The Badass Tap (plus one): Two Real Devils
Every once in a while we get a chance to put something really special on tap, thanks to the fantastic people who devote their lives to brewing the beverage we love to drink. One group of these heroes works not far from here in Blanco and call themselves the Real Ale Brewing Company. They make some of the best beers around these parts, and although not situated within Austin city limits I always think of them as a local brewery.
Nestled among their portfolio of seasonal beers is a Belgian style tripel called Devil's Backbone, usually on tap around late spring/early summer. I reckon you're probably familiar with it so I won't go into any great detail, but if you've yet to become acquainted with this beer you can check out Real Ale's own description of it.
During the few months that it's in the bars around Austin and Texas I like to hold back a keg to tap at some point down the line, in fact usually round about now, just as the Coffee Porter is coming to the end of its run and before we tap the first keg of the new Phoenixx Double ESB release. It's a nice reminder of summer, and the Belgian tripel is a beer well suited to being served with a little age on it, although six months isn't really enough to make an appreciable difference in the complexities of this ale.
A new and experimental project started recently by Real Ale is their Mysterium Verum (Real Mystery) series. So far this has consisted of barrel-aged versions of several of their beers, mostly seasonals. Here at Lamar, for instance, we've already had on tap The Kraken (barrel-aged Sisyphus barley wine), Empire (Lost Gold IPA), Highlander (Real Heavy Scotch Ale) and Vol. XIII (Real Ale's 13th Anniversary Belgian Ale). The one beer missing from that list which you might have supped at one of the local beer bars is Devil's Share - the barrel-aged version of Devil's Backbone.
Well, we've had a keg of it in our walk-in since last October, and it seems to me that tapping it at the same time as the Devil's Backbone might be a pretty neat idea. Y'know, compare and contrast.
While not a huge fan of the Belgian tripel myself, this is one opportunity I'm not going to miss. What with Mysterium Verum being an experimental series, at this point there's no way of knowing for sure if Real Ale will ever make Devil's Share again.
Jim Hughes, Head Beer Nerd, Alamo South Lamar
“If I had all the money I’ve spent on drink… I’d spend it on drink.” ~ Sir Henry Rawlinson