It smells like orange-flavored fruit snacks. And hops. Really, really good hops. It may be one of the best smelling beers that I’ve ever smelled. Mixed in is a slight bit of yeast, refreshing and cleansing. In color, it is a simple golden orange blend, clear and bright. There was a nice two finger head, off white and quickly receding to a thin layer that dripped down the glass in dots of foam with each successive sip.
The body was great, smooth and solid, enough carbonation to make it well balanced and easy drinking. The citrus blends well with the bittering hops, giving enough fruit and enough bitter bite. The malts are present in both body and a sweet, grainy backbone. While the last notes after each swallow are definitely hops, the most lingering of the flavors is the malt. There are even hints of cinnamon and spicy herbs.
I am a lover of pale ales. I think they are for almost any beer drinker and almost every occasion. I am also a lover of Victory beers, they are consistent and make a great beer in almost every style. Headwaters has all the qualities of a solid pale ale, great balance, flavor and mouthfeel. I would recommend it to both craft beer lovers and those with a case of Big Three in their fridge.