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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
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Reviews: 576 | Hads: 2,427
Photo of Bworfus
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely biased..

Had this beer for the first time after a 3 hrs MTB ride handed to me by a friend from his treasure trove cooler.

I can taste the pureness of the headwaters in this one. It's like Austrian glacier water freshly melted and cought with your bare hands, blended with everything you love in American hops, the resin, the sap, the citrus fragances, the fruit, the hemp, and then the earthiness of just torn out barley ears from the fields, ground up with your bare hands again..

All of the above was made into a beer from heaven! Thank you Victory!

Overall actually caters more to an American IPA lover, than to somebody who's looking for a true pale ale, due to a strong hop presence throughout.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.94/5  rDev +26%
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!!!

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Photo of BierStein711
4.82/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew was again had on draught!

Outstanding beer with much fanfare!

Three finger head.

Amber read in color similar to Bass Ale!

Smells of grassy hops, herbs, and a touch of dark fruits!

Tastes of hops, grass, grain, herbs, and a balanced hop finish!

Mouthfeel: smooth and refreshing!

I liked this a tad better than HopDevil!

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Photo of Steff_Wantz
4.81/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: amber colored with clear carbonation

S: delicious hoppy, crisp aroma

T: refreshingly smooth, citrus hints, not bitter at all

M: very pleasant, does not linger after

O: Overall I love this beer! It is super refreshing and light. I really would like to try this beer on tap.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.8/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I wanted to get a lighter, lower in alcohol flavorful beer (being that I have a bunch of higher alcohol IPA DIPAS and other bigger styles as well in the fridge) and this beer fits exactly under that description.

It looks great like a caramel color that is in between brown and yellow. I instantly get an astringent herbal tea smell with a sweet ripened fruit smell all from the hops. The taste is pretty identical to the smell starting off with a crisp hop bite on the tip of the tongue some cracker like malts in the middle and then ending with that herbal tea ripened fruit taste from the hops on the finish.

It definitely has a very pure fresh taste to it and I can tell they use really fresh water in this. I've had a bunch of Victory beers and this is absolutely one of my favorites. This almost reminds me of an IPA light By light I mean lighter body less alcohol less filling but definitely not lacking on the hops. What a fantastic beer.

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Photo of GSX1250FA
4.8/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite beer.

Has a nice amber color and is not cloudy. Good white head that lasts for a while.

Aroma is of fresh hops and not overpowering.

Delicious hoppy taste and well balanced.

The mouthfeel is medium and full-bodied, and very refreshing.

I think the secret to its great taste is Victory's wet-milling process. It permits the barley husk to be removed from the kernel with less breakage. A more intact husk means less tannic bitterness imparted in the sweet wort. Not too many brewers do wet-milling because it is a slower process and takes more time than dry-milling.

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Photo of masemase
4.73/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance was not notable

S - general mix of pleasant hops...citrus, pine, floral

T - bitter then sweet then floral then resinous bitter with clean finish

M - Solid carbonation, the reason this beer rates so high is that it is full of delicious hoppiness, yet without an overwhelming bitterness that accumulates on the palate

O - an extremely drinkable pale ale

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Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.69/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Light,clear orange, with a nice half-inch of fluffy white head.Lacing is rather minimal.

Sweet citrus,floral hops, combined with nice sweet malt backbone. Wow,very inviting. I love this very pleasant aroma,nice citrusy hops are there right in your nose,with the steady level of malt sweetness. Yes.

Upon sip,what I experience in the nose is pleasantly repeated on the tongue. Good bitter citrus hops,yet very restrained, which is appropriate for a pale ale. Sweet caramel malts. Good medium body,with average carbonation,not too much,just the right amount of it.

Yet another winner from Victory,they never cease to amaze me, and always fail to dissapoint me.

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Photo of jtierney89
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Clean floral hop aroma. Transparent straw/light amber in color with white head. Juicy and medium in body. Big grapefruit citric hop presence up front followed up by a balancing juiciness on the back end. Unique and well balanced. Flips the presence of the malts and hops. Slightly minty upon finish as well. I normally think pale ales all taste the same but this one shines amongst the crowd. Love it.

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Photo of generalnotsew
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick cottony white head. Body is very dark orange/amber color. For the abv and the style it looks exceptional. Smell is sweet grassy, earthy, pineapple, caramel malts. Very potent in the nose with all these pleasant smells. Nice clean hop bite upfront. Mellows out into a smooth caramel malt. Not as good as the smell but still leaps and bounds above a lot of pales. Taste is also grassy with a bit of grapefruit. Very oily and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall this is one the best Pale Ales I have ever had. Very clean and refreshing. Should be a real summertime crowd pleaser!

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Photo of jpmclaug
4.64/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle into a nonic

clear golden body with a small white head. A very nice citrusy hop smells is present, wow, maybe a bit of pale malt too but I have to say this APA is one of the best smelling around. I'm impressed with the flavor as well. A nice citrus hop flavor is incredibly well balanced with the pale malts. Finishes with a nice hop flavor but isn't overly bitter. Mouthfeel is light to medium body with a light carbonation. Drinkability is extremely high on this one. I'm really blown away by how good this beer is. Well balanced but with plenty of hop flavor, honestly I think this is the best APA I've ever had.

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Photo of DNICE555
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

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Photo of wvudak
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle into a stemmed tulip. This is a local brew for me, one that I've come back to often as an after work beer. A beautiful IPA, clear amber body, soft head, top smells of grapefruit. Very hoppy in front slight malt aftertaste. Leaves a nice citrus hop taste overall. This is something that one could drink over and over as I have.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.59/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

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

I suppose there's a cap on how "exceptional" a beer like this can be. Mostly because I don't think it sets out to be "exceptional". So, with that in mind, I suppose I can understand the good but not great reviews.

And, I guess, that explains why I'm not giving it 5s all across, because I certainly could were I simply judging it on how well it does what it should do.

I mean, assuming the goal was to produce a delicious and sessionable brew that goes down easy but reminds you that you're drinking something tasty, then I've got to say they nailed it.

Honestly, this beer was love at first sip for me and I could drink a vat of it were I more thirsty.

Juicy malts set off by lively but not over-aggressive hops.

Is the new standard bearer as far as I'm concerned for the modern American Pale ale.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Victory Headwaters Pale Ale is a crystal clear, lightly sparkling golden ale with a dense, bubbly white head that has outstanding retention and lacing. It has a huge, fresh hoppy aroma of pine and flowers. It has a very smooth medium body with a solid, dry finish. It's a nice, simple, hoppy flavor with perfect bitterness and perfect balance. It tastes slightly dry and piny. This is a supreme example of an American pale ale.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear deep copper color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is of freshly cut grass with a hint of grapefruit. It is a rather strong aroma. The taste is a nice balance of citrus and grass. Bitterness is firm without being overpowering. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a silky texture, and moderate carbonation. Overall, this is one of the best American Pale Ales I've had in a very long time. It has nice complexity. I can see this beer becoming a regular for me.

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Photo of ndawg42031
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Great balanced ale!! Hoppy for a traditional pale ale. A nice change from the sometimes over the top hop race over the last few years. Has a spring seasonal feel.
I would recommend with pulled pork BBQ or any traditional cook out fair. Just as good out of the bottle as in a glass.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

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Photo of GratefulNole
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at The Distillery in Rochester, NY. Glass arrived fresh pulled at a nice temp. Noticed the color right away at a reddish, copper. Next, the smell was very uplifting, and hoppy. Various floral, piney, fruity scents. Small head on it with descent lacing. Taste was very nice and rolled around the taste buds sweetly. Went weel with the pizza we ordered. Would def have again. It was on sale fro $3 a pint. Cant lose there for sure.

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Photo of Gooball201
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well Victory has finally done it! They have created the NJ/NY Hop Lover's dream in a "session" style interms of alcohol level beer. Picked up a case of this as well as $1200 more of beer and wine for our annual sales meeting. As soon as I had one I knew I was headed back to my store hoping they had not sold the last case as I needed to have at least a case in my frig! Not a big fan of Victory but I LOVE this beer and plan to purchase/consume as long as it is for sale in Northern NJ!

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Photo of Jeffrey_Ryan
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

The fresh water that they brag is retrieved just a dozen miles away really does seem to make all the difference. Not very aromatic but very crisp and fresh tasting with hops that are very not overwhelming. Very drinkable

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Moderately strong pungent citrus hops over spicy noble hops in the aroma with hints of light crystal sweetness. Clean, no off aromas. Poured short, foamy, white head that faded slowly to a thin ring leaving a few strings of lace. Pale amber colored beer is brilliantly clear. Spicy noble hop flavor up front with minimal citrus flavor. Lightly sweet malt base fades as the moderate bitterness kicks in towards the finish. Fairly clean finish with just a hint of lingering bitterness. Smooth, not harsh at all. Medium body with moderate carbonation is just enough to carry the flavors while maintaining drinkability. A really clean beer that is well balanced with enough flavors to keep it interesting. Well done.

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Photo of DuaneL
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

This ale is a one-of-a-kind. Wonderful! Haven't yet tried anything that is close to it. You've got to try it - it defies description. But you definitely have to like dry…very dry.

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