1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,729 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1729
Reviews: 515
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.17%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: thagr81us on 02-14-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 1,729 | Reviews: 515 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Prime 16 into a shaker pint.

A: Clear light amber body with an inch of pillowy white head. Great retention, spotty lace. Very nice indeed.

S: Floral and piney hops on top of dry, biscuity malt. Simple, and good.

T: Hops are up front, but quickly give way to toasty, biscuity, bready malt. Cleanly bitter finish. I'm impressed by how substantial and complex the malt notes are without adding too much sweetness.

M: Substantial body with moderate, initially sharp carbonation. Enjoyable.

O: While this wasn't anything to write home about, it was a thoroughly enjoyable and drinkable APA. I'd be more than happy to drink a few of these on a cool summer evening. I'm certainly in the minority to say this, but this is by far my favorite of Victory's hop-forward offerings - granted, that says as much about how much I dislike Hop Devil and Hop Wallop as it does about my admiration for Headwaters, but so it goes.

Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2011 00:42:40 | More by woosterbill
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at a small pub in western Mass. This is a very clear and filtered beer, light copper color with a few fingers of foam. There's some light citrus on the nose, with a grain base behind it. And it tastes just how it smells, a touch of citrus with a pale malt backbone, in other words a very approachable pale ale. Light-medium carbonation, very drinkable. Recommended!

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2011 00:12:10 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of DNICE555
DNICE555

Connecticut

4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Freshly tapped at Eli Cannon’s with CBaller the GC

A- Golen copper body, white head, nice lacing.

S- Floral hops with a nice spicy lemon zest. Smells magnificent out on the picnis table patio on a warm summer day listening to ben harper’s burn one down and slightly stoopid’s false rhythms.

T- Very nice herbal citrus hop kick with a spicy bready backbone. “This is a tasty beverage.” (Samuel L)

M- Nice crisp zesty beer with a dry smooth finish.

D- A nice hoppy pale ale that hits all the right marks for me. Love this one from victory. Might be my favorite.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2011 20:21:37 | More by DNICE555
Photo of Gambrinus1184
Gambrinus1184

Connecticut

3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a 16-oz nonic pint glass at The Cask Republic in New Haven, Conn.

A: Medium orange, coppery amber color with a fluffy, two-finger head of white foam which settles to a thin ring, leaving almost no lacing or retention.

S: Floral, herbal and piny hop aromatics rise from the brew, which also carries a bit of caramel and toasted, multi-grain bread.

T: Flashes of toasted caramel malt and bready, juicy, fruitiness up front followed by a grassy, herbal and spicy hop resin. Bitterness coats the palate briefly with hints of orange, pine and white pepper before washing down with a slightly acidic aftertaste and some mellow, grain husk sweetness.

M: Medium bodied and slightly sticky sweet towards the bitter finish. A hopped out pale that has enough balance to cut food and handle well on its own.

O: A hop-centric, sessionable APA at 5.1% ABV that would have me picking up a sixer for grilling picnic or summer party if there were not a lot of interesting alternatives. Quite serviceable with my avocado turkey burger and just fine on its own.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2011 05:16:45 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 4/27/2011 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, earthy hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a strong but not over-powering hops bitterness followed by sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. The malt character is hearty and there’s some smokiness in the background creating a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, it’s a decent beer but there are others in the style that I would pick first.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2011 15:15:07 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew

Illinois

4.95/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

STOP THE PRESSES>>>This beer is F'ing A....F'ing awesome! A very nice flavored yet subtle pale ale. Victory hit the mark for me! A wonderful tasting pale ale that does not linger nor leaves a brutle bitterness and super elevated ABV. The color was copper in color...the white was very thin and not a lot of lace. The nose was heavy with grapefruit with subtle pine. The taste absolutely followed suit...awesome balance! Mouthfeel was great....SESSION!!!

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2011 03:26:21 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of scottbrew4u
scottbrew4u

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Served in a pint glass a clear amber color with hints of orange and a thin frothy white head that sticks around. Nice lacing with each gulp.

S: Pine sap, citrus mostly orange peel and grapefruit, some herbal and woody hop notes too. Malt is light roasted with some toasted bread and toffee notes.

T: Pine, grapefruit, and herbal hops meet with roasted grains and some toasted bread and semi sweet toffee and light honey.
Hops bring on more force to add spice and bitterness to the finish.

M: Medium body with crisp light bubbles and just a slight alcohol warmth.

D: It is a well made pale ale and it should definitely be tried. However, the balance is a bit more hop forward and the finish becomes to dry for me to want to have several in a row.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2011 05:20:07 | More by scottbrew4u
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Serving type: growler

04-20-2011 23:39:57 | More by biegaman
Photo of welldigger888
welldigger888

South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
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!

Serving type: growler

04-17-2011 18:02:09 | More by welldigger888
Photo of Spider889
Spider889

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2011 22:42:07 | More by Spider889
Photo of GratefulNole
GratefulNole

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at The Distillery in Rochester, NY. Glass arrived fresh pulled at a nice temp. Noticed the color right away at a reddish, copper. Next, the smell was very uplifting, and hoppy. Various floral, piney, fruity scents. Small head on it with descent lacing. Taste was very nice and rolled around the taste buds sweetly. Went weel with the pizza we ordered. Would def have again. It was on sale fro $3 a pint. Cant lose there for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2011 17:27:56 | More by GratefulNole
Photo of GilGarp
GilGarp

Colorado

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Freshcraft in Denver.

10oz. pour has great clarity. The color is an amber-orange and the head is creamy but short-lived.

Aroma is fresh and hoppy with some nice citrus notes.

Flavor is really pleasant with hoppiness and great fresh citrus. It's one of those pale ales that has IPA-like hops.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and nicely carbonated.

Overall a great American pale ale. I was excited to see this on tap but I would really like to see it in bottles here soon.

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2011 05:15:14 | More by GilGarp
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at a beer festival poured into a sampler glass. From notes: Pours a deep golden with a small creamy white head. Aroma is balanced citric and piney hops with a very sweet honey and biscuity and caramel malt backbone. Flavor starts with the same sweet caramel and bready notes, picking up some light pine and citric hop notes before a smooth clean lightly bitter finish. Medium body and a sharp carbonation. A good pale ale, balanced and fresh, smooth and quaffable.

Serving type: on-tap

04-08-2011 20:45:59 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a pint glass.

Pours a light amber color with a small hire head. Nose is hoppy and fresh but a but subdued.

Taste is lightly hoppy but not killer, lightly grainy taste with a bit o caramel. Mouthfeel is sharp and creamy with a good bite on the end.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2011 01:24:59 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish to yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, mellow pine hop and a small malt. In the taste, pine hops balanced with a mellow dry malt. A small hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry pine to clean aftertaste. Nice hoppy pale, nice and easy.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2011 20:31:33 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazed copper color, nice cap of khaki hand pumped head, decent retention and sticky lacing. Scent is a nice balanced combo of grapefruity, piney and grassy hops with a lightly sweet and nutty malt backbone. First sip brings stronger notes of hops then scent dictates, and the nutty and bready malt counterbalances it nicely, avoids being sweet. Good creamy cask body, smooth. A nice Pale ale that is big on both hops and malt.

Serving type: cask

04-04-2011 15:29:29 | More by rfgetz
Photo of thain709
thain709

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
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

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-01-2011 12:09:45 | More by thain709
Photo of BeerTwigs
BeerTwigs

New York

4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on Tap at the Golden Rail in Newburgh, NY. It pours an a nice clear amber color with some off white head and good lacing.

The aroma has some great herbal hoppiness with a trace of malt which is very pleasant.

This beer tastes very good with balance of herbal hops and slight maltiness.

A very drinakble beer which is smooth and light medium bodied. I would definitely recommend trying this beer. This beer could definitely replace one of my everyday beers.

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2011 18:06:18 | More by BeerTwigs
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this one on tap at barleys while waiting for calton to bring up the growler! served cold right from the tap.

the pour was a very nice and very golden amber with a smooth cap of white that graced the top for a few moments before settling back down. light aroma, citrus hops, lemon, orange, nice hints of tangerine peel and a wonerfully well balanced profile. smooth, clean and very light delivery lets the flavor explore the palate and really gives a cool and resfreshing taste. clean an concise, the finish was lightly tart and dry.

overall i was not expecting much but i ended up really, really liking this one, good session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-23-2011 01:54:57 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of AwYeh
AwYeh

Ohio

2.9/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On-tap at Melt Bar and Grilled in Lakewood, Ohio. Poured into shaker pint, reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a clear, golden copper yellow color, with two fingers of quickly dissipating white head.

S: Biscuity malts and grassy, herbal hops both come through strongly here. Nice balance between the two- bitter and sweet are in close proportion to one another.

T: Rather bitter with more of the grassy flavor present in the aroma, along with some light caramel sweetness lingering in the background.

M: Standard APA- light/medium body with moderate+ carbonation and a moderately dry finish.

O: The lack of any really enjoyable flavors or complexity hurts this beer's overall score; I was pretty tired of it by the end of my glass and doubt I'll be picking this one up again.

Serving type: on-tap

03-18-2011 22:22:16 | More by AwYeh
Photo of patoakes7
patoakes7

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Serving type: cask

03-18-2011 00:38:07 | More by patoakes7
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I find it weird that I never seen a bottle. Got this as a free birthday beer at the Mad Mex during happy hour! I was so happy!

A - Poured glorious golden orange, darker than expected for a pale ale with a nice inch of head on top.

S - Smells pretty timid. I got some Amarillo hops, slight malt and a bit of grain. Doesn't smell too bitter so that's a plus.

T - It's weird but it's kind of like a lighter version of Dales Pale ale. You get a mild aggressiveness from the hops and bitterness from grains and then it finishes sweet with a gram cracker malt. Balanced and tasty.

M - I did find it a bit light bodied but it just might have been since I had a Mojo Risin before this so maybe it had a medium body but drank light.

Overall I really enjoyed this offering from Victory and to me it was the definition of a session ale. Moderate ABV, smooth taste and little bite with just enough to take another sip. Hopefully I can find six packs someday!

Serving type: on-tap

03-18-2011 00:07:52 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of baconsausage
baconsausage

Vermont

3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden color, nice lacing, smooth drinking. Aroma of big juicy fruit hops not present in the flavor. Reminds me of some of the coveted CA beers from the aroma, but doesnt get there in taste. Still good though. A little citrus and a lot of pine in theflavor, balenced, alittle bitter. Drinks smoove,

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2011 21:35:37 | More by baconsausage
Photo of FickleBeast
FickleBeast

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at victory brewpub.

Arrives in an english imperial pint glass. Clear pale brown color, no head. Aroma is a nice fruity hop.

First sip is nice but the body is a bit thin. Very drinkable due to the dry finish. The hop flavor does assert itself nicely. There is a slight grainy flavor as well.

As I drink this, the beer gets better and better. There is a substantial floral hoppiness that I am really starting to enjoy.

Overall, a very nice offering.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2011 14:11:41 | More by FickleBeast
Photo of argock
argock

Virginia

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a clear nonic pint at Mellow Mushroom (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Clear amber with 1/2-finger tightly bubble oatmeal colored head with good retention and lacing.

S: The hoppiness seems a little tempered compared to the bottle I had last week. Still orange dominated with a rich biscuity malt presence.

T: The hoppiness and maltiness don't have the profound snappy quality that the bottle version had. Still an enjoyable brew with smooth orange and pine hops qualities and generous caramel and pale maltiness.

M: Carbonation is medium as is the body.

D: A nice session brwe from Victory -- I would order again, but I thought the bottle was sharper and more distinctive.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2011 04:41:42 | More by argock
Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,729 ratings.