Headwaters Pale Ale | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

very good
610 Reviews
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

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

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 610 | Ratings: 2,595
Photo of Hanglow
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

 291 characters

Photo of EMV
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.

 455 characters

Photo of Vetbidder
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 !

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Photo of BRiddoch
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.

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Photo of Nugganooch
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.

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Photo of Terp96
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.

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Photo of ocelot2500
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.

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Photo of Gajo74
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.

 827 characters

Photo of Holderness
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

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Photo of TheElectricOne
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.

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Photo of LAp
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.

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Photo of Maryobeerian
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.

 326 characters

Photo of Jon_Hendricks
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!

 329 characters

Photo of Stevedore
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.

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Photo of Parmesan
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
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 rodbeermunch
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Amber appearance, solid clarity, 3/4" white head. Hoppy enough, not huge, but enough substance to be obvious.

Taste was fine until the later mouthfeel kept creeping in with bitter off flavor. Old bread. Seemed a mix of noble and c hops. I wonder if they went with a non traditional malt bill here, something about that seemed off.

 337 characters

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

A softly fragrant nose from which green, floral and lightly citric aromas emerge. Delicate yet firmly hopped.

The flavor of this beer features a nutty, toasty, biscuity malt backbone that is very reminiscent of Fat Tire, but more assertively hopped. Green, herbal, lemony hop notes play throughout, but never dominate. A well balanced beer, albeit one that may be falling out of fashion due to its prominent earthy malt presence.

 430 characters

Photo of Gobearswalter34
2.44/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Pours a slightly hazy, amber-gold with a one finger bubbly, white head. Little to no carbonation.
smells of piney butterscotch with the carmel malt coming through.
Piney citrus with much malt. funk coming through with a little hairspray taste.
Mouthfeel unpleasant. Did I get a bad one?

 289 characters

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.

 547 characters

Photo of Hyptochrons
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can labeled enjoy by March 29, 2016

Golden orange with a very slight haze to it. Thick three fingers of head, lacing looks sick on the glass!!

floral, earthy hops, light pine, and sweetish malt. Not getting any noticeable citrus that others have mentioned... maybe its not quite as fresh as it should be.

Dirt n hops up front, strong malt presence and bit of pine on the finish. Very light bitterness to it. Interesting blend of flavors, good balance.

Feel is a bit light for me, but maybe ive been drinking to many IIPAs. nice carbonation tho.

 551 characters

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 ajm5108
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
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 Rockjocknroll
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Deep gold/ medium amber, nice thick head to begin. Filtered.
S: Almost garlicky hop smell with sweet orange citrus.
T: Wow. Light and crisp with the perfect amount of subtle sweet and floral/fruity flavors. Just the right amount of bitterness that doesn't linger.
M: Again, very clean and crisp. Light and easy to drink.
O: Very impressed; easily one of the best Pales I've had. This would be dangerously drinkable in the summer. One of the best hoppy beers I've had from Victory which includes almost all of their IPAs and fresh-hop series.

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Photo of Act25
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Try 6.
Up there with Dales Pale Ale - for me the gold standard APA.

A: Pours a clear amber color with a one finger head; moderate retention and lacing.

S: Grass, hay, earth, springtime, and citrus on a biscuit base.

T: Follows smell but gets better. On the malt biscuit base, is spread spring time earth, grass and grapefruit with a mineral character. Very fulfilling balanced taste.

F: Medium to light body with moderate carbonation, nice finish.

O: Well tuned balance in this beer. Cannot go wrong APA. Try 6 or more.

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Photo of hopphead31415
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Victory Brewing is awesome. This one is a 5.2% ABV, but it paradoxically drinks like a 7% which is awesome.

Look-It pours a pale amber golden color with a white head that diminishes into a thin film.

Smell-I smell citrus hops and honey malts.

Taste-It tastes brilliant with a clean and crisp citrus, floral, pine, and then some more citrus hop flavor. It is juicy and bright and leans on apricot, pear, and grapefruit rind. Some toasty and honey malts play with the hops, but it isn’t hop-forward. It is a fair beer to both the malts and the hops, and both do a great job of expressing themselves in a very pleasant fashion.

Mouthfeel-It is crisp, bright, smooth, and on the lighter side of medium-bodied. The carbonation is sufficient yet not overpowering and the alcohol seems stronger than it really is.

Overall-I would say that this beer has done something absolutely amazing and all should try this one and all should give Victory a try in general.

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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.92 out of 5 based on 2,595 ratings.
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