Headwaters Pale Ale | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale
Very Good
2,621 Ratings
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

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Ratings: 2,621 |  Reviews: 618
Photo of woodychandler
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am heartened by the appearance of Victory beers in CANs as they are one of the last to CANVert to that medium. It was when Jim Koch of Samuel Adams relented on his stance that I knew CANs had finally come into their own. Look for Victory's Megan Moore as a "Character" in an upcoming column.

From the CAN: "A Refreshing Boldly-Hopped Ale"; "This crisp and aromatically arousing session ale integrates a supportive malt base with herbal hop complexity, offering lemon notes and tea-like earthiness."; "Brewmaster Approval [undersigned] Bill [&] Ron".

The Crack! and inverted Glug produced three fingers of fluffy, tawny head that hung around briefly before falling away to wisps. Color was Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a pungent lemony-citrusiness underlain by a breadiness and my mouth began to water. Mouthfeel was medium. The initial taste was very lemony on the tongue and in the mouth. It was interesting to get that earthy tea-like flavor as it warmed. I began rolling it around in my mouth before swallowing to enhance the experience. Finish really held the earthiness that seemed to be the point of the melange. I am not generally a fan of session ales/beers, but this was quite satisfying, although at 5.2%, it sits at the high end.

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Photo of nathanmiller
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

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

12 ounce bottle - $1.89 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Enjoy by August 17, 2011.

Appearance: Pours a golden-orange body with clear, consistent clarity and crowned with a layer of just off-white suds. Some spotty lacing on the way down.

Smell: Citrus peelings and sun-dried grasses in the nose with some underlying, milder hints of sweetish malt.

Taste: Adequate base of pale maltiness with light streaks of grainy bread and mildly sweet toffee. Citrusy tastes of zested lemons and tangerines. Moderately bitter, though it builds a bit as you go along. Grows a bit pithier and resinous as you approach the dry, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: A nice, pleasant pale with a little bit of potency going on.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.94/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

STOP THE PRESSES&gt;&gt;&gt;This beer is F'ing A....F'ing awesome! A very nice flavored yet subtle pale ale. Victory hit the mark for me! A wonderful tasting pale ale that does not linger nor leaves a brutle bitterness and super elevated ABV. The color was copper in color...the white was very thin and not a lot of lace. The nose was heavy with grapefruit with subtle pine. The taste absolutely followed suit...awesome balance! Mouthfeel was great....SESSION!!!

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Photo of BEER88
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of dfhhead25
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%

From 08/31/14 notes. 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a bright amber-gold color with one to two inched of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Some light citrus hops, followed by a lot of bready malts, dough, some caramel malts, and light oranges and floral hops. More malty than hoppy. Medium body and low carbonation, no bitterness and easy to drink.

Overall a decent APA. Not too hoppy but tastes good and easy to drink. Would have it again and easy to drink a few of.

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

I picked this up from Wegman's in Mechanicsburg as part of a mix-a-six. The brown bottle was poured chilled into a willybecker.

The shade is deep golden with amber hues bordering on copper with great clarity, the head rises and falls to about 1/2 inch of rocky off white with an average sized bead and stringy lace clings. The carbonation is visible in the liquid. I like the aroma, I just wish there were more of it -slightly citrus hop odors w/ a slight toasted malt aroma, slight hints of mineral or yeast scents in their too. I enjoy the balanced feel this beer presents with moderate bitterness and carbonation with slight toasted malt and light sweetness, the pale finishes semi-dry with some lingering hop astringency.

Headwaters is a tasty pale with some citrus notes from the hops with a slight lemony and herbal effect with mild hints of bitter flavor interwoven among a slight bready and dry toasty malt which doesn't quite get to the nutty realm but the lingering acidity of the hops seems to give the flavor more of a dry taste toward the end which is refreshing. I have had many American Pale ales and I think this one is pretty solid, it has the Victory signature taste, pretty nice balance which is a sign it was brewed to be drinkable. I think Victory achieved that with Headwaters.

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

had this one on tap at barleys while waiting for calton to bring up the growler! served cold right from the tap.

the pour was a very nice and very golden amber with a smooth cap of white that graced the top for a few moments before settling back down. light aroma, citrus hops, lemon, orange, nice hints of tangerine peel and a wonerfully well balanced profile. smooth, clean and very light delivery lets the flavor explore the palate and really gives a cool and resfreshing taste. clean an concise, the finish was lightly tart and dry.

overall i was not expecting much but i ended up really, really liking this one, good session beer.

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Photo of orangesol
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on cask at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours clear amber orange with a bubbly one finger tall white head leaving small, sticky, rings of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of lightly toasted caramel malt, dulled citric hops, biscuity malt, and some dull citric fruit. Something tells me this is a bit past its prime.

T - Starts off with a good bit of sweet caramel malt slowly giving way to a mix of chewy malt and dulled citric hops. The hops are nearly gone in this one as it seems to be well past its prime. Finish is mostly malty sweetness with just the faintest hint of hop bitterness, lingering for a short period of time.

M - Medium-Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Starts off with a nice creamy feel quickly fading to a dull, slick, feel in the finish.

O - I had one of these on cask a month or two ago and it was very good. Something tells me this one is from that same back, just much older. I still enjoyed it for what it was.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

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

Thanks for sending this one my way, Dyan.

A: The pour is amber in color with a couple fingers of white head that leaves some mild lacing on the glass.

S: A solid hoppy aroma right away. Juicy citrus with plenty of oranges and tangerines, perhaps some hints of grapefruit, too. A moderate amount of malt in there. Nicely balanced.

T: The citrus hop flavors open things up quite pleasantly. Plenty of tangerine and mild grapefruit along with some hints of pine which provide a little bitterness. Balanced with sweetness of bready malts.

M: Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: This is very much along the lines of how I like my pale ales. Nice hoppy character without being overly bitter or malty.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of PA-Michigander
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of johnnnniee
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Can from The Drinkery Derry
Brilliantly clear deep golden color with a good sized long lasting frothy off white head. Lemony citrus, light sulfur, light bready maltiness. Old school, a bit bland for my hop toasted taste buds.

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Photo of MarkyMOD
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale amber with 1/2" of dense, bubbly head. Good retention. The nose has faint notes of malt with piny, citrusy hop aromas. The taste is bready, biscuity malt up front followed by citrusy hops that balance well. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, clean, and well carbonated.

This is a well blended APA with a nice blend of hops and malt. The flavor profile is a little short lived and at times a little thin, but overall I found it really enjoyable.

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Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into an English pint glass, the appearance was a semi-clear golden amber color and leaves the same color body. A one centimeter white head forms and lasts for a half a minute. Some spider web lacing is left around the sides of the glass.
The smell has the hops up front, somewhat spicy yet earthy with some faint citrusy sweet to semi-bitter hop particles flowing into a quaint biscuit malt backbone.
The flavor brought a bit more bitterness from the hops to subtly play with the malts. Aftertaste had a decent blend of citrus bitterness and a firm malt level.
The mouthfeel was between light and medium bodied with a fair sessionability about it. Carbonation felt fine. ABV felt appropriate. Semi-dry sort of finish.
Overall, pretty nice APA all around and goes nicely with it's suggested food.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.62/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Thanks to the Central PA group from the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

I've somehow not yet tried this pale from Victory. How'd that happen? It pours a clear straw-amber topped by a finger of cream-white foam. The nose comprises dark greens, egg yolk, caramel, flowers, and light leek. Not sure where that egg-y smell's coming from, but it's not helping things at all. The taste holds notes of greens, flowers, toffee, leek, grass, and grapefruit rind. Everything tastes kinda dusty, kinda dirty... The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, I'm not sure what went wrong with this beer. It's still a few months before it's Best By date, it doesn't seem officially skunked...it's just not very good. Hm.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.41/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottles purchased as part of a mix-six pack at Wegmans on East Avenue, in Rochester, NY.

Pours an amber orange into my Southern tier tulip. 1 inch fluffy head, visible carbonation.

Smells deliciously tropical and fruity, very clean smelling.

The taste is clean and crisp as well, I'd definitely guess this one uses a judicious amount of Citra hops. Oranges and pineapples abound, with a pleasant lingering bitterness. Some pine as well, that adds to the bitterness. Light but effective malt backbone, crackery.

Very crisp. One of the most drinkable pale ales you'll ever find.

Not one of the most balanced pale ales I've ever had, as the hop flavors dominate when fresh. The hop flavors are bright, clean, and refreshing though, and this beer is really drinkable- easy to put 3-4. Another winner from our friends at Victory.

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

On draft, served in a nonic. This brew appears a polished golden copper. A thin film of off-white sits across the top. A light swirl revives to a fingers worth of tan coloring that slowly fades leaving a full curtain of lace sticking to the glass.

The smell of this brew is bright and juicy with hip acted. Grapefruit initially with other tropical scents that are fruity and enjoyable. A touch of herbal aspect is present along with some grass and a hint of stinky cheese.

The flavor includes fresh tropical hops upfront with a fairly moderate grainy backing. A little bit of caramel malt is toasty mixing up the hop flavoring that gets grassy and herbal. The aftertaste is almost straw-like as it warms up blended with some fruity hop hints.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. There is seemingly no alcohol inclusion. Easy drinking and well rounded, this is easily approachable. Hops are bold initially that luckily give way just a bit to let you enjoy the other aspects. Worth a try.

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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 2,621 ratings