Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

559 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 559
Hads: 2,359
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 76
Gots: 365 | FT: 2
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:
Beer added by: thagr81us on 02-14-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 559 | Hads: 2,359
Photo of pinyin
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (887 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (1,066 characters)

Photo of kpoole25
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (399 characters)

Photo of Deuane
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (1,040 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (977 characters)

Photo of Buck89
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (287 characters)

Photo of horshamguy
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.
A--Deep golden, a bit cloudy. Small head that didn't last long, but left a decent amount of lacing.
S--Vague floral & herbal notes. Hoppiness is quite apparent.
T--Yummy. Hoppy without being one of the trendy hop bombs. Citrus and floral. Not as much maltiness as I'd like to see for balance, but still fantastic.
M--Tart from the hops and a bit of a tannic finish. Crisp is an understaement, it's tart. A little creamy and quenching.
O--Excellent. Another example of a high quality craft brew from Victory. These guys just can't miss. (578 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (537 characters)

Photo of KidDoc
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%

Poured a 12 oz beer into a standard pint glass. BB date of 3/2015. Deep clear coppery golden color with one-finger head that dissipated fairly quickly. Medium lacing. Nose is predominantly earthy piney hops with minor touch of citrus. Taste is assertively hoppy with nice lighter maltiness in the background. Decent bitterness dries the palate at the finish. Great example of an APA and, frankly, has a bit of IPA profile to it. If you like hops, you will like this. (474 characters)

Photo of IronCitySteve
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bright orange color with a nice thick white foam head. Not much lacing.

S: Nice balance of malt and hop characters. A nice amount floral scents with some biscuit and bread malt.

T: Quite balanced. The floral hops are most prevalent on the front end but are quickly balanced out by the light toast and biscuit undertones.

M: Very clean crisp and refreshing. Maybe just a tad on the thin side.

D: This is an easy to drink Pale Ale. Very refreshing...a solid offering from Victory! (494 characters)

Photo of LittleDon
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale ale or IPA, you decide.

Clear, light amber, good head retention and lace. Aroma: pineapples, a touch of caramel. Good hop/malt balance, lean toward the hoppy side. Finish is a bit on the flat side. Fairly high amount of carbonation with a medium-light body. Overall, very drinkable as a pale ale/IPA hybrid. (313 characters)

Photo of kirok1999
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy orange with wispy lace and head. Smells crisp and clean, lots of piney hops, malt sweetness and a bit of citrus.
Taste is just like the smell very crisp and clean, sweet up front with lots of crisp citrus hops, mild pine notes and a refreshingly dry finish. Overall a wonderful session beer, delicious and easy to sip. I want this one in the summer. (371 characters)

Photo of victory4me
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard shaker. Best by date of July 8, 2011.

Pours a clear golden that is darker than expected for a pale ale. Big two to three finger head that leaves a light lacing on the side of the glass. Aroma is really nice. Citrus and piney hops with a sweet malt backbone.

Taste mirrors the smell. Pineapple and citrus in the taste with an underlying apricot sweetness. I would suspect centennial and amarillo in the hop bill. Slightly piney and bitter. A very tasty pale ale with enough hop character to push the boundaries toward an IPA. Typical mouthfeel for the style, I could easily put back several of these with no problem. Lots of flavor for 5.1%.

Recommended. Best comparison would be a lighter version of Ithaca Flower Power. (746 characters)

Photo of magine
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a becker glass.

Pours a clear light copper with a near white wispy lace head. Head settles to a patchy island. Good clinging to the edges and the head retains the island the whole drink. Pretty good looks.

Brew smells of big floral and herbal hops. Some malted barley as well. Good bready yeasts as well. Good nose.

Brew is crisp and the hops pepper the tongue initially, then a smooth mellow middle and a dry finish. Good hop spiciness; herbal, floral and a nice barley malt and bready back drop. Some sweet citrus makes an appearance as well. Very good feel and taste here.

Wow this is a tremendous APA. A sessionable great tasting brew here. Wow Victory delivers yet again. (692 characters)

Photo of NiceTaps
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in a stemmed tulip glass.

A- Bright copper-orange color. The head is off-white in color and measures 1-finger, it tapers to a thick film with staying power. Not much lacing. It looks good.

S-Nice blend of citra hop goodies, citrus and pine. There's strong malt, almost whiskey-like with the noticeable presence of alcohol factored in.

T-Spicy, citrus, big malt backbone. Some alcohol in those tastes. Earthy pine.

M- It loses a little here, a bit thin. The sweet malt and alcohol give the hops a run for the finish. The hop bitterness holds up, though.

O- I like it. Pale ales that push toward the IPA are all right with me. (641 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours toasted golden with a large stack of off-white foam. Retention and lacing are both moderate.
Oily, orange rind and mint nose, backed with herbal snappiness, and tangerine and apple butter-smeared toast.
It begins with a taut, crackery maltiness that unfolds towards honeyed Golden Grahams as it warms. Some tangerine fruitiness frolicks in the middle, then a solid slap of minty, herbal, citrus peel bitterness shoots it down the throat.
It's light bodied, with steady, percolating carbonation. It's an absolutely refreshingly quaffable, and with enough character to stay interesting throughout the session. (614 characters)

Photo of bum732
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Grapefruit mostly and other citrus with a light bready malt.

L: Crystal clear orange with 1/8 inch creamy off-white head, solid lacing.

T: Bitter hoppiness up front with a medium malty sweetness. This is quickly erased by a medium high citrus bitterness, quite bitter. Some toasty sweetness in the finish.

M: Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

Solid, quite bitter and hoppy for a pale ale. (399 characters)

Photo of devinoconnor
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Victory's becoming a top tier brewery in my eyes. One brew after another, I'm pleasantly surprised.

This is a strong American Pale Ale, but it borders on an IPA in taste and smell.

Pours a golden color.

Smell is quite hoppy for categorized as a pale ale.

I thought the taste would be overly hoppy from the nose, but it wasn't at all. Yes, there's plenty of hops there, but the beer has a nice smoothness finish. It has a rather in-depth watery taste as it goes down. The Headwaters isn't just part of the name; it's a vital part of the beer.

Overall, highly recommend. (578 characters)

Photo of Oakenator
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice gold color in the glass and a good head. Lacing on the glass is present during consumption. This continues to challenge older traditions of pale ales and has a healthy dose of hops both in the nose and on the tongue. Hops tend to be more spices than citrus or pine. Good refreshing beer and could be used as a session. (331 characters)

Photo of chadlebald
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Malt is quite pronounced. Smell of multigrain bread - think there's some rye in here.

Nice balance of malt and hops - the latter of which are 'standard fare' (by that I mean not floral, citrusy or otherwise).

I think this is a nice mix between an American pale and English pale. Not sure if this is because I'm drinking it on cask, but it definitely seems to affect the overall experience! (391 characters)

Photo of Josiah2729
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Light Orange with minimal white head, very clear, with some carbonation bubbles throughout. No lacing.

Smell: Grapefruit scented hops, overpowering.

Taste: Citrus hops, slight malt, the hops are upfront and lingering in the beer.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation up front along with hops bitterness followed by a smooth fresh water feel.

Overall: Delicious hoppy pale ale. (417 characters)

Photo of dieter172
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This American PA is in the Classic British style and is very well done. Highly recommended. Drinking it makes me really appreciate and respect the brewers' efforts to protect the watershed. (191 characters)

Photo of ms11781
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by May 14, 2012 printed on label. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours an excellent, crystal clear bright orange with a nice, fluffy head of white foam. The head settles in as a thin white cap and leaves lacing that coats the glass from top nearly to the bottom. Carbonation is evident from appearance.

There's not much to hide behind here and it's pulled off nicely. Nice big hop aroma up front in the nose. Bright citrus and nice floral hops come across first and are balanced by a nice malt sweetness. There's not a ton going on but it's really clean and impressive.

The taste follows along with the nose but it's taken down just a step as the hops here don't match the hops in the nose. That's not to say that there isn't a good amount of hop character. There are plenty of hops here, they just come across better in the nose. The same citrus hops hit first and are the dominant flavor up front. The malt sweetness comes on a bit stronger and stays through to the finish where they pair with some nice floral and herbal hoppiness.

Medium body with medium carbonation leave the beer with a clean mouthfeel to match. Each sip starts crisp and finishes pretty smooth.

This is an excellent beer. It is extremely clean, as noted with the comment opening up the notes about the nose. There really isn't anything to hide behind here. If the flavors and aromas aren't dead on with this beer then it will be very apparent that something is off. This is a great beer to reach for when you're looking for a hop fix but not the higher ABV of an IPA. (1,561 characters)

Photo of chodinheaven
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks and smells perfect out of the bottle with a big healthy head on top and a nice rich copper color. Smell is heavy on the hops and but there's also some nice sweetish malts that catch the nose as well.

Manages to be hoppy and light at the same time which is uncommon for many beers I try. I love hops and this one is chock full of them, but combined with a creamier mouthfeel and subtle sweetness that balances the beer out nicely. There is a pleasant bitterness to the aftertaste that makes me want to have another sip. All in all this was a good beer and pretty refreshing on a hot day. Reminds me of a hoppier SN Pale Ale, which is nothing but a great compliment. I'm coming to the conclusion that Victory and hops go hand in hand. (740 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours an amber color with moderate carbonation and a very thin white layer and lacing ring covering the top of the beer.

S - For an APA, the aroma is very nice, up front, and has some pungency to it which is refreshing after having too many pale ales with nothing going on in the nose. Light caramel malt and spicey citrus, the hop aroma is almost vinous in nature.

T - Earthy with some floral citrus bite, balanced, and there's a little bit of pine mixed in there. The malt comes through in a biscuity kind of way.

M - Light medium body, somewhat creamy, a little grainy, and lots of prickly carbonation on the tongue.

O - Of the APA's I've had, this one stands near the top. The style isn't one of my favorites, but this one is very solid. (749 characters)

Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 559 ratings.