Headwaters Pale Ale | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

BA SCORE
88
very good
609 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:
609
Ratings:
2,588
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
11.22%
 
 
Wants:
91
Gots:
507
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 609 | Ratings: 2,588
Photo of tbrown4
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. -> Dogfish Head chalice. Picked up a six pack of this at Well's in Towson, MD @ about $11. First I've seen it anywhere. Some PA friends of mine have been fluffing this brew recently, and I tend to enjoy the Victory brews. I decided to give this a shot and buy the whole pack.

A - Bright copper, medium bubble head quickly dissolves, decent carb stream, no lacing.

S - Wow. Immediately noticeable, could be due to the glassware. Very earthy, musky almost muddy. I'm not sure how I feel about this, and it's certainly unique from what I've experienced. It's a round hop aroma with a lightly roasted backdrop.

T - Tastes right about how I'd expect an APA. The big difference here that sets this one apart from the pack is how well defined each flavor note is. Really well done. I imagine this has a lot to do with the freshness.

M - Feels light to medium-light bodied. Crisp carbonation makes this feel very clean.

O - Oh wow, so no more "Drinkability"? Ok, this makes more sense anyway. So, this one is in the middle for me. The ABV makes it easy to put back a few, but as with most decent PAs it's a bit heavy on the palate. I'd certainly order this if I ever find it on tap. I'd buy a six pack again in a few months. This would be a good one to keep on hand in the fridge for the day that you want a good full flavored and moderately hopped craft ale. Nice job, Victory.

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Photo of Fenris244
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
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 ThePaintedGrey
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Vivid amber hue with a creamy three-finger head that takes eons (in beer-time) to deflate to a 1/4" cap. Tons of lacing left behind as the head dissipates.

S: Some light citrusy hops—grapefruit, little bit of orange and tangerine, but mostly grapefruit. A decent amount of malty sweetness underneath to keep things mild and balanced.

T: A bit of citrus upfront with some lightly floral notes coming though. Hints of maltiness and breadiness balance everything else out to keep the profile very mild while still allowing the hops to shine.

M: Medium body with a crisp carbonation. Finishes dry and goes down super-smooth. This one is the definition of sessionable.

O: Another fantastic brew from Victory. This one is great for hopheads and non-hopheads alike. Well-balanced flavors, a bit of complexity, and wonderful sessionability. A recommended brew, no doubt.

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Photo of mtalley999
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of fsvan
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into pint glass. Best by date of Oct. 25 2011.

A- Bright golden. Big, three fingers of fluffy white head.

S- Oily, piney hop notes up front. A bit of bread-like malts in teh background. Smells a good bit SNPA, but a bit more subdued. That is, of course, a compliment.

T- While the smell is reminiscent of SNPA, the taste differs quite a bit. Light pine hop flavors up front. Light malt notes. Big bitterness on the finish.

M- A little light and watery, but not awful. Makes for easy drinking.

O- A pretty solid APA. With the prices on Victory 6 packs, it won't be a common buy for me, but I'm not going to have any problem finishing the 6.

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Photo of y2jrock60
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- The first thing I noticed was how clear the beer was. It was dark yellow with a two finger white head that faded quickly and left behind only a slight amount of lace.

S- Very clean with a floral and earthy aroma and hints of citrus.

T- Very clean upfront with hints of mild light malt. There is a mild bitterness that hits you in the middle of the sip accompanied by floral and earthy flavor hops. This then fades into a citrus flavor and crisp finish.

M- Light-medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D- Highly drinkable. Very flavorful and refreshing.

I had this beer on tap a few weeks ago and didn't care for it, there was a strong aftertaste I didn't like. I decided to give it a second chance and picked up a few bottles. I was pleasantly surprised, the potent aftertaste I first experienced was gone, it was replaced by a nice crisp clean finish. The one I had on tap a few weeks ago must have been from a bad batch, or it could have been the result of sampling five beers back to back.

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Photo of KidDoc
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

Poured a 12 oz beer into a standard pint glass. BB date of 3/2015. Deep clear coppery golden color with one-finger head that dissipated fairly quickly. Medium lacing. Nose is predominantly earthy piney hops with minor touch of citrus. Taste is assertively hoppy with nice lighter maltiness in the background. Decent bitterness dries the palate at the finish. Great example of an APA and, frankly, has a bit of IPA profile to it. If you like hops, you will like this.

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Photo of BeerTwigs
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on Tap at the Golden Rail in Newburgh, NY. It pours an a nice clear amber color with some off white head and good lacing.

The aroma has some great herbal hoppiness with a trace of malt which is very pleasant.

This beer tastes very good with balance of herbal hops and slight maltiness.

A very drinakble beer which is smooth and light medium bodied. I would definitely recommend trying this beer. This beer could definitely replace one of my everyday beers.

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Photo of slusk
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours a slightly hazy golden with a dense one finger white head.

S: Floral hops in the forefront. Some light citrus. Moderate malt underbelly.

T: Interesting hop flavor, Nice floral hop, herbaceous, with a bit of lemon peel and a orange. Bright flavors. good balance to the bitterness. finishes semi dry.

F: light to medium light body, moderate carbonation.

O: Good brew. different hop flavor going on here with herb/floral notes. Good balance and nice citrus overtones. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Jon_Hendricks
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a golden orange color.

Overall: Headwaters has a fresh hoppy aroma of pine and floral. This beer has a surprising taste of bitter citrus hops, that are slightly restrained, perfectly mixed with sweet caramel malts. Yet another winner from Victory! Headwaters has more character than other Pale ales. Very Good!

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Photo of Vetbidder
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sorta hazy golden color, nice looking beer here. I've had this more than a few times before but it's my first time rating this beer. The scent is light citrus hopped with little malt on the edge. Has a complex distinctive flavor profile with slight lingering bitterness. Decent carbonation and decent mouthcoating with this beer. I'd call it a winner !

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Photo of Holderness
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L -- Slightly hazy gold. Frothy white head produces moderate lacing.
S -- Floral hops dominate with notes of biscuit, citrus, peach, honey
T -- Hoppy. Black tea-like
F -- Slippery mouthfeel with little lingering aftertaste

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Photo of apbarwood
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Headwaters Pale presents with a pale amber color that catches the light nicely. A nice looking beer sitting on the railing of my deck on a spring afternoon. Head retention is minimal; a thin layer of bubbles clings to the surface and leaves a little to be desired. Not bad overall.

The aroma is inviting with notes of damp pine needles and bitter orange peel. Those aromas carry through onto the taste with a little earthy depth for good measure. It has really nice balance with a pleasant bitterness that's noticeabet but not at all overpowering.

It's crisp and refreshing, with a clean taste and lively carbonation that cleanses the palate. It has enough body to carry the flavor without being too sticky on the finish which leaves the lingering flavors of ripe grapefruit as it fades.

All things considered I found this to be a really good pale ale. I would have liked the flavors to be a little brighter and fuller perhaps but I don't have a whole lot of complaints. Very pleased with this one and definitely something I wouldn't mind revisiting from time to time.

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Photo of nc41
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one very hoppy PA without the stinging bitterness of an IPA. Very fruity so you can get your hop fix even if your not a real IPA fan or want to cool on the bitter finish. Looks great. nice head, the nose isn't anything special, but much better than say Hop devil which IMO smells funky. This one is all about the hops, and the only other similar PA I've has would be Burning River. One really well done PA that gives you a nice fruity hop lick without crossing over into IPA territory. Worth a shot by any beer lover.

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Photo of dciBA
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Victory tulip. Clear, amber in color with about 2 fingers of white head that fades to a thin skimming. Quite a bit of lacing as it goes down.

Smell is quite hoppy. Citrusy grapefruit hops mostly, some pine. There's a solid amount of toasted malt coming through as well.

The hops in the nose aren't quite as strong on the tongue. The classic Victory malt profile comes through nice and strong without being overpowering. Hops aren't as prevalent as you would expect after smelling the brew. They are there though. Flavor lingers surprisingly long for the style. The finish is on the sweet side, but doesn't detract too much.

Perfect carbonation. Nice smooth mouthfeel. Overall a well balanced, tasty APA. Not the best I've had but a nice effort from Victory and well worth picking up a sixer.

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Photo of StaEva
4/5  rDev +2%
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 Mardukk
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with some off white head and noticable lacing.

The smell is an exceptional blend of herbal hops with some faint malt. Probably the best quality of this beer.

The taste is dominated by the herbal hops with a touch of lightly roasted malt to balance the hop bitterness. The taste very good overall.

The mouthfeel is a tad thin for the style and is the biggest drawback of this APA. With medium carbonation and a nice smooth yet yummy herbal hop flavor this is an easy one to drink.

This is a very nice quality APA that I would definitely buy again.

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Photo of GregBlatz
3.19/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Clear light copper color. Light tan head.

S - Esther fruitiness and grain sweetness. Slight iron aroma. Very little hops are noticeable.

T - OK, now I get it. This isn't a bold American pale ale, it is more of a simple session pale ale. The grains and esthers are dominant. Hops are subtle but provide a nice bitterness in the finish that helps to even out the sweetness that helps the finish dry out.

M - Thin and medium carbonation.

O - This is a very nice easy drinking pale ale. In fact I would like to put a few more of these down. The hops are subtle but they start to come out after a few sips. Very nice.

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Photo of Blargimus
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Enjoy by June 24, 20... the stamp fades here, but I assume it's 2012. I hope.

Crystal-clear amber-straw color. A teeny bit darker than I expected. 1-2 fingers of head fade down to a nice lacing. Attractive beer.

Smell is full and very rich with deliciousness. This is likely in my head, but I think I detect a hint of corn. I actually like a little bit of corn, so that's not a deduction for me. VERY enticing.

The taste is hoppier than the smell would suggest. Excellent initial level of bitterness, followed by that same richness of malt. Despite the smell, I don't taste any corn. Very tasty.

Light-medium fullness. I could do with a bit less carbonation. Leaves bitterness behind, but doesn't coat the tongue and finishes fairly dry. This is the beer's weakest category, but it's certainly not bad, or even below-average.

Odd that I've had so many other Victory beers before trying their flagship offering. It's a very solid pale ale, enough so that it might compete with Great Divide DPA as my go-to choice if it was more readily available in Colorado.

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Photo of Keith238
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Terrific pale ale with great pine and citrus aroma and flavor. An east coast pale ale with that west coast feel.

Tons of citrus (orange) aroma and flavor. Also present is a nice pine flavor. It pours with a thick white head that keeps tons of lacing in the glass. This one give Sierra Nevada Pale Ale a run for its money.

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Photo of BeerMark
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Got this sixer at Derk's Fillet & Vine in Montgomery Alabama. My goodness, Alabama has come a long way in the last few years. I'm seeing world class beers sitting beside some great local selections. There's not much else that I can add to the reviews that are not here already. Headwaters Pale Ale is delicious. It's malty and hoppy and the combination of flavors is great. A very nice pale pale ale for times an IPA may be too much. Will be buying again.

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Photo of kpoole25
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really good APA, dry, not heavy on the tongue. It has more hop flavor than bitter which I like, and a little more in the lemon / citrus hop zone than piney / resiny. According to their web site they only use 2 row malt but I would have thought there was a little pilsner or something to give more complexity (although the site says malt is imported, maybe that's the difference). Would buy again.

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Photo of jmarklan
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden / copper color, white head leaves a few nice rings of lace. Lovely look, very attractive.

Spicy hops dominate the nose, herbal and citric. Fresh tangerine aroma with a touch of malt sweetness.

Slightly spicy hops, herbal and citric, lemon rind, sweet tangerine asserts itself in the middle (I just love that flavor) along with a slight grassyness, cracker/biscuit malt towards the end, finishes with an herbal hop bitterness on the palate.

Somewhere in between light and medium bodied, very crisp and a bit dry.

Overall: Another fine beer from Victory. Sessionable and full of hop flavor, just like an American pale ale should be.

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Photo of doopydoogle
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice golden amber with orange and red hues. A glorious creamy white head that really sticks around.

S - Pineapple, tropical fruity, pine and juniper, some bubble gum, slight caramel from the malt, fresh herbs, grass

T - Clean malt forward with subtle hops that kick in with a bit of bitter and some citric and pine quality. The ale is very well balanced and leaves you with a good hop profile while not overwhelming the malt. The minimal bitter comes through the finish. There's a decent herbal quality as well which gives the beer an almost medicinal quality.

M - Good carbonation and clean mouthfeel

O - An enjoyable, crisp, and sessionable pale. Seems more refined than some of its APA brethren.

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Photo of DJED69
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well done Victory! A really nice pale ale. Pours a deep copper with good head and lacing. Smells nice with good hop presence. Taste is more hop forward vs malt. But it's a good balance overall. Sort of like an IPA-lite. Finishes dry and crisp. At 5.1% abv---you can reasonably enjoy a few of these. I would put this brew firmly between Sierra Nevada and Dale's pale ale---not bad company! Had mine with Asian take out and it made a tasty combo. This is one I'll be returning too!

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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.92 out of 5 based on 2,588 ratings.
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