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 almostjay
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I want to love this beer, and feel like I should given the brewer and the hop bill, but it just doesn't hit the spot for me. Solid, but average beer. This is a legitimate APA though, and I feel like some other higher rated ones have clearly crossed into the IPA category.

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Photo of plfahey
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Deep gold to light amber with good clarity. Moderately tall white head with moderately good retention.

Aroma-Big floral and grassy hop bouquet, with lesser notes of citrus, grapefruit, catty, and resin. Grain, biscuit, and light caramel show up in the malt profile, which is rather subdued compared to the hops.

Flavor-Biscuit, grain, and husky malt flavor. Hop flavors are grassy, hay-like, and catty-a little bit off-putting. The more I drink it, the mustier it seems to be. Hop bitterness is moderate. catty, hay-like hop flavors linger on the palate.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with moderate carbonation.

I really liked the aroma off the bat, but the grass notes get to be a bit much, especially in the flavor. Not my favorite type of hop flavors, which turns me off a bit.

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Photo of rorykanderson
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great pale ale. Enjoyed ice cold straight from the can. Aroma of pine, citrus, grass and hay. Pleasant earthy undertone throughout. Taste of orange, lemon and grapefruit that's immediately balanced out by the bread/biscuit malt flavor. Very well balanced pale ale that finishes with a moderate bitterness that doesn't linger.

 325 characters

Photo of JG-90
3.24/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

bottle into glass

A - Pours medium/large slightly creamy head, leaves moderate lacing, very clear pale copper color

S - Not as much smell as I expected, resinous hops, bread, and a little malt

T - Huge prickly/resinous hop start (seems to me a little aggressive for a pale ale), bread, grapefruit, and a slight malt finish

M - very prickly mouthfeel, medium/light body, moderate carbonation

O - I think the prickly hops with lighter body are a little too much for my taste, seems like a sligthly watered down IPA, but still a good and interesting beer

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Photo of Mongrel
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
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 Lerxst
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a clear gold with a nice one inch white head that has good retention and leaves spotty lace all the way down.

S-A slightly resinous scent is the first I pick up, a bit of citrus and then grainy/malty notes start to dominate.

T-Nicely balanced with a toasty grain flavor mixing with a slightly hoppy citrus and pine combo. Not too complex, but it is very pleasant and enjoyable.

M-Crisp and light with a dry finish.

O-A very nice APA that goes down very easy. This makes a really good lawnmower beer.

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Photo of Rockjocknroll
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
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 pburland23
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
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 StoneBrewFanatic
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours clear amber into my snifter with just about one finger of head that has moderate retention and lots of patchy lacing.

S - Nice balance of hops and malts. sweet toffee and toasted bread, earthy pine hops and grapefruit citrus hops.

T - Malts are and roasted grain are pretty intense and then they fade right into a rather bitter finish that lingers on the palate, earthy hops, citrus rind, and hints of toffee.

M - Medium in body, smooth and creamy, crisp and refreshing.

O - To me this pale ale is a tug of war between the hops and the malts... The malts come out of the gate strong and then the hops beat them down and leave a lingering bitterness on the palate to remind you who's boss.

 702 characters

Photo of SINKTIPS_N_SUDS
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is by no means a bad pale ale, just not one for me. Earthy hop notes and maltyish base play well together, but just not my particular style of APA.

 152 characters

Photo of mfigueroa713
4.68/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Not really a pale ale, much much closer to an IPA than a pale. Doesn't matter though, this beer is very tasty. Two fingers of head with respectable lacing. This beer has a fair amount of hop aroma and is well balanced. Overall a great beer.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, goldish amber color. Average off-white head.

Aroma is grassy and fruity with some slight citrus tones. Seems like a good volume of fresh hops. There seems to be a bit of sulfur in the nose, until it warms and becomes undetectable.

Flavor is simple and gentle with very light bitterness for a pale ale. The overall hop flavor is gentle and balanced with the malts. The malt flavor is gentle with caramel and toast. It seems like it could use a bit more of a sharp, hop bite in bitterness and flavor. Carbonation is average, with the mouthfeel not bringing much to the table. Overall, a bit generic.

 614 characters

Photo of Fcip78
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If you are looking for a hoppy session beer, this is your choice....It pours light amber in a pint glass with a nice off-white head. PLenty of light delicious citrusy grapefruit hop zing with each sip balanced with malt, thanks to citra hops! This is plenty smooth, but not too smooth where the beer becomes forgottable. This is a great beer year-round, but really awesome for any get together for casual beer drinkers and beer geeks alike.

 440 characters

Photo of pmccallum86
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden red color with a healthy bubbly head.

Smell is very earthy, tons of earthy hop aromas in the nose, not much else.

Taste is bitter in front with a very earthy hop character. Nice tasting beer, not much of a malt presence, but not bad.

Mouthfeel is slightly thin and dry

Overall a decent beer, nothing special but above average.

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Photo of muletrane
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 3/21/12

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic.

A: Pours a hazy pale copper colour. 1.5 fingers of pillowy white head with decent retention and lacing.

S: Nice balance between piney earthy hops and bready malts.

T: The taste is true to the nose. Nicely balanced with a good hop profile. A touch of bitterness and a good amount of breadiness in the finish.

M: Crisp and prickly feeling in the mouth. Moderate body with high carbonation.

Overall this a solid example of an APA. Crisp and refreshing with some nice hop character.

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Photo of rdub
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my favorite pint. Frothy white head and nice lacing. Floral hops on the nose emanate from the clear bright liquid. Yum. The best way to describe this brew was Nugget Nectar Jr. Nice balance of strong flavor vs drinkability. Would definitely have again.

 280 characters

Photo of Bone53
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass at around 40° F

Appearance: Copper color with a frothy two finger off white head

Smell: I get a ton of biscuit malt and maybe a hint of citrus

Taste: Too much biscuit malt flavor and not enough hops

Mouthfeel: Light body; Crisp and refreshing with a slight bitter finish like a pale ale should be

Mouhfeel: Pretty decent, but far from great. VERY biscuity which reminds me a lot of DF 60 Minute in that regard. I was a bit let down with this one. However, it's still very refreshing and a solid offering during the warm months.

 573 characters

Photo of ToddT
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear light copper color topper with an thick khaki head. Head falls slowly and is sticky leaving some nice lace on the glass.

S- Floral and citrus hop dominate the nose. There are some nice malt and caramel note in the background as well.

T- Malt followed with a nice bright note of caramel, the finish is mostly a wash of floral and citrus hops and a short final bite from the hops. The finish is very clean and refreshing and crisp as well.

M- Medium in body and decent carbonation, nice feel in the mouth.

O- Very drinkable and accessible beer, low 5.1% ABV makes this a session beer.

Flavorful and well done, nice job Victory, It’s not going to replace Hopback as my favorite session beer, but I might rotate back and forth between them every couple of trips out to the bar.

 790 characters

Photo of BlackBearForge
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Headwaters pours crystal clear with a nice golden tinged amber color and an offwhite foamy head that leaves moderate amounts of lacing. Good looking pale ale.

The aroma has lots of pungent and floral hops against a pale malt background.

The flavor has a nice citrusy tang up front followed by piney and pungent hops but with equal amounts of fresh pale Munich malts slightly bready or biscuity in character. Bitterness is dialed back but not absent, very balanced along with the malt in the finish.

The mouthfeel is nicely medium light, somewhat slick but very crisp and perfectly carbonated.

It would be easy to try and characterize this new pale ale as just an IPA but that would be doing it an injustice. It is firmly in the pale ale category and easily shines as such. Crisp and very drinkable! Another fine beer for the Victory lineup.

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Photo of guityler83
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A slightly hazy copper orange color, with a small bright white head with slight retention retention that sits on top of the glass as you sip your pint.

S: Just.. Wow.. An explosion of cattyness hits at first followed by the classic west coast resiny citrus. I also detect mango, melon and other tropical fruits (Simcoe/amarillo??) nice!

T: The cattyness comes through in the taste as expected, with a nice toasty backbone. The piney bitterness stays with you after you've put down the glass. Crisp and clean, this beer should be drank as fresh as possible.

M: Moderatly dry and a stickyness i describe from heavy late hop additions.

O: Bam! Victory makes some great beers this one included. While some people arn't a fan of the catty character the newer aroma type hops provide I love them in combination with the old classics. The aroma of Headwaters puts this thing in the IPA cattegory for me despite what the label says, I would love to hear the grain/hop bill for this bad boy. Good show ol' chap, good show!

 1,021 characters

Photo of titosupertramp
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy peach color with finger of soapy white head. Fades quickly leaving a lot of lacing on the drinking side of the glass, but nowhere else.

S: A good balance of hops/malts. Citrus and slightly grassy hops with bready malts underneath. Nice smelling beer.

T: Balance continues to the taste. Citrus/grass and sweet, bready malts. Has an almost tea like finish.

M: Just a wee bit thin. Slightly bitter finish.

O: I like Victory products a lot and this was no disappointment. I'll be getting this again.

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Photo of BierStein711
4.82/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew was again had on draught!

Outstanding beer with much fanfare!

Three finger head.

Amber read in color similar to Bass Ale!

Smells of grassy hops, herbs, and a touch of dark fruits!

Tastes of hops, grass, grain, herbs, and a balanced hop finish!

Mouthfeel: smooth and refreshing!

I liked this a tad better than HopDevil!

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Photo of fourstringer
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz can into a standard pint glass. Moderate hand. Dated best by 13 Jan 2016.

A: Inviting golden body with nice clarity. 2 fingers of off-white head with good retention. Moderate lacing.

S: Citrusy hops with notes of lemon, grapefruit, even mango. Scant pine. Lightly floral. Cracker, grass, and pilsner malts pick up a bit as it warms. Straight ahead, but very nice.

T: A crisp, yet mellow, herbal hop bitterness starts things off, quickly tailed by slightly nutty malts. White bread top crust. Wraps up cleanly with a mostly dry finish and light black tea astringency in the aftertaste. Minimal alcohol presence.

M: Moderate carbonation with a light to medium body. Effervescence is nicely balanced for the level of viscosity.

O: High quality, easy drinking brew with enough subtle characteristics to give it a unique personality. Quite sessionable. Dig the can.

Prost!

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Photo of Keene
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
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 mlazzaro
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very clear amber color. High carbonation, looks like the carbonation of a soda. Very low head retention. I thought it was the glass but multiple beers in a row, with low retention.

Smells of American hops. Mild by what I am used to.
It is refreshing and smooth. But really just kind of boring. Citrus hops are really subtle. Especially up against the bitterness. What tastes like English yeast is very neutral in flavor. It's pretty good beer. I am a very picky beer drinker.

Also a bit watery for my taste. High carbonation and thin body are really not a good mix. I am able to drink a good amount of this beer. It is probably just designed to be a sessionable beer. The flavors that are happening are tasty. But it has enormous room for improvement I feel.

I declare misuse of the word "head". I isn't nearly as heady as I presumed.

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