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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

590 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 590
Hads: 2,503
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 81
Gots: 439 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States | website

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: 590 | Hads: 2,503
Photo of Halcyondays
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a light amber with a mild soapy white head, good retention, spotty lace.

S: Nice grassy and herbal aroma. Lawn clippings for sure, some biscuity maltiness.

T: Very grassy and green, bitter hopping well to the finish. Light maltiness, good flavour in the style.

M: Frothy, soapy, light-bodied. Crisp, fairly smooth.

D: Really nice pale ale. Classic flavours, a winner from Victory. Very much a mini Hop Wallop, they both have very similar hop profiles.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.94/5  rDev +26%
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!!!

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of plaid75
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a peppery and herbal hops and a light sweet dough.

The taste consisted was well balanced with a full herbal atop an earthy and moderately caramely malt.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a very nice hop forward pale ale.

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

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium coppery amber with a massive three finger white head with great retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of citrus hops, lemon, a hint of dankness that's almost vegetal. Flavor is light bready malt with a touch of biscuit, lemon citrus hops, apple family fruit, touch of honey; floral. Medium bodied with a light creaminess and peppery carbonation. Almost underwhelming at first, the finish reveals a complex hop bill with very pleasant lightly citrus and floral flavors. The aftertaste is lingering and quite nice. Not as hoppy as I expected from the can description, but well hopped and flavorful. This is up to Victory's high standards. I rarely drink pale ales, but this one would be high on the list.

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Photo of corby112
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
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.

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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.

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Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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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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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 9/28/11
*From notes

A: Clean orange amber. A decent pour yields a 1.5 finger head and solid lacing.

S: Piney hops. A bit of malt too, though more then anything else, this smells exceedingly resiny.

T: Again, that piney resin comes through first. As it opens, there's a bit of that patented citra hop juiciness. The finish is packed with a malty backbone and really adds balance to the beer.

M: Richer then expected. Creamy and frothy, it feels like a beer twice it's ABV.

O: Victory's Headwaters Pale Ale is one of the better (albeit newer) entries into the APA style. If you like hop forward APA's, then I highly recommend checking this out when über-fresh, as the hops show significantly better. I foresee myself knocking off sixers of this stuff on the regs. Well done, Victory.

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

A: A dull orange with a good clarity reveals a fine micro-bubbly effervesce rising at a moderate pace. The head is thin, spongy, turning to a washy topping within a short lapse not leaving much in the way of lacing.

S: The aroma was fairly strong of pine and dry citrus that lingered on a bit. Touches of dried toffee and caramel from the specialty grains add a dry toasty compliment.

T: Toasted grains with a light dried caramel and dried toffee. Sticky pine, buttered crossiant with a small helping of alcohol warmth. The finish is dry hopped, grapefruit pulp and pine that lingers with a smooth dryness and spicy nature after the swallow.

M: Nice tingle of carbonation, especially around the tongues edges. Creamy texture, dry with a spicy bite of hops.

O: Overall a nicely hopped pale that doesn’t forget its malt base. Nicely balanced, good drinkability, and one that is definitely six pack and repeat worthy, what’s not to like.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on August 5, 2012.

The pour is about medium amber with lively carbonation and a head that diminishes quickly.

The aroma starts out with pale malts, caramel, and raising but the hops really penetrate the senses taking over the scent.

Medium body.

The taste is somewhat sweet but the hops tend to be thje dominating factor here. That is not a bad thing but I like my American Pales to be a little less bitter.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

A- Poured into a pint glass. Pours a pale golden orangish color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is exactly what I expect for a good American Pale Ale. Pale malts with citrusy hops make up the nose.

T- The taste like the aroma is pale malts up front with a good dose of citrusy hops in the finish creating a nice amount of lingering bitterness.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, I enjoyed this beer. It has everything I want in a Pale Ale. It is not going to knock your socks off, but it is a solid beer that is highly drinkable.

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Photo of DrJay
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber with a soapy off-white cap, some spotty lacing, decent head retention. Intense hop aroma, fruity grapefruit rind, citrus zest, a bit spicy, with just a little toasty malt in the background. Hop bitterness was sharp, maybe due to the light body and mild malt sweetness. A little spicy, lots of fruity citrus, a bit earthy. Medium-light body with moderate carbonation, off-dry, decent texture. Overall I liked it, but it did tread very close to being overly aggressive in hop character.

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Photo of rudzud
3.21/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken at the Armsby Abbey on 5/9/11.

A - A copper clear pour with a one finger head which left nice side lacing.

S - Kinda lackluster here. Typical hoppy (grapefruit) notes with a little bit of sweet malts.

T - More of the same. Everything seems somewhat dull and muted. The hops are there, as is the malts, but theres nothing complex about it at all.

M - Its not bad, decent carbonation for the style. It still feels a bit watery though.

O - This isnt a bad example of an APA, just nothing to write home about. Enjoy a better APA for a better price.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from Total Wine Tampa FL for 2$

Appearance - Clear dark gold colour with a large size fizzy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, grapefruit

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel and malts mixed with hops. There is also some grapefruit/lemons mixed with some light pineapple. It ends with a sweet malty and fruity aftertaste with a touch of hop bitterness.

Overall – Really delicious stuff that I could see myself drinking a lot of in 1 sitting. It has a nice well rounded taste that isn't potent but remains interesting throughout. I'd buy it again.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, medium bronze color with good bubblng. The head on teh other hand is about one finger after the pour, and disappears before I take my first sip.

Faint grass and mild citric hop aromas of orange and grapefruit. Good toasted biscuit and bread crust sniff from the malt.

The taste starts with calcium rich water and then toasted mlats. Caramel, biscuits, toasted cracker, make up a solid bodied middle. The middle to the finish has the hops coming into scene with orange rind, grass, and cucumber skins. The cucumber just makes think of the slight bitterness I get when I take a bite into a cucumber slice with the skin still on.

Palate is a a nice dry and wet. Dry from the hard water flavor, and wet for the quenching finish. Not a bad session APA.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottles purchased as part of a mix-six pack at Wegmans on East Avenue, in Rochester, NY.

Pours an amber orange into my Southern tier tulip. 1 inch fluffy head, visible carbonation.

Smells deliciously tropical and fruity, very clean smelling.

The taste is clean and crisp as well, I'd definitely guess this one uses a judicious amount of Citra hops. Oranges and pineapples abound, with a pleasant lingering bitterness. Some pine as well, that adds to the bitterness. Light but effective malt backbone, crackery.

Very crisp. One of the most drinkable pale ales you'll ever find.

Not one of the most balanced pale ales I've ever had, as the hop flavors dominate when fresh. The hop flavors are bright, clean, and refreshing though, and this beer is really drinkable- easy to put 3-4. Another winner from our friends at Victory.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a slightly cloudy orange with a light tan-yellowish head.

S - Bread, citrus, and malts.

T - Sweet malts and carmels.

D - Low carbonation, light body overall.

O - Pretty average all around. Yawn, yawn.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Light caramel colored pour, good clarity, good head. Best by Sep something 11 date. Nice hoppy aroma, not picking out the specific hop varieties, but whatever the meld, it was enjoyable and even keeled to not be able to say it leaned pine or citrus wise.

Taste, starts off good, carbonation, hops, mild sweet caramel malt, average bitterness. Swallow. Wait for it, ugh, what is that aftertaste in this? Slightly off flavor. Not horrible, just not pleasant like everything else about the beer. Its fresh, it still has 3 more months on it before the best by date, and the hopping is there. The only possible descriptor that came up was like, you know those biscuits that come in the pressurized metal containers that pop open when you depress a spoon on them? This had a like, stale, metallic bitter, biscuit aftertaste really ruined an otherwise pleasurable beer.

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Photo of Brad007
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mild amber color with a thick head into my glass. The head recedes, leaving some lacing on the edges.

Aroma contains a slight hint of biscuit malt with some grassy hops. Very clean and basic.

Lots of grassiness upfront with very little malt underneath. Not much appeal otherwise.

Finishes clean with lingering grassiness. Meh.

My overall impression is that it's a very basic, yet unimpressive example of the style. I was expecting more flavor.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  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!

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Photo of barczar
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a half inch cream head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving thick lacing.

Grapefruit, tangerine, and fresh cut grass begin the aroma. Mango, pineapple, and floral hops add complexity. There's a bready caramel malt backbone that is subtle.

Malt backbone is more substantial in the flavor, creating a lightly toasted breadcrust imitation. Citrusy hops become less distinct than in the aroma, providing a sharp contrast to the resiny, bitter finishing hops.

Body is moderate and slick, with moderate carbonation and a slight astringent bite.

More citrus hop character than anything, certainly more along the ipa line, if bitterness were more pronounced. Wish the flavor matched the aroma more closely.

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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
88 out of 100 based on 590 ratings.