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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

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

563 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 563
Hads: 2,377
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 76
Gots: 371 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Headwaters Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 563 | Hads: 2,377
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)

Photo of Spider889
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Melt Bar and Grilled.

Crystal clear, brass color, tiny amount of head with no retention or lace.

Smells of very sweet tropical fruit, citra hops, and pineapple predominant. Some notes of orange Tang are also there... interesting.

The flavor is sweet initially, nice and crisp. There's a very suitable amount of bitterness considering this is a pale.

Overall I was very satisfied with this beer, and would have ordered a second had there not been so many other beers on draft at Melt. (506 characters)

Photo of ReelBigwigFish
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a 6oz sample at work and then a serving in a bottle more recently.

a: from the sampling, it had a golden color with little head, though the vessel may have hindered head formation, retention, and lacing.

s: hoppier than expected with the usual pale malt aromas. the strong hop aromas really make this stand out for a pale ale.

t: again, the hops are what make this such a treat. piney hops are much more pronounced than in many other pale ales, but not nearly at the level of IPA'ism; this allows for an easily balanced, and subtle blending of hops and sweet malt flavors.

m: a medium bodied ale that is very drinkable. it's great to swish around to get all the flavor you can, and also great to take a nice big gulp and get that refreshing bite.

o: as a fan of ipa's, i think this really is a great beer. it's nothing too crazy, but far superior to something like sierra nevada. (888 characters)

Photo of fmccormi
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straight pour from 12oz pry-off bottle to a 25cl Duvel Single tulip. Freshness date of April 13, 2013 printed in white-grey ink on the shoulder of the bottle (“Enjoy By: Apr 13 2013 0182 1551”). Going by a five-month freshness period that Victory uses for this beer, I’m assuming that it was bottled on November 13, 2012. So, just under five weeks old on the date of consumption.

Appearance (3.5): Close to two fingers of very fine, velvety-looking foam rises offof the pour, capping a crystal-clear, honey-gold body. Retention is modest, but it leaves some fat splotches of lace and scattered suds as it goes down—definitely better than average.

Smell (4.0): Surprisingly funky, dank kinda smell coming off of this—which is awesome. The dry-hopping is evident, even at five weeks old. Very clean, fresh, and aromatic, with nice citrus (pineapple, mango) and mild weed tones (a little dank, a little resinous) over some solid, bready malt character that’s only modestly sweet and moderately rich—great mix and balance for the style.

Taste (4.5): A nice dose of bittering hops offers some grassy, mildly vegetal bitterness right off the bat. The body is clean and crisp, a light body of very pale barley malt that’s moderately toasty, like fresh-toasted Southern white bread—not sweet, very nice and dry but not particularly complex in grain composition, either. But it fits the style extremely well. There’s a very crisp, lemony flavor and bitterness that dominates the mid-palate and carries into the finish, which I like—very crisp and refreshing. The finish has a nice, medium-strength bitterness that’s part grass and part lemon. Awesome.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Definitely on the light side of medium-bodied, with a finish that’s crisp and dried out nicely from some modestly astringent hop oils. The carbonation is soft and full, foaming a bit on the way down. This is very, very drinkable.

Overall (4.0): Talk about crushable. This beer is so crisp and drinkable, it’s a perfect springtime beer—I can definitely see having a couple of these on the porch on a warm April evening in upstate NY. This is a great example of the style, and I will definitely be seeking it out again when I need something to shake me out of the winter doldrums and open me up to the crisp air of springtime. Good job, Victory. (2,343 characters)

Photo of drtth
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured is a clear golden copper color with a 1” off-white head that recedes to a patchy thin layer on the surface and a ring of foam around the glass. The head leaves patches of lacing. Sipping leaves behind some speckles of lacing for much of the beer.

Smell: The aromas are fresh and clean and include some floral and citric hops tinged with tangerine and orange zest. There is some pale malt in the background that supports the hops but is also a definite presence.

Taste: The flavor is as clean and crisp as the aroma. The flavors include some caramel malt backbone that supports the floral and citric flavors from the hops (lemon zest, tangerine), but on the whole the impression is of dryness.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied, nicely smooth and with good carbonation. The finish begins with a touch of some malt sweetness noticeable. But that sweetness passes quickly and fades away first, leaving some dry citric bitterness that gradually fades in to just dryness at the end.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I found this beer nicely drinkable, with each sip following the last quite easily. When the beer was finished I was looking forward to a second, and expect I’ll have this one on my shopping list for some years to come. My overall impression is of a well crafted Pale Ale that I could drink several of during an evening of conversations and socializing with friends and family. (1,549 characters)

Photo of EStreet20
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, 20 ounce curved pub glass.

A - Excellent clarity on this orangish golden colored ale. Off white head, not that big but stays and laces well.

S - Very nice hop forward nose. Pineapple, tropica fruit.

T - Very nice tasting pale ale. Pininess joins the fruit flavors a little, and a nice malt/hop balance is there. The bitterness hits mostly in the finish, and ends fairly dry.

M - Lighter body. Carbonation is smooth and on the lower side.

O - A nice, exceptionally easy drinking pale with sessionability and a great hop fix without being overwhelming in that area. (583 characters)

Photo of cagocubs
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap locally.

A: Pours a copper color with a 1 finger puffy off white head that lingers and laces.

S: Hoppy, citrus (orange, grapefruit), malt and grains along with some sugary sweetness. Typical and clean of an IPA/APA.

T: The hops are crisp and bitter, the citrus element comes through along with the sweet malt and spice. Some buttery bready finish give this a nice balance.

M: Light/Medium body with a good creamy texture that maintains a tingle. Easy drinking and smooth.

A solid choice for any APA fan. (516 characters)

Photo of CHADMC3
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very crisp copper with golden hues and a foamy white head packed with dense bubbles of carbonation that leaps from the bottom of the glass.

Floral and herbal hop aromas waft from the glass offering scents of grass, pine, and straw with just a hint of citrus. There are lingering hints of malty sweetness as well.

The first sip reveals just the right touch of pine amongst the herbal and floral hops. Similar to the aroma, there are underlying notes of malt, but ultimately a return to the delightful floral hops.

This APA is lighter in body, but with generous carbonation and a crisp, clean, and refreshing finish that seems to cleanse the palate.

This is quite a good beer, and another job well done from Victory. This offers just he right amount of flavor for the style without going overboard to escape its boundaries. (835 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Victory Brewing Company (Downington, PA) on 2/15/11 during their 15 Year Anniversary Celebration. Served in an imperial pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, topped with 1 ½ fingers of stiff bright-white foam. Wow, just beautiful head retention on this, with this continuing to release the whole duration of the glass and holding tight across the top of the glass with a thick finger. Rich patchy lacing just coats the sides of the glass. Great look here! The aroma smells flowery and dank, but things don't get too loose in the nose, as it is propped up by stiff notes of bitter citrus. The malts soften things up across the back, with some toasted biscuit character and light eggy notes.

Wow, the taste just pops in the mouth with green citrus, which have some bite but aren't totally aggressive with it either, as fresh hop flavors push to the forefront. The malts add some extra tightness here but have just enough bready sweetness to them to balance out that earthy bitterness. This finishes with a grassy and herbal feel that lingers on the breath after each sip. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fantastic tight and crisp feel in the mouth. There is just enough underlying slickness present and this is probably where I feel the herbal qualities of this beer the most, as it adds some extra ease to the body without countering the fresh pop in the mouth that this provides.

Man, I liked this. Bright and full hop flavors that were well balanced and that super crisp and easy body made for a most thirst quenching and drinkable presentation. This was just so fresh and vibrant here on draft during its premiere. I'm looking forward to seeing how this translates to the bottle as well. (1,712 characters)

Photo of patoakes7
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a-coppery orange in color, extremley clear with little to no lacing off the cask.

s- slight cirusy hop smell. Not much nose poured from the cask

t-refreshing citrus and hoppy throughout. Not overwhelming and pretty smooth

m-Very little carbonation, light bodied and easy to drink

D- Much more drinkable then off regular draft. Props to Victorys 15th anniversary beer headwaters for supplying the firkin. (407 characters)

Photo of riversider76
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden with amber hues. One finger plus head with good retention and nice lace. Aroma is of citrus, hops with notes of bread. Body is the lighter side of medium with some carbonation. Taste is a crisp well balanced treat. Nice grapefruit edge to the finish. Very nice. (281 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$8.50 sixer from Liquor Outlet, Boonton.

Appearrance is just classic. Crystal clear bold gold body, topped by two fingers of snow white various sized bubbles.

Pleasant citrus aroma, not at all harsh, very inviting.

Firm semi-sweet caramel base coats the tongue. A good blast of bitterness follows with an undercoating of juicy fruit. Nice clean finish with just a slight malt/hop mix trading off in the afterglow. Extremely well balanced.

Overall, highly drinkable. Victory celebrates its anniversary by going to the style that built the craft beer movement and makes a dandy. (580 characters)

Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 563 ratings.