Here’s what Blue Heron Brewery is packing its wildly popular feast in a glass with this summer

Bh Hail Mary 2024 Copy
Blue Heron Brewery is bringing back its wildly popular Bloody Mary, and you won’t believe what the glass is being packed with this summer.

By Ken McEntee

Thomas Haynes Bayly observed in his 1844 poem, Isle of Beauty, that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Many patrons of Medina’s Blue Heron Brewery have discovered, 180 years later, that absence also can make the appetite grow fonder—in this case a hunger and thirst—for the brewpub’s spectacular Hail Mary Bloody Mary.

“It’s back and bigger and better than ever,” reveals Ben Erjavec, Executive Chef and Co-owner of Blue Heron, of the new and improved “feast in a glass” that has returned to the menu after a winter break.

Executive chef and co-owner Ben Erjavec has helped develop a summer menu offering fresh, light fare and lots of bright colors.

This season’s version of the loaded cocktail includes:

• A jalapeno-cheddar stuffed pretzel
• Assorted charcuterie skewer
• A breakfast skewer with chicken and waffles
• Chocolate chip pancakes
• English muffin breakfast sandwich with sausage
• Fresh fruit
• Assorted pickled peppers, celery and olives
• A skewer of Brew Master and Co-owner Mike Piazza’s Velvet Hands tart ale-poached shrimp cocktail.

“It’s like having a full meal,” Ben says.

Mike Piazza, brew master and co-owner, is spearheading Blue Heron’s summer beers.

And now, the drink is powered by Medina’s own Voudoux Vodka, created by a local distillery that made it their mission to create a smooth vodka, filtered to perfection and designed to rival the big brands’ spirits.

“While the Hail Mary was off the menu for a short while, people were increasingly asking about it,” Ben reveals.

The reintroduction of the Hail Mary comes just in time for Blue Heron’s new Saturday brunch.

“Our Sunday brunch was so popular that we’ve added another day,” Ben explains. “It’s hard to imagine a better way to start a weekend day than enjoying brunch and beverages in the gentle summer breezes of our gorgeous outdoor patio overlooking picturesque Austin Badger Park. We have one of the best patios around.”

The re-introduction of the Hail Mary comes just in time for the new Saturday brunch. Now you can spend an entire weekend feeling Blue.

Brunch—which is now available Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in addition to the regular full menu—offers such selections as:

• The ultimate breakfast burger, for $14.50
• Homemade sausage gravy and biscuits, for $12.50
• Breakfast eggrolls, for $12.50
• Sugar pearl waffle plate, for $12.50
• Traditional breakfast plate—scrambled eggs, sausage links, thick cut bacon and home-fried potatoes, for $12.00
• Crispy fried chicken and waffles, for $14.00
• Imported braided brioche French toast, for $13.50
• Short rib brunch burrito, for $13.00
• Three fluffy pancakes served with your choice of bacon or sausage patty, maple syrup and whipped cream, for $12.00

“Most of our breakfast items are served with our crunchy fried potatoes,” Ben emphasizes.

Live music is offered at Blue Heron, on Saturdays, 12-4 p.m., and 5-9 p.m., and Sundays, from 3-6 p.m.

Whether you dine inside or out, Ben suggests sticking around to spend the afternoon relaxing to live music on the patio.

“Our mellow live music is different every week, with genres from island vibes to classic rock to one-man acoustic acts,” Ben says. “The entertainment starts on Friday nights, to kick-off the weekend, from 5-9 p.m.”

Two sets of live music are offered on Saturdays—from noon to 4 p.m., then from 5-9 p.m.—and resumes on Sundays from 3-6 p.m.

“The sights are as compelling as the sounds on the patio,” Ben insists. “The wildlife and the colors of the park are sensational. Many people walk their dogs through the park, then bring them to the patio for a pint and a nice lunch.”

Or dinner.

Blue Heron recently fortified its position among Ohio’s best breweries, earning six awards—including Best of Show—in the annual Ohio Craft Brewers Cup competition.

“Our summer menu will offer fresh, light fare and lots of bright colors,” Ben says. “After a gray winter people like to see the flowers blooming and the trees and grass turning green. They’ll see a lot of reds and yellows on their plates. Our fresh grilled watermelon and mango salad over arugula, topped with honey lime vinaigrette, is an example.”

Ben says Blue Heron cuisine always goes down well with one of the house brews created by Mike.

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

Testing creative new recipes and applying quality controls are among the key ingredients of Blue Heron’s successful brewing, he explains.

Blue Heron Brewery and Event Center

“Every time we release a new beer or finish a new batch, we do a sensory analysis of it, which is something I learned as a certified beer judge,” Mike says. “That ensures we’re hitting the parameters we’re looking for—and even if we do, we’re looking for ways to make it even better.”

Mike’s Crisp Lemony Zip—a pale Mexican lager with a hint of lemon—is always a summertime favorite, and the popular Hazy Wife, Hazy Life IPA is another seasonal go-to.

Blue Heron recently fortified its position among Ohio’s best breweries, earning six awards—including Best of Show—in the annual Ohio Craft Brewers Cup competition.

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 on Facebook @BlueHeronMedina.