1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

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

2,110 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,110
Reviews: 540
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 59
Gots: 198 | FT: 3
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Headwaters Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,110 | Reviews: 540 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours clear amber into my snifter with just about one finger of head that has moderate retention and lots of patchy lacing.

S - Nice balance of hops and malts. sweet toffee and toasted bread, earthy pine hops and grapefruit citrus hops.

T - Malts are and roasted grain are pretty intense and then they fade right into a rather bitter finish that lingers on the palate, earthy hops, citrus rind, and hints of toffee.

M - Medium in body, smooth and creamy, crisp and refreshing.

O - To me this pale ale is a tug of war between the hops and the malts... The malts come out of the gate strong and then the hops beat them down and leave a lingering bitterness on the palate to remind you who's boss.

StoneBrewFanatic, May 03, 2011
Photo of pburland23
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

pburland23, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of Sinewave
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Sinewave, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of Jesse13713
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Looks like your traditional pale ale, pouring a pale yellow and caramel brown color. Average lacing to the glass. Slightly over two fingers of creamy head.

Smell - Definitely a strong hop presence. Slight hints of caramel and barley as well.

Taste - A very hoppy and floral pale ale. The floral notes are very prominent from start to finish. The bitterness is accompanied by sweet candy-like caramel. Just very hoppy in general. I

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - The hops are very strong, fresh and tasty. They are not overpoweringly bitter, but I definitely would not prefer them to be any more bitter or this would probably be classified as an IPA.

Jesse13713, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of jsisko01
5/5  rDev +27.6%

jsisko01, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of mrosenfeld32
4/5  rDev +2%

mrosenfeld32, Jul 13, 2012
Photo of FirstBrewsoon
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

FirstBrewsoon, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of Hockey_Fan
4/5  rDev +2%

Hockey_Fan, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of Arch578
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Arch578, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of DaveBlack
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Good looking beer. Crystal clear orange-ish honey color with maybe 1/2 finger of white head. The head has medium retention and leaves a light spattering of lacing. Upon first pouring it the bubbles stuck to the side of the glass in an almost unbroken wall of bubbles, but they quickly dissipated.

S: Smell is interesting. Slight bit of sweetness is almost overwhelmed by the hops. Lots of grapefruit and pine combine with a smell I can only describe as grassy and fresh.

T: Taste is not as hoppy as the aroma led me to believe, which is a good thing. The hops are definitely there, but they play really well with the malts instead of overpowering them. Lots of pine, a slight fruit flavor and a caramel sweetness rolls over it all.

M: Mouhtfeel is medium-light, relatively high carbonation. Leaves the mouth feeling slightly dry.

O: I find this to be an intensely drinkable beer. Reminds me of a good summers day. I grow tired of beers that are just liquid hops, but this has a nice balance of malts and hops. And the Aroma and flavor both rather remind me of a summers day.

DaveBlack, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of jeffthecheff
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, goldish amber color. Average off-white head.

Aroma is grassy and fruity with some slight citrus tones. Seems like a good volume of fresh hops. There seems to be a bit of sulfur in the nose, until it warms and becomes undetectable.

Flavor is simple and gentle with very light bitterness for a pale ale. The overall hop flavor is gentle and balanced with the malts. The malt flavor is gentle with caramel and toast. It seems like it could use a bit more of a sharp, hop bite in bitterness and flavor. Carbonation is average, with the mouthfeel not bringing much to the table. Overall, a bit generic.

jeffthecheff, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of redliner8
2/5  rDev -49%

redliner8, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of Liverocks
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Liverocks, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of ariceclemson
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

ariceclemson, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of Lerxst
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a clear gold with a nice one inch white head that has good retention and leaves spotty lace all the way down.

S-A slightly resinous scent is the first I pick up, a bit of citrus and then grainy/malty notes start to dominate.

T-Nicely balanced with a toasty grain flavor mixing with a slightly hoppy citrus and pine combo. Not too complex, but it is very pleasant and enjoyable.

M-Crisp and light with a dry finish.

O-A very nice APA that goes down very easy. This makes a really good lawnmower beer.

Lerxst, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of TTripp725
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

TTripp725, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of mooseo
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Victory pint glass.

A - Light copper brown with a dense white head.

S - Citrus hops, grapefruit, caramel malt, light grains.

T - Mildly bitter citrus hops up front with some pine. Light, sweet bready malts and caramel lend nice balance. Finish brings in earthy hops and toasted grains.

M - Smooth and creamy, medium bodied, crisp carbonation.

O - An impressive, easy drinking pale ale. One of the better examples I've had - great flavor and balance.

mooseo, Oct 11, 2012
Photo of ATXRyan
3/5  rDev -23.5%

ATXRyan, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of gr0g
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden-amber with high clarity. An almost two-finger head leaves some streaks of lacing. Grassy and citrusy aroma, in that order, with the citrus coming through as grapefruit and orange rind. Hints of tropical fare from the citra hops. Interplay between the citra and centennial hops is very nice in this restrained APA. The more restrained use of citra yields a floral, citric character as opposed to the pungency sometimes found with IPAs that use it heavily.

Cracker-like malt profile and a hearty helping of hop bitterness in the palate. Some grassy and citric hop character, grapefruit and other citrus rind. Good flavor for a 5% beer. Not all that complex, but enjoyable and refreshing.

Overall, Headwaters is like a more aromatic Sierra Nevada, which is a decidedly good thing. A great choice for a lighter offering that still packs a solid, hoppy bite. Despite being the "baby" of Victory's pale ale lineup, I think this is their most impressive.

gr0g, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of rypkr
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

rypkr, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of prock180
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

prock180, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of Snow81
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light orange haze

Head: Small white head

Smell: Light floral hops with subtle malty grass

Taste: Starts off super grassy maltyness, hops come in to play at the end and there a bit bitter

Weight: Medium to low body and medium to high for carbonation

Finish: Hops and a thick grass

Snow81, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of stella77artois
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into pilsener glass.

A - Pours a medium golden-brown, shining a reddish-amber in the light. Not a lot of carbonation noticeable. Very light head, less than 1 finger. Dissipated quickly, almost zero residual left.

S - Malt up front, followed by a good amount of hops. A slight overall fruity aroma, as well.

T - A very good combonation of malt and hops up front, with much more hoppiness in the aftertaste. An ever so slight hunt of grapefruit in the aftertaste. Not outstanding, not bad. Some dirt bitterness though, not what I expect from quality hops.

F - Refreshing, like a pale ale should be. Good feel with just a touch of dryness.

O - Not a bad beer, not an outstanding one. A good refreshing pale ale with a good amount of flavor. Again, nothing outstanding, but it's a good beer.

stella77artois, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of mater
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

mater, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Los1324
4/5  rDev +2%

Los1324, Aug 14, 2013
Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,110 ratings.