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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: 2,427
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: 2,427
Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice to see a newer Victory offering here in Greensboro.Poured in a nonic a clear copper with a frothy white head that left multiple chunks of broken lace as it never fully settled,good carbonation.A mix of hops in the nose upfront,grassy,herbal,and citrus fruit mixed with a hefty caramel/biscuit base.A little this and watery in the feel it seems to take away a little oomph from the beer.A mix of herbal and citric hops and sweet caramel biscuit malt on the palate,the hops get the slight edge in a pretty balanced brew.A nice APA,big hops but really balanced,tweak the thinner mouthfeel and this is steller.

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Photo of sholland119
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the pub, 3/6/10.

A-pour is a clear light orange with a thin pool of white head and a nice sheet of lacing.

S-Nice blast of pungent citrus hops with a lighter malt base.

T-biscuity malt in the front followed by a generous amount of grapefruit hops.

M-light bodied and nicely dry. Nice smooth finish.

D-one of the best hoppy pale ales out there. An all day drinker for hopheads.


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

Love Victory beers, so I had to try this one. Nice golden color with a big old head. I can smell the hops - citrus and spice. The taste is also has a spicy zing to it. Great Spring beer: light in body but with a little hop kick to the taste. Definitely sessionable.

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Photo of Schracky
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a six pack of this when I was down in Pennsylvania. I am a big fan of Victory, so I was excited to try this beer.

A: Very light copper. Head settled quickly.

S: Best part of this beer. Great hop aroma. You can smell the malts too. The hops are spicy in smell, more floral than citrus. Very nice smell, good balance between malt and hops.

T: Better than average taste. Initial malt character hits you followed by the nice spiciness of the hops, much like the smell. The aftertaste sticks around for awhile though and leaves a bitterness on the tongue.

M: Nice mouthfeel. Good carbonation.

D: Nice beer to have with dinner. I had it with a fish burrito. It paired well. It goes down smooth and is an easy drinker.

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Photo of Deuane
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the hand pull at The Bulls Head Public House, Lititz, PA.

A-Lightly hazed golden kissed copper, with a medium bright white head. Head slowly reduces to a thin cap and leaves heavy ringing lace.

S-Light floral hop qualities with a zing of spiciness and a subtle hit of muddled herbs. Mild citrus notes sneak through with notes of lemon zest being most dominate. Backing body of lightly sweet biscuit malt in the background providing balance.

T-Pleasant citrus zing melds nicely with a combination of herbal dankness, sweet biscuit malt and a finishing flurry of biting spiciness. All very nice for a rather light brew.

M-Medium bodied, soft, smooth and creamy. Hop bite and spicy zip are long lasting. Becomes surprisingly dry in the finish.

D-This one is right in my wheelhouse, especially on cask! A session APA if there ever was one...not too hoppy, not too big, everything is "just right". I would like to try this on tap and from a bottle to see if it as enjoyable. I doubt it but....Victory has done a fine job with this one.

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

A-Pours clear amber with 1/3 inch of foamy off white head that fades almost instantly. Leaves intermittent traces of lacing.

S-Piney, resinous hoppiness with an underlying pale malt sweetness. Valencia orange skins, white pepper.

T/M-Biscuity malts wrapped in a layer of dry, piney hops. Medium bodied with an abruptly dry finish. Very simple and well done. There's not much to it, but there doesn't need to be. Well executed simplicity is harder than juggling multiple flavors that don't add up to anything.

D-I hope this becomes a year round release. It's a very good pale ale.

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Photo of blackie
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: chalice serving, the beer is a light caramel amber in color, floating a frothy off-white head that falls back to a thin layer

s: herbal and citrusy hops accompany a biscuity pale malt body, grapefruit rind, light caramels, hops even provide a little resin while staying firmly within pale ale territory, there's nothing unnecessary or out-of-place - skilled execution really makes a great product from only a few ingredients

m: moderately carbonated, light-medium in body, satisfying and crisp

t: great structure of biscuity pale malts allows the dried citrus and grassy herbal hops to assert themselves, slight caramel sugar adds body and depth, nice grapefruit rind bitterness, finishing quite dry, clean and refreshing, outstanding balance, just a top notch pale ale

d: a superbly crafted pale ale not too far off from the hallmarks of the style produced by SN - not much of a surprise from Victory, glad to have another worthwhile, drinkable beer readily available

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Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Bookhouse Pub in Atlanta.

Pours a clear light copper color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of bright citrus and floral hops with hints of tropical fruits all backed by a slightly grainy pale malt backbone.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the hops aren't as robust. Slightly dry pale malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by citrus hops. Midway through the sip the citrus hops fade a bit and allow sweeter tropical fruit flavors to work their way into things. The hops carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this is another outstanding low-ABV beer from Victory. Well worth a shot.

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

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is clear, light honey-amber in color with a small whitish head that settles fast.

S: Toasty, biscuity malt and herbal, leafy hops - maybe some grassiness as well. Pleasant.

T: Follows the nose: toasty and toasted grains with a spicy and leafy hop bitterness. Finishes fairly dry. Some citrus lingers (mainly lemon) in the aftertaste. Slight copper penny taste.

M: Light-to-medium in heft, carbonation is light to modest.

D: Goes down easily enough. Fairly flavorful for a lighter (5.1% ABV) ale. Kinda reminds me of a cross between an ESB or an Eglish Pale Ale and an American Pale Ale.

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

Standard run-down here. It's just a beer.

Mostly clear yellow-gold, tiny twinkling flecks in suspension. Force-carbed foamy head wells up on the pour but, alas, poofs out into a sudsy spread on top. This is how it looks.

In my nose, I detect a spicy citrus, biscuity, toasty aroma.

On my tongue I taste toasty fresh baked roll malt flavor with a just about sharp bitterness - pungent hops with an even balance of spicy grapefruity citrus and earthy rustic peppery qualities.

Pretty clean with a soft smooth roll in the middle, moderately crisp, oh so delicate carb sizzle, bit of a dry cottonmouth feel in the finish.

I can definitely see where this may be thought of as "HopDevil Lite". The similarity becomes more apparent the further down into the glass you get. While I could drink HopDevil in any given situation (I've most often had it w/o food), this I'd rather have accompany a toasted deli sandwich with some potato salad, beans, and a dill. Ideal for summertime and barbecues.

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Photo of PDXHops
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured into a Duvel tulip. Bright and light amber with a huge frothy head that settles down to a thick skim. Good retention from then on. A ring of crackly lacing up top, soapy patches down below.

Some honeyish sweet notes along with biscuity malt. Hop aromas are plentiful, bright and floral. Even more hop-forward than the nose suggests; this is definitely one of those 'IPA light' pale ales. Juicy citrus followed up with a grassy and slightly metallic bitter finish. The malt holds up its end of the bargain nicely; a touch of sweetness, plenty of toast, some cereal grains. Some lingering citrus and a touch of alcohol in an otherwise crisp finish.

Overall impression: What took ya so long to brew an APA, Victory? This will surely demand an occasional spot in the beer fridge as the temps warm up.

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Photo of feylure
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this stuff yesterday and decided to try it out. Enjoy by July 8th 2011

Appearance is a lovely clear gold.

Smell is quite amazingly hoppy!

Taste is a great balance of hops and barley. Not too sweet and not too bitter. Just straight up clean with a tail of the same nature.

Mouthfeel is quite full all the way around.

This is an extremely well balanced brew and one that I find to be quite drinkable. Definitely be buying this again!


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

Pours clear orange in body with white bubbly head. Grass, hops, lemon, citrus, and dew in the nose. Hops, citrus, wet grass, lemon, and malt sweetness backbone in the finish. Light and sessionable. A lovely pale. Possibly the best Victory has to offer.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle best by July 8 2011.

An inviting pour into the Dogfish Head off-centered pint glass procures a bright, bubbly body of golden-copper. The head builds to a full inch in height before gently settling to a cap of spittle-white foam. A satisfying bouquet of floral, piny hops greets the nose with notes of tree sap, citrus peel, and fresh lupulin glands. The background is a solidly built base of biscuity, but slightly sweet pale & caramel malt.

Crisp malts snap at the sides of the tongue with a bitter hop burst on top of the palate that suggests pine cones and grapefruit. The hoppiness brings forth too many perceived IBU's and not quite enough hop flavor for me, however. Still, this is a tasty Pale Ale with a solid mouthfeel, uppity carbonation, and medium body. Definitely glad to have another five waiting for me in the fridge after breaking open the six-pack...

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Photo of justintcoons
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a golden amber with two fingers head that dissipate slowly leaving behind excellent lacing. Low carbonation.

N: Orange, grapefruit and flowers.

T: Citrus and grapefruit upfront with some floral backed up by candy caramel.

M: Light-medium bodied, crisp, dry and clean.

D: Excellent! Light, bitter and refreshing.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a couple of these on draft at Armby Abbey. The sample I tried sold me immediately with it's great aroma. Two visits and two pints later, Victory reminded me why they have been one of my favorite brewers.

Pale Amber in color with some gold/orange tones and nice clarity. Nice finger of creamy head that leaves some nice lacing.

Aroma is fruity, fresh and full of grapefruit and topical notes.

Nice little beer here. Great balance, nice fresh hop flavor with an explosion of grapefruit. Toasty malts play a nice supporting role here.

Really refreshing and bright in your mouth. Carbonation pops an brings forth the hop character.

Really enjoyed this and will look for the bottled version (which I am told exists)

Well done!

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Photo of cbutova
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A new victory bottle, like the 10th one I've seen in the past year, always worth a shot I suppose.

A- Light amber colored body with a white head that builds to about two fingers. A few nice patches of lace.

S- Slight tropical fruit, citrus and earthy pine hops balanced out nicely with light caramel malt and bread. Fades somewhat to pine heavy but holds a nice pale ale aroma.

T- Hops lend a good amount of pine and floral notes, a slight amount of citrus. The malt provides a light pale ale feel and some sweetness. A presence of bread hints from the yeast.

MF- Light overall substance, somewhat creamy. Hops lend a moderate bitterness. Smoothly carbonated.

DB- Pretty straight forward with a nice flavor. Maybe a bit big on the bitterness for a smaller pale ale.

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Photo of TheSupremeAJ
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of Billolick
3.92/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of BigMike
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

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Photo of pburland23
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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