By John Griffin
Posted on02 March 2012.
Beer of the Week is sponsored by the Lion & Rose. Each week, we introduce you to a wonderful brew that's a little bit different and well worth seeking out.
Real Ale Firemans #4 Blonde Ale
OK, let's get the bad out of the way first: This beer has the worst grammar of any I've seen on the market lately. What exactly is a "Firemans"? The plural of "fireman" is "firemen" and the possessive of "fireman" is "fireman's," which leaves us with no place for a poor "Firemans" to go, except in my belly.
Now that my inner copy editor had his say, it's time to concentrate on what Real Ale in Blanco gets right with this brew, which is just about everything else.
The beer boasts a shimmering golden color with a slightly cloudy tinge that is reminiscent of lemons. A healthy head foams up, but after a few minutes, it settles into a nice lacing around the upper edge.
Lemons come to mind again on first sniff, because that bright citrus dominates the aroma, though a touch of yeast and malt is also present.
Citrus with a lively layer of hoppy bitterness dominate the flavors, and these get more pronounced the warmer the beer gets. But either cold or room temperature, it is refreshing, cutting through anything heavy you may be eating or complementing a touch of spice. It all ends in a dry, clean finish that makes you thirsty for more.
This beer is versatile when it comes to pairing it with food. At the Lion and Rose, you could match it with a bowl of Belgian mussels in a white wine mirepoix or snack through a basket of Bloke's Mushrooms with ranch dressing. Or you could match it with a more substantial plate, such as Langostino Tilapia with its buttery sauce or the vegetarian Beggar's Pouches, pasta filled with four types of cheese.
So, put the fire out with a Firemans #4 and leave the grammar to someone else to fix.