The vibe is at Blue Heron Brewery, all summer long

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The outdoor patio may be the ideal spot to enjoy a pint of Blue Heron brew master Mike Piazza’s Hazy Wife, Hazy Life smooth opaque IPA, which features bright, citrusy notes and aroma. (Photography: Felicia Vargo)

By Ken McEntee

The days are growing longer, the air is getting warmer and the food and beer at Blue Heron Brewery are getting lighter and fresher for springtime, says Ben Erjavec, executive chef and co-owner of the popular brewpub.

“We’re featuring more fresh produce and springtime berries,” Ben says. “Our fresh spinach salad with seasonal berries and a blood orange vinaigrette dressing and our new tuna poke bowl with soba noodles are just two of our refreshing new menu items.”

Speaking of refreshing, you can enjoy your light meal with a home-brewed pint on Blue Heron’s expanded outdoor patio overlooking picturesque Austin Badger Park.

Fresh spinach salad with seasonal berries

“We have arguably 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.”

Musicians offering 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.

“We have a nice mix,” Ben explains. “We have some island music guys, we have some reggae and some classic rock, and it’s all pretty laid back.”

In fact, one of the regular acts, Laid Back and Lazy, is a two-man country guitar band that honed their trade on the streets of Nashville.

Seasonal flatbread

The outdoor patio may be the ideal spot to enjoy a pint of brew master Mike Piazza’s Hazy Wife, Hazy Life smooth opaque IPA, which features bright, citrusy notes and aroma.

“We’re working on a lighter summertime version of the Hazy IPA,” Mike announces. “It will have a soft melon flavor as a backbone, then we added three varieties of dry hops to give it a citrusy finish. It’s a real easy drinking, light and refreshing summer beer.”

Another new spring brew, which will be available in May, will be an American tart ale fermented with pineapple, orange and banana, and will be a part of a fundraiser for brain cancer research and awareness, Mike says. One dollar from every pint sold will be donated to StacheStrong, a non-profit organization that has raised almost $2 million and has funded 13 clinical trials and research grants.

“The fundraiser is part of a collaboration of breweries around the country to fight a disease that impacts far too many people,” Mike says.

Craft beer is available by the glass, taster flights, the can and the growler.

Fundraising, Mike adds, is a regular activity at Blue Heron.

“During the winter, we participated with other Medina breweries to raise money for United Way,” he says. “We did a honey brown ale and donated a dollar a pint during the fundraiser.”

For spring, Mike also will offer a traditional German spring lager called Maibock.

Tuna poke bowl with soba noodles

“It’s a centuries-old style of beer that we condition all winter long,” Mike says “It’s a little lighter in gravity compared to a typical Bock. It’s pale in color and is a perfect drink for springtime.”

It may also be a perfect drink to enjoy at Blue Heron’s upcoming Comedy Night in the Blue Heron ballroom on Thursday, May 12. You can get tickets and find more information about the improvisational comedy show at Blue Heron’s website.

Meanwhile, you may also want to get your reservations for Blue Heron’s annual Mother’s Day buffet.

You can make reservations and learn more at 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.