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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

2,114 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,114
Reviews: 540
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 59
Gots: 201 | 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: 2,114 | Reviews: 540 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +2%

imperialking, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +2%

InspectorBob, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of corby112
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draft at Kraftwerk on 2/17/11.

Pours a clear dark golden orange color with burnt orange hues when held to a light and a half finger white head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy aroma that's also a bit perfume like with hintsof crisp light fruit, grass and straw. Pale malt with a bit of apple, pear and phenol.

Lighter end of medium bodied with crisp, dry, earthy hops that linger throughout into a dry finish. Slightly earthy with hints of grass, sweet alcohol and light fruits, notably apricot and apple. Slightly watered down but with enough complexity to make it interesting. More hop forward than I expected but the malt presence becomes more prominent as it warms.

Not a bad beer but nothing out of the ordinary. Usually Victory makes above average beers for the style but I wasn't terribly impressed with this one.

corby112, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of orangesol
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on cask at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours clear amber orange with a bubbly one finger tall white head leaving small, sticky, rings of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of lightly toasted caramel malt, dulled citric hops, biscuity malt, and some dull citric fruit. Something tells me this is a bit past its prime.

T - Starts off with a good bit of sweet caramel malt slowly giving way to a mix of chewy malt and dulled citric hops. The hops are nearly gone in this one as it seems to be well past its prime. Finish is mostly malty sweetness with just the faintest hint of hop bitterness, lingering for a short period of time.

M - Medium-Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Starts off with a nice creamy feel quickly fading to a dull, slick, feel in the finish.

O - I had one of these on cask a month or two ago and it was very good. Something tells me this one is from that same back, just much older. I still enjoyed it for what it was.

orangesol, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of weeare138
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

weeare138, May 18, 2014
Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft, served in a nonic. This brew appears a polished golden copper. A thin film of off-white sits across the top. A light swirl revives to a fingers worth of tan coloring that slowly fades leaving a full curtain of lace sticking to the glass.

The smell of this brew is bright and juicy with hip acted. Grapefruit initially with other tropical scents that are fruity and enjoyable. A touch of herbal aspect is present along with some grass and a hint of stinky cheese.

The flavor includes fresh tropical hops upfront with a fairly moderate grainy backing. A little bit of caramel malt is toasty mixing up the hop flavoring that gets grassy and herbal. The aftertaste is almost straw-like as it warms up blended with some fruity hop hints.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. There is seemingly no alcohol inclusion. Easy drinking and well rounded, this is easily approachable. Hops are bold initially that luckily give way just a bit to let you enjoy the other aspects. Worth a try.

stakem, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Beer Authority in New York, NY

A: Pours a crystal clear medium to dark golden yellow in color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall off-white head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the entire the surface of the beer and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of grapefruit/citrus hops with lighter hints of grassy hops.

T: Upfront there is a light amount of malts followed by moderate flavors of grapefruit/citrus and grassy hops. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Enjoyable and quite easy to drink - good flavors and the lower ABV make this quite sessionable. Well balanced.

dbrauneis, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of Billolick
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, Enjoy By Dating (Jul 8, 2011) on the label. Pours clear lighter copper amber, off white head, stays at about 1/2 inch, leaving a thicker collar and just a smidge of lacing.

Bright hoppy nose, minty, tea notes.

Spicy hopped up APA, hops quite minty and prominent. Some malt, but the hops are the star here. A bit thin, could use some more body and more of a malt presence. Eh nothing too special going on here. Just an easy drinking pale ale, with a bolder/fresher hop thing going on, then frequently encountered.

Billolick, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Overall, a pretty solid pale ale. Not exactly my style, I find it a bit too bready and grainy for my taste, wheras I prefer mine a tad juicier, but I do find myself going back for another ocassionally. Pours a slightly hazy light orange with a very fine head that leaves some grainy looking lacing. Smells floral and grainy with a touch of meatiness. The taste is nicely balanced with some grain up front followed by some sspicy hops. Very dry, crisp and more crackery than bready. Well made and a bit different.

Georgiabeer, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of akorsak
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle accompanying my sub from Zeek's.

A: The pale ale is pale, a lighter amber color that looks like tea. Quite clear, the condensation on the outside of the glass being the only impediment. A finger of white head disappeared quickly and left no traces behind.

S: The pale ale has a well-balanced aroma, equal parts biscuit and citrus hops. The hoppy grapefruit aromas are floral and sit nicely atop the malts.

T: Very piquant, the spiciness of the hops hits a surprisingly high note. The hops have grapefruit sweetness that flicks at my tastebuds, a sharp bitterness. Caramel and biscuit are nearly as flavorful, matching most all of the hops. An excellent pale ale.

M: Balance is the key, equal parts hop and malt, bready and biting. A comfort beer. I'm glad that Victory finally listened to the masses.

akorsak, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of mothman
3.03/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light layer fo white head. Fades down to a ring. Color is a clear gold.

Aroma: Light aroma. Grassy and kind of weedy. Crystal and pale malts. Kind of bready.

Taste: Pale malts. Very bready. Grassy and weedy. A light citrus note.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and creamy. Light to medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends sticky.

Overall, a decent pale, but nothing I would want a lot of. Somewhat easy drinking. Average pale.

mothman, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -23.5%

ejimhof, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)
Enjoy by Apr. 4 2012
A- This beer pours a clear apricot body with a lumpy beige head and a wall of microbubbles running up the side of the glass.

S- The green earthy hops are full and just a hint of pungency in the finish.

T- The green mellow hops have some pineapple weed flavor and a spice quality to the finish. There is a biscuit malt flavor that grows under the pale malt taste and the dry finish has some grapefruit pith and lime leaf hops flavors that hang on.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a tight fizz that enhances the hops in the finish.

O- The nice smooth pale ale has some good malt support to the more forward hops making this very sessionable although a bit on the dry side.

rhoadsrage, Apr 25, 2013
Photo of DoubleJ
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Crow Burger Kitchen, on to the beer:

Yellowish orange in color with touches of copper. The head is ½ inch thick and has a soapy and creamy texture. Spotty lacing is left around the glass. Perfumy is the nose, whcih brings lovely pine, pineapple, and crystal malt aromas.

Its taste is similar to the aroma; yet it seems almost as English as it does American. The piney hop profile is soft, there's a good amount of crystal malt sweetness that comes through, yet it's pretty clean. I don't mind this package at all.

Subtle, yet grand. Headwaters is Victorious.

DoubleJ, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of superspak
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 6/23/2013. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy cream colored head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice soapy rings of lacing cling down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, orange rind, floral, grass, light pine, bread, light caramel, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of hop notes with a moderate malt balance. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, floral, grass, bread, light caramel, light pine, and floral earthiness. Light floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, floral, grass, bread, light caramel, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and good complexity of hop flavors; with a moderate malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy, lightly sticky, and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice pale ale. Good balance and complexity of flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

superspak, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of BARFLYB
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle into a glass.

A- A very clear looking olympic gold with some honey color and a bright white and firm inch of ivory colored foam. Very small amounts of stick. I get Citra right off the bat, a nice pale malting and a herbal/earthy scent, not grassy. don't pick up any alcohol. This smells great and the beer is super fresh. Taste really shines from the citra giving off citrus in a pale aleish amount, not shocking like a IPA. Some mango, pale malt, biscuit and just fresh ingredients. Feel is light and comes and goes on the tounge leaving just the lightest aftertaste, that keeps me coming back quicker. This is easy drinking beer and one I can drink a lot of. I won't go crazy over it, but a 6 pack on a hot day will do. This blows hopdevil out of the water, just a more balanced beer alltogether, showing the true skill coming out of Victory. It's harder to make simple beer and pull it off.

BARFLYB, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +2%

afsdan, Apr 16, 2014
Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Gonzoillini, Sep 20, 2013
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Headwaters Pale Ale, 12 oz bottle, Feb 15 2011 so very fresh indeed.

Appearance: Bright copper in color with a yellowish soapy, bubbly head with lots of lace on the glass. Looks pretty good.

Smell: Hoppy, some breadyness, cat pee. All good solid traits in a pale ale.

Taste: Victory really manages to get all the best from the hops used in this one. A unique tobacco/leafy/herbal tone but very bright. Some citrus is there too. Malt flavor is almost similar to an english ale and is very light. Good hop flavor almost reminds the Prima Pils with a great hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied and alittle watery but carbonation was good.

Drinkability: A nice session beer from Victory. Lots of hop flavor and at the modest ABV I could make this a stand by.

Stinkypuss, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev +2%

BillRoth, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of smakawhat
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A dull amber orange body, but with a nice glow and nice rising carbonation, makes a light tan/caramel fluffy and creamy head with good peaks and valleys. Settles to a finger after a good three fingers sized pour.

Nose is chewy cookie and biscuity sweet malts, mixing some nice fruity hop. Quite solid and delicious smelling. Basic with a bit of creaminess too it also.

Much of the malt presence hits with a slightly wet palate, not unlike what was hinted on the nose. Chewy and sweet, with a cookie dough like taste, then aftertaste has a real nice airy dry feeling hop quailty, that lingers with some nice bread action. Bitterness lingers quite sharp and long.

Overall pretty solid pale ale, not usually what I think of for Victory but this I could easily have again.

smakawhat, Jul 13, 2012
Photo of brandoman63
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

brandoman63, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +2%

DrBier, Sep 19, 2014
Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

biegaman, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +27.6%

rab53, Dec 10, 2011
Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,114 ratings.