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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 (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 177 | Hads: 743
Photo of beersands
4.6/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle. Thank Ninkasi, they distribute it now! I read an earlier post, and this was originally known (in San Anonio area only) as Alamo Golden Ale.

Ap- Pours a Nice white foamy head. Straw color which says "blonde". Little lacing remains between sips.

Sm- Yeasty, and crystal hops

Ta- slightly tangy to dry malt. Light, tangy finish. the tang lingers and becomes dryness after several moments

M- Med-light mouthfeel

D - Tasty with an aftertaste that starts out very pleasant and degrades slowly to a dryness that begs another sip. Sessionable. I don't know how to style this beer is, but it is a good alternative to the fake beer that both fake beer drinkers and real beer drinkers can both agree on (especially on tap)

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.74/5  rDev +9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a cloudy, dull, straw color with a very thin white head. Nose is weak and musty, get some grassy hop.

Taste is spicy upfront, nice lemon flavor without any citric acidity. Big, deep, biscuity, malt base with cracked grain piping up at times. I get a liitle white pepper and the taste then darkens slightly to something I'm associating with bay leaf for the finish. I love this beer but feel it is kinda all over the place for blonde and could be brighter. Fortunately I'm not feeling like a style nazi. Mouthfeel is mid-bodied and grippy.

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Photo of BeerZack
2.75/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear light-golden color with mediocre head.

Grainy malt smell with slight sourness noted.

Soft grainy malt flavor with some spiciness; watery finish.

Nice substantial mouthfeel.

Step up from a macro lager; unobtrusive in almost every way (except that graininess?)... but thats not necessarily a good thing for people who want flavor (and some hops maybe) and not just an easy quaffer.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
2.77/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Abundantly light copper hay color with a clean consistency to it. Extremely carbonated, I couldn’t even pour the entire bottle into the pint glass. Head is made up of fairly large bubbles but seems to have decent staying power.

S: Sour white grapes, wheat, limestone and basic citrus.

T: Mineral flavor meets really watery grapefruit juice. Little bit of hoppy character mixed in there but nothing profound by any means. Finishes lemony with dirty bitterness and metallic essences.

M: Thin and hard.

D: Fairly underwhelming.

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Photo of Atricapilla
2.59/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a light yellow with a bit of cloudiness to it. The head is very thin.

The taste is rather light and goes down relatively easy. There are some slight citrus notes with a mild hop finish. Overall it reminds me of a watered down cross between a wit and a kellerbier, which left me a bit dissapointed.

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Photo of gpcollen1
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely light golden honey into my Carlsberg Imperial Pint glass. A large fluffy head on a light pour. Aroma is a bit sweet with a hint of spicy hops.

Taste hits the mouth lightly sweet with a hint of citrus - lemony herbal. Taste rolls a bit spicy with a dry finish hinting bitter here and there.

Overall a very tasty and refreshing brew. Not quite what I expected and pleasantly surprised. Thanks chadspivey for the brew...

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

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Photo of MiguelMandingo
3.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Finally! They put it in bottles! Hooray!!

Appearance - transparent yellow straw colored, with a relatively small amount of head.

Smell - grainy malty citrus.

Taste - grapefruit, spice,malt, and just a little bit of citrus. Kinda sweet with a dry finish. Tasted kinda like a wheat beer.

Mouthfeel - light/medium body, with not enough carbonation for my taste.

Drinkability - Good. Could easily be a session brew.

This is one of my favorites from Real Ale and I am stoked that they put it in bottles. This used to be a "bar only" treat for me. I still like it better on tap, but now I am not limited in my options. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.97/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yellow, hazy – countless tiny particles suspended in turmoil. Decent head, very white. Some nice yeast left in the bottle.

Mmm, hops pop out – citric and a little floral. A close second is a sweet malt base. Interesting balance, quite nice.

Light and creamy. Understated wheat edge and body. Powdery/chalky feel. Decent hop tartness. Finishes a slight dry.

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Photo of Mickelswit
3.55/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at the Ginger Man in downtown Austin.

The beer was a slightly hazy straw color with a touch of white head. It laced the glass nicely. Smell was tart, like wheat malt and apricots, with a little touch of hops. The aftertaste had those same notes, though the main flavor was clean like a German-style lager. Enough hop presence balanced the beer's sweetness, making an overall well-rounded brew. The beer's body was the appropriately light for a refreshing summer ale. I would have this one again next time I'm in Austin.

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Photo of skillerified
3.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A straw colored beer. Remeniscent of apple juice or even pineapple juice. No head on the pour, but a good looking cap and thick, sticky lacing.

Nose is fruity, pineapple and tropical in nature. Also a strong sweet malt presence with a bit grain mixed in there. A faint medicinal scent is also noticable.

Taste favors the malt, strong and sweet. Some fruit, strawberry maybe. Grainy aftertaste with a bit of that medicinal character coming through from the nose to the palate. There's a hint of caramel as it warms.

Balance wise, it doesn't seem to feel quite as sweet as it tastes, if that makes any sense. It's a bit dry in other words. Thin early but warmer temps bring on a distinct creamy and/or chewy character. There's also a sort of strange warm bitterness (slightly grapefruit) at the middle of the tongue. It's not strong, but it's a sort of strange sensation, maybe a mix of alcohol spice and hop bite. Interesting if nothing else.

Not a bad brew, but not one I'd go out of my way for.

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Photo of roblowther
3.99/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the Flying Saucer in Addison. It is a distinctly gold (not yellow) color, with a thin head that dissippated quickly. The smell is caramel and floral hops (redundantly repeating myself). The taste is surprisingly malty with a crisp, sharp aftertaste that has a note of citrus. The mouthfeel is silky and a touch creamy. Definitely not the macro brew it looks like to start. The drinkability is excellent. It is very refreshing and the silkiness balances the crisp finish nicely. This one has "session beer" written all over it.

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Photo of redstripe
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft at the Ginger Man in Fort Worth.

The beer poured a light honey color. It is unfiltered, but not hazy. There is a thin head that dissipates quickly & very light carbonation.

The taste is apricot, sweet on the tongue but with a balanced hop finish. It's probably a little sweeter than I prefer, but not overpowering. Slightly citrus. Sessionable.

The smell is floral, hoppy, and fruity. The mouthfeel is pretty light, but not watery. Overall, a pretty good beer.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Lovejoy's.

This beer seemed to be everywhere in Austin. When I first saw it in the hotel bar, I thought it was just a funky Budweiser tap handle, but when I saw it at a number of other area bars, I slowly realized it was something else. Having never heard of it, but having seen it all over town, I was curious to give it a try.

It poured a pale yellow color with a lot of haziness and a fairly high degree of very fine carbonation. Aroma was a slight malt sweetness. Flavor was also very lightly sweet like a very lightly flavored witbier, and I detected some cloviness. Mouthfeel was also very light and thin. This beer struck me as very drinkable, although its lightness was slightly off-putting to me...while I liked the way it tasted, it just didn't feel like beer in my mouth (not sure if that makes sense?). Overall I'd recommend it, but (and maybe this is just me), I'm surprised it has the broad appeal it does in Austin.

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Photo of chadspivey
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at gingerman in Austin.

A: a light golden yellow with a smal offwhite head

S: wheat, moderately hoppy, balanced with some citrus tones.

T: It tastes like cereal to me. Oh's to be exact. If you've ever had Oh's cereal before, than think of that.

M: light to medium mouthfeel, I think it really works with the flavor.

D: All night long. I could play drinking games with this one. Too bad they don't make it in bottles.

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Photo of
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Ginger Man in Dallas.

Clear, straw yellow appearance. Medium white head.

Aroma was very mild, but hard to pick up anything because of smoke in bar. A bit of hops?

Nicely hopped, piney. A bit of cracker/bread in the middle. Very well balanced.

Light body, with medium carbonation. Slightly drying.

Very easy to drink, a session beer if I have ever had one. Quite nice taste as well. Somebody ship me a case when the weather starts to get warm, and I will give it a real test drive.

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Photo of Morris729
3.97/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear blonde amber color with a short white head that fades into a medium lace. Nose is somewhat sweet with a bit of floral hops and hints of honeysuckle. Taste begins with sweet honey malt and a light fruitiness followed by some mildly bitter hops to round things out. Not a bad choice as a session beer or as something to enjoy on a warm afternoon.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.99/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought at the Central Market in Austin

Appearance: The beer poured pretty clear up until the last dregs of the bottle. I stopped it short, but there was apparently some sediment on the bottom that I didn't see. There was a small 1/4" head of active white bubbles on top of this yellow golden beer. The head was only around for about 30 seconds and then disappeared. There aren't many bubbles rising visibly through the haze.

Aroma: The aroma has a fresh floral hop bouquet with some evident bready yeast. There is a little bit of a grainy wheat-like aroma here also that makes the beer smell really drinkable. There is also a mild citrus contribution here to add to the complexity.

Taste: The flavor is really clean and doesn’t have nearly the bready contribution that I got in the nose. The hops are also there more for the flavor than in the bittering. The bittering is just enough to keep the beer from finishing too sweet, but the final balance is definitely toward the malt. This beer would be helped by a bit more carbonation.

Opinion: I really like this beer. I don't know how much it walks the line between the "Golden Ale" that is printed on the bottle versus the APA that it is classified on this site. It is really clean and refreshing like a golden ale while it has a bit of a hoppy aroma and flavor that is not too common with a true golden ale. Regardless the beer is really clean and drinkable and that is why I would definitely drink it again.

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Photo of pentathlete
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Addison Flying Saucer.

I thought it was intended to be a fruit beer based on the flavor. In the pint glass it looks APAish enough. Light gold, white head that doesn't spend too much time hanging around, no lace, and lots of columns of carbonation. The smell has an odd fruity odor, like canned pineapples or apricots. The flavor matches the smell, and I couldn't detect or was too distracted to notice any hoppiness. Light bodied, short finish. Definitely not a hardy winter beer. This would make a nice barbecue/lawnmower beverage.

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Photo of hojuwestlake
3.56/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It has a nice golden color and was slighly cloudy. Had a light floral sweet smell to it, not as hoppy smelling as expected.

Real smooth mouth feel and a easy bitter finish. Malty taste with slight roasted apple tones.

This was my first beer from Real Ale, found it better with food not strong enough to stand by itself though.

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Photo of Xadoor
2.75/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I typially really like APA's, but I didn't really care for this one too much. Apparence was pretty good with a light pale gold colour with virtually no head retention. Taste was weak with some really odd flavours. I finished it, but I've definitely had better from Real Ale and much better tasting pale ales.

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Photo of beerdiablo
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is as close to a lager that Real Ale is going to get:
This light bodied blonde ale is perfectly balanced with a touch of Crystal hops for bittering and aromatics. Fireman's #4 is a great choice on any hot Texas summer day or pair it with spicy foods to help you put out the fire.

While it doesn't have the carbonation of a lager this beer does seem
cut out for a session ale. Its not heavy on either malt or hops and is a well made beer that's a good foundation for RA's product line.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.19/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Nice firm aroma of what I believe are cascade hops, a fresh grapefruit smell.
Appearance: Bright clear sunny yellow with a thin white head that left minimal lace.
Flavor: The grapefruit adds strongly to the taste, but a slight undercurrent of spice. Coriander perhaps? Not enough to get a good reading but added some complexity. It may have just been the malt poking its head out.
Mouthfeel: Medium light body, a touch heavy on carbonation but a nice clean finish.
Overall Impression: A light refreshing tasty beer. Pretty straightforward, but a touch of intricacy lends itself to a good summer thirst quencher or session beer.

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Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear medium golden color with abundant carbonation, a large white head and lots of lace.

Aroma: Slightly sweet, malty aroma with lots of citrus hops.

Taste: Full at rich light malt at the start of the taste, soon gives way to aggressive citrus hop flavors. Finishes dry with slightly tart malt and lingering hop bitterness

Mouth feel: Very smooth and pleasant with lots of carbonation, refreshing.

Drinkability/notes: Tasted on tap at the brewery during the RealAle Seventh Anniversary Celebration in Blanco, TX on June 28th, 2003. According to the good folks at RealAle, this beer may be offered in bottles soon. Alas, there are no plans to offer the much-beloved Coffee Porter in bottles.

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