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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.

627 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 627
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: 627 | Reviews: 166 | Display Reviews Only:
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 glid02
3.63/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

glid02, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of harpus
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

harpus, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of drummermattie02
4/5  rDev +16.6%

drummermattie02, Dec 07, 2011
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.

BeerFMAndy, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of atrocity
2.75/5  rDev -19.8%

atrocity, Apr 29, 2014
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.

champ103, Apr 21, 2012
Photo of Durge
3.6/5  rDev +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.

Durge, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of blackie
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: into a pils glass, gives a big white head over a pale golden beer, nice retention

s: pale malts with a touch of grassy hop spice, nothing off and well-rounded, just a little on the simple side even considering the style

m: carbonation on the low end of medium, lighter in body, a little dead on the tongue

t: pretty standard, white bread pale malts with a little corn honey sweetness, a touch of weird aldehyde type flavor (not unlike a stinkbug)...sounds horrible but it's only a slight detractor, low grassy hops

d: no problem, just doesn't inspire a desire for more than one

single from mhewes in Pre-Season Football BiF...notched as best by December

blackie, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of BGsWo22
4/5  rDev +16.6%

BGsWo22, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of mynie
3.55/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

mynie, Jun 02, 2009
Photo of cpetrone84
2.45/5  rDev -28.6%
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.

cpetrone84, May 25, 2010
Photo of Reagan1984
3.8/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap in Austin, TX

Pint came with no head and left no lacing as it was consumed. Very light yellow/gold color with no carbonation.

Sweet grains and bread like aroma.

Flavor is slightly sweet, very bread like with a fairly crisp ending. Slight hop flavor, but really leans a little more towards the sweetness. This was the only craft beer selection on the menu and that tells you something about the extent of this menu. Not a great deal of complexity to the flavor. Not bad and I enjoyed the bread like notes.

Mouth feel was very light and thin.

A sessionable beer, but not one with a lot of complexity.

Reagan1984, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -12.5%

smartassboiler, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of Gagnonsux
3.4/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Gagnonsux, Jul 30, 2004
Photo of cdwil
3.5/5  rDev +2%

cdwil, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of cosmicevan
3.5/5  rDev +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.

cosmicevan, Apr 26, 2011
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 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.

gtermi, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of st9647v3
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%

st9647v3, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.55/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a cloudy, hefe-like yellow. A thin head of white has a little fluff to it but dies out pretty fast. A few rings of lace.

Aroma - a lightly sweet grain smell, indistinctively fruity.

Taste - grainy, a detectable element of roast in there. Again, just a light sweetness, well done. Some balance on the swallow as the soft influence of hops enters the picture. Very palatable, it stays light and wanes into the aftertaste. Clean finish, a slight lemony tang.

Mouthfeel - light-bodied, some noticeable smoothness, though the crispness is more evident.

Drinkability - very sessionable and a great summer pick. Thanks to BGThang for sending me a few of these, put to good use in some August heat.

brewdlyhooked13, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +16.6%

Exiled, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of Gatordaddy
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

Gatordaddy, Jun 07, 2013
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 WDJersey
3.5/5  rDev +2%

WDJersey, Mar 14, 2014
Fireman's #4 from Real Ale Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 627 ratings.