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Old 03-17-2008, 12:05 AM   #1
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Default Real Ale Brewing Company (Blanco, TX)

It seems that this forum is where I'll be spending my time now that I'm on a several month brewing hiatus (I'll pick up again this fall). So, here are some more reviews!

I just discovered this company, located just north of San Antonio in the rather small town of Blanco. They offer brewery tours, and I think I'll try and take them up on it while I'm here. The name doesn't appear to have anything to do with CAMRA, it just signifies the fact that they only brew ales. I don't think they bottle condition the beer, either, so the name is a bit of a misnomer for the beer snob. Overall, I haven't been wowed by anything they make, but I like to support the "little guy," so I'll be sampling everything I can from this brewery.

On to the reviews!

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Old 03-17-2008, 12:14 AM   #2
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Fireman's #4
Blonde Ale

I had this one on tap last week at the Flying Saucer last week. I wanted to try the Full Moon Rye Pale Ale by the same brewery, but it was not available (more on that one later). I was not very happy with the wait-staff's suggestion to try this one instead - it's a very bland ale that surely caters to the BMC crowd. I wanted something spicy!

(this review is by memory alone...I don't have one in front of me)

Appearance:
Golden - a bit darker in color than most blondes, slightly hazed, thin white head.

Aroma:
Unremarkable. Light malt, little to no hops.

Taste:
Boring. Malty, balanced with very slight hop bitterness. Almost no hop flavor. Fairly bready as well. They advertise a fruitiness from a house-strain yeast, but I didn't get that.

Mouthfeel:
Well carbonated with light body. What you'd expect from a blonde ale.

Drinkability:
Sessionable, but I'd be bored with the session. Refreshing - a good lawnmower beer, but it really didn't hold my interest at a restaurant with several hundred beers available. It's a good blonde ale; I'm just not a big fan of the style.
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:20 AM   #3
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Rio Blanco Pale Ale
English Pale

Appearance:
Almost identical to the Fireman's #4 - golden with haze, slight white head that doesn't linger.

Aroma:
Very reminiscent of a pilsner, probably because of the Saaz hops. Toasty light malt with a clean background.

Flavor:
Not as spicy as I was hoping with the Saaz hops. The light malt is really in the forefront with a very delicate noble hop bitterness that doesn't stay on the palate. Very slight Saaz flavor. If I wanted to attempt a light pilsner with ale yeast, I'd clone this beer.

Mouthfeel:
Well carbonated, light to slightly medium bodied. Just barely coats the tongue as it washes across.

Drinkability:
This beer is really a lot like the Fireman's #4 in most respects. It's sessionable, for sure, but it's not very interesting. I was disappointed in the hops, but they're fairly appropriate in bitterness and flavor for an English pale. I'd take this one over the blonde ale any day, but there's far better beer to be had for my money.
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Old 03-17-2008, 03:05 AM   #4
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Brewhouse Brown Ale
English Brown

Appearance:
Deep walnut brown with almost zero light tan head, despite a somewhat turbulent pour. No lacing.

Aroma:
Sweet roasted malt and chocolate. Very light/slight aroma.

Flavor:
Slightly sweet and malty at first, giving way to some bitter roasted notes and a little dark chocolate. Like the aroma, it's a bit light on flavor - even watery.

Mouthfeel:
Very carbonated - more than I'd prefer with less body than it needs.

Drinkability:
This is Newcastle with an American craft label. It's a decent brown ale, but nothing spectacular. If this was the only alternative to BMC at a pub, I'd drink it all night, but I won't be actively searching for it.
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:48 AM   #5
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Full Moon Rye Pale Ale
American Pale/Specialty

Appearance:
Deep golden to slightly copper, hazy, with about a finger's worth of very light tan foam that dissipates to a slight collar. Moderate lacing.

Aroma:
Citrusy American hops in the forefront with a hefty malt backbone. Rye comes through fairly well in the nose along with some slightly toasted notes.

Flavor:
No surprises here - the aroma tells the whole story. Hops up front with light to medium toasted malt sweetness in the middle. The rye is evident, presented as a slight spicy/toasty flavor. Classic American hop bitterness lingers on the palate.

Mouthfeel:
Full bodied - a little heavy on the palate with good (and welcome) carbonation bite.

Drinkability:
This is a good beer. It might be tough to drink more than a couple of pints in an evening due to the strong flavor and full body. However, it's definitely a welcome change among a sea of fairly non-distinct commercially brewed American pale ales. Easily the best beer I've had from Real Ale Brewery.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:50 AM   #6
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nice write up Yuri.

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Old 04-20-2008, 02:44 AM   #7
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Sisyphus Barleywine (2007)

Had one of these a few nights ago. I'd be more tempted to call it an IIPA than a Barleywine, but it's head and shoulders above even the rye pale from the same brewery. No formal review since I don't have another on hand. It was full of citrusy hop character. Suffice it to say that it's the only beer from Real Ale that I'm likely to buy again.
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Old 04-20-2008, 02:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage
Sisyphus Barleywine (2007)

Had one of these a few nights ago. I'd be more tempted to call it an IIPA than a Barleywine, but it's head and shoulders above even the rye pale from the same brewery. No formal review since I don't have another on hand. It was full of citrusy hop character. Suffice it to say that it's the only beer from Real Ale that I'm likely to buy again.
Sweet! I've had one in the fridge for a couple of months. I'll save it for your next visit.
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Old 04-21-2008, 05:25 PM   #9
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You really ought to get up to Blanco and check out the brewery "tour." I don't know how much of a tour it is, as opposed to just opening up the tasting room, but Brad and Gabrielle are great people. The name actually came from the original owner who gave it up some time ago.

It's fun to see a small operation that is succeeding. They want to do some interesting things, but they have to pay the bills, too. When the roggenbier comes back around, check it out. It is more like a hefeweizen with 40% rye malt, rather than a traditional roggenbier, but quite interesting.


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Old 04-24-2008, 06:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexLaw
When the roggenbier comes back around, check it out. It is more like a hefeweizen with 40% rye malt, rather than a traditional roggenbier, but quite interesting.

TL
1+

The Rye Pale Ale is my favorite "full-time" beer from this brewery for many of the reasons Yuri mentions. However, I really enjoy there seasonal offerings. Besides the roggenbier, their coffee porter was right up my alley.

Yuri, if you decide to take the tour and want some company send me a PM. Meeting HBT folks in person would be cool.
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