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Happy Heron Pale Ale | Central Waters Brewing Co.

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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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 198
Photo of KarlHungus
1.21/5  rDev -65.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Upon opening this beer it was made immediately clear that something was majorly wrong. The smell of diacetyl filled the entire room. Once poured the beer was a light golden color, and had a nice, lasting head. However good it looks to the eye can't make up for how bad it is on the nose. The taste is like the aroma in that the only thing going on is a ton of butterscotch....offensive amounts of butterscotch. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth texture. But again, like the appearance it can't make up for the taste and aroma.

Overall, this is a horrible beer. I make it a rule not to review beers that have gone bad. However, in a case like this were diacetyl runs riot in the beer, the only person who can be blamed is the brewer. What really makes me think poorly of Central Waters is that they must have tasted this beer before sending it off to the distributor, and there is no way that anyone can miss the diacetyl. Thus, they must have knowingly sent out a tainted product. I don't know of any way a brewery could be more disrespectful to its costumers than that.

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Photo of ibashmuck
1.36/5  rDev -61.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Soon-to-be father in law bought a sixer on a whim before visiting for the holidays. Needless to say, neither of us finished our bottles, and the remaining bottles sit in the bottom of my fridge. Appearance was not bad, slightly cloudy orange, and the aroma wasn't awful either. But those are the last nice things I have to say. First taste was a bitterness bomb that didn't get any better with continued drinking. Other's have mentioned a "tobacco" and/or "dirtiness" to the taste and feel. I couldn't put into words exactly what I tasted and felt, but they nailed it. Very poor.

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Photo of meatyard
1.75/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours a nearly clear, golden/orange with a short, white head that quickly falls to less than a cover while leaving a bit of spotty lacing.

The smell is very light citrus hops, grain and malt finishing.

The taste is: I hope it's not supposed to taste like this. It's dry, bitter, no hops, no malt-just nothing good but it does taste bad.

Mouthfeel is thin, watery and dry.

Drinkability: My first CW beer and it just sucks. I hope the others I bought aren't this poor. Drain pour...

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Photo of htomsirveaux
2.11/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle from R&S. Reviewed 12 Sep 2008.

Small off white head. Slightly cloudy light amber color. Aroma of butterscotch candy, salty popcorn and ethanol. Starts fairly mild and faintly hoppy but butter aroma so strong that it overwhelms anything I'm tasting. Finishes with a nice light hop bite.

Hope that this was a bad bottle.

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Photo of Buebie
2.43/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Off the pour, this doesnt look like a pale ale I've ever had.

A smallish less then one inch head of white recedes fairly quickly to leave no head retention. It resembles a beer poured in a non beer bar that makes a point to not place any head on the beer.
Color also appears off, its straw yellow and looks more like a pilsner.

Aroma...well, lets just say I'm still trying to find it.

Taste is filled with unfermented honey, biscuits, straw, light earthy hops bittering mildly with a lemon lime zest to the flavor. Hop bitters come long after the swallow on the linger and contain a touch of rind and plenty of amarillo aspirin flavor.

This one is highly disappointing not only for the style but overall taste aroma and color are a huge let down. I still dont understand how this is a pale ale. A bodacious pils with ale yeast maybe...

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Photo of jmarsh123
2.71/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to sonoma01 for the bottle

Pours a hazy dark yellow/gold with a small white head dissipating quickly leaving slight lacing.

Aroma consists of light floral and citrus hops. Little malt in this one.

Starts out with a lightly floral hop character. Rounds into a bit of bready malt before finishing with a buttery piney finish.

Low-medium mouthfeel with high carbonation levels.

The buttery taste in the back end turns me off a bit. The other flavors are just ok as well making this a fairly mediocre beer.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.76/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with classy understated label art and unbranded pry-off pressure cap acquired at Zipp's Liquor in Minneapolis, MN for $1.79 and served into a stem-tulip. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery. 5.2% ABV confirmed. Bottled September 2013. Reviewed as a pale ale because of the name.

Served cold - straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Some foam gushes out upon opening.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of white colour. Decent thickness. No real creaminess. Lacks frothiness. Decent consistency. Okay complexion. Head retention is pretty good - about 4-5 minutes. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a dark copper. Some minimal yeast particles are visible floating in the body. Average vibrance. Translucent. Nontransparent.

Overall, it looks pretty basic for a pale ale. I'm looking forward to trying it, but it's not unique or special. There are no egregious flaws here.

Sm: Has the kind of hop profile I'm not a big fan of in a pale ale: somewhat soapy, with vague tropical fruit notes, sticky nectary sweetness, and generic floral character. Pale malts. Too sweet. Has an unbecoming booziness. This is a real mess. I hope the taste isn't the same.

An unappealing aroma of average strength. No yeast character is detectable.

T/Mf: Candi sweetness. Pale malts. Floral hop character. Some vague tropical fruitiness. Sticky and sappy. Some out-of-place caramel and toffee. Both the malt choices and the hop choices here are poor. It's just a mess. Lacks complexity, subtlety, intricacy, and nuance.

Shallow depth of flavour. Average intensity and duration of flavour.

Smooth, wet, unrefreshing. Too thick. Medium-bodied. Overcarbonated. A biteen oily. Way too boozy for a pale ale. Not soft or comforting. Poor presence on the palate.

Not astringent, harsh, or rough.

Dr: Downable but underwhelming. A disappointment from Central Waters. I wouldn't get it again. A very mediocre pale ale with no sense of balance. Not recommended. Central Waters has far stronger pales.

Low C

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Photo of jrallen34
2.85/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle drank from an Orval glass...A water clear pour of gold laced with copper. An equally watery white head rises and is gone right away...A gag me aroma that reminds me of budweiser with corn and grain and slightly less skunk than the King...The taste surprises as its not a watery skunk, its actually bursting with strong in your faces hops, the hops are strong and bitter but in a rote metallic way. Glad its not the aroma, but still doesn't make it very good... The beer is very light but with an abrasive feel to it.

This is nothing that I would drink again or recommend, a poor attempt of an apa.

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Photo of Jcarrane
2.86/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a burnt gold with a nice 1 finger head. For me that's about where the love affair stopped with this one. It's by no means terrible but just another average to slightly above average pale ale. Not much on the nose mild toasty malts. Lighter body for a pale ale in my opinion, yeasty,bread notes to start out, lead into a bitter hop finish. Not my cup tea but there are worse things to be drinkin out there

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Photo of zook74
2.94/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4


That about sums it up. This was my first beer from Central Waters and I'm not very impressed.

Not a horrible beer. Good color. Good head. Good aroma. That's about it, though.

The beer is very thin and not very flavorful. I gave it a good drinkability score simply because it's light enough that if, if you wanted to, you could burn through a sixer pretty quick.

Definitely not a beer I could recommend, but had enough going for it that I'd be willing to try other offerings from Central Waters...

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

3.5 A: Clear medium yellow color. Two fingers of frothy white head. Retention is about average andd a decent amount of lacing is left.

3.0 S: Grainy and lightly bready malts. Some toastiness and light neutral malt sweetness. Barely perceptible earthy hoppiness.

3.0 T: Tastes like the nose. Mainly grainy with some breadiness. Toasty with a moderate sweetness and light earthy hops.

3.0 M: Lighter medium body. Perhaps a touch too much carbonation. Neither very creamy nor crisp.

3.0 D: Not bad, but screams average throughout.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, nobody notched the date boxes.

rich orange/gold yet surprisingly still clear body. some big bubble clusters sit atop this peppy lad, but no carbonation rises from inside. lacing becomes wondrous as the glass empties, cascading sticky waterfalls adorn the glass. aroma is nutty.. almost so much to resemble freshly shelled peanuts. earthy with buttery bread notes. iffy aroma, nothing hoppy.. nothing big. something pineappley arises with warmth.

tastes fresh and feels undercarbonated. crisp blank hop sensation is akin to eating grass, thankfully less bitter. still a bit irked by the dirty mouth feeling this leaves me with. vacant and slightly offensive.

i probably will not revisit.

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Photo of muttyd
3.06/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale amber pour with a good quarter inch head. Aroma is very malt forward. I am getting pale, biscuity malts with almost no hops. Hops are hidden in the back with a slight citrusy presence. Flavor follows the nose; pale malts, brown bread, slight caramel and very faint citrus in the finish. Dry and bitter, very drinkable brew. Not a bad extra.

 345 characters

Photo of mtstatebeer
3.1/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Pours a completely clear golden color with a fair, frothy white head, good lacing. Aroma is pale and caramel malts, biscuit, apples, and a hint of citrus. Flavor is caramel malts and resinous hops. Mouthfeel is light and dry with fairly bitter. Nice beer, drinkable and inoffensive.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
3.11/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice thick head with good retention and a good lacing. The color is light gold without any cloudiness. Smell is hoppy with a caramal light-medium body. The taste is grassy hops on the tip of the tongue. Yeah, pretty grassy hops without a lot, if any, citrus characteristics to it. After a few sips you get used to the grassiness and it seems to mellow, but it's still very grassy in it's flavor. The mouthfeel is good, it's very smooth and because of the hard pour there wasn't a lot of carbonation bite (at least that's my theory). Overall it was nice to try. If the taps were nothing but BMC and this, I would try it again.

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Photo of argock
3.11/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date available. Received as a generous gift from siblings.

A: Pleasing honey-amber with 1-2 finger off-white head with good retention and a nice banner of lace encircling the top of the glass.

S: Aroma is buttery and toffee-like with a lot of caramel sweetness. The hops are floral and lemon-orange.

T: The caramel malty sweetness is too strong and omboned with the buttery end note turns this cloying by the tail end of the glass. The hop component is underwhelming with a light citrus character but not much counterpoint.

M: Medium body with even carbonation and a nice coating quality.

O: Not a bad brew but it doesn't really stand out in any way.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.13/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Parkbrau Pils glass on 7/31/12

Bottled on: Jun

Deep gold hue with a faded appearance. One finger head dissipates in short order. Retention is a combination of a soapy skim and bubbles. A good amount of drippy lace remains.

Happy Heron smells good - crisp, fresh grass with pepperings of orange peel, citrus zest and herbal hops. The malt offset isn't too much - cracker, grains and a dusting of baking flower. The hops become juicier as it warms.

Flavors of orange, grass and pine are all over the place, as is a bitterness that stands in stark contrast to the timid, toasty malts. Simple overall, it's well-constructed. I could go for a touch less bitterness, though.

The feel is my biggest gripe; the body is watery - beyond crisp, it's far too thin for the style. On top of that, the carbonation is too aggressive and distracting. The finish has a lingering pith and herbal bitterness before cleaning itself up.

This is a beer that lends itself to drinking far more than reviewing.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.13/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. Central Waters Pale Ale pours out a partially cloudy copper color topped with two inches of foam. Vaguely malty aroma: a little fruity, a little spicy. Not much hop aroma. The flavor is fruity with a fair amount of malt. Not much hop flavor, although the bitterness is there. A weird earthy tobacco flavor comes in at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full. There's a nice level of carbonation. A decent enough pale ale, other than the tobacco flavor.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.15/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Acquired from JeffKrenner courtesy of the Birthday Club 2, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy orange color with a thin white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is sweet with caramel, honey and a little citrus along with a bit of hops in the background.

T: The taste is starts out very sweet with strong flavors of honey & caramel. Then there is a mild hops bitterness that comes in to provide a little bit of balance. The malt character is hearty but on the light side. This one certainly tastes like more of an EPA than an APA. The after-taste is bitter.

M: Very crisp bit not very smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, dry finish.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, as stated previously, I think it is more a representation of the English Pale Ale style than the American style. I am not sure if I would want to drink too many of these and I might only select it if my choices were very limited.

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Photo of ferrari29
3.15/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer poured from bottle into a Nonic shaped pint glass

A - Beer pours with a thin white colored head; moderately carbonated; clear golden colored body; not much lacing; head doesn't hold for long

S - Beer has a floral nose; caramel; touch of pine; dry malted barley; sweet, almost cotton candy; dried hops

T - Light malt flavored taste; very bitter pine; white grapefruit citrus; sour and tart; very bitter hops

M - Thin body; watery texture; very bitter aftertaste; sour and tart feel on the tongue; not very carbonated

D - Pretty average APA, could certainly use a bit more body; not an easy drink for those unfamiliar with the traditional APA taste; would pass if offered another

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Photo of terrabyte
3.16/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, deep yellow/orange color with a medium head that doesn't last long.

The aroma is bready malts, some caramel, and low sweet fruits.

Taste is underwhelming compared to the aroma. It had a bready flavor to it, only slightly sweet. Ends with a very enjoyable, low key bitterness. The bitterness starts very strong but quickly disappates.

Mouthful seems thin, but well carbonated.

Quite drinkable, with its light sweetness and hops.

At first I was disappointed with the beer. The flavor seemed underwhelming, but as I drank more, the consistent hops and bitterness started to win me over. Not particularly my style, I'd rather be having Central Water's Mud Puppy.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into .3l tulip.

This pours light amber, clear but not thin. A full 1" head of what looks like whipped egg white. There is a nice sticky

Lot of earthy aroma, sweet fruit hops.

Taste up front is watery grapfruit. A bit of pear juice at the end.

Nice carbonation, it is light enough.

This is a a decent enough ale. I don't have a lot of familiarity with this brewery. This might have been exactly what they were going for and in keeping with regional flavor sensibilities. Not my cup of tea, not bad though.


 530 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Happy Heron Pale Ale

Pours a very light straw color. Aroma of light floral hops. In the taste, mild citrus hops, crystal or pale malt backing, and an even balance. Light bodied feel, crisp carbonation, and pretty easy to drink. Overall, this is a light pale and would pair well with a big sandwich.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.22/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a mug. Pours a clear dark orange with a thin off-white head on top. Retention was lacking. Left very little lace. Scents of earthy hops, light orange, and biscuits. Full crisp body. Flavor was a little harsh and overly spicy. Bitterness was lingering and charring. This wasn't the best representation of the style. It was decent, just not my thing.

 360 characters

Photo of botham
3.23/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

bottle poured into a pub glass. pours amber with one and a half fingers of eggshell colored head afer a hard pour. good retention and solid lacings.

aroma is of light hop notes and a touch of bready yeast. little else for the nose, with a faint touch of sweetness after a bit of warming.

taste is more of the same with a soft hop quality that fades into faint caramel malt notes in the background. not bad, but the profile ends up a bit bland in the end.

mouthfeel is medium bodied and soft on the palate with a finish of residual semi-dry hop notes and little else after the fact.

drinkability is decent. for an APA, this is a less than noteable example, but it gets the job done for what it is. a bit more character on the hop end would work wonders here, as well as give the brew a defining quality that it is now lacking.

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Happy Heron Pale Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
3.51 out of 5 based on 198 ratings.
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