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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

575 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 575
Hads: 2,416
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.21%
Wants: 81
Gots: 393 | 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
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Reviews: 575 | Hads: 2,416
Photo of Spikester
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Clear reddish gold with one finger of white head with poor retention. Pretty good lace though.
Smell is light malts and some herbal hops.
Taste is slightly fruity hop forward with the malts bringing up the rear. A light grapefruit flavor starts to build.
Mouthfeel is light with good carbonation and a dry bitter finish.
Overall a tasty session type beer but closer to the IPA junior style IMO. Needs more malts for an APA.
From a 12 ounce can enjoy by date was 21 Jan 2016.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Can from The Drinkery Derry
Brilliantly clear deep golden color with a good sized long lasting frothy off white head. Lemony citrus, light sulfur, light bready maltiness. Old school, a bit bland for my hop toasted taste buds.

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3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is by no means a bad pale ale, just not one for me. Earthy hop notes and maltyish base play well together, but just not my particular style of APA.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am heartened by the appearance of Victory beers in CANs as they are one of the last to CANVert to that medium. It was when Jim Koch of Samuel Adams relented on his stance that I knew CANs had finally come into their own. Look for Victory's Megan Moore as a "Character" in an upcoming column.

From the CAN: "A Refreshing Boldly-Hopped Ale"; "This crisp and aromatically arousing session ale integrates a supportive malt base with herbal hop complexity, offering lemon notes and tea-like earthiness."; "Brewmaster Approval [undersigned] Bill [&] Ron".

The Crack! and inverted Glug produced three fingers of fluffy, tawny head that hung around briefly before falling away to wisps. Color was Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a pungent lemony-citrusiness underlain by a breadiness and my mouth began to water. Mouthfeel was medium. The initial taste was very lemony on the tongue and in the mouth. It was interesting to get that earthy tea-like flavor as it warmed. I began rolling it around in my mouth before swallowing to enhance the experience. Finish really held the earthiness that seemed to be the point of the melange. I am not generally a fan of session ales/beers, but this was quite satisfying, although at 5.2%, it sits at the high end.

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Photo of IronLover
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bright copper orange in color with excellent clarity. Poured with a short, bright white foam with good retention. Bright, fresh, medium spicy herbal hop aroma. Medium malt aroma with light bready notes. No fruity esters. Medium bodied with a creamy smooth feel and medium carbonation. Medium spicy herbal hop flavor with medium low maltiness beneath. A crisp hoppy bite in the middle that leads to medium high hop bitterness and fresh minty hop flavors to the end. Finished crisp and dry with a lingering hop bitterness. No esters. Well balanced aromas with the flavor balance tipping toward the hoppy side. Crisp, refreshing and very easy drinking.

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Photo of fourstringer
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz can into a standard pint glass. Moderate hand. Dated best by 13 Jan 2016.

A: Inviting golden body with nice clarity. 2 fingers of off-white head with good retention. Moderate lacing.

S: Citrusy hops with notes of lemon, grapefruit, even mango. Scant pine. Lightly floral. Cracker, grass, and pilsner malts pick up a bit as it warms. Straight ahead, but very nice.

T: A crisp, yet mellow, herbal hop bitterness starts things off, quickly tailed by slightly nutty malts. White bread top crust. Wraps up cleanly with a mostly dry finish and light black tea astringency in the aftertaste. Minimal alcohol presence.

M: Moderate carbonation with a light to medium body. Effervescence is nicely balanced for the level of viscosity.

O: High quality, easy drinking brew with enough subtle characteristics to give it a unique personality. Quite sessionable. Dig the can.


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Photo of rorykanderson
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great pale ale. Enjoyed ice cold straight from the can. Aroma of pine, citrus, grass and hay. Pleasant earthy undertone throughout. Taste of orange, lemon and grapefruit that's immediately balanced out by the bread/biscuit malt flavor. Very well balanced pale ale that finishes with a moderate bitterness that doesn't linger.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - One very nice looking brew - glowing yellow gold, bright and clear, with a nice white head, decent lacing. A very attractive pour.

S - Sour notes and dankness holding court, with grass and herbal elements offering accents. It is a hard smack of unruly hop notes, with a hint of lemon.

T - The spiky hop, horsey with oregano and basil, to a biscuit malt, and a sharp bitter close, verging on medicinal.

M - Brisk and drying. A robust feel for a beer that barely cracks 5% ABV.

O - Decent, but not spectacular pale. Shockingly powerful flavors, but not necessarily the ones I like to see front and center, making it interesting and respectable, but not one I necessarily want to revisit.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy by: 1/13/16.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, black tea, earth, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with earth, citrus zest, and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop and earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: can.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bready/biscuity/crackery malts, lemon, lemon zest, slight herbal/floralness to it. Super light, crisp and crushable. Good but nothing really stand-out'ish. Great bbq'ing beer on a hot summer day.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Best By: Jan 2016
I had to try this one a few times before it's simple flavor really grew on me but now I am hooked.
It pours a crystal clear pale amber with a two fingered head that recedes quickly but leaves plenty of lacing. Smells of mild citrus hops.
Taste is straightforward with light malts leading the way and finishes with a drying mild bitterness.
Carbonation doesn't look high but it feels frisky due to the light body. Finishes with a barely detectable alcohol burn.
Overall I at first thought this to be too plain but after the 3rd time trying it I realized that it is what it was meant to be. Not a bomb of hops or malt or alcohol or added flavors, but just a simple mildly flavorful ale that you can have anytime and that will satisfy your needs without overwhelming them.

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Photo of BB1313
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by 1/14/16. 12oz can poured into a pint glass. Pours a transparent golden with great clarity; eggshell white head that falls leaving solid retention and decent lacing. The aromas are floral with some subtle citrus notes. Some fresh bread and crackers in the mix. A touch of caramel malts. The flavors are pretty earthy. Tons of grass. More cracker. Not hop forward, but it doesn't have to be. Mouthfeel is light with very active carbonation. Possibly even slightly over carbonated, but it actually works for this one. Very smooth and crisp stuff. Very clean and extremely refreshing.

Solid pale ale right here, but nothing too crazy. More on the traditional side, which is nice. Perfect for the hot weather.

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Photo of abastias
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz bottle to pint glass. ABV: 5.1% EBD: 07/23/2015

A: Lightly hazy deep golden orange to pale amber. Thick, tight, sticky, butter colored foam head that lasted most of the drinking.
S: Honey, toffee, vanilla, lemony, biscuit. Light.
T: Peppery, white grapes, zest, woody. Bittery back end. Well balanced.
M: Medium with appropriate carbonation. Smooth with light hop stickiness.
O: Very interesting flavor & aroma profile with many complimentary notes. Strong but not overpowering. Out of date, so another tasting is due.

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Photo of JamesStreet
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy by date of Oct 15. Poured into snifter out of 12 oz bottle
Poured almost-clear amber hue with thick, white foam. Retention was moderate with a soapy lacing down the glass.
Smelled of some grapefruit citrus, bready malt and caramel malt. Picked up some floral hops in there as well.
Taste is right in the middle. Bready maltiness balance with slight hop bitterness. Nothing other-worldly
Feel is medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Quick, wet finish
Overall, not the hoppy pale variety but a balanced one.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

DATE TASTED: August 6, 2015 ... GLASSWARE: Brew at the Zoo pint... OCCASION: watching the Fox faux Republican debate with a giddy anticipation... APPEARANCE: clear, light amber body; bubble sparsely populate the glass; fluffy, white head leaves intricate coral lacing that is attractive ... AROMA: the given citric appropriateness of a pale ale--lemon grass, grapefruit, and soft floral hints--an overall soft suggestion... PALATE: strong carbonation livens the mouth, with a medium-bodied, reasonable finish--easy drinking and sessionable... TASTE: a sessionable, apologetic pale ale, one that does not distinguish itself in profile--no outstanding or detrimental characteristics...light bitterness with a maltiness that balances this beer nicely... OVERALL: after reading the label, I got the sense that this beer would be an ale far short of Hop Devil or Dirt Wolf...instead, it is more of an about-face or 180, softening the genre and rounding its edges... agreeable but not distinguishable...the citrus is light, there is no resin, and enough malt holds the beer in place...a lesser, yet still worthwhile beer in a Victory sampler...

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Photo of Buck89
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear amber into a pint glass. Clean white foamy head with good retention. Smells of orange, pine and earthy tones with slight caramel. The taste is bitter orange with grapefruit and a slightly smoky malty finish. Good feel with medium carbonation. Way above average APA for me.

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Photo of fx20736
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 6 pack from AJ's Beer Warehouse, July 2015. Served in a Duvel Tulip at fridge temp.

L: Light copper amber, thin white head
S: Light notes of tropical fruit with a suggestion of spearmint.
T: Flavor is herbal bitterness which precedes a bready malt backbone
F: Full and noticeably carbonated
O: Decent beer but not without any purpose or distinction

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark amber colored beer with a two finger high head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

Nose: Floral hop, tea, pine, malt, butter, honey and bread.
Taste: Grapefruit, orange marmelade, dried fruit, caramel malt and lemon zest.
Body: Medium body and crisp carbonation. A bitterness in the end. Smooth mouthfeel.
Overall: A easy beer to drink. Smooth and tasty. Nothing overwhelming but solid.

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Photo of TH28
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. 7/3/14 code date. Appearance: A hazy dark golden with a thick off white foam cap. Aroma: Nice aromatic toasted bread in the malt with a hint of floral and herbal hops. Taste: Rich, bready and toasted malt dominates. Bread crust. Bitterness is crisp and strong enough to balance the malt, with some herbal/floral hints. Mouthfeel: Medium with a medium high carbonation. Finish: some lingering bitterness and bread crust. Overall: A great English style pale, with rich bready and toasted flavors dominating the flavor profile. Definitely malt forward.

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Photo of SmashAdams
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful color. The smell is a light mix of malt and hops. The taste is really solid and balanced. This beer is definitely malt fotward but really tasty and enjoyable. yb

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Photo of Snatchariah_Jackson
3.02/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

although advertised as refreshing, this beer has the weight (in terms of taste, not OG) of a big IPA, without a flavorful reward. No apparent weakness; merely disappointing compared with other Victory offerings.

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Photo of tarkulich
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear golden color with a creamy white head. The nose was barely perceptible; a floral hop smell that quickly faded. Immediately on the tongue is a moderate-high hop flavor and a grainy-malt aftertaste. Floral and earthy hop flavors dominate with a lingering but not overpowering bitterness. The malt taste disappears after a bit and replaced solely by the bitterness of the hops. Mouthfeel is crisp and medium bodied. There may have been some slight oxidation off-flavors in the background.

Overall, I was a bit disappointed. Until now, every beer I've had from Victory has been a winner. This one was more or less average. Still, not a terrible beer, just not what I was expecting based on previous varieties from Victory.

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Photo of kpoole25
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really good APA, dry, not heavy on the tongue. It has more hop flavor than bitter which I like, and a little more in the lemon / citrus hop zone than piney / resiny. According to their web site they only use 2 row malt but I would have thought there was a little pilsner or something to give more complexity (although the site says malt is imported, maybe that's the difference). Would buy again.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly pale leaning towards golden Amber with an off white head. It has some retention and leaves a nice trail of lace.

A slight hit of toasted malt, fresh citrus, pine, and some floral notes with earthy undertones in the nose.

A nice full toasty malt mouthfeel with lemon zest giving way to bitter lemon hop bite. In the back is a nice pine hop punch as it finishes dry leading to another sip. A very solid pale ale.

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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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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 575 ratings.