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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Real Ale Devil's Backbone

Today's update gives some love to South Texas with the Real Ale Brewing Company's Devil's Backbone Belgian-style Tripel. I drank this abbey ale recently at home after sitting on it since June of this year. I traveled to Blanco, Texas to join Real Ale in their 14th Anniversary celebration. My profile picture on Blogspot is a picture of me enjoying their 14th Anniversary Ale, very good stuff if you can get it. They only offered it on draft (don't even know if there is any left).

My dad bought a six-pack of this Belgian-style ale and I've had a couple in my fridge since then, waiting for the day when I'd crack one open to enjoy. I did just that this week.

First, a little history of Real Ale: They started their brewery in Blanco, Texas in 1996 in the basement of an antiques shop. They offered three original recipes which are still available today (Brewhouse Brown Ale, Full Moon Pale Rye Ale, and Rio Blanco Pale Ale). After changing owners in 1998, RABC continued to increase production until moving to it's current location (built from the ground up on empty land) in 2006. They are available all over the Lone Star State and all their brews are worth a try (even though I have yet to try Lost Gold IPA or Empire which are available only on draft).

Devil's Backbone pours golden and clear with a moderate bubbly head which dissapated fairly quickly. The aroma is spicy and slightly hoppy and reminded me of any number of Belgian ales I've tried, good stuff! The taste was dry with more spice (coriander?), spicy hops, and some slight citrus undertones. For those of you who haven't tried Belgian-style ales, I would compare it to drinking a dry white wine. It's a fairly high ABV, but still drinkable. I only had one, and I wouldn't drink too much of this stuff without a designated driver!

Real Ale's Beer Styles page for descriptions of Devil's Backbone and other offerings. Buy more Real Ale!

The Bottom Line: What can I say? Support Texas breweries and buy Real Ale! Devil's Backbone is their spring seasonal but it still available in San Antonio. 2010 was the first year they offered this in bottles and I will certainly continue to drink it in limited quantities while I can. I would pair it with other strong flavors, maybe fish or aromatic cheese.

ABV 8.1%
IBU 36
OG 18 Plato


  1. This was a fantastic example of a Belgium Tripel. I love Belgian beers and this is better than most imported Belgian tripels I have tried.

  2. Paul, I heartily agree. Luckily I have a few more in the fridge.

    Now to find their Oktoberfest...