Blue Heron Ale
BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Pale Ale - American
3.71 | pDev: 12.67%
BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
Oregon, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 137 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Kind of a darker appearance for a pale ale, this one comes in looking amber. Aroma is fitting in that regard as well.

Thankfully the malts aren't as heavy as the appearance, there is a faint hoppiness, faint bitterness and pretty much you realize this is the same old stalwart of the 90s pnw scene that it always was. Mild, easy drinking, something you can easily make at home.

Jan 29, 2016
Photo of Spikester
Spikester from Oregon

3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Sep 02, 2013
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber from Washington

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium coppery orange amber with a one finger off-white head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of biscuit and slightly toasted malt, light herbal hops. Flavor is slightly sweet bready malt, earthy hops, finishes slightly dry with pleasant residual hop bitterness. Medium bodied with a moderate creaminess, a pleasant surprise from a pale ale. Flavors are subtle, but well balanced. A quite pleasant light pale ale.

Jan 19, 2013
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX from Washington

3.47/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Portland Brewery.

A - Served a surprisingly dark orange, clear with a very small white head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Malty, some breadiness.

T - Mild malts, and some nice wheat and barley flavors.

D - Mild carbonation and an average body.

O - Again, another mild one form Bridgeport. Pale, and pale in flavor.

Jan 24, 2012
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan from Nevada

3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

Dec 08, 2011
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi from Georgia

3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Comes out of the tap a clear dark amber that is almost coppery. The pint I got did not have much of a head, but this may have been an artifact of the pour. Crisp, malty aroma has an undertone of apple cider and a teeny hint of cloves. Crisp, lively, malty flavor has an apple overtone and hints of cloves and caramel. Lively, tingly, ragged texture leaves a nice fruity fizz.

Jul 09, 2011
Photo of Hollybee
Hollybee from Washington

2.81/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a red gold color with a quarter inch of head that dissipates to a thin layer. Very little lacing. Would like to see a more robust head.

Before having had a sip the nose is very faint, light, malt coming through and no real hop.

Taste is sweet overall, very light caramel sweetness to start a decent bitter middle and finishes clean. The body is very light, and with a lighter body, taste and smell I would prefer a bit more carbonation. Not a lot of CO2 "bite"

The beer is a bit timid on all accounts but works as a decent session. very drinkable.

I'm part way through drinking the bottle, maybe 30% and I am definitely picking up a little more caramel character than in my initial tasting, however I stand by my review. Still a great session that a room with many palates could enjoy.

Jan 22, 2011
Photo of gkunkle
gkunkle from Oregon

3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a darker gold or light amber color with a one finger white head that leaves a little bit of lacing. Smells of caramel malt and hops. Taste is pretty equal in the hops and malt departments, there is a little bit of sweetness in there, it finishes well with a little bit of hop. The taste may not be preferable to a total hop head, but its a good pale ale taste. Mouthfeel is medium with average carbonation. Overall, this is a good APA, not entirely in the same league as something like SNPA, but a good beer.

Oct 30, 2010
Photo of birdypowder
birdypowder from Oregon

3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As with any beer ever made, I would like to try this one fresh from the brewery. I'm willing to bet it would be a different, more positive, experience. Unfortunately, out of the bottle, my Blue Heron Pale was only average.

Soft orange in color and with a small white head this slightly hazy brew at least leaves nice lacing but otherwise looks just plain average.

Some bread and slight caramel engage a faint cascade hop aroma in a contest for who can stand out the least.

It's very well balanced! Nothing much stands out on the palate though, and the major knock is the aftertaste. The beer starts out great with a nice roundness to the mouth feel and some tasty toffee or caramel flavors balanced well with the bitterness, then everything explodes into fizziness and tastelessness.

This would be very high if it were not for the finish. Maybe I'll drive to the brewery tomorrow and sample one right from the serving tanks!

Oct 20, 2010
Photo of Elimination
Elimination from Oregon

3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass..

Standard redish/golden clear with no haze, strong but quick fading one finger head.

Smell is very sweet, slight sugar, not much hops, malt is evident.

Taste is sort of a let down, not really a whole lot of anything going on. It does have a slight amount of maltiness, very sweet almost fruit like.

Mouthfeel is a bit of syrupy thick, with a good amount of carbonation.

Drink is great, this is a perfect craft lawnmower beer.

Oct 14, 2010
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum from Canada (AB)

4/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Sep 03, 2010
Photo of Offa
Offa from California

4.57/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap in Portland, this is an outstanding pale ale, balanced, fairly complex, and easy to drink.

Deep but bright amber, it has a small off-white head soon shrinking to a lasting foamy ring.

Aroma is nutty, malty, very toasty with faint earthy-leafy hop, and very pleasant.

Taste is a full nutty-malty toastiness leafy-spicey-woody, almost cedar-like hops with maybe a faint hint of lemon pulp, the bitterness evident but restrained and balanced, so that it is very flavourful, well-rounded, but mellow. This is one more Bridgeport beer I wish I could find in the Bay Area.

Aug 25, 2010
Photo of boss302
boss302 from Florida

4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blue Heron, on cask

I am biased toward cask ales and have to say this was one of the best I had while in Portland. It had everything that I have come to associate with good cask ale.

It was red in color, had a nice thick creamy head and tasted wonderful. There was a fresh hop aroma and lots of malty sweetness. Smooth and creamy.

Aug 06, 2010
Photo of Briken
Briken from Washington

3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy amber with tan fluffy head with decent retention and uneven lacing. Aromas of pepper and earthy pale malts. Grassy and slightly peppery with the pale malts a little forward. Crisp clean mouthfeel and finish with high carbonation and a little soft on the palate.

This is a simple, clean pale ale. Nothing outstanding on taste but just good clean flavor. Like most of bridgeport's beers that I have tried, the real winner is the mouthfeel. This one is just about what I consider perfect for a pale ale. Clean, refreshing and smooth.

Jul 21, 2010
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho from Washington

3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich orange hue with a touch of haze and a finger of creamy ivory foam. Head retention doesn't seem all that great, though there's a nice lace, and otherwise this beer looks quite good.

Smell: mild, dry malt aroma with a moderate amount of earthy hops and just a touch of citrusy hops. Basic, but solid.

Taste: the hops come more into their own here in a big way. Hops start off earthy and a little dank, then transform into a bright citrusy flavor toward the end. Throughout, the dry malt backbone keeps everything in order. Quite solid.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a somewhat high (read: good) level of carbonation. I'm usually not too impressed with APA mouthfeels, but Blue Heron just hits the right button with me.

Drinkability: quite drinkable. I quaffed a few of these the other day at poker with no complaint, and would gladly do so again.

Jul 17, 2010
Photo of cbarrett4
cbarrett4 from Oregon

4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
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!)

Nov 12, 2009
Photo of velosuds
velosuds from Oregon

3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date.

A-Pours a light to medium amber hue with about a one and a half finger, off-white head with average retention and decent lacing.

S-Biscuit-like malt and subtle floral hops. Not robust enough.

T-Taste follows the smell in that it is not nearly hoppy enough. Pale, bready malts and caramel dominate the taste with hops only contributing to the bitterness but adding little to the flavor.

M-Smooth and crisp. Quite refreshing.

D-A decent beer, but nothing to get excited about. Tame for a West Coast APA and not in the same class as Anchor's Liberty Ale.

Oct 17, 2009
Photo of BBThunderbolt
BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a light gold color, with a thin white head that quickly dissipated leaving no lacing.

A nicely balanced aroma greets the nose, solidly malty with just a touch of hop noticeable. The flavors were similar, featuring a great balance between the hop and malt components.

The body was very smooth, coating the tongue nicely, full without being heavy. The drinkability was great,easy to drink and very smooth. Overall a great Pale, worth seeking out.

Aug 04, 2009
Photo of ThePortlander
ThePortlander from New York

3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. The color is a dark gold, and the head is white, but nicely present with a proper pour.

The sell is mostly of sweet hops, with some yeasty undertones. The tastes follows suit, lacking the bitterness I was hoping for. Also, the malt could stand to be a bit more pronounced. I will say that Blue Heron is a decent beer if you're looking for something with no frills that couples well with spicy or bread-heavy dishes (traditional curry or home-made pizza, specifically). Also great for people new to the craft world, as it's not too strong or specialized in taste.

Jul 05, 2009
Photo of jkdrummer
jkdrummer from Washington

3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange amber with little or no head.Lively carb just not much in the frothy head department. Taste is sweeet, with some hops in there but not much. The aroma is yeasty. Easy drinking pale. Not much else to say. Kinda blah but it is a good example of a PNW pale just could use more bitterness to offset the super sweet flavor. Good entry American pale ale for those making switch from BMC brews.

Jun 17, 2009
Photo of Chelsea1905
Chelsea1905 from Washington

3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a conical pint glass.

Poures a nice light fluffy head, that accompanies a light amber/copper body.
Smells a little fruity, with strong malty presence in the back.

Tastes floral and citrusy, then washed away imediately by maly back bone

A little effervecent, and light to medoum mouthfeel.

Overall, a good little Pale Ale

May 30, 2009
Photo of kels
kels from Virginia

4.11/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this as an extra in a trade thanks to colts9016. I'm a pretty big fan of a good pale ale, and this one is really pretty good.

Appearance: Pours a lovely golden yellow with a huge 3 finger white head. The head fades quickly to a skim with significant sticky lacing left behind on the glass. There's light carbonation rising through the clear liquid.

Smell: The smell is very light with the slight presence of toasty, grainy malts.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The grainy malts are major feature in the taste. There's a nice toastiness and crispiness to the malt flavor, and it's joined by only the slightest bitter citrus hop presence. The alcohol has a nice, slight bite and the good carbonation lends to an effervescent and bright mouthfeel. There's a slight stickiness left on the palate afterward. Very pleasant overall.

Drinkability: Very high - I could definitely do several of these in a sitting.

Mar 23, 2009
Photo of olmatty
olmatty from Oregon

3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours an off white, puffy, two-finger head that fades quickly, beer is orange copper

Smell- Amber malty with a slight hint of sweetness in the beginning yet dry almost medicinal finish.

Taste- Biscuity up-front maltiness, slightly sweet, bitter one dimensional hop character follows and an odd, faintly medicinal aftertaste that is not entirely unpleasant. Complex and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel- Moderately carbonated, and mouthfilling flavor.

Drinkability- Bitter aftertaste has made me want only one this time. In fairness, I've enjoyed this beer more in the past and usually drank it colder. I don't think the bottle is off, just zoning in on more odd flavors as it warms toward room temp.

Jan 20, 2009
Photo of Docer
Docer from Washington

3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Jan 17, 2009
Photo of colts9016
colts9016 from Idaho

4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an English pint glass at 40 degrees.

Appearance: An amber color with some orange hues. There was a one finger head but it is now a quarter inch ring. There is a lot of carbonation in the glass. The clarity of the beer is clear. There is a lot of lacing on the glass.

Nose: A nice robust citrus with some malt and fruity esters.

Taste: A nice citrus with a good some what sweet malt with fruity esters. Has a biscuit taste to the beer.

Overall: A slight astringent and carbonated mouth feel. The finish is bitter and linger on the palate for a few moments. The easy to drink and clean. There is a good balance between the hops and malt. I really enjoyed this beer. It is good.

Jan 15, 2009
Blue Heron Ale from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 137 ratings