Headwaters Pale Ale | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
victorybeer.com

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:
610
Ratings:
2,592
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
11.22%
 
 
Wants:
89
Gots:
507
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 610 | Ratings: 2,592
Photo of chadlebald
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Malt is quite pronounced. Smell of multigrain bread - think there's some rye in here.

Nice balance of malt and hops - the latter of which are 'standard fare' (by that I mean not floral, citrusy or otherwise).

I think this is a nice mix between an American pale and English pale. Not sure if this is because I'm drinking it on cask, but it definitely seems to affect the overall experience!

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Photo of Josiah2729
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Light Orange with minimal white head, very clear, with some carbonation bubbles throughout. No lacing.

Smell: Grapefruit scented hops, overpowering.

Taste: Citrus hops, slight malt, the hops are upfront and lingering in the beer.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation up front along with hops bitterness followed by a smooth fresh water feel.

Overall: Delicious hoppy pale ale.

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Photo of dieter172
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This American PA is in the Classic British style and is very well done. Highly recommended. Drinking it makes me really appreciate and respect the brewers' efforts to protect the watershed.

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Photo of ms11781
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by May 14, 2012 printed on label. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours an excellent, crystal clear bright orange with a nice, fluffy head of white foam. The head settles in as a thin white cap and leaves lacing that coats the glass from top nearly to the bottom. Carbonation is evident from appearance.

There's not much to hide behind here and it's pulled off nicely. Nice big hop aroma up front in the nose. Bright citrus and nice floral hops come across first and are balanced by a nice malt sweetness. There's not a ton going on but it's really clean and impressive.

The taste follows along with the nose but it's taken down just a step as the hops here don't match the hops in the nose. That's not to say that there isn't a good amount of hop character. There are plenty of hops here, they just come across better in the nose. The same citrus hops hit first and are the dominant flavor up front. The malt sweetness comes on a bit stronger and stays through to the finish where they pair with some nice floral and herbal hoppiness.

Medium body with medium carbonation leave the beer with a clean mouthfeel to match. Each sip starts crisp and finishes pretty smooth.

This is an excellent beer. It is extremely clean, as noted with the comment opening up the notes about the nose. There really isn't anything to hide behind here. If the flavors and aromas aren't dead on with this beer then it will be very apparent that something is off. This is a great beer to reach for when you're looking for a hop fix but not the higher ABV of an IPA.

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Photo of Rschis16
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks and smells perfect out of the bottle with a big healthy head on top and a nice rich copper color. Smell is heavy on the hops and but there's also some nice sweetish malts that catch the nose as well.

Manages to be hoppy and light at the same time which is uncommon for many beers I try. I love hops and this one is chock full of them, but combined with a creamier mouthfeel and subtle sweetness that balances the beer out nicely. There is a pleasant bitterness to the aftertaste that makes me want to have another sip. All in all this was a good beer and pretty refreshing on a hot day. Reminds me of a hoppier SN Pale Ale, which is nothing but a great compliment. I'm coming to the conclusion that Victory and hops go hand in hand.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours an amber color with moderate carbonation and a very thin white layer and lacing ring covering the top of the beer.

S - For an APA, the aroma is very nice, up front, and has some pungency to it which is refreshing after having too many pale ales with nothing going on in the nose. Light caramel malt and spicey citrus, the hop aroma is almost vinous in nature.

T - Earthy with some floral citrus bite, balanced, and there's a little bit of pine mixed in there. The malt comes through in a biscuity kind of way.

M - Light medium body, somewhat creamy, a little grainy, and lots of prickly carbonation on the tongue.

O - Of the APA's I've had, this one stands near the top. The style isn't one of my favorites, but this one is very solid.

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Photo of pburland23
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Harpoon IPA glass.

I was pretty excited to hear that Victory was coming out with a new year round beer. When it was announced, it was an APA, I was actually quite pleased. In an era marked by hop bombs and wood barrelled ABV monsters, I was glad to see Victory going in a simpler direction.

Beer pours a light coppery amber with about a finger of soapy, real ale-ish looking head which quickly receded and left no discernible lacing.

Aroma is hoppy. Sharp, crisp and clean. An inviting aroma. Taste is similarly hoppy and citrusy. It's a well balanced APA. Mouthfeel leans to the lighter side which increases the drinkability. All in all, I find Headwaters Pale Ale to be a really nice, well rounded and balanced APA.

It's not going to blow anyone away, but it's a solid drinker.

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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 larryi86
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- A clear bright copper/orange with a white one finger head.

S- Floral, spicy, and earthy hops with a nice biscuity malt backbone.

T- A slightly muted version of the nose, nice balance of malts and hops.

M- Smooth, light to medium body.

O- A nice, easy drink beer. Have had it on-tap a few times, it is a nice go to Pale Ale.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Mildly haze orange color with a small amount of carbonation. Head retention is average, but the lacing on the sides is remarkably abundant!

Smell - Floral hops, caramel, yeasts, and malts. There's a good sweet aroma here, giving it a butterscotch scent. Nice!

Taste - Floral hops, butterscotch, yeasts and malts. For an APA, this is pretty sweet tasting beer without overdoing it. It strikes a balance between sweetness and what an APA normally tastes like!

Mouthfeel - Pretty light in body and the carbonation is above-average here so it gets in the way of the flavor just a little bit. It's not creamy or smooth, but it feels crisp!

Overall - Much like Prima Pils, it's got a simpler flavor but it does it so well that its easy to overlook it's faults, which primarily has to do with the carbonation. It's a good beer to start off your macrobeer drinking friends off with!

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Photo of hosehead83
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Bright copper/gold in color with a moderate head of off-white foam
Aroma-A big whiff of citrussy, piney hops
Taste-Toasted malt, mineral stone, citrus hops, spicy yeast. Very tasty and flavorfull, a nice "go-to" fridge beer. A great match for a burger or a round of spicy appetizers.

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Photo of Imsothirsty
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper/ orange, lots of bubbles, no haze, half finger of white rocky head.

Smell is all piney hops. Just a little bit floral.

Taste: Floral hops, some sharp citrus notes, and just a tiny backing of malt. Not complex, but satisfying

Mouthfeel is nice. Body is between medium and light, moderately high carbonation, but it seems appropriate. Just a tiny tiny bit of heat from the alcohol.

Overall maybe the best Pale Ale I've ever had. Probably will be my next homebrew project to clone this.

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Photo of bassboneman
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is an outstanding Pale Ale, despite the # it gets.
It is strong without being over powering - full of hoppy flavor.
It is an easy drinker!
For a good grill-side beer that can handle a bevy of different entrees or apps this is a great beer!
Sam

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Photo of PDXHops
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured into a Duvel tulip. Bright and light amber with a huge frothy head that settles down to a thick skim. Good retention from then on. A ring of crackly lacing up top, soapy patches down below.

Some honeyish sweet notes along with biscuity malt. Hop aromas are plentiful, bright and floral. Even more hop-forward than the nose suggests; this is definitely one of those 'IPA light' pale ales. Juicy citrus followed up with a grassy and slightly metallic bitter finish. The malt holds up its end of the bargain nicely; a touch of sweetness, plenty of toast, some cereal grains. Some lingering citrus and a touch of alcohol in an otherwise crisp finish.

Overall impression: What took ya so long to brew an APA, Victory? This will surely demand an occasional spot in the beer fridge as the temps warm up.

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Photo of dancaplette
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

headwater's has a bright copper color to it , slight carbonation that lasts through the pour. it retains a one figure head with a nice lacing.

it has a citrusy smell to it, more than I expected for a pale ale, very pleasant.

it has a nice mouth feel, I can describe as a light, but creamy smoothness and nice bitterness.

overall a good effort, as usual by victory.

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Photo of Andrew041180
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Aggressive pour into a standard pint glass. The beer is copper in color and quite clear, with nice carbonation visible. Great head, with well above average retention, that leaves nice thick lacing on the glass. Beautiful.

S - Subtle, but it's a nice mix of citrus and light sweetness. Maybe some floral qualities.

T - Shocking. I want to compare the citrus elements to Zombie Dust. I don't think it's a stretch to say it. Nice progression of flavors from citrus, through light caramel sweetness, through a touch of pine bitterness. Just enough to let the flavor linger.

M - The one weakness. The feel is a little light, and despite that, it sticks to my mouth a bit too much on the finish. I like the bitterness while I'm drinking the beer, but it holds on a bit too long.

O - If I could find a 12-pack of this I would absolutely buy it again. I would love to drink this all afternoon. And evening. And night.

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Photo of lovindahops
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

really excited to try one of my favorite brewery's APA. I am hoping this will be one of the most drinkable brews on the market. I would to have this line up with prima as two of my go to brews in the summer time

A- pours a stunning light copper body with a massive marshmallow head of foam. Exactly how I would want an american pale ale to look

S- crisp citrus with a great balance of some malt and hops. Definitely not overwhelming, but no question about the consistency

T- another good blend of slight caramel and earthy flavors with some pine and citrus. Again, not overpowering, but balanced. Very bitter at the end as well

M- crisp and good with flavor. Headwaters has good carbonation and flavor that stays around

D- While Headwaters won't be the highest APA according to the masses... it still is a very delicious and refreshing APA. IMO, Victory should cut this into the variety pack with the other three brews and really push out a winning 12pk. I will definitely enjoy having Headwaters with some Prima this spring and summer. Cheers Victory!

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Photo of jkrich
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with "enjoy by" date stamped on label. This is a very attractive pour: clear, bright and shiny gold with a slightly off-white head that dissipated leaving intricate lacing.

After opening the bottle, the unmistakable, bittersweet fruity american hops greets the olfactory.

This is a celebration of hops, yet it is never over the top. The initial sip is restrained, fresh grapefruit flavor with a very nice, soft and light, sweet malt coming through to balance the flavor.

The body is light which is perfect for this crisp, hoppy thirst quencher. Slight hop bitterness gently coats the palate. The zesy carbonation adds to the refreshing qualities of this APA.

The market seems crowded with a lot of these hoppy,american style pale ales. The overall quality of this offering sets it apart from most. With the low ABV, this is very sessionable. And great thing about this product, you can always know you have a fresh bottle with "enjoy by" date clearly marked.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this one into a pint glass. This one is a nice slightly hazy golden straw color with a nice big whte head. Nice retention, a nice cap throughout the drink.

Lots of citrus hops in the aroma. Oranges and grapefruit dominate the aroma with a hint of bitter pine to round it out. A little bit of sweet toffee in the background too. Nice hop and malt balance on this one. Orange citrus with a bit of toffee to this. It finishes with a nice slightly bitter flavor.

Good light body with ample carbonation. Overall, a terrific offering here. Really hits the mark on a pale ale in my opinion.

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Photo of meatyard
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear, deep golden with a 2-finger+ white head that falls at a moderate pace leaving some decent lacing.

The smell is fruity and grassy with a bit of sweet malt.

The taste is mild grassiness and light fruit balanced nicely with a similar mild malt sweetness followed by ,,, yes, mild bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium/thin, crisp and lightly carbonated.

Overall, this is a mild but still tasty and well balanced beer that will be an excellent beer on a hot summer day and I look forward to having some fresh bottles in a few months. Victory has produced a pleasant, nicely made version of an APA.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- a inch or so of bright white head that has so decent staying power and leaves a good smattering of spots on the glass and a solid ring. Crystal clear golden orange yellow in color.

S- grassy and herbal with a bright citrus fruit hit. Lemons and grapefruits come to mind. Light biscuity malts.

T- opens up with a sweet citrusy and to a lesser extent grassy hopping that rolls slowly into bone dry pale malt.

M- a few steps below medium in body with a nice mid level carb that keeps thing light and refreshing.

D- I like it. Its super easy going and full on flavor. I'm all about hoppy sessionable beers.

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Photo of Blargimus
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Enjoy by June 24, 20... the stamp fades here, but I assume it's 2012. I hope.

Crystal-clear amber-straw color. A teeny bit darker than I expected. 1-2 fingers of head fade down to a nice lacing. Attractive beer.

Smell is full and very rich with deliciousness. This is likely in my head, but I think I detect a hint of corn. I actually like a little bit of corn, so that's not a deduction for me. VERY enticing.

The taste is hoppier than the smell would suggest. Excellent initial level of bitterness, followed by that same richness of malt. Despite the smell, I don't taste any corn. Very tasty.

Light-medium fullness. I could do with a bit less carbonation. Leaves bitterness behind, but doesn't coat the tongue and finishes fairly dry. This is the beer's weakest category, but it's certainly not bad, or even below-average.

Odd that I've had so many other Victory beers before trying their flagship offering. It's a very solid pale ale, enough so that it might compete with Great Divide DPA as my go-to choice if it was more readily available in Colorado.

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Photo of Keene
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Headwaters offers an inviting appearance with a bright, medium amber color and a thick, fluffy collar of foam. Its aromas are pronounced and abundant: lemon tea, citrus zest, peach, nectarine, sandalwood, a whisper of herbal hops and a bready undertone arrive one after another. Overall this is an exceptionally drinkable beer with a rounded, medium body, a moderate level of carbonation, a nuanced degree of bitterness and a touch of malt sweetness. Very clean. Caramel and citrus share time in the mellow, even finish. A great American Pale Ale.

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Photo of shand
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a very hazy orange color with a tiny head. The aroma is full of bright citrus and floral hops. Caramel malts also make themselves known. The taste is very bright, full of floral hops and citrus notes. The finish is really smooth and crisp, this is truly a delicious APA. The mouthfeel is nice, it's fairly light-bodied and has a medium level of carbonation. The drinkability is also very good. Overall, this is a solid, drinkable pale ale.

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Photo of Mardukk
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with some off white head and noticable lacing.

The smell is an exceptional blend of herbal hops with some faint malt. Probably the best quality of this beer.

The taste is dominated by the herbal hops with a touch of lightly roasted malt to balance the hop bitterness. The taste very good overall.

The mouthfeel is a tad thin for the style and is the biggest drawback of this APA. With medium carbonation and a nice smooth yet yummy herbal hop flavor this is an easy one to drink.

This is a very nice quality APA that I would definitely buy again.

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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.92 out of 5 based on 2,592 ratings.
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