Happy Heron Pale Ale | Central Waters Brewing Co.

Happy Heron Pale AleHappy Heron Pale Ale
198 Ratings
Happy Heron Pale AleHappy Heron Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-22-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 198 |  Reviews: 95
Photo of Skidz
4.58/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap, my house. Kick ass.

Sits a perfectly bright amber with tints of gold and reddish-brown with a solid bone white head holding strong all the way down and leaving the glass coated in lace.

Smells rich and citrusy up front with big hints of orange and grapefruit, just the slightest touch of pine. Sweet caramel dripping all over and a light bready character.

Tastes initially malty, toasted character shines through pairing up with caramel and light traces of toffee. Hops character buils up giving off standard doses of pine and grapefruit zest while maintaining a pleasant orange flavor as well. Everything is dipped in caramel, there is no escape. Finish is refreshingly bitter and laden wth hops oils.

Delightfully creamy and smooth with soft carbonation on all ends. This beer pleads for more mouth time, but is consumed far too enjoyably.

I've always enjoyed this beer, one of the best regional APAs IMO. Though this sampling seems to differ from the many others I've had elsewhere, both bottle and tap..more complete. Maybe the recipe has been tweaked a bit. Having it fresh at the pull of a lever makes my world fall apart...in good ways. I should also make note that this is the first beer to grace my lines, one of the hardest choices I've had to make.

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Photo of KC9LDB
4.5/5  rDev +27.8%

Photo of Bighuge
4.48/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


I'm upping my scores on this one. This is one of the best pale ales I've had in a long time. Nice and fresh (bottled about a month ago) it has a very nice crisp hoppy feel to it with a solid but not overwhelming caramel malt backing. This is a very sessionable APA. Right up there with SN and Summit. That would be a good 3 way blind tasting.

Rating: 4,4,4,4.5,4

Color is on the lighter side for a pale ale. Almost as light as a golden ale. Medium white head. Hops on the nose. Earthy and pungent. First taste is hop induced bitterness. This bitterness is evident throughout the entire beer. Pretty light body. Easy drinking body-wise. There's a pretty firm maltiness backing the whole brew up. A bit of fruitiness comes through also. But the sharp bitterness is unmistakable. A little on the pungent side, but I'm almost wondering if the pungent aspect is present because of this beer's age. It was bottled last June. Overall, this is decent pale ale.

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Photo of mjryan
4.47/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Central Waters, new to you guys. So far so good! Pale and hazy. Cirus zest in the nose. Very strong aroma. Quintessential American pale ale. Clean yeast, bready malts and citus hops. Very vibrant and lively...must have been brewed yesterday. Oh, maybe not. The box says late March. Held up well. This is American pale ale. Maybe the best Ive ever had.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a crystal clear golden copper colored body which is darker than most pale ales. There is a tiny carbonation and a creamy oatmeal colored head that last a good while.

S- This beer has a light toasted malt and pale malt aroma that is fresh and increases as the glass gets emptied. There is a nice green pine hop note in the finish.

T- This beer has a slight sweet big toasted malt flavor with a hint of biscuit malt in the background. The malt flavor fades into a earthy green hop flavor and then a bitter bite at the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with the fizz really filling it out.

D- This beer has big malt flavors with a nice balance of hop flavor and hop bite. All three aspects are balanced and bold yet still making this beer very drinkable.

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Photo of gatornation
4.3/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a beautiful golden/bronze with a 1 inch head that forms a nice ring til the end.. this brew looks really fresh the smell is right on ...its hops and citrus and wet grass with sweet bread/biscuit/malts..the taste is spot on for the style and very nice it hits you with nice bitter hops and citrus but then it smooths out very nicely with bready sweet caramel malts.. the drink ability is very high it is very smooth and has a low abv and highly flavorful for the style ...central waters continues to impress me with their ales.. i will buy this again and will try others in their line...recommended+

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Photo of mynie
4.27/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good APA pour. Dark amber, pretty haze, and a retentive, rocky head.

Hops are firm but not intense or burny. The side of the bottle calls this a "zesty" pale ale and I couldn't really agree more. The bitterness is firm, like I said, but there not so firm as to obscure some spicier, fruitier nodes. There's also a firm breadiness of malt and yeast in there, too.

Tastes a little earthy, strong nodes of breaddough and peat. This moves quickly into a bittertart middle of American hops, not too bitter and actually a little sweet. Lemongrass and bitterness balance each other very well in the back, and they linger on the tongue for a little while after the beer's been swallowed.

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Photo of enelson
4.25/5  rDev +20.7%

Photo of ericjubeck
4.25/5  rDev +20.7%

Photo of Hoptimus_Prime
4.25/5  rDev +20.7%

Photo of garymuchow
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Large full head is first thing I noted. Also liked that it reduced very little while drinking and left rings after every drink. Aroma is classic hop quality of this style. Nice amber color that is very clear. Good combination of malt smoothness with biting hop bitterness. Neither dominates, yet both noticable. Medium mouthfeel without excessive carbonation. Might lack a bit of richness in overall flavor, but a very nice brew overall. This sample was from a 12oz bottle.

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Photo of dfillius
4.13/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass
A: Aggressive pour yields 1 finger of just off-white tight head with great retention. Hazy copper-gold liquid.
S:Equal parts hearty grain and Man Candy hoppiness. Some caramel. Smells like a session beer.
T: Modest bitterness springs forward but is reigned in by the malt. Hops stick with it and dominate the second half of the flavor profile. Strong on Cascade.
M: Quite bitter actually. Kind of like an IPA maybe, a West Coast-style APA all the way. Sim feel to SNPA
D: High. This is an enjoyable ale that I want another of and would buy again.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.11/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$7.00 / Six Pack
County Market
Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Appearance - Straight from the dark brown bottle that allows the 1/2 inch of head to been seen. Yellow label with brown writing and a blue Happy Heron Pale Ale trademark drawing.

Smell - Difficult to get a good whiff out of the bottle but it certainly has a hoppy scent.

Taste - The bitterness of the hops comes through the whole way. I'm happy to say his is a well-crafted beer.

Mouthfeel - The smooth flavor of the beer really gives the feel of this beer the same texture as it goes down easily.

~ I look forward to giving this one a chance at the tap. I can hardly wait to stop in at Guu's on Main in downtown Stevens Point to give this happy bird a try.

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Photo of pmccallum86
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden straw color with a bubbly thick two finger head. Pretty damn good.

Smell is lemon zest and citrus notes with a big bready malt aroma in the background.

Taste has bitter citrus notes with a huge bready malt flavor in the back. Very refreshing beer with the fruity pear and banana flavors as well.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a medium level of carbonation.

Very drinkable, a very solid example of the style.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.08/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Central Waters' Happy Heron pours a clear deep gold body beneath a massive head of rocky off-white foam. The head retention is excellent, as is the lacing.

In the nose it delivers a soft fruitiness over a pleasant combination of very lightly sweet and grainy malt and floral and grassy hops.

In the mouth it's medium-full bodied and smooth, almost creamy.

The flavor is as the nose suggests but with a bit more citrusy hop character, and a little more yeasty fruitiness (mainly soft apple). The quality of the grain shows, and it's nicely biscuity with a soft caramel edge. It finishes dry with some grassy notes and a lingering tea-like flavor.

Overall it's a full flavored and well-balanced brew. The clarity, head retention, and lacing also tell me that it's well-brewed with a lot of care. Very drinkable and well worth trying.

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Photo of brakspear
4.07/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very cloudy orange body, not sure if it is chill haze or yeast, there was sediment in my bottle. The head disappeared very quickly but the carbonation is evident and it laces moderately. The aroma is sweet malt, citrus hops and fruity esters from the fermentation --not bad. The taste is smoother than I expected but the hops are very evident making this beer a quasi-crossover into the land of mild IPAs. While this pale ale does not look the best, it is a very pleasant beer to drink.

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Photo of tapman
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Less than one finger of off white head atop a clear, light orange body. Lacing is thick and foamy.

Sweet hop aroma of grapefruit and melon. A little caramel and lemon zest as well.

Keep the lemon and grapefruit for the hops, add a moderatley-strong bitterness and a soft toasted bread and you have a nice beer.

Crisp and refreshing.

All around good brew. Nothing really pops out, but I could session the heck out of this one. Looking for it on tap!

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Photo of Billolick
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap thanks to super hospitality man Randy Shukar, this one pours pretty typical almond amber, with a slight greenish trace, clear, under a nice long lasting fine bubble head, that leaves copiousness amounts of sticky lacing and strewn sheeting. Judicious snout of resiny hops, this is a pleasurable, easy drinking, balanced, moderately hopped quaffer. Respectable sessioner

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Photo of drpimento
4.01/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very nice, friendly beer. It poured a full, foamy head with lots of lace. Has a hazy light to medium amber color. Aroma is mildly hoppy with lots of malty, toffee, sweet character. Flavor is the same but richer. Body is great with a mouth filling fine carbonation. Finish is alternating sweet and bitter. Definitely a session beer. Hope to get some more soon.

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Photo of runwild99
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another 12 oz bottle from Al's. This is one that I've never traded for.

A: The pale ale is a light copper color, liquid amber that is translucent. A finger of off-white, just barely off-white, head is lacing nicely around the mouth of my glass.

S: Could it be that the APA has a better hop aroma than the IPA? That may well be the case with Happy Heron and Glacial Trail. The pale ale, while nicely balanced with biscuity malts, has a pleasing citrus aroma that is neither vegetal nor boozy.

T: The taste aims to balance the nose out, offering more toasty biscuit flavors. Hops are present, leaving a nice bitterness long after a sip is gone. They add a citrusy flavor that gradually builds to that finish. A well-balanced and thoroughly enjoyable APA.

M: The mouthfeel begins with malts and ends with hops. At no point does either aspect get out-of-hand. Finally, a CW beer other than barleywine or stout that I enjoy.

D: Low abv, solid taste. Sign me up for more, please. The best light-colored CW beer.

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Photo of dstc
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper orange color with a nice white head. Head falls to just about nothing. Very thin lace.

Nice floral hop nose. Bit fruity and delicious smelling.

Crisp hop taste. Somewhat citrus-like in the middle. Bitterness on the tongue from the hops.

Medium bodied in the mouth with a slight bite.

Decent IPA from a decent brewer.

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Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Two Brothers imperial pint. Thanks to neubernie for the hook-up!

A: Pours a deep & rich golden color featuring a fair amount of haze. Smallish 3/4 finger head leaves a tiny amount of lace behind.

S: Aromas of grapefruit and sweet caramel. Toasted malt, sweet caramel malt, toffee, and an interesting vanilla smell along with a large dose of soapy, floral, grapefruit hops.

T: See above. Follows the smell very closely. Hops take on a piney quality as it warms.

M: Sweet & sticky caramel, dry toasted malt, and bitter & oily hops.

D: Quite good. Pretty simple and clean. I liked this beer.

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Photo of engberg88
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of JamesShoemaker
4/5  rDev +13.6%

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Happy Heron Pale Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.52 out of 5 with 198 ratings
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