Headwaters Pale Ale
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale
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Pale Ale - American
Ranked #487
Ranked #14,380
3.92 | pDev: 11.22%
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
Very Good
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale
Notes: Crisp and aromatic, this boldly-hopped American ale balances notes of citrus and tea-like earthiness from American hops with a subtle German malt base.
Reviews: 624 | Ratings: 2,634 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Sigmund from Norway

3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

355 ml bottle, Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 5.1%. Clear golden colour, moderate to low white head. Sweetish aroma with hints of orange marmalade, notes of earthy hops and wood, even a hint of smoke. Fairly hoppy and peppery flavour, with a distinct bitterness in the aftertaste.

May 10, 2021
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GarrettB from Colorado

3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

November 1st, 2015 - After rounds of excellent beers it is always nice to get back to some basic brews, and the Headwater Pale Ale is a nice entry back to the more terrestrial world of reliable and stolid beers. The scent is as generic as can be, with a nice ping of bitterness advertising its style, and absent any off-aromas. And the flavor is much the same. A mild hops up front, a long sweet aftertaste, and the impression that this is a solid beer for a local brewery. After discovering it is from Victory I am a little surprised since I find their beers to be on the stronger and bolder side, but it does explain why this Pale Ale is clean and free from anything untoward.

Jan 06, 2020
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JA_26 from Pennsylvania

3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Really good pale ale. Well-balanced, fruity and bready at the same time without being overwhelming. A nice Victory alternative to HopDevil and HopWallop, which are outstanding, but sometimes more than you want for an ale drinking session.

Jun 24, 2019
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good_to_sea from Pennsylvania

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

Look: Clear, golden amber with a rapidly receding white head.
Smell: Sweet malt and piney, citrusy, earthy hop aroma.
Taste: Lemon citrus. Fruit and malt sweetness up front, blended with a great hop bitterness.
Feel: Medium-bodied and crisp, with effervescent carbonation.
Overall: Really nice, solid beer.

Jun 01, 2019
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ordybill from Georgia

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

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a clear ruby color with a small white head. The aroma is mostly hops with a bit of lemon tossed in. Nice flavor.

Apr 20, 2018
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Spike from England

2.67/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

355ml can.
L: Amber, hazy, thin head, lots of lacing.
S: Earthy, old grass, compost.
T: Stewed tea, woody, earthy, dank, zero lemon notes, mouth-puckering bitterness.
F: Light body, hint of carbonation, very dry.
O: Lots of tea-like earthiness...but not my cup of tea.

Mar 17, 2018
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Vader444 from Scotland

3.39/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can poured into Spiegelau IPA glass.

A well made pale ale. Smells lovely and tastes.........like most other American pale ales. Very drinkable and perfectly pleasant but I’m unable to apply any superlatives to this one. Enjoyable but in no way memorable. Cheers!

Dec 29, 2017
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BsRblu from Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Absolutely solid, crisp, refreshing, flavorful, delightful, just-right malt with hearty hop, go-to, keep-em-comin', staple brew. For bonus points, great policy giving back to help preserve and protect the watershed that provides the excellent water to make this brew.

Nov 08, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into an English pint glass, the appearance was a semi-clear golden amber color and leaves the same color body. A one centimeter white head forms and lasts for a half a minute. Some spider web lacing is left around the sides of the glass.
The smell has the hops up front, somewhat spicy yet earthy with some faint citrusy sweet to semi-bitter hop particles flowing into a quaint biscuit malt backbone.
The flavor brought a bit more bitterness from the hops to subtly play with the malts. Aftertaste had a decent blend of citrus bitterness and a firm malt level.
The mouthfeel was between light and medium bodied with a fair sessionability about it. Carbonation felt fine. ABV felt appropriate. Semi-dry sort of finish.
Overall, pretty nice APA all around and goes nicely with it's suggested food.

Jun 30, 2017
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flyingpig from Scotland

2.83/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

355ml Bottle from Asda, Glasgow (£1.82):
Disappointing stuff here from Victory, the beer opened well with nice tropical fruits & a lot of pine with some citrus in there as well but in both the nose & the taste these all passed quickly & left little more than a bland, basic beer that was more lager than pale ale. There was the odd touch of earthy bitterness, a faint hint of floral & some biscuit malts but none of these was overly pronounced & the beer just seemed boring & weak throughout; I'd expected much better.

Jun 09, 2017
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q33jeff from New Jersey

2.86/5  rDev -27%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3


On tap at blend. Look is Dark gold,clear. No head. Aroma Is vegetable,cedar,.
Taste is crisp ,ash and wood. More veggie. Ok.

On tap at Philadelphia Zoo

Apr 10, 2017
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Hanglow from Scotland

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours copper tinged golden, large head

Sweet mangoes, tropical fruit. Nice, although a bit of burnt rubber is there too

Same again for taste (minus the rubber) , decent bitterness, low malt flavours, light/med body due to above average carb

A good beer, nice to see in ASDA for £2 a can

Mar 08, 2017
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EMV from Pennsylvania

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

Poured from a 12 oz can into a Dogfish tulip

L: Clear light golden pour. Two fingers of foamy white head. Nice lacing.

S: Light and hoppy... lemon and pine.

T/F: Light in body... well carbonated. Some grains up front but a surprisingly full hop profile. Citrus and pine... a bit of spice. No single flavor dominates. Very drinkable. Crisp and clean.

O: A very good APA... lots of flavor, and this could be a very easy everyday kind of beer.

Feb 06, 2017
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Vetbidder from Pennsylvania

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

Sorta hazy golden color, nice looking beer here. I've had this more than a few times before but it's my first time rating this beer. The scent is light citrus hopped with little malt on the edge. Has a complex distinctive flavor profile with slight lingering bitterness. Decent carbonation and decent mouthcoating with this beer. I'd call it a winner !

Feb 06, 2017
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BRiddoch from Massachusetts

4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a Samuel Adams glass. Nice golden color with a foamy 1 inch head. Great smell of citrus. Slight bitter taste (which I enjoy) followed by an outstanding aftertaste. Very earthy and natural. Always skeptical of canned beer but this will be added to my regular rotation.

Jan 29, 2017
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Nugganooch from California

3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz can with a Barrelhouse Brewing pint
Last noted from 10.06.15

This is a nice Pale Ale with good balance of malt to hops.
Sun kissed hazy golden body. Almost unfiltered look. A healthy two fingers worth of soapy white suds brims the top of the glass. Lots of lacey window art noted.
Earthy with citrus zest highlights. Dash of sappy pine. Not quite dank to me but nice. Some doughy malt with light biscuit noted. Tastes follows with similar profile. Tangerine and lemon zest with an earthy bitterness. Biscuit like malt stands firm here. Overall nicely balanced with nothing over the top. Good crisp and dry in the finish with some lingering resins.
Very sessionable but doesn’t have me running out for more. Not at the price point at least but would have again.

Jan 09, 2017
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Terp96 from North Carolina

3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear copper color with only a slight amount of head. Very little lacing. Smell is sweet, bready malt with a hint of floral undertones. Taste is slighyly malty, biscuity with a nice hop bite. Hops really shine through in the finish. Mouthfeel is a little thin but not a knock. I will reach for this as often as SNPA when looking for a pale ale.

Jan 02, 2017
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ocelot2500 from Maryland

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

Pours a clear copper color with a soapy white head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of herbal and earthy hops along with some grain.

Tastes of the herbal hops layered over a solid malt base. Hops lead off with herbal notes along with some earthy, mustiness. Grainy malts come next with a bit of sweetness and some toasted bread. Citrus makes its way through towards the end before a slightly earthy finish.

Mouthfeel is medium with a crisp amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a nicely done pale.

Dec 10, 2016
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Gajo74 from New York

4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it on tap at Beer Shop and Tasting Table, NYC.
Pours a clearish light copper with a modest head that soon disapates into a sudsy ring cap and some lacing.
The hops aroma is strong and with a semi pungent tone that borders on the IPA level. Dank, resiny and cannabis like. Citrus aromas are there, but, interestingly enough, I detected berries and tea leaves.
In the taste, it is quite hops forward, clean and dry in the palate. The pine hops are sharp and moderately high in bitterness. There is a faint sweetness from the malt backbone, which nevertheless feels raw and grainy. Medium to light bodied, prickly from the hops and crisp from the slightly piercing carbonation.
I liked this one because I had just had a sweet and high ABV stout which made me want to clean my palate. Very drinkable, clean and session worthy.

Dec 04, 2016
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Holderness from Massachusetts

3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L -- Slightly hazy gold. Frothy white head produces moderate lacing.
S -- Floral hops dominate with notes of biscuit, citrus, peach, honey
T -- Hoppy. Black tea-like
F -- Slippery mouthfeel with little lingering aftertaste

Oct 31, 2016
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TheElectricOne from Rhode Island

3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into tulip glass:

Appearance: pours a crystal clear yellow-gold color, with a sizable white head. Dissipates over a minute or so, leaving a nice layer of foam and some sticky lacing.

Aroma: meh in this department, this beer smells pretty basic for a pale ale, especially considering I drank it the same night as Trillium pales. Smells light and biscuity, some mild citrus notes.

Taste: solid pale ale. Foundation is light, crackery malt, with some nice hop notes coming through. Mildly bitter, with some bright, citrusy character. Not overwhelmingly flavorful in any one area, but a solid basic pale.

Feel: crisp, and much more full-bodied than some large-craft pales on the market.

Overall: this is a really good pale, if not super flavorful or aromatic. Definitely a daily drinker as opposed to a special occasion brew, but it's a good one nonetheless.

Jul 31, 2016
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LAp from Ohio

3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz can into a tulip. Pours a crystal clear honey-bronze with a rapidly rising and receding two-finger white-foam head. The nose smells perfectly like a pale-ale should: pine hops with lime citrus, but reserved (no pale ale that blurs the IPA-boundary here). The taste, similarly, is lightly hopped, with orange, blood orange, lime notes neatly arranged along a background of faint pine hops. The mouthfeel is medium, stronger than expected, and this goes a long way to making the beer taste less watery than many similarly subdued pale ales. Overall, it's an excellent representation of the style that does try to curry hop-heads' favor by dancing along the Pale Ale-IPA border.

It's a beer that doesn't stand out as a titan of nuance or big, bold flavor, and for that reason is one that I would perhaps not purchase on a regular basis. Nonetheless, there's something laudable about this beer's comfort being refreshingly understated.

Jul 30, 2016
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Maryobeerian from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice, easy drinking. Smooth lollipop of a beer (in a good way) with pineapple and mango notes. Fully integrated flavor, not much complexity, velvety mouthfeel -- no edge and hops rounded out, but fully enjoyable. Would give to my non-beer friends and challenge them not to like it, though I prefer something more interesting.

Jul 18, 2016
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Jon_Hendricks from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a golden orange color.

Overall: Headwaters has a fresh hoppy aroma of pine and floral. This beer has a surprising taste of bitter citrus hops, that are slightly restrained, perfectly mixed with sweet caramel malts. Yet another winner from Victory! Headwaters has more character than other Pale ales. Very Good!

Jun 21, 2016
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Stevedore from Oregon

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

12oz bottle. No bottling date. Served in a snifter glass.

Pours a medium copper body, one finger white head, medium collar, good retention, bits of lacing. Smells bready, herbal, floral, cereal grain, a bit of biscuit, touch of honey. Nice balanced malt and hop aromas. The hint of sweet caramel comes out. Flavour is a very nice biscuit, mild caramel, a fair bit of floral, grassy hop bite to accompany things. Balanced pale ale. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp and slightly drying, good grassy bite on the finish. Very drinkable. An overall balanced pale ale, nice combination of hop bite, just the right amount of sweet caramel to back it up.

Jun 01, 2016
Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 2634 ratings