Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
88
very good

559 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 559
Hads: 2,359
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 76
Gots: 365 | 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
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Reviews: 559 | Hads: 2,359
Photo of TheSupremeAJ
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Abe's of Bethlehem

A- Very bright clear amber color. Dissipating head.
S- Sweet, grapefruit and tropical notes.
T- Balanced, refreshing maltiness with tropical hops. A fairly simple beer that is enjoyable! I think I can actually taste the PA water in this one...
M- Supportive characters leave a balanced beer with a lighter mouthfeel.
D- High and very quaffable! Non-offensive and easily shareable. (417 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear bright copper color with a white head that left patchy lacing.

S - sweet, floral hop aroma.

T - sweetness upfront is quickly met with a sharp bite of bitterness finishing dry and bittersweet.

F - medium bodied with a clean, crisp feel.

D - borderline session beer for some but I think I could do a few in a sitting. (375 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, Enjoy By Dating (Jul 8, 2011) on the label. Pours clear lighter copper amber, off white head, stays at about 1/2 inch, leaving a thicker collar and just a smidge of lacing.

Bright hoppy nose, minty, tea notes.

Spicy hopped up APA, hops quite minty and prominent. Some malt, but the hops are the star here. A bit thin, could use some more body and more of a malt presence. Eh nothing too special going on here. Just an easy drinking pale ale, with a bolder/fresher hop thing going on, then frequently encountered. (531 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Headwaters Pale Ale, 12 oz bottle, Feb 15 2011 so very fresh indeed.

Appearance: Bright copper in color with a yellowish soapy, bubbly head with lots of lace on the glass. Looks pretty good.

Smell: Hoppy, some breadyness, cat pee. All good solid traits in a pale ale.

Taste: Victory really manages to get all the best from the hops used in this one. A unique tobacco/leafy/herbal tone but very bright. Some citrus is there too. Malt flavor is almost similar to an english ale and is very light. Good hop flavor almost reminds the Prima Pils with a great hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied and alittle watery but carbonation was good.

Drinkability: A nice session beer from Victory. Lots of hop flavor and at the modest ABV I could make this a stand by. (768 characters)

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

A: Super clear copperish golden color. A finger of white head with excellent head retention and decent lacing. Everything you want for the style.

S: The nose is fairly malt forward. Bready and biscuity. Just enough hops to balance things out. Not much other than bitterness in the nose.

T: Well balanced. The malt is so crisp and fresh tasting. We got this up here fairly quickly which helps. Really nice malt complexity with a strong lingering hop bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied. Carbonation is pleasant.

D: A really solid example of the style especially for someone wanting to taste some malt in their APA. (624 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a light amber with a mild soapy white head, good retention, spotty lace.

S: Nice grassy and herbal aroma. Lawn clippings for sure, some biscuity maltiness.

T: Very grassy and green, bitter hopping well to the finish. Light maltiness, good flavour in the style.

M: Frothy, soapy, light-bodied. Crisp, fairly smooth.

D: Really nice pale ale. Classic flavours, a winner from Victory. Very much a mini Hop Wallop, they both have very similar hop profiles. (480 characters)

Photo of BigMike
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a nice orange tangerine color. Very clear with a thin soapy off white colored head.

S: A very nice amount of candied orange and grapefruit. Light but right on for the style. Smells very clean.

T: This is a delicious Pale ale. And thats exactly what it is, a Pale Ale. Definitely doesn't cross over into IPA territory but its extremely refreshing and drinkable.

M: Light bodied but not watery by any means. Maybe a new summer time go to beer.

Overall: A solid PA from victory. After the last two sub par beers i had from them(ie Dark Intrigue and Victory Village) it's good to get a winner. Nothing earth shattering but well made. (642 characters)

Photo of pburland23
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Harpoon IPA glass.

I was pretty excited to hear that Victory was coming out with a new year round beer. When it was announced, it was an APA, I was actually quite pleased. In an era marked by hop bombs and wood barrelled ABV monsters, I was glad to see Victory going in a simpler direction.

Beer pours a light coppery amber with about a finger of soapy, real ale-ish looking head which quickly receded and left no discernible lacing.

Aroma is hoppy. Sharp, crisp and clean. An inviting aroma. Taste is similarly hoppy and citrusy. It's a well balanced APA. Mouthfeel leans to the lighter side which increases the drinkability. All in all, I find Headwaters Pale Ale to be a really nice, well rounded and balanced APA.

It's not going to blow anyone away, but it's a solid drinker. (821 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber with a soapy off-white cap, some spotty lacing, decent head retention. Intense hop aroma, fruity grapefruit rind, citrus zest, a bit spicy, with just a little toasty malt in the background. Hop bitterness was sharp, maybe due to the light body and mild malt sweetness. A little spicy, lots of fruity citrus, a bit earthy. Medium-light body with moderate carbonation, off-dry, decent texture. Overall I liked it, but it did tread very close to being overly aggressive in hop character. (496 characters)

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

really excited to try one of my favorite brewery's APA. I am hoping this will be one of the most drinkable brews on the market. I would to have this line up with prima as two of my go to brews in the summer time

A- pours a stunning light copper body with a massive marshmallow head of foam. Exactly how I would want an american pale ale to look

S- crisp citrus with a great balance of some malt and hops. Definitely not overwhelming, but no question about the consistency

T- another good blend of slight caramel and earthy flavors with some pine and citrus. Again, not overpowering, but balanced. Very bitter at the end as well

M- crisp and good with flavor. Headwaters has good carbonation and flavor that stays around

D- While Headwaters won't be the highest APA according to the masses... it still is a very delicious and refreshing APA. IMO, Victory should cut this into the variety pack with the other three brews and really push out a winning 12pk. I will definitely enjoy having Headwaters with some Prima this spring and summer. Cheers Victory! (1,057 characters)

Photo of bsp77
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass. "Enjoy by" date of July 8, 2011.

Appearance: Bright amber with nice off-white head and some lacing rings.

Smell: Mostly citrus (orange and grapefruit), with some spiciness, pine and a hint of metal. Light dried malts underneath.

Taste: Mix of dry hops and dry malts. Grapefruit, spice, herbs, pine, caramel and biscuit all play a role, and are so heavily integrated that it is hard for anything to stand out - this is both a strength and a weakness. Herbal and slightly bitter & metallic on the finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, dry finish (actually dry throughout).

Drinkability: Very drinkable and refreshing APA - not surprisingly coming from the always solid (and often great) Victory. However, I have to admit that when a 15 year old respected craft brewery releases their first APA, I expect a little more. Maybe it is just a wee bit too herbal for me. (929 characters)

Photo of IronCitySteve
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bright orange color with a nice thick white foam head. Not much lacing.

S: Nice balance of malt and hop characters. A nice amount floral scents with some biscuit and bread malt.

T: Quite balanced. The floral hops are most prevalent on the front end but are quickly balanced out by the light toast and biscuit undertones.

M: Very clean crisp and refreshing. Maybe just a tad on the thin side.

D: This is an easy to drink Pale Ale. Very refreshing...a solid offering from Victory! (494 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Victory Brewing Co. on 2/19/11. Served in a Victory bubble pint glass.

A: Pours a nice deep orange color. Good carbonation. Nice one finger head. Solid lacing.

S: Good hoppy nose for a Pale. Not overpowering at all, but solid. A little malt is present as well.

T: Delicious! Crisp, light, and just the right amount of hoppiness. I compared while drinking as a Hop Devil Light. Really enjoyed from the tap.

M: Watery and non coating mouth feel on this one. Easy going down.

D: This is WAY to easy to drink! Guzzlable. I bought a case and it is nearly gone already.

Overall, a very strong first OFFICIAL release of a pale for Victory. Always a fan of their products and this did not disappoint. (716 characters)

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Real excited to get a hold of this...heading to the brewery this weekend, and wanted to try it before that.

A- pours a clear shade of orange with a three finger beautiful white head. The head is very puffy, but the lacing is only alright. The lacing stops it from getting the full monty, but it is really an impressive looking beer

S- earthy. A little bit of fruitiness in there too. A little mild for my tastes

T- earthy really is a good word to describe this. Lots of earthy flavors coming out of this, with a little bit of sweetness too. Pretty tasty

M- a little thin actually, but remember the style. Anyway, it is what it is. Not watery, at least

D- I really like this. Not as good as Prima Pils, but a solid example of the style. I'll be buying this a lot (806 characters)

Photo of dsa7783
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single, twelve-ounce copped from Total Wine & More in West Orange. Superb depiction of the style; pours a ruddy, copper, amber-hue with slight carbonation visible. Aromatic, floral notes depicted on the palate and in the nose. Excellent, highly-drinkable brew with hints of tangerine and orange peel. A refreshing, medium-bodied pale ale with a noticeable hop presence. One of the better examples of the style I've come across in a long time. Great stuff. Recommended. (468 characters)

Photo of elgiacomo
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottled Feb 8, 2011.

Pours clear amber with a one finger white head that leaves webs of lacing and holds a small cap.

Aroma is lemon citrus, some orange and grapefruit, grassy and floral hops, bread & biscuit malt. Good to very good strength.

Flavor is lemon, orange, grapefruit hops, some grass, hint of pine, caramel and bready malt, good bitterness for an APA, touch of sweetness in the middle but finishes dry.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied, slick, medium carbonation.

Crisp, hoppy, refreshing APA. Very nicely done, Victory! (549 characters)

Photo of wollybugger
2.66/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The first time I try a new beer I get so excited....after the first sip I was somewhat disappointed. Vicory is usually either hit or miss. I love their Lager & Prima Pils. I'm not a fan of the Golden Monkey or the Hop Devil.

I was drinking Samuel Adam's Noble pils on tap prior to drinking the bottle of Headwaters Pale Ale. The first sip threw me a curve ball. Maybe it was the sudden change from one beer to another, but the next few sips were the same. I thought I was drinking a flower. Yard's does a great job with their Pale Ale where they underbrew the hops for a more aromatic taste. Victory appears to have stopped way to early, and all of the taste is coming from aroma hops.

I'm glad I was a given a bottle for free and didn't spend $38 bucks on the case. Others appear to enjoy this beer, but my taste buds say no. (828 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle into a glass.

A- A very clear looking olympic gold with some honey color and a bright white and firm inch of ivory colored foam. Very small amounts of stick. I get Citra right off the bat, a nice pale malting and a herbal/earthy scent, not grassy. don't pick up any alcohol. This smells great and the beer is super fresh. Taste really shines from the citra giving off citrus in a pale aleish amount, not shocking like a IPA. Some mango, pale malt, biscuit and just fresh ingredients. Feel is light and comes and goes on the tounge leaving just the lightest aftertaste, that keeps me coming back quicker. This is easy drinking beer and one I can drink a lot of. I won't go crazy over it, but a 6 pack on a hot day will do. This blows hopdevil out of the water, just a more balanced beer alltogether, showing the true skill coming out of Victory. It's harder to make simple beer and pull it off. (906 characters)

Photo of hosehead83
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Bright copper/gold in color with a moderate head of off-white foam
Aroma-A big whiff of citrussy, piney hops
Taste-Toasted malt, mineral stone, citrus hops, spicy yeast. Very tasty and flavorfull, a nice "go-to" fridge beer. A great match for a burger or a round of spicy appetizers. (336 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a case at McBroom's today, thank god my sister is living a block away. So I always have a good excuse, to get up to D'z and McBroom's. Fresh cases of Headwaters Pale Ale. Appears a pale copper, full thicket of light beige head with fine even lacing. Light speckled lacing, with aromatics have a pungent citric/floral aspect no pine or earthiness. Hints of sugar coated biscuit malts in the nose, very nice malt base with sturdy citric hops standing up to the malts. I believe they're using Citra hops with a combo of other hops for this brew, I tried the Dorado version of Pursuit of Pale Ale. Flavors just work with this brew, herbal/citric hops blended effortlessly with a nice biscuit sugar coated malt profile that matches perfectly, low alcohol by volume makes for a very sessionable brew, right at the time when America really needs this style of beer Victory is there for us old school craft beer drinkers that would rather have an accessible pale ale versus the next big beer that is released by the thimbleful to the line of people camping out to drink it. Mouthfeel is medium bodied slight oily texture from the hop resins with ample carbonation, I can't complain. Drinkability, excellente low alcohol meant for consuming with friends over many a conversation and celabratory song. In all reality it's quite tasty with enough booze and flavor to keep you interested great beer. (1,396 characters)

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

A- a inch or so of bright white head that has so decent staying power and leaves a good smattering of spots on the glass and a solid ring. Crystal clear golden orange yellow in color.

S- grassy and herbal with a bright citrus fruit hit. Lemons and grapefruits come to mind. Light biscuity malts.

T- opens up with a sweet citrusy and to a lesser extent grassy hopping that rolls slowly into bone dry pale malt.

M- a few steps below medium in body with a nice mid level carb that keeps thing light and refreshing.

D- I like it. Its super easy going and full on flavor. I'm all about hoppy sessionable beers. (613 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draft at Kraftwerk on 2/17/11.

Pours a clear dark golden orange color with burnt orange hues when held to a light and a half finger white head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy aroma that's also a bit perfume like with hintsof crisp light fruit, grass and straw. Pale malt with a bit of apple, pear and phenol.

Lighter end of medium bodied with crisp, dry, earthy hops that linger throughout into a dry finish. Slightly earthy with hints of grass, sweet alcohol and light fruits, notably apricot and apple. Slightly watered down but with enough complexity to make it interesting. More hop forward than I expected but the malt presence becomes more prominent as it warms.

Not a bad beer but nothing out of the ordinary. Usually Victory makes above average beers for the style but I wasn't terribly impressed with this one. (885 characters)

Photo of goindownsouth
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle consumed on 02.19.11, purchased from The Community Tap in Greenville, SC.

Clear and light copper in hue, heady with a stiff white pillow atop. Sticky, luscious head retention. Aromas glorious with spicy, citrusy hops. Clean, unadulterated.

Flavors follow with that clean citrusy hoppy goodness with some balance added by the malty, biscuity character. I am a light malt guy when it comes this style, and Headwaters does NOT disappoint. Amazingly clean and un-heavy on the finish, it leaves you wanting more.

Amazingly fresh in the nose and on the palate, this is a classic, without question. It went extremely well with spicy pulled chicken quesedillas.

This is what craft beer in the US needs more of... It is easy to "over-anything" a beer, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a simple styled beer well, over and over again.

Looking forward to trying this one from a keg, by way of growler. SOON.

Egesegedre! (943 characters)

Photo of WYVYRN527
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a brown 12 ounce bottle into a New Belgium balloon glass.

A: Headwaters pours almost crystal clear with an orange-amber hue. Head is somewhat thin but retains fairly well. Some lacing, but not real sticky.

S: Nice caramel malt aromas and some spicy hop character, but not as intense as I would like it to be.

T: Sweet at first, with notes of caramel and toast, followed by a spicy, floral hop bite. Some citrus and pine, followed by a dry finish.

Notes. Moderate to medium bodied, and quite flavorful. The creamy mouthfeel makes this beer quite sessionable. Another solid effort from Bill and Ron. (628 characters)

Photo of victory4me
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard shaker. Best by date of July 8, 2011.

Pours a clear golden that is darker than expected for a pale ale. Big two to three finger head that leaves a light lacing on the side of the glass. Aroma is really nice. Citrus and piney hops with a sweet malt backbone.

Taste mirrors the smell. Pineapple and citrus in the taste with an underlying apricot sweetness. I would suspect centennial and amarillo in the hop bill. Slightly piney and bitter. A very tasty pale ale with enough hop character to push the boundaries toward an IPA. Typical mouthfeel for the style, I could easily put back several of these with no problem. Lots of flavor for 5.1%.

Recommended. Best comparison would be a lighter version of Ithaca Flower Power. (746 characters)

Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 559 ratings.