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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

583 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 583
Hads: 2,463
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.21%
Wants: 82
Gots: 413 | 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: 583 | Hads: 2,463
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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Photo of dciBA
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Victory tulip. Clear, amber in color with about 2 fingers of white head that fades to a thin skimming. Quite a bit of lacing as it goes down.

Smell is quite hoppy. Citrusy grapefruit hops mostly, some pine. There's a solid amount of toasted malt coming through as well.

The hops in the nose aren't quite as strong on the tongue. The classic Victory malt profile comes through nice and strong without being overpowering. Hops aren't as prevalent as you would expect after smelling the brew. They are there though. Flavor lingers surprisingly long for the style. The finish is on the sweet side, but doesn't detract too much.

Perfect carbonation. Nice smooth mouthfeel. Overall a well balanced, tasty APA. Not the best I've had but a nice effort from Victory and well worth picking up a sixer.

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

Over a large pie from Classic Slice I drank this tasty pale ale. It had a mellow aroma, a laid-back impression, a chill mid-section and dry bitter finish. At first I thought, Oh no, another out-of-wack pale ale! But as I enjoyed it as an accompaniment to my rich, tangy-sauced pizza it became a highly regarded companion. The big malty base played well with the bitter linger and actually kept me eating (and drinking) more than my fair share.

Thankfully, it's a pale ale that isn't trying to be a IPA or some other bastardized-macho-hop-whipper. Not the best out there, but well worth a seat the pizza parlor booth (and a repeat visit to my fridge).

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Photo of Soonami
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Victory Headwaters Pale Ale is a fantastic APA. This is a crystal orange-amber beer topped with clingy white lacing that just explodes with citrus flavor. The nose is dominated by tangerine and navel orange peel with subdued whiff of baking biscuit. The beer tastes like candied orange peel, with a fruity mango-like sweetness (not sugary or malty) and a hint of grainy toasted cracker. This is a beer with great balance of hops aroma and flavor with malt, but I wish it were just a little bit more bitter to give it a little more crispness and bite. The beer also has more body than I would've like and tastes a little under carbonated. I guess maybe I want this beer to be more like Prima Pils with it's crisp snappy carbonation and sharp bitterness but with the fruit ale yeasts and citrusy american hops. Either way this is very good but just short of perfect.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear golden with a frothy off-white head that retains OK. The aroma is grassy and citrusy hops upfront, along with grainy malt and some biscuit notes, honey and some minerals. The flavor is similar with honey and biscuit malt initially, along with some grassy, citrusy and slightly floral hops, grainy malt and some fruity esters. The mouthfeel is light and sprightly, and drinkability is excellent. A tasty and quaffable pale ale, perfect for warmer weather.

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Photo of Axic10
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden orange with a finger of fluffy white head that settles to a thin layer.

Smell: Citrus notes, fresh hop aroma, slight hint of sweet malt.

Taste: Citrus is the highlight of the flavor profile. Juicy grapefruit and mango, with a slight hop bitterness and a sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, crisp and clean.

Overall: Very impressed with this beer. I'm looking forward to drinking this in the summer months as it is really refreshing.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle at 42 degrees into a pint glass. Enjoy by: July 8, 2011.

A: It pours a clear red-orange color with a half-finger of head that leaves some small-clumps of lace; it looks typical for an APA.

S: Lots of fresh hoppy and citrusy aromas; it is very enticing.

T: The hoppiness is a bit subdued in the taste but plenty of citrus is still present and it has a dry, cereal malt finish. It is not very complex - how many APAs are? - but it is quite refreshing.

M: The body is medium-light with average carbonation and a "sudsy" creaminess on the palate late.

O: it is a little less hoppy than I hoped but it is highly quaffable and inexpensive - $8.99 per sixer.

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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 twiggamortis420
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a best by date of Jul 8 2011. Pours a stunningly clear copper color with a modest cap of tan head. Fades fairly quick and does not leave a whole lot of lacing.

I really like the tropical blend of hop aromas on this one. Really nice. Some toasty malt is in the background, but the juicy hops are the main show.

This is a mighty fine Pale Ale. Succulent hop flavors are complimented by a shifting grass hop bitterness at the end. Not to be outdone, the biscuity and toasted malt flavors manage to shine as well. Mouthfeel is right at medium for an APA and it goes down very easy and smooth. I think Victory has a real winner on their hands here. I know I will buy more than a few six packs of this each year.

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Photo of Star80
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a golden amber color, with a thinning but still creamy looking head. Smells a lot like a famous Pale Ale from Northern California that I won't name, some nice citric hop whiffs with some spiciness that is hard to point a finger on. Taste is nice a balance, some malty, breadiness but with a spicey hop background to help balance the flavors out and cleanly come off the palate. Definitely a bit more spicey than that Calfornia Pale Ale, but I think these are similar in quality, I believe they both are using lots of whole leaf Cascades, which to me is still one of the best hops on earth. Anyway, would take a point off for originality somewhere, but from the brewers standpoint why try and reinvent the wheel? A nice, high drinkable interpretation nonetheless!

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

Pours a very clear, deep golden with a 2-finger+ white head that falls at a moderate pace leaving some decent lacing.

The smell is fruity and grassy with a bit of sweet malt.

The taste is mild grassiness and light fruit balanced nicely with a similar mild malt sweetness followed by ,,, yes, mild bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium/thin, crisp and lightly carbonated.

Overall, this is a mild but still tasty and well balanced beer that will be an excellent beer on a hot summer day and I look forward to having some fresh bottles in a few months. Victory has produced a pleasant, nicely made version of an APA.

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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 Morey
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a July 8th 2011 best by date stamped on the label.

Pours copper-orange in color with brilliant clarity. One finger of off-white foam topped this brew for the first couple of minutes, but has now settled to a thin lace floating on top. Pretty decent head retention.

Smell was pretty fruity and citrus forward immediately following my pour, but more malty aromas are now starting to dominate the nose.

A really nice mix of hops and malts. Really balanced at this point. Hops linger a bit in the finish, but it's pretty mild making for a very refreshing summer beer.

Thin to medium body with moderate carbonation. About what you might expect for the style.

I could easily drink this on a warm summer day during a BBQ.

Morey's Bottom Line: This is the first time that I've had this beer, and I'd like to have a fresher bottle sometime. I almost didn't review it, but if Victory still considers it to be well within the freshness realm, then why not. It was good, but I prefer Southern Tier's Pale. But then again, ST is close, so I only drink theirs fresh.

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

Headwaters has a nice copper-colored body has an off-white head that doesn't have much going on in terms of lacing or retention.

It smells like there is an interesting variety of hops in this one, with a mix of citrus and earth aromas. A good bit of caramel malt also.

There is even more of a multitude of different hop flavors than what I noticed in the aroma. A good bit of citrus flavor is followed by a strong, grassy flavor and a bit of earthiness. The fairly-sweet caramel malt backbone balances these hops out a little too much for my tastes. I would really let these hops shine given the chance, because although they are not in-your-face-overpowering, they are really interesting.

Victory always does a good job with the mouthfeel of their beers, and this one is no exception.

Overall, I like this one. Solid pale ale.

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Photo of dfclav
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a very clear copper, much like a new penny will look, with a 1 1/2 finger head and generous, active carbonation. A fair amount of lacing sticks to the glass, though thin and patchy. It's a pretty good look though the head left very quickly.

S - again, pretty intense for a pale ale, especially given the fact it clocks in at just over 5%. Grapefruit, sweet bread, vanilla, oranges. Flavors blend together well.

T - hmm...this kind of reminds me of their pils, only more hoppy. IPA-like grapefruit character. Malt plays a big part, and I like the aggressive hop bite they have going here. This is a beer that would pair well with many foods.

M - pretty average for the style, decent carbonation. Damn smooth. About as perfect a dry finish a pale ale can leave you. So easy to finish this off quickly.

O - while this fits into the category, it does push into some other boundaries. I do like the bite this beer has, because it will pair with foods very well and can get some new attention to the craft beer world to non-craft drinkers. Kudos for pushing a new beer into the lineup, and a pale ale of all things. This one works.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle reads enjoy by Jul 8 2011 BT6

A= Pours a clear golden yellow color with a nice big white head on it that holds steady retention and lacing on the side of the glass.

S= The smell is some light floral hops with a nice sweet malty compliment. Smells like your typical easy drinking pale ale.

T= The taste is again very typical of an APA. A nice semi sweet character to it with a decent grassy floral character. The finish is clean and there is a very very subtle lingering bitterness to it.

M= Great smooth creamy carbonation.

O= A nice easy drinking beer. Actually quite nice. Weather I would buy it again is up for debate. While it is very tasty I can support the guys down the street at Summit for less money and get what I would concider a better product. Not bad by any means however.

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Photo of beer2day
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep orange gold color. Forced 1-finger light cream head, with very light retention. Sparse lace all around the glass. Fairly light bubble stream.

Nice mix of strawgrass and herbal hops, with a grapefruit twist. Not overpowering, but not meant to be. For a 5% glass, a pretty decent nose.

Decent malt body, but a really nice bite of grapefruit hops in the finish. Particularly good considering the relatively low abv. Lightly roasted malt with citrus winning out over the malt body. Not overpowering, but very nice in the end.

Feel is about right for the abv and style. Slightly creamy and full.

Overall a beer I'd seek out again. Especially if in the mood for more than one.

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Photo of AwYeh
2.92/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On-tap at Melt Bar and Grilled in Lakewood, Ohio. Poured into shaker pint, reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a clear, golden copper yellow color, with two fingers of quickly dissipating white head.

S: Biscuity malts and grassy, herbal hops both come through strongly here. Nice balance between the two- bitter and sweet are in close proportion to one another.

T: Rather bitter with more of the grassy flavor present in the aroma, along with some light caramel sweetness lingering in the background.

M: Standard APA- light/medium body with moderate+ carbonation and a moderately dry finish.

O: The lack of any really enjoyable flavors or complexity hurts this beer's overall score; I was pretty tired of it by the end of my glass and doubt I'll be picking this one up again.

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Photo of pmccallum86
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden red color with a healthy bubbly head.

Smell is very earthy, tons of earthy hop aromas in the nose, not much else.

Taste is bitter in front with a very earthy hop character. Nice tasting beer, not much of a malt presence, but not bad.

Mouthfeel is slightly thin and dry

Overall a decent beer, nothing special but above average.

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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 583 ratings.