Happy Heron Pale Ale | Central Waters Brewing Co.

198 Ratings
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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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 198 |  Reviews: 95
Photo of gatornation
4.3/5  rDev +22.5%
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 mjryan
4.47/5  rDev +27.4%
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 Bighuge
4.48/5  rDev +27.6%
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 Ek0nomik
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured In: Pint Glass
Purchased At: Just Local Food (Eau Claire, WI)

Appearance: Golden.

Smell: Grainy and malty.

Taste: An interesting taste after drinking nothing but IPA's for quite awhile. You can definitely taste the malts in this. A little spicy, and a little buttery which seems odd.

Mouthfeel: Nicely carbonated, goes down easy.

Drinkability: This is the first Central Waters that I have had. I am more of an IPA drinker, but for an APA I think it's alright. I don't foresee myself picking this up again though.

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Photo of storksonm
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint Glass

A: nice golden color and has a nice head to it with lacey traces to follow.

S: Smells pretty nice, pretty mild, doesn't attack offend the nose.

T: citrusy, toffee taste to it, little bitter after taste but not too much bitter. Flowery hints and vanilla.

M: Light on the carb but smooth and as I said pretty mild.

D: This beer is pretty good I like all of Central waters beers that I have had so far. I think the pale ale is nice its more of an average microbrew pale ale but the subtle notes of flavors just jump out with every sip its very nice and I could easily see myself grabing this one up again.

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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 hopdog
3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle acquired in trade with The_Enemy (thanks!).

Poured a medium amber with a smaller sized white head. Aromas of toffee, citrus, flowers and a little fruity. Tastes of caramel, citrus, toasted malts, and some fruits. Some lacing left on the glass.

Notes from: 3/21/06

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Photo of Wisconsin
3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a two finger head along with a golden brown amber color. The head comes to a nice lace minutes after being poured.

S - The smell is very grainy and some slight hopiness. There is some faint fruit smell but it is hardly noticeable.

T - The beer seems somewhat bitter and hoppy to be a pale ale. There is a faint sweetness that comes through towards the end of this beer.

M - The beer is bitter toward the beginning but fades into a sweetness at the end.

D - The beer is too hoppy for my liking so I couldn't have more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of Soneast
3.52/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice gold color, with 2 fingers of off white head. Diminishes to a white bubbly layer which has a pretty watery lace effect.

Has a nice spicy floral scent. Pick up a hint of malt, and a bit of pineyness from the hops.

Taste is pretty decent. A nice sweet front, some citrus flavors in there and a delicious bitter end. I do detect a hint of metallic aftertaste unfortunately.

Feels like a APA should, pretty mild with fair carbonation. Not a bad beer overall, if it didn't have that aftertaste it would rate a little higher in my book. I may have just picked up a bad bottle, as this was part of a mix-n-match six pack I purchased. I will definitely try this beer again.

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Photo of dbtoe
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Look golden amber with a 2 finger white head that slowly reduced down to a good cap.

Smell mild, with citrus and sweet malt

Taste slightly sweet malt bitter hops. A fresh finish. Great balanced flavors that blend together well.

Feel crisp mild body with good carbonation, lively.

Drink Very drinkable all flavors combine together well. I always want one more when drinking these.

Comment I really like this beer a lot. It is hard for me to pass this up when buying beer. A standard beer of mine.

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Photo of Rennpferd
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured a nice deep golden yellow, clear and active. It had a nice two finger white head that clung to the side of the glass as it retreated.

A nice rich malty smell with buttery tones. A hint of spice.

Well balanced slightly roasted malt and bitter hops. It is smooth and light bodied. A slightly dry finish.

Nice and drinkable. I could have two or three in a sitting.

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Photo of mynie
4.27/5  rDev +21.7%
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 maximum12
3.32/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to my buddy John, whose tasting I couldn't go to but mixed me up a six-pack "taster" afterwards, including this, my first venture into Central Waters beers.

Pours a light yellow, but murky. Smells surprisingly sweet & flowery, almost sugary sweet.

Wowwweeee. Tastes nothing like it smells. Dominated by a malty burst with the sweetness pushed way into the background. After the intial freak-out, this isn't bad.

Drinkability suffers a little from the weird funk, but I won't have trouble finishing this one. Pretty good beer.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden amber, somewhat cloudy with a creamy white head that has great retention. Smell is fairly light but nice. Light citrus hops, caramel, doughy bread. Taste is quite nice. More malty and I'm liking it. Doughy, toasted, lightly buttered bread with some caramel. It's quite nice. Good hop profile again citrusy in flavor. Good bitterness and mouthfeel with a crispness that is very wonderful. I think this is quite a drinkable brew and one that I hope to return to in the future.

Thanks to sholland119 for giving me the chance to try this brew.

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Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev +14%
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 wheatyweiss
3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint.

Pours a medium straw with cloud. Impressive rocky head that recedes to a cap leaving sticky kegs all around.

Aroma is floral hops with a malt backbone.

Flavor is of oats and barley grains with a solid hop floral note. the oat flavor lends an earthiness to this beer that actually overpowers the hops. The hops are there, don't get me wrong and they are strong enough, but the mealy oat flavor subdues the hop bite quite a bit. Metallic twang on the tongue. The oat bran flavor is very interesting, it's almost a different take on fruity yeast flavors typical of a weizen.

Mouthfeel is quite dry and refreshing. Carbonation is not to sharp and very pleasing.

Good ale, I like the alternate take on the flavors.

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Photo of WJVII
3.67/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured into a pint glass has a light amber color, mostly transparent with a decent 3/4 white head leaving a great amout of lacing. The smell is extremely full of hops and a little honey in the background. The taste is very sharp with a great hop bite in the finish of this brew. It is a good example of the style, strong hop presence with a big bite!

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Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Wasatch for including this in a trade.

Pours slightly hazed (murky?) orange amber with a thin off-white head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of caramel, dough and slight citrus.

The taste is of caramel, doughy yeast and a tangy citric zest. A bit of tea-leaf (tannic-like) dryness in the sharp finish.

It is almost medium-bodied with a touch of creaminess to the body.

Hops add bitterness, though not much to the overall flavor, and a bit too caramelish for my taste (personal preference, I suppose) but sharp. All-in-all though it's a decent pale ale.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to brdc for this one.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy off-white head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is slightly malty, hoppy, buttery, slight spice/citrus, and some caramel. The taste is malty/hoppy, nice touch of butteryness, slight spice/citrus, with some tones of caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, I've enjoyed everything so far from CW, nice brewery.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this bottle in a trade with Grizzly Adams. Thanks Cole!

This one pours a hazy orange-gold with a 1 finger head of foam that doesn't recede much at all and there's some good lacing.

The smell has notes of grapefruit and caramel malt with the hops *just* having the edge.

The taste kind of surprised me. Biscuit and caramel is what I noticed first and then some grapefruit in the background that adds enough bitterness to balance the malt. Nice.

It has a medium mouthfeel and it finishes with a slight grassy bitterness. Quite a nice APA with more than ample portions of malt and I like where this one went. I'd definitely drink this again as it is a good beer all around.

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Photo of brdc
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small capped bottle poured into a pint.

It is bright orange, but clear, with a nice white head that shows average retention and good lacing.
The aroma betrays the upcoming taste; although there is some piney and grapefruity hoppiness, there is also some cookie and caramel maltiness.
Light to medium bodied but smooth, well carbonated, the taste is a very well balanced mix of cookie maltiness, some caramel, and a nice hoppy bite, mostly grapefruits.
Better balanced than the average, this one is also closer to English style. It is better balanced than the average, quite easy to drink. Do not expect a hop bomb.

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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 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 BeerBelcher
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I found this APA to be a bit thin in mouthfeel for my tastes, but it had a rather pleasant floral quality that I enjoyed and found to be somewhat unique among APAs.

The appearance of this beer was ugly. Head was nice, white, fluffy, and plentiful. However, the body of this beer was an inconsistent color from top to bottom (sort of gold on bottom, sort of rust on top). Aroma was hoppy, but rather rosey floral more than it was piney, citrus, or grassy. Flavor was pretty decent...a perfume-y floral taste with a mild amount of bitterness. Mouthfeel was a bit thin I thought.

It seems like everyone in the world makes an IPA/APA/DIPA, and as a result, there are many bad ones. This beer is not one of those, and offers a somewhat unique floral character that makes it worth recommending.

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