Fireman's #4 - Real Ale Brewing Company

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Fireman's #4
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BA SCORE
79
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171 Reviews
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Reviews: 171
Hads: 716
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 6.07%
Wants: 15
Gots: 169 | 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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 171 | Hads: 716
Photo of brurevu
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (521 characters)

Photo of Samp01
3.46/5  rDev 0%
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. (414 characters)

Photo of jmbranum
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
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. (592 characters)

Photo of Premo88
2.98/5  rDev -13.9%
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. (1,276 characters)

Photo of scratch69
3.26/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (457 characters)

Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.44/5  rDev -0.6%
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. (381 characters)

Photo of AAG
3.29/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (841 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 AlCaponeJunior
3.6/5  rDev +4%
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. (525 characters)

Photo of Dusty6467
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: bronze color with a 2 finger head that dissipates pretty quick and leaves decent lacing. Appears more like a pilsner

S: Malty, fruity hops, subtle smell- nothing strong

T: very smooth sessionable ale that has a slight hop bitterness to it. Good balance and easy to drink

M: clean, refreshing feel that drinks like a light lager or pilsner, but tastes much better than the typical light lager

O: This is a great summer beer and comes in cans so is great for camping- especially in the Texas heat (501 characters)

Photo of davey101
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can into a pint glass. Thanks gtermi!

A - Slightly hazy blonde/yellow body with a one finger white head. Decent lacing and retention.

S - Lemons, biscuity malt, grassy and floral hops.

T - Same as the nose. Starts off with biscuits, lemon, and light floral hops.

M - Crisp and well carbonated. Drink ability is quite high.

O - Solid blonde, albeit boring. (368 characters)

Photo of pasdachuri
3.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours is a cloudy light golden color with a small white head

In the nose brings earthy hops, biscuit and sweet malt.

Strong flavor up front with with a sour hop and bready malt taste. Decent but not over the top.

Overall it was a little bitter to be a real sessionable ale with good flavor and a smooth mouthfeel. (317 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
3.42/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | 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 grassy hops. Body is medium and crisp. Biscuit malt, some herbal hops and ripe fruit fill the mouth. Finish is medium and dry. Nice session brew. (266 characters)

Photo of matjack85
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Dive Bar in Downtown Houston. The Dive is part of the downtown Aquarium complex (hence the name) and I was there during happy hour (3-7pm) and ordered this on the advice of the bartender there. 14oz glass for $4.

The beer poured a clear golden/yellow color, pretty typical for a blonde ale. The 1-finger white head had good retention and tons of lacing.

The beer had a citrusy (lemony) smell along with other fruits and some biscuity malt.

Initially fruity flavor with some malty sweetness. The sweetness subsides a bit and turns to biscuity dry malt, but the fruit flavor never goes away. A slightly funky fruity yeast flavor also adds to the complexity. I like this one.

Light bodied, crisp, and highly carbonated. Refreshing, with a finish on the dry side after an initial sweetness.

As a Chicagoan, I never heard of this Texas brewery before nor had I tried any of their products, but if this is an example of what they have to offer, I'll be on the lookout for more of their stuff. This was a very good blonde ale. (1,049 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.35/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Real Ale’s Fireman’s #4 Blonde Ale has a medium, fluffy, white head and a somewhat hazy (especially after the bottom of the bottle is swished), yellow appearance, with lots of bubbles and a good amount of residual lacing. The aroma is of faint lemon and white wheat bread. Taste is of soft, white bread, lemon, and mild hops. Mouthfeel is medium and spongy, and Fireman’s #4 finishes mild and refreshing. Overall, this is a good one to have.

RJT (453 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 klmcmachen
4.25/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am mostly a dark ale drinker, but this one surprised me. I had the Real Ale Brewhouse Brown Ale and enjoyed it. I thought I would give this a shot. It pours light with a a small head. very common for blonds. The smell is similar to a lager but with a hint of hops. The mouthfeel and taste is very refreshing with a hint of something sweet, maybe molasses. I would say this is a perfect summer blonde ale. I am interested to see what it would taste like in a beer batter or on a steak. (486 characters)

Photo of MrBeerExpert
3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had from a can at their 16th anniversary party.

A - Light golden and moderately clear. Thin head with low retention and little lacing.

S - Light biscuity malt and a faint yeasty frutiness.

T - Light and mellow flavors with an almost berry like characteristic which I'm assuming must be from the yeast. Very little hop bitterness and quite a bit of malt sweetness.

M - Medium/High carbonation and light bodied. Residual sugars present.

O - Fireman's is a well-crafted beer, but its flavor lingers which is the opposite of what I'm looking for in an American Blonde Ale. Still, it is frequently the best option on tap and I will continue to drink it. (654 characters)

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

From the bottle at American Democracy Project reception (along with St. Arnold Weedwacker), 6.7.12.

Very light amber body, good effervescence. Floral hops, a bit of breadiness in the nose. Taste mirrors aromas, a bit on the sweet side. Pretty good mouthfeel. Very sessionable, one of the easiest drinking beers on the trip. Would like to try the tap version again for comparison. Worth a try. (393 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 DCon
2.91/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed on-tap @ the Schlafly Repeal of Prohibition Festival @ the Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood, MO. Tapped from the Black/Silver Tap Handle into a 16oz Schlafly Cup.

Aroma- Very subtle and easy going nose with tons of malt and sweetness. No real hops or any other character.

Appearance- Received with a .5 finger head that dies immediately. Has a bright yellow/deep golden colored body. Leaves no suds or anything behind.

Flavor- Very soft sweetness and a light wheaty character. No hops and finishes dryer than many blondes I've had.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, High Carbonation, Smooth, and malts are left on the palate with sweetness.

Overall Impression- A very easy drinking Blonde but didn't have the characters I wish were present. More hops and fruit flavors could have popped up more for me. Still enjoyed as my first brew of this festival. (867 characters)

Photo of match1112
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: cloudy pale straw body with a two finger sudsy whity head. retention is poor but lacing is good.

s: light biscuit malts, some grass and light fruit aroma.

t: malts and light fruit with a low hop presence.

m: medium to thin body, good carbonation. clean grassy finish.

o: decent blonde, just kind of a bland style for me, but very enjoyable and drinkable. (361 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)

Photo of Astrosopher
3.74/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The one thing I enjoy thoroughly about it is its nutty character. It has a grainy and lasting mouthfeel. It is in some ways similar to Real Ales Octoberfest when it comes to the nose. I love hopping back and forth between the two in a 22 oz mug, the wofts are euphoric, the warmer they get the better the stank. As the carbonation dies down the better the flavors come through. Real ale is underrated for sure, esp. if your a steady beer drinker. I like it, recommend it, and will drink it again. FYI its better than their rye, pale ale if your staring at the planogram and don't know which one to roll the dice on. Peace lkeys. (628 characters)

Photo of Labeerfinder
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden and slightly cloudy with a modest head with minimal lacing. Aroma of citrus, floral, and maybe a bit of yeast. Flavor is similar to aroma, very smooth, even somewhat creamy, with mild hop aftertaste. Nice, drinkable blonde ale but nothing special. (260 characters)

Fireman's #4 from Real Ale Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 171 ratings.