Every industry has its legends, but the hardest thing to do across all competitions may be three-peating. Meryl Streep has 21 Oscar nominations, but she never won for three consecutive roles. And as inevitable as wins from sports teams like the Golden State Warriors, New England Patriots or Alabama Crimson Tide feel, none of those squads have earned three straight titles this century, either.
All this mixed metaphor really means is that when it comes to beer, Real Ale Brewing Company might be Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls crossed with Beyoncé at the Grammys. Just outside of Austin in nearby Blanco, Texas, this brewer has every capital city hophead wishing their city’s beer scene could also claim them. Since Real Ale won its first Great American Beer Festival Gold in 2010, the brewery has earned 10 overall medals—including recently clinching three straight victories in the Scotch Ale category for Real Heavy, its beloved Wee Heavy.
Though the “Scotch Ale” and “Wee Heavy” distinction might have you expecting a meal in a glass, Real Heavy deceives—it’s actually real drinkable.”
Appearance and Aroma
Real Heavy will entice a certain type of beer drinker immediately—if you saw it in some kind of maple leaf-shaped glassware, you could mistake it for syrup. It pours rich brown and looks slightly translucent. Malt and yeast hit your nose first, but a touch of sweetness, via toffee and caramel, follows close behind.
Though the “Scotch Ale” and “Wee Heavy” distinction might have you expecting a meal in a glass, Real Heavy deceives—it’s actually Real Drinkable™. Malt and that same touch of caramel or toffee make the first impression, but this beer proves to be quite subtle overall on the palate. Its maltiness makes each sip pleasant, as Real Heavy lingers afterwards in only the faintest way. The beer’s relatively low ABV—sub 10%, so not in aged stout or barley wine territory—combines with its sweet notes to never overwhelm.
Even if you don’t normally drink Scotch Ales, the quality of Real Heavy seems obvious—the beer has tremendous balance and unexpected drinkability. For those lucky enough to sip Real Ale offerings regularly, this won’t be a surprise. Real Heavy speaks to the skill developed over 22-years-and-counting of Texas Hill Country brewing. And with Real Ale effectively doubling its brewing capacity just last year via a new 120 liquid barrel brewhouse, more beer drinkers will soon be learning about Blanco, Texas, too.