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 pburland23
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Harpoon IPA glass.

I was pretty excited to hear that Victory was coming out with a new year round beer. When it was announced, it was an APA, I was actually quite pleased. In an era marked by hop bombs and wood barrelled ABV monsters, I was glad to see Victory going in a simpler direction.

Beer pours a light coppery amber with about a finger of soapy, real ale-ish looking head which quickly receded and left no discernible lacing.

Aroma is hoppy. Sharp, crisp and clean. An inviting aroma. Taste is similarly hoppy and citrusy. It's a well balanced APA. Mouthfeel leans to the lighter side which increases the drinkability. All in all, I find Headwaters Pale Ale to be a really nice, well rounded and balanced APA.

It's not going to blow anyone away, but it's a solid drinker. (821 characters)

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

Headwaters Pale Ale has the customary perfectly clear, toasty golden complexion. Its otherwise ordinary, standard sized head leaves intricate and unique patterns of lacing that would require the investigation of a blood-splatter analyst to make sense of.

This pale ale smells like it's been schvitzing for a month in some kind of hop bathhouse. The smell of actual hops - by which I mean the actual buds you pick from those tall vine plants - combines with the conventional smell of boiled hops - the more citrusy and floral effervescence found, not in nature, but in beer. Malts have been lost in the shuffle.

By using a blend of Citra and Centennial hops you're practically begging for fruity, citrusy, floral flavours to dominate your beer; indeed, they have. Notes of passion fruit, rose water, lemon and gooseberry prevail over an (all German) malt bill that is so clean and efficient that it hardly allows its dry, crisp, communion wafer-like taste to be noticed.

Despite the whole flower hop aroma and an ample dosage of kettle hops, this beer is considerably tempered; the bitterness doesn't get too out of hand and the hops brush the palate with the lightness of a feather, rather than falling on it like an iron anvil. The finish is expressly floral, as if I've eaten been eating flower petals all this time.

Victory Brewing is as constant as the north star. It's no surprise that their pale ale turned out as solid as everything else in their lineup. Its delicately floral, fruity hoppiness showcases that there is beauty in simplicity and that you don’t have to read Walden to find heaven in nature. This is definitely no ego-stroking anniversary beer - it's the kind of flavourful, characterful, quality brew this brewery made a name for themselves with. (1,777 characters)

Photo of larryi86
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- A clear bright copper/orange with a white one finger head.

S- Floral, spicy, and earthy hops with a nice biscuity malt backbone.

T- A slightly muted version of the nose, nice balance of malts and hops.

M- Smooth, light to medium body.

O- A nice, easy drink beer. Have had it on-tap a few times, it is a nice go to Pale Ale. (366 characters)

Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Mildly haze orange color with a small amount of carbonation. Head retention is average, but the lacing on the sides is remarkably abundant!

Smell - Floral hops, caramel, yeasts, and malts. There's a good sweet aroma here, giving it a butterscotch scent. Nice!

Taste - Floral hops, butterscotch, yeasts and malts. For an APA, this is pretty sweet tasting beer without overdoing it. It strikes a balance between sweetness and what an APA normally tastes like!

Mouthfeel - Pretty light in body and the carbonation is above-average here so it gets in the way of the flavor just a little bit. It's not creamy or smooth, but it feels crisp!

Overall - Much like Prima Pils, it's got a simpler flavor but it does it so well that its easy to overlook it's faults, which primarily has to do with the carbonation. It's a good beer to start off your macrobeer drinking friends off with! (917 characters)

Photo of hosehead83
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Bright copper/gold in color with a moderate head of off-white foam
Aroma-A big whiff of citrussy, piney hops
Taste-Toasted malt, mineral stone, citrus hops, spicy yeast. Very tasty and flavorfull, a nice "go-to" fridge beer. A great match for a burger or a round of spicy appetizers. (336 characters)

Photo of Imsothirsty
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper/ orange, lots of bubbles, no haze, half finger of white rocky head.

Smell is all piney hops. Just a little bit floral.

Taste: Floral hops, some sharp citrus notes, and just a tiny backing of malt. Not complex, but satisfying

Mouthfeel is nice. Body is between medium and light, moderately high carbonation, but it seems appropriate. Just a tiny tiny bit of heat from the alcohol.

Overall maybe the best Pale Ale I've ever had. Probably will be my next homebrew project to clone this. (508 characters)

Photo of bassboneman
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is an outstanding Pale Ale, despite the # it gets.
It is strong without being over powering - full of hoppy flavor.
It is an easy drinker!
For a good grill-side beer that can handle a bevy of different entrees or apps this is a great beer!
Sam (248 characters)

Photo of PDXHops
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured into a Duvel tulip. Bright and light amber with a huge frothy head that settles down to a thick skim. Good retention from then on. A ring of crackly lacing up top, soapy patches down below.

Some honeyish sweet notes along with biscuity malt. Hop aromas are plentiful, bright and floral. Even more hop-forward than the nose suggests; this is definitely one of those 'IPA light' pale ales. Juicy citrus followed up with a grassy and slightly metallic bitter finish. The malt holds up its end of the bargain nicely; a touch of sweetness, plenty of toast, some cereal grains. Some lingering citrus and a touch of alcohol in an otherwise crisp finish.

Overall impression: What took ya so long to brew an APA, Victory? This will surely demand an occasional spot in the beer fridge as the temps warm up. (813 characters)

Photo of dancaplette
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

headwater's has a bright copper color to it , slight carbonation that lasts through the pour. it retains a one figure head with a nice lacing.

it has a citrusy smell to it, more than I expected for a pale ale, very pleasant.

it has a nice mouth feel, I can describe as a light, but creamy smoothness and nice bitterness.

overall a good effort, as usual by victory. (368 characters)

Photo of Andrew041180
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Aggressive pour into a standard pint glass. The beer is copper in color and quite clear, with nice carbonation visible. Great head, with well above average retention, that leaves nice thick lacing on the glass. Beautiful.

S - Subtle, but it's a nice mix of citrus and light sweetness. Maybe some floral qualities.

T - Shocking. I want to compare the citrus elements to Zombie Dust. I don't think it's a stretch to say it. Nice progression of flavors from citrus, through light caramel sweetness, through a touch of pine bitterness. Just enough to let the flavor linger.

M - The one weakness. The feel is a little light, and despite that, it sticks to my mouth a bit too much on the finish. I like the bitterness while I'm drinking the beer, but it holds on a bit too long.

O - If I could find a 12-pack of this I would absolutely buy it again. I would love to drink this all afternoon. And evening. And night. (917 characters)

Photo of lovindahops
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

really excited to try one of my favorite brewery's APA. I am hoping this will be one of the most drinkable brews on the market. I would to have this line up with prima as two of my go to brews in the summer time

A- pours a stunning light copper body with a massive marshmallow head of foam. Exactly how I would want an american pale ale to look

S- crisp citrus with a great balance of some malt and hops. Definitely not overwhelming, but no question about the consistency

T- another good blend of slight caramel and earthy flavors with some pine and citrus. Again, not overpowering, but balanced. Very bitter at the end as well

M- crisp and good with flavor. Headwaters has good carbonation and flavor that stays around

D- While Headwaters won't be the highest APA according to the masses... it still is a very delicious and refreshing APA. IMO, Victory should cut this into the variety pack with the other three brews and really push out a winning 12pk. I will definitely enjoy having Headwaters with some Prima this spring and summer. Cheers Victory! (1,057 characters)

Photo of jkrich
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with "enjoy by" date stamped on label. This is a very attractive pour: clear, bright and shiny gold with a slightly off-white head that dissipated leaving intricate lacing.

After opening the bottle, the unmistakable, bittersweet fruity american hops greets the olfactory.

This is a celebration of hops, yet it is never over the top. The initial sip is restrained, fresh grapefruit flavor with a very nice, soft and light, sweet malt coming through to balance the flavor.

The body is light which is perfect for this crisp, hoppy thirst quencher. Slight hop bitterness gently coats the palate. The zesy carbonation adds to the refreshing qualities of this APA.

The market seems crowded with a lot of these hoppy,american style pale ales. The overall quality of this offering sets it apart from most. With the low ABV, this is very sessionable. And great thing about this product, you can always know you have a fresh bottle with "enjoy by" date clearly marked. (979 characters)

Photo of Bendurgin
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this one into a pint glass. This one is a nice slightly hazy golden straw color with a nice big whte head. Nice retention, a nice cap throughout the drink.

Lots of citrus hops in the aroma. Oranges and grapefruit dominate the aroma with a hint of bitter pine to round it out. A little bit of sweet toffee in the background too. Nice hop and malt balance on this one. Orange citrus with a bit of toffee to this. It finishes with a nice slightly bitter flavor.

Good light body with ample carbonation. Overall, a terrific offering here. Really hits the mark on a pale ale in my opinion. (592 characters)

Photo of meatyard
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear, deep golden with a 2-finger+ white head that falls at a moderate pace leaving some decent lacing.

The smell is fruity and grassy with a bit of sweet malt.

The taste is mild grassiness and light fruit balanced nicely with a similar mild malt sweetness followed by ,,, yes, mild bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium/thin, crisp and lightly carbonated.

Overall, this is a mild but still tasty and well balanced beer that will be an excellent beer on a hot summer day and I look forward to having some fresh bottles in a few months. Victory has produced a pleasant, nicely made version of an APA. (615 characters)

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- a inch or so of bright white head that has so decent staying power and leaves a good smattering of spots on the glass and a solid ring. Crystal clear golden orange yellow in color.

S- grassy and herbal with a bright citrus fruit hit. Lemons and grapefruits come to mind. Light biscuity malts.

T- opens up with a sweet citrusy and to a lesser extent grassy hopping that rolls slowly into bone dry pale malt.

M- a few steps below medium in body with a nice mid level carb that keeps thing light and refreshing.

D- I like it. Its super easy going and full on flavor. I'm all about hoppy sessionable beers. (613 characters)

Photo of Blargimus
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Enjoy by June 24, 20... the stamp fades here, but I assume it's 2012. I hope.

Crystal-clear amber-straw color. A teeny bit darker than I expected. 1-2 fingers of head fade down to a nice lacing. Attractive beer.

Smell is full and very rich with deliciousness. This is likely in my head, but I think I detect a hint of corn. I actually like a little bit of corn, so that's not a deduction for me. VERY enticing.

The taste is hoppier than the smell would suggest. Excellent initial level of bitterness, followed by that same richness of malt. Despite the smell, I don't taste any corn. Very tasty.

Light-medium fullness. I could do with a bit less carbonation. Leaves bitterness behind, but doesn't coat the tongue and finishes fairly dry. This is the beer's weakest category, but it's certainly not bad, or even below-average.

Odd that I've had so many other Victory beers before trying their flagship offering. It's a very solid pale ale, enough so that it might compete with Great Divide DPA as my go-to choice if it was more readily available in Colorado. (1,099 characters)

Photo of shand
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a very hazy orange color with a tiny head. The aroma is full of bright citrus and floral hops. Caramel malts also make themselves known. The taste is very bright, full of floral hops and citrus notes. The finish is really smooth and crisp, this is truly a delicious APA. The mouthfeel is nice, it's fairly light-bodied and has a medium level of carbonation. The drinkability is also very good. Overall, this is a solid, drinkable pale ale. (491 characters)

Photo of Mardukk
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with some off white head and noticable lacing.

The smell is an exceptional blend of herbal hops with some faint malt. Probably the best quality of this beer.

The taste is dominated by the herbal hops with a touch of lightly roasted malt to balance the hop bitterness. The taste very good overall.

The mouthfeel is a tad thin for the style and is the biggest drawback of this APA. With medium carbonation and a nice smooth yet yummy herbal hop flavor this is an easy one to drink.

This is a very nice quality APA that I would definitely buy again. (571 characters)

Photo of Bills453
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle.

Appearance - a beautiful golden color with some red tint. Nice one and heif finger head. Sticks around nicely.

Smell - this one is very citrusy. Lemon, lime grapefruit. Hops as well.

Taste - delicious refreshing citrus flavor with fantastic bitterness and hoppiness. Very nice taste.

Mouthfeel - very nice, refreshing.

Overall - a great offering from Victory. Victory is a pretty underrated brewery in my opinion. I really enjoy all of their beers I have tried. (486 characters)

Photo of bradcochran1234
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very happy to see this beer from Victory. This beer is a damn good example of an APA.
A-Light-golden color with a thin and quickly dissipating head.

S-Slight citrus smell. For some reason I keep getting fresh corn. My nose might be broken.

T-HECK YEAH!!! The citrus comes through right off the bat followed up by some thin malty tones. The beer starts to bitter out toward the end.

M-Slightly bitter sticking around for a very short amount of time. CRISP and CLEAN.

O- I would almost buy this as a session beer. Man up and knock some of these back because they are delicious. (582 characters)

Photo of thain709
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A clear, copper body with some golden highlights...the head is creamy and stands about two fingers tall...it never fully goes away and it leaves some lacing

S - First whiff I pick up a lot of hops...the are citrus dominating with a bit of floral aromas as well...there is a balance of malt lingering in the background

T - The balance continues into the flavors...just like the aroma the hops start things off...they are very bright and sweet from the citrus flavors (grapefruit, orange, lemon)...the middle-end of this beer really shows the balance as the caramel malts continue the sweetness but there is also a bready malt presence...this also brings in a grainy flavor and a buttery flavor as well...the hops come back and make the finish long and bitter

M - Medium bodied...with the nitro there is still a crispness to the beer...it's very refreshing...the hops make a lingering bitterness

O - This started off as a hoppy APA but it showed to be very balanced...Victory did a nice job with this beer...I could session with this and not have a problem...happy anniversary Victory (1,091 characters)

Photo of paulys55
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the brewery for the 15th anniversary celebration. Nice golden color with decent clarity and a good head. Easy drinking with a hint of cereal and citrus notes. Slightly dry but finishes refreshingly clean. Also sampled on cask. Would like to re-review this one at a later date as I tried about 9 different beers after this one. All in all a really great experience at the Victory Brewing Co. (404 characters)

Photo of Permalater
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In general, a very nice looking beer. The aroma is not too bad, not too great either. The taste is for sure the best part of the beer, VERY drinkable but also VERY delicious. It's what a pale ale should taste like! Mouthfeel was oaky, nothing great but I can't really point out anything negative. Overall, this is a really good beer! I'd recommend it to any beer drinker looking for an overall good pale ale! This is what I come to expect out of victory brewery, nothing amazing, but if I'm looking for a good beer to drink, I will trust them to supply it. (556 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear bright copper color with a white head that left patchy lacing.

S - sweet, floral hop aroma.

T - sweetness upfront is quickly met with a sharp bite of bitterness finishing dry and bittersweet.

F - medium bodied with a clean, crisp feel.

D - borderline session beer for some but I think I could do a few in a sitting. (375 characters)

Photo of TTAmod
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with no visible bottling date poured into pint glass.

A: Clear. Somewhere between gold and yellow. One finger pillowy white head with okay retention.

S: Smell is strong tropical fruit. Grapefruit dominate but there are hints of orange creme and pineapple.

T: Nice use of Citra hops (I believe this is a single hopped Citra beer.) Easy-going grapefruit and orange flavors but with the added depth of flowery and herby hops. Slightly toasted malt base keeps the hops in check. A slight bitterness lasts into the finish.

M: Pretty much perfect. Slightly less than medium body, effervescent, creamy. Obscenely drinkable.

O: One of my favorite new-ish APAs. Complex, strong (but not overbearing) hops. Interesting, complementary malt base. One of my favorite Victory Brews. This has a similar hop profile to Hop Wallop, but without the huge ABV. (861 characters)

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