Fireside Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Fireside AleFireside Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

366 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 366
Reviews: 273
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 21
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: yourefragile on 01-09-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 366 | Reviews: 273 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"There is no fireside like your own fireside."

--Irish proverb

Dark nut brown that becomes coppery orange when held up to my sunlit front window. At least half the pint glass was filled with peanut shell colored froth on the pour. The crown is nicely creamy and is beginning to lay down some wonderful looking lace.

Weyerbacher describes this brew as 'an intriguing dark ale with a touch of smokiness'. I'm not yet sure about the intriguing part, but the nose suggests that the rest is accurate. On second and third sniffs... more than a touch and less than a punch of smoke is present. A firm grasp maybe.

Fireside Ale is damn good beer. Getting the proportions of malt just right is the key, and it looks like the brewery has done exactly that. The dark maltiness of the base beer is easily appreciated and is perfectly complemented by the smoked malt. The 7.5% ABV was also a good choice since it lends big beer power without adding even a hint of noticeable alcohol.

Flavors include brown bread drizzled with melted caramel, toasted pecans, sweet wood smoke and more than a little cocoa powder. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if chocolate malt was used. Sweet and bitter are both present and are pretty evenly matched throughout the flavor arc.

Although the mouthfeel could be a fraction beefier, it's impressively whipped creamy. On second thought, thick and smoky beer tends to conjure up images of bacon grease. My sense is that the mouthfeel is as good as it is because of a dead solid perfect amount of carbonation.

Maybe I'm just excessively thirsty this morning, but this bottle of Fireside Ale disappeared in a flash. I love it when a brewery has the good sense to turn a well-received seasonal (Charlie) into a regular release. Thanks to prototypic for the bottles.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful clear chestnut color, with a nice tan head. Sticky lacing remains after the head fades. Really a nice presentation.

Aroma of roasted malt, some nice smokiness, burnt sugar. Taste is big malt with a real nice smoke flavor. An interesting deep cooked fruit taste, with alcohol evident as well. Love the smoke here, this being one of my first experiences.

A fairly big bodied ale, mildly carbonated, nice smooth feel and quite easy to drink at 7.5%.

Photo of paco1029384756
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark burgundy color with one finger of off white head.

Scent of chocolate, dark fruit, smoke and some caramel. The smoke character isn't as strong as I expected and it balances nicely in the scent.

Taste of roasted malts, chocolate, some smoke, char and some dark fruit. Lingering taste of dry smoke. A tasty beer with a nice subtle smoky flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with pretty strong carbonation.

Photo of Billolick
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounces w/o freshness info to be had. On the darker side, under a rich khaki head that stays and leaves plenty of stranduli of lace. Mild smoke and toast on the nose. Plenty of dark malts, again moderate smoke, and drying hops. Thick feeling on the tongue, I suppose thats whats called "full bodied". I'm drinking this on a July nite and this one says loud and clear "winter time beer" anyway, enjoyable and quality offering, night capper of a beer or would pair well with rich foods. Not crazy about the style, so doubt I'd go for this one again.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a 12oz bottle at State Line the other day

A: Clear copper with a thin off-white head that never really grows beyond a thin disk. Retention is great, though, that disk persists.

S: A tasty combination of a brown ale, spices and smoke. The dominant aroma is from the sweeter caramel malts, and the spices (ginger? nutmeg? allspice?) meld into the backbone. The smoke character is faint, lending a delicate counter to the sweetness

T: Opens up with the spices dominating. There's a ginger-like note, and there's also some herbal character with some mild astringency. Sweetness follows, with sugar and caramel with a smoky mid palate. The finish is dry, mildly astringent, and a combination of spices and caramel sweetness

M: Medium-light in body with sharp carbonation, this beer is solid. The carbonation works well with sweetness and the smoke, and the finish, is solid too.

D: The ABV is well hidden, and I'd go for another.

Photo of maddogruss
2.85/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a bottle fo thsi from the Cloverleaf Tavern.

A: Pours a dark amber body with a small head with pretty poor retention and very minimal lacing.

S: A kind of sweet malt smell with not much else.

T: A smoky, slightly bacon-like taste with some sweet, sugary malt aftertaste that did not goo too well together.

M: A fairly light-bodied mouthfeel with some slight overcarbonation. Nothing overly impressive.

D: A nice mouthfeel and taste combination made for a decent Smoked Beer, but nothing impressive. A little less carbonation and a little less on the "sugary" malts could have made for a better tasting and nicer drinking beer overall.

Photo of gford217
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a deep, clear copper that sits dark brown in the glass with a creamy off-white head that lingers as a ring of creamy bubbles for the duration and leaves only the faintest trace of lacing.

Man, I love the smell of a good smoked beer and this definitely fits the bill with a smoked hickory and summer sausage dominating the aroma. The sweet caramel malts are present but definitely in the background.

The taste is a little less heavy on the smoked meat and has a more prevalent caramel malt character. Most of the smoke comes out in the finish and lingers for a while after each sip.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a soft carbonation and a smoked wood dryness.

I'm a big fan of smoked beers and this is a fairly basic but very good example. It's very, very drinkable for the style as the smoke is certainly not overpowering, especially in the taste.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a mahogany brown with some head that was gone in a flash. No lacing.

Decent but not overpowering scents of sweet caramel, some toffee, a little roasted fruit, and a hint of smoke. I expected more, but...its ok.

Nice brew. Sweetness of the malt is defined in toffee, caramel, and some darker fruit flavors. And some bitterness fights through as a balance, but then you get the smoke edge. Again, I expected more in the intensity of this flavor, but this is no rauchbier either.

A little flat, but decent body.

Went down easily. An autumn or winter sipper -- glad I found this now.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a pretty clear amber hued brown with a creme head. Nose is smoked, yes. Surprise. A bit one dimensional really. But it works. Flavor is kind of the same way. Smoked tones. Meat is in on the mix as well. Feel is decent on liquid. Carbonation is nice enough. It's a smoked beer. Yep.

Photo of darknova306
1.95/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

The beer is pretty dark with a decent, fizzy white head. The rest of the experience was very disappointing, unfortunately. The aroma reminded me, sigh... of Bud. Basically, it has that cheap, malt smell with some spicy hops. The best word to describe the aroma is thin.

The flavor here can only really be described as gross. The body is thin and lightly malty, with a touch of smokiness. The smoke and a touch of hops are all on the front of the tongue, then the back of the mouth is filled with kind of a cheap corn type flavor.

I tried this beer two different times, and coulndn't get more than two sips into either bottle.

The beer would be vastly improved by a much more robust malt backbone, or at the very least by more body to reduce how thin it tastes.

Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic a full rich brown with a nice formed 1/2 finger creamy-like off white head.Good balance in the nose not overly smoky,smoke infused with some sweet caramel and cherry-like fruitiness with a touch of iron.A mix of caramel and tofee sweetness hits up front with some of that cherry-like fruitiness,the smoke comes in the finish and compliments the sweetish flavors instead of overpowering them.A very nice smoked ale here,alot of nice flavor components.I could see myself drinking this on a cold day next to a roaring fire no doubt.

Photo of ZAP
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Burgundy/brown color

S-Peaty...sweet fruits grilled over an open wood fire (peaches, apples, pears)....

T-Flavor leans toward a wee heavy flavor...peat is there at first as is the open flame woodiness/smokiness...also the sweet grilled fruits but now add a caramel drizzled flavor to it...then on the finish that is all wiped away and it finishes with a slight sourish note from some of the fruits mentioned earlier but not sweet now (apples, pears maybe), and a bitter dark unsweetened chocolate note....very multidimensional as the flavors change as you drink it.

M-High side of medium bodied...pretty smooth and creamy texture..

D-interesting beer...it really begins sweet with the woody grilled sweet fruits flavor but then closes with a bit of abrasiveness...I enjoyed this and would welcome another.

Photo of koopa
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle received as an extra in a trade.

Appearance: Dark brown with a nice 2 finger off white crown that doesn't retain much but leaves wonderful lacing.

Smell: Touch of smoke, some toffee, and a nutty quality.

Taste: A touch of smoke, nice roasted malt throughout, and just a hint of sweetness at the end...chocolate malt perhaps?

Mouthfeel: Very nice IMHO. Medium bodied but chewy too.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink considering its 7.5% and chewy.

This is a nice session smoke beer. My sample didn't have much smoke but just a tasteful hint of it.

Photo of edchicma
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Exceptional chocolate with a great head and fantastic lacing. Smell is a rich malt with smoky undertones. Taste is smoky, peat-like with a very rich malt presence..definite hops too. Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth then finishes with distinct dry hop presence. For a higher abv, drinkability is good.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chilled 12oz bottle into a glass. An extra courtesy of ericwo. Thanks Eric!

A: Pours a nearly opaque mahogany color with amber and gold edges. Has an inch off-white head that recedes over a minute into a fluffy collar around the glass, with temporary washes of lacing when I drink.

S: Roasted malts, peat, and smoke, with some hints of caramel.

T: Roasted malts on the initial taste, with a strong smoky undercurrent that carries through all the way to the end. The roasted flavor bows out to caramel and a slight peat/earthy taste toward the end. The smell and taste remind me of some scotch ales.

M: Smooth and drinkable. Just the right carbonation for this light-bodied brew. Has a nice dry finish. I was surprised to see it was 7.5%. Very well hidden.

D: Pretty tasty! I enjoyed this one.

Photo of portia99
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Poured a slightly hazy dark brown with a 1/2" loose, large bubbled tan head. Head dissipated almost completely within a minute of pouring. Marginal to no lacing on the glass.

S - Caramel and smokiness are the dominant aromas here, but surprisingly subtle.

T - Sweet malt, burnt caramel and an underlying smokiness. Malt hits first and then is overtaken by the smoke, which lingers well into the aftertaste. Some hop bitterness to balance things, but smoke is the word here.

M - Full mouthfeel, good carbonation. Plenty of body on this one. Very good.

D - Typically smoked beers tend to be a little overpowering for me...kinda like inhaling off a campfire for too long. This beer is definitely smokey, but it is smooth and the smoke is kept in check by the sweet flavors from the malt. Not sure if I would have more than one in a night, but this is going down pretty well.

Would be good with barbecue - hmm, I can see this with smoked ribs maybe.

Photo of erosier
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a deep smokey red/brown color with a medium sized and medium bodied head that laces the glass somewhat on the way down.
S: Smells of deep roasted malts and a big smokey flavor.
T: Deep roasted malts, hints of caramelized malts, then a big smoked flavor that follows to the end and lingers a bit.
M: Very smooth and warming. Perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable. Big strong flavor and a nice feeling to it make it a really nice smoked beer.

Photo of spointon
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A= This ale poured a hazed amber-brown color with a 1/2" light tan head. The head dropped fast but left a nice trail of thin lace down my glass.

S= The aroma was balanced and soft, with equal parts wood smoke, treacle, sweet malt, and earth. Very nice complexity.

T= Not as much smoke as was in the smell, but its there in the background. Malty sweetness and some fruitiness offset by an earthy hop dryness throughout. The finish brought out a bit more of the smoke and ended rather dry.

MF= Lighter side of medium bodied with a crisp mouthfeel.

D= An interesting beer that kept getting better the warmer it got. If I ever score another I will drink it at about 65 degrees.

Photo of Durge
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a slightly hazy mahogany color with a very light oatmeal colored full head and heavy lacing. The aroma is molasses malt and herbal hops, almost salty smoke, nice. The flavor brings pleanty of smokey melon and apple, the bitter hop is more subtle. Kind of thin and weakly carbonated, but fairly tasty. So-so drinkability but overall it's good stuff and a little different.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label states "...DARK ALE WITH A TOUCH OF SMOKINESS" but the smokiness is all there. Upon pouring it I could smell it. As the hazy deep chestnut body rose and the frothy light tan head thickened, I could sense that it was more more peat-like than Beechwood smoked. Or is it? A closer whiff gave me a kind of in-between. Regardless, although it's more than a "touch", it's not overdone, and I tip my hat to their brewers for striking a balance that hits just hard enough to be distinctly noticeable, but doesn't knock you down.

The flavor is, of course, smoky as well, but it's very well supported by a soft, malt base of dark caramel and toast. It's doughy, and bready, and nutty as well - and I think the smoky side just surrounds that and brings it all into focus. It's like a combination between a Scotch ale and a Franconian rauchbier, and somehow that all works. It reminds me of the smell of a flannel shirt after a camping trip. It's woodsy, but also ashen. It's not quite as lively as a Beechwood smoked beer, however, as it doesn't quite have that 'sweet' note of the wood to it. Which brings me to bitterness in a round about way. It's malt and sweet upfront, but bridled by the smoke, and then a very firm but thin bitterness steps in. And in the finish it's drying with a bit of a raspy edge that's no doubt in part due to the smokiness, and at least in some part due to some grassy and gently piney hops.

Wow! It really takes me back to the woods! What an interesting and enjoyable beer. I wonder how it would be to enjoy one on a camping trip late at night in front of the campfire under the stars. (Interesting aside that's worth noting here, for many years some time ago I would make a trip to Weyerbacher, and then camp at Dingmans Ferry in the Delaware Water Gap nearby). Certainly worth trying, if not seeking out!

Photo of ski271
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Zeno's in State College, PA. Very dark brown with a small, creamy, off-white, slowly diminishing head. Smell is of smokey charcoal with some light fruity hops present underneath. Taste-wise, LOTS of smoke up front, moderate toasted malt backbone, fruity hops on the finish. It has a medium-thick body, dry texture and moderate carbonation. I found the smokiness to too be quite large and rather overpowering, but that's to be expected of the style so I guess I can't hold that against it that much. Not a bad beer.

Photo of Deuane
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Deep brown tinted with copper highlights with a thin light tan head that leaves nice lace.

S-Light smoky oak and a bit of malt sweetness.

T-Sharp hop bite up front with a dry oak finish. Sweet caramel and light smoky highlights compliment the oak dryness.

M-Medium-light body with good lingering flavours and a pleasant dry finish.

D-A very good beer for an introduction to smoked beer. Good flavours with the oak, spicy hops, caramel and smoke. Well done and very approachable,

Photo of tmoneyba
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Hyde Park.

Poured clear brown color with a large frothy brown head that was mostly lasting with excellent lacing. Moderate smoke malty aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation. Medium bittersweet smoke flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

My expectation where exceeded and went well with sweet & sour meatballs during NCAA hockey game.

Photo of Wasatch
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this one.

Pours a nice brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy head, with some sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with some smoke notes. The taste is slighlty sweet, malty, nice touch of smoke. Medium body. Drinkable, I like this one.

Photo of u2carew
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A) Pours brown with reddish hues and a creamy head. Very good clarity. On the pour the head rises to about a quarter inch then settles to the outside edge of the glass.
S) Sweet caramel aroma with smoky notes.
T) A mild chewiness in the middle coupled with malty sweetness and a slight medicinal / alcoholic taste. A woodsy smokiness in the aftertaste.
M) CO2 crispness on the front end, puts a tingle on the tongue, then moves to a creamy, medium to full body.
D) A decent smoked beer, but was expecting a stronger smoke essence.

Fireside Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 366 ratings.