News/Culture >> Browse Articles >> Reviews

News/Culture >> Browse Articles >> Wine & Drink


Review: Blue Heron Pale Ale

Review: Blue Heron Pale Ale

Mitch |

Having a beer, at the moment, thinking that it’s been a while since I last kept track of what I drank. Maybe I’ll start up again. Maybe here we go.

Blue Heron is from Mendocino, and really, what complicated, flowery California micro-brew hasn’t been for the last decade or two. The bottle says it was created in ‘85, and is full of hops. I agree with that, but there’s a structure to the hops, so they’re not brutal or gimmicky (like this sentence).

Actually I’m not sure I know what hops taste like. I spent a few years of my middle-twenties soaked in red wine, and I’ve got a strong grasp on the flavors and components of taste-making along the grape line. But weirdly, though I’ve been drinking it longer, I still can’t tell a hop from a malt. I’m going to work on that.

Anyway, this beer: it’s OK. Has that same flavorful muddiness that so many micros from around here have. Lots going on, crafted by artisans, nice long hang on the finish, etc. It’s like a Pollack painting, where all of the colors are valuable and overlapping and energetic, except if you don’t intentionally slow yourself down to think about it all, the delicacy is lost. This is not a comforting beer. It’s not chummy and easy like a domestic macro — happy to slide down your throat without making a big deal out of it. Blue Heron Pale asks you to pay attention, and sometimes you just don’t want to pay attention to a stupid beer because you’re busy doing some other crap!

I feel like at this point, if I’m going to keep writing these sorts of posts, I should have a metric that I use to tidily sum up this beer so you can sort of digest it and move on and have a reference point for later. I don’t want to use numbers or little graphics or anything sort of unintentionally dumb, though, so I’ll use something intentionally dumb.

Blue Heron Pale Ale is, In A Word: Splattery