A Casual Discovery
Happy Birthday, Real Ale.
I didn't grow up drinking beer. Actually, no one really grows up drinking beer, but I mean that even after turning of age I was not excited about beer. My first few beers were free but even that could not pull me away from my affinity for wine. Eventually, I became aware of what "Craft Beer" was and why I should care about it. Yet, I didn't begin to love beer until I discovered Real Ale. You were the first craft brewery I fell in love with and kick-started my obsession with beer.
I became familiar with your beer from my little South Austin alcove. I quickly recognized Firemans #4 but it took me awhile to link it with Devil's Backbone. During this period, my wife and I took many long car trips involving stops on the way home buying your six-pack sampler. It was there that I discovered Brewhouse Brown and my great affinity for Full Moon (in its original form). The rest, as they say, is history.
I have forgiven you for the re-design and have grown to love the new look. My children can recognize your logo on my shirts (some of which they picked out themselves) and in stores — they also love visiting the taproom to play Sorry! and Operation. My wife and parents, neither of whom drink any beer, know that a Real Ale surprise is always appreciated. My co-workers and siblings have stopped laughing at my pair of Real Ale hats and now enjoy your beer and gladly attend you taproom events with me.
Real Ale is about Texas. And though not officially in Austin (what's a 50-minute drive to Texans?), Real Ale has become "about Austin" for those who visit our house. I raise a glass to your 20 years of hard work in the Texas craft scene and wish for you many more. Prost!