Blue Heron Pale Ale, aptly named for the many beautiful Great Blue Herons which nest along the Russian River, was first brewed in 1985 as one of Mendocino Brewing Company's spring seasonal ales. Its immediate and overwhelming popularity led to the decision to brew it all year round. Blue Heron Pale Ale is a delightful medium bodied golden ale brewed using premium two-row Pale malted barley, generous amounts of both Cluster bittering hops and Cascade finishing hops as well as our special, proprietary yeast strain. Historically, Blue Heron Pale Ale follows the India Pale Ale, or IPA tradition in British brewing. An IPA was a pale ale, characterized by a high alcohol content and a very high hop flavor. Both alcohol and hops were used as preservatives in the days prior to refrigeration when the beer had to make its way to the British Raj in India. Blue Heron Pale Ale is an ale with a distinctive clean mouth-feel and a fresh hoppy finish. The emphasis is not on extremes, as was with the early IPA'S, but rather on balance. We want you to be able to taste not just the hops, but also the malt.