Place visited: Real Ale Brewing Company
Date visited: 04/19/14
It is that time of year again folks, that time when all the planets are aligned, all is right in the world… well, at least my world! It is time for Real Ale Brewing Company to celebrate another year of life. In my opinion, one of the best breweries in TX just turned 18 years old, so they are legal now. Now I don’t feel so dirty spending all night with them. haha!
Even though this is the 18th anniversary for the brewery, this is only my second time attending one of their parties. I went last year, and it was amazing. So, I was getting really excited as the date for this year’s party got close. I was ready to drink, and party with the like minded people who are the craft beer drinkers of Texas!
The party was held on Saturday, April 19th on the grounds of the Real Ale Brewing Company, which is tucked away behind the massive downtown area of Blanco, TX. The hard working volunteers, once again led us into the nearby field to park close by the brewery, just like last year. As we walk up to the brewery, we noticed a significant change in the layout of the beer booths. It looked a bit more organized, which it turned out to be. There were draft beer booths outside the brewery on separate sides of the building, as well as a beer can booth. Inside the bottling/canning room they had a table set up where they were pouring special casks throughout the day. Of course this area had the longest line, which never seemed to dwindle down. I saw a lot of people getting a beer, than going right to the end of the line to get their next cask beer. I am grateful for the friends I have in good places, as I was able to get my hands on a lot of good tasting beer before it ran out, and for that I thank you. You know who you are!
As I am only human, and seriously could not drink every single beer that was available this day, I was able to down some pretty fine choices!
- Mysterium Verum Series: Whiskey Richard’s Porter – From my understanding, this was one of the first beers in the Mysterium Verum series, dating back to 2011. I am not sure on a lot of details about this beer, since I can’t seem to find anything about it on the net. I can tell you this though, this keg was aged since 2011, and released exclusively at this event. According to the Untappd app, my friends and I were the first ones to check into this beer since their 15th anniversary party back on June 25th, 2011. This was a hell of a beer to start the day off with. I knew I was in trouble!
- Brewer’s Cut No. 006 Blonde Barleywine Ale – This beer is part of the Brewer’s Cut series, which is their “research and development” program. I really enjoy this beer in the bottle, but there at the party, I was able to get this beer from a cask. Served perfectly at a good, not too cold temperature, the beer had so many popping flavors, seeing as this was from a cask. There was a dominant crispiness that hit the palate strong, and lingered for a bit. This beer was strong in fruit flavors, honey, sweet sugar, and malts. On a personal note, I love me some Barleywines, and this one right here was simply amazing on cask.
- Blakkr – Right now, this is my favorite beer released by Real Ale. Trust me, that says a lot ,because I am so damn loyal to Devil’s Backbone being my top choice by them. There is just so much bad ass-ness going on here with this beer. An unholy collaboration of some of the most Metal breweries around, Surly Brewing, Three Floyds Brewing, and of course, Real Ale Brewing. The artwork for this beer is simply the best. Despite the obvious reasons for me liking this beer, it really does smell and taste phenomenal. I won’t go into too much detail here, since I will be doing an actual review for just this beer pretty soon.
- Sisyphus (2014) – Here is Real Ale’s once a year released American Barleywine, which every year I get my hands on a few bottles. Some I drink right away, and others I have been aging. This little monster comes in at 11.5% and it definitely drinks like it. It’s thick, and boozy, and a perfect example of this style. Of course, here at the 18th anniversary party, there is no other way to drink this great beer except from a cask. Cask beers are so much better, and flavorful. Hints of citrus, honey, caramel, molasses, and a good boozy burn in the nose and on the palate. Excellent beer.
- Mysterium Verum Series: Nøkken – This beer is the first one that began as a Brewer’s Cut beer that was transformed into this Mysterium Verum beer. Real Ale took their Blonde Barleywine and aged it for 11 months in oak barrels that once housed red wine and white port. The transformation was a huge success, and Nøkken is an exceptional beer, and exceeded my expectations. The barrel aging added so much more flavor to the already flavorful and strong barleywine. Stronger caramel characteristics pop out, as well as a wood-like smell, and taste.
- Mysterium Verum Series: The Kraken (2010) – Another gem in the Mysterium Verum series. The Kraken is a barrel-aged Sisyphus Barleywine. As if Sisyphus wasn’t a great beer already, Real Ale went ahead and barrel aged it to make what was already great into beast-mode! This beer was mildly sour. This beer being served at the party was an aged keg from 2010. From this craft beer lover, I thank you Real Ale for serving such awesome beers like this one.
After full glasses of these six beers, I was pretty much done, well sort of… I was able to taste a handful of other beers while there as well, but just did not have full glasses. These were: Cafe De Olla Coffee Porter (cask), Four Squared (Cask), Real Heavy with Heather (cask), Mysterium Verum: Benedictum, and their 18th anniversary beer, which was a Gose. This was my first time having a Gose style beer, which is an unfiltered wheat beer that is brewed with the addition of salt. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like this beer, but it was pretty enjoyable, and definitely a style I would like to try again.
During my time there, I ran into a hell of a lot of friends, co-workers, and customers of mine from the bar I work at. I was pretty occupied with drinking the beers at hand, that once again the musical acts did not excite me enough to really pay attention. I’m sure there were some good bands that played, though. As the fun continued throughout the day, the last thing I thought about was snapping pictures, so unfortunately there aren’t a lot of photos for this post.
Another year has past us, and I look forward to another year from Real Ale Brewing Company. These guys have always been one of my favorite breweries from Texas, and with good reason. They make excellent beer! The staff at the brewery is an added plus, as some have become good friends of mine, and acquaintances through the love of both Craft Beer and Metal! I will now prepare my liver for Real Ale’s 19th Anniversary party in 2015! BRING IT ON!!!!