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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

576 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 576
Hads: 2,427
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.21%
Wants: 82
Gots: 394 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

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: 576 | Hads: 2,427
Photo of bassboneman
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
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!

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Black Sheep, Dublin.
Very pale gold with a white collar of foam. 3.75
Husky grain on the nose with just a hint of melon. 3.5
Toast, then lemon, herb, and grass - fairly light. 3.5
Canary melon finish and clean linger.
Crisp, slight cling, light. 3.75

Relieved to find this was around 5%, because it’s not up to much more. Subtle hopping could build to something given enough time/pints, which could be by design, but it’s just dumb and drinkable to start. There was some palate fatigue at that point in the evening, but this still falls in that strange new gap between an APA and a session IPA - too light for the former, too mild for the latter.

Victory can do much better. 3.75

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Photo of dieter172
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of Jeffrey_Ryan
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

The fresh water that they brag is retrieved just a dozen miles away really does seem to make all the difference. Not very aromatic but very crisp and fresh tasting with hops that are very not overwhelming. Very drinkable

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Photo of almostjay
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I want to love this beer, and feel like I should given the brewer and the hop bill, but it just doesn't hit the spot for me. Solid, but average beer. This is a legitimate APA though, and I feel like some other higher rated ones have clearly crossed into the IPA category.

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Photo of KeithCardon
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First time having one of these - bought a six as store was out of Prima Pils.

Look - Copper with a white, thin head, dissipated quickly. Very light carbonation

Smell - strong grapefruit, 2nd whiff, strong grapefruit maybe a little engine oil. Not bad but not something I was expecting.

Taste - Grapefruit, strong. I liked the way it sits up on the tongue but finished a bit weak. I didn't like it overall at first, but it grew on me after a few more sips.

Feel - for me, a sipping beer rather than a gulp beer. You want it to linger to see what else is going to happen. I did find it to be watery but not a detriment

Overall - I'm interested enough to try another bottle on another day. If you inhale while sipping, you'll get a very strong grapefruit aroma which carries over in the taste. Overall I like the Prima Pils more.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Willis tower pint glass.

The color is a clear yellow/gold with two fingers if foamy white head with a thick layer of lacing left on the glass.

The smell is a grassy hop aroma with a light malt aroma in the back. There is a fresh cut grass aroma mixed with a slight citrus note here in the nose as well.

The taste is sweeter than expected with a slight sugary flavor comes out first jumping ahead of the hops. The hops then push aside everything else and leave more grassy flavor throughout. The bitterness is present and does build toward the end but doesn't push too hard on the tongue. There is then a slight biscuit flavor that makes an appearance.

The feel of this beer is light bodied with a really smooth finish. There is a pleasant drinkability that helps this beer go down easy.

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Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours an orange color with a 2" head that slowly falls to a thin coating.

Smell: light cirus and hop bitterness comes through to the nose.

Taste: caramel, orange, lemon zest, and a moderate bitterness are the main flavors.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Short lasting aftertaste. Refreshing.

Overall: a very easy to quaff pale ale that has a nice flavor profile and is satisfying.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours golden yellow clear body with a small head that reduces quickly leaving no lacing

Smell is caramel, light pineapple and pine, citrus.

Taste is citrus and tropical fruit followed by pale malt and a slight hoppy bite.

Easy drinker, medium body with medium carbonation.

A good pale ale. Has that west coast citrusy feel.

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Photo of KidDoc
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

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.

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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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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from a 12 oz bottle. Pours a bright amber with moderate white head and light lacing. Nose of citrus and pine hops with a light malt background. Flavors of hops to the front and aftertaste. Citrus hops meld nicely with sweet caramel malts with bittering hops in the background. Decent session pale ale.

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Photo of dorosjim
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Great light crisp body, little bit of vienna like malt comes through, biscuity and dry with an outstanding hop character that shines through, super citric and fruity with just enough bitterness to balance. American pale ale at it's best

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Photo of delta490
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep clear gold with a clingy white head. As it settles, is leaves sticky lacing. Nice aroma, mild, but with discernible malt and citrus hops. Earthy hops are dominant, with some backing effort from the citrus hops and the malt backbone. The body is lighter with a little bite from the hops. A really good American Pale Ale.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

A: Golden with a slight haze, moderate carbonation, and a finger of off white well sustained head.

S: Citrus, catnip, light pine. Light herbal notes.

T: Citrus, light catnip and pine, light sweetness, solid bitterness that comes in and finishes with a linger in the mouth.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, slight bitter finish.

O: A good smooth drinking beer. Drank on Turkey Creek Road, Clyde the first night of our arrival June 14, 2014. A solid brew by a great company.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

330ml bottle bought from Light House Wines, Jordanstown

Poured a clear amber colour. Light tan head poured quite loose and faded quickly to almost nothing... barely any carbonation and very little lacing...

Aroma - Grassy hops, good caramel maltiness, faint nuttiness, some light buttery traces, ground pepper, floral honey notes, some herbal hints, some saltiness, grapefruit and citrus fruitiness...

Taste - Quite malty first then grassy hops come to the fore... some sweet honey traces, grapefruit and orange fruitiness, toasted bread traces, quite floral, some saltiness, the faintest of metallic notes..

M&D - Quite crisp and dry... light / medium bodied... Very refreshing and drinkable and pretty sessionable...

Overall - A pretty decent APA - nothing groundbreaking just a good, clean well made APA... recommended...

09-03-2010 10:14:08 | More by mdagnew

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Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

From 08/31/14 notes. 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a bright amber-gold color with one to two inched of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Some light citrus hops, followed by a lot of bready malts, dough, some caramel malts, and light oranges and floral hops. More malty than hoppy. Medium body and low carbonation, no bitterness and easy to drink.

Overall a decent APA. Not too hoppy but tastes good and easy to drink. Would have it again and easy to drink a few of.

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Photo of DuaneL
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

This ale is a one-of-a-kind. Wonderful! Haven't yet tried anything that is close to it. You've got to try it - it defies description. But you definitely have to like dry…very dry.

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Photo of leantom
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Most certainly an APA. Here goes:

A: Quite good. Orange with a large head and a ton of lacing. Thoroughly enjoyed the beer's appearance. 4.5/5.0

S: Just hops, son. Don't smell any malt whatsoever. Grapefruit, citrus and pine. However, these smells aren't as robust as in other APA's. Overall, somewhat underwhelming: 3.75/5.00

T: Good, but somewhat light for my palate. A slight inkling of lightly-kilned caramel malt, but the hops immediately take over the beer's flavor profile. Grapefruit, lemon, pine and grass (very grassy-tasting beer, actually). OK, but the light, watery taste somewhat impairs the flavor. 3.90/5.00

M: Very mixed review. Good carbonation, but the beer is too light. 3.5/5.0

O: A good beer with major flaws. Hops mitigate the lightness somewhat, though. 3.75/5.00

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Photo of fank2788
4/5  rDev +2%

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Bright orange gold with a head that starts nice and thick then settles to a fine layer of bubbles. The smell is clean citrus hops with a strong malt backbone that is primarily bread and biscuit. The hops come right out front in the taste. Hop flavor seems to be a mix of grapefruit and more herbal grassy varieties. The body is light to medium and relatively dry with a bitterness that falls off sharply inviting the next sip. A highly sessionable beer not overly complicated but crisp and clean with a good shot of bitterness that is well balanced by the malts.

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Photo of Retroman40
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%

A great example of what a pale ale should be. Golden color, good hop aroma and a great balance between the hops and rich malt backbone. Very refreshing. Good carbonation level and smooth mouth feel with a sweet finish.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%

Bottle dated BB 15 Dec 2014 at 40 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma citrusy hops
Head average (3 cm), off white, creamy, diminishing to 3 mm ring and layer
Lacing good, complete thick rings of mostly tiny bubbles
Body medium yellow, clear, continuingly rising bubbles
Flavor begins bitter and lightly citrus, ends just bitter; no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.625. Final weighted score: 3.3
This pale ale has hop bitterness in abundance but has little hop flavor. Perhaps I’m being harsh for this is an otherwise very good pale ale. The head retention and lacing are good, the nose is attractive, the palate is good – just the flavor is lacking. Since the flavor is the most weighted, a lower final score occurs.

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Photo of wvudak
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle into a stemmed tulip. This is a local brew for me, one that I've come back to often as an after work beer. A beautiful IPA, clear amber body, soft head, top smells of grapefruit. Very hoppy in front slight malt aftertaste. Leaves a nice citrus hop taste overall. This is something that one could drink over and over as I have.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden color with a slight tinge of orange, small sized head that fades quickly, no lacing on the glass.

Smell has a sweet malt aroma mixed with a light grassy presence.

Taste is a well balanced between malt and grassy hops, neither is overly strong to overshadow the other aspect but that also means there's no shining star, carbonation is decent with a slick mouthfeel, very easy drinking and sessionable.

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Photo of tone77
3.64/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head. smell is of hops, some citrus. Taste is hoppy, bitter upfront, some citrus, pine as well, smooth and enjoyable. feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 576 ratings.