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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

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

591 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 591
Hads: 2,505
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 22.96%
Wants: 81
Gots: 442 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States | website

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: 591 | Hads: 2,505
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 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 mooselvlt
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A - Very clear deep gold color with a nice 2 fingers of off tan head. Excellent retention with nice lacing.

S - Subtle, good citrus hops mixing with malt backbone. Neither overtake the other.

T - A nice mix of malts and hops, much like the nose. The hops are there but leave a very light lingering bitterness, not overpowering

M - Medium bodied, very smooth with moderate carbonation. Really drinkable. I could see having this as a session brew. .

O - Very solid, drinkable pale ale. Really glad I tried it. This was the last one to go into my mixer 6er today.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear golden amber with a scant head of bone white foam that fell fast to a cap and ring. Left nice lace and constantly refreshed. In the right light has an orange hue.

Nose is out of this world. Citrus, lemon and orange with apple behind that. Light malt sweetness, grains and light bread. Generous spice, sweetly floral and herbal.

Taste follows the nose all the way. Citrus twang greets you first followed by a light sweet malt. Cereal grains carry it to the back with an earthly presence and a healthy helping of spice to tingle on the tongue. Ample carbonation lightens the body. Mouthfeel is sticky, creamy, crisp and light. The apple is sweet and tart like a good apple should be. Lingers whole in the aftertaste with no one characteristic able to be separated from the others. Terrific balance and the aftertaste has a slight mineral quality.

This is one of the best pale ales you will have. It's refreshing, it's delicious, it's well made and you want to have it always in your refrigerator. It's confident and brisk.

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

12oz Bottle into a glass.

A- A very clear looking olympic gold with some honey color and a bright white and firm inch of ivory colored foam. Very small amounts of stick. I get Citra right off the bat, a nice pale malting and a herbal/earthy scent, not grassy. don't pick up any alcohol. This smells great and the beer is super fresh. Taste really shines from the citra giving off citrus in a pale aleish amount, not shocking like a IPA. Some mango, pale malt, biscuit and just fresh ingredients. Feel is light and comes and goes on the tounge leaving just the lightest aftertaste, that keeps me coming back quicker. This is easy drinking beer and one I can drink a lot of. I won't go crazy over it, but a 6 pack on a hot day will do. This blows hopdevil out of the water, just a more balanced beer alltogether, showing the true skill coming out of Victory. It's harder to make simple beer and pull it off.

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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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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
88 out of 100 based on 591 ratings.