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

2,110 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,110
Reviews: 540
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 59
Gots: 198 | 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: 2,110 | Reviews: 540 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Blanco
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

light orange color and transparent with sizeable white head. lots of apparent carbonation.

smell is very clean and fresh with just a hint of hops.

taste is similar while heavier on the malt side. I was expecting a bit more bite from the hops but it seems Victory chose to keep that muted.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly creamy.

This is a very sessionable beer. Drinkability is high due to the fact it seems designed to not push any boundaries and hover in a very neutral place. Not bad if you can't figure out what you are in the mood for. A little disappointing as I've had better Pale Ales from Victory and when I heard they were making one as a flagship I thought they would taste similarly.

Blanco, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of JamesMN
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Slightly hazy caramel/orange hue with a very thin soapy off-white head.

Aroma: Bready malt and light earthy hops.

Taste: Lots of bready malt and almost a buttery or spicy biscuit taste. A hint of pine and mostly subdued earthy hop flavor. Not much bitterness. Semi-dry finish. A bit of a sweet palate. Nice aftertaste of biscuit.

Mouthfeel: Just under medium in body with decent effervescence. Easy drinkability.

Final Thoughts: A good Pale Ale but nothing special. Would I drink it again? If it was offered to me.

JamesMN, Nov 16, 2012
Photo of cbless97
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Cloudy orange hue. Very light lacing

S- Clean hops, slight orange aroma

T- Very clean floral taste. Bit of a slight orange tang comes through.

M- Nice mellow carbonation and well balanced hops.

O- A very good Pale Ale. Nice blend of all characteristics. I will definitely enjoy this again. Great for watching a game

cbless97, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of MacQ32
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a nice soft copper/pale color with a finger of beautiful off white head with excellent retention. Really nice to the eye! Super clear

S - Grassy floral hops not much else, pretty weak

T - A nice crisp grassy hoppy beer with a pleasant dry bite to it.

M - lighter body, lots of carbonation which compliments its dryness at the finish

O - Kind of a summer session beer for hop lovers, really drinkable crisp and clean. Really easy to drink, not bad

MacQ32, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of Brewndruid
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aggressive pour from cold bottle. Full fluffy off white head.
Nice lacing
Nice clarity, light copper in colour.
Aroma strong and indicative of a strong bitterness slitghtly citrusy.
Strong bitterness up front. Balanced towards the bitter, clean and crisp, refresing. Clean finish.

Brewndruid, Jul 09, 2013
Photo of orangesol
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on cask at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours clear amber orange with a bubbly one finger tall white head leaving small, sticky, rings of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of lightly toasted caramel malt, dulled citric hops, biscuity malt, and some dull citric fruit. Something tells me this is a bit past its prime.

T - Starts off with a good bit of sweet caramel malt slowly giving way to a mix of chewy malt and dulled citric hops. The hops are nearly gone in this one as it seems to be well past its prime. Finish is mostly malty sweetness with just the faintest hint of hop bitterness, lingering for a short period of time.

M - Medium-Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Starts off with a nice creamy feel quickly fading to a dull, slick, feel in the finish.

O - I had one of these on cask a month or two ago and it was very good. Something tells me this one is from that same back, just much older. I still enjoyed it for what it was.

orangesol, Jun 30, 2011
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.

scruffwhor, May 20, 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 Fatehunter
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a thin head on a hazy medium straw colored body.
The aroma is mild fruit: apricot and some grapefruit.
The taste has a solid moderate bitterness throughout with some balancing malt in the middle to end. It finishes with a little sweet note.
The texture is crisp with a good fizz.
It's enjoyable and on the more bitter side.

Fatehunter, Jun 10, 2014
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 NODAK
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Aroma is quite hoppy with a high citric content. Definite notes of grapefruit and perhaps lime even.

For an APA, it's rather hoppy as the smell indicated. A person who referred to it as "IPA lite" had a point. It starts off with a good dose of grapefruit, citrus hops smacking the tongue around. A small undercurrent of biscuit malt is present but is most certainly second fiddle. On the finish, the hops linger around with an aspirin-like astringency on the sides of the tongue for a little while.

When I drink an APA, I like a little more balance than this I suppose. It seems like an IPA in a way. It's certainly not bad, just not my favorite in style.

NODAK, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of AgentMunky
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a rocks glass at Mellow Mushroom. From notes. Reviewed 2 July 2011.

A: Light head. Very pale orange. Decent lacing. Not much to say.

S: Niceish hops, if a bit astringently citrusy. Some grapefruit. Good overall.

T: Mediocre pale ale, but pleasant. The aftertaste is full of drying, bitter hops. A bit better than originally suspected.

M: Mouthfeel is pretty great. A substantial malty dryness is excellent.

O: Pretty good. Nothing to go out of your way for, but I'd have another if not much else was on offer.

AgentMunky, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of Genuine
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a clean pint glass.

Poured a clear copper/amber in color. Formed a nice, slight tan 2 finger head that left some decent lacing.

Smell - some light citrusty hops hit the nose first, with a nice crispness.

Taste - initial hop bite, that floated over the palate for the malts to show up, and finished very clean and smooth. very easy drinking pale ale.

Mouthfeel - medium light.

overall - not a bad pale ale. Not sure if it's one that i'd get again, but it is a very easy drinking pale ale.

Genuine, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of ktrillionaire
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - The pour is a radiantly translucent bronze; the head, lace, and retention are all underperforming.

S - The nose is comprised of equal parts resiny-tropical hoppiness, and a doughy malt aroma. It doesn't smell particularly strong, but as I get deeper in the glass, the doughy impression increases.

T - The taste offers a good balance of fresh and somewhat vibrant hoppiness, and an understated pale maltiness that serves well. I dig the hop profile, it is earthy, lemony, and cannabis-like. The finish is mildly bitter with some sweetness final revealed at the very end.

M - APA. Good enough.

O - This is a nice little beer, if fresh. Easy to drink, a decent option, but nothing I will seek out. Then again, there is very little I actually seek out so that consideration is somewhat worthless.

ktrillionaire, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a slightly cloudy orange with a light tan-yellowish head.

S - Bread, citrus, and malts.

T - Sweet malts and carmels.

D - Low carbonation, light body overall.

O - Pretty average all around. Yawn, yawn.

HuskyinPDX, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of Darkmagus82
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a nice copper color with a big billowy white head. The head fades slowly giving a good amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is lighter overall, but has a nice blend of aromas. There are hints of caramel, biscuit, grapefruit citrus hop and some pine.

Taste – The taste begins biscuity and smooth. There is an ever so light sweetness, but it is very light and towards the middle it is almost completely gone. With the loss of the sweetness comes good hints of hop flavors. These are a mix of pine, citrus as well as a lighter earthy hop flavor. These flavors take the taste to the end where a bitter and lightly roasted flavor are left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is a bit above average in smoothness and thickness with a carbonation level very average. Both are fitting, but are nothing really to exceptional for the style.

Overall – It has a nice more bittering flavor and is quite easy to drink. Not bad, but not the best either.

Darkmagus82, Jul 12, 2012
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.

infinitejester, May 24, 2011
Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a bright amber with orange orange, lots of bubbles rising from the bottom with puffy, off-white 2.5 finger head.

S - I could actually smell this one as I was pouring. Smells of grapefruit and citrusy hops. But there's also a little bit of a dirty soap water smell in the background. A bit unpleasant.

T - Good forward amount of citrus along with some piney hop bitterness. But again, that malt in the background tastes quite soapy. It's sort of masking the overall taste for me.

M - It's pretty thin, lots of carbonation though. Very easy to drink

Overall - I thought it was a decent APA. But I'm not sure if I had a bad bottle or what, because there was just that faint trace of soapyness that became all I could think about when drinking.

BeerBuckeye, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of TheBrewo
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew was served in a pint glass from the tap at The Distillery in Victor, NY. It arrived a golden-brown color. It held a one finger head of creamy, foamy white bubbles, which left a decent amount of lacing as is descended. No sediment or haze was noted, and carbonation appeared light. The aroma was of partially adjuncty malts that were pale, with a sweeter toast to them. Hops were minimal, but notes of earth and grass were picked up. Towards the far back of the nose a sweetness of raspberry was detected. As we sipped, the flavoring began with soapy hops and paler malts. The grain here also took on flavors nearing wheat or rye. The middle moved us forward with cleaner malts, much more pale and unfiltered. We ended on notes of bitter grain and further soapy hops. There was also a sweeter boozy fruitiness, as there was in the nose. The aftertaste sung more of the finish, with soap, booze, and berry. The body was medium, and the carbonation was high. The head retained nicely, so this imparted a nice froth and slurp. The mouth was left a bit dried, and overall was cooled and coated. The abv was appropriate and the beer drank easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the feel. While the carbonation came out on the higher side, with each sip there was a good cream, making this beer nice and satisfying. This beer was good for the style, but the flavoring could have stood to be more pronounced.

TheBrewo, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of jeffthecheff
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, goldish amber color. Average off-white head.

Aroma is grassy and fruity with some slight citrus tones. Seems like a good volume of fresh hops. There seems to be a bit of sulfur in the nose, until it warms and becomes undetectable.

Flavor is simple and gentle with very light bitterness for a pale ale. The overall hop flavor is gentle and balanced with the malts. The malt flavor is gentle with caramel and toast. It seems like it could use a bit more of a sharp, hop bite in bitterness and flavor. Carbonation is average, with the mouthfeel not bringing much to the table. Overall, a bit generic.

jeffthecheff, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of Murrhey
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer poured on a flight at Haven Gastropub in Orange, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger width head, good retention and carbonation. The lacing is nice as well. Orange-brown body.

S- Hoppy and light.

T- Crisp flavors, bitter and fresh.

M- Smooth and fairly dry.

O- Easy drinking beer. Tasty and floral hops. I wish I took better notes on this one.

Murrhey, Nov 14, 2012
Photo of phreshbeer
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into a pint glass... beer is crystal clear and golden in color. Has a white foamy head that dissolved quickly with little residue. Some lacing apparent, not overly carbonated.

S: More aroma than I anticipated. Some straw-like hops and a little musty smell.

T: Solid American Pale Ale, nothing special as far as taste. Some hops present with maybe a little hint of apricot at the finish. Not a lot of malt, but enough to balance it out.

M: Headwaters is a smooth pale ale with a pleasing amount of carbonation. Not too watery, not too heavy. Right on.

D: This wasn't my favorite pale ale, but still very drinkable. I could use this as a session beer.

phreshbeer, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of Stobin
3.34/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Really like this style, don't know if this one is a good representation. Smell has a hint of what wine people call "pipi du chat", or cat piss. Didn't care for smell, but tastes much better. Really like this brewery, and most of its offerings, but this one falls a little flat for me. Will try on tap if given the chance, but won't buy in bottles again.

Stobin, Jun 01, 2014
Photo of plfahey
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Deep gold to light amber with good clarity. Moderately tall white head with moderately good retention.

Aroma-Big floral and grassy hop bouquet, with lesser notes of citrus, grapefruit, catty, and resin. Grain, biscuit, and light caramel show up in the malt profile, which is rather subdued compared to the hops.

Flavor-Biscuit, grain, and husky malt flavor. Hop flavors are grassy, hay-like, and catty-a little bit off-putting. The more I drink it, the mustier it seems to be. Hop bitterness is moderate. catty, hay-like hop flavors linger on the palate.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with moderate carbonation.

I really liked the aroma off the bat, but the grass notes get to be a bit much, especially in the flavor. Not my favorite type of hop flavors, which turns me off a bit.

plfahey, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange with a 1 finger white head

smell: hops, malts,

taste: sweet malts, hops, dry bitter finish

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, thin / medium body

drinkability: was hoping for a bit more out of victory, this beer is just not doing it for me unfortunately.

cheers,

the CPJ

THECPJ, Mar 13, 2011
Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,110 ratings.