1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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

2,105 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,105
Reviews: 539
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 59
Gots: 199 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Headwaters Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,105 | Reviews: 539 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of twelvsies
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

twelvsies, May 15, 2011
Photo of beerdrifter
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

beerdrifter, May 12, 2011
Photo of bradcochran1234
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

bradcochran1234, May 09, 2011
Photo of emerge077
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

emerge077, May 08, 2011
Photo of woosterbill
4/5  rDev +2%
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!

woosterbill, May 08, 2011
Photo of Jayli
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Jayli, May 07, 2011
Photo of ToddT
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

ToddT, May 06, 2011
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.88/5  rDev -1%
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!

TurdFurgison, May 06, 2011
Photo of DNICE555
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

DNICE555, May 05, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

womencantsail, May 05, 2011
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Gambrinus1184, May 05, 2011
Photo of Jimmys
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Jimmys, May 05, 2011
Photo of Bendurgin
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Bendurgin, May 04, 2011
Photo of alenonbeeradv
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

alenonbeeradv, May 04, 2011
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

StoneBrewFanatic, May 03, 2011
Photo of beermanbrian
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

beermanbrian, May 02, 2011
Photo of drtth
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

drtth, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of beergod1
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

beergod1, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

TheManiacalOne, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.88/5  rDev -1%
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!

JerzDevl2000, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of kbutler1
3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Enjoy by Aug 17, 2011 but no idea when it was bottled. Poured into a DFH tulip glass a clear, darker than expected copper orange color with a 2 finger antique white head of both large and small bubbles. The aroma is not overly fruity or piney but has subtle hints of orange and grapefruit rind. Medium mouthfeel. The taste is more subtle than I thought it would be with a light sweetness up front with a light/medium amount of citrus bitterness that quickly fades. Mild lingering bitterness. Some lace. Overall, not bad but I was hoping for a wee bit more of a pop in flavor from this.

kbutler1, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.89 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Enjoy by August 17, 2011.

Appearance: Pours a golden-orange body with clear, consistent clarity and crowned with a layer of just off-white suds. Some spotty lacing on the way down.

Smell: Citrus peelings and sun-dried grasses in the nose with some underlying, milder hints of sweetish malt.

Taste: Adequate base of pale maltiness with light streaks of grainy bread and mildly sweet toffee. Citrusy tastes of zested lemons and tangerines. Moderately bitter, though it builds a bit as you go along. Grows a bit pithier and resinous as you approach the dry, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: A nice, pleasant pale with a little bit of potency going on.

ChainGangGuy, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of WoodBrew
4.95/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

STOP THE PRESSES>>>This beer is F'ing A....F'ing awesome! A very nice flavored yet subtle pale ale. Victory hit the mark for me! A wonderful tasting pale ale that does not linger nor leaves a brutle bitterness and super elevated ABV. The color was copper in color...the white was very thin and not a lot of lace. The nose was heavy with grapefruit with subtle pine. The taste absolutely followed suit...awesome balance! Mouthfeel was great....SESSION!!!

WoodBrew, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of MrOH
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Brilliantly clear deep gold with thin white head. Very little lacing.

A lot of overripe pineapple and grapefruit jumps out, far more than a standard APA. Some dry bready malt and a touch of caramel underneath.

Really crisp flavor. Bitter herbs, seltzer water, pineapple, some citrus rind. Very cleansing. This beer should be in a Jewish deli, as it would probably go exceedingly well with pastrami or lox. Malt does really show itself outside of a vague pretzel impression. Fruit comes forward a bit as it warms, but never overcomes the bitter seltzer sensation.

Light bodied and effervescent, as it should be.

Meh, next time I'm having a reuben or sailor sandwich I'll look for one, but not really something I'd drink repeatedly

MrOH, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass a crystal clear golden color with a frothy head. A more than modest amount of carbonation. A lot of grassy hops in the aroma. Some very pale malt notes (Marris Otter?) Some light fruity characteristics pop out from a good hopping. Some mild grapefruits and orange. The taste has a solid hop character and once again is grassy but has a very dry finish. Crisp right up front but with a fruity, mostly citrus bite but is balanced with a solid pale malt body. Very drinkable beer with a light to medium body. Crisp and has a good balance of hops for 5.1% abv beer.

DrinkingDrake, Apr 24, 2011
Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,105 ratings.