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Fireman's #4 - Real Ale Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

172 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 172
Hads: 723
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 15
Gots: 177 | 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: 172 | Hads: 723
Photo of Thorpe429
2.83/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a pale yellow color with a tiny bit of a white head and not much else. The aroma doesn't bring much forward, just some light grain and a bit of yeast. Taste is mild grain flavors without any real yeast or any other characteristic. Really clean; I guess that's about the only compliment I have here. Goes down smoothly as well, I suppose. (365 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.42/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"My sons think it's a fireman's pole and that I forgot to cut a hole through the floor into the kitchen."

--Pamela Anderson

Lightly foggy lemon peel with a head that maxes out at less than one finger despite an increasingly elevated pour. As I type, beer is now visible from a bird's eye view. Other than a few dribs and drabs of watery lace, the glass is virtually untouched. Not good.

I swear there was a hint of skunk when I popped the cap, but there's no trace of the little critter when I put my nose over the glass. Besides, the bottle is brown (not foolproof, but still). There isn't much to go on. Just lightly sweet cereal grains and a whiff of musky hops.

Fireman's #4 is actually a pretty decent American blonde ale. For one thing, it has good malty flavor, which is much more than half the battle when it comes to beer of this style. It's also decently hoppy, although the fruitiness of the Crystal hops could be jacked up a bit. At 21 IBUs, their bitterness is appreciated by this hophead.

The balance between sweet and bitter is nice, especially the semi-snappy conclusion. The lightly sugared golden maltiness becomes a little more aggressive in the bottom half of the bottle and a twist of lemon peel has arrived on the scene. A yeasty zestiness helps as well. This beer is ideal for warm weather and spicy food... both of which they have in abundance in the Lone Star state.

The mouthfeel, while nothing special, is above average. It's light-medium, with fine and very lightly fizzy carbonation. Not bad... not bad at all. The flavor profile definitely benefits from more (rather than fewer) bubbles.

Other than a lack of head formation and a lackluster nose, Fireman's #4 is good beer. Since the final three attributes are far more important to me than the first two, the overall score is not a reflection of how I really feel about this Real Ale ale. I'd drink it again. (1,896 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a pale golden yellow with a thin off white head. Decent lace left behind from a sparkling clear liguid. A nice bit of carbonation bubbling up from the bottom.

Smell was light, with the biggest hints coming from grain, and a nice bread tone. Slightly sour tones present as well, maybe some sour grape or apple.. Nice play on the palate and a decent hoppy aftertaste. Biggest flavors were by far malts and grains, with a musty bread flavor being the biggest factor here.

Overall it was a little bitter to be a real sessionable ale, . Nothing really standing up and greabbing you about this one. (602 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bobby for sharing this one. Labelled as Alamo Golden Ale, but this is the same thing.

A: The pour is a cloudy light golden color with a small white head on it.

S: Oh yes, a wonderful lemony aroma to it. Some straw and light yeastiness with some grainy notes, though it does have a bit of toast to it, which is actually sort of okay. A light bread flavor and biscuit.

T: Same lemon and lightly tart lemon notes as were present on the nose. Sweet grainy malts with light toast and biscuit character. A bit of grass and a very faint hop bitterness on the back end.

M: Light in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: I guess if it's a light, summer/lawn mower type beer you're looking for this works. Not my thing, though. (738 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear, effervescent looking, gold color, with a finger of foamy brite-white head. Settles into a soft and creamy layer that throws a great looking cascade of lace up on the sides of the glass. The aroma is sweet bready malts, light citrus accents, floral hops, and some peppery spices. Not over the top or anything but I found this to be pleasant.

The taste is very similar to the aroma, with a smooth and even mix of sweet malts that possess a light toasty edge, a splash of citrus, and a tingle of spicy hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is lighter bodied with a smooth and creamy texture in the mouth. Overall very easy feeling and drinking.

Not bad at all for a Blonde. Decent balance and a softer body on this made for a refreshing quaff. Good summertime beer. (815 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at BD Rileys on 6th Street in Austin. It had a golden body with a slight haze beneath a creamy white head that displayed good retention and fair lacing. The nose was fairly basic with a combination of lightly grainy malt, yeasty fruitiness, and floral hops. It was medium-light bodied and crisp. The flavor followed the aroma. It was basic, but very nice. A nicely hoppy, not overdone beer! The bitterness was kept in check, and the hops were quite present but not to the point that they overshadowed the malt. Nicely done! Very drinkable. And, seemingly quite popular throughout the bars of Austin. (606 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to dirtygrind (Reddit) for this one.

Pours a pasty white fizzy looking almost 1 finger head that fades at a med pace with a bit of lacing, over semi hazy blond wheat colored beer.

Nose has light blond malts, a light cream ale like aroma, hint dry bready malts, light fruitiness, and hint of fruity hops.

Taste is lighter, light blond malts, a hint creamy and toasty but juicy at the same time. A light crisp dryness, and hint fruity like, almost lager like flavors but still somehow an ale. Hint of floral grassy hops and just a touch of bitterness. Finish is semi dry buy creamy, very light bitterness, crisp and drinkable, quick finish.

Mouth is lighter bodied, good carb.

Overall not bad, very drinkable and a definite summer style beer, but overall flavors are a bit too light. However, with a beer like this any real off flavors would most likely come out quickly, and that didn't happen so that's a good sign. (928 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.35/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Acquired via trade from RickSawyer, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a pale gold color with a no head and hardly any lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of grain and light malts with a touch of hops and not much of anything else.

T: The taste is bready with the flavors of light malt sweetness, but other than a mild hops presence, there really isn't much else going on here. Honestly, I'm not tasting anything that would separate this beer from the likes of Bud, Miller, Coors & Corona, which is disappointing.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, light body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not very filling, not the best representation of style, mild kick, not much left to say other than I would not recommend this beer at all. (844 characters)

Photo of smcolw
2.63/5  rDev -24%
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 dbrauneis
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at The Holy Grail Pub in Plano, TX.

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with a half finger thin white head. There is very little head retention or lacing present in this beer.

S: Hints of citrus hops with pale malts and a slight presence of adjunct malts.

T: Flavors of citrus zest (likely lemon), earthiness, and hop bitterness with the slightest hints of grains/corn.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation and a dry finish.

O: Not something that I would go out of my way to have again but not something that I couldn't bring myself to finish either. I guess I would describe it as too average, there is a nice balance in the beer and the highlight for me is the hints of critrus. (728 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.51/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a bottle of Alamo Golden Ale, which is the same beer as Fireman's #4. They are two distinct beers on this site, but since the brewers said they are the same beer, I put the review under this entry.

The beer pours a hazy straw yellow color with a white head. The aroma is wheat, lemons and grassy hops. The flavor is lemons, wheat, grass and biscuit malt. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very drinkable. Not too exciting, but there is nothing wrong with the beer. (482 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Once more, a thin, bone-white head that dissipated into wisps even prior to arrival. Color was lemon-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a grainy, silage-like scent. Interesting! Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium with a slight peppery taste on the tongue. Finish was dry and refreshing. (286 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
3.44/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle received in a trade, poured into a nonic.

This was a competent, enjoyable blonde whose only real weakness was its appearance (which isn't really all that important after all). Flavor is a blend of light, sweet malts with a slight toast grain edge and a pleasant hop bitterness in the finish. Aroma is simple and inoffensive grassy and pale malt blend. Mouthfeel is thicker and fuller than your average macro swill with a robust body and lingering earthy and grassy finish. Appearance is a pale, unfiltered golden cloud with minimal head produced by a vigorous pour. An average, enjoyable blonde, thanks to whoever sent me this! (642 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
2.95/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz received as a cool extra in trade with hopsleeroy ... only my second Real Ale BC beer.. I enjoyed this while Matt had a Blue Heron.

Big cap pop ... as soon as this brew touched the glass.. holy shit.. huge head.. very overcarbonated... 1" brew for 4" of head.. took 10 minutes to die down and pour again ... repeat again... lets just say it's pretty fizzy.

Aroma is slightly sour with pale malts as the backbone.. sorta husky.

Flavor is slightly toasted white bread .. there may be hops here.. but there is a slight medicinal quality that is masking them.. slightly metallic.

Just too fizzy .. the carbonation reminds me of tonic water with a little viscosity.

I have a feeling this would be a good brew.. but the carbonation was off the charts.. all the flavors and aromas are there.. but they need to really be dialed in.

As crappy as my review is, I still very much appreciate hopsleeroy for this brew. Thanks Lee, this is only my 2nd Real Ale BC beer.. Now.. on to the Sisyphus. (994 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle received via trade from SSW117. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" bright white head over the clear light golden brew. Airy head collapses at reasonably quick pace, with minimal lace. Aroma is sweet pale and prominent vegetal. Taste is dominantly pale malt sweetness, with the earthy hops towards the end. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, and drinkability is okay as well. This one could be better. (450 characters)

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the 4th beer I've had from Real Ale and my least favorite. Appearance is golden pale with small head. Smell is rather weak, some hops mixed with fruit (After reading other reviews I think grapefruit) are present. Taste is of mild hops and grapefruit, not exactly what I like, but not bad. Drinkability is pretty good, but this beer didn't quite feel right on my palate. Maybe I just don't like the style, it's definently not like any other APAs that I've had. (467 characters)

Photo of glid02
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Pesca in San Antonio, TX.

Pours a clear straw color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of light malts with a tinge of hop bite - mostly floral notes but with hints of earthiness.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet light malt flavors are tempered by solid amounts of hops, imparting a good amount of bitterness and slightly leafy flavors. The hops carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is alright. It's got a nice thickness however the carbonation is a bit on the heavy side.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I thought this was a decent beer however the flavors weren't robust enough to be anything more than that. (767 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16 oz tap pour, reviewed live. There's a first for everything!
On tap at Blackfinn, Addison, TX

A - Apperance from the tap is golden blonde with a well-retained, short little head and patchy lace.

S - The cold temperature of this beer leaves the aroma with nothing but some pale malt.

T - Earthy hop notes on the back end with pale malt. Not really impressive here.

M - Light bodied, highly carbonated, and served pretty dang cold. Slightly dry on the finish.

O - Not something I'd come back to personally. My boss on the other hand liked it quite a bit. (559 characters)

Photo of Durge
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (481 characters)

Photo of champ103
4.45/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Hay Merchant in Houston. I love that they have this on cask instead of super rare bourbon barrel whatever.

A: Pours a perfectly hazed golden/yellow color. A one finger white head forms with excellent retention and rings of sticky lace. Looks just like a lighter cask bitter. Very attractive.
S: Grassy and floral hops are big right up front. Biscuit, bready malts and a light sweetness in the nose. Simple, but excellent. Perfect for a well kept cask.
T: I am amazed at how much grassy and floral hops come through. Very bright and clean. That is really well balanced with a light sweetness from some pale malts. Bread and biscuit. Again, excellent.
M/D: A light to medium body. Good carbonation. Very clean and refreshing. So easy and enjoyable to drink. All day with this.

I close my eyes, and I am back in the UK. This really reminds of many excellent bitters I had on cask in the UK. All around excellent. This says volumes about Real Ale as a brewery and Hay Merchant as an establishment. Both for making/serving this properly. Highly recommend on cask. (1,072 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
2.44/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-pours a slightly hazy pale golden yellow with a tight bubbly white head.

S-the nose starts with bready malt, taken over by yeast and floral notes. a strong phenol takes over bringing in lots of bandaid notes.

T-the taste is better than the nose but not good. phenols seem to have taken hold and bring lots of medicinal notes. a bready yeast with floral notes and touch of lemon are present but faint.

M-smooth on the palate, thin light body with low carbonation.

D-not a good beer, maybe infected; but problems all over. medicinal and under carbonated. (558 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3/5  rDev -13.3%
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.
3.5/2.75/3/3.25/3
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. (538 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Stuck in the airport of austin linger than I would like to mention. Can't beat em, drink the local beer. This was tasted from a bottle so take that into account. Appearance was a bottle so towed the lone and said it is good. Smell is pretty malty as is taste, but a nice blonde overall. Good earthy notes, easy drinker and good blonde in general. (346 characters)

Photo of mynie
3.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Real Ale" is an awful nice name for a good brewery. Awful pompous name for a bad one. But, hey, everything ballsy down in Texas, right? Down there they put truck nuts on school busses. In spite of our differences we are countrymen, and I must approach their offputting customs with respect.

Pours like a very nice blonde. Just the right amount of haze, just the right shade of gold, just the right-sized white head.

Smells a bit tame, though, even for its style. Heavy grain, light American hops. No off nodes, but not much at all.

Tastes more complex than it smells. More like a Kolsch than a blonde, peat and mineral nodes pleasantly accentuate very pale malt. Light, dry hops finish things out. (703 characters)

Photo of gtermi
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer pours a golden body with a thin white head that quickly fades to nothing. There is also a bit of lace left behind on the glass.

S: Smells like lager yeast was used for this beer and has a corn/ grain smell.

T: This is a perfect spring/ summer beer for sure. It has a great lager taste with a nice amount of malt that lingers for a while. It has sort of a corn and biscuit taste too.

M: The mouthfeel is very nice. It goes down very smooth and has a nice tingle on the tip of the tongue and the back of the throat. Just so easy to drink.

O: Just another good beer from Real Ale. This is just so easy to drink and has a very nice taste. (651 characters)

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Fireman's #4 from Real Ale Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 172 ratings.