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Fireman's #4 - Real Ale Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

626 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 626
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 16.03%
Wants: 9
Gots: 81 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 02-23-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 626 | Reviews: 166 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of diamondc
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Best before Sept 08)

A: Hazy, unfiltered dirty blonde color. Lots of big streaming bubbles to a thin head that dissipates too quickly in my pilsener glass.

S: Smells like baseball field, nectarines, tortilla chips .. kind of bizarre aroma going on, very intriguing and different from all the Belgian and pale ales I usually go for.

T: Much better than the aroma. Lots of citrus flavors going on, especially banana and nectarine. Lots of wheat tanginess in the middle. A kiss of earthy hops at the end.

M/D: Definitely a quaffer if I've ever had one. Carbonation is perfect and a great combination with spicy dishes.

diamondc, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of Goliath
2.63/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy pale orange color with a thin white head that dissappears immediately.

Aroma is alright. Citrus and a little bit of spice.

Taste is unimpressive. A little pale malt showing some bready notes. A little citrus too. This brew doesn't really hide the alcohol well either.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied and adequately carbonated.

Drinkability is about average. Seems sessionable but flavors are uninspiring.

Goliath, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of ATPete
3.15/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle received in a trade

A- pours a very hazy yellow/brown. A big frothy white head raised about an inch over my pint glass. Ive spotted floaties!

S- A very delicate nose. Soft hop presence, floral esters, bread and yeast.

T/M- Nails the blonde style very well! In a blind taste id say it was a Leffe if it wasnt so damn carbonated. Tons of active carbonation attacks the tongue upon the initial taste. I know that the hop bitterness rounds out into a well balanced malty sweetness mid palate but the bubbles really hide that. Other tasting notes include citrus, candi sugar and some delicate spices.

D- Its giving me heartburn, but i really like it...

ATPete, May 20, 2008
Photo of dill
3.88/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served on tap in a pint glass.

A - body is a straw color, a bit deeper than i expected. i didn't even realize this was a blonde ale when i saw it.

S - a bit of fruit comes through as well as a bready aroma.

T - similar to the smell. a bit of hops comes through as well but doesn't last.

M - medium bodied with a low amount of carbonation.

D - quite easy to drink. great for when the sun is still up.

dill, Apr 09, 2008
Photo of msubulldog25
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This 12 oz. bottle was brought to Portland by Beerzack; notched at 'best before "JUN"'. and poured to a pint glass.

Here's the description off of Real Ale's website: "Fireman's #4 Blonde Ale - This refreshing blonde ale strikes a perfect balance between the smoothness of the malt, the subtle fruitiness of our house ale yeast, and zesty citrus notes from Crystal hops. Fireman's #4 is a great way to beat the heat - enjoy it on a Texas summer day, or pair it with spicy foods to help put out the fire. ABV: 5.1%, IBU: 21, OG(plato): 12 "

A: Light golden/straw color with a 2-finger crackling/frothy white head rising above. Strange, cola-like bubbling sticks to the glass for an inch or two beneath the head. A hazy, less-than-filtered silt permeates the glass, giving a sort of 'dirty' look. Sparkly film and sparse bits of lace.

S: Dry, crackery malt with a slight tartness. A hint of caramel with some dry green apples. With warmth, this edges towards a soft fruitiness, berries and melon.

T: Very bready; lots of malt/grain and a dash of spiced hops. It's sorta like a sourdough pretzel at first, even a little salty. Develops with some warming to a sweeter bread dough, and picks up a subtle fruitiness (pineapple?).

M: Very soft carbonation; seems rather boring at first, but transcends to a slippery doughiness with some starchy stickiness on the lips and a heavier bitterness. Lip-smacking good, moderately salivation-causing.

D: I can see why this doesn't get better reviews; it seems kinda bland, boring. I liked the subtleties and enjoyed the malty, fruity flavor and aroma - a good version of this Kolsch-like style. Easy to drink, relatively light body and fine to sip on a spring-like day..

msubulldog25, Mar 18, 2008
Photo of hwwty4
2.7/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to GlenVargas for this one.

Poured a hazy straw with a big white head that disappeared in the time it took me to turn back around. No lacing. Aroma is really weak. There is a faint, malty sweetness but absolutely nothing distinct. Taste is much the same. There is nothing great, but nothing memorable either. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly dry. It's definitely drinkable. Had a whole lot worse beers then this one.

hwwty4, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of JohnGalt1
2.95/5  rDev -14%
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.

JohnGalt1, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of scottblaze
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Real Ale's website says this is 5.1% ABV

As hard as I tried I couldn't pour more than 1/2" head, lacing almost nonexistent, clear straw yellow, looks like a macro lager. Not much on the nose, a hint of shaving lotion (probably floral notes of the hops) above a thin malty backdrop. At least it doesn't taste like shaving lotion, not much stands out good or bad, actually fairly tasty in the same vein as Shiner Blond. Mouthfeel is nothing spectacular but easy drinking nonetheless.

A solid middle of the road brew, would make good session beer or an outstanding lawnmower if it was cheaper.

scottblaze, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of rowew
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, label has a large sprocket. Best by month is notched on the label.

Appearance: Pours clear golden, average head.

Smell: Just a bit metallic, mainly cereal grains.

Taste: Not bad - luckily the metallic smell doesn't make it into the flavor. Grainy, just a hint of hops in the finish.

Overall impression: Very basic beer, but for a blonde, its pretty good.

rowew, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Jason Lewis for this brew.

Poured for a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid is a thick and cloudy orange with ok carbonation. The head is low but thick, white and leave good lace.

The smell is bready with some yeast.

The taste is good yeast notes, bready light malt.

The mouthfeel is reall good, very nice bubbly feel, very good body as well.

The drinkability is good not a bad beer at all, Prosit. MK

MuenchenerKindl, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of AChamberlain
3.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured an almost transparent honey color. Head dissipates quickly; white and soft.

S: Malt. Light hop aroma. Maybe honey?

T: Ok, no wow, but right away I could tell right away I was going to have another, so that is good. Biscuity.

Mf: Sharp up front and wet going down. Great fizz to it.

D: Easy.

AChamberlain, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of cartdan
2.38/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle.

Beer was fairly clear, a light straw color with a small thin head. The aroma was of very light malt, with no hop aroma evident. Taste was about the same, a little malt, slightly grainy with not much else evident. Mouthfeel was thin and watery. Overall, I didn't care for this one, it needed more of some type of character - malt - hops - something.

cartdan, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of HotterThanHell
2.98/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received this beer from TTU94. Nice to have some Texas Beers again.

Firemans 4 pours a very light straw color that is hazy with a white buubly head that dissipates quickly.

The aroma is of lemons, with a touch of malt and hops in the distance.

The taste is very light as well, again with a hint of lemon/citrus, a touch of malt and some decent hops on the end. The beer is between light and medium bodied and drinkable.

A solid warm day BBQ beer but nothing that inspires.


HotterThanHell, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of JDV
2.93/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Billy’s in Austin. Slightly cloudy yellow color, similar to some hefeweizens. Light smell of corn, malt, and spices. Similar taste, with a little hearty corn like malt taste followed by some light coriander-ish spice. Mild, easy drinking beer. Almost like a light hefeweizen. Nothing to write home about, but a decent simple beer.

JDV, Jan 07, 2008
Photo of tayner
2.8/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This one poured a straw color into my pint glass. not much of a head that faded quickly to nothing. no lacing

smelled of slight malt and a little citrus hop flavor

tasted, well, like a macro. a little bit of malt, a little bit of citrusy hop flavor.. thats about it.. nothing at all special or full flavored about it.

felt thin and watery in the mouth. sort of a fizzy yellow beer.

As for drinkability, i can see drinking this in the hot summer in AZ (or texas where it is made) as a lawnmower beer or something, but certainly not one i would seek out again.

tayner, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of timbro81
3.48/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy straw color with minimal head. The nose is of light malts and subtle banananess. Initially it is hop forward (seems like a saaz-type), followed by a malty backbone with a timid amount of cloves. Tastes better than it looks. There is some substance to yet it is very light and refreshing. Becomes kind of bland as it warms so drink quickly. Special thanks to RickSawyer for this beer.

timbro81, Nov 16, 2007
Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.38/5  rDev -30.6%
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.

TheManiacalOne, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of Redrover
2.98/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another local offering on tap at the Flying Saucer in Houston. Served in a 22oz pilsner glass, the beer is light gold with a chill haze. Off-white head. Rings of lace.

The aroma is light. I get some light grains and hints of grass. Mild citrus in the background.

The taste is mild even for a golden ale. A bit of grains, a hint of green apples and the very faintest whisper of citrus. A bit of vanilla when the beer is 7/8s gone.

The mouth is medium with a nice trace of thickness and gentle carbonation.

This is a bit to mild mannered to be anything but the gentlest of crossover beers. I’ve liked everything I have had from this brewery, I just like this one a little less.

Redrover, Nov 09, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I always have to buy beers that distrubutor's suggest. I picked up a mixed sixer of real house ales, and the distributor there told me that he tried this beer and told me I had to try it. I was only going to buy the mixer and some skinny dip, but I bought this as well.

Anyways, the head is decent, clings decently.

Smell is citrusy, but faint.

Taste has a citrusy bite, with a nice hop finish. Pretty decent. I wouldn't want a whole six pack of it, but oh well.

Mouthfeel is pretty decent. crisp beer, doesn't cling superbly well.

This beer doesn't have a lot going on, but is pretty easy to get down.

jasonjlewis, Sep 13, 2007
Photo of TexIndy
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle with no dating system into a pint glass. It was a hazy golden color with some yeast bits in it. It barely had a head and that quickly dissipated into nothing. No collar, foam or lacing. The aroma was malty and sweet - very reminiscent of a kolsch. The taste was average to slightly above average. For me this style doesn't have much in the flavor department but they are easy to put down and make good session beers. I don't see this being a big player in the rotation but does make a nice change up beer in the summer heat. Overall, a good beer for the style and worth trying. (3.5, RB-changeup, T, Y)

TexIndy, Sep 11, 2007
Photo of ttu94
3.15/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased at Central Market in Dallas. This beir pours a light clear gold color with an average head and no lacing.
Smell is very malty. Taste is malty, sweet and maybe fruity. A little hop bitterness but very little. Not sure what this beer is. To me it seems almost like a lager but lacking.

ttu94, Sep 06, 2007
Photo of beeragent
3.58/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz. bottle. The beer pours a hazy medium straw, forming a very thin white head. No lacing apparent on the glass. The aroma is a light mix of hops and fruit aromas, along with a little grain. The taste has a more noticeable malt character, mainly sweet, and finishing with a hint of hop citrus flavor. Nothing too complex about the taste. Medium mouthfeel, being a little thicker than expected, but not bad. Light flavor and assumed low abv. makes this a very drinkable summer ale. Overall, not as bad as others have said, but still nothing special about this ale to set it apart from the rest. In the end, just a typical summer ale.

beeragent, Aug 29, 2007
Photo of allengarvin
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Newly arrived in the Dallas area in bottle (though it's been available on draft for a couple years). This is a bright, very clear pale gold beer. A nice head developed on the initial pour, but faded by the time I took my seat. Nose consists of sweet, grainy malt, with just barely an intimation of hops. The taste is simple, lightly sweet malt with a moderately-low bitterness. There is a pleasant fruity ale character, but otherwise unexciting.

Better on draft--or, at least, it seemed better in the past, with more detectable hoppiness.

allengarvin, Aug 22, 2007
Photo of goochpunch
3.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear golden with a full head with a variety of different levels of elevation and some raised lacing left on the glass. The aroma of the malt has a candyish sweetness that reminds me of cotton candy and I get a bit of citrus hop underneath. Malt flavor is light, crisp, toasted, and with some graininess. Herbal hop flavor, snappy bitterness, and an overall dryness come in the finish. Mouthfeel is light and apropos for the overall refreshing quality of this beer, but I would've liked just a bit more carbonation. Tasty and refreshing, but I can think of other beers I'd rather have.

goochpunch, Aug 09, 2007
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)

beersands, Jul 28, 2007
Fireman's #4 from Real Ale Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 626 ratings.