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 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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Photo of HosP
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to TroyG for this beer. Poured 12 oz into pint glass.

A- Pours a nice shade of dark orange, almost amber. Very clear. Nice white head caps it off but does not stick around.

S- Very nice citrus hop aroma right off the bat. Some floral hop notes mixed into the nose. Smells a little sweet.

T- Taste is sweeter than expected. Balances nicely with the bitterness from the hops. Subtle citrus and floral hops throughout. Don't come through as the nose would believe.

M- Lighter beer with moderate carbonation. Very smooth.

O- Very nice, easy going beer. This is a very good summer beer. Flavors aren't as bold, but very easy to drink. Low abv would allow to put down a few of these at once. Thanks Troy!

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Photo of cagocubs
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap locally.

A: Pours a copper color with a 1 finger puffy off white head that lingers and laces.

S: Hoppy, citrus (orange, grapefruit), malt and grains along with some sugary sweetness. Typical and clean of an IPA/APA.

T: The hops are crisp and bitter, the citrus element comes through along with the sweet malt and spice. Some buttery bready finish give this a nice balance.

M: Light/Medium body with a good creamy texture that maintains a tingle. Easy drinking and smooth.

A solid choice for any APA fan.

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Photo of sethmeister
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Luminous clear brass in color with a 1 finger offwhite head. Good amount of lace.

Scent is fresh and bready with earthy, citric and oniony notes

Taste is light citrus with a hint of onion. Very crisp and clean with a mineral flavor.

Drinkability is very very high.

Mouth is medium - light and nicely carbonated.

This is a refreshing and eminently drinkable session ale with enough hop scent and flavor to satisfy.

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Photo of Josiah2729
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
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 UnderPressure
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice standard looking pale ale. Orange color. Slight haze. Thin head. Nice lacing, though.

Intense hop aroma. Caramel sweetness. Nice citrus and floral. Pungent undertone.

Awesome flavor! Hops everywhere. Not all that bitter. Sweet, grainy, and very hoppy.

Heavy mouthfeel with low carbonation.

Could use more carbonation and a thinner body. Otherwise, this beer is awesome.

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Photo of WankelEngine
3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a wine glass

A: Pours a vibrantly clear (so clear I can read text through it like an orange-tinted magnifying glass haha) amber-orange color. There is a small, off-white head which quickly fades to nothing but a small ring of foam. Mild lacing.

S: The first thing I pick up is a good dose of tropical fruits, very citrusy. Mild pine and some toffee follow, but the nose is dominated by the tropical aromas.

T: Not nearly as fruity as the aroma, but with a bigger emphasis on the citrus. A good dose of grassy hops greets the mid-palate and lingers through to the finish. The malt here is light and mild but provides just a bit of balance with some caramel flavor. Moderately bitter overall with a mild but long finish.

M: Fairly thin mouthfeel, but not overly so. Carbonation is on the mild side of moderate, but still effervescent. A little watery as I swallow.

O: A decent pale ale. Citra hops are here doing their thing which never hurts. Easy drinking with decent flavor.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured bottle into glass. 5.1% abv

Appearance- Semi clear amber with a thick fluffy head slow to dissipate.

Smell- Citrus aroma of oranges with floral characteristics. Biscuit notes mixed in as well.

Taste- Some slighty sweet bready/barley malt contrasts with a little bit of sweet caramel notes. Noticeable earthy hops sneak in later leaving for a bitter dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Light but not too watery. Good amount of carbonation.

Overall- A decent and flavorful ale. Not super exciting but pretty basic. A good hop presence however. On the refrshing side too and easy drinking for a warm day. Also, hats off to Victory for advocating environmental stewardship and protecting waterways on the label on the bottle!

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Photo of brewdude1982
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This was a 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark golden brown with great clarity. The smell is amazingly hoppy. I love the nose of this brew. Slight malt taste upfront and then a powerful mule kick of hops that is extremely citrus and very powerful. I love the hop character of this beer. The mouthfeel is average and the carbonation is too. If you have never had this I would recommend.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
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 thebrood1987
4.8/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I wanted to get a lighter, lower in alcohol flavorful beer (being that I have a bunch of higher alcohol IPA DIPAS and other bigger styles as well in the fridge) and this beer fits exactly under that description.

It looks great like a caramel color that is in between brown and yellow. I instantly get an astringent herbal tea smell with a sweet ripened fruit smell all from the hops. The taste is pretty identical to the smell starting off with a crisp hop bite on the tip of the tongue some cracker like malts in the middle and then ending with that herbal tea ripened fruit taste from the hops on the finish.

It definitely has a very pure fresh taste to it and I can tell they use really fresh water in this. I've had a bunch of Victory beers and this is absolutely one of my favorites. This almost reminds me of an IPA light By light I mean lighter body less alcohol less filling but definitely not lacking on the hops. What a fantastic beer.

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Photo of OddNotion
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into my SN 30th Anniversary bulb glass. Pours a quarter inch white head which recedes pretty quickly leaving a nice lacing for the style. A lot of bubble activity in the bright transparent golden body.

Smell: Smells nice. I get a mostly biscuity flavor with some hops in the background. Smells more towards the english style IMO.

Taste: Very light flavors. Some of the biscuity malt flavors come forward, once again with the hops taking a back seat. Some bitterness at the end of the sip, but nothing overwhelming at all. As the beer warms a little, the hop flavor becomes more apparent. Really helps round out this brew.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is thin even given the style. The carbonation gives a nice zing on the tongue which I feel enhances this particular beer.

Overall: I will likely buy this along with Prima Pils over the summer for some nice session drinking. It is light in the flavors so do not expect this to blow you out of the water but every beer has its place, this one will be a regular over the summer months given it becomes a little more available.

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Photo of LAp
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
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 danoeltico
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

Nice thick white head from the poor and has a nice dark clear golden color, very little to no lacing

Light pine and malt aroma, just sits back and does what it does

Well balanced slight maltiness with a little hopiness from a sip. With the mouthful the hops are more pronounced and this pale ale starts to shine. It is what a pale ale should taste like, very drinkable.

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Photo of Shiredave
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Totally over priced at $14.00 a 6pk. Having said that - this is a damn fine pale ale.

Spot on for color and carbonation tho it threw a wimpy thin head of soapy froth.
Aroma is beautiful blend of floral and citrus hop with solid malt presence of honey note.
Flavor is solid as well - great balance and drinkability with a firm hop finish.

I great session pale ale - put this stuff in casks please!!

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Photo of TH28
3.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. 7/3/14 code date. Appearance: A hazy dark golden with a thick off white foam cap. Aroma: Nice aromatic toasted bread in the malt with a hint of floral and herbal hops. Taste: Rich, bready and toasted malt dominates. Bread crust. Bitterness is crisp and strong enough to balance the malt, with some herbal/floral hints. Mouthfeel: Medium with a medium high carbonation. Finish: some lingering bitterness and bread crust. Overall: A great English style pale, with rich bready and toasted flavors dominating the flavor profile. Definitely malt forward.

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Photo of hagbergl
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought a sixer of Victory Headwaters Pale Ale as my go-to vacation beverage at Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont, MA for approx. $10.50. Poured into a Redbones pint glass.

Appearance (4/5): Headwaters pours a clear copper color with a rusty red tinge to it and is topped with a two finger off white head of foam that leaves a little lacing behind as it dissipates. This is a good looking pale ale.

Smell (4/5): Take a whiff and you'll know straight away that this is an aggressively hopped pale ale. Piney, lemon-like, and resinous hop aromas escape from the glass, but, this being a pale ale, a significant malt backbone can be detected pushing back and balancing against the hops.

Taste (4/5): The hops are the star and flex immediately, with strong citrus notes in the foretaste that are balanced by the malts at mid-tongue, then linger on into the finish. This is my kind of pale ale. Lots of hop flavor, though not intensely bitter and well-balanced–a pale ale that leans hoppy, but would never be confused for an IPA. The hops lend citrus and mellow, herbal characteristics to this brew that are nicely complimented by the malts. This beer is smooth and easy-going. Never cloying and with a moderate ABV (you cannot detect the slightest hint of alcohol in the flavor), you can drink multiple Headwaters and not get tired of it.

Mouthfeel (4.5/5): I think the mouthfeel on this beer might be the best thing about it. Headwaters is a medium bodied pale–that is to say, a little thicker on the tongue than other pales (perhaps due to the generous hopping) and feels just right on the tongue. This beer "punches above its weight," so to speak. The beer goes down smooth and has a relatively long finish, again due to the hops.

Overall (4/5): This is one tasty APA and another successful creation by Victory. Any experienced BA will appreciate this beer's easy-drinking nature and subtlety of flavors. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that likes hoppy beer but is looking for something lower in ABV and a bit more restrained.

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Photo of John1985
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ale pours a hazy orange and an inch head that laces down the pint glass. Aroma is pine and citrus, flavor is an assertive hop citrus flavor. Malt is more evident as the ale warms up a bit. The ale finishes a little on the watery side which is the only letdown. Overall it is a very refreshing, flavorful ale.

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Photo of cooncat
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a std. shaker pint at fridge temp.

A hearty pour produces a tangerine colored brew, with a half inch of ecru head. The head sticks around for a while, but diminishes to a thin cap. Lacing shows on the swirl and leaves some splashes on the side of the glass. Nice looking ale.

The nose is very nice for a pale ale. Remember that you are drinking a pale ale, not an IPA. As pale ales go, this is a very nice nose, citrusy with hops, and with some caramel malt balance in the background. Tangerines and orange rind make up the hop nose.

The taste follows the nose quite nicely. This is a well balanced pale ale, and the citrus hops are definitely to the fore, but not 'in your face' as one might expect of an IPA. Nicely balanced with caramel, toffee and bread crust malt notes. Mouthfeel is a solid medium, and the carbonation is spot on for the style, rounding out the mouthfeel.

Victory never fails to impress me. I've been doing a lot of pale ales lately, and this is by far the best of the lot I've tried. This is a great session beer, and I'm thinking a case of this would be a great purchase the next time I cross over into nearby Pa.

Highly recommended, and a first class Pale Ale. It's what I've come to expect from Victory ... great beer. Get 'ya some ASAP!

Na Zdravje!

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Photo of engagechad
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as a single from Wine and Beer Westpark in Glen Allen, VA - dfh snifter

Pours a lovely yellow orange with a perfect head and moderate lacing. easily agitated back to head. Smells incredible! man.. big on the grapefruit zest.. so nice and vibrant. Very refreshing taste, similar to SNPA in a way but a bit more bright. My words fail me..

This is a great beer and one of the few from Victory that I enjoy. Get it!

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Photo of welldigger888
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from growler a nice copper gold with a white head that laced ok.

Nice resonious hop forward profile for the style, caramel maltiness to balance.

Like bread & butter, The resoniuos hop pine & sweet bready caramel maltiness play well together.

Medium bodied easy drinker here with spot on carbonation.

Victory realy know what they are doing up there! Nice beer,Send more down south please!

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Photo of phishsihq
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This Pale ale pours a burnished gold, with some copper near the edges, a frothy inch of white head that leaves some lace but is retained well throughout. Caramel malt sweetness is mostly overshadowed by floral and piney hop aromas, a lot of hop aromas for a Pale Ale! The brew is somewhat spicy and bready, with caramel maltiness balanced by moderate citrus and piney hop bitterness, leading to a clean and smooth finish. A medium-light body with lower level amounts of carbonation. A newer offering from the good folks at Victory that is well worth searching out.

Cheers!

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Photo of salvo
2.41/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Headwaters APA is a Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde: it is a completely different beer out of the bottle and on tap. I've noticed this with Victory products and I'm beginning to wonder if there's something going on at their bottling facility. I'll take this on to the discussion board, but I offer the following schizophrenic, double faced review of the two beers, both called Headwaters APA.

On tap:
Pours a beautiful clear straw-yellow under an inch of pure-white foam that dissipates, leaving only a ring all the way down the pint glass. Smell is of tropical fruits: guava, pineapple, mango. A rich nose for such a light beer.

Taste asserts its tropical fruit esters and is pungently guava tasting with some citrus in the background, ending with a suggestion of tea. The hops are supported by a solid malty sweetness. Body is light and could stand some additional substance. But overall, this is a damn tasty beer at 5.5%, and would be a lovely everyday drinker.

Bottle:
Pours a beautiful clear straw-yellow under an inch of pure-white foam that dissipates, leaving only a ring all the way down the pint glass. Similar to the tap. That's where the similarities end.

Nose is very lightly and suggestive of non-descript citrus; some grassiness and slight astringency.

Taste has more malt early in the sip, particularly when cold. No tropical fruitiness at all. Ends grassy and astringent; bitter. Finishes much more quickly, much more dryly.

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Photo of rebel1771
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours honey colored with a big fluffy head that stays around a long time.

S: Plenty of hops in the aroma. Heavy notes of pine and citrus intermingle with some floral notes. Seems a little strong for an APA.

T: Just like the smell the taste is dominated by hops. Pine and citrus again dominate.

O: Overall this is a good beer but it could be better IMO if they pulled the reins back on the hops a bit.

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Photo of nimrod979
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright copper color with a one finger off white head. Decent retention and some nice lacing throughout.

Aroma: Lemony citrus, and floral hop aroma.

Taste: Floral, spicy and slightly citrus hop flavor. Dry biscuity malts provide decent mouthfeel. But it leans towards the hoppy side of things.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, easy drinking. Medium mouthfeel. Smooth carbonation. Balanced with a mild bitter hoppy finish.

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