1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,909 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,909
Reviews: 526
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 58
Gots: 132 | FT: 3
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: thagr81us on 02-14-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Headwaters Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,909 | Reviews: 526 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Fenris244
Fenris244

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the flying saucer in Austin

Been meaning to try this beer for a while glad it came in! dome to me with a white one finger head, good retention and lacing, copper and amber in color.

Lots of citrus aromas in the news, bits of malt sweetness and floral notes as well

Good sweetness followed by a floral hop bitterness with some hints of lemon peel. Malt character is great thick with cooked grain and bready goodness.

Light in body, very crisp and refreshing, smooth to boot

Overall, tasty beer, I'd go back

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2011 19:24:07 | More by Fenris244
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

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

Enjoy by September 12, 2011.

A: Poured a mildly cloudy orange-amber color, with a nice 1/2 finger or so head that died down into a diluted Alka-Seltzer-esque foam formation.

S: Strong, fresh hop profile, piney, and almost reminiscent of some of the wet-hopped harvest ales that I've had in the past. However, it also had Victory's "sour-dough with pepper" staple.

T: Sparkly, citrusy, and bready all at the same time. I did noticed the fresh, filtered water quality that the brewery taughted on the marketing-speak. The finish was bitter without being too dry.

M: Substantial, stuck-on-glass lacing, with a little bit of hoppy, bitter linger on the palate. The carbonation was fine.

O: Victory really packed a lot of flavor into such a low ABV beer. If I were to taste this one sight unseen, I would have tagged it as an IPA. Really good stuff... and I will be drinking more of it in the near future.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2011 19:12:26 | More by Chaney
Photo of zoso1967
zoso1967

Michigan

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

Headwaters Pale Ale pours a very nice copper hued amber. It is crystal clear and has a nice frothy beige head that has great retention and leaves nice lace.

The aroma is wonderfully hop forward with plenty of tangy grapefruit, tangerine and some peppery, piney and resiny hop character. While the hops are the main player in the aroma, there is a definite caramel malt sweetness that is a bit toasty.

The toasty quality from the aroma comes through a bit more in the flavor, as well as more of the caramel flavors. The hops are citrusy and intense with plenty of juicy citrus and pine. The bitterness is quite high, making the grapefruit hops taste a bit pithy, but in a good way. There is a really interesting edge to the hop character of this beer that I find very appealing. In fact, I wonder if the “toasty” quality I am picking up is not just a byproduct of the hop additions as opposed to the malt.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium with a good amount of carbonation. This beer is super dry and finishes with a healthy dose of hops that linger long after swallowing.

This is one seriously drinkable APA and a fine addition to the victory line. It is one of those beers that is floating between an IPA and an APA, which is a sweet spot for me. I will surely seek out a six pack of this next time I am relaxing with some friends.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2011 18:28:32 | More by zoso1967
Photo of Sabonis
Sabonis

New York

3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gold color in the glass. Slight citrus smell, most like subdued lemon zest. Clean, fresh taste with reasonable bitterness to the tongue. Lower ABV makes for great drinkability. American session beer. Great for summer if you're not into summer ales and kolschs. One of my new favorites for the style and great output for Penn brewery.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 17:24:12 | More by Sabonis
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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

Bang-on APA style, good citrus bitterness. Golden, good head, good hop aromas. A bitterness in the 60 range, years ago what would be called by many an IPA. Above average mouthfeel, satisfying. A bit of a palate shredder in bitterness, so not for everybody. Very flavourful; very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 04:01:47 | More by Sammy
Photo of twelvsies
twelvsies

Maine

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

Pours a very clear light amber, rising bubbles, and a small layer of head. Citric hop nose, hints of lemon and pine, a touch of honey or caramel. Nice balanced flavor. More malt then expected, hearty bread flavor plays well with the sweet fruityness of the hops. Smooth texture and nice body. Really nothing wrong at all with this beer - it's just not super interesting. A decent sessionable pale.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 01:13:11 | More by twelvsies
Photo of beerdrifter
beerdrifter

Germany

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

Clear copper-yellow pour with quickly fading one finger head and minimal lacing. Floral, piney, citrusy, fresh hop nose with a hint of biscuity malt as well. The citrusy hops dominate the taste with hints of tangerine, orange zest and grapefruit with just enough sweetness from the malt to balance out the hoppy bitterness. It has that signature Victory taste that I love so much with HopDevil and Hop Wallop, but it comes up just a little bit short for me. Nice crisp, dry finish, but there's a bit of a squashy aftertaste that I'm not fond of. I think maybe I just expected too much. It's a decent, solid pale ale though that I will definitely drink again.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 22:23:59 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of bradcochran1234
bradcochran1234

Georgia

4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very happy to see this beer from Victory. This beer is a damn good example of an APA.
A-Light-golden color with a thin and quickly dissipating head.

S-Slight citrus smell. For some reason I keep getting fresh corn. My nose might be broken.

T-HECK YEAH!!! The citrus comes through right off the bat followed up by some thin malty tones. The beer starts to bitter out toward the end.

M-Slightly bitter sticking around for a very short amount of time. CRISP and CLEAN.

O- I would almost buy this as a session beer. Man up and knock some of these back because they are delicious.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2011 00:43:05 | More by bradcochran1234
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BBD: Aug 17 2011

Burnished gold color, offwhite cream colored foam that maintains itself well. Random spotty lace and a partial sheet of foam sticks to the glass. Slowly ascending visible carbonation.

Honeyed malt, mildly aromatic floral hops. Fairly mellow with a sweet, malt forward aroma.

Soft sweet malt, grassy hop, light lingering bitterness. Very simple and understated malt character. Hops come across as slighty spicy and floral. Light carbonation, easy drinking. A bit simple with no real flaws, slightly sweet for my taste personally. Still it's a quality offering, like the majority of Victory's output. Good craft transiton beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2011 01:59:26 | More by emerge077
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

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

On-tap at Prime 16 into a shaker pint.

A: Clear light amber body with an inch of pillowy white head. Great retention, spotty lace. Very nice indeed.

S: Floral and piney hops on top of dry, biscuity malt. Simple, and good.

T: Hops are up front, but quickly give way to toasty, biscuity, bready malt. Cleanly bitter finish. I'm impressed by how substantial and complex the malt notes are without adding too much sweetness.

M: Substantial body with moderate, initially sharp carbonation. Enjoyable.

O: While this wasn't anything to write home about, it was a thoroughly enjoyable and drinkable APA. I'd be more than happy to drink a few of these on a cool summer evening. I'm certainly in the minority to say this, but this is by far my favorite of Victory's hop-forward offerings - granted, that says as much about how much I dislike Hop Devil and Hop Wallop as it does about my admiration for Headwaters, but so it goes.

Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2011 00:42:40 | More by woosterbill
Photo of Jayli
Jayli

Massachusetts

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

Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a hazy, honey color with a 1/4 inch of white sudsy head. Head recedes quickly and leaves very little lacing to speak of.

S: Nose is light caramel malt and biscuit in the forefront, with a piney hop note and a bit of fruitiness.

T: Taste starts a bit of caramel malt in the forefront with a light, mango flavoring. Middle has biscuit and a sharp grapefruit, citrus hop not. Finish is a touch of piney hops but more dominant is the fruity, mango flavoring.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, slightly oily at first with a relatively dry body.

O: Goes down easily, quite tasty, not too filling, mild kick, nice representation of style. This is a nice beer to sit with for an evening - and that's just what I'm doing.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2011 00:23:03 | More by Jayli
Photo of ToddT
ToddT

Pennsylvania

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

A- Clear light copper color topper with an thick khaki head. Head falls slowly and is sticky leaving some nice lace on the glass.

S- Floral and citrus hop dominate the nose. There are some nice malt and caramel note in the background as well.

T- Malt followed with a nice bright note of caramel, the finish is mostly a wash of floral and citrus hops and a short final bite from the hops. The finish is very clean and refreshing and crisp as well.

M- Medium in body and decent carbonation, nice feel in the mouth.

O- Very drinkable and accessible beer, low 5.1% ABV makes this a session beer.

Flavorful and well done, nice job Victory, It’s not going to replace Hopback as my favorite session beer, but I might rotate back and forth between them every couple of trips out to the bar.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2011 02:54:56 | More by ToddT
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at a small pub in western Mass. This is a very clear and filtered beer, light copper color with a few fingers of foam. There's some light citrus on the nose, with a grain base behind it. And it tastes just how it smells, a touch of citrus with a pale malt backbone, in other words a very approachable pale ale. Light-medium carbonation, very drinkable. Recommended!

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2011 00:12:10 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of DNICE555
DNICE555

Connecticut

4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Freshly tapped at Eli Cannon’s with CBaller the GC

A- Golen copper body, white head, nice lacing.

S- Floral hops with a nice spicy lemon zest. Smells magnificent out on the picnis table patio on a warm summer day listening to ben harper’s burn one down and slightly stoopid’s false rhythms.

T- Very nice herbal citrus hop kick with a spicy bready backbone. “This is a tasty beverage.” (Samuel L)

M- Nice crisp zesty beer with a dry smooth finish.

D- A nice hoppy pale ale that hits all the right marks for me. Love this one from victory. Might be my favorite.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2011 20:21:37 | More by DNICE555
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

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

Thanks for sending this one my way, Dyan.

A: The pour is amber in color with a couple fingers of white head that leaves some mild lacing on the glass.

S: A solid hoppy aroma right away. Juicy citrus with plenty of oranges and tangerines, perhaps some hints of grapefruit, too. A moderate amount of malt in there. Nicely balanced.

T: The citrus hop flavors open things up quite pleasantly. Plenty of tangerine and mild grapefruit along with some hints of pine which provide a little bitterness. Balanced with sweetness of bready malts.

M: Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: This is very much along the lines of how I like my pale ales. Nice hoppy character without being overly bitter or malty.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2011 05:58:26 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Gambrinus1184
Gambrinus1184

Connecticut

3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a 16-oz nonic pint glass at The Cask Republic in New Haven, Conn.

A: Medium orange, coppery amber color with a fluffy, two-finger head of white foam which settles to a thin ring, leaving almost no lacing or retention.

S: Floral, herbal and piny hop aromatics rise from the brew, which also carries a bit of caramel and toasted, multi-grain bread.

T: Flashes of toasted caramel malt and bready, juicy, fruitiness up front followed by a grassy, herbal and spicy hop resin. Bitterness coats the palate briefly with hints of orange, pine and white pepper before washing down with a slightly acidic aftertaste and some mellow, grain husk sweetness.

M: Medium bodied and slightly sticky sweet towards the bitter finish. A hopped out pale that has enough balance to cut food and handle well on its own.

O: A hop-centric, sessionable APA at 5.1% ABV that would have me picking up a sixer for grilling picnic or summer party if there were not a lot of interesting alternatives. Quite serviceable with my avocado turkey burger and just fine on its own.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2011 05:16:45 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of Jimmys
Jimmys

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: a pale amber with a white fully head. reasonable retention and thin lacing. carbonation is average.

S: pungent grapefruit makes me thinking im drinking an imp. a malt sweetness that comes to balance things out.

T: bitter but refreshing, body is surprising light. more of a session APA. citrus hop flavor with a hint of caramel sweetness.

M: medium body with medium carbonation.

D: definitely a super drinkable APA. more on the session side than APA side in my opinion. a good beer from victory but not my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2011 01:56:26 | More by Jimmys
Photo of Bendurgin
Bendurgin

Maine

4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this one into a pint glass. This one is a nice slightly hazy golden straw color with a nice big whte head. Nice retention, a nice cap throughout the drink.

Lots of citrus hops in the aroma. Oranges and grapefruit dominate the aroma with a hint of bitter pine to round it out. A little bit of sweet toffee in the background too. Nice hop and malt balance on this one. Orange citrus with a bit of toffee to this. It finishes with a nice slightly bitter flavor.

Good light body with ample carbonation. Overall, a terrific offering here. Really hits the mark on a pale ale in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2011 01:57:00 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of alenonbeeradv
alenonbeeradv

California

3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2011 23:06:35 | More by alenonbeeradv
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
StoneBrewFanatic

Virginia

3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours clear amber into my snifter with just about one finger of head that has moderate retention and lots of patchy lacing.

S - Nice balance of hops and malts. sweet toffee and toasted bread, earthy pine hops and grapefruit citrus hops.

T - Malts are and roasted grain are pretty intense and then they fade right into a rather bitter finish that lingers on the palate, earthy hops, citrus rind, and hints of toffee.

M - Medium in body, smooth and creamy, crisp and refreshing.

O - To me this pale ale is a tug of war between the hops and the malts... The malts come out of the gate strong and then the hops beat them down and leave a lingering bitterness on the palate to remind you who's boss.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2011 12:31:37 | More by StoneBrewFanatic
Photo of beermanbrian
beermanbrian

Pennsylvania

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

Nice bronze color with an off white soap suds head. Sticky lace trails for the entire glass. Smell of floral hops with citrus notes. Taste follows suit. Nice caramel malt backbone. Solid medium bodyFinish is nice and clean. A nice new offering from victory. Good session beer and a nice summer lighter good beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 01:33:13 | More by beermanbrian
Photo of drtth
drtth

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured is a clear golden copper color with a 1” off-white head that recedes to a patchy thin layer on the surface and a ring of foam around the glass. The head leaves patches of lacing. Sipping leaves behind some speckles of lacing for much of the beer.

Smell: The aromas are fresh and clean and include some floral and citric hops tinged with tangerine and orange zest. There is some pale malt in the background that supports the hops but is also a definite presence.

Taste: The flavor is as clean and crisp as the aroma. The flavors include some caramel malt backbone that supports the floral and citric flavors from the hops (lemon zest, tangerine), but on the whole the impression is of dryness.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied, nicely smooth and with good carbonation. The finish begins with a touch of some malt sweetness noticeable. But that sweetness passes quickly and fades away first, leaving some dry citric bitterness that gradually fades in to just dryness at the end.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I found this beer nicely drinkable, with each sip following the last quite easily. When the beer was finished I was looking forward to a second, and expect I’ll have this one on my shopping list for some years to come. My overall impression is of a well crafted Pale Ale that I could drink several of during an evening of conversations and socializing with friends and family.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2011 19:25:27 | More by drtth
Photo of beergod1
beergod1

Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice easy drinking but hoppy beer. Pours a pale yellow with a slight orange tint and thin White carbonated head. Good retention. Hoppy aroma with notes of grapefruit. Moderately sweet/malt flavor with earthy, herbal hops. Balanced. Almost an IPA. Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2011 15:17:09 | More by beergod1
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 4/27/2011 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, earthy hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a strong but not over-powering hops bitterness followed by sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. The malt character is hearty and there’s some smokiness in the background creating a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, it’s a decent beer but there are others in the style that I would pick first.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2011 15:15:07 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of JerzDevl2000
JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Totowa because it was available via the single bottle and I've liked just about everything I've had from Victory. This wasn't the best but may have been the most accessible Pale Ale that I've ever had, since this was so easygoing and solid at the same time. A big deal was made about the water that went into this but if I was victory, I would certainly brag about how balanced this was as well.

Good pour to this with a light copper hue and decent head that lasted for a while. The lacing wasn't anything special but it was certainly there as well. This felt earthy and dry-hopped with just a bit of sweetness in the malt to balance it out. Carbonation was good and this tasted crisp without feeling like soda or a cascade of bubbles. There was a bit of citrus in the taste too but for the most part, this didn't feel too complicated or light to the taste.

I could have easily had more than one in sitting since this is about a good a session beer as it gets. Normally, I don't consume this in the summer but I could see myself having a few of these on a nice warm day. This wasn't a hop bomb or has tons of resin and burning in the aftertaste. Rather, this is unassuming, nicely crafted, and clear as it appeared to be. Certainly worth a try for anyone who hasn't had this style of beer before!

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2011 20:13:00 | More by JerzDevl2000
Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,909 ratings.