Some days you just have to feel so lucky to be living in the Lake Travis area. The Texas Hill Country, which is so close it might as well be considered in your own backyard, is home to some of the newest and also some of the most established beer breweries in the state.
One of the local favorites among these is Real Ale Brewing Company, which is just a short one hour drive to Blanco, out in the beautiful Hill Country. It’s hard to imagine that just 45 miles West of Austin, RABC is making and supplying Texans with some of their favorite beers, such as Fireman’s 4, Lost Gold IPA and Devil’s Backbone.
Take the picturesque drive down Hamilton Pool Rd. and out to 290 West as you venture on your quest for fresh brews and get a taste of the true beauty the Hill Country has to offer. Texas wildflowers bloom roadside as you pass miles of private ranch land on a trip out to RABC.
Tasting and Tours
Friday of each week, Real Ale Brewing Company hosts a tasting and tour at their large brewery, just outside of the city of Blanco. From 2-5 pm you are invited to taste some of the newest beer offerings by the Texas brew guys, with formal tours beginning promptly at 3 and 4 pm.
Featuring five beers on tap for trying, you can start down the line. Try one of their year round brews like the Hans’ Pils or go with a spring seasonal BLAKKR Imperial Black Ale. Bikers, retirees, motorcyclists, out-of-towners and locals all gather at the site for the weekly tradition.
The History of Real Ale Brewing Company
Their history goes back almost 20 years now. Founded in 1996 by Phillip and Diane Connor and their son, Charles, their beginnings were humble — to say the least. The original brewing set up was housed in the basement of an antique store on the town square.
Back then they were brewing three of what would later become their staples: Full Moon Pale Rye Ale, Rio Blanco Pale Ale and Brewhouse Brown Ale.
After years of producing out of their small 2500 square foot location, new head brewer Brad Farbstein bought a few acres of land just outside of downtown and decided to expand to their current location that you can visit today. Yet from the get-go they were already producing at capacity, even in their new and improved space.
The demand for their hoppy beers kept the brewers working at a fast pace to keep up. With time, new technology could assist in the process, as the brewery boasts some of the largest and newest brewing equipment I have seen. Their in-house bottling system, which can bottle up to 400 beers a minute, is one of the keys to what makes their production so efficient.
Their beers are full of Texas pride and can be found not just around Lake Travis and the Hill Country, but all of Texas. In a little over a decade after their start, they would be one of Texas’ finest breweries, and it’s right around the corner from our backyard in Lake Travis.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how many amazing breweries have come out of Central Texas, but it’s always fun to remind yourself with a day trip and educational tour.
Real Ale Brewing Co.
231 San Saba Ct.
Blanco, TX (map)
Tasting & Tours
Fridays 2-5 pm
Tours at 3 & 4 pm