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 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 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 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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Photo of TheSupremeAJ
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Abe's of Bethlehem

A- Very bright clear amber color. Dissipating head.
S- Sweet, grapefruit and tropical notes.
T- Balanced, refreshing maltiness with tropical hops. A fairly simple beer that is enjoyable! I think I can actually taste the PA water in this one...
M- Supportive characters leave a balanced beer with a lighter mouthfeel.
D- High and very quaffable! Non-offensive and easily shareable.

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Photo of fank2788
4/5  rDev +2.3%

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Bright orange gold with a head that starts nice and thick then settles to a fine layer of bubbles. The smell is clean citrus hops with a strong malt backbone that is primarily bread and biscuit. The hops come right out front in the taste. Hop flavor seems to be a mix of grapefruit and more herbal grassy varieties. The body is light to medium and relatively dry with a bitterness that falls off sharply inviting the next sip. A highly sessionable beer not overly complicated but crisp and clean with a good shot of bitterness that is well balanced by the malts.

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Photo of MistahBeah
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice golden color. Amber around the top. Lots of visible carbonation. Creamy white head with nice retention. Some striated lace

Smells of biscuits and slightly grainy. Fresh oranges. Some honey. Lots of estery yeast character. Faintly metallic. Some spice too but a lot of sweetness

Taste starts off with some peppery spice. Biscuity malts with some traces of honey or caramel. Hops kick in with some juicy grapefruit. Herbal bitterness works well with the fruity esters. Very nicely balanced. Finishes a bit spicy

Feels smooth and medium-bodied. Crisp with carbonation and spice

Overall a classic in my book. I find that many pale ales - even the good ones - fall flat for me. I'll find myself saying that something's "good for a pale." This is a great beer. True to style, yet different enough to stand out and be known

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Photo of hopphead31415
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
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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Photo of bradcochran1234
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very happy to see this beer from Victory. This beer is a damn good example of an APA.
A-Light-golden color with a thin and quickly dissipating head.

S-Slight citrus smell. For some reason I keep getting fresh corn. My nose might be broken.

T-HECK YEAH!!! The citrus comes through right off the bat followed up by some thin malty tones. The beer starts to bitter out toward the end.

M-Slightly bitter sticking around for a very short amount of time. CRISP and CLEAN.

O- I would almost buy this as a session beer. Man up and knock some of these back because they are delicious.

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Photo of tony223366
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: As is appropriate with a bear named Headwaters... the head is excellent! 3+ fingers of white fluffy head. Color is a rich amber/copper color. Clarity is excellent and I can see lots of action from the carbonation. The head has fantastic retention. Looks amazing!

S: Smells majorly of hops primarily citrus. It does smell the slightest bit dank as well. Nice caramel malt aromas too.

T: First thing that hits me is the citrus hop flavors. It's actually really bright and floral as well. That's followed by a caramelly malt that is wrapped in bread. It's full of really clean and bright flavors. The finish is lightly bitter and actually fairly bready.

M: Nice, high carbonation. Slick and medium body.

O: This pale really took me off guard. I had no idea it was going to be as good as it ended up being. It's bright, balanced and really drinkable. Nice work Victory.

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

My last bottle of my case poured into a standard pint glass.

A- The beer poured with a small white head that lasted a few moments. The color of the brew is a very appealing light orange/amberish color and pretty easy to see through.

S- The smell on this beer is very light. Some hop aroma with some grass clipping type smells.

T- The taste is pretty light. A nice balance of sweet malt and hop bitterness. The bitterness lingers for several seconds after the sip.

M- The mouthfeel is pretty average. It's not overly carbonated which is a good thing, but its not undercarbonated or creamy feeling either. It works for me.

O- As usaul Victory produced a pretty good beer. I could see this being a beer that could get the average Joe macro shit beer drinker to start to appreciate a finer brew. The amount hop bitterness wouldn't leave their mouth feeling dry and thirsty and the flavor wouldn't be enough to scare them away. Overall an easy beer to drink and a very refreshing one. Thanks again Victory.

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Photo of TTAmod
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with no visible bottling date poured into pint glass.

A: Clear. Somewhere between gold and yellow. One finger pillowy white head with okay retention.

S: Smell is strong tropical fruit. Grapefruit dominate but there are hints of orange creme and pineapple.

T: Nice use of Citra hops (I believe this is a single hopped Citra beer.) Easy-going grapefruit and orange flavors but with the added depth of flowery and herby hops. Slightly toasted malt base keeps the hops in check. A slight bitterness lasts into the finish.

M: Pretty much perfect. Slightly less than medium body, effervescent, creamy. Obscenely drinkable.

O: One of my favorite new-ish APAs. Complex, strong (but not overbearing) hops. Interesting, complementary malt base. One of my favorite Victory Brews. This has a similar hop profile to Hop Wallop, but without the huge ABV.

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Photo of jmerloni
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A beautiful translucent straw yellow-orange with medium white head that spiders out on the top after it recedes. Really pleasant and clean looking. I like the looks of this a lot.

S - Yeast and honey malts. Something a little bit spicy in there, too. And hops.

T - Yeasty with a lot of citrusy hops. There's definitely some kind of spice here. I think it might be sage. Really nice and crisp, hops are fresh. This tastes like it flows from a utopian pristine creek somewhere!

M - Light to medium bodied. Hoppiness leaves the tastebuds pretty rocked. Smooth with not too much carbonation.

D - Great drinkability. Nice and light. There's a tiny bit of a gap between the intensity of the hops and the overall drinkability. It seems like Victory wanted to make it highly drinkable - and it is - but it does seem a bit watery on some sips, but it's actually nice and refreshing. Solid beer. I love what they do with lighter ales. They never ever miss.

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Photo of phantomwyse
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours out a perfectly clear copper/caramel body – almost looks like cream soda. Half finger white as snow head rises and recedes quickly.

S: Pretty straight forward hop aromas – thick pine, slightly orange tinged citrus. Simple syrup sweet. Apple turnover, pastry malts.

T: Moderate hops, clean pine and a bit of grapefruit. Sweet in the middle, again reminds me of breakfast pastries – like the ones you get in gas stations that cost 99 cents and have a half life of 600 years. But, I mean this in a good way.

M: Medium to light bodied, halfway creamy, finishes crisp.

O: Hop Devil light. A moderate pale ale without the peppery bite of other hoppy Victory beers. Personally, that’s what attracts me to Victory beers is the assertive hop and alcohol presence. So, this beer comes across as middle of the road for them. I’m sure it opens their market up a little bit by having a less aggressive pale ale, however, there are better travel lane pale ales in my book – Troeg’s Pale Ale comes to mind.

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Photo of haddon
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

amber in color with white head that leaves lacing on the glass.

A solid hoppy aroma right away. citrus with oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit. A moderate amount of malt in there. Nicely balanced.

The citrus hop flavors are present from the start. Plenty of tangerine and grapefruit along with a bit of pine which provide a little bitterness. Balanced with sweet flavor of bready malts.

Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

A very well-balanced pale ale that represents the class well. nice presence of hoppy aroma and flavors with a good malty backbone. Victory is a solid brewery that continues to impress.

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Photo of JednoPivoProsim
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 FL. OZ. bottle into a pint glass. Enjoy By: June 16, 2013.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orange with a thick soapy off white head. Great looking pale ale.

Smell: Pure tropical citrus from the Citra hops. Smells delicious. A little sweet.

Taste: An interesting struggle between the light tropical Citra and the harsher piney Centennial. This beer is lacking a little in balance. The malt body comes off a little watery and thin in trying to hold up to the heavy hop profile.

Mouthfeel: Appropriately creamy for an American pale ale. Nice.

Overall: I like the direction this beer was trying to head in. Looks and smells great, but in the end, the hops overwhelm the malt body. Still good overall.

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Photo of meeekyh
3.32/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I just spend half an hour writing a review for this beer but my session timed-out. Stupid programming. The improvements to this site usually seem like they are not such good things, here is an example.

In short it was good but not great.

Slainte, but hurry!

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Photo of magnj
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Brilliant clear orange-amber body with a frothy 1 finger head.

S - Aromatic during the pour! Smells well balanced with nice earthy hop tones and bready malt. Somewhat sweet?

T - Less hopaliscious than the initial nose suggested but being an APA this is a good thing. Extremely well balanced, really. Leads with grainy, raw pale malts and citrus, then gives way to just a little bit of earthy hop flavor and bitterness. Again ends grainy and reminds me of a typical brewpub house pale ale.

M/D - It took me a minute to figure out what it was about this beer that was giving me mixed readings. Despite all the flavor described above I still felt like it was almost watery. To me I think it's way under carbonated. Aside from that issue it's a great beer but it does affect it's drinkability.

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Photo of omnigrits
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pored into a straight pint glass.

A. A very pleasing amber/light copper colour with a white head. Nice lace.

S. Almost non-existent. Virtually no aroma, but what little there is feels very APA-like. Some malty grain and a hint of citrusy hops.

T. Much better. Malt and hops in near perfect balance with a good but not overstated bitter finish.

M. Medium bodied, crisp carbonation.

O. A decent pale ale, very drinkable, quite subtle. I could easily see myself drinking this all evening. Very tasty.

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