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Fireman's #4 - Real Ale Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fireman's #4Fireman's #4

Educational use only; do not reuse.

177 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 177
Hads: 743
Avg: 3.43
pDev: 32.07%
Wants: 16
Gots: 190 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 02-23-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (46) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 177 | Hads: 743
Photo of beergoot
2.89/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Soft yellow colored body; lively carbonation with a foamy white head. Biscuit and cracker grain aroma; fresh cut grass; bare hint of citrus. Dull, almost wheat-like flavor; bitter with a metallic edge. Weak, watery, and flat mouthfeel; dry finish.

A bitter and twisted blonde ale, to be sure. Metallic and nearly astringent in character, it leaves one grasping for some redeeming taste qualities. Real Ale brews some respectable, tasty brews, but this blonde ale sample just can't live up to its look and aroma potential. The flavor borders on tasting like wet cardboard and makes me think I'm indulging in a weird-ass macro adjunct lager. Perhaps it was this bottle. I'd give it another shot on down the road, but it wouldn't be my first drink choice from this brewery.

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Photo of bwood06
3.94/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap into a margarita glass

A - Yes, I said it, a margarita glass. This was on tap at a taco joint on the west side of the University of Texas at Austin campus, hence the margarita glass. This beer features a thin white foamy head that quickly dissipates. Moderate carbonation. Beer itself is golden and clear. 4/5

S - Malt forward character with herbal hops. Lightly toasted white bread is the main note that I am getting. Very clean smelling. Really no other aromas come to mind here. 3.75/5

T - The taste follows the nose dead on and is very simple. However there is a slight tanginess (which lingers) and yeastiness to the beer that is a bit unexpected which lends a nice twist to the flavor profile. 4/5

M - Very light but also slightly creamy from the lack of a high carbonation content. Carbonation comes off as more of a tickle than a burn. Slight drying astringency on the back end. 4/5

O - Interesting blonde offering that is simple but unexpected at the same time. Right as you think you've got the beer figured out this tanginess creeps in out of nowhere and surprises you. Good session beer. 4/5

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Photo of Kevin_Langford
3.66/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this beer every once in a while for the past few years. I've liked it more every time I've had it. I think they did a great job on appearance (color) and taste. I love that it's local (Hill Country area where I grew up) and is available in and around the Austin area. Great job Real Ale!

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Photo of ritwingr
3.03/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not much to it. Pours a pretty golden ale color with a fairly dense head and above average carbonation. Slightest of citrus notes...maybe. Probably a good session ale on a hot day. Not my favorite style....but it's fine for what it is.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

BB Aug 27 2015 at 39 degrees into snifter
Aroma – grainy
Head small (<1 cm, aggressive pour), white, frothy, quickly diminishing to irregular one to three mm ring and no layer
Lacing poor – few small irregular islands of tiny bubbles
Body light yellow, hazy
Flavor starts slightly malty, clean meld into clean, crisp, slightly bitter; no distinct hop flavor, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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Photo of AgentMunky
3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a glass. Best before 28 October 2015.
Clear copper, with light head and good effervescence.
Neutral verging on grainy-sweet. Hint of zest.
This is the sort of beer I see going over well with everyone and impressing no one. It's ever-so-lightly bitter/hoppy, grainy/sweet, citrus/sour. But mostly, it's crispish, watery, and vaguely malted/alcoholic. I realize this isn't the most flattering description, but it's actually pretty enjoyable. Just in an average way. Would drink again.

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Photo of BigBry
3.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft, local offering while in Dallas.
Pours a pale, yellow color with a thin white head, minimal retention or lace.
The aroma has some light grain and grassiness, and a bit of yeast.
Taste is mild grain flavors, clean and crisp, with just a touch of hop flavors coming through.
Light body, goes down smooth, nice on a hot patio; as a light blonde ale should be.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.26/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a chalice. Purs a clear straw yellow color with a half finger of foam that fades nearly instantly. Aroma has a vegetal / corn note to it.

First sip is fairly dry, with a very faint malt sweetness. Really not too much flavor, but has a mild bitter finish.

This beer is fairly inoffensive and nondescript. No off-flavors, but nothing really of note to report on flavor wise. I appreciate the bitterness on the finish, but that is not enough to have me wanting more. Would be a good beer to help convert the BMC crowd to craft beer.

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Photo of OKbrew89
3.36/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Transparent golden color with an alright head that leaves a small ring of lacing. Smell of sweet grain with some citrus. Taste is bready with some citrus and subtle hops on end. No alcohol taste or bitter aftertaste. Medium-light body with good carbonation. Refreshing without being watery or too light. Best drank cold though since some bitterness comes through at room temp.
It's a good but not extraordinary blonde. Easy to drink and have a few.

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Photo of ranger7
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

L: Hazy gold. Good lacing. Nice head of white.
S: Sweet orange.
T: Some orange. Light.
F: Medium. Nice.
O: Pretty good. Nothing special, but it gets the job done. Good with pizza. Not heavy, which is nice.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.01/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an almost clear, opaque deep straw, producing barely a finger of frothy, white, shortlived head that leaves only a thin wash & collar ring of lace. Aroma is weak & thin: light cracker malt with notes of grass, apples & maybe a little yeast. Taste is more substantial: sourdough bready, grain & biscuit malt, apple sauce & lemon & grass hints in a dry finish that yields a pale malt, hop bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied, moderately carbonated, crisp, prickle & dry. Overall a mediocre effort.

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Photo of CTbrew32
3.44/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Looks like an adjunct lager. Super carbonated, golden, and slight head produced.

Smell- Not much here besides some grainy notes and slight citrus.

Taste- Grainy malts hit the tongue at first with lots of carbonation. Following that some citrus and bread malt lingers on the tongue.

Feel- Very carbonated. Clean and crisp, almost lager like.

Overall- This essentially seems like a tastier adjunct beer option, and it serves its purpose well. I would definitely get this as a substitute for bmc when out drinking. However, day to day this isn't worth putting in the rotation, especially with better beers within the style available. (79/100)

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Photo of TBoneJones
2.89/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy golden pour, solid white head, looks well- carbonated.
Smells of malt generally, in a bland way, average in terms of a mass produced beer, unappealing as far as approaching a microbrew.
Tastes earthy and of grains, hint of hops..just a bit better than what I expected based on what I smelled initially, but the grain flavor is backed by a dry mineral finish.
Feels medium bodied and well-carbonated.
I wouldn't seek this out, although if at a Texas night spot that serves only Bud/ Coors/ Corona fare, and this one happens to be in the mix, still best to order this.

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Photo of Radome
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a goblet.

A - Color of straw; slightly milky/cloudy. There are a few particles of sediment in the bottom of the glass after the pour. Head is white and formed a thin sheet of tiny, creamy bubbles across the surface. These turn into sticky Belgian lace on the glass.

S - Good balance between cracked grains and noble hops. The hops smell slightly vegetal and skunky, not fresh. The malt aroma is a sharp, grainy note that smells fresh, but doesn't have any complexity.

T - Little malt flavor, as expected for the style. Just a bit of faint grain. Hops are earthy and slightly vegetal, with a floral hint that lingers into the aftertaste. Crisp, dry finish. No alcohol flavors. Clean and simple, as appropriate for the style.

M - Body is thin to medium. Carbonation fairly low, but is there as a light prickly mouth feel. No alcohol burn. Hops bitterness is low to medium.

O - Overall light and inoffensive, as you'd expect. I do believe it is an ale, but it is very reminiscent of an American light lager, with just a bit more body and taste than that.

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Photo of ToMakeEndsMeet
3.86/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Easy drinking. Not much taste or smell other slight cracker and orange. Nice carbonation and mouth feel. Not bad at all for a Texas summer day. 12 oz can into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

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Photo of smcolw
2.63/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

No head even with a vigorous pour. Some rim bubbles, leaves a couple of spots. Greenish yellow color with quite a bit of haze.

Little to no aroma. Grainy malt?

Highly carbonated, thin bodied. A step up from the macros but little else. Raw grain, lightly sour and whiff of hop essence best describes this beer. Refreshing on a hot day, but little else in terms of redemption.

 377 characters

Photo of brurevu
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft this beer is smooth and creamy with a citrus, apricot flavor on the finish that is the perfect antidote to all the watered down domestic varieties available. From a bottle the Fireman’s #4 doesn’t have the creaminess of the draft version, but is just as tasty. I had this Fireman’s #4 on a late afternoon and it was just what I needed to tame the heat. While some pilsners can be light and bright, I found this blonde to be bigger and bolder. The Fireman’s #4 is surprisingly deep and full on the palate.

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Photo of Samp01
3.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle at Boiling Pot. Pours hazy golden with a short-lived white head. Aroma is of barnyard yeast, sour apple and pear notes with some mild citrus and grassy hops. Body is medium and crisp. Biscuit malt, some herbal hops and ripe fruit fill the mouth. Finishes with some fruity flavors of apple and pears with some mild bitterness for balance, endind is slightly dry. Overall a nice refreshing session brew.

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Photo of jmbranum
4.15/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed on the patio of the Flying Saucer in Fort Worth, TX on a gorgeous summer Sunday afternoon.

I am no normally a fan of this style, but RA has made the best version I've ever tasted of a blonde ale.

Very pretty in the glass. Crystal clear, something between gold and amber.

Nice subtle sweet aroma.

Flavor is very grainy. A little bit of hops. Quite a bit of lingering sweetness but not excessively so.

Very nice full to medium mouthfeel with appropriate carbonation.

Reminds me a little of Fat Tire but less assertive (but that is consistent with this style).

Overall, I like it.

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Photo of Premo88
2.98/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

12oz. bottle poured into pilsener

7/23/13 best by date

L: pale yellow; almost clear but a slim bit of opacity; white head of almost an inch off a very hard pour, dissipates quickly, just a wee bit of lacing

S: weak grain; very standard-issue macro brew stale grain

T: first taste is very nice, sweet, bit of malt with some grain -- a taste that would be fantastic if it lasted, but it doesn't; with each quaff, you get more and more dry grain and less and less sweet malt; the hops offer more spice than bite, but they are present

F: great carbonation; suprisingly not too watery

O: I love Real Ale ... they make some good, solid beers. This is not one of them. At times it shows some promise with a little hop spice and sweet finish with light barley notes, but the rest of the time it's grain water. If I didn't know any better, I'd think this was a meager adjunct lager -- there's very little that says "ale" about this.

This might be a good gateway beer only in that it's made by a company that also makes some great pale ales, a decent brown ale, a nice tripel and other decent stuff. Get somebody on this one and maybe they'd branch out to other Real Ale products. But the beer itself is only better than or different from the average BMC offering by a fraction.

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Photo of scratch69
3.26/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Clear golden color with a fingers worth of quickly disappearing head. Minimal amount of lacing.

Smell- Grainy malt aroma with some hints of lemon zest and grassy hops.

Taste- Tastes like it smells with some sweetness as well.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied and crisp. An average amount of carbonation.

Overall- Easy to drink and thirst quenching but not spectacular. The flavors are a little on the light side.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.44/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finger of white head and a golden body filled with carbonation streaming about.

Smells very pilsnery with the malt character, grassy hop, and lemon zest.

The flavor picks up where the nose leaves off with the bread, grass, and lemony/fruitiness.

Clean and light bodied with prickly carbonation.

Ridiculously easy to drink with nice mild characteristics. Goes well with Tex-Mex.

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Photo of AAG
3.29/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Enjoyed this Blonde in Austin on the back deck of a great Mexican restaurant after getting a swedish massage. Based on that...this review might be slightly skewed!

Poured this beer directly from a bottle into a cold glass. They didn't serve me a full pint glass so I was forced to pour this one into a much smaller glass...

Appearance - Light, golden ale; transparent; little to no head (possible due to a poor pour).

Smell - Lemon; zest; fruity; refreshing

Taste - Very pleasant; lemon blonde; aftertaste is slightly bitter but not overpowering; orange; grapefruit; as it warms the hops taste comes out more.

Mouthfeel - Very nice; slightly carbonated but comfortable on the palate, overall.

Overall - Really enjoyed this beer; very refreshing; would be a perfect summer beer; would seek this beer out again when looking for a blonde.

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Photo of Durge
3.58/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Found at Pappadeaux's restaurant in Austin this blonde ale shows a clear pale gold
color with very fine carbonation that looks pretty active. The head is snow
white, thinnish but it holds well and leaves modest lacing. The nose picks up
only a subtle wheat and maybe a very light grass. The flavor jumps right out
with a hardy grass and wheat malt. Simple but well balanced and pleasing. This is relatively light bodied with a very crisp feel. A flavorful choice for the style.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden and perfectly clear. A few rising bubbles. Head was pretty good and lacing is ok.

Aroma is grainy, sweet, a little citrus, and maybe some biscuit.

Taste is pretty good and about what I expect from a blonde ale. Grains, grasses, biscuit malt, sweetness, a little hops bite and a touch of citrus.

Feel is light and drinkable, but yet more ale-like. It's kinda like an adjunct lager, but with more body and taste. Pretty spot-on for the style.

I like this beer. It was cheep and tastes good. More success from RABC.

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Fireman's #4 from Real Ale Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 177 ratings.