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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,725 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1725
Reviews: 515
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.17%


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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Headwaters Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,725 | Reviews: 515 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Luigi
Luigi

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper color with a full two finger white head. Good retention as the head settles down to a thin blanket on top of the ale. There is a good amount of lacing around the glass as well.

The aroma has a clean hop profile to it. Citrus fruit, floral notes, and hints of pine. Yet, nothing is over the top or in your face. Biscuit like malt and some alcohol sweetness.

The fisrt flavor to hit the palate would be the floral and citrus hop. But, the hop is blanced out by the buiscut, and soft bread malt. There is a small amout of alcohol sweetness, but the finish is clean. Finish is clean and quenching with pine hop notes lingering for a bit.

Mildly carbonated with a medium/light body

One of the best APA's I have tasted it a long time!! I hope this is a year around Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2012 03:07:50 | More by Luigi
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I remember way back when this beer was newly released, I was more than happy to see a new Victory beer available and on the market.

But as far as the beer goes:

This has a nice hoppy bite to it. Good spicy tones with a thorough bitter bite. It's nice. Real nice. I like it better than when I had it on-tap. Maybe it was the place I had it at. Either way, this is a good one, which is no less than I expect from Victory. Try it if ya got the chance.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2012 06:57:47 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of brewdude1982
brewdude1982

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This was a 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark golden brown with great clarity. The smell is amazingly hoppy. I love the nose of this brew. Slight malt taste upfront and then a powerful mule kick of hops that is extremely citrus and very powerful. I love the hop character of this beer. The mouthfeel is average and the carbonation is too. If you have never had this I would recommend.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2012 01:03:20 | More by brewdude1982
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Opaque golden with a creamy white head.

S: Biscuity malt, sweet nectary citrus, mango, orange in the nose.

T: Starts off with citrus peel, orange, a touch of mango, then some pine and lemon, followed by a blend of all those flavors in the finish and a hint of malt comes with the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: Really good. Perhaps not the best pale ale, but definitely worth a try and recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2014 22:35:42 | More by BierJager89
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 02:03:19 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Headwaters is light copper in color. It's very, very clear. A little light gives it nice orange highlights. A vanilla colored head tops it and stands roughly a finger and a half tall. It dissipates rather quickly, leaving spotty strands of sticky lace behind.

The nose is impressive. One whiff is all it takes to realize it's a hop forward American Pale. Given that I prefer those to their more balanced siblings, I like it. The hops smell mostly citric and feature strong grapefruit and orange scents. But, there are a few grassy and floral notes as well. Sweet caramel malt is noted throughout, but never takes center stage. Alcohol is never much of a factor. At 5.1%, that's no surprise.

The flavor is nothing short of excellent! It's not complicated. The caramel malt base provides a sweet flavor up front. It tastes a little sugary. Hops waste no time jumping into the mix. I have no clue what the hop bill is, but it's delicious. Strong grapefruit and orange flavors blend with light grassy and floral notes to create one hell of a fine hop flavor. It leans bitter, but the malt base provides some balance in that respect. Alcohol is completely buried. Finishes with a punch of citrus and bitterness.

Headwaters has a light-medium body. Carbonation is light and restrained. It feels nice and smooth. Drinkability is extremely high. This is stuff is damn tasty and goes down far too easily. Given that its abv is only 5.1%, a few of these sounds like a great idea.

Victory Brewing Company took an interesting path with releasing Headwaters Pale Ale as its 15th anniversary beer. I would've expecting a trendier, bigger beer. Honestly, I love what Victory did here. Not only is it an interesting choice, it's a fantastic beer! This is the most impressive American Pale I've had in a long time. I'm thrilled that this is going to a year round release. Happy 15th, Victory!

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 01:05:20 | More by prototypic
Photo of StoneTSR
StoneTSR

Colorado

4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: This is an exceptionally lively beer. Bubbles are covering the bottom of the glass and erupting towards the surface while some slower bubbles climb up around the edges of the glass. There is a little haze to this orange beer and the head is moderately sized. Retention is decent, but not great.

SMELL: The aroma is very, very grapefruity. Not much else going on here (which isn't a bad thing as far as I am concerned), but a slight earthiness is also there. The only problem is that it is a pretty mild smell.

TASTE: Wow. This is a pleasant surprise, kind of a grapefruit bomb. There is plenty of malt to make sure that this beer doesn't go too far in the bitter direction, but this makes me think of a cocktail with grapefruit juice, slightly sweetened with some agave nectar or simple syrup. The finish also has a touch of weedy resin. This is surprisingly tasty.

MOUTHFEEL: The liveliness of the appearance comes through in the mouthfeel as well. This is a strongly carbonated beer with a nice sparkle.

OVERALL: I have not always loved Victory, but most of what they have done has been pretty decent. This, however, is a hidden gem in their lineup. What an excellent option as a session beer. I could drink a few of these for sure.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2012 09:41:54 | More by StoneTSR
Photo of tbrown4
tbrown4

Maryland

4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. -> Dogfish Head chalice. Picked up a six pack of this at Well's in Towson, MD @ about $11. First I've seen it anywhere. Some PA friends of mine have been fluffing this brew recently, and I tend to enjoy the Victory brews. I decided to give this a shot and buy the whole pack.

A - Bright copper, medium bubble head quickly dissolves, decent carb stream, no lacing.

S - Wow. Immediately noticeable, could be due to the glassware. Very earthy, musky almost muddy. I'm not sure how I feel about this, and it's certainly unique from what I've experienced. It's a round hop aroma with a lightly roasted backdrop.

T - Tastes right about how I'd expect an APA. The big difference here that sets this one apart from the pack is how well defined each flavor note is. Really well done. I imagine this has a lot to do with the freshness.

M - Feels light to medium-light bodied. Crisp carbonation makes this feel very clean.

O - Oh wow, so no more "Drinkability"? Ok, this makes more sense anyway. So, this one is in the middle for me. The ABV makes it easy to put back a few, but as with most decent PAs it's a bit heavy on the palate. I'd certainly order this if I ever find it on tap. I'd buy a six pack again in a few months. This would be a good one to keep on hand in the fridge for the day that you want a good full flavored and moderately hopped craft ale. Nice job, Victory.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2011 01:31:11 | More by tbrown4
Photo of MrMcGibblets
MrMcGibblets

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: golden orange to light copper. Clear creamy off white head and nice lacing.
S: some citric and floral, resiny hops with some bready, light caramelly malts underneath.
T: a very nice balance between the lightly sweet caramelly/toffeeish malts and smooth lingering hop bitterness. Finishes crisp and dry.
M: just over light-bodied. Nice and frothy, and not plodding, which i like.
O: a very nicely done apa and one which id buy again. Glad to see more lower abv quality beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 01:49:20 | More by MrMcGibblets
Photo of DannyDan
DannyDan

Michigan

4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a golden body with a thick white head that disappears rather quickly. The retention is very good, and has good lacing on the side of the beer. Has an earthy hops with a sweet malt in the nose. The taste starts out with some caramel malts followed by some floral, pine and citrus hops. It is a very crisp clean smooth creamy mouth feel to it that leaves the mouth slightly dry. A very smooth well made beer that has a great taste to it and one I can see myself enjoying for many years to come.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 08:24:54 | More by DannyDan
Photo of AmitC
AmitC

Indiana

4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drinking my first headwaters. This one is being consumed beyond its best by date of 19 sep 2012.

So it might have lost a lot of its hoppiness and aroma. Still it does very well on a lot of parameters and i can see how good this will be if taken fresh.

Pours with about two finger thick fluffy white colored head, with not much standing. Amber in color, somewhat pale and hazy. Very good lacing. Almost no bubbles.

Aroma: Very good mix of citrus hop aroma and bready malts. Some weed like and grass like nose. I am assuming this is a subdued lot, but still it puts many IPAs to shame.

Taste: Nice mix of malts and hops. Nice use of malts that are suppressing the bitterness but still the balance tilts in the favor of hops. A good bitterness in the after taste for a pale ale. Citrus and some resin, oily character. Very hop upfront. Slight malty backbone and the ending is again full of bitterness. Bitter dry finish.

Mouth feel: Light to somewhat medium feel. Some hop derived astringency. Crisp and refreshing. Low on carbonation.

Very good beer for summers and springs. Very enjoyable in the winters as well. In the mood of some easy hops, this one will do the trick.

Style Rate: 4.25
Personal Rate: 4.25

Would definitely have scored 4.5 if fresh. I will seek this one out, an younger bro of Hop Devil. Certainly.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 23:05:02 | More by AmitC
Photo of Alextricity
Alextricity

Michigan

4.26/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Says to drink by June 23 2013, so I figure this is beer's likely not more than a couple months old. Poured into a Samuel Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: Almost crystal clear with a very slight haze; orange in color. There's about a two finger head after the pour, but it isn't long before it's just a film on top. Lacing is pretty spotty from top to bottom.

Smell: I first thought it really smelled like woman's shampoo with spices in it. That sounds odd, but it really did -- and not in a bad way at all. It smells great. As it warms up a tad, I find that it smells a lot more like a quality pale ale with a valiant blend of hops and malt. Probably the high light of this beer.

Taste/feel: Sweetness with the hops up front, that develops into more hops... and then more hops... and then finishes with the bitterness, with the flavor of caramel malts coming in to balance the hops. It's odd to me, because the hops seem sweet, and the malts seem bitter. Hey, I'm not complaining. The Citra (I believe they're Citra) hops, as usual, provide a very juicy quality to this beer, and the slight malty and spicy aftertaste on this beer makes it all the more satisfying. This is a great pale ale that has the bitterness of an IPA, but more overall qualities of an APA. Definitely a tasty pale ale worth seeking out. For the best flavor, I say take it out of the fridge five minutes before drinking it -- it's when it's at its best, I think.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2013 20:40:32 | More by Alextricity
Photo of ColForbinBC
ColForbinBC

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a pure amber in color with a chunky two finger just off white head. Some mild lacing and a thin layer of foam left when everything settles.

Clean, bright citrus/floral aroma with a signature victory pale malt background.

Citrus up front (oranges/tangerines) with a clean, lightly toasted pale malt flavor through the middle. The finish is lightly bitter, where the floral, perfumey hops step up a bit.

Light to medium body with a dry, bitter finish.

For the style, I found this to hit all the major points pretty damn well. Not as hoppy as a Dale's or as caramel-laden as a sierra. A damn good example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 01:42:01 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of BLove
BLove

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, light orange hue with thick cottony head, small bits of lacing.

Citrus & floral hop aromas with sweet malt undertones.

Tastes like....VICTORY. No big surprises here...citrus hops are bitter but balanced nicely with sweet & crisp malts. Medium body & avg carbonation...just enough, not too much.

Well done & enjoyable pale ale...think I'll pour myself another. ;)

Serving type: growler

07-24-2011 19:56:40 | More by BLove
Photo of onewetpaw
onewetpaw

Tennessee

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Spicy hop character with some mild orange hops as well. Caramel and some nice full maltiness as well.

A- Brilliantly clear light amber with a nice white two finger head.

F- Spicy hop character reminding me of Centennial predominates initially. The malt character quickly follows and is nice and strong with some mild caramel sweetness present, but definitely in the background.

M- Full body and above average carbonation. Quick to clear the palate

O- A really nice interpretation of the APA. I'll return to this again for sure. I would chose this over many other pale ales in national distribution.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 00:31:00 | More by onewetpaw
Photo of Fcip78
Fcip78

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

If you are looking for a hoppy session beer, this is your choice....It pours light amber in a pint glass with a nice off-white head. PLenty of light delicious citrusy grapefruit hop zing with each sip balanced with malt, thanks to citra hops! This is plenty smooth, but not too smooth where the beer becomes forgottable. This is a great beer year-round, but really awesome for any get together for casual beer drinkers and beer geeks alike.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2012 14:37:15 | More by Fcip78
Photo of BeerMark
BeerMark

Alabama

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Got this sixer at Derk's Fillet & Vine in Montgomery Alabama. My goodness, Alabama has come a long way in the last few years. I'm seeing world class beers sitting beside some great local selections. There's not much else that I can add to the reviews that are not here already. Headwaters Pale Ale is delicious. It's malty and hoppy and the combination of flavors is great. A very nice pale pale ale for times an IPA may be too much. Will be buying again.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2013 22:36:07 | More by BeerMark
Photo of Hoperator
Hoperator

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clarity and the amber glow was exceptional. Carbonated perfectly. Dense tan head laced the glass and retention was there to the last ounce. Against the APA style this is way too hoppy, however, is more in line with an IPA standard. There is certainly a good amount of Citra Hops pushing an incredible citrusy aroma with some piney, lemony notes. The taste is the same as the aroma with a well balanced overall experience. Has a good level of bitterness, certainly more than present in APAs. This is the beer your want to have when an traditional IPA is to big but when you want all the nose and flavors. One of my favorites and is my go to beer when people like hoppy without the extreme bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 01:12:00 | More by Hoperator
Photo of MistahBeah
MistahBeah

Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice golden color. Amber around the top. Lots of visible carbonation. Creamy white head with nice retention. Some striated lace

Smells of biscuits and slightly grainy. Fresh oranges. Some honey. Lots of estery yeast character. Faintly metallic. Some spice too but a lot of sweetness

Taste starts off with some peppery spice. Biscuity malts with some traces of honey or caramel. Hops kick in with some juicy grapefruit. Herbal bitterness works well with the fruity esters. Very nicely balanced. Finishes a bit spicy

Feels smooth and medium-bodied. Crisp with carbonation and spice

Overall a classic in my book. I find that many pale ales - even the good ones - fall flat for me. I'll find myself saying that something's "good for a pale." This is a great beer. True to style, yet different enough to stand out and be known

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 03:15:06 | More by MistahBeah
Photo of riversider76
riversider76

New York

4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden with amber hues. One finger plus head with good retention and nice lace. Aroma is of citrus, hops with notes of bread. Body is the lighter side of medium with some carbonation. Taste is a crisp well balanced treat. Nice grapefruit edge to the finish. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 00:12:01 | More by riversider76
Photo of atr2605
atr2605

New York

4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a semi-transparent light amber/orange color with a slightly off white foamy head with good retention.
S-bit of sweet malt/honey, with moderate citrus and pine hop aroma
T-Citrus and malt up front followed by a bit of pine bitterness that is followed by more malt sweetness. Citrus bitterness lingers on the palate
M-medium bodied
O-Really well balanced beer with tons of flavor but still extremely drinkable. Look forward to having it again.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2012 00:09:54 | More by atr2605
Photo of justintcoons
justintcoons

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2011 00:34:17 | More by justintcoons
Photo of JMad
JMad

Texas

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass...

The liquid was a light, copper, orange color with a thin, bubbly, white head that dissipated quickly. It smells amazing for a pale ale, there are hints of lime, grapefruit and sweet malt. The taste consists lemon and lime with a hint of bready sweet malt and a piney, hoppy aftertaste. The beer is light, with stinging carbonation and a slightly dry finish. Headwaters pale ale is highly drinkable, it's perfect for a hop-head that wants to have a nice drinking session.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 00:47:37 | More by JMad
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I find it weird that I never seen a bottle. Got this as a free birthday beer at the Mad Mex during happy hour! I was so happy!

A - Poured glorious golden orange, darker than expected for a pale ale with a nice inch of head on top.

S - Smells pretty timid. I got some Amarillo hops, slight malt and a bit of grain. Doesn't smell too bitter so that's a plus.

T - It's weird but it's kind of like a lighter version of Dales Pale ale. You get a mild aggressiveness from the hops and bitterness from grains and then it finishes sweet with a gram cracker malt. Balanced and tasty.

M - I did find it a bit light bodied but it just might have been since I had a Mojo Risin before this so maybe it had a medium body but drank light.

Overall I really enjoyed this offering from Victory and to me it was the definition of a session ale. Moderate ABV, smooth taste and little bite with just enough to take another sip. Hopefully I can find six packs someday!

Serving type: on-tap

03-18-2011 00:07:52 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of patoakes7
patoakes7

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a-coppery orange in color, extremley clear with little to no lacing off the cask.

s- slight cirusy hop smell. Not much nose poured from the cask

t-refreshing citrus and hoppy throughout. Not overwhelming and pretty smooth

m-Very little carbonation, light bodied and easy to drink

D- Much more drinkable then off regular draft. Props to Victorys 15th anniversary beer headwaters for supplying the firkin.

Serving type: cask

03-18-2011 00:38:07 | More by patoakes7
Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,725 ratings.