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Blue Heron Ale - BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

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Blue Heron Ale
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136 Ratings

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Ratings: 136
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 12.74%
Wants: 7
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-29-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 78
Reviews by cbarrett4:
Photo of cbarrett4
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Gorgeous amber hue
A - Very light aromatics with typical herbaceous notes
T - Subtle bitterness and herbal notes
M - Medium weight, medium tannins from hops
D - Superb hop happy finish


This was a stunning little beer from what I considered a more commercial brewery. Tasting this compared to every other beer they make was a treat, and this beer rocked me. It isn't the biggest, boldest, most bitter brew; instead it is elegantly made with balance and subtlety. You can't drink IPA and Stout EVERY time (though you can try!)

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – Very light orange in color and clear with a smallish head that didn’t impress.

Smell – The lightly-spiced malt aroma dominates the receding floral hops. This one is also kind of musty with a little bit of a grassy smell as well.

Taste – The floral hops come out more at the taste, but that grassy musty flavor ruins the finish. The malt balance though is nice.

Mouthfeel – A little tangier and more carbonated than I like my session pale ales, but overall it wasn’t bad. I wouldn’t call it light-bodied nor is it medium; maybe somewhere in between.

Drinkability – This one wasn’t all that bad, but I’ll pass next time around.

Photo of shapudding
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice ale with a light orange/yellow color and slight cloudyness. Holds it's thin creamy head throughout the pint after a good pour. Has a light hoppy scent that is not overpowering. Light carbonation, spicey and hoppy bite to it. You are left with flavor in your mouth, but nothing that is overpowering. Good drinkability, would be great with food, drinking it now and thinking how nice a burger would be!

Photo of TimoP
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz slender brown bottle, “Bridgeport … Oregon’s Oldest Craft Brewery” in raised glass around the neck. Undecipherable freshness code on the back label.

Appearance: Bright pale copper hue, clarity is perfect and the lace is good as well … perky and bubbly.

Smell: Big malty aroma with a dough back, fruity with a very faint backing of diacetyl. Hops are the too with a soft floral leafy earthiness.

Taste: Moderate body and a little thin in the palate, not in a bad way just a showing of its high quaffable status. The mouth feel is actually quite lush and natural feeling with a moderate carbonation. Bit of raw hop on the tongue with citrus and earth flavours. Slight crispness with a toasty malt flavour rushing in, some very mild diacetyl and faintly estery fruitiness also. Drying finish with a clean grainy finish.

Notes: This is one of the quintessential pale ale of the PNW, it’s been around since 1984 and is a great brew to be had. This should be a regular in your fridge if you are down with the American Pale Ale style.

Here are some notes of when we had this beer on tap at the brewery back in 08-14-1998:

Light amber colour with a nice semi-sticky white froth. A mild sweet malt, slightly bready, aroma with a dash of floral hop. The mellow hop oil flavour mingles with an easy going dry malt and a faint grainy taste. Hop bitterness is in the back drop. A wonderful bitter. Malt flavours pull through and a good use of hops makes this brew very drinkable.

Photo of Thrasher
4.07/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the originals, Blue Heron has been around since the mid-80s although the recipe has had subtle tweaking. It's a pale ale of the historic British variety -- not the judiciously hopped West Coast version, but more like Bass, for example. The beer pours a handsome light amber with a doughy head that is quickly pockmarked with craters; eventually the head sinks back into the beer, leaving a minute film of foam and scattershot lacing down the glass. A pleasing hop aroma is there at the beginning, inviting but quite subtle. Strong malt flavors dominate the beer with flavors of sourdough bread, pretzel, caramel. It's a somewhat austere flavor, a bit woody and varnishy although nowhere near as robust as Ebenezer or Old Knucklehead. Hops are light and muted, but do their job adequately with slight bubble gum and citrus flavors. The yeast is near invisible to my tongue; none of the butter elements of some English ale. A mineral quality lingers long on the finish and bolsters some grapefruit hop flavor -- but no tartness. It really is a good beer, perhaps shy of great, but highly pleasing and a fine contender for a sessional. I can imagine how good this would be out of a cask, especially with some dry-hopping.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours looking more like an amber ale than a pale ale. Aroma is more akin to an amber as well, I really didn't pick up anything hoppy any of the times I've had this beer, which is a lot, shit, they've been making this since the 90s for sure when I was in college.

Taste, nice, the body is lighter than the appearance, modest hop additions, modest bitterness, becomes pretty much straightforward PacNW pale ale territory. Leans more on the bitterness than the hop mouthfeel. Decent stuff.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.52/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: A glowing amber orange with a decent sized white head quickly disipate leaving behind an inkling of lacing. Aroma: Very deep bready tones full of biscuit malts with a very appeasing hop presence I am indeed impressed here some caramel tones indulged with cascades in the form of a piney spread. Taste: Mild biscuit character to the malt this bottle may have seen it's better days but you can't really tell until you taste it seems a bit stale but overall still enjoyable and tastey. Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation medium to light in body a definite summer brew. Drinkability: Mediocre not the most appealing beer I have come across but solid nonetheless, bravo.

Photo of ste5venla
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of DerekQXQX
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of switzer
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of InfernoBoss
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear medium copper hue, with effervescence percolating upwards long after, and one finger of foamy off-white head, which settles fairly quickly, rendering some random swaths of lace around the glass. It smells of light toasted caramel malt, a creamy nuttiness, and fruity, leafy hops. The taste is sweet bready, somewhat biscuity caramel malt, a bit of citrus, and bitter, herbal, floral hops. The carbonation is average, the body medium weight, smooth, and creamy, and it finishes fairly dry, biscuity, and floral.

A pretty decent pale ale - tasty, balanced, and unapologetically lacking any aspersions to be an IPA.

Photo of Magpie14
3.21/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: deep orange saturated with golden and yellow tones. Small, but sizable head and slabs of lace. A few big bubbles sit on the beer and hug the inner ring of the glass

S: earthy, grassy, and dry grains. Smells like a straight forward APA...a little weak

T: grassy hops, nice citrus touch of oranges, reminiscent of tea flavors. This beer is soft and leafy at points and this helps accommodate a watered grain texture that hangs on the tongue...hops are pretty laid back for the most part. Sweetness is in the mix, a simple dose of caramel did the trick. Man, I was hoping for a bit more in the hop department and all around features

M: is on the refreshingly crisp side, a good drinker and lighter body helps move this guy along

D: lacking in many aspects for an APA. I guess I am used to more complexity overall. An average attempt that veers aimlessly in the APA category. I still like bridgeport brews, no doubt. This one just did not impress

Photo of ElGordo
3.27/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangish-amber color with a small white head that disappears quickly. Aroma of slightly sweet English malt, some light floral hops, a little biscuit, and a touch of citrus. Palate is well-balanced between floral hops and English malt, but it lacks oomph. A mild astringent character is present on the finish. Medium body holds the flavor well. A decent session beer, but not as flavorful as I remember from a few years ago.

Photo of DOCRW
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of PhantomVodoo
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear with an off-white head. Copper to brownish golden in color.
Aroma of pale malts and floral hops.

Taste is nicely balanced. Biscuity, toffee-like, pale malt flavor in symphony with the floral, piney hop notes.

Good mouthfeel, maybe a tad thin.
Very easy-going and drinkable.

Overall, a good pale ale. Quite possibly my highest rated sub 5%ABV beer; thus it would be a great session beer. How can this beer possibly only have 5 reviews!? Much too good for BA's to not be giving this one a try.

Photo of akorsak
3.13/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle purchased at Liquid Solutions.

A: The ale is a brownish-orange color, like a darker apple juice. It has a slight haze, but not enough to make you look for sediment. The head was small on pour and quickly evaporated completely.

S: The nose is significantly all malt, grainy and biscuity with a bit of depth. Hops don't add much here.

T: The ale is more malty than hoppy, have a grainy, tart apple-like flavor that adds a sweeter element to the malts. Hops are subtly bitter, adding just a bit of sharpness to the malty body.

M: The drink is enjoyable but inoffensive, it takes no risks and offers no rewards.

D: This is a good session ale, grainy without numbing the tastebuds. The grainy malts would get old after a couple though.

Photo of CRJMellor
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful light copper, very clear with small bubbles drifting towars the top of the glass. Thin white head with minimal lace. Aroma is heavy, rich and oily. a little bit vacant up front, "biscuity" in middle and shows some decent bitter hop taste, finally a little bit of malt comes on the aftertaste. Decent but not outstanding

Photo of Docer
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Used to be able to find this one everywhere, but it seems to be more limited now. Was the first Bridgeport beer I had tried. So I snagged a 12oz. bottle from Belmont Station in Portland, OR. Poured into a glass.

Nice golden clear look with a hint of darker amber tones.

Slight floral and citrus scent... but very little to almost no smell for me.

Light citrus hop flavor... and the barley does stand out compared to most other pale ales. Rather light and refreshing.. great for a hot day of fishing in the NW.

Fresh water mouthfeel.. light grassy/earthy notes with a rather robust barley aftertaste. Chewy..

A bit bubbly.. but refreshing. Rather light for a modern pale.. but its an old classic that I think is actually one of Bridgeports finer originals.

Photo of Spikester
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours hazy amber with a small white head. Lacings are average.
Smell is bready malts with just enough herbal hops to keep to style.
Taste is herbal earthy hops with a light funk to them. The malts are bready and lightly dirty.
Mouthfeel is medium fairly low carbonation and a bitter / sweet finish.
Overall a Pale Ale for every day drinking. Eclipsed in most was by the bigger and bolder trend, it is still an easy drinking un pretentious example of an APA.

Photo of Gagnier77
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of rogerthegill
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz picked up at the Boise Coop for about $1.40.... poured into my New Belgium balloon... listening to iPod RIS beer party mix. Janes Addiction "I would for you".

Lite golden brew topped by a short lived 1/2" head... not real lacing.

Aroma is Citrus/Grassy hops and pale malts... mild yeasty fruitiness.

Grassy and mild grapefruit hoppiness in the palate... very good pale malt backbone... throw in some EKG spicyness for good measure... lite medium mouthfeel and exceptional carbonation.

Blue Heron is really a pretty good pale ale... not great... just good/pretty good. Sorta reminds me of an English interpretation with a PNW twist.. much like many of Bridgeports other standard bottled brews.

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Blue Heron Ale from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
83 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.