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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 177 | Hads: 743
Photo of Dusty6467
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
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

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Photo of davey101
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of pasdachuri
3.32/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.42/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of matjack85
4.05/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.35/5  rDev +26.8%
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.


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Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of klmcmachen
4.25/5  rDev +23.9%
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.

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Photo of MrBeerExpert
3.13/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of jdense
3.5/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of champ103
4.45/5  rDev +29.7%
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.

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Photo of DCon
2.91/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

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Photo of match1112
3.48/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of gtermi
3.55/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of Astrosopher
3.74/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of Labeerfinder
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of samogletree
3.98/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug. Best by 4-16-2012.

A- A nice golden color with a solid tan head which dissipates fairly quickly.

S- The smell is very lemony with hints of sweet malts.

T- You can taste the lemons and what i would describe as a biscuit flavor followed with a slight bitterness.

M - More carbonation that most other drinks. A good crisp feel.

O- I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. It had a great flavor and a nice appearance. I look forward to drinking some more.

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Photo of TwinButte
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at our hotel bar in Dallas. doing an expedited review.

Not a whole lot to write home about with this one. It seems to be the go to local brew for most of the bars here in Dallas. A stepup from the normal BMC that they serve along with Shiner Bock (as I expectected). I was hoping my trip to Texas would have allowed me to try some new brews but it would appear the TX beer taste buds have not evolved much yet.

This one is a good upgrade for the BMC switchers/tweeners who want to branch out. Good earthy hop bitterness and some lemony enfluences too. Good carbonation.

It's beer. I drank it. End of post.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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

Poured a 355 mL bottle into a JFF is my BFF novelty pint glass.

A: Poured a fairly thin head which mostly dissipated quickly. The colors are interesting, it comes off as a yellow with a slight lime. Minor carbonation rises from the bottom.

S: Some minor citrus smells arise. Minor hops arise, but it's mostly the citrus that takes up this smell.

T: A citrus zest definitely hits the palate on first take. That same zest stays on the palate which make up this drinks slight aftertaste. Some minor malty bread flavors come in throughout the take in, but nothing spectacular.

M: The mouthful is definitely nice for the style. The body is light with a fairly decent amount of carbonation.

O: This is not a complex beer, but it is nicely balanced and a great drink for those not desiring something complex. This is more zest rather than hops or malts.
This is a summer drink and will help help during a long day outside.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.03/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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Photo of nukem5
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a golden color nice lacing down glass. Tan foam cap sticking down walls of glass.

S: Aroma is light crisp and has corn smell or adjunct smell.

T: Taste is of much the same light floral hops come in waves over the corn background.

M: medium to light body lots of tiny bubbles wash the tongue with decent amount of carbonation.

O: Overall a very drinkable beer could drink a few of these, probably best with some BBQ on a hot day.

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Photo of grittybrews
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy straw gold with a finger of bright white head. Nice aroma with some biscuity grain, grass, lemon, and honey.

Slightly low carbonation and a creamy, light mouthfeel. Honey and biscuit malt up front followed by some light lemon and a little grainy bitterness on the tail end.

Pretty smooth and easy-drinking, but the more malt-dominated blondes aren't my favorite.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.41/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Right off the bat let me say that I’m not into blondes. I would have to say it’s one of my least favorite styles of beer to drink. In my mind blond ales are watery, flavorless beers that you swill. (Not to be confused with adjunct lager, although I admit associating them with such.) Biased? Perhaps. But am I alone in feeling this way? Probably not.

So, that said, allow me to describe my enjoyment of Real Ale’s Fireman’s #4, with just a bit of irony. Or egg on my face.

Poured from the bottle into a nonic glass Fireman’s forms a hearty bit of head that quickly dissipates. Gone in a flash!

The beer is clear, and true to its name, blond. It’s the color of straw yellow. There’s a trace amount of residue at the bottom, most likely from being bottle conditioned.

An easy drinker. There’s not a whole lot of complexity, although isn’t that true to style? One thing that I find distinguishes Fireman’s and makes it enjoyable for me are the faint biscuit notes. It’s just a trace, but as the beer warms they become more pronounced. In fact, its my favorite part of this beer.
I’d consider this a gateway beer for people who aren’t familiar with craft beer or for those hooked on BMC. For the rest of us it’s an excellent example of a quality craft beer’s approach and the difference it makes. I’d pair this with pizza, nachos, grilling outside and—if it was canned—tubing down the Guadalupe. (At least until beverages are officially banned on the river!) As far as blond ales go it’s a winner.

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Photo of ElCommodoro
3.64/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Golden blonde colour with a small white head that left some pretty lacing. The smell is yeasty, like fungus growth.
This was a decent beer. It had kind of a sweet, honey flavour to it. It was otherwise fairly bland. Highly drinkable, not exciting. Probably not worth the price for that bracket. It had kind of a sticky mouthfeel.

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