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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: 2,417
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.21%
Wants: 81
Gots: 393 | 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: 2,417
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 thain709
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A clear, copper body with some golden highlights...the head is creamy and stands about two fingers tall...it never fully goes away and it leaves some lacing

S - First whiff I pick up a lot of hops...the are citrus dominating with a bit of floral aromas as well...there is a balance of malt lingering in the background

T - The balance continues into the flavors...just like the aroma the hops start things off...they are very bright and sweet from the citrus flavors (grapefruit, orange, lemon)...the middle-end of this beer really shows the balance as the caramel malts continue the sweetness but there is also a bready malt presence...this also brings in a grainy flavor and a buttery flavor as well...the hops come back and make the finish long and bitter

M - Medium bodied...with the nitro there is still a crispness to the beer...it's very refreshing...the hops make a lingering bitterness

O - This started off as a hoppy APA but it showed to be very balanced...Victory did a nice job with this beer...I could session with this and not have a problem...happy anniversary Victory

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Photo of Clydesdale
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a lightly hazy orange color with some active, effervescent carbonation visible. The off-white head is initially tall, with a thick, densely frothy texture. Retention is sturdy, and some soapy splotches of lacing stick to the glass as the head fades.

S: Some biscuity and light caramel malt aromas. Bright, citric hop aromas are quite vibrant. Lemon and grapefruit are prominent, with some orange oil for good measure. Light tropical notes as well. My money is on Citra hops; I recently brewed a Citra IPA and this smells fairly similar.

T: Fairly firm biscuity maltiness. Caramel sweetness isn't absent, but it's rather light. Bitterness is strong. Hop flavors are primarily citric (again, grapefruit with some lighter lemony notes), with some faintly floral/grassy flavors following.

M: For a 5.1% abv pale ale, this has surprising body. Full and complemented by medium carbonation and some hoppy oiliness before a crisp, dry finish.

D: This is a very good pale ale from Victory. A big, interesting hop profile is joined by a persistent malt backbone - all wrapped into a neat little pale ale. It's hoppier than some IPAs, but it manages to fit well within the style. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of deaconoflove
3.06/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ap. Beautiful, bright amber color with frothy off-white head. Nice lacing, too.
Sm. Grapefruit, first and foremost and really the only thing.
Ta. Grapefruit...maybe some malt way back int he corner.
Mf. Light, crisp, good carbonation. Good.
Dr. Goes down easy.

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Photo of Brenden
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a clear dark amber in color. A soft and fluffy but dense head about one finger high retains itself moderately well and leaves a little thin lacing spotted down the glass.
The nose was strongly hoppy, more floral than anything but with some resin, complimented by a tangy lemon and citrus peel. There's a bit of dry malt balancing as well.
The taste follows suit. This is a very hop-forward pale that doesn't entirely throw out balance. This is a dry flavor given a lower sweetness and what seems like a dry malt base behind the floral, herbal and lightly citrus notes of the hops.
The mouthfeel is clean and crisp in a medium body. Fuller and more interesting than average, but missing something that would put it up there in my mind.
This is another very nice offering from Victory, who never disappoints.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bright clear gold with plenty of bubbles. Thin white head upon pour, dissipates rather quickly. Not much lacing.

S: I get a whiff of Centennial hops up front with notes of pine and citrus, fairly big malt profile contributes bread and caramel character. Citra hops come through at the end with a lemon zest.

T: malty flavors come through first with notes of bread and caramel. Some sweetness sneaks in next with notes of honey. Bitter notes follow with a citrus/pine hop character. Finish is crisp and well balanced. Very refreshing.

MF: light body, high carbonation, crisp

O: This is a nice flavorful pale ale and is very well balanced. The drinkability is great. Based on the description, I was hoping for a bigger impact from the Citra hops.

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Photo of Buggabeer
3.22/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A Nice golden color with nice lacing around the glass. It has a nice carbination and you can see the bubbles rising to the top to produce a thin head.

S Oh the Hop and Citrus (Grapefruit) aroma is wonderful. I could smell this all day!!

T Oh if I could only taste smell. As it hits the mouth it has a nice taste but after swallowing the best discription is it taste like biting into a grapefruit rind. It has the acidic bitter flavor to it.

M Nice feel with the right amout of carbination but nothing more than an average Pale Ale

O It was a dissapointment to me. After smelling the beer I so wanted to drink but after my first swallow and I got the rind taste it was all down hill after that.

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Photo of magnj
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Brilliant clear orange-amber body with a frothy 1 finger head.

S - Aromatic during the pour! Smells well balanced with nice earthy hop tones and bready malt. Somewhat sweet?

T - Less hopaliscious than the initial nose suggested but being an APA this is a good thing. Extremely well balanced, really. Leads with grainy, raw pale malts and citrus, then gives way to just a little bit of earthy hop flavor and bitterness. Again ends grainy and reminds me of a typical brewpub house pale ale.

M/D - It took me a minute to figure out what it was about this beer that was giving me mixed readings. Despite all the flavor described above I still felt like it was almost watery. To me I think it's way under carbonated. Aside from that issue it's a great beer but it does affect it's drinkability.

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Photo of BeerTwigs
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on Tap at the Golden Rail in Newburgh, NY. It pours an a nice clear amber color with some off white head and good lacing.

The aroma has some great herbal hoppiness with a trace of malt which is very pleasant.

This beer tastes very good with balance of herbal hops and slight maltiness.

A very drinakble beer which is smooth and light medium bodied. I would definitely recommend trying this beer. This beer could definitely replace one of my everyday beers.

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Photo of DJED69
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well done Victory! A really nice pale ale. Pours a deep copper with good head and lacing. Smells nice with good hop presence. Taste is more hop forward vs malt. But it's a good balance overall. Sort of like an IPA-lite. Finishes dry and crisp. At 5.1% abv---you can reasonably enjoy a few of these. I would put this brew firmly between Sierra Nevada and Dale's pale ale---not bad company! Had mine with Asian take out and it made a tasty combo. This is one I'll be returning too!

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I orginally had this APA from a growler from the brewery and it was fresh and good.
The bottle isn't bad either. Golden honey in color clear about a fingers worth of fluffy white head and nicly carbonated.
A well balanced aroma with hops having a citrus and floral bouquet and the malts having a caramel aroma.
taste is pretty balance with the flavors playing off each other. Hops are nice and fresh with floral notes and malts are sweet maybe pale.
A clean balanced beer with nice bitterness and a dry aftertaste.
Good to the last drop.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.23/5  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.

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Photo of mryuk
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a filtered golden brown with very little head.

smell is fresh piny hops but it is very light and not overwhelming.

taste is light fresh and smooth. slightly bitter finish with very light flavor.

mouth is light bodied with good carbonation.

this beer is ok but really stops short of what it could be. definitely leaves something to be desired from a hop perspective. the lightness of the beer was the star here but it still was not amazing.

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Photo of jmerloni
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A beautiful translucent straw yellow-orange with medium white head that spiders out on the top after it recedes. Really pleasant and clean looking. I like the looks of this a lot.

S - Yeast and honey malts. Something a little bit spicy in there, too. And hops.

T - Yeasty with a lot of citrusy hops. There's definitely some kind of spice here. I think it might be sage. Really nice and crisp, hops are fresh. This tastes like it flows from a utopian pristine creek somewhere!

M - Light to medium bodied. Hoppiness leaves the tastebuds pretty rocked. Smooth with not too much carbonation.

D - Great drinkability. Nice and light. There's a tiny bit of a gap between the intensity of the hops and the overall drinkability. It seems like Victory wanted to make it highly drinkable - and it is - but it does seem a bit watery on some sips, but it's actually nice and refreshing. Solid beer. I love what they do with lighter ales. They never ever miss.

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Photo of jifigz
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My last bottle of my case poured into a standard pint glass.

A- The beer poured with a small white head that lasted a few moments. The color of the brew is a very appealing light orange/amberish color and pretty easy to see through.

S- The smell on this beer is very light. Some hop aroma with some grass clipping type smells.

T- The taste is pretty light. A nice balance of sweet malt and hop bitterness. The bitterness lingers for several seconds after the sip.

M- The mouthfeel is pretty average. It's not overly carbonated which is a good thing, but its not undercarbonated or creamy feeling either. It works for me.

O- As usaul Victory produced a pretty good beer. I could see this being a beer that could get the average Joe macro shit beer drinker to start to appreciate a finer brew. The amount hop bitterness wouldn't leave their mouth feeling dry and thirsty and the flavor wouldn't be enough to scare them away. Overall an easy beer to drink and a very refreshing one. Thanks again Victory.

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Photo of Mardukk
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with some off white head and noticable lacing.

The smell is an exceptional blend of herbal hops with some faint malt. Probably the best quality of this beer.

The taste is dominated by the herbal hops with a touch of lightly roasted malt to balance the hop bitterness. The taste very good overall.

The mouthfeel is a tad thin for the style and is the biggest drawback of this APA. With medium carbonation and a nice smooth yet yummy herbal hop flavor this is an easy one to drink.

This is a very nice quality APA that I would definitely buy again.

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Photo of rrski198
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep amber/orange color. Nice size white fluffy head, great lacing. Small slow rising bubbles.

S: Spicy, pungent, piney hops. They must have dry hoped the poop out of this because it smells of an IPA. Also a hint of odd stinky socks.

T: Nice sweet malt up front followed but the hop spice. These hops bite for sure and leave a nicely balanced biterness that lingers.

M: I love the spice pop of the hops but I am desiring a little more body (as I do with most pale ale's) however, for the style, it is above average.

O: This is a solid beer from Victory. I love the sight of the beer and the smell is awesome for a pale ale, I would recomend, but in a crowded catergory of beer, this is not something I would run to buy again. Great session beer though.

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

Headwaters Pale presents with a pale amber color that catches the light nicely. A nice looking beer sitting on the railing of my deck on a spring afternoon. Head retention is minimal; a thin layer of bubbles clings to the surface and leaves a little to be desired. Not bad overall.

The aroma is inviting with notes of damp pine needles and bitter orange peel. Those aromas carry through onto the taste with a little earthy depth for good measure. It has really nice balance with a pleasant bitterness that's noticeabet but not at all overpowering.

It's crisp and refreshing, with a clean taste and lively carbonation that cleanses the palate. It has enough body to carry the flavor without being too sticky on the finish which leaves the lingering flavors of ripe grapefruit as it fades.

All things considered I found this to be a really good pale ale. I would have liked the flavors to be a little brighter and fuller perhaps but I don't have a whole lot of complaints. Very pleased with this one and definitely something I wouldn't mind revisiting from time to time.

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Photo of BeerThursdays
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Burnt orange in color with a think white head. Head dissipates quickly to leave a thin white layer of bubbles. Brew is relatively clear with very few bubbles coming from the bottom. Some lacing, but not the rings I love seeing.

S - Very nice for a pale. Piney Hops, bready malts. Exactly what one would expect, but not over powering at all.

T - Very light taste. Sweet at first, giving way to decent hop character. Less of a bite than some pales, with a clean finish. Less than stellar. Bready malts make an appearance, along with a slight caramel flavor.

M - Low alcohol, light bodied, and easy drinking. Goes down clean.

Overall, is a decent brew. I would drink this one a nice hot day after doing yard work.

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Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear dark golden yellow in color and has a light amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that gradually died down into lacing covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of citrus and grassy hops in the nose. Smells of grapefruit stand out in particular.
T: Like the smell, grapefruit flavors stand out in the taste, which is well balanced by the underlying malts. The finish has a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer goes down very easily and is quite sessionable. I would have no problem drinking this beer all night long.

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Photo of jlindros
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big fizzy head of 1.5 fingers hits the top of my SA perfect pint glass perfectly, and lots of bubbles from the bottom reinforcing it so it sticks around for a while. The beer is a crystal clear pale amber orange color. slight sticky lacing.

Nose has some nice hops, fresh hops with just a touch of musty resin, light grassy, barely a touch of tropical fruit, not much by way of malts.

Taste is light and refreshing, low malt feel but a bit of a malty flavor, some hops again, light musty resin, fresh wet hop like flavors, light spicy and grassy hops, very light tropical fruit. Dry finish, gets fairly bitter and slightly astringent, very light mint flavor too. Light lingering citrus and musty resin.

Mouth is a bit lighter bodied, but good carbonation, crisp.

Overall fairly decent, not the best APA but a decent hop addition, light malts, very drinkable and refreshing.

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

had this one on tap at barleys while waiting for calton to bring up the growler! served cold right from the tap.

the pour was a very nice and very golden amber with a smooth cap of white that graced the top for a few moments before settling back down. light aroma, citrus hops, lemon, orange, nice hints of tangerine peel and a wonerfully well balanced profile. smooth, clean and very light delivery lets the flavor explore the palate and really gives a cool and resfreshing taste. clean an concise, the finish was lightly tart and dry.

overall i was not expecting much but i ended up really, really liking this one, good session beer.

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Photo of Snow81
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light orange haze

Head: Small white head

Smell: Light floral hops with subtle malty grass

Taste: Starts off super grassy maltyness, hops come in to play at the end and there a bit bitter

Weight: Medium to low body and medium to high for carbonation

Finish: Hops and a thick grass

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Photo of Brad007
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mild amber color with a thick head into my glass. The head recedes, leaving some lacing on the edges.

Aroma contains a slight hint of biscuit malt with some grassy hops. Very clean and basic.

Lots of grassiness upfront with very little malt underneath. Not much appeal otherwise.

Finishes clean with lingering grassiness. Meh.

My overall impression is that it's a very basic, yet unimpressive example of the style. I was expecting more flavor.

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Photo of jera1350
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Certainly looks the part with a thick cap of foam and a golden body.

Kind of a soapy hop smell. Liquid dish soap with some earthy and citrus hop notes.

Not the biggest fan of the hop profile, but I do like the overall flavor of the beer. A nice biscuity sweet malt that puts the earthy hops in balance.

Smooth feeling with very soft carbonation. The body is light-medium. Lightly dry finishing as well.

Overall, this is a very solid pale ale. The hops stand out in this one, but in no way overwhelm the whole of the beer. That is the way a good pale ale should be. Nice brew.

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