Here’s what’s on tap for the summer at Blue Heron Brewery

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Summer is in full swing at Blue Heron Brewery, with a satisfying selection of fresh brews to quench your thirst. (Photography: Felicia Vargo)

By Ken McEntee

Like a farmer planting spring seeds for an autumn harvest, brewing beer is a long process that begins months before the beverage is enjoyed and appreciated, explains Mike Piazza, brew master and co-owner of Blue Heron Brewery.

“Our process for pouring summer beers begins when we have snow on the ground,” Mike says. “It’s a journey. There’s a lot of planning and forecasting involved in crafting new brews and introducing new styles and brands.”

As you relax on Blue Heron’s spectacular outdoor patio enjoying a sunset while savoring the fruits of Mike’s summer harvest, you may detect interesting hints of citrus, banana or habanero flavors flowing across your palate.

As you relax on Blue Heron’s spectacular outdoor patio enjoying a sunset while savoring the fruits of brew master Mike Piazza’s summer harvest, you may detect interesting hints of citrus, banana or habanero flavors flowing across your palate.

“One of last year’s favorites that is back this summer is our Crisp Lemony Zip—also known as CLZ—which is a pale Mexican lager with a hint of lemon,” Mike invites. “CLZ is targeted toward the time when you’re finished mowing the lawn, coming off the pontoon or just sitting by a fire. It’s your go-to for just relaxing and refreshing yourself all summer long.”

Another summertime go-to is Mike’s popular Hazy Wife, Hazy Life IPA.

“Hazy is a year-round offering, but in the summertime it’s just a monster for us,” Mike reveals. “It’s a light, easy drinking hazy IPA with a citrusy aroma and flavor. We also experimented with doing a lower gravity hazy this year and that one is called Personal Day. Hazy Wife is about 6% ABV (alcohol by volume), but Personal Day sits at about 4 ½%. It’s what is called a session beer, which means that in a session when you consume a few beers, you’re able to function normally because of the relatively low alcohol content. When you first taste it, it has a soft ripe melon character to it—almost like a super-ripe cantaloupe or honeydew. Then it graduates into a green grape—almost a white wine flavor—then finishes with a real citrusy traditional hazy IPA sensation. It has a big charge of flavor for just a little tiny beer and it’s a nice option for people who enjoy beer but don’t want to lose their stable sense of mind.”

A light summer offering is Yes, Hefe—a traditional German Hefeweizen.

Ben Erjavec, executive chef and co-owner has created a wonderful selection of menu items. The presentation is impressive, as are the portions.

“Hefeweizen has been a cool quencher for five centuries,” Mike emphasizes. “It’s a cloudy German wheat ale with a real soft body to it with hints of banana and clove. It’s geared toward people who lean toward Blue Moon, Weihenstephaner and the classic German Hefeweizen beers.”

Fruit and Fire—Blue Heron’s house cream ale—offers a subtle burst of heat to top off a fruity experience, Mike says.

“We began experimenting with our cream ale two summers ago and came up with this. It’s become a huge favorite,” he says. “We brewed cream ale with peach, mango and apricot, then we threw fresh habanero chilies at it. When you taste this beer you get the sweetness, aroma and flavor of the fruit right up front, which dissipates into the body of the beer. Then, as you’re enjoying that, there’s a subtle late heat from the habanero that just kind of wipes your palate clean and gets you ready for the next sip.”

Mike notes that a pair of springtime additions are carrying over for summertime pleasure.

“We introduced a maibock—a traditional German lager that’s kind of the melting point between big, heavy beers of the winter and the lighter summer offerings—and we’ve also added an amber colored IPA with some rye added in,” Mike says. “It’s a little more full-bodied with a little bit of spice to ease you into the pale beers.”

Blue Heron’s menu boasts a selection of adventurous dishes, sandwiches, burgers and salads that capture the flavors of the season.

This summer’s experimentation also includes new sized take-home cans. Many a happy Blue Heron patron has left the pub with a four-pack of pint-sized cans in tow. Now, Mike announces, four beers are available in 12-ounce six-packs.

But before toting them home, you may want to enjoy some time on the expanded patio that overlooks picturesque Austin Badger Park, suggests Ben Erjavec, executive chef and co-owner.

“We have one of the best patios around with our views and having the sunset right there every night,” Ben says. “The patio has become so popular that we’ve had to add more tables. We’ve also added live music on Sundays.”

Blue Heron has one of the most picturesque patios around with a breathtaking sunset view.

Musicians who offer an eclectic variety of mellow—not overpowering—genres provide the audio ambiance to the Blue Heron experience on Friday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.; and Sundays from 3 to 6 p.m.

You can learn more about Blue Heron by visiting or by calling 330-870-BLUE (2583). Blue Heron is located at 3227 Blue Heron Trace, in Medina. You can get the latest updates on parties and entertainment at Facebook: @blueheronmedina.