Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
88
very good

2,219 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,219
Reviews: 546
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 62
Gots: 246 | 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
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Ratings: 2,219 | Reviews: 546 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of infinitejester
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: A sixpack with a freshness date of 9/12/11. Bought with "session-able" in mind. The bottles were poured into a chalice.

Poured a deep amber and presented a white, two finger head. Good retention throughout and left a cobweb-like lacing. The nose begins with hoppy floralness and settles to a toasty malt aroma with some spice. Taste was consistent with the smell, plus some citric elements. The spicy-toast malts in the nose makes a pleasant and balancing presence alongside the bitter hops. The brew felt crisp and refreshing on the palate. A light body finishing mildly bitter and dry. Overall it was balanced and refreshing. The nose and taste were pleasant, but wholly, just seemed rather average. However, as a session beer, it worked out quite nicely.

Photo of Shiredave
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Totally over priced at $14.00 a 6pk. Having said that - this is a damn fine pale ale.

Spot on for color and carbonation tho it threw a wimpy thin head of soapy froth.
Aroma is beautiful blend of floral and citrus hop with solid malt presence of honey note.
Flavor is solid as well - great balance and drinkability with a firm hop finish.

I great session pale ale - put this stuff in casks please!!

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoy by date on the label reads Sep.12,2011.SO indeed very fresh.

Pours a nice translucent golden color.Left decent lacing globs all over the place.Amazing bubbling action.

The nose is simple doughy malts and a touch of caramel.The citrus hops do add another wrinkle to the game as this makes it seems more of an IPA.

Taste is superb although same as the nose there is more of a pronounced bitter hop linger on the backend. The malt billing is simple an affective it serves it's purpose in making this a more English Pale Ale then an IPA.

Medium bodied in the mouth. With a slight more watery edge to it.Excellent carbonation.

So far I have turned three normal Macro beer drinker's into really loving this one and buying there own and for $34 a case.Very well worth it and a tremendous session ale.

Photo of Mitchster
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$9.99 for a 6'er at BevCo. No real stats on the mfgr website, just "Imported, 2 row German malts, Whole flower American hops, 5.1% ABV".

Pours out to a very clear dark golden, forming a tall white head with good retention and lacing. The aroma is great, with aggressive pungent hops...think Simcoe and Amarillo...skunky, funky...a hint of biscuit malt maybe in the nose. The mouthfeel is crisp, clean and fresh, with a medium body. The taste is a recap of the aroma...aggressive pungent hops with a well-balanced malt body, and well balanced herbaceous bitterness. Clean finish, no perceptible off-flavors or aromas. Very well crafted.

This is a great beer. At 5.1% ABV, you can drink a few and not get tanked, but it is still very flavorful, kinda reminds me of Stone Levitation in that respect. I would definitely recommend it and would like to buy it again.

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

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a wonderful malt character that boasts of pale and biscuit malts along with a floral hop nose. It's refreshing, yet displays a good bit of complexity. The taste is good as well. It has a solid malt flavor that's easy drinking with a touch of biscuit malt character in the finish. It's smooth with only a moderate bitterness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a terrific APA. It's balanced and easy drinking; a fine session pale ale.

Photo of rtepiak
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a spicy apa with without that much accent but a distint mineral note. dry and consistent over time. amber with a mild toast quality. nose of protein and pine resin. hints of walnut and apple. palate of pine apple and a feel that has to open up to the bitter spicy mineral dryness.

Photo of AleWatcher
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a standard pint glass.
I hated this beer out of the bottle... But, getting a chance to sample it again is still welcomed here.

A dark golden orange color. Whitish head. Decent lacing, but retention is a little weak. Not too bad looking.

Smells hoppy-- citrusy grapefruit notes work well over a biscuity malt profile. The taste is nice. MUCH better this time around.
The body is thin, little watery, but not bad. Decent carbonation.

Overall, I am willing to drink this beer again-- and I wonder what the hell the problem was with the batch I gave an F to?!
In any case, THIS beer is not bad. My biggest complaint is the finish has a note of alcohol (which is crazy because the ABV isn't that high?!). Perhaps another issue is that the carbonation is low for my taste... But still, not bad.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, medium bronze color with good bubblng. The head on teh other hand is about one finger after the pour, and disappears before I take my first sip.

Faint grass and mild citric hop aromas of orange and grapefruit. Good toasted biscuit and bread crust sniff from the malt.

The taste starts with calcium rich water and then toasted mlats. Caramel, biscuits, toasted cracker, make up a solid bodied middle. The middle to the finish has the hops coming into scene with orange rind, grass, and cucumber skins. The cucumber just makes think of the slight bitterness I get when I take a bite into a cucumber slice with the skin still on.

Palate is a a nice dry and wet. Dry from the hard water flavor, and wet for the quenching finish. Not a bad session APA.

Photo of onechordwonder
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased direct from Victory after a meal in the brewpub, God it's great living in Downingtown.

A - A beautiful amber color, with a thick head that clings and laces the whole way down the glass.

S - Not very strong, but kind of yeasty/bready with the trademark pine and citrus of a a heavily hopped APA.

T - Not terribly bitter, with a very quick citrus bite that is more grapefruit than lime. Malt comes on quickly and mirrors the sourdough smell the beer has. Feels like it's lacking a little, though.

M - Slightly creamy, with a good level of carbonation. Really easy drinking.

All in all, a nice try at the style, but I think there are both better offerings in the APA market [Sierra Nevada, BR XP] and from Victory [Hop Devil, Golden Monkey].

Photo of NEhophead
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl oz brown bottle, served in a tumbler.

Enjoy by August 17, 2011.

Light copper in color with nice clarity. Half-inch off-white, creamy head that fades to an intact sheet after a moment. A few patches of condensed lacing.

Fresh floral hops with notes of bright citrus. A touch of musty, perfume-like aroma. Clean wheat and grains with a sweetened toasted malt base.

Big floral hop presence that lasts throughout the sip. The fresh citrus hops brighten the floral hop flavors and keeps the perfume from overwhelming the other flavor components. The wheat and grains give a toasted, slightly buttery biscuit flavor. A nice balance between hops and malt, highlighted by a really nice hop profile.

A light medium bodied; active on the palate, but remarkably clean. For a Pale Ale that highlights floral hops, there is no trace of a musty film-like texture as you would expect. A well balanced mouthfeel.

A well crafted Pale Ale: balanced, flavorful, and drinkable. I would definitely recommend this Victory offering as a session Pale for the spring.

Photo of DaveHack
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first official review!
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a RR snifter.

A- Coppery color, darker than I expected, but it looks delicious

S-There isn't too much aroma at all that I'm picking up, a slight smell of fresh hops. Wish it swmeeled a bit stronger

T-The initial taste is light and crisp, yet it has a bit of complexity. Definite taste of fresh hops, really tastes 'bigger' than a 5% pale ale.

M-Light and refreshing not thin and watery, which is how I sometimes perceive low ABV pale ales

Photo of Fenris244
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
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

Photo of Chaney
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of zoso1967
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of Sabonis
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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!

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.

Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,219 ratings.