Friday, January 16, 2009

DRIP TRIP: REAL ALE BREWERY IN BLANCO

Today marks the first of what we hope will be an ongoing series of posts featuring fun activities no more than 30 minutes from Dripping Springs, using the intersection of RR12 and Highway 290 as our starting point.

We're starting to get the sneaking suspicion there are quite a few homebrewers and serious beer fans around Dripping Springs. Whether you fall into the former or latter category, if you want to learn more about the beer brewing process or just appreciate the end result, the Real Ale Brewing Company tour on Friday afternoons is more than worth the 30 minute drive to Blanco.

Real Ale began in modest digs over a decade ago, but thanks to the quality and popularity of their beer, moved to their current, larger facility. While increased in scale and modern conveniences (they only recently replaced their 1940s bottle labeler), the attention given to the beer and its drinkers remains distinctly personal. On our last visit, head brewer Erik Ogershok led the tour and his love of beer and the brewing process was as clear as their Rio Blanco Pale Ale. Before and after the tour, free tastings are available and offer the opportunity to sample some of the Real Ale brews that are only available seasonally, or not readily available in Dripping Springs, such as the obsession-worthy Coffee Porter, a dark beer brewed with organic barley and organic fair trade coffee from Katz Coffee Roasters.

Currently, the Real Ale Brewing Company’s tasting room is open on Fridays from 2:00 – 5:00PM with the tour starting at 4:00PM. Real Ale is located just a few minutes from the Blanco town square at 231 San Saba Ct. From the intersection of RR12 and Highway 290, head west on 290. Continue on 290, then to 281. Turn left at San Saba Ct. The brewery will be on the left. Note: You can also take 165 to Blanco, which is our favored route because when you hit “the divide” the view is breathtaking.

Learn more about Real Ale Brewing Company at realalebrewing.com.

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Several of you who submitted your "Dripping Dreams" wished for a brewpub. In the spirit of a picture is worth a thousand words, one Babble reader's Drippng dream was expressed via photography and Photoshop (click photo for larger).