Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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: 2,504
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.21%
Wants: 81
Gots: 440 | 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: 2,504
Photo of claspada
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aromas are initially bright and citrusy hops ; lemon and grapefruit are prominent. Lesser tropical notes with some biscuity and light caramel malt notes.
The taste begins with a decent biscuity maltiness. Bitterness is strong with orange and lemon hop flavors; some light floral and grassy flavors as you sip further.
The mouthfeel is surprising full for such a light ABV beer; medium carbonation and some hoppy stickiness before a crisp, dry finish.
Overall this is a very good pale ale from Victory. Nothing revolutionary or mind-blowing but a good sessionable Saturday day drinkin' and grillin' beer. Recommended indeed

 622 characters

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

On tap at a small pub in western Mass. This is a very clear and filtered beer, light copper color with a few fingers of foam. There's some light citrus on the nose, with a grain base behind it. And it tastes just how it smells, a touch of citrus with a pale malt backbone, in other words a very approachable pale ale. Light-medium carbonation, very drinkable. Recommended!

 372 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a semi-transparent golden orange with bright honey highlights. Not very hazy at all. A thick head with a slight orange frothy hue is born from the pour. The head retains its crown masterfully. Unreliable lacing dots the glass. Looks quite attractive.

S-There is a pretty strong hop character in the nose. The hops remind me of a dulled-down version of Titan IPA from Great Divide. I have read a few reviews about this brew before, and the word earthy is commonly used in the nose. I agree. The malts balance out the hops well but in the nose, I would sway this beer a bit closer to the side of the hops. But balance is very close.

T-A unique flavor. The hops have a bunch of citrus, more lemony than orange. I also get a strong flavor of cereal, quite like Corn Flakes. The interesting scents in the nose are expressed in the flavor. A long, clean grassy finish rounds out the flavor. There are some awesome hop flavors, but they're not very bitter. The flavor is bright, and the malt backs up the other tastes well.

M-Medium bodied. A bit slick and creamy too. Light carbonation. Only mildly dry, but quite crisp in the end despite the initial creamy feel.

O/D-I have heard mixed reviews both on BA and by those I know who have tried it. I must say that I think Headwaters is a damn good Pale Ale. I only bought a single, but would not have been disappointed if I had bought a 6-pack. High drinkability. Hoppy enough to keep me interested but not too heavy, which makes this a great warm weather beer. I would absolutely love this beer in a can. Not your average APA. Worth a try? Yes.

 1,599 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a light amber color and a somewhat hazy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A slightly muted smell of hops, malt, and a piney quality.

T: Tasted of pine hops, malt, and a little bit of citrus. A decent enough flavor, but a bit on the thin side. Granted, APAs aren't exactly known for their complexity. Still, not too bad.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: Not a bad beer, and drinkable, but not really all that memorable.

 555 characters

Photo of dar482
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a clear deep amber ruby color with a light two finger head.

The aroma is quite big. There’s some of citrus, grass, floral, pine. A huge hoppy wonderful aroma.

The flavor follows on the citrus, orange, floral. Then there’s a middle of caramel malt. It actually pushes on being an hoppy amber ale. It’s not a heavy sticky sweetness, but candy gentle sweetness.

The end hits you tons of pine, but lots of strong tea, earthy, resiny bitterness.

For me, this is just a wonderful pale ale. It really separates itself with the fruitiness and pine. The sweetness compliments the beer extremely well. It’s a great balance, but tons of hops, and packs lots of flavor for a 5.1% beer. Very impressed with this pale ale and definitely something I’ll be going back to.

 787 characters

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Bookhouse Pub in Atlanta.

Pours a clear light copper color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of bright citrus and floral hops with hints of tropical fruits all backed by a slightly grainy pale malt backbone.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the hops aren't as robust. Slightly dry pale malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by citrus hops. Midway through the sip the citrus hops fade a bit and allow sweeter tropical fruit flavors to work their way into things. The hops carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this is another outstanding low-ABV beer from Victory. Well worth a shot.

 865 characters

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

Maybe third time's the charm, like they say? Best by Aug 17, 2011

A crystal clear light amber with a dense, off-white head that recedes to a disk leaving patchy lacing. The nose has a rather unique hop profile. So catty I could swear there's Amarillo in there, along with some Cascade? A pungent grapefruit and citrus rind character is also present. The 100% German malt character is interesting with this hop schedule. Rich, bready and biscuit-like but still light and aromatic, I really like the combination.

Decidedly East Coast in its leanings, this beer is fresh enough to be thoroughly enjoyable. The combination of German malts and American hops is relatively unique, and this is very tastefully done. Pungent and bitter with grapefruit and citrus peel, there's a very nice balance of flavor as well with nice aromatics. The malt character is enjoyable, biscuit and toffee with a little caramel, all on a hearty but light on the palate base. Drying and bitter on the finish with some nice flavor hops, there's also a light sweetness that lingers, though the resiny hops do dominate. Medium-light in body with moderate carbonation, this beer is rather excellent.

 1,170 characters

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

Pours a lightly hazed copper color, nice cap of khaki hand pumped head, decent retention and sticky lacing. Scent is a nice balanced combo of grapefruity, piney and grassy hops with a lightly sweet and nutty malt backbone. First sip brings stronger notes of hops then scent dictates, and the nutty and bready malt counterbalances it nicely, avoids being sweet. Good creamy cask body, smooth. A nice Pale ale that is big on both hops and malt.

 442 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in a willibecker. Pours a light, translucent copper with a one inch, frothy cream-colored head. Nose expresses Simcoe, an earthy/herbal quality, citrus notes and light, toasted malts. Head eventually disperses into a consistent, 1/8th inch cap with delicate spots and strands of lacing revealed in the wake. Taste consistent with nose, as well as the addition of a slight buttery flavor that cuts across the flavor profile and a light, noble hop bitterness at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with an assertive, slightly prickly carbonation and some citrus astringency. Overall, a very satisfying and tasty APA that would pair well with pub food and quite quaffable at 5.1%.

 707 characters

Photo of THECPJ
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange with a 1 finger white head

smell: hops, malts,

taste: sweet malts, hops, dry bitter finish

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, thin / medium body

drinkability: was hoping for a bit more out of victory, this beer is just not doing it for me unfortunately.

cheers,

the CPJ

 318 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a pure amber in color with a chunky two finger just off white head. Some mild lacing and a thin layer of foam left when everything settles.

Clean, bright citrus/floral aroma with a signature victory pale malt background.

Citrus up front (oranges/tangerines) with a clean, lightly toasted pale malt flavor through the middle. The finish is lightly bitter, where the floral, perfumey hops step up a bit.

Light to medium body with a dry, bitter finish.

For the style, I found this to hit all the major points pretty damn well. Not as hoppy as a Dale's or as caramel-laden as a sierra. A damn good example of the style.

 657 characters

Photo of mltobin
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a single bottle of this at a small shop in Norwalk.

Appearance is a hazy amber color with a good sized off-white head. The smell is quite nice with floral hops, some grapefruit. Headwaters` tastes fairly sweet for an APA, but it is done well, along with some hops and small amount of bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and crisp. All in all, this is a good pale ale and a good choice for a leisurely spent afternoon.

 426 characters

Photo of xnicknj
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

Pours a clear burnt orange color with a few brighter golden hues. A one finger high off white head bubbles up and retains well with a nice layer of bubbled film resting on top, leaving some webs of lacing on the glass.

Nice edge of citrusy hops backed with floral notes. Slight orange sweetness followed by biscuity malt with toasted grain.

Burst of juicy hop flavor right up front with citrus and orange. Nice floral dryness as well before more of the fruit sweetness cuts through. Biscuity malt, toasted grain, faint dollop of caramel as well in the backbone. Some lemon and grassy tones. Finishes with some dry hop bitterness, slightly lingering flavor.

Medium bodied, higher carbonation, dry and tingly on the palate. Drinks smooth and easy, refreshing and pleasant especially for the season. A quality pale ale, definitely something I'd drink again.

 896 characters

Photo of champ103
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bright and clear copper/orange color. A two finger, rocky, white head forms with good retention. The foam gently recedes and leaves some lace behind.
S: Big grassy and floral hops hit the nose at first. A light spicy zest of citrus the quickly fades. Plenty of malt that is great. Bread and biscuit. Some sweetness and finishes with more fresh cut grassy and hay aromas. Excellent.
T: Follows the nose. Fresh cut grass right up front. A zest spice of citrus and lots of malt. Toasted grains, bread and biscuit. Very dry as well. I love it.
M/D: A medium body that is just a bit watery. Though clean, dry, and very smooth. So easy to drink. I will be buying many more six packs.

An excellent pale ale that is really enjoyable. A perfect everyday drinker with lots of flavor. Highly recommended.

 805 characters

Photo of tigg924
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, orange-brown in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: caramel and floral and citrus hops

Taste: caramel and floral and citrus hops

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, medium bodied, sweet with a distinct bitter backbone and a bitter aftertaste.

Overall: An ok pale ale. I could have a couple of these, but this one really does not stick out. If you love hops, try it, but I will pass on this one in the future

 477 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful dark amber with a pale tan head that has just a tinge of golden amber. Aroma is rather hoppy, almost more like an IPA than a regular ale, with a malty underpinning and a hint of citrus. Rich flavor has a nice balance of malt and hops with grassy, fruity and honey hints. This ale is very drinkable! Texture is smooth and quite pleasantly fizzy. Recommended.

 375 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a nice copper color with a big billowy white head. The head fades slowly giving a good amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is lighter overall, but has a nice blend of aromas. There are hints of caramel, biscuit, grapefruit citrus hop and some pine.

Taste – The taste begins biscuity and smooth. There is an ever so light sweetness, but it is very light and towards the middle it is almost completely gone. With the loss of the sweetness comes good hints of hop flavors. These are a mix of pine, citrus as well as a lighter earthy hop flavor. These flavors take the taste to the end where a bitter and lightly roasted flavor are left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is a bit above average in smoothness and thickness with a carbonation level very average. Both are fitting, but are nothing really to exceptional for the style.

Overall – It has a nice more bittering flavor and is quite easy to drink. Not bad, but not the best either.

 1,019 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a best by date of Jul 8 2011. Pours a stunningly clear copper color with a modest cap of tan head. Fades fairly quick and does not leave a whole lot of lacing.

I really like the tropical blend of hop aromas on this one. Really nice. Some toasty malt is in the background, but the juicy hops are the main show.

This is a mighty fine Pale Ale. Succulent hop flavors are complimented by a shifting grass hop bitterness at the end. Not to be outdone, the biscuity and toasted malt flavors manage to shine as well. Mouthfeel is right at medium for an APA and it goes down very easy and smooth. I think Victory has a real winner on their hands here. I know I will buy more than a few six packs of this each year.

 726 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a rocks glass at Mellow Mushroom. From notes. Reviewed 2 July 2011.

A: Light head. Very pale orange. Decent lacing. Not much to say.

S: Niceish hops, if a bit astringently citrusy. Some grapefruit. Good overall.

T: Mediocre pale ale, but pleasant. The aftertaste is full of drying, bitter hops. A bit better than originally suspected.

M: Mouthfeel is pretty great. A substantial malty dryness is excellent.

O: Pretty good. Nothing to go out of your way for, but I'd have another if not much else was on offer.

 524 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A new victory bottle, like the 10th one I've seen in the past year, always worth a shot I suppose.

A- Light amber colored body with a white head that builds to about two fingers. A few nice patches of lace.

S- Slight tropical fruit, citrus and earthy pine hops balanced out nicely with light caramel malt and bread. Fades somewhat to pine heavy but holds a nice pale ale aroma.

T- Hops lend a good amount of pine and floral notes, a slight amount of citrus. The malt provides a light pale ale feel and some sweetness. A presence of bread hints from the yeast.

MF- Light overall substance, somewhat creamy. Hops lend a moderate bitterness. Smoothly carbonated.

DB- Pretty straight forward with a nice flavor. Maybe a bit big on the bitterness for a smaller pale ale.

 770 characters

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

This beer is a clear dark amber in color. A soft and fluffy but dense head about one finger high retains itself moderately well and leaves a little thin lacing spotted down the glass.
The nose was strongly hoppy, more floral than anything but with some resin, complimented by a tangy lemon and citrus peel. There's a bit of dry malt balancing as well.
The taste follows suit. This is a very hop-forward pale that doesn't entirely throw out balance. This is a dry flavor given a lower sweetness and what seems like a dry malt base behind the floral, herbal and lightly citrus notes of the hops.
The mouthfeel is clean and crisp in a medium body. Fuller and more interesting than average, but missing something that would put it up there in my mind.
This is another very nice offering from Victory, who never disappoints.

 819 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Orange color, great head, lots of lace up the sides of the pint glass. Aroma is very floral hops, perfume-like and reminiscent of the floral/perfume aspect I get from Sierra Nevada amped up to 10. Flavor is more of the same. Overall a solid pale ale but it is also sort of one-dimensional and becomes overwhelming.

 327 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a shaker. Poured a hazy straw yellow with a one finger pure white head that subsided to a half finger slowly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, and slight pine hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, banana, and pine hop. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. Definitely had robust 'in your face' flavoring going on in here. However, the flavors were not awe-inspiring. As the previous reviewer stated, I didn't get ANY citrus aspect in this one at all. I even mentioned to Cameron (regional rep) that it would have been much better with a citrus aspect. To each their own I guess. This thing did have a very nice aroma going on in it though. It is worth trying at least once, but that is about it for me.

 841 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Good looking ale, pours out clear golden with a high rocky head. Piney, citrus hoppy nose, sharp hops rule the taste. Crisp, and tangy. Bitter finish.

 150 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish to yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, mellow pine hop and a small malt. In the taste, pine hops balanced with a mellow dry malt. A small hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry pine to clean aftertaste. Nice hoppy pale, nice and easy.

 289 characters

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