Headwaters Pale Ale | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

BA SCORE
88
very good
610 Reviews
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
victorybeer.com

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:
610
Ratings:
2,595
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
11.22%
 
 
Wants:
89
Gots:
506
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 610 | Ratings: 2,595
Photo of omnigrits
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
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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Photo of HalfFull
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown twist off bottle served into a pint glass. Pours a copper golden with half an inch of white foam and a hint of haze. Decent retention and lacing with a steady boil of carbonation from the bottom of the glass.

Nose of citric hops and some balanced graininess along with some background earthy and floral aromas particularly with agitation. Offers some mildly odd aromas on occasion.

Taste is smooth with a citric finish and a light balancing bitterness. Finish is a bit tea like with citrus and flower notes, though a bit short and watery in the delivery, constraining the overall experience.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light crisp golden yellow with a finger of white foam.

Lemon, herbal, floral hops.

Definitely rather floral in flavor as well but there is a slight citrusy fruit character going on.

Light-bodied, medium carbonation, crisp.

Overall, a decent brew but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of Samp01
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber with a medium offwhite lasting head, with very good head retention and lacing to the end. Aroma of caramel malt, citrus, orange fruity esters fill the senses as well as some good citrus piney hops. Taste is caramel malt, fruity citrus notes, some yeast and citrus piney hops. Palate is a medium body with good carbonation. Finish is sweet caramel malt, fruity citrus flavor, some slight orange peel, ending with some good citrus piney hops bitterness for balance. Overall a very good, balanced and tasty solid all around Pale ale. enjoyed this

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Photo of smakawhat
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A dull amber orange body, but with a nice glow and nice rising carbonation, makes a light tan/caramel fluffy and creamy head with good peaks and valleys. Settles to a finger after a good three fingers sized pour.

Nose is chewy cookie and biscuity sweet malts, mixing some nice fruity hop. Quite solid and delicious smelling. Basic with a bit of creaminess too it also.

Much of the malt presence hits with a slightly wet palate, not unlike what was hinted on the nose. Chewy and sweet, with a cookie dough like taste, then aftertaste has a real nice airy dry feeling hop quailty, that lingers with some nice bread action. Bitterness lingers quite sharp and long.

Overall pretty solid pale ale, not usually what I think of for Victory but this I could easily have again.

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Photo of PEBKAC
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hop Devil Grill. Happy hour+ taco Tuesdays make it worth visiting again. :)

Pint glass. Clear, copper color. Soft, off white inch of foam. Nothing special.

Toasty, leafy green, with an ever so slight scent of margarine.

Dry & toasty taste/texture. Bitter greens. Slightly nutty & sweet. Numbing finish. Frothy feel. Moderately bitter.

Pretty solid. Goes well with all this chorizo I've ingested. :)

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Photo of zdk9
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours cloudy light orange. A scant finger of head and lacing like a splash of white color on the sides of the glass.

S- Hoppy, a bit sulfury, a bit chalky. Besides the strong hop notes, this isn't an awesome smelling beer. But luckily the hops are pretty strong.

T- Lots and lots of hops- lime, grass, lemon, tangerine. I'd say a lot of citrus with a splash of green. There more earthy on the back of the roof of my mouth, but besdies that, pretty citrusy. And very powerful. I was very surprised to see this was barely over 5% alcohol, as it has the taste of a much stronger beer.

M- Just the right amount of bitterness for my tastebuds. While the sweet flavors aren't really there, there is enough sweetness to mellow out the bitter, so that works.

O- Very nice stuff. A pleasant drinker with a powerful hop punch without a ton of alcohol.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Served in a pint glass a clear amber color with hints of orange and a thin frothy white head that sticks around. Nice lacing with each gulp.

S: Pine sap, citrus mostly orange peel and grapefruit, some herbal and woody hop notes too. Malt is light roasted with some toasted bread and toffee notes.

T: Pine, grapefruit, and herbal hops meet with roasted grains and some toasted bread and semi sweet toffee and light honey.
Hops bring on more force to add spice and bitterness to the finish.

M: Medium body with crisp light bubbles and just a slight alcohol warmth.

D: It is a well made pale ale and it should definitely be tried. However, the balance is a bit more hop forward and the finish becomes to dry for me to want to have several in a row.

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a small, off-white, bubbly head of foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled piney with some tropical fruit. A touch of caramel, too.

T - It tasted fairly spicy with some sweet caramel maltiness. It had a tropical fruit hop presence with just enough bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a very nice APA. Victory is very consistent with their year round brews.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
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 VelvetExtract
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a semi-transparent golden orange with bright honey highlights. Not very hazy at all. A thick head with a slight orange frothy hue is born from the pour. The head retains its crown masterfully. Unreliable lacing dots the glass. Looks quite attractive.

S-There is a pretty strong hop character in the nose. The hops remind me of a dulled-down version of Titan IPA from Great Divide. I have read a few reviews about this brew before, and the word earthy is commonly used in the nose. I agree. The malts balance out the hops well but in the nose, I would sway this beer a bit closer to the side of the hops. But balance is very close.

T-A unique flavor. The hops have a bunch of citrus, more lemony than orange. I also get a strong flavor of cereal, quite like Corn Flakes. The interesting scents in the nose are expressed in the flavor. A long, clean grassy finish rounds out the flavor. There are some awesome hop flavors, but they're not very bitter. The flavor is bright, and the malt backs up the other tastes well.

M-Medium bodied. A bit slick and creamy too. Light carbonation. Only mildly dry, but quite crisp in the end despite the initial creamy feel.

O/D-I have heard mixed reviews both on BA and by those I know who have tried it. I must say that I think Headwaters is a damn good Pale Ale. I only bought a single, but would not have been disappointed if I had bought a 6-pack. High drinkability. Hoppy enough to keep me interested but not too heavy, which makes this a great warm weather beer. I would absolutely love this beer in a can. Not your average APA. Worth a try? Yes.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

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 JerzDevl2000
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Totowa because it was available via the single bottle and I've liked just about everything I've had from Victory. This wasn't the best but may have been the most accessible Pale Ale that I've ever had, since this was so easygoing and solid at the same time. A big deal was made about the water that went into this but if I was victory, I would certainly brag about how balanced this was as well.

Good pour to this with a light copper hue and decent head that lasted for a while. The lacing wasn't anything special but it was certainly there as well. This felt earthy and dry-hopped with just a bit of sweetness in the malt to balance it out. Carbonation was good and this tasted crisp without feeling like soda or a cascade of bubbles. There was a bit of citrus in the taste too but for the most part, this didn't feel too complicated or light to the taste.

I could have easily had more than one in sitting since this is about a good a session beer as it gets. Normally, I don't consume this in the summer but I could see myself having a few of these on a nice warm day. This wasn't a hop bomb or has tons of resin and burning in the aftertaste. Rather, this is unassuming, nicely crafted, and clear as it appeared to be. Certainly worth a try for anyone who hasn't had this style of beer before!

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Photo of bsp77
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass. "Enjoy by" date of July 8, 2011.

Appearance: Bright amber with nice off-white head and some lacing rings.

Smell: Mostly citrus (orange and grapefruit), with some spiciness, pine and a hint of metal. Light dried malts underneath.

Taste: Mix of dry hops and dry malts. Grapefruit, spice, herbs, pine, caramel and biscuit all play a role, and are so heavily integrated that it is hard for anything to stand out - this is both a strength and a weakness. Herbal and slightly bitter & metallic on the finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, dry finish (actually dry throughout).

Drinkability: Very drinkable and refreshing APA - not surprisingly coming from the always solid (and often great) Victory. However, I have to admit that when a 15 year old respected craft brewery releases their first APA, I expect a little more. Maybe it is just a wee bit too herbal for me.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden-orange color with a white head. The aroma is very hoppy for a pale ale. I get a lot of piney hops, as well as some resin and grass notes. There is also a little bit of cattyness in the hop aroma. The flavor is a little milder than the aroma. I get some resinous and grass-like hops, but they are balanced somewhat nicely by the biscuit malt. The bitterness is low, as expected in the style. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best buy 8-17-11

The beer appeared a nice orange/darker amber color with a nice bright white head that was decently retained, but faded into a very thin, uneven cap. Aroma was perhaps slightly more malty than hoppy, but some citrus hops were noticeable. Taste is good, well balanced with perhaps a slight edge to the citrus hops, but not much. The taste of the beer really did not linger too much in the mouth. Lighter feel with good carbonation. The beer was easy to drink, very refreshing, clean and crisp. Overall, a good beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Overall, a pretty solid pale ale. Not exactly my style, I find it a bit too bready and grainy for my taste, wheras I prefer mine a tad juicier, but I do find myself going back for another ocassionally. Pours a slightly hazy light orange with a very fine head that leaves some grainy looking lacing. Smells floral and grainy with a touch of meatiness. The taste is nicely balanced with some grain up front followed by some sspicy hops. Very dry, crisp and more crackery than bready. Well made and a bit different.

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Photo of match1112
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: clear amber body, fingers worth of head settles to a thin ring.

s: grainy, floral hops, caramel

t: sweet cereal grains, citrus hops, caramel malt

m: just a tad thin, decent carbonation, a little dry bitterness on the finish.

o: pretty tasty, easy drinkin, glad i grabed a six pack.

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Photo of phillybeer7779
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
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 thagr81us
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a shaker. Poured a hazy straw yellow with a one finger pure white head that subsided to a half finger slowly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, and slight pine hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, banana, and pine hop. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. Definitely had robust 'in your face' flavoring going on in here. However, the flavors were not awe-inspiring. As the previous reviewer stated, I didn't get ANY citrus aspect in this one at all. I even mentioned to Cameron (regional rep) that it would have been much better with a citrus aspect. To each their own I guess. This thing did have a very nice aroma going on in it though. It is worth trying at least once, but that is about it for me.

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Photo of ajm5108
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice golden pour, little bit of a carbonated head. Aroma was mostly floral hops and cereal grain. Standard tasting, which isn't a bad thing, hop presence certainly isn't overwhelming, which is fine by me, balanced with a medium malt backbone, mostly cereal grains,,finishes pretty clean. Pedestrian, but in a fine, easy to drink way

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Photo of stella77artois
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into pilsener glass.

A - Pours a medium golden-brown, shining a reddish-amber in the light. Not a lot of carbonation noticeable. Very light head, less than 1 finger. Dissipated quickly, almost zero residual left.

S - Malt up front, followed by a good amount of hops. A slight overall fruity aroma, as well.

T - A very good combonation of malt and hops up front, with much more hoppiness in the aftertaste. An ever so slight hunt of grapefruit in the aftertaste. Not outstanding, not bad. Some dirt bitterness though, not what I expect from quality hops.

F - Refreshing, like a pale ale should be. Good feel with just a touch of dryness.

O - Not a bad beer, not an outstanding one. A good refreshing pale ale with a good amount of flavor. Again, nothing outstanding, but it's a good beer.

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Photo of farrago
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straightforward finger of off-white foam, nothing unique about its retention, the lacing holds on in spots, transparent and spotless liquid of a red-tinged orange color, metallic sheen, very few bubbles to be seen, if any. During the pour a bodacious amount of pink grapefruit, orange citrus bursts forth, lively bitter hops keep you on your toes, some pine tar and earth, baguettes, salt and pepper, a pinch of bittersweet chocolate powder but not that malty, conversely the hops never use this opportunity to go for the jugular, quiet confidence leads to extended nostril presence and overall balance. Light to medium-bodied, the carbonation is made of tiny, scrubbing motions with little foam. Strong mineral water, quinine, metallic character which gives it a raw and rugged freshness. Sourdough and wheat bread notes, salted pretzel dough, dried lemon and white grapefruit pulp, green lawn grass, some pine. Carob and mocha but no real sweetness in any of the usual malt-derived flavors. Florality spreads enough to allow it to avoid astringency. The hoppiness suggests pineapple, nectarine or papaya but, again, lacks the sweetness to deliver on this. More interesting warmer, more satisfying colder. A tactful, almost patrician, quaff.

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Photo of tsauce2
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P: On-tap in to a pint glass.

A: SRM is light amber. Translucent. Head is off white, minimal, dissipates to the outsides of the top of the beer. Medium carbonation. Light lacing.

S: Moderate floral hop notes with some piney scents and a light touch of malt.

T: Balanced hops give a mild bitterness and piney essence. Malt base holds up to hop presence and adds a light caramel sweetness.

M: Medium body. Hops are dominate in the hop/malt balance, but are still a light/medium presence and give a moderate bitterness and citrus and piney components to the feel. Malt comes in with a touch of caramel sweetness that adds body to the feel and balances the hops. Wet finish.

O: Exactly what I think of when I hear "APA". Moderate flavors, hop forward, nice malt base, average ABV. I liked the piney and citurs hop balance and also enjoyed how there was just enough malt and a touch of sweetness to really balance everything. I would buy this beer again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Pale is dead, long live the Pale!

As the classic taste of pale ale is taking on a renovation, it's shedding much of its malt sweetness in favor of a drier backbone. This happens as hop aroma, flavor and bitterness pulls substantially forward. Maybe they're not "session IPA". Maybe they're the new look of American Pale Ale.

Headwaters Pale Ale pours as any well-conceived one would- its copper and light bronze body shows glimpses of gold about its margins. As a steady stream of bubble race to the surface, a longstanding coat of froth presumes the beer's surface. As it trails with dotted rings, the beer sings the praises of all-things-pale.

Its racy scent favors the hop cone with unmistakable Pacific Northwest grapefruit and orange peels. Propped up with medium caramel and graham cracker-type dry bready-sweetness, the malt character offers stern support while still letting the hops shine. A turn to mint, fresh-cut grass and shaven pine complement the scent with earthy vegetative character.

Conversely its the graham cracker and caramel that greets the taste buds first. Its leading sweetness trends dry and lightly toasty while the pang of citrus rapidly grows in the middle. As a crescendo of citrus strikes, it immediately develops toward spicy, piney and pleasantly grassy finish with a piquant and resinous bitterness.

Medium-light on the palate, the sweetness lingers with the creaminess of carbonation momentarily. But once the hops resinous character sets in, the sweetness escapes and the hops close the show with its own sense of dryness to match that of minty-warm alcohol.

Echoes of toasted barley malt return as the stronghold of bitterness starts to relinquish. Its refreshing and satisfying taste isn't as IPA-ish as many. Headwaters retains its caramel "Pale" roots but also modernizing them.

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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.92 out of 5 based on 2,595 ratings.
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