Fireman's #4 | Real Ale Brewing Company

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Fireman's #4Fireman's #4

Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 02-23-2003

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Reviews: 186 | Ratings: 809
Photo of beersands
4.6/5  rDev +33.7%
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 champ103
4.45/5  rDev +29.4%
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 RonaldTheriot
4.35/5  rDev +26.5%
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 fjordhook
4.27/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Admittedly this one of my favorite beers so my review is biased. Pours with a lighten golden color, minimal head. Transparent body. Has a smell of malts with traces of citrusy fruits. Taste is very smooth with a high amount of carbonation along with the fruits. Very easy beer to drink, has a light beginning and ends with a crisp bite. Not overpowering and a wonder to drink.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.27/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very pleasant brew, don't drink it too cold or you probably won't taste anything

A- Pretty golden blonde color that looks like generic beer with plenty of different sized carbonation bubbles rising all over

S- Smell is sweet and inviting

T- Taste is also sweet, relaxing, almost earthy malts but with a slight Noble hop twang brought out by the carbonation. Got some roasty taste once is warmed a bit

M- Feel is excellent, with great carbonation and a light body

D- I could drink these for hours but would pair with food because there isn't a whole lot of flavor. Although ABV% is not listed I assume it is between 4%-5%.

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Photo of klmcmachen
4.25/5  rDev +23.5%
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 mjurney
4.25/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Golden color, touch of chill haze. Lots of fine bubbles rising up to the top. Big soapy head. Leaves a nice lacing behind.

Bready malt, spicy hops, earthy, a little fruity.

Bready, biscuit, slight caramel. Hop bitterness is light-medium, mainly spicy noble hops, a little lemony. I taste some fruitness towards the end. Finish is crisp and semi-dry. Body is light-medium, refreshing, sessionable, well carbonated.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.19/5  rDev +21.8%
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 jmbranum
4.15/5  rDev +20.6%
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.

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Photo of matjack85
4.05/5  rDev +17.7%
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 1099
4.04/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I finally broke down one morning after work and decided to go to Katz's on 6th street in Austin to have a drink. I saw this, and was intrigued, as I had never heard of it before. So, being a pioneer of new beer, I decided to give it a shot. Needless to say, I was very surprised and happy with my decision!

A: Very light yellow, slightly cloudy and had a bit of turbidity to it. I could see some residual yeast floating in it

S: Smelled yeasty, with a small whiff of alcohol, and very much like beer! I was impressed-this smells better than anything else I've ever tried

T: Out of this world GOOD! Very light on the palate, but nice and malty, and a little hoppy to finish. I could also detect a light lemony taste, which kind of reminded me of lemon scented pledge..Alcohol also makes a small appearance, but is quickly muted. Very nice overall balance

M: Kind of thin, almost like water, but hey, the taste more than makes up for that

D: Very high! I drank 6 pints in my first sitting, and expect to drink more the next go around

I had this beer with a #7 on the menu. It was worth the money, and anyone who goes to Katz's should try this...If you like good beer, you will not be disappointed in the least

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Photo of drunkboxer1
4.03/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear golden color with a thin head. Leaves some lacing. Smells faintly of banana and noble hops. You can taste the banana as well. It's has medium carbonation and a creamy but clean finish. Theres some hop bitterness there as well, which serves to clean the whole thing up a bit. The finish is slightly dry - which contributes to the overall drinkability of the beer. I've had this on bottle before and didn't like it as much; on draft you can taste a lot more. It's one of the most sessionable beers I've had in Texas

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Photo of mapman97
4.02/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was a good beer. Much lighter than I normally prefer but a great summertime refreshing beer. Drink one on a hot afternoon and see if you agree. I was slightly reminded of a wheat beer with it's effervescence and slightly cloudy appearance. Very crisp with a hint of bitter and sweetness. Reminds me of a pale ale but a little lighter.

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Photo of MinerBob
4.01/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice blonde beer pours a slightly hazy golden color with little to no head. A nice but weak beer smell with a really good flavor. A little more carbonated than I prefer but I could definitely drink it all night.

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Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +16.3%
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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Photo of beerdiablo
4/5  rDev +16.3%
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 orcasteve
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice and light flavor that seams to be based on the yeast in this beer. smels kind of sour but the smell lies because i dont taste soure in this one at all, i dont tast any hops in this one eather, this is a nice drinking light flavor beer that i would drink agan for sure

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Photo of gpcollen1
4/5  rDev +16.3%
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 roblowther
3.99/5  rDev +16%
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 SkeeterHawk
3.99/5  rDev +16%
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 ZBowden
3.99/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours slight hazy golden orange little head, smells of bitter crackery slight yeasty, tastes of crackery malt with yeasty bitterness slight coriander, smooth mouthfeel sweet smooth finish, moderate carbonation.

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Photo of samogletree
3.98/5  rDev +15.7%
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 AustinBeerLvr
3.97/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a shaker pint glass. Bottle clearly notched with a best before month date.

A: Although this is an ale, its appearance is nearly identical to a slightly darker macro such as a PBR. Decent amount of head with some good lacing as well.

S: Nose is also very reminiscent of a PBR, with floral like notes that nicely blend with a malty sweetness. Warm ale fermentation is evident with some distinctive earthy ester like aromas.

T&M: Hint of floral malt sweetness up front that is quickly met with an assertive earthy ester like flavors. Malt sweetness and esters continue to ride through as a very nice slight hop bite rounds things out to a semi-dry finish. Nice medium mouthfeel for the style, as the carbonation is just right to keep it refreshing but not overdone.

D&Notes: I used to drink this beer a lot more on tap here in Austin, but for some reason haven't done so as much recently. It's a shame, as this is actually a very good, simple brew. It basically tastes like a full bodied macro lager that used ale fermentation to give it the distinctive esters you don't get w/a cold, bottom fermented lager. This would be a great brew to give to a macro only drinker, to introduce them to the world of craft beer. It also has enough character to give to an experienced beer lover if they desire a simple, refreshing ale.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.97/5  rDev +15.4%
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 diamondc
3.97/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

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Fireman's #4 from Real Ale Brewing Company
3.44 out of 5 based on 809 ratings.
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