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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: 2,429
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.21%
Wants: 82
Gots: 394 | 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: 2,429
Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Beer Authority in New York, NY

A: Pours a crystal clear medium to dark golden yellow in color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall off-white head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the entire the surface of the beer and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of grapefruit/citrus hops with lighter hints of grassy hops.

T: Upfront there is a light amount of malts followed by moderate flavors of grapefruit/citrus and grassy hops. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Enjoyable and quite easy to drink - good flavors and the lower ABV make this quite sessionable. Well balanced.

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Photo of mooseo
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Victory pint glass.

A - Light copper brown with a dense white head.

S - Citrus hops, grapefruit, caramel malt, light grains.

T - Mildly bitter citrus hops up front with some pine. Light, sweet bready malts and caramel lend nice balance. Finish brings in earthy hops and toasted grains.

M - Smooth and creamy, medium bodied, crisp carbonation.

O - An impressive, easy drinking pale ale. One of the better examples I've had - great flavor and balance.

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Photo of Kisejohn
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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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 UnderPressure
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice standard looking pale ale. Orange color. Slight haze. Thin head. Nice lacing, though.

Intense hop aroma. Caramel sweetness. Nice citrus and floral. Pungent undertone.

Awesome flavor! Hops everywhere. Not all that bitter. Sweet, grainy, and very hoppy.

Heavy mouthfeel with low carbonation.

Could use more carbonation and a thinner body. Otherwise, this beer is awesome.

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Photo of SteveMi
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Photo of PorterLambic
2.68/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a lighter honey color (like clover) with a bloom of head from an aggressive pour. Head drops quickly to a film of off-white.
Smell is all hops, herbal and piney with just a whiff of malt.
Taste is the same: herbal and evergreen hops with just a hint of malt.
This drinks like a "west coast" beer, almost an IPA in its hop forward attitude. No balance because there is nothing for the hop to balance against. A true "one note" song.
Medium bodied, restrained effervescence. A bit of biscuit comes into play well into the aftertaste. Dry finish. Not a bad beer but it definitely is off style, IMO, and that's what I'm supposed to be rating it on.

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

Picked up a six pack today from the nearby corner market. Dated best by 9/13/2012 so it's a few days out of range. Pouring into a 3 Floyds pint glass.

A slight haze envelops the light orange beverage topped off with a tight off-white foam. Lacing clinging to the glass as the head retraces back down. Lemon rind hops propped up by a salty cracker, toasted malt foundation. Sweet wort also makes a brief appearance in the aroma along with a danker hop note. Firm light toasted bread malt along with a steady, persistent level of bitterness lending a nice balance to the beverage. Short pine needles on the back-end preceded by a touch of navel orange fruity. Medium bodied and modest carbonation. Overall a well-balanced beer with enough flavor on both sides of the hop-malt spectrum to keep me coming back for another taste.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass:

A: clear golden amber and leaves a one finger white head that lasts for a half a minute. Some spider web lacing is left around the sides. No carbonation is seen rising.

S: spicy hops up front with a bit of citrus in the background.

T: spicy through the hops leaving a strong bitterness

M: light with nothing harsh on the tongue and a dry finish.

O: this is a very drinkable beer that I would have again and am wishing I would have bought a six pack of.

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Photo of alexgash
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. No bottle date.

Deep tawny orange, with golden edges. Small pillow of gauzy, off-white head. Nose shows off fresh citrus and piny notes mixed with spicy, almost rye-ish malt, and a bit of fruit. Nice balance.

Toasted malt up front. Hop bitterness soon follows; very citrusy, with some marmalade, grapefruit, and spice. Caramel and fruit show up in the malty base. Drier in the finish, with lingering peppery, citrusy hop bitterness and traces of caramel malt. Moderate body with a smooth, easy feel. Very enjoyable and quite sessionable. Can't believe it took me so long to try this beer!

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Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear amber color with a half finger of fluffy off white head that leaves a ring around the pour and some mild lacing.

Smell: Light malt with a citrus peel hop note in front. Not particularly interesting, but still nice.

Taste: Could use a bit more malt in the background, but the hop profile is nice. Citrus peel hop bitterness builds through the sip to the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thin side of medium with fluffy carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really drinkable pale ale. Nothing to think about too much, but I enjoyed it enough.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.44/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy apricot color, slight head and nice carbonation movement via tiny bubbles surfacing.
Smells great of fruity hops, maybe some apricot (kind of like the orange yellowish color), very nice and not overpowering at all.
Tastes light fruit in the mouth, then a hop finish of smoothness. Light and bitter. Refreshing.
Solid carbonation and body, goes down refreshing. If I session a beer I go to pale ales, and so far this is among my favorites.
Bitter to some, but I prefer bitter presence. Somehow more of the fruit taste would make me love this even more, more of a tropical fruit profile such as that of Zombie Dust. But Victory hasn't disappointed me yet, and this is one worthy APA.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Victory, Downingtown, PA

Golden-orange pour into an imperial pint, clearish, with a solid layer of white head that leaves a bit of sticky lacing on the glass. Aroma is hop dominant, almost IPA-ish in nature, fresh citrus and lots of it, with notes of grass and pine, sweet biscuity malts in the background. Again in the taste, I felt this walks the border between APA and AIPA, lots of fresh citrusy hops, pithy and considerably bitter, with a touch of pine resin; maltiness is present but generally subdued. Medium body. Not nearly as smooth as some of your other APAs, but still quite drinkable.

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Photo of nimrod979
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright copper color with a one finger off white head. Decent retention and some nice lacing throughout.

Aroma: Lemony citrus, and floral hop aroma.

Taste: Floral, spicy and slightly citrus hop flavor. Dry biscuity malts provide decent mouthfeel. But it leans towards the hoppy side of things.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, easy drinking. Medium mouthfeel. Smooth carbonation. Balanced with a mild bitter hoppy finish.

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: This is an exceptionally lively beer. Bubbles are covering the bottom of the glass and erupting towards the surface while some slower bubbles climb up around the edges of the glass. There is a little haze to this orange beer and the head is moderately sized. Retention is decent, but not great.

SMELL: The aroma is very, very grapefruity. Not much else going on here (which isn't a bad thing as far as I am concerned), but a slight earthiness is also there. The only problem is that it is a pretty mild smell.

TASTE: Wow. This is a pleasant surprise, kind of a grapefruit bomb. There is plenty of malt to make sure that this beer doesn't go too far in the bitter direction, but this makes me think of a cocktail with grapefruit juice, slightly sweetened with some agave nectar or simple syrup. The finish also has a touch of weedy resin. This is surprisingly tasty.

MOUTHFEEL: The liveliness of the appearance comes through in the mouthfeel as well. This is a strongly carbonated beer with a nice sparkle.

OVERALL: I have not always loved Victory, but most of what they have done has been pretty decent. This, however, is a hidden gem in their lineup. What an excellent option as a session beer. I could drink a few of these for sure.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice gold color in the glass and a good head. Lacing on the glass is present during consumption. This continues to challenge older traditions of pale ales and has a healthy dose of hops both in the nose and on the tongue. Hops tend to be more spices than citrus or pine. Good refreshing beer and could be used as a session.

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Photo of Josiah2729
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Light Orange with minimal white head, very clear, with some carbonation bubbles throughout. No lacing.

Smell: Grapefruit scented hops, overpowering.

Taste: Citrus hops, slight malt, the hops are upfront and lingering in the beer.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation up front along with hops bitterness followed by a smooth fresh water feel.

Overall: Delicious hoppy pale ale.

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

I remember way back when this beer was newly released, I was more than happy to see a new Victory beer available and on the market.

But as far as the beer goes:

This has a nice hoppy bite to it. Good spicy tones with a thorough bitter bite. It's nice. Real nice. I like it better than when I had it on-tap. Maybe it was the place I had it at. Either way, this is a good one, which is no less than I expect from Victory. Try it if ya got the chance.

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

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on August 5, 2012.

The pour is about medium amber with lively carbonation and a head that diminishes quickly.

The aroma starts out with pale malts, caramel, and raising but the hops really penetrate the senses taking over the scent.

Medium body.

The taste is somewhat sweet but the hops tend to be thje dominating factor here. That is not a bad thing but I like my American Pales to be a little less bitter.

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Photo of cfrances33
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On cask a Khyber Pass Pub in Philly on 8/4/12, served in a shaker.

Pour: Amber orange with a finger of off white head.

Smell: Grapefruit and lots of caramel malts come out. Maybe a hint of resin.

Taste: Bready caramel malts with a substantial grapefruit bitterness. Again, some resin, but this really seemed to aim for the grapefruit aspect of citra hops.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light, and the flavor profile wasn't very big. Goes down quick. Has been on cask for way too long, this wasn't the enjoyable creamy cask beer, this was the dead flat cask beer.

Overall: Tasty, just wish I had it when it was on cask at an earlier time.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy golden yellow, with two-finger, white, foamy and creamy head that lasted a couple of minutes. Nice lacing.

S: Citrus. Mild.

T: Light sweetness and moderate bitterness. Hops and toasted malt. Grows on you as you drink it.

M: Light to medium bodied with lively carbonation.

O: Above average. This beer looks really good.

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Photo of DAllspaw
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into plastic cup while on vacation, so I don’t yet have proper rating for appearance, but looks like other pale ales…it was pale with white head. Moving on, the aroma on this beer was exceptional. Very bright notes of grapefruit and citrus with a hint of pine and some subdued malt. One of the better smelling pale ales I’ve had. Taste follows suit, very fresh hope profile and a crispness in the taste that reminds me less of pale ale and more of a pilsner. The creamy mouthfeel present in so many pale ales is not as evident here, but nevermind, since a great beer in its own right. Can’t wait to have again, really made a strong first impression.

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Photo of LIbeerguy
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Bluepoint shaker pint glass.

A: Pours a nice amber with a large-bubbled head. Good retention and well-defined lacing.

S: Canned peaches, mango, grapefruit, sourdough

T: toast, citrus, tropical fruit, caramel. Moderate carbonation on the palate, bittersweet aftertaste

A very good pale ale by Victory with an enjoyable and well-balanced hop character. Almost sessionable at 5.1% which is good because I could drink several of these in one sitting.

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Photo of mjmbeer
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

there are very few if any beers by Victory that I do not like. this one is one of the better beers in the batch though. As a Pale Ale its pretty Hoppy.. more so than I thought it would be. Not that this is a bad thing. Wonderful amber color with a bone white creamy head that stuck around nicely. the mouth feel was not as smooth as i had hoped it would be. Might be just the bottle serving I am not sure. A bit too biting of a feel to it. Almost as if it had to much carbonation in it. I will have another try at it and see how things go. Overall a great tasting beer.

It is nice to see the APA out there still getting respect and at least this not like the run of the mill. Any one can ad hops and call it a pale but giving the beer that nice biscuit taste goes a long way in my book. This beer does it quiet well.

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Photo of GSX1250FA
4.8/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite beer.

Has a nice amber color and is not cloudy. Good white head that lasts for a while.

Aroma is of fresh hops and not overpowering.

Delicious hoppy taste and well balanced.

The mouthfeel is medium and full-bodied, and very refreshing.

I think the secret to its great taste is Victory's wet-milling process. It permits the barley husk to be removed from the kernel with less breakage. A more intact husk means less tannic bitterness imparted in the sweet wort. Not too many brewers do wet-milling because it is a slower process and takes more time than dry-milling.

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