Firemans #4 is a blond ale brewed by the Real Ale Brewing Company. This beer gets it’s name from being the fourth year round beer from Real Ale and is named in honor of Firemans Texas Cruzer Bikes. Located in Blanco Texas, Real ale only distributes their products in Texas. The Real ale brewing philosophy is to brew their beers with as little processing as possible. They use no preservatives and no artificial colors. All of the beers brewed by Real Ale are unfiltered and unpasteurized. They believe doing less to the beer allows a more complex aroma and flavor to develop.
The Firemans #4 is Real Ale’s most popular and best-selling brew. This blond ale has a good balance of malt and hops. It is refreshing on a hot Texas afternoon or with some spicy Tex Mex food. Firemans #4 won a silver medal at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival. In addition to the Tex Mex I would serve this ale with shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico or barbecue.
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Six Flags Fiesta Texas has been open since 1992. It is a traditional Six Flags park with an attached water park. The park has 15 attractions listed as “Thrill Rides” excluding the water park.
All of the thrill rides are well done. Some like Pandemonium are showing their age, not that they are not fun but just need refreshing with new theming. The newest thrill ride in 2015 is “Batman”. I must say it is fun and the flips and drops keep you on edge. I will say that the cue needs more shade. We were there in July and that was a brutal 45 minute wait in the sun.
Batman the Ride
Our group of 4 were split on our favorite thrill ride. Elizabeth voted for Batman, Ben and myself voted for Iron Rattler, and Chase voted for Superman. Since Iron Rattler got 2 votes, I’ll go their next. The Rattler was a traditional wooden coaster, until it was rebuilt as a hybrid opening in 2013. Iron Rattler now has the wooden support structure and a steel track. This combination let the designers do some things that a simple steel or wooden coaster could not. The lift hill ends in a decent in excess of 80 degrees reaching speeds of 70 MPH. The track is a mile long and the air time you get is incredible.
The drop from the lift hill on Iron Rattler.
The food in Six Flags Fiesta Texas is something completely different. Two of our party had pizza slices and two of us had grilled chicken salads. The pizza was advertised as a brand from a restaurant I have eaten at many times, although mostly in airports. I saw the advertisements and really wanted a slice of my favorite from them. I found out that the park was only serving two of their pizzas, a cheese and a peperoni. The pizza was ok, but overpriced. The grilled chicken salad was also ok and overpriced. The prices for food were comparable to what you would pay for food at Walt Disney World but the quality was not there. I spent a few years as an assistant manager in the restaurant industry and I know when I am being over charged.
Another area that I must comment on is ride photos. You know those great pictures taken by computer as you go screaming by on a roller coaster. Six Flags Fiesta Texas, of course takes them also. The difference is this park has seen for to threating their customers that if you snap a picture of the picture with your phone or camera they will charge you $15 and the signs posted even inform you are stealing. I found this offensive. I mean who cares if I take a picture of myself or my kids to post on Facebook, I mean it is me, and aside from the cost of the camera a strobe and some electricity, it has not cost them anything. I mean the picture is taking by a machine, so not artist can really claim that it would by a DMCA violation. I also do not understand why Six Flags would not want pictures of their guest having a good time posted on social media, sounds like free advertising for them to me.
A one day adult ticket $69.99 and a child is $49.99 which on the surface doesn’t sound too bad until you take into consideration the cost of food in the park and if you are there on a crowed day and want to get a “Flash Pass” to help with your wait times, then a one day trip is really expensive.
This was a $9.00 bottle at Walgreens and I am quite leased with it. This is another Argentinean Malbec, which is becoming a theme in my wine writing. It has an inky deep red color in the glass there are heavy fruit notes of blackberry and raspberry being the foremost. Their might also be just a hint apple to this. This wine has mellower tannins that the Malbec from France.
This will be a wine to accompany beef or spicy food or a mature cheesed.
This Belgian style beer has a light golden color but do not let that fool you, with an 8.10% alcohol content it packs a kick. This ale uses spicy hops and Belgian yeast to create and distinct and unique aroma and taste. Despite the alcohol content this beer is not heavy. Real Ale is obviously dedicated to their craft and get some pretty decent results. Devil’s Backbone is a good introduction to the style; it manages to be unique enough to get your attention, but not so out in left field that it put people off. It’s definitely ale and seems like it’s for real.
Appearance is a nice, mellow pale golden color. Murky since it’s unfiltered, but seems to have fairly good carbonation. Good 2 finger head that doesn’t stick around extremely long. Has moderate lacing. Reminds me of a hefeweizen or witbier.
Smell is fruity with a good split of hop floral notes and esters like banana and nice resinous wood.
Taste is first a good wallop of spice and herbal notes like pepper and cloves and an undertone of citrusy hops. Mixed with light alcohol astringency and it makes a solid bite. Then the fruity flavors come through with another bite of spice, followed by sweetness and malty grain.
Mouthfeel is warm and a little sticky, but also very smooth and crisp.
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This is another Malbec from the Mendoza Region of Argentina. The aromas of plums and oak hint at the flavors of this wine. To the pallet this Malbec presents the flavors of Black Berries and, licorice are primary with traces of smoky vanilla and oak linger through the finish.
This Monterrey Chardonnay presents a crisp tangy balance of rich flavors. Peaches, nectarines, mango and hints of guava and bread fruit are the flavors that make up the complexity of this wine. This chardonnay is rich and smooth, very drinkable. It has a sweet start with all the fruit flavors however it has a dry finish. This wine is aged completely without oak barrels. I see this resulting in a lighter colored and clearer wine. I will also say I did not miss the oak flavor. I would pair this with light summer fare, salads and grilled fish.
This ale from Unita Brewing Company in Salt Lake City Utah. This beer leads with the citrus flavors of oranges and lemons. This combination of flavors come from the unique hops used in the brewing process. The Sorachr Hops come from Japan and are balanced with light malts to produce a fresh crisp beer.
While this ale would be an easy companion to most foods that would be on the grill in summertime such as chicken, fish and burgers. It will also complement curries and other spicy foods like buffalo wings.
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