Headwaters Pale Ale | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 601 | Ratings: 2,568
Photo of Tucquan
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2011-03-09 at The Drafting Room while waiting to get my ticket for Pliny the Younger. Had it again on 2014-05-07 in Columbia, PA and raised my ratings.

A - Clear gold with a 1-finger, white head and moderate lacing.

S - Light grain, floral hops. Nice.

T - Crisp, light grain, mild sweetness, herbal, moderate bitterness. Dries quickly.

M - Light body and medium carbonation.

O - 2014. My oh my, how my tastes have changed / evolved. I now really appreciate the extra bit of sweet malt flavor in this beer. I just had it side-by-side with the Victory Summer Love (Blonde) and liked this more; specifically for the better malt flavor.

O - 2011. Easy to drink. Too malty for my tastes. I'd rather have a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a 21A Bitter American or even a Victory Summer Love when I want a sessionable ale.

 827 characters

Photo of rangerred
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy medium copper with a thick 1.5 finger off-white head. Really good head retention.

Aroma is full of citrus hops backed up by a little bit of malt underneath. Hops really overpower everything, though and are very inviting.

The flavor really pulls the malt and hops together with lots of citrus up front carried by some toasted caramel underneath. A little bready malt as well. Bitterness ends up being on the light to moderate side and I really wish there was a little more malt. The beer finishes relatively clean and slightly sticky.

Overall, another great beer from Victory. A great summer beer and one that is highly sessionable.

 688 characters

Photo of GOBLIN
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I really liked this pale ale. Nice aromas and flavors. A solid beer from Victory. Taste is lemon and citrus with a touch of grapefruit. Malt forward with a noticeable hop bite. Enjoyable crisp feel too. This is about what I'd expect from and old school pale ale. Similar to the Sierra Nevada, Troegs, Columbus and other established flagship pale ale's.

 352 characters

Photo of Duhast500
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Willis tower pint glass.

The color is a clear yellow/gold with two fingers if foamy white head with a thick layer of lacing left on the glass.

The smell is a grassy hop aroma with a light malt aroma in the back. There is a fresh cut grass aroma mixed with a slight citrus note here in the nose as well.

The taste is sweeter than expected with a slight sugary flavor comes out first jumping ahead of the hops. The hops then push aside everything else and leave more grassy flavor throughout. The bitterness is present and does build toward the end but doesn't push too hard on the tongue. There is then a slight biscuit flavor that makes an appearance.

The feel of this beer is light bodied with a really smooth finish. There is a pleasant drinkability that helps this beer go down easy.

 824 characters

Photo of SawDog505
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 13 oz tulip. Pours a bright orange yellow, with a nice 1 inch white head, that leaves some nice lace. Smell is tangerine, grass, flowers, and pineapple. Taste is less pungent, with hints of grapefruit in the finish. Body is pretty standard, plenty of carbonation, on the drier side, and easy drinking. Little disappointed because the taste couldn't live up to the smell. Still a good pale ale, but the smell is outstanding.

 435 characters

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.

 796 characters

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

870th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint
12 oz

Best by: 10/25/11

App- A dark orange/amber with a good solid one finger white head. A good sheen and cling of lace.

Smell- A lot of caramel with some malts and a slight bitter note behind it. A little bit earthy and citrus.

Taste- A pretty straightforward brew. A lot of malt behind its profile with some earthy tones. A slight citrus component with a small dampness behind it as well.

Mouth- A medium bodied beer with a paired medium carbonation. A good earthy and juicy residual flavor.

Drink- Not as refreshing as I had hoped but still tasteful. A bit fuller than most pale ales and a tad darker and more layered.

 662 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy by: 1/13/16.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, black tea, earth, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with earth, citrus zest, and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop and earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: can.

 564 characters

Photo of Mongrel
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A softly fragrant nose from which green, floral and lightly citric aromas emerge. Delicate yet firmly hopped.

The flavor of this beer features a nutty, toasty, biscuity malt backbone that is very reminiscent of Fat Tire, but more assertively hopped. Green, herbal, lemony hop notes play throughout, but never dominate. A well balanced beer, albeit one that may be falling out of fashion due to its prominent earthy malt presence.

 430 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from a 12 oz bottle. Pours a bright amber with moderate white head and light lacing. Nose of citrus and pine hops with a light malt background. Flavors of hops to the front and aftertaste. Citrus hops meld nicely with sweet caramel malts with bittering hops in the background. Decent session pale ale.

 314 characters

Photo of cyclonece09
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a translucent orange with a small white head. Smells of citrus hops and slight flowery notes. Tastes of earthy and slight citrus taste from the hops a a nice malty body. Beer is light/medium bodied and carbonated well. Overall a very good beer.

 304 characters

Photo of Dirtyhands
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Meh. Not that great, not that bad. Getting something off from these cans, not sure what it is but it there is some sort of stale lager thing going on. Probably just my cans

 172 characters

Photo of leantom
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Most certainly an APA. Here goes:

A: Quite good. Orange with a large head and a ton of lacing. Thoroughly enjoyed the beer's appearance. 4.5/5.0

S: Just hops, son. Don't smell any malt whatsoever. Grapefruit, citrus and pine. However, these smells aren't as robust as in other APA's. Overall, somewhat underwhelming: 3.75/5.00

T: Good, but somewhat light for my palate. A slight inkling of lightly-kilned caramel malt, but the hops immediately take over the beer's flavor profile. Grapefruit, lemon, pine and grass (very grassy-tasting beer, actually). OK, but the light, watery taste somewhat impairs the flavor. 3.90/5.00

M: Very mixed review. Good carbonation, but the beer is too light. 3.5/5.0

O: A good beer with major flaws. Hops mitigate the lightness somewhat, though. 3.75/5.00

 816 characters

Photo of VncentLIFE
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I gotta say, this thing bleeds Simcoe. At first its cat pee (dont even yet), but then I get a bit of pineapple and lemons--enough to cancel out the flavors I dont like from Simcoe hops. Light bodied and slightly sweet. Theres enough malt and fruity hops to pull this thing through. Might be the best use of Simcoe Ive had yet.

 326 characters

Photo of Maryobeerian
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice, easy drinking. Smooth lollipop of a beer (in a good way) with pineapple and mango notes. Fully integrated flavor, not much complexity, velvety mouthfeel -- no edge and hops rounded out, but fully enjoyable. Would give to my non-beer friends and challenge them not to like it, though I prefer something more interesting.

 326 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of jcb890. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pour yields a copper-orange beer with a thin white head that doesn't stick around too long and really doesn't leave much lacing behind. The nose brings forward some citrus and floral notes. They are certainly faint, but come out more as the beer warms up and are quite noticeable with a good, hard sniff. Taste is a bit on the light side, though enjoyable. There's a generic "hop character" but nothing really pops out.

Feel is slightly bitter with good carbonation on a medium body. Quite drinkable. Not a huge standout, but with this ABV and overall profile, I could see myself coming back for more of this.

 679 characters

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!

 711 characters

Photo of mtalley999
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice amber color with little head that receded quickly but left very good lacing.

Smell is all citrusy hops to me.

Taste is true to smell. Citrusy hops at first, then a bit of pine. The taste is very crisp and the flavors are very clean to me.

The mouthfeel is slightly thin, with the carbonation still remians even after about 15 minutes in the glass.

Overall this is a solid beer. Very easy to drink and good to just kick back and relax with.

 497 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber with a soapy off-white cap, some spotty lacing, decent head retention. Intense hop aroma, fruity grapefruit rind, citrus zest, a bit spicy, with just a little toasty malt in the background. Hop bitterness was sharp, maybe due to the light body and mild malt sweetness. A little spicy, lots of fruity citrus, a bit earthy. Medium-light body with moderate carbonation, off-dry, decent texture. Overall I liked it, but it did tread very close to being overly aggressive in hop character.

 496 characters

Photo of denver10
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A deep golden color with a little of an amber hue to it with a white bubbly head. A fruity, floral, sweet aroma. Flavor wise this is quite malt forward and relatively sweet for an APA. First thing that hit me was the malts, the hops kicked in mid stream, grassy, floral, and a touch fruity, and they carried through into the finish. Mild and balanced bitterness. A medium plus body that is aided by the carbonation. A little heavier than the style dictates for my taste buds. Overall, a its a nice sessionable pale ale (surprisingly given the heavier mouthfeel). The more of it I drank, the more it grew on me.

 610 characters

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.

 957 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber, with 1/2 inch of head and a slight head retention

S - Sweet malts, rye. Smells excellent

T - Sweet up front, and piny hops at the end

M - Medium carbonated, light bodied

O - Not as good as it smells. But not bad for a Pale Ale, which is not one of my favorite styles

 281 characters

Photo of JamesStreet
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy by date of Oct 15. Poured into snifter out of 12 oz bottle
Poured almost-clear amber hue with thick, white foam. Retention was moderate with a soapy lacing down the glass.
Smelled of some grapefruit citrus, bready malt and caramel malt. Picked up some floral hops in there as well.
Taste is right in the middle. Bready maltiness balance with slight hop bitterness. Nothing other-worldly
Feel is medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Quick, wet finish
Overall, not the hoppy pale variety but a balanced one.

 531 characters

Photo of BWED
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a tumbler

A- Golden orange pour. The head is a half finger and white. Retention isn't great, but it hangs on with a little lacing.

S- Floral hop in a good battle with some grainy malt as well. A little citrus comes out of the nose as well.

T- Some grain malt, once again, in a battle with some hop. This time more earthy and piney. Some citrus peel bitterness in there, too.

M- Medium light body. A bit of some fizz. Finish is a tad bitter.

O- A very fresh and decently balanced ale. I love the simultaneous aromas and tastes of both malt and hop.

 579 characters

Photo of MadScientist
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A pale amber beer with very good clarity. The head is rock, off-white with a decent retention.

S: A medium citrus hops aroma with some resinous character. A clean malt sweetness and a little bit of caramel.

T: A strong hops bitternes and medium-strong citrus hops flavor some piney character. There is a low , peach-like fruit ester. A touch of malt sweetness in middle with balance being decidedly bitter with a crisps, dry finish. Lingering citrus hops and bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: A medium bodied beer with a medium-strong level of carbonation and very crisp.

O: A straight forward, hop driven beer. A darn good pale ale.

 640 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe