Blanco, TX is a very nice small town to visit to get away from the big city life on a weekend. For us Craft Beer folk, the main reason that Blanco is on the map is because of Real Ale Brewing Company. Recently, the brewery held their 17th Anniversary Party at their facility. Let me start by saying that it was one hell of an event. This is my first visit to the brewery, so leading up to this event was driving me crazy. I felt that the days couldn’t pass any slower.
The party was held on Saturday, April 13th, 2013 from 12 Noon until 5pm. The Mrs and I arrived to the brewery a little after noon, so the festivities already had begun by the time we got there. We were running a bit late due to the fact that we had to stop to fill up the beer tank with some delicious breakfast tacos from Tink-A-Taco.
We get led into a field near the brewery that was filling up with cars. Arriving at the front entrance, we are carded and each handed a little booklet. Maybe a program of events, maybe some info on the brewery? No, the booklet was actually drink tickets! The booklet consisted of two pint fills, one 8oz pour of their 17th Anniversary Ale, and one can beer. They were pouring the beers into plastic cups so besides the $5 for parking, this event could have been all done for free!!! Well for those that know me, know that I can’t go somewhere without buying something. I purchased two drinking glasses, a pint glass, and a tulip style glass, plus a Mysterium Verum (class of specialty beers) shirt.
The grounds surrounding the brewery were all being used as well as the inside. Outside the brewery there was plenty of space for you and your group to sit, chat, and enjoy good beer. There was also a station with kegs filled with water, a food station, a row of porta potties near the entrance, and an outside music stage for performances throughout the day (more on this later).
Inside the brewery, in their canning/bottling, storage room is where the main party was! All the beer lines were set up in there. At first, the lines weren’t that long, but over time the lines got ridiculously long, and it was best to either get two beers at once, or as soon as you get one, get back in line and enjoy the beer while waiting again for your next round. It was crazy.
With what looked like over 1,000 people there in attendance, and near 30 beers on their list, it was very hard to actually get the beers we wanted. I know, I know, we could have been more patient, but when we arrived there they only had certain beers tapped, and were rotating them out throughout the day. They had their list of regular taps which included such favorites as Firemans 4, Rio Blanco Pale Ale, Full Moon Pale Rye Ale, Brewhouse Brown Ale, Lost Gold IPA, Devil’s Backbone, and their 17th Anniversary Ale among others. They had a section of their Mysterium Verum beers which included Morgul Ale, Devil’s Share, Imperium, and Scots Gone Wild. They had a line for their Brewer’s Cut releases, Alt, Blonde Barleywine, Dry Hopped Porter. Lastly, they had a section for special cask conditioned beers, which included a good list of their regular beers, Brewer’s Cut series, and other specialty beers like their Coffee Porter.
Cask Conditioned beers are different from their normal kegs/bottles that you’re used to seeing on shelves. Cask conditioned beer is also referred to as Real Ale, which is unfiltered and unpasteurized beer which is conditioned and served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure. These beers hold more value to people like me, so this is where I wanted to be most of the day. So did most of the people in attendance. The cask Beer line(s) were the longest, and undoubtedly the worst part of the day.
We decided to park ourselves inside the building where the beer lines were, being set up pretty much right next to the tables. Too bad, we couldn’t cut in line. We were accompanied by my fellow Mad Pecker Brewing partner, and our head brewer, Jason Gonzales, his wife Erikka, and a few friends, Sam, Ruben, and Brenda. This turned out to be a pretty loose cannon group, and we made our own party while there at the event. We were having such a good time where we were, we missed the four performing bands. In my defense, they were not Metal, so this guy, BeerMetalDude, did not miss a thing! Seriously, great times were had. It was also great running into some of the industries finest in Texas. Cheers to Faust Brewing Company, Freetail Brewing Company, The San Antonio Cerveceros, Travis Poling (Beer Guru/Local writer), and everybody else I met, including Erik Ogershok of Real Ale Brewing Company. (Expect a full on interview with the man where we will talk Beer & Metal!!!)
Real Ale Beers that we were able to drink: Morgul Ale (Mysterium Verum series), Hans Pils (canned), Four Squared (canned), Devil’s Backbone, Lost Gold IPA, 17th Anniversary Ale, and only one cask conditioned beer, Four Squared.
Real Ale Beers that we were looking forward to but did not get to taste: Devil’s Share and Scots Gone Wild, both of the Mysterium Verum series, Brewer’s Cut Blonde Barleywine, and cask conditioned Coffee Porter, cask conditioned Full Moon Pale Rye, cask conditioned Sisyphus. Oh well, may be next year!
I seriously can not wait until next year’s anniversary party, cause I will definitely do more than just stand there and drink. I wouldn’t trade in this day for anything else. it is what it is, and we had the best fuckin time! Come on 18th Anniversary!!! Enjoy some Dark Angel! We Have Arrived!!!!