“Walking on the Moon” was a minor hit record for The Police. Was never their favorite song for most, but with all this Corona virus news, I bet it might be soon. Feels like the moon might be the only place we are safe these days – and if someone gets within six feet of us, we will have those heavy helmets with glass shields in front of us to block those nasty germs!
In keeping with that , this week I popped open a Moonwalk Brut IPA from Texas’ Real Ale Brewing. Like several of the other microbrews I’ve savored so far, Real Ale began out of a couple’s love of good beer and relative lack of it in their stores. This drove them to make their own in their kitchen… or in this particular case, the basement of a small store in Blanco, Texas. That was 1996.
At first they brewed a couple of a couple of ales, Brewhouse Brown and Full Moon Pale, and sold the limited quantities in 22-ounce bottles. By 2000 they’d begun adding varieties and putting out their brew in six packs of more conventional 12-ounce bottles; by 2006 they’d opened up a new large brewery in town and soon after, a taproom to enjoy it in (now closed due to the virus, of course.)
Their popularity, and product line kept increasing and by 2013 they were producing 50 000 barrels of their 14 regular varieties per year. In 2017, they expanded to open a distillery which produces gin and whiskey. Their current line is highlighted by the big-selling Fireman’s #4 Blonde but includes such quirky offerings as Pin-setter Amber Lager, a tribute to bowling (beer and bowling go together but how a beer can reflect the sport, you’d have to ask them!) and Commissar, a Russian stout still put out in hardy 22-ounce bombers, comrade.
One thing all the drinks have in common is a minimum of ingredients, which are all GMO-free and a manufacturing which reflects their philosophy of “minimal processing produces maximum flavor.” Unfortunately, as of right now, Real Ale only sell in their homestate of Texas, saying their production isn’t even enough right now to satisfy thirsty Texans and they don’t think their beer will stay fresh enough to meet their own standards if transported a long distance.
Moonwalk is described by them as an “extra dry, ultra crisp, out of this world IPA” with a flavor of “ripe berries and soft fruit, with a champagne like finish.” The brew comes in at a slightly strong 6.0% alcohol.
I popped open the bottle to enjoy with a big ol’ cold cut sub. The beer was surprisingly frothy when poured, making an extensive and thick white head over its effervescent, hazy golden liquid. As beers go, this was a nice-looking one. But the visuals matter little if the drink isn’t good. Thankfully, Moonwalk is good… maybe not quite “out of this world” good, but pretty darn good anyway.
At first chug, the impression was quite strong, and the word “Aromatic” came to mind. A little bitter, but pleasantly so. The bubbles and fizz felt nice. there was a subtle, but definite layer of mild fruitiness underneath, although I couldn’t really narrow down what fruit. I would have guessed something citrus, rather than the berries they mention. Anyway, it was a good taste.
With the sub sandwich, the hint of sweetness seemed to disappear and the flavor was rather dimmed, although not erased…this is a flavorful drink, but not a wildly strong one.
Bottom line – a good, pleasing drink that might be a good compromise for people wanting a beer with more kick and “oomph” than say, Bud or Miller but not as bold as a locomotive in a glass. I give it an 8 out of 10 for strength, 7 out of 10 for flavor and overall…
four out of five Clorox-wiped rockets.