On Sunday February 13th, Victory Brewing Company invited several beer bloggers from the PA/NJ area (I can only assume that our invitation got lost in the mail) to their Downingtown, PA brewpub for a preview of their latest beer, the Headwaters Pale Ale. Since the craft beer industry has exploded in recent years because of social media and word-of-mouth advertising, inviting a bunch of bloggers to try your latest beer and spread the word about it makes perfect sense (that’s how I learned about this beer). It’s also a hell of a lot cheaper than paying for a 30 second advertisement during the Super Bowl!
Headwaters Pale Ale is a new year-round beer that Victory has released to celebrate their 15th anniversary. Here is what Victory has to say about this beer:
“Our brewery is blessed with exceptionally pure water that travels just over a dozen wooded miles to reach our brewery. With this pristine water we have transformed floral American hops and subtle, crisp German malts into a refreshing delight. This firmly crisp and aromatically arousing pale ale integrates a softly supportive malt base with underlying streams of herbal hop complexity.”
Let’s see if it’s any good…
- Appearance: Golden Yellow. Thin, quickly dissipating head. Clear, rapidly rising bubbles. Little to no lacing.
- Aroma: Sweet oranges and grapefruit. Honey. Very fragrant hops.
- Taste: Medium carbonation. Very smooth texture. Slightly sweet, roasted malt flavor at first. Citrus flavor picks up in the middle. Slightly bitter hop finish.
- ABV: 5.1%
The deeper I go into the craft beer universe, the more impressed I become with the amount of variability that exists within each particular beer style. The Pale Ales that I have reviewed over the past few months have ranged from very malty (Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale and Bell’s Pale Ale) to very hoppy (Dale’s Pale Ale and Great Lakes Burning River). The Victory Headwaters Pale Ale lies somewhere in between, and reminds me of a hopped up pilsner. With its relatively low ABV and well balanced flavors, this is a very session worthy beer (it would also be a great way to introduce someone to the world of craft beer). Perfect on a warm summer day, and a fine accompaniment to a wide variety of foods (from burgers to BBQ to Thai and everywhere in between). Well done Victory!