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 shand
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a very hazy orange color with a tiny head. The aroma is full of bright citrus and floral hops. Caramel malts also make themselves known. The taste is very bright, full of floral hops and citrus notes. The finish is really smooth and crisp, this is truly a delicious APA. The mouthfeel is nice, it's fairly light-bodied and has a medium level of carbonation. The drinkability is also very good. Overall, this is a solid, drinkable pale ale.

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

Enjoyed this 12 oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Golden orange color with a frothy 1½-finger head that lingers awhile and leaves a nice trail down the whole glass.

S: Mild hoppy aroma with scents of citrus and pine. Not overwhelming by any means, but a pleasant fragrance to the nose.

T: A smooth crisp mildly hoppy flavor, which is appropriate for the style. This is a slightly bitter ale with a good caramel malt base.

M: Medium body and carbonation

O: A decent well-balanced pale ale. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a regular pale ale, since everything seems to be IPA’s these days. It was a nice change and a good beer.

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

This is a groovy pale ale. I'm not a huge IPA nerd myself, so I generally tend to gravitate towards the pale ales and appreciate their mellow bitterness and great aromatics more than harshly hopped IPA.

It's got a great clear, light-amber body with two fingers of marshmallow-white head. Good retention and a spotty lace.

Smells like floral, citrussy, piney hops on top of dry biscuity malt. Straightforward and damn good.

Hop flavor hits up front, but quickly give way to bready malt and a bit of implied grapefruit from the olfactory. Clean, bitter finish. Impressive malt presence without becoming sweet and juicy or losing the bitter dryness. Full and prickly carbonation feels just right for this refresher.

I might be crucified for saying this, but I like it more than Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale, and I stand by that statement 100%!

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Photo of BranfordBound
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle marked best before September 2011. Poured into a DFH Shaped Pint.

Pours a nice amber color with a fluffy one and a half finger white head. Leaves ok lacing.

Smells of hops, surprisingly. Suprising in that hops are extremely strong for a pale ale. Rivals their IPA.

Wow, yeah, follows with the nose being extremely hoppy. Not like other Pale Ales, this one is not all that malty. Only a hit of malts at the beginning which yield immediately to the rush of hops. Hops are herbal, grassy, and have a strong grapefruit flavor which lingers.

Lighter side of medium bodied, carbonation not too strong to distract.

Nice drinking pale ale, definitely on the hoppy side of things.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have always liked Victory beers, and I especially respect a brewer that would have balls enough to showcase the water in their beer. Granted most “normal” beer drinkers wouldn’t get the significance of that…but I respect it just the same. Let’s see what the water at Victory has to offer in this one:

Appearance: Pours a very clear slightly orange golden color with a small 1/8” head of active off-white bubbles after a pretty aggressive pour. There were quite a few bubbles rising, but they didn’t stick once they got to the top. There is only enough lace to last for about 1/2"up from the top of the beer. Though it is clear, it could be better presented by the carbonation.

Aroma: Lots of fresh citrus and some floral notes. The aroma is dominated by the hops, but they aren’t chalky or anything as you would expect from a Pale showcasing the water. There is, however, some clean sweet light caramel backing the beer up.

Taste: The flavor, while run by the hops, is rather light and crisp as they mention. The balance of the finish is very slightly tipped toward the hops, but there is plenty of maltiness to this light beer to give it palate appeal. The carbonation is low, so the beer comes across a bit watery. The body is light to medium…but more to light. There is no alcohol noticeable at all.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer and it has a nice balance. Though there was a good off-gas when the bottle was opened…the carbonation was for my taste on this style. If that was fixed, this would be a different beer.

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Photo of phillybeer7779
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Golden colored, some head, not much lacing on the glass.

Smell- Some citrusy hops with a malty undertone.

Taste- Very balanced. Citrus flavors balanced by a solid malt backbone.

Mouthfeel- As drinkable as a hoppy craft brew gets. Nice body, nice carbonation. Good hop flavor, but doesn't destroy my palate.

Overall- Another quality offering from Victory. A very good pale ale. Definately not one of those APAs that are basically IPAs, so do not expect a hopbomb. Just a quality beer you can drink a six pack over the course of a night and not regret it in the morning.

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Photo of rudzud
3.21/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken at the Armsby Abbey on 5/9/11.

A - A copper clear pour with a one finger head which left nice side lacing.

S - Kinda lackluster here. Typical hoppy (grapefruit) notes with a little bit of sweet malts.

T - More of the same. Everything seems somewhat dull and muted. The hops are there, as is the malts, but theres nothing complex about it at all.

M - Its not bad, decent carbonation for the style. It still feels a bit watery though.

O - This isnt a bad example of an APA, just nothing to write home about. Enjoy a better APA for a better price.

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

Presentation: A sixpack with a freshness date of 9/12/11. Bought with "session-able" in mind. The bottles were poured into a chalice.

Poured a deep amber and presented a white, two finger head. Good retention throughout and left a cobweb-like lacing. The nose begins with hoppy floralness and settles to a toasty malt aroma with some spice. Taste was consistent with the smell, plus some citric elements. The spicy-toast malts in the nose makes a pleasant and balancing presence alongside the bitter hops. The brew felt crisp and refreshing on the palate. A light body finishing mildly bitter and dry. Overall it was balanced and refreshing. The nose and taste were pleasant, but wholly, just seemed rather average. However, as a session beer, it worked out quite nicely.

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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 TheFightfan1
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoy by date on the label reads Sep.12,2011.SO indeed very fresh.

Pours a nice translucent golden color.Left decent lacing globs all over the place.Amazing bubbling action.

The nose is simple doughy malts and a touch of caramel.The citrus hops do add another wrinkle to the game as this makes it seems more of an IPA.

Taste is superb although same as the nose there is more of a pronounced bitter hop linger on the backend. The malt billing is simple an affective it serves it's purpose in making this a more English Pale Ale then an IPA.

Medium bodied in the mouth. With a slight more watery edge to it.Excellent carbonation.

So far I have turned three normal Macro beer drinker's into really loving this one and buying there own and for $34 a case.Very well worth it and a tremendous session ale.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.59/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$9.99 for a 6'er at BevCo. No real stats on the mfgr website, just "Imported, 2 row German malts, Whole flower American hops, 5.1% ABV".

Pours out to a very clear dark golden, forming a tall white head with good retention and lacing. The aroma is great, with aggressive pungent hops...think Simcoe and Amarillo...skunky, funky...a hint of biscuit malt maybe in the nose. The mouthfeel is crisp, clean and fresh, with a medium body. The taste is a recap of the aroma...aggressive pungent hops with a well-balanced malt body, and well balanced herbaceous bitterness. Clean finish, no perceptible off-flavors or aromas. Very well crafted.

This is a great beer. At 5.1% ABV, you can drink a few and not get tanked, but it is still very flavorful, kinda reminds me of Stone Levitation in that respect. I would definitely recommend it and would like to buy it again.

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

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a wonderful malt character that boasts of pale and biscuit malts along with a floral hop nose. It's refreshing, yet displays a good bit of complexity. The taste is good as well. It has a solid malt flavor that's easy drinking with a touch of biscuit malt character in the finish. It's smooth with only a moderate bitterness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a terrific APA. It's balanced and easy drinking; a fine session pale ale.

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Photo of rtepiak
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a spicy apa with without that much accent but a distint mineral note. dry and consistent over time. amber with a mild toast quality. nose of protein and pine resin. hints of walnut and apple. palate of pine apple and a feel that has to open up to the bitter spicy mineral dryness.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a standard pint glass.
I hated this beer out of the bottle... But, getting a chance to sample it again is still welcomed here.

A dark golden orange color. Whitish head. Decent lacing, but retention is a little weak. Not too bad looking.

Smells hoppy-- citrusy grapefruit notes work well over a biscuity malt profile. The taste is nice. MUCH better this time around.
The body is thin, little watery, but not bad. Decent carbonation.

Overall, I am willing to drink this beer again-- and I wonder what the hell the problem was with the batch I gave an F to?!
In any case, THIS beer is not bad. My biggest complaint is the finish has a note of alcohol (which is crazy because the ABV isn't that high?!). Perhaps another issue is that the carbonation is low for my taste... But still, not bad.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, medium bronze color with good bubblng. The head on teh other hand is about one finger after the pour, and disappears before I take my first sip.

Faint grass and mild citric hop aromas of orange and grapefruit. Good toasted biscuit and bread crust sniff from the malt.

The taste starts with calcium rich water and then toasted mlats. Caramel, biscuits, toasted cracker, make up a solid bodied middle. The middle to the finish has the hops coming into scene with orange rind, grass, and cucumber skins. The cucumber just makes think of the slight bitterness I get when I take a bite into a cucumber slice with the skin still on.

Palate is a a nice dry and wet. Dry from the hard water flavor, and wet for the quenching finish. Not a bad session APA.

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

Purchased direct from Victory after a meal in the brewpub, God it's great living in Downingtown.

A - A beautiful amber color, with a thick head that clings and laces the whole way down the glass.

S - Not very strong, but kind of yeasty/bready with the trademark pine and citrus of a a heavily hopped APA.

T - Not terribly bitter, with a very quick citrus bite that is more grapefruit than lime. Malt comes on quickly and mirrors the sourdough smell the beer has. Feels like it's lacking a little, though.

M - Slightly creamy, with a good level of carbonation. Really easy drinking.

All in all, a nice try at the style, but I think there are both better offerings in the APA market [Sierra Nevada, BR XP] and from Victory [Hop Devil, Golden Monkey].

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Photo of NEhophead
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl oz brown bottle, served in a tumbler.

Enjoy by August 17, 2011.

Light copper in color with nice clarity. Half-inch off-white, creamy head that fades to an intact sheet after a moment. A few patches of condensed lacing.

Fresh floral hops with notes of bright citrus. A touch of musty, perfume-like aroma. Clean wheat and grains with a sweetened toasted malt base.

Big floral hop presence that lasts throughout the sip. The fresh citrus hops brighten the floral hop flavors and keeps the perfume from overwhelming the other flavor components. The wheat and grains give a toasted, slightly buttery biscuit flavor. A nice balance between hops and malt, highlighted by a really nice hop profile.

A light medium bodied; active on the palate, but remarkably clean. For a Pale Ale that highlights floral hops, there is no trace of a musty film-like texture as you would expect. A well balanced mouthfeel.

A well crafted Pale Ale: balanced, flavorful, and drinkable. I would definitely recommend this Victory offering as a session Pale for the spring.

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Photo of DaveHack
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first official review!
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a RR snifter.

A- Coppery color, darker than I expected, but it looks delicious

S-There isn't too much aroma at all that I'm picking up, a slight smell of fresh hops. Wish it swmeeled a bit stronger

T-The initial taste is light and crisp, yet it has a bit of complexity. Definite taste of fresh hops, really tastes 'bigger' than a 5% pale ale.

M-Light and refreshing not thin and watery, which is how I sometimes perceive low ABV pale ales

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Photo of Fenris244
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the flying saucer in Austin

Been meaning to try this beer for a while glad it came in! dome to me with a white one finger head, good retention and lacing, copper and amber in color.

Lots of citrus aromas in the news, bits of malt sweetness and floral notes as well

Good sweetness followed by a floral hop bitterness with some hints of lemon peel. Malt character is great thick with cooked grain and bready goodness.

Light in body, very crisp and refreshing, smooth to boot

Overall, tasty beer, I'd go back

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

Enjoy by September 12, 2011.

A: Poured a mildly cloudy orange-amber color, with a nice 1/2 finger or so head that died down into a diluted Alka-Seltzer-esque foam formation.

S: Strong, fresh hop profile, piney, and almost reminiscent of some of the wet-hopped harvest ales that I've had in the past. However, it also had Victory's "sour-dough with pepper" staple.

T: Sparkly, citrusy, and bready all at the same time. I did noticed the fresh, filtered water quality that the brewery taughted on the marketing-speak. The finish was bitter without being too dry.

M: Substantial, stuck-on-glass lacing, with a little bit of hoppy, bitter linger on the palate. The carbonation was fine.

O: Victory really packed a lot of flavor into such a low ABV beer. If I were to taste this one sight unseen, I would have tagged it as an IPA. Really good stuff... and I will be drinking more of it in the near future.

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Photo of zoso1967
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Headwaters Pale Ale pours a very nice copper hued amber. It is crystal clear and has a nice frothy beige head that has great retention and leaves nice lace.

The aroma is wonderfully hop forward with plenty of tangy grapefruit, tangerine and some peppery, piney and resiny hop character. While the hops are the main player in the aroma, there is a definite caramel malt sweetness that is a bit toasty.

The toasty quality from the aroma comes through a bit more in the flavor, as well as more of the caramel flavors. The hops are citrusy and intense with plenty of juicy citrus and pine. The bitterness is quite high, making the grapefruit hops taste a bit pithy, but in a good way. There is a really interesting edge to the hop character of this beer that I find very appealing. In fact, I wonder if the “toasty” quality I am picking up is not just a byproduct of the hop additions as opposed to the malt.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium with a good amount of carbonation. This beer is super dry and finishes with a healthy dose of hops that linger long after swallowing.

This is one seriously drinkable APA and a fine addition to the victory line. It is one of those beers that is floating between an IPA and an APA, which is a sweet spot for me. I will surely seek out a six pack of this next time I am relaxing with some friends.

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

Gold color in the glass. Slight citrus smell, most like subdued lemon zest. Clean, fresh taste with reasonable bitterness to the tongue. Lower ABV makes for great drinkability. American session beer. Great for summer if you're not into summer ales and kolschs. One of my new favorites for the style and great output for Penn brewery.

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Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bang-on APA style, good citrus bitterness. Golden, good head, good hop aromas. A bitterness in the 60 range, years ago what would be called by many an IPA. Above average mouthfeel, satisfying. A bit of a palate shredder in bitterness, so not for everybody. Very flavourful; very drinkable.

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Photo of twelvsies
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very clear light amber, rising bubbles, and a small layer of head. Citric hop nose, hints of lemon and pine, a touch of honey or caramel. Nice balanced flavor. More malt then expected, hearty bread flavor plays well with the sweet fruityness of the hops. Smooth texture and nice body. Really nothing wrong at all with this beer - it's just not super interesting. A decent sessionable pale.

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

Clear copper-yellow pour with quickly fading one finger head and minimal lacing. Floral, piney, citrusy, fresh hop nose with a hint of biscuity malt as well. The citrusy hops dominate the taste with hints of tangerine, orange zest and grapefruit with just enough sweetness from the malt to balance out the hoppy bitterness. It has that signature Victory taste that I love so much with HopDevil and Hop Wallop, but it comes up just a little bit short for me. Nice crisp, dry finish, but there's a bit of a squashy aftertaste that I'm not fond of. I think maybe I just expected too much. It's a decent, solid pale ale though that I will definitely drink again.

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