Blue Heron Pale Ale (Mendacino Brewing Co.)

First off, I have not had the greatest of luck with the make my own six pack from an local liquor store (this is called foreshadowing for the review; hint, it’s not good).  Two of the beers that I have had from that six pack have been either close to the end of their lifespan or just bad to begin with.  I’m not sure if it’s the beer to begin with or the fact the liquor store doesn’t rotate the make your own section very often. Or they put beer there after it experiences temperature fluctuations? Hmm? Hmm?  I’m just saying.  They’ve been pretty high on the lack-luster scale. Ok enough of the rant on the liquor store. Which shall remain nameless.  Unless, this really is a pattern of poorly handled beer.  In which case, it’s on.

According to the Mendacino Brewing Company webpage they have been around since 1983 and were California’s first brewpub since Prohibition.  I’ll admit though, the only beer by them I knew of was Red Tail Ale (interestingly enough, you can get it at the Old Chicago in Manhattan).  I don’t think I’ve had Red Tail Ale but since I was in a pale ale kind of mood I decided to forego the bottle of Red Tail for a bottle of Blue Heron Pale Ale.   The beer has been sitting in the fridge for a couple of weeks as I got it to be part of an experiment by Amber (see future post about Shandies and Radlers).   We decided this would be the week to work on those posts as the summer is fading away and Shandies and Radlers are (in my opinion) a summer drink. Agreed.  Lemonade-beer mixed drinks just don’t say cold weather. So I decided to crack this one out and give it a try.

The body color is a golden amberish hue and the head white. The aroma was citrusy and malty.  The taste was slightly sweet with a hint of citrus.  It had a slightly bitter, but dry finish.  The mouthfeel was not as smooth as I might have expected from a bottle conditioned ale as there was lots of carbination.   I thought the pale ale was ok but the jury is still out on the freshness of the beer.  It didn’t taste like there was anything off about the beer but since it was the first time I have had it I had nothing to compare it to.  The beer being dry was something that I didn’t like.  I’ve not had a pale ale that left me so cotton-mouthed.  I suppose it would be a good beer for those that like dry wines.  It’s not overly hopped but semi-sweet and dry (sounds like a white wine to me).

Here’s some other pale ales to try:

Pale Ale – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Liberty Ale – Anchor Brewing Co.

Dale’s Pale Ale (IN CANS!) – Oskar Blues Grill & Brewery

Schlafly Dry Hopped American Pale Ale – St. Louis Brewery

Singletrack Copper Ale – Boulder Beer

Rough Rider Pale Ale – High Noon Saloon and Brewery

These are just a few as we have about 6 more pale ales lined up to do reviews.



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