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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: 2,459
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.21%
Wants: 82
Gots: 412 | 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: 2,459
Photo of DaveBlack
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Good looking beer. Crystal clear orange-ish honey color with maybe 1/2 finger of white head. The head has medium retention and leaves a light spattering of lacing. Upon first pouring it the bubbles stuck to the side of the glass in an almost unbroken wall of bubbles, but they quickly dissipated.

S: Smell is interesting. Slight bit of sweetness is almost overwhelmed by the hops. Lots of grapefruit and pine combine with a smell I can only describe as grassy and fresh.

T: Taste is not as hoppy as the aroma led me to believe, which is a good thing. The hops are definitely there, but they play really well with the malts instead of overpowering them. Lots of pine, a slight fruit flavor and a caramel sweetness rolls over it all.

M: Mouhtfeel is medium-light, relatively high carbonation. Leaves the mouth feeling slightly dry.

O: I find this to be an intensely drinkable beer. Reminds me of a good summers day. I grow tired of beers that are just liquid hops, but this has a nice balance of malts and hops. And the Aroma and flavor both rather remind me of a summers day.

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

12 ounce bottle - $1.89 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Enjoy by August 17, 2011.

Appearance: Pours a golden-orange body with clear, consistent clarity and crowned with a layer of just off-white suds. Some spotty lacing on the way down.

Smell: Citrus peelings and sun-dried grasses in the nose with some underlying, milder hints of sweetish malt.

Taste: Adequate base of pale maltiness with light streaks of grainy bread and mildly sweet toffee. Citrusy tastes of zested lemons and tangerines. Moderately bitter, though it builds a bit as you go along. Grows a bit pithier and resinous as you approach the dry, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: A nice, pleasant pale with a little bit of potency going on.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Prime 16 in Orange. Pours a translucent amber color with a 1/4 inch of head. Good amount of lacing. Aroma is citrus and spicy hops. Slightly tropical with some biscuity malts. The taste is spicy hops with some orange peel and pine hints. Lots of hop flavor with a good amount of bitterness. Biscuit towards the end with more orange peel bitterness. Light mouthfeel with a fair amount of carbonation. This is one of the hoppier Pale Ales I've had. Overall, lots of flavor that's easy to drink. This Pale Ale is worth seeking out.

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Photo of VictorWisc
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours clear medium amber with moderate off-white head with little retention, but with some foam film remaining on the surface. Moderate lacing even after head subsides.

Pungent hoppy nose with noticeable yeast. Mild citrus and eucalyptus notes.

Classic PA flavor profile Tastes grassy up front, then piny resin and clove notes with floral yeastiness. The finish is sweet citrus and caramel maltiness, rounding off back to resinous spice. Well balanced once the initial bitterness melts away. [PS 08/02/13: Just had another bottle from the same batch not quite a week later and this one is all grapefruit peel and mild caramel/burnt sugar malt notes. Not sure what to make of the difference, as there is nothing sweet in this bottle. It really tastes like what I got when I tried to infuse fresh grapefruit peels for 24 hours.]

Body light to medium with very light carbonation as the beer coats the tongue. Not boozy, but there is some alcohol doing a hot dance on the tongue.

Good summer choice if not overchilled. For me this is a strong preference over comparable Sierra Nevada PA which tends not to hold flavors quite as long. An excellent part of a mixed 12 (with Prima, HotDevil and Golden Monkey) that would work well in any season.

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

Enjoy By: Jul 15 2011

Golden orange hue with a solid frothy head atop. Hoppy aroma...herbal, floral, zesty grapefruit notes over a subtle sugar cookie base. Leafy, sweet, juicy, spicy hoppiness on the tongue. The hops have a nice, punchy, pungency to them all around, but it's not out of control. Oily, yet fairly dry. Only a hint of the toasted malts under all the fresh, dank zestiness.

Very crisp and refreshing. Another quality beverage from the fine people at Victory that will likely find it's way into my fridge regularly. I love a good sessionable beer...

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Photo of jwc215
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at a local restaurant last year. Reviewed from notes that were lost, but recently found.

Pours amber with a thin lasting head. Dotted lacing sticks.

The smell is hoppy with citrus and pine.

The taste is of pine sap with citrus - tangerine, orange and grapefruit. Finishes with a sharp dryness.

The body is fitting for a pale ale, though a bit sharp - could be creamier.

This is a tasty, hoppy pale ale!

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Photo of 57md
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of goldrodent
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A nice friendly beer that lets the malts run the show, intimidating the hops up front, letting in a little spicy bitterness at the end. Tastes very good. Looks very, very pretty. Date it. See where it goes.

Epilogue: It is probably unfair to force a reviewer to write a review longer than 250 words when a beer is this proudly simple.

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

I picked up a single bottle of this at a small shop in Norwalk.

Appearance is a hazy amber color with a good sized off-white head. The smell is quite nice with floral hops, some grapefruit. Headwaters` tastes fairly sweet for an APA, but it is done well, along with some hops and small amount of bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and crisp. All in all, this is a good pale ale and a good choice for a leisurely spent afternoon.

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Photo of mscudder
4.08/5  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.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Golden color, slight haze. Creamy white head retains at a quarter of an inch. Thin sticky rings of lacing.

S: Floral, citrus pith, grains, light toast and caramel.

T: Very floral, touch of lemon and white grapefruit pith, mild bitterness. Solid malt base of caramel, toast, and toffee. Slight minerality, a touch brothy. Toasty grain and fading oily, green and spicy hops on the finish.

M: Lightish medium body. Nice malt backbone, firm, creamy. Moderate prickling carbonation. Very smooth.

O: A very well balanced American Pale. Too easy to drink. Shows more layers and complexity than the average APA.

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Photo of welldigger888
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from growler a nice copper gold with a white head that laced ok.

Nice resonious hop forward profile for the style, caramel maltiness to balance.

Like bread & butter, The resoniuos hop pine & sweet bready caramel maltiness play well together.

Medium bodied easy drinker here with spot on carbonation.

Victory realy know what they are doing up there! Nice beer,Send more down south please!

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

Headwaters pours a nice coppery color, with rich suds and nice lace. Next, a lovely bouquet of hops hits the nose...fresh pine, grass, and citrus. Perfect. The flavor? A little bitterness, but with a smooth, clean finish, this is a well-done pale ale with character and distinction. A favorite, and an easy-to-drink treat.

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Photo of matjack85
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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

poured into a Sam's Bulb glass from a bottle. Looks orange and slight chill haze. thick head with some foam and decent retention.

Smell is hops up front. citrus like floral notes. then some malt and yeast come through in the end. Not a strong aroma just enough to get the point across.

floral and citrus hop flavor zing to begin... followed by smooth malt and grainy character towards the end that finishes crisp. A very simple flavor that is in my opinion very well done.

medium body that allows flavors to absorb but not linger too long.

Overall a very nice pale ale... very refreshing and drinkable!!!

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

12oz bottle from Abe's of Bethlehem

A- Very bright clear amber color. Dissipating head.
S- Sweet, grapefruit and tropical notes.
T- Balanced, refreshing maltiness with tropical hops. A fairly simple beer that is enjoyable! I think I can actually taste the PA water in this one...
M- Supportive characters leave a balanced beer with a lighter mouthfeel.
D- High and very quaffable! Non-offensive and easily shareable.

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

Enjoy by Sept 19 2011. Amber color with two fingers of head that had good retention. The head settles to a thick cap. Some lacing is left on the glass.

Hoppy aroma of citrus and grass. What malt is detectable gives some toasted notes.

The malt makes more of an appearance in the flavor compared with the aroma. Caramel and toasted malt lays a solid foundation for the hops to play on. The hops have notes of citrus, grass, and a little earthiness. Quite a bit of hop flavor from the modest IBUs. Just a hint of sweetness in the finish.

Solid pale ale body. Good carbonation and texture.

A lot of flavor from relatively low IBUs and low ABV. Why can't more brewers do this.

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Photo of pinyin
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle at 39F into a 16 ounce crown tumbler ( i think most Victory offerings breath and lace the best in a crown tumbler)

Overall a very distinct and original offering from Victory.

Floral hoppy nose, with a medium finishing bitterness. Not quite IPA bitter, but possibly some whole leaf hallertau and centennial. Definitely more hop forward than malty, but the malt character is still present both in the nose and the dry aftertaste.

Yeast profile is really interesting on this one. I get a sense of some hybrid ale, kolsch and pilsner yeast.

Definitely a unique beer, and worth a try if you liked 19th Anniversary, Helles Lager or Prima Pils. It almost tastes like all three of those combined.

I like that this ale isn't too sugary. The last few cases of Helles (Brandywine Valley) Lager from Victory that I have purchased seem abnormally sweet for some reason.

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

Consumed 1/11/12

Appearance: A golden copper color, mostly clear, nice white head to start, average lacing

Smell: Nicely hoppy and malty - not as intense as an IPA, but it shouldn't be - oranges and some floral citrus, nothing harsh - bready, pale, untoasted malts, some caramel, very smooth

Taste: Surprisingly juicy and hoppy, yet it still fits the APA style - juicy orange flesh, tangerine, some mild citrus rind - some sweet grapefruit - bitterness is actually less harsh than an actual grapefruit - a great malt backbone - bready, lightly sweet, some light biscuit, some caramel malt, a little earthiness - fantastic balance

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, smooth, refreshing and drinkable

Overall: Honestly? Way, way better than expected

In the past few months, I've had some fantastic American Pale Ales, such as Half Acre Daisy Cutter. I've been wanting something like this for a long time (APA, relatively cheap, doesn't require trading). It's flavorful and stupidly easy to drink. I will probably be buying a bunch of this in the summer.

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Photo of kpoole25
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really good APA, dry, not heavy on the tongue. It has more hop flavor than bitter which I like, and a little more in the lemon / citrus hop zone than piney / resiny. According to their web site they only use 2 row malt but I would have thought there was a little pilsner or something to give more complexity (although the site says malt is imported, maybe that's the difference). Would buy again.

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

From the hand pull at The Bulls Head Public House, Lititz, PA.

A-Lightly hazed golden kissed copper, with a medium bright white head. Head slowly reduces to a thin cap and leaves heavy ringing lace.

S-Light floral hop qualities with a zing of spiciness and a subtle hit of muddled herbs. Mild citrus notes sneak through with notes of lemon zest being most dominate. Backing body of lightly sweet biscuit malt in the background providing balance.

T-Pleasant citrus zing melds nicely with a combination of herbal dankness, sweet biscuit malt and a finishing flurry of biting spiciness. All very nice for a rather light brew.

M-Medium bodied, soft, smooth and creamy. Hop bite and spicy zip are long lasting. Becomes surprisingly dry in the finish.

D-This one is right in my wheelhouse, especially on cask! A session APA if there ever was one...not too hoppy, not too big, everything is "just right". I would like to try this on tap and from a bottle to see if it as enjoyable. I doubt it but....Victory has done a fine job with this one.

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

Nice to get to the warmer weather and the lighter beers whether hoppy or not. This one, of course, is. And with a name like "headwaters" I'm inclined to think of the origins of the Mississippi being in our fair state.
Classic hop aroma with solid malt base. Seems familiar, but not necessarily common. Citrus hops with a hop oil quality reminding me of DIPA's.
A little darker than many, but certainly within range. Very clear body of amber gold. Small, but dense creamy looking head.
Well balanced flavors with a solid toasty, biscuit base and hops floating around appreciatively with citrus flavors and lightly moderate bitterness that softly finishes the drink.
Nicely done mouth feel with very soft carbonation, creaminess and moderately light body.
Very nice drinker. An overall balanced beer that if it leans it does towards malt character. But it goes down well, light enough for a few. Seems like a lovely ale for the coming warmer weather. Seems like an outdoor beer.

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Photo of Buck89
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear amber into a pint glass. Clean white foamy head with good retention. Smells of orange, pine and earthy tones with slight caramel. The taste is bitter orange with grapefruit and a slightly smoky malty finish. Good feel with medium carbonation. Way above average APA for me.

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