Headwaters Pale Ale | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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BA SCORE
88
very good
601 Reviews
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by thagr81us on 02-14-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
601
Ratings:
2,568
Avg:
3.91
pDev:
23.27%
 
 
Wants:
83
Gots:
488
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 601 | Ratings: 2,568
Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a small, off-white, bubbly head of foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled piney with some tropical fruit. A touch of caramel, too.

T - It tasted fairly spicy with some sweet caramel maltiness. It had a tropical fruit hop presence with just enough bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a very nice APA. Victory is very consistent with their year round brews.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl oz brown bottle, served in a tumbler.

Enjoy by August 17, 2011.

Light copper in color with nice clarity. Half-inch off-white, creamy head that fades to an intact sheet after a moment. A few patches of condensed lacing.

Fresh floral hops with notes of bright citrus. A touch of musty, perfume-like aroma. Clean wheat and grains with a sweetened toasted malt base.

Big floral hop presence that lasts throughout the sip. The fresh citrus hops brighten the floral hop flavors and keeps the perfume from overwhelming the other flavor components. The wheat and grains give a toasted, slightly buttery biscuit flavor. A nice balance between hops and malt, highlighted by a really nice hop profile.

A light medium bodied; active on the palate, but remarkably clean. For a Pale Ale that highlights floral hops, there is no trace of a musty film-like texture as you would expect. A well balanced mouthfeel.

A well crafted Pale Ale: balanced, flavorful, and drinkable. I would definitely recommend this Victory offering as a session Pale for the spring.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%

From 08/31/14 notes. 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a bright amber-gold color with one to two inched of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Some light citrus hops, followed by a lot of bready malts, dough, some caramel malts, and light oranges and floral hops. More malty than hoppy. Medium body and low carbonation, no bitterness and easy to drink.

Overall a decent APA. Not too hoppy but tastes good and easy to drink. Would have it again and easy to drink a few of.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Totowa because it was available via the single bottle and I've liked just about everything I've had from Victory. This wasn't the best but may have been the most accessible Pale Ale that I've ever had, since this was so easygoing and solid at the same time. A big deal was made about the water that went into this but if I was victory, I would certainly brag about how balanced this was as well.

Good pour to this with a light copper hue and decent head that lasted for a while. The lacing wasn't anything special but it was certainly there as well. This felt earthy and dry-hopped with just a bit of sweetness in the malt to balance it out. Carbonation was good and this tasted crisp without feeling like soda or a cascade of bubbles. There was a bit of citrus in the taste too but for the most part, this didn't feel too complicated or light to the taste.

I could have easily had more than one in sitting since this is about a good a session beer as it gets. Normally, I don't consume this in the summer but I could see myself having a few of these on a nice warm day. This wasn't a hop bomb or has tons of resin and burning in the aftertaste. Rather, this is unassuming, nicely crafted, and clear as it appeared to be. Certainly worth a try for anyone who hasn't had this style of beer before!

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Photo of bsp77
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass. "Enjoy by" date of July 8, 2011.

Appearance: Bright amber with nice off-white head and some lacing rings.

Smell: Mostly citrus (orange and grapefruit), with some spiciness, pine and a hint of metal. Light dried malts underneath.

Taste: Mix of dry hops and dry malts. Grapefruit, spice, herbs, pine, caramel and biscuit all play a role, and are so heavily integrated that it is hard for anything to stand out - this is both a strength and a weakness. Herbal and slightly bitter & metallic on the finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, dry finish (actually dry throughout).

Drinkability: Very drinkable and refreshing APA - not surprisingly coming from the always solid (and often great) Victory. However, I have to admit that when a 15 year old respected craft brewery releases their first APA, I expect a little more. Maybe it is just a wee bit too herbal for me.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden-orange color with a white head. The aroma is very hoppy for a pale ale. I get a lot of piney hops, as well as some resin and grass notes. There is also a little bit of cattyness in the hop aroma. The flavor is a little milder than the aroma. I get some resinous and grass-like hops, but they are balanced somewhat nicely by the biscuit malt. The bitterness is low, as expected in the style. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best buy 8-17-11

The beer appeared a nice orange/darker amber color with a nice bright white head that was decently retained, but faded into a very thin, uneven cap. Aroma was perhaps slightly more malty than hoppy, but some citrus hops were noticeable. Taste is good, well balanced with perhaps a slight edge to the citrus hops, but not much. The taste of the beer really did not linger too much in the mouth. Lighter feel with good carbonation. The beer was easy to drink, very refreshing, clean and crisp. Overall, a good beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.83/5  rDev -2%
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 match1112
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: clear amber body, fingers worth of head settles to a thin ring.

s: grainy, floral hops, caramel

t: sweet cereal grains, citrus hops, caramel malt

m: just a tad thin, decent carbonation, a little dry bitterness on the finish.

o: pretty tasty, easy drinkin, glad i grabed a six pack.

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Photo of phillybeer7779
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Golden colored, some head, not much lacing on the glass.

Smell- Some citrusy hops with a malty undertone.

Taste- Very balanced. Citrus flavors balanced by a solid malt backbone.

Mouthfeel- As drinkable as a hoppy craft brew gets. Nice body, nice carbonation. Good hop flavor, but doesn't destroy my palate.

Overall- Another quality offering from Victory. A very good pale ale. Definately not one of those APAs that are basically IPAs, so do not expect a hopbomb. Just a quality beer you can drink a six pack over the course of a night and not regret it in the morning.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of ajm5108
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice golden pour, little bit of a carbonated head. Aroma was mostly floral hops and cereal grain. Standard tasting, which isn't a bad thing, hop presence certainly isn't overwhelming, which is fine by me, balanced with a medium malt backbone, mostly cereal grains,,finishes pretty clean. Pedestrian, but in a fine, easy to drink way

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Photo of stella77artois
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of farrago
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straightforward finger of off-white foam, nothing unique about its retention, the lacing holds on in spots, transparent and spotless liquid of a red-tinged orange color, metallic sheen, very few bubbles to be seen, if any. During the pour a bodacious amount of pink grapefruit, orange citrus bursts forth, lively bitter hops keep you on your toes, some pine tar and earth, baguettes, salt and pepper, a pinch of bittersweet chocolate powder but not that malty, conversely the hops never use this opportunity to go for the jugular, quiet confidence leads to extended nostril presence and overall balance. Light to medium-bodied, the carbonation is made of tiny, scrubbing motions with little foam. Strong mineral water, quinine, metallic character which gives it a raw and rugged freshness. Sourdough and wheat bread notes, salted pretzel dough, dried lemon and white grapefruit pulp, green lawn grass, some pine. Carob and mocha but no real sweetness in any of the usual malt-derived flavors. Florality spreads enough to allow it to avoid astringency. The hoppiness suggests pineapple, nectarine or papaya but, again, lacks the sweetness to deliver on this. More interesting warmer, more satisfying colder. A tactful, almost patrician, quaff.

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Photo of tsauce2
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P: On-tap in to a pint glass.

A: SRM is light amber. Translucent. Head is off white, minimal, dissipates to the outsides of the top of the beer. Medium carbonation. Light lacing.

S: Moderate floral hop notes with some piney scents and a light touch of malt.

T: Balanced hops give a mild bitterness and piney essence. Malt base holds up to hop presence and adds a light caramel sweetness.

M: Medium body. Hops are dominate in the hop/malt balance, but are still a light/medium presence and give a moderate bitterness and citrus and piney components to the feel. Malt comes in with a touch of caramel sweetness that adds body to the feel and balances the hops. Wet finish.

O: Exactly what I think of when I hear "APA". Moderate flavors, hop forward, nice malt base, average ABV. I liked the piney and citurs hop balance and also enjoyed how there was just enough malt and a touch of sweetness to really balance everything. I would buy this beer again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Pale is dead, long live the Pale!

As the classic taste of pale ale is taking on a renovation, it's shedding much of its malt sweetness in favor of a drier backbone. This happens as hop aroma, flavor and bitterness pulls substantially forward. Maybe they're not "session IPA". Maybe they're the new look of American Pale Ale.

Headwaters Pale Ale pours as any well-conceived one would- its copper and light bronze body shows glimpses of gold about its margins. As a steady stream of bubble race to the surface, a longstanding coat of froth presumes the beer's surface. As it trails with dotted rings, the beer sings the praises of all-things-pale.

Its racy scent favors the hop cone with unmistakable Pacific Northwest grapefruit and orange peels. Propped up with medium caramel and graham cracker-type dry bready-sweetness, the malt character offers stern support while still letting the hops shine. A turn to mint, fresh-cut grass and shaven pine complement the scent with earthy vegetative character.

Conversely its the graham cracker and caramel that greets the taste buds first. Its leading sweetness trends dry and lightly toasty while the pang of citrus rapidly grows in the middle. As a crescendo of citrus strikes, it immediately develops toward spicy, piney and pleasantly grassy finish with a piquant and resinous bitterness.

Medium-light on the palate, the sweetness lingers with the creaminess of carbonation momentarily. But once the hops resinous character sets in, the sweetness escapes and the hops close the show with its own sense of dryness to match that of minty-warm alcohol.

Echoes of toasted barley malt return as the stronghold of bitterness starts to relinquish. Its refreshing and satisfying taste isn't as IPA-ish as many. Headwaters retains its caramel "Pale" roots but also modernizing them.

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Photo of TheElectricOne
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of Parmesan
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Clear golden color, with a small white creamy head, and a sheet of lacing on the glass, a lot of carbonation.

S: Floral hops with a hint of tropical fruit and lemon and some earthy malt. Not the strongest aroma but it is quite inviting

T: Floral hops, some lemon and other tropical fruit, piney bitterness, and the some earthy malt to balance this out. Nothing ground breaking but very drinkable and tasty.

F: Pretty light body, medium carbonation

O: This is a solid beer, nothing groundbreaking but a very nice easy drinking pale ale.

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Photo of birderbeerer
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden beer with a slightly off-white, two-finger head.

What is that hop? It's the same aroma as Daisy Cutter and Nugget Nectar--a clean and pungent hop. Like a juicy pine cone. Hard to pinpoint. But it's very nice.

And, like Daisy Cutter, the taste just isn't as nice. The hop tastes more bitter than it smells. The malts are very sweet and this is a good beer. But it's not blended well and the hops are a little off-kilter with the rest of the beer.

This beer is best as a hoppy chug after doing something outside on a scorcher day.

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Photo of mryuk
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a filtered golden brown with very little head.

smell is fresh piny hops but it is very light and not overwhelming.

taste is light fresh and smooth. slightly bitter finish with very light flavor.

mouth is light bodied with good carbonation.

this beer is ok but really stops short of what it could be. definitely leaves something to be desired from a hop perspective. the lightness of the beer was the star here but it still was not amazing.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
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 andrewinski1
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. This one has a nice light golden color without haze. The head is off white and is about half an inch, shrinking to a thin rim around the glass. There is a bit of sticky lacing left.

Nice hop filled aroma with a good dose of pine. A faint aroma of bread is noticed as well.

The taste starts and finishes dry and crisp. The piney hops are a huge part of the profile, with a good balance of bready malt.

The mouthfeel is light and crisp. Very refreshing.

Great pale ale. It's a little like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but with pineyer hops.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden color with a slight tinge of orange, small sized head that fades quickly, no lacing on the glass.

Smell has a sweet malt aroma mixed with a light grassy presence.

Taste is a well balanced between malt and grassy hops, neither is overly strong to overshadow the other aspect but that also means there's no shining star, carbonation is decent with a slick mouthfeel, very easy drinking and sessionable.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - One very nice looking brew - glowing yellow gold, bright and clear, with a nice white head, decent lacing. A very attractive pour.

S - Sour notes and dankness holding court, with grass and herbal elements offering accents. It is a hard smack of unruly hop notes, with a hint of lemon.

T - The spiky hop, horsey with oregano and basil, to a biscuit malt, and a sharp bitter close, verging on medicinal.

M - Brisk and drying. A robust feel for a beer that barely cracks 5% ABV.

O - Decent, but not spectacular pale. Shockingly powerful flavors, but not necessarily the ones I like to see front and center, making it interesting and respectable, but not one I necessarily want to revisit.

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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
88 out of 100 based on 601 ratings.
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