Beertopia: Victory’s Headwaters Pale Ale

This column reviews a beer based on aroma, appearance, taste and palate (mouthfeel). At the end of each review, we score the beer based on a five-star system (one star meaning you will likely regret ever drinking such a horrible concoction, five stars meaning it’s your new favorite beer, and two, three, and four stars falling somewhere in between).

Headwaters Pale Ale (jwin1983 - photobucket)

Headwaters Pale Ale (jwin1983 – photobucket)

Victory Brewing Company is a well-respected brewer located in Pennsylvania. The brewery was founded in an old Pepperidge Farm bakery by Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski, who actually met on a school bus in fifth grade. Since its foundation in 1996, Victory Brewery has expanded from three original beers to 11 year-round beers and 10 seasonal beers.

Though I’ve tried a few of their beers, for this column I’ll be reviewing the Headwaters Pale Ale, which is brewed in the American pale ale style. The American pale ale style is a very recent development in the beer world, only beginning around 1980. It is believed that Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was the first to use significant quantities of American hops in conjunction with the name “pale ale.” With the success of Sierra Nevada, many brewers have since picked up on the style.

I tried the Headwaters Pale Ale from a standard 12 oz bottle. There is a good bit of citrus in the smell, which is surprising for a pale ale. There are definitely notes of piney hops in the nose as well. As you can see from the picture, the beer pours a nice orange, copper color with a short-lived, white head.

The taste of the Headwaters Pale Ale begins with an almost sweet, nutty flavor. It is quickly followed by a strong hops presence, which leads to that really bitter taste some beer drinkers love. A medium body, good carbonation, and dry finish help support those strong flavors.

Overall, this is a good beer. For my flavor profile, however, it’s a bit too bitter and I feel it is slightly off-balanced. With that said, for those that enjoy really hoppy beers, this one is probably right up your alley.

Little Utopia Rating: Three and a half out of Five


CharlieCharlie Crespo (@Little_Utopia) is the editor-in-chief of Little Utopia.

Previously from Charlie Crespo:
The Nightmare Before Chris Bosh(mas)
The Noblest of Experiments
Seriously, People, Enough With the Dolphin Obsession
♦ Beertopia: Gordon Biersch Brewing Company’s Josephsbrau Prost
♦ Grumpy Cat Goes to Hollywood

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