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.

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Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 198
Photo of BARFLYB
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass, the bottled on date is stamped in october, I bought this in april, CW has not been Distributing here since October, Im confrused!!

The pour is a sunset yellow with some bronze/blond highlights at various spots. A nice pinch of white foam up above leaving minor stick. The smell is bordering on mostly pale malt with a hint of earthy grass. Some light citrus hops are dwindling. Taste is not like I thought with the bottle on date, perhaps they were old labels that CW should stop using, it probably hurts sales, especially here in Philly. Taste is a mix of everything I said above in the smell category. Feel is light medium with crispy carb. The drinkability is fine, this is a one sided beer and it does it's job. Glad I only spent 2 beans on it.

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Photo of zeff80
3.57/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden-yellow color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of citrus and pine.

T - It had a toasty flavor with some citrusy bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied beer.

O - This is an okay pale ale.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up on a recent visit to Madison at Riley's. The fun happy cartoon heron on the label of this 12oz longneck cracks me up. Pours into my glass a vibrant amber orange with great clarity. Half inch of light bubbly white head greets me. Aromas of caramel drizzled bread alongside a nice mix of fruity scents. Citrusy, herbal hops sit in the background. An interesting aroma for a pale ale here.

First sip brings a caramel dipped toasted bread maltiness, slightly doughy with light fruity aspects as well. Herbal, slightly citric hops fall in with a mellow added bitterness on the way down. Finishes with a lingering toasty flavor. An alright APA, but I could use a bit more hoppiness as it just failed to grab me.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with tight bubbled carbonation. Goes down smooth and refreshing, but a bit too arid. Overall, a drinkable APA, but not one I would actively seek out.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy golden body, topped by three fingers of snow white foam.

Low key but fresh fruity aroma.

A good bit of sweetness smacks the tongue at the start, then quickly balanced by a mix of fruity hops with hints of earthiness. Very well balanced.

Good light mouthfeel keeps the beer bouncing across the tongue. Easy drinkability should appeal to a vast audience.

A solid pale ale with good crossover appeal. Worthy of a sample.

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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 DrDemento456
3.71/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Greeted with a 1/2 inch of fluffy white foam and little sediment guess this held up well since the bottle is at least 4 months old. Beer is a bright orange yellow with a mild haze.

S +T - Seems pretty mild in the smell department. Pale malts and mild pine or citrus. Taste is also not very exciting just a regular pale ale with a touch more piney hops. Drinks pretty good though.

M - Light to medium, kind of skunky but easy to drink.

Overall a step down from the craze of dry hopped pale ales but this one holds it own by being very on par with the style. Tasty.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.71/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heavily smeared medium hay/goldenrod color with a nice medium capping of white slick and thick foam. Keeps a pastey white skim and laces the glass with tons of broken sheeting.

Aroma is a muted marshmellowy lemon candy, slendering banana and apricot with a nudge of dry leafy/floral hops and a soaking of caramel undernearth.

Subtle taster, but a bit muddy with a good portion of soft gooey caramel sliding around the palate with ease as bits of dry leafy bits and dulled lemon spritz squirt about within a sharper enhanced carbonation in the front mid range. Woodyness, floral earthyness, and cardboard ensue as it grows into the finish with just a few burps of the lemony hints.

Has a quick, semi gritty tone and carbonation of woody hops while caramel malts keep it slightly creamy and bold underneath with some balance. Uniquely finished with a fairly complexing hopitude of earthy stuff.

Not a bad APA at all. Perhaps a little muddeled and not as clean, crisp, and citrusy hoppy as I usually like, i.e. Alpha King. Totally could be the Glacial Trail IPA's little brother beer.

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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 vette2006c5r
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Happy Heron pours a clear straw yellow color, with a nice with standing head. There is a slight hoppy aroma, but its more floral and sweet then dry. There is a strong bitter taste, but its doesn't have that typical floral hoppy flavor; it finishes almost sweet. Has a unique flavor, not watery but lacking. Overall its a nice beer, has a strong bitterness, but not that floral taste with other pale ales.

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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 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 evanackerman
3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours a clear orange with a nice size head.

aroma is citrus and hops.

taste is bready malt and bitter hops, nice bitterness here, not as fruity as many APAs.

mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, but not bad.

drinkability is high, definitely sessionable.

overall, a solid but not outstanding APA, i would drink this again but would not go out of my way to find it.

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Photo of daledeee
3.79/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass. Got a golden clear body with a nice white head and some

Nose is typical for a pale ale. Grass and fruit?

Taste is rather malty and some hops thrown in. I don't drink that many pale ales but I would say this one is typical to the style.

Mouth feel is slightly dry. Overall this is not bad but not great.

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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 pmcadamis
3.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Marigold-copper colored brew with a small off-white head (with a slightly yellow tint) and lots of really finely-bubbled lace.

S - Pineapple, mango, and grapefruit over a biscuity base note. Caramel and honey.

T - Sweet and bready at first, moving towards grapefruity dryness at the finish.

M - Light-medium in body with a lingering dry and tangy finish that I really like.

A very sessionable and summery pale ale. Fruity and somewhat light for the style. Tasty stuff.

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Photo of abents
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Appears a golden red with a small white head and slight lacing.

Smell: Aromas of citrusy hops and slight malt notes are apparent.

Taste: Starts with loads of bitting hops, hint of citrus and the malt becomes apparent slightly sweet. Ends with a drying hoppy finish that sits well in the mouth for a long time after.

Mouthfeel: Feels lighter in the mouth with a small ammount of carbonation.

Drinkability: This beer goes down well but I don't know if I can handle this on a regular basis.
This is a good pale ale if you love hops. Great job in making a great beer.

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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 ppoitras
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained via trade with Skidz. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 3/4" of lightly off-white head over the slightly cloudy amber brew. Laces amazingly well. Aroma is kind of a fruity/spicy/hoppy deal, with all given equal time. Taste is reasonably well-balanced, except that the malt hits first, and then the hops move in and set up shop. Mouthfeel and drinkability are good, and this brew is a representative pale ale.

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Photo of ZAP
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this pale ale...the label calls it zesty with sharp bitterness....I don't taste it that way...maybe bitter compared to "Bud" but compared to some pale ales this is not overly bitter or zesty..it is very tasty and thirst quenching...citrus hop flavor evident...not much smell except some strained grain on the aroma..bubbly creamy head...some yeast sediment on the final pour of this 22 ounces...Very smooth...nice soft maltiness evident without being too obtrusive..the citrusy hop bounce balances this easy drinking pale ale nicely..one of the better pale ales I've tried...in my top 5-10 easy for pale ales..

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystalline tangerine with very few bubbles speeding up to the lightly toasted ivory cap. The foam is firm, finely pitting and is in no hurry to depart. Fine, spackle-like lace is beginning to be laid down and looks as if it'll cover at least half the glass in the end. A simple, clean APA look and a good one.

Given the hop bill, the aroma isn't quite what I expected. Hops in use include primarily Centennial and Cascade with a little Northern Brewer thrown in for good measure. So why isn't the nose more brightly grapefruit citric? It's a bit low on power and has more caramel than I like to see in this style. A little less Northern Brewer would have suited me just fine.

Wow, this is one of the most caramel-soaked APAs that I've ever had. The malt structure isn't huge, but the flavor profile is wall to wall caramel-toffee. I happen to like that flavor so my disappointment is tempered somewhat. However, I sure could have used the Centennial and Cascade hopfest that I promised my buds.

Happy Heron is 'A Tale of Two Ales'. The first portion of each mouthful is stickysweet and buttery golden caramel-like. Once that flavor fades near the midway point, the citric hops come in to mop up and actually provide a surprising amount of grapefruit zesty bitterness on the lingering finish. 'It was the best of times, it was the best of times...'

Quality mouthfeel, as with almost all Center Waters offerings. The body is firmly medium and the beer has a bit of silkiness about it as well. One of the smoothest, most pleasing APA mouthfeels in recent memory.

Despite the fact that it wasn't quite what I expected, Happy Heron Pale Ale is yet another good beer from this fine Wisconsin craft brewery. It won me over in the end and makes me wish that I had picked up more than just this single.

[I spoke to the head brewer today to ask about the hop bill and he informed me that the brewery is expanding four-fold in the near future because they can't keep up with demand. I begged for distribution to Iowa of course].

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Photo of pat61
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From taste notes. Appearance: Pours gold with a slight chill haze that becomes brilliant as the beer warms. Has a very finely bubbled 1” white foam cap. Smell: faint malt and hops, traces of fruit. Taste: Light fruit – plum or peach – light malt, the major impression is the light fruit that carries throughout and then there is a mild, lingering hop in the finish. Mouthfeel: Medium to medium light body, medium carbonation, very creamy Overall: a very pleasant and drinkable beer but could use some more hop to balance.

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Photo of lester619
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Central Waters is a very nice brewery. I doubt if they distrubute much outside Wisconsin, but it's worth checking out if you come across it. This pale ale pours a sligtly hazy bubbly amber with a medim head. Smell is hoppy and fruity. Nice drinking APA. Very clean and crisp, hoppy, but not burning hoppy. Good sharp clean bite you look for in a good pale ale. My glass was filled up at least three times and I had plenty of room for more. This is their flagship beer, and a very quality APA.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

April is the brew month.

A - Nice bright light honey/coppyer, lots of fluffy near white head. Reduces slowly to ring, but lots of lace.

S - Biscuit, malty, some fruitiness and hops.

T - Nice deep malt action, along with some juicy fruit.

M - Medium body, nice coating, good carb. Pretty easy beer, so balance is right there too.

D - A perfect summer beer.

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

very hazy golden amber with about two inches of white head on top. A nice slow fade gave way to copious side glass lace and a nice film across the top. You could tell it was nice due to ample carbonation consistently replenishing it. Great fresh aroma, with lots of floral hops and a good bit of grain in the back. The taste followed through pretty much the same. Great floral hop flavor hit you right away, but it was very light and refreshing, nothing overbearing about it at all. Nice underlying grain base had a touch of sweetness to it which gave it some good depth. Smooth, crisp finish with a nice lingering bitterness. Great light bodied feel and amble carbonation made it very light and refreshing and kept you wanting to come back for more. This was easily a session ale with no issues. Overall I was very impressed here. This was an awesome pale that was more the adequately hopped and really had a great profile.

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