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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 Omnium
Omnium

Pennsylvania

4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle > Winter Lager Glass

A - Pours a really nice golden color with a slight orange tint, 1 finger head, thick fluffy lacing.
S - Citrus fruits, earthy and great floral notes, a little yeast, great aroma.
T - Bitter citrus hop flavor, nice floral undertones, and a floury finish.
M - Bitterness hangs on a bit, along with those earthy floral flavors, medium, and a tad watery.
O - Great APA, Victory is somewhat overlooked, but this is a solid go-to beer, and should get more recognition. Refreshing and flavorful

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2013 01:21:29 | More by Omnium
Photo of jacewg
jacewg

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden orange color. Beautiful. Nice head, fades relatively quickly and leaves a thin head. Good lacing.

Aroma: Citra bomb. Tropical citrus fruit. A bit of simcoe-y pine and earthiness. This smells really, really good.

Taste: Really nice citrus and tropical fruit qualities. Moderately bitter. Quite dry overall. Just a hint of sweet balancing malt. Hops are the star. Hops come across a bit resiny and spicy on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Well carbed with just a touch of prickliness. A bit fuller bodied than expected for a 5% pale ale.

Overall: My go-to shelf pale ale/session hoppy beer. Underrated in my opinion. If the label said "Three Floyds" instead of "Victory" this would be rated considerably higher.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2013 18:55:42 | More by jacewg
Photo of 57md
57md

Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance is a light copper with a thin layer of head. There is surprisingly healthy amounts of lacing considering the minimal head to work with. The nose presents a decent dose of hops and a touch of pine. Again, I am surprised that such a thin amount of head produced a hearty smell.

There is some malt taste, but the main flavor notes are crisp and clean. The finish is certainly not crazy hoppy, but it is relatively bitter for an APA.

One of the best APAs available - an overlooked style in the days of "bigger is better" beer making.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2013 04:50:00 | More by 57md
Photo of cyclonece09
cyclonece09

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a translucent orange with a small white head. Smells of citrus hops and slight flowery notes. Tastes of earthy and slight citrus taste from the hops a a nice malty body. Beer is light/medium bodied and carbonated well. Overall a very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 02:18:02 | More by cyclonece09
Photo of WankelEngine
WankelEngine

Illinois

3.64/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a wine glass

A: Pours a vibrantly clear (so clear I can read text through it like an orange-tinted magnifying glass haha) amber-orange color. There is a small, off-white head which quickly fades to nothing but a small ring of foam. Mild lacing.

S: The first thing I pick up is a good dose of tropical fruits, very citrusy. Mild pine and some toffee follow, but the nose is dominated by the tropical aromas.

T: Not nearly as fruity as the aroma, but with a bigger emphasis on the citrus. A good dose of grassy hops greets the mid-palate and lingers through to the finish. The malt here is light and mild but provides just a bit of balance with some caramel flavor. Moderately bitter overall with a mild but long finish.

M: Fairly thin mouthfeel, but not overly so. Carbonation is on the mild side of moderate, but still effervescent. A little watery as I swallow.

O: A decent pale ale. Citra hops are here doing their thing which never hurts. Easy drinking with decent flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 01:49:32 | More by WankelEngine
Photo of masemase
masemase

Massachusetts

4.78/5  rDev +21.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 04:13:58 | More by masemase
Photo of gr0g
gr0g

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden-amber with high clarity. An almost two-finger head leaves some streaks of lacing. Grassy and citrusy aroma, in that order, with the citrus coming through as grapefruit and orange rind. Hints of tropical fare from the citra hops. Interplay between the citra and centennial hops is very nice in this restrained APA. The more restrained use of citra yields a floral, citric character as opposed to the pungency sometimes found with IPAs that use it heavily.

Cracker-like malt profile and a hearty helping of hop bitterness in the palate. Some grassy and citric hop character, grapefruit and other citrus rind. Good flavor for a 5% beer. Not all that complex, but enjoyable and refreshing.

Overall, Headwaters is like a more aromatic Sierra Nevada, which is a decidedly good thing. A great choice for a lighter offering that still packs a solid, hoppy bite. Despite being the "baby" of Victory's pale ale lineup, I think this is their most impressive.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 01:20:29 | More by gr0g
Photo of JG-90
JG-90

New Jersey

3.24/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

bottle into glass

A - Pours medium/large slightly creamy head, leaves moderate lacing, very clear pale copper color

S - Not as much smell as I expected, resinous hops, bread, and a little malt

T - Huge prickly/resinous hop start (seems to me a little aggressive for a pale ale), bread, grapefruit, and a slight malt finish

M - very prickly mouthfeel, medium/light body, moderate carbonation

O - I think the prickly hops with lighter body are a little too much for my taste, seems like a sligthly watered down IPA, but still a good and interesting beer

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2013 22:11:30 | More by JG-90
Photo of mscudder
mscudder

Georgia

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served into a pint.

A - A bronze pale ale with an off-white one-finger head. Average retention with below average lacing.

S - Funk, citrus, grapefruit, hops and pale malts.

T- Nice hop profile for a pale ale. Subtle blend of citrus and pine atop slightly bitter and sweet notes.

M - Medium minus body with moderate carbonation.

O - A drinkable and refreshing pale ale that I would buy again in a heartbeat. Excellent balance.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2013 05:18:13 | More by mscudder
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from Total Wine Tampa FL for 2$

Appearance - Clear dark gold colour with a large size fizzy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, grapefruit

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel and malts mixed with hops. There is also some grapefruit/lemons mixed with some light pineapple. It ends with a sweet malty and fruity aftertaste with a touch of hop bitterness.

Overall – Really delicious stuff that I could see myself drinking a lot of in 1 sitting. It has a nice well rounded taste that isn't potent but remains interesting throughout. I'd buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2013 03:19:03 | More by spinrsx
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in a willibecker. Pours a light, translucent copper with a one inch, frothy cream-colored head. Nose expresses Simcoe, an earthy/herbal quality, citrus notes and light, toasted malts. Head eventually disperses into a consistent, 1/8th inch cap with delicate spots and strands of lacing revealed in the wake. Taste consistent with nose, as well as the addition of a slight buttery flavor that cuts across the flavor profile and a light, noble hop bitterness at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with an assertive, slightly prickly carbonation and some citrus astringency. Overall, a very satisfying and tasty APA that would pair well with pub food and quite quaffable at 5.1%.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2013 00:09:52 | More by Jwale73
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Orange color, great head, lots of lace up the sides of the pint glass. Aroma is very floral hops, perfume-like and reminiscent of the floral/perfume aspect I get from Sierra Nevada amped up to 10. Flavor is more of the same. Overall a solid pale ale but it is also sort of one-dimensional and becomes overwhelming.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 17:15:42 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of matjack85
matjack85

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this single 12oz brown bottle at the Binny's store in Glen Ellyn, IL. for $1.69.

The beer poured a pale orange color with a 1-finger white head that lasted about a minute with decent lacing.

Big floral hop aroma along with lots of fruits.

Good citrusy hop flavor - mostly orange, tangerine, and grapefruit. Just enough maltiness for sweetness and balance. Bitterness is at IPA levels, but I liked it.

Light to medium body with medium carbonation.

This is a good tasting beer. Another winner from Victory.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 05:26:06 | More by matjack85
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a half inch cream head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving thick lacing.

Grapefruit, tangerine, and fresh cut grass begin the aroma. Mango, pineapple, and floral hops add complexity. There's a bready caramel malt backbone that is subtle.

Malt backbone is more substantial in the flavor, creating a lightly toasted breadcrust imitation. Citrusy hops become less distinct than in the aroma, providing a sharp contrast to the resiny, bitter finishing hops.

Body is moderate and slick, with moderate carbonation and a slight astringent bite.

More citrus hop character than anything, certainly more along the ipa line, if bitterness were more pronounced. Wish the flavor matched the aroma more closely.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2013 01:19:14 | More by barczar
Photo of BierStein711
BierStein711

Illinois

4.85/5  rDev +23.1%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2013 19:10:12 | More by BierStein711
Photo of BEERMILER12
BEERMILER12

Maine

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden yellow color with a fingers worth of head

S: Has some nice citrus and grassy hops with pale malts to back up the hops

T: Follows the nose, with some citrusy hops to start off, followed by the more dominant grassy hops and finished by the pale malts. Fairly simple

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth

O: A nice, simple pale ale with a good bit of hops and the malts to back them up. Nothing to really write home about, but a good drinker nonetheless

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 02:12:49 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of guityler83
guityler83

Wisconsin

4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A slightly hazy copper orange color, with a small bright white head with slight retention retention that sits on top of the glass as you sip your pint.

S: Just.. Wow.. An explosion of cattyness hits at first followed by the classic west coast resiny citrus. I also detect mango, melon and other tropical fruits (Simcoe/amarillo??) nice!

T: The cattyness comes through in the taste as expected, with a nice toasty backbone. The piney bitterness stays with you after you've put down the glass. Crisp and clean, this beer should be drank as fresh as possible.

M: Moderatly dry and a stickyness i describe from heavy late hop additions.

O: Bam! Victory makes some great beers this one included. While some people arn't a fan of the catty character the newer aroma type hops provide I love them in combination with the old classics. The aroma of Headwaters puts this thing in the IPA cattegory for me despite what the label says, I would love to hear the grain/hop bill for this bad boy. Good show ol' chap, good show!

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 19:51:50 | More by guityler83
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5

California

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Stone pint glass
From: Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, Calif., on Dec. 27, 2012
Price: $19.99 for the 6-pack
Misc.: Box said enjoy by March 10, 2013; Also a long and uninformative spiel about water on the bottle and not as much (really nothing) about the beer.

Poured a honey golden, pale, clear color with two fingers of snowy, frothy white head. Healthy amount of thick, foamy white lacing on the sides. Good thick retention on the top as well that lasted throughout the pour.

Smelled a sharp whiff of hops up front, somewhere between resin and citrus (grapefruit). The bitterness comes through unambiguously. Also lemon grass, hay and honey.

Tasted the hops first like the smell. Got that mix of resin and grapefruit. Also some lemon in there. Cereal and light bread.

Light body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Bitter finish.

Just a really good pale ale. Will savor my other two in the Victory variety pack.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 09:32:05 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of TheMultiYeast
TheMultiYeast

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazy yellow with a small white head.

Smell offers fresh, citrus hops..really clean aroma. Fresh orange/lemon with mild sweetness for balance.

Similar to nose with plenty of lemony citrus hop character, some spicy hop notes, hop forward but well balanced. Slightly bitter finish.

Crisp carbonation and light feel makes this a great pale to session.

Another great brew from Victory.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 22:14:31 | More by TheMultiYeast
Photo of ummswimmin
ummswimmin

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this into my tulip glass and got about two fingers of head. The coloring is more brown than orange.

The aroma from this beer is decently strong. I like the prevalence of citrus in the nose.

The flavor is pretty strong for a pale ale. You get a lot of citrus hops with really minimal malt. This leads to some decent bitterness. This is a pretty good pale that tastes more like a single IPA.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 20:06:09 | More by ummswimmin
Photo of SeamusDoyle
SeamusDoyle

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear amber with an average, frothy white to off-white head, medium retention with good lacing. Aroma is fragrant fruity, citrus, grapefruit, and pine hops and cereal malt with tropical fruity esters. Flavor is heavy hops and bitterness, supporting dry malt and fruity esters with a dry finish and a spicy character. Medium body and carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2012 19:19:15 | More by SeamusDoyle
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 fmccormi
fmccormi

New York

4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straight pour from 12oz pry-off bottle to a 25cl Duvel Single tulip. Freshness date of April 13, 2013 printed in white-grey ink on the shoulder of the bottle (“Enjoy By: Apr 13 2013 0182 1551”). Going by a five-month freshness period that Victory uses for this beer, I’m assuming that it was bottled on November 13, 2012. So, just under five weeks old on the date of consumption.

Appearance (3.5): Close to two fingers of very fine, velvety-looking foam rises offof the pour, capping a crystal-clear, honey-gold body. Retention is modest, but it leaves some fat splotches of lace and scattered suds as it goes down—definitely better than average.

Smell (4.0): Surprisingly funky, dank kinda smell coming off of this—which is awesome. The dry-hopping is evident, even at five weeks old. Very clean, fresh, and aromatic, with nice citrus (pineapple, mango) and mild weed tones (a little dank, a little resinous) over some solid, bready malt character that’s only modestly sweet and moderately rich—great mix and balance for the style.

Taste (4.5): A nice dose of bittering hops offers some grassy, mildly vegetal bitterness right off the bat. The body is clean and crisp, a light body of very pale barley malt that’s moderately toasty, like fresh-toasted Southern white bread—not sweet, very nice and dry but not particularly complex in grain composition, either. But it fits the style extremely well. There’s a very crisp, lemony flavor and bitterness that dominates the mid-palate and carries into the finish, which I like—very crisp and refreshing. The finish has a nice, medium-strength bitterness that’s part grass and part lemon. Awesome.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Definitely on the light side of medium-bodied, with a finish that’s crisp and dried out nicely from some modestly astringent hop oils. The carbonation is soft and full, foaming a bit on the way down. This is very, very drinkable.

Overall (4.0): Talk about crushable. This beer is so crisp and drinkable, it’s a perfect springtime beer—I can definitely see having a couple of these on the porch on a warm April evening in upstate NY. This is a great example of the style, and I will definitely be seeking it out again when I need something to shake me out of the winter doldrums and open me up to the crisp air of springtime. Good job, Victory.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2012 01:23:50 | More by fmccormi
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 match1112
match1112

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: clear amber body, fingers worth of head settles to a thin ring.

s: grainy, floral hops, caramel

t: sweet cereal grains, citrus hops, caramel malt

m: just a tad thin, decent carbonation, a little dry bitterness on the finish.

o: pretty tasty, easy drinkin, glad i grabed a six pack.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2012 01:38:39 | More by match1112
Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,725 ratings.