grapefruit rind. It has the acidic bitter flavor to it.

M Nice feel with the right amout of carbination but nothing more than an average Pale Ale

O It was a dissapointment to me. After smelling the beer I so wanted to drink but after my first swallow and I got the rind taste it was all down hill after that. (697 characters)

Photo of PCampbell
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Has a good orange / copper color when poured. 1 inch head that dissipates into a thin layer with nice lacing.

The nose is full of citrus and grapefruit hop notes with some caramel maltiness in the background. Flavorful bready malts with some grapefruit, citrus flavors as well. Has a nice mouthfeel with good carbonation.

A great, refreshing pale ale that goes down well in the summer months. (441 characters)

Photo of dlmccabe1
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just saw this and picked it up in a 12oz bottle. Has a drink by date of July 8th, so it seems pretty fresh.

It's a golden color, deeper than many pale ales I've come across. It has crisp straw aromas and an interesting barnyard-y aroma. Kind of smells like hay...and malt. You can tell its going to be a malty pale ale.

The taste is malty, clean and crisp. I didn't get the citrusy notes that the other reviewers have talked about. It feels like a maltier pilsner to me, balanced with american hops. Not a lot of hop bitterness, but its well balanced. Nice hop flavors on the finish.

An interesting take on a pale ale. Not as hoppy as I had expected, more reminiscent of a Stone pale ale than a Sierra Nevada pale ale. (722 characters)

Photo of distvan
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: it pours a golden copper with a mild amount of head

S: very mild pine, citrus and hoppy smell.

T: not overly bitter and very smooth. great aftertaste.

M: decent amount of carbonation

O: a very drinkable apa that is true to the style. Extremely well balanced. (267 characters)

Photo of hyprlt
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into weizen glass, only glass i could get at my buddy's house

A: great pale golden color, light head with decent retention, great clarity

S: great floral aromas

T: not a pale ale that is actually an IPA, not overly bitter and slight maltiness

M: good carbonation, could be a little thinner

O: great pale ale, not just a copy of other american pale ales. definite recommendation (403 characters)

Photo of Kisejohn
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Victory - Headwaters Pale Ale

Appearance: Honey color. Slight chill haze. Half finger of head with great lacing.

Aroma: Grapefruit and citrus hop aroma, fades quickly. Just a hint of malt sweetness.

Taste: Grapefruit hop flavor and moderate bitterness to start, mixed with a pleasant malt sweetness. Finishes dry with some lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: Very enjoyable pale ale. At 5 percent ABV this beer is easily sessionable. Recommended. (498 characters)

Photo of Ahoyhoyindeed
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light amber, couldn't tell too much in the bottle

Smell: Slightly sweet

Taste: Light and slightly sweet with a brief hop bite

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light and crisp

Overall: Been drinking a lot of pale ales recently and this is the best so far.

Serving type: bottle (278 characters)

Photo of abastias
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz bottle to pint glass. ABV: 5.1% EBD: 07/23/2015

A: Lightly hazy deep golden orange to pale amber. Thick, tight, sticky, butter colored foam head that lasted most of the drinking.
S: Honey, toffee, vanilla, lemony, biscuit. Light.
T: Peppery, white grapes, zest, woody. Bittery back end. Well balanced.
M: Medium with appropriate carbonation. Smooth with light hop stickiness.
O: Very interesting flavor & aroma profile with many complimentary notes. Strong but not overpowering. Out of date, so another tasting is due. (536 characters)

Photo of yourchoice
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours to a clear light golden amber with a quickly dissipating white head. Some lacing, but minimal. Attractive in the glass.
S- A sweet toffee or caramel malty aroma. Some pine as well. Not much of citrus aroma...if any fruit, it something much more subtle.
T- A very neutral pale ale. I prefer something a bit more robust with the hops shining through. Some of the piney characteristic, but not much. More malty than anything else. Neutral in a non-complex kind of way.
M- Rather carbonated, with a thin feel.
D- Could you drink a lot of these? I would say, yes. The lack of complexity makes this an easy drinking beer, but that is not what I was anticipaing from it.

I think this beer may be Victory's attempt to be a little more mainstream, where people who aren't typically craft beer drinkers will venture out and drink this as a bridge to craft beers. I wasn't that impressed. I can see myself having this before a Phillies game when I want to have a beer or two with friends before heading into the game. That thought may seem random, but it gives me a setting I could see this beer being okay.

EDIT: Just read jeffthechef's review posted just prior to mine. "Generic" sums it up perfectly. (1,203 characters)

Photo of herr_fish
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a bottle into pint glass, getting close to expiration date so it is probably better than i am reviewing
app- appropriate copper hue for an pa, minimal head on my pour which disappeared quickly
smell- smells great, like a pale ale should, that hoppy smell thats set my mouth to watering, i'll save you the microanalysis of describing what typed of citrus is smells like
taste- delivers what one is looking for in a pale ale. the hop punch we addicts seek, but balanced enough to be all-night drinkable.
mouthfeel- a touch thin for my preference, but not objectionable at all. good carbonation but not '"fizzy"
overall- we have a winner here. wish my local tavern had this one on tap. gives you exactly what you are looking for in a pale ale. not a mind blowingly great beer, but definitely one to put into your regular rotation. good hop flavor, yet with balance, and an abv that you can have more than one (or serveral) of. (936 characters)

Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 563 ratings.