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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

2,184 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,184
Reviews: 540
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 61
Gots: 225 | 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: 2,184 | Reviews: 540 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alexgash
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. No bottle date.

Deep tawny orange, with golden edges. Small pillow of gauzy, off-white head. Nose shows off fresh citrus and piny notes mixed with spicy, almost rye-ish malt, and a bit of fruit. Nice balance.

Toasted malt up front. Hop bitterness soon follows; very citrusy, with some marmalade, grapefruit, and spice. Caramel and fruit show up in the malty base. Drier in the finish, with lingering peppery, citrusy hop bitterness and traces of caramel malt. Moderate body with a smooth, easy feel. Very enjoyable and quite sessionable. Can't believe it took me so long to try this beer!

alexgash, Sep 02, 2012
Photo of Swane
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%

Swane, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of Ciocanelu
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%

Ciocanelu, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of jmerloni
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

jmerloni, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of CHickman
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper orange color with a 2 finger very thick foamy beige head that faded very slowly, leaving good lacing.

Smells of big hops up front, with floral hops, orange peel, citrus hops, grapefruit, caramel, sweet malt, grains, herbs and sweet candy or brown sugar; floral hops, citrus and sweetness dominate the nose and make this smell like an nice IPA. A great nose for an APA and one that I really enjoyed.

Tastes of floral hops, flowers, orange peel, lemon, citrus hops, grapefruit, grape or apple, caramel, sweet malt, grains, herbs, piney hops, wheat, brown sugar, coriander and bread or biscuit; the hops dominate most of the taste, but then give way to the sweet malts which adds nice balance and flavor.

Mouthfeel is creamy and velvety smooth, with a medium body, very low carbonation and an easy smooth feel.

Drinkability is high, this is a very hoppy pale ale and to me it was very tasty and went down quite easy. Right in my wheelhouse, this was very well done and a beer that I recommend. A definite session beer for me.

CHickman, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of dsa7783
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single, twelve-ounce copped from Total Wine & More in West Orange. Superb depiction of the style; pours a ruddy, copper, amber-hue with slight carbonation visible. Aromatic, floral notes depicted on the palate and in the nose. Excellent, highly-drinkable brew with hints of tangerine and orange peel. A refreshing, medium-bodied pale ale with a noticeable hop presence. One of the better examples of the style I've come across in a long time. Great stuff. Recommended.

dsa7783, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of BeachBrewerDude
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden to amber in color, medium head retention

Smell: Subtle hop aroma

Taste: Tar, a little bit of skunk, mossy river stone, pungent grassy bitter hops, a hint of old lady makeup, a nice mild earthy maltiness.

Mouthfeel: Nicely carbonated and chilled. Hops with a tarry essence dominate taste buds.

Overall: Refreshing, hoppy, earthy, not too malty, great hoppy pale ale. The tar characteristic from the hops is something you should be in the mood for, but goes extremely well with certain foods such as BBQ ribs. This beer plays with BBQ sauce so well! Very fun to drink! Bartender...I'll take another!!!

BeachBrewerDude, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of PJHOY
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%

PJHOY, May 30, 2014
Photo of Gatch
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful copper color with a foamy, frothy, white head. No lace or retention.

S: Good balance of hops and malt but the hops stand out with a bite that I like to equate to East Coast hops. Not intense but great hop characteristics. Very pale, indeed.

T: Fresh, fruity, hoppy. Fantastic. Right amount of dryness. Malt hits the palate at the end of each sip to make this one balanced PA...from PA. (lame)

M: Smooth, refreshing, and delicious. Thinner body than I would like but the drinkability is very high.

O: A killer PA from Victory. Well done!

Gatch, Jun 24, 2012
Photo of UnderPressure
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice standard looking pale ale. Orange color. Slight haze. Thin head. Nice lacing, though.

Intense hop aroma. Caramel sweetness. Nice citrus and floral. Pungent undertone.

Awesome flavor! Hops everywhere. Not all that bitter. Sweet, grainy, and very hoppy.

Heavy mouthfeel with low carbonation.

Could use more carbonation and a thinner body. Otherwise, this beer is awesome.

UnderPressure, Sep 23, 2012
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottles purchased as part of a mix-six pack at Wegmans on East Avenue, in Rochester, NY.

Pours an amber orange into my Southern tier tulip. 1 inch fluffy head, visible carbonation.

Smells deliciously tropical and fruity, very clean smelling.

The taste is clean and crisp as well, I'd definitely guess this one uses a judicious amount of Citra hops. Oranges and pineapples abound, with a pleasant lingering bitterness. Some pine as well, that adds to the bitterness. Light but effective malt backbone, crackery.

Very crisp. One of the most drinkable pale ales you'll ever find.

Not one of the most balanced pale ales I've ever had, as the hop flavors dominate when fresh. The hop flavors are bright, clean, and refreshing though, and this beer is really drinkable- easy to put 3-4. Another winner from our friends at Victory.

GreesyFizeek, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of champ103
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bright and clear copper/orange color. A two finger, rocky, white head forms with good retention. The foam gently recedes and leaves some lace behind.
S: Big grassy and floral hops hit the nose at first. A light spicy zest of citrus the quickly fades. Plenty of malt that is great. Bread and biscuit. Some sweetness and finishes with more fresh cut grassy and hay aromas. Excellent.
T: Follows the nose. Fresh cut grass right up front. A zest spice of citrus and lots of malt. Toasted grains, bread and biscuit. Very dry as well. I love it.
M/D: A medium body that is just a bit watery. Though clean, dry, and very smooth. So easy to drink. I will be buying many more six packs.

An excellent pale ale that is really enjoyable. A perfect everyday drinker with lots of flavor. Highly recommended.

champ103, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of mjmbeer
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

there are very few if any beers by Victory that I do not like. this one is one of the better beers in the batch though. As a Pale Ale its pretty Hoppy.. more so than I thought it would be. Not that this is a bad thing. Wonderful amber color with a bone white creamy head that stuck around nicely. the mouth feel was not as smooth as i had hoped it would be. Might be just the bottle serving I am not sure. A bit too biting of a feel to it. Almost as if it had to much carbonation in it. I will have another try at it and see how things go. Overall a great tasting beer.

It is nice to see the APA out there still getting respect and at least this not like the run of the mill. Any one can ad hops and call it a pale but giving the beer that nice biscuit taste goes a long way in my book. This beer does it quiet well.

mjmbeer, Jul 26, 2012
Photo of guityler83
4.43/5  rDev +13%
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!

guityler83, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of LIbeerguy
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Bluepoint shaker pint glass.

A: Pours a nice amber with a large-bubbled head. Good retention and well-defined lacing.

S: Canned peaches, mango, grapefruit, sourdough

T: toast, citrus, tropical fruit, caramel. Moderate carbonation on the palate, bittersweet aftertaste

A very good pale ale by Victory with an enjoyable and well-balanced hop character. Almost sessionable at 5.1% which is good because I could drink several of these in one sitting.

LIbeerguy, Jul 26, 2012
Photo of Reagan1984
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a couple of these on draft at Armby Abbey. The sample I tried sold me immediately with it's great aroma. Two visits and two pints later, Victory reminded me why they have been one of my favorite brewers.

Pale Amber in color with some gold/orange tones and nice clarity. Nice finger of creamy head that leaves some nice lacing.

Aroma is fruity, fresh and full of grapefruit and topical notes.

Nice little beer here. Great balance, nice fresh hop flavor with an explosion of grapefruit. Toasty malts play a nice supporting role here.

Really refreshing and bright in your mouth. Carbonation pops an brings forth the hop character.

Really enjoyed this and will look for the bottled version (which I am told exists)

Well done!

Reagan1984, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of TBoneJones
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy apricot color, slight head and nice carbonation movement via tiny bubbles surfacing.
Smells great of fruity hops, maybe some apricot (kind of like the orange yellowish color), very nice and not overpowering at all.
Tastes light fruit in the mouth, then a hop finish of smoothness. Light and bitter. Refreshing.
Solid carbonation and body, goes down refreshing. If I session a beer I go to pale ales, and so far this is among my favorites.
Bitter to some, but I prefer bitter presence. Somehow more of the fruit taste would make me love this even more, more of a tropical fruit profile such as that of Zombie Dust. But Victory hasn't disappointed me yet, and this is one worthy APA.

TBoneJones, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of tzieser
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

a: straw in color with a slight haze. nice white head that settles into a thin lacing.

s: citrus-hop aroma with a noticeable honey-like malt sweetness and subtle grassy undertones.

t: crisp, hoppy and refreshing. hop flavor hits first and foremost with notes of citrus and flowers. malt backbone is there and keeps the beer from being too bitter (which it most certainly isn't). this is one refreshing beer. it's perfectly balanced. it deserves this 5; well done.

m: great mouthfeel.

delicious. my new go-to pale ale.

tzieser, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of wwhomeww
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a growler into an imperial pint. 1.5 fingers of off white head. It's beautiful copper color is bright and clear. Right away I get a good citrus hop presence with a hint of minerality. Body is medium with slightly oily mouthfeel not a bad thing. Finish has just the right amount of malty/bready characteristic and I'm left with a bit of metallic/mineral aftertaste. It's quenching and definitely sessionable. Fills a gap in the year round victory line up very well. All around a very good brew.

wwhomeww, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of CMB2012
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, best by date: August 17, 2011. Served in a American pint.

A- Super clean, amber/gold in color (the only real "flaw" of this beer is the color, a bit light for my liking, but this is merely a superficial argument). A semi-vigorous pour yields a wealthy two and a half finger head that dissipates slowly in a rocky/pillow foam fashion. Tiny bubbles float to the top in a steady, but minimal flow. The lacing is good.

S- Clean citrus hops up front- grapefruit and lemon, some biscuit, rustic bready malts, followed by toffee malts. Semi-sweet, but crisp hop finish.

T- Bright and citrusy up front- tangy grapefruit and again some lemon. The flavor then blends into biscuit and cracker notes, finishing out crisp and dry with a slight hop bitterness. This beer tastes almost exactly like it smells, points for the straightforward approach. Aftertaste is slightly malty with caramel undertones.

M- The feel on this is right on the mark- light to medium body with minimal carbonation, however the bubbles that are there make their presence known with a nice tingle on the tongue and throat.

O- I think this is a great APA and very drinkable. The flavor simple, approachable, but also well thought out- everything a great APA should be. Good job Victory, those who don't try this beer are missing out on a wonderful session beer.

CMB2012, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of jwinship83
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle picked up as a single that has a best by august date on it. drank from my sierra nevada hop tulip glass.

A- this one pours out a translucent light copper colored body with a tall finger of bright white head on top. the head last for a bit before falling, and leaves behind small rings of lacing. pretty nice.

S- the first thing i pick up on in the nose are hops. lots of hops. plenty of grapefruit and pine with a touch of floral. after that i get some caramel malts, which adds some sweetness and attempts to add some balance.

T- the taste starts out with some of the caramel malts which adds a solid sweet backbone. then its onto hop country. lots of grapefruit and resiny pine. a lesser amount of floral and grassy notes.

M- i find this to be on the lighter side of medium with a nice level of carbonation.

D- i really enjoyed this one. very hoppy for a pale ale and with an ABV that allows you to have more than two or three with out guaranteeing a crappy morning. this could give sierra nevada pale ale a run for its money. i wish it was year round. check it out.

jwinship83, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of deepchills
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this Victory Pale Ale at Majestics on Camp Bowie, $13 for a 6pk of 12oz bottle.

Pours a light gold with a small bubbly head.

Herbal/floral nose with some earthy hop and bready yeast present.

The beer has a crisp start with a malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness mixing nicely. Bready flavor and floral notes are present along with some light fruit.

The beer is brilliantly carbonated, resplendently crisp and especially effortless to drink.

A wonderful example of what a Pale Ale should be. I look forward to drink more....now.

deepchills, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of dar482
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a clear deep amber ruby color with a light two finger head.

The aroma is quite big. There’s some of citrus, grass, floral, pine. A huge hoppy wonderful aroma.

The flavor follows on the citrus, orange, floral. Then there’s a middle of caramel malt. It actually pushes on being an hoppy amber ale. It’s not a heavy sticky sweetness, but candy gentle sweetness.

The end hits you tons of pine, but lots of strong tea, earthy, resiny bitterness.

For me, this is just a wonderful pale ale. It really separates itself with the fruitiness and pine. The sweetness compliments the beer extremely well. It’s a great balance, but tons of hops, and packs lots of flavor for a 5.1% beer. Very impressed with this pale ale and definitely something I’ll be going back to.

dar482, Jul 09, 2013
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.

Clydesdale, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of Lemke10
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a single 12oz bottle of this in Summer 2011.

Pours a semi-clear copper color with a slight head but not much of one leaving a little lacing in the middle of the glass. the scent smells great with its bitter hops and blend of grains and malts. The taste isn't anything new but it is great. It has just the right volume to it as well as flavors. There's just enough hops to make the beer great without going too far overboard. Some nice citrus and wheat hints as well. A very well made beer that I definetly suggest trying!

Lemke10, Aug 12, 2011
Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,184 ratings.