A staple here in Austin is Fireman’s #4 Blonde Ale by Real Ale Brewing. This beer is great for quite a few reasons. First, Fireman’s 4 is that beer that bridges the gap between the swill you drank in high school and today’s quality craft beer. Obviously, you have come a long way since high school; hell if you’re reading this on a computer connected to the internet, then welcome to the top 1% of intelligent mankind. Isn’t it about time you graduated to a beer you can taste?
Low on the IBUs (21) Fireman’s 4 boasts a smooth 2-row barley malt flavor with a hint of citrus on the front of the tongue complimented with a crystal hop nip on the back. Even the mouth feel of the beer helps with its drinkability, perfectly carbonated for a balanced gulp.
Since this beer is everywhere in Austin, it comes on draft, in bottles, and cans. I picked up a sixer for this assignment and have been drinking them two at a time from a frozen mug. Ice cold, from the bottle, I noticed the citrus right away.
However when drinking from the mug, the flavor is more consistent all the way through. Was the citrus kick due to it being the last gulp out of the bottle or because the aroma from the mug overran the senses? I can’t be sure. What I can be sure of is the 5.1% ABV is playing tricks on me.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that these champion chemists won the silver at the Great American Beer Festival in Colorado last year with Fireman’s #4 in the “Golden of Blond Ale” category.
If you don’t know, the GABF is the super bowl of the brewing world and every man must make the pilgrimage to Denver at least once in his lifetime for this meeting of gods and mortals.
Finally, I must mention that the guys at Real Ale dry hopped their Fireman’s #4 and canned it as their summer seasonal. They call it Fireman’s #4 Squared – and it is a hoppier Blonde with a flavor closer to a pale ale.