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Fire Chief's Red Ale - Pump House Brewery

Not Rated.
Fire Chief's Red AleFire Chief's Red Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

34 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 34
Hads: 57
Avg: 3.48
pDev: 16.38%
Wants: 3
Gots: 2 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Pump House Brewery visit their website
New Brunswick, Canada

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: PiratePete on 11-17-2003

A deep tawny reddish hued Irish-inspired ale with a lingering nut-like maltiness. Very lightly hopped with a pleasant estery fruitiness expiring to wonderfully smooth finish. Slainte!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 34 | Hads: 57
Photo of jaxon53
2.7/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to my boy FishGetter, for picking up this brew while in Canada. Served chilled, in a pint glass, from a 341ML brown bottle.

Appearance: Fire Chief's Red Ale pours out a clear amber copper color. A semi hard pour yielded about a finger of thin, off-white head. Head faded quickly into a thin ring of foam around the glass. Slight spots of off-white lace were left randomly on the glass.

Smell: Tons of biscuity malt dominates the nose. Mild notes of plum and raisin. I really don't notice much of a hop aroma. Has a bit of a spicey yeastiness to it. Not a very strong nose.

Taste: Flavor is a bit of a mess in my opinion. Completely unbalanced. Not much more than a strong malt flavor. A slight hoppiness in the background. Has a bit of a chemical like flavor that is quite a turnoff. A bit of raisin is again noticed.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied mouthfeel. Moderately carbonated.

Drinkability: Drinkability is rough. The heavy unbalanced flavor gets boring very fast. This is definitely a beer I won't be seeking out.

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Photo of Mountainmanbrewing
2.96/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a copper colour with impressive clarity and a great creamy head that settles to a thin foamy layer.

The aroma is that of nutty, toasted and sweet caramel with some grassy hops in the background. The mouthfeel is creamy and medium-bodied but carried with a full malt flavour that starts off as a sweet caramel and then moves towards a toasted character in the middle.

This is quite a nice drinkable red ale that is more malt forward and slightly nutty than I'd prefer.

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Photo of mrmanning
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle from the LCBO- A deep but transparent amber with a frothy but short lived white cap. The aromas here are all about malts. Caramel and toffee, brown sugar, molasses, quite toasty too, with a smidge of grassy hops. Sweet caramel is the main flavour contender, with toffee, rye bread, spicy roasty malts, and grains. Creamy and sweet finish, with just a touch of hops to balance. Pretty good, though based on the hype on local beer forums, I was expecting a bit more.

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Photo of TerryW
3.06/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

New at the LCBO, grabbed a six. Decent looking beer, nicely red. Moderate head settles to a heavy film that surrenders nice lace. Properly handsome.

After that pretty much average across the board. Subdued malt aroma. Equally subdued taste, some malt, slightly woody. Somewhat odd mouthfeel - thin, a little dry and puckery.

Overall an average sort of beer experience. Won't get you all excited, but nothing offputting either - simply a middel of the road brew.

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Photo of Sammy
3.15/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber colour with a good amount of foam. Very malty aroma. Initially, a creamy slightly overcarbonated taste but the bite is fine, and I did get initially some hops. Then, the rest of the beverage was caramel, with some yeast. This is too sugary sweet.

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Photo of MMansfield
3.18/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bought a sixer at the NSLC.

Appearance: Pours a bright red colour with a monsterous bone white cap. I mean monsterous, pour very slowly.

Aroma: Fresh malt, bit of biscuits, soap, florals.

Taste: Plenty of malt but balanced. Caramel, medium bitterness in finish. Not overwhelming flavour, quaffable.

Mouthfeel: Quite a bit of body, creamy but overly carbonated as far as I'm concerned. Would like to this this a bit flater.

Final Statement: Probably the worst Pump House brew I've had to date. This doesn't mean you should avoid it. It was a bit enjoyable, I say try it once to see if you like it. It sounds like the bottled version is a bit different from on-tap.

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Photo of tonyf55
3.21/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle at The District into a pint glass

Visual (3.5): deep amber hue with slight clarity. Good darkness that hints at complexity. Single finger rolling head that simmers into a thin off white film leaving a light lacing.

Aroma (2.5): not what I expected. A fruity smell, crisp and sharp, almost like apple juice but a little sour. Made me worry the beer was a little off. As it warmed notes of almond seemed to poke through the sharp fruity sweetness.

Taste (3.5): malts dominate the whole way through with a nutty flavor that coats the tounge. A toasted, almost burnt, flavour adds an interesting kick at the end.

Mouthfeel (3): a light and watery feel that easily goes down. A very drinkable beer. Good for the style, but lacking an outstanding quality.

Overall (3.5): a good red, in it's own terms, and something I'd be proud to say I brew. Good appearance and interesting taste with a high degree of drinkability. The aromas seemed a little off, something I'll have to check when I have this again. A fairly average offering from last year's Canadian brewery of the year.

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Photo of PiratePete
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

In keeping with the fire motif of the Pump House Brewery (an old building where the pumpers parked) this ale has a fun kind of name. The Pump House bar pumps are all topped with red fire hydrants (called fire plugs in some places). A good looking amber/red ale with a head the colour of beige. The head hung around awhile and left some lacing but not alot. A little malt; a little hops; a fair balance. There are better reds out there but, this is a good beer. I'd certainly order it again.

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Photo of cfrancis
3.26/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a 6-pack at the local LCBO. This is you stereotypical red ale but with a little more mouthfeel than macros. Colour is red amber, aroma of caramel, nut and citrus. Taste is sweet toffee, hop with a medium body. I'd definitely drink this again.

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Photo of pootz
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a reddish-copper color, clear and bright with a decent frothy 2 finger cap wich laced the glass. Modest carbonation.

Aroma of Caramel, some sweetness, almonds, warrior hops (on long boil leave a light "soapy" smell)

Hearty body, good malt spine, silky texture, mellow character

Rich caramel malts in the front side, some nut and cocoa tones finishes wet and bittering with piney-citrus tastes.

Very well put together red ale, I like it and I'm not all that partial to ales.

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Photo of seand
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a fairly dark red brown amber, with a small amount of bubbly white head. A small layer retains, but doesn't leave much lacing.

S: Light, sweet brown sugar.

T: Lightly sweet, with a relatively hoppy finish. Not bad, not exceptional.

M: Medium body, light to medium carbonation.

D: Fairly drinkable, if a little bland.

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Photo of berley31
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a very small, off-white head and a clear, amber body. Average malt smell (some coffee in there), with light yeast present. Medium body on the palate, with a thin texture and soft carbonation. Slightly bitter finish. Taste is malty with an average duration, and moderately sweet. A better amber ale than I would have expected... somewhere between macro and micro.

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Photo of Shadman
3.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great head and lacing on this Monton, NB offering. A pale copper/red in color. Smells mostly of roasted caramel malts with some musty graininess and sweet floral hop. Taste is quite nicely balanced with the malt and sweet hop working well in tandem. Noted some metallic aftertaste, but doesn't ruin the experience. Maybe a touch on the sweet side with the aftertase. Found the mouthfeel to be medium to full bodied, actually somewhat creamy and smooth if you wait for the the head to settle properly. This is a decent red ale, nothing here to offend and is actually quite drinkable.

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Photo of biegaman
3.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Fire Chief's ale is coloured like a carnelian gemstone; it is an amber tone that encompasses shades of cedar and ruby. The beer is spotlessly clean and has a gleaming complexion that dissects the light into glinty fragments. Squinting reveals the beer to be rife with bubbles. Its ultra-lush heap of off-white head sits unruffled and thoroughgoing.

The best Red Ales set themselves apart with a distinctly toasty, caramelly sweet maltiness - this is nearly there. There is a good deal of biscuity, toasty, almost roasted maltiness and a toffee-like tinge but it isn't quite appetizing. Easy-going? Sure. Better than average? Definitely. But does it make me want to guzzle the beer down? Almost, but not quite.

The same could be said about the taste. The flavour of toasty, biscuity, caramelly malts does suffice but fails to go that extra yard. It is tasteful but not tasty. Again, it is surely easy-going, definitely better than average but am I guzzling the beer down? Not exactly. That being said, they have hit the style profile right on the mark.

Which leads me to believe that when it comes to Irish Reds maybe we should stress overall drinkability, not flavour. After all, these beers are meant to be simple, easy to please ales. This example is most certainly quaffable; moderate carbonation, sufficient maltiness, balanced sweetness and a dry, almost abrupt, finish make for a good session ale.

The last few swigs are revealing wonderfully nutty and estery essences that I suppose come only with warming. The brewery has those to thank for a last-second increase to the flavour score. Regardless, I'd say that overall Pumphouse has crafted a highly quaffable, reasonably flavourful beer that is a solid representation of the Irish Red style.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found this 6'er at a liquor store in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. It states 5.5% abv on the label. It is a light copper color with minimal head and retention although the carbonation is lively.

This one leans towards the amber side of the category. I've always loved this category because reds can be so hoppy and ambers can dominate the heavy side. Hops are subdued and more of an afterthought. Slightly toasted. There is a general malt sweetness to this and then in the aftertaste is a sharp woody bitterness. Like green bark.

Notes: I have nothing but time....nothing but time to investigate the beer scene here. This is an average to below average amber. Nothing stands out and it is a bit rough around the edges.

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Photo of mintjellie
3.47/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish-brown with a finger of off white head quickly fading to a thin cap. No lacing left behind.

Smells of dried fruit. Sweet raisins. Toffee is present as well. Hop presence isn't noticeable. Pleasant, but very malt-forward.

Tastes sweet. Dried fruit and toffee. Some nut flavours are here as well. Hops are very subdued, confined to a really mild bitterness toward the end. The beer gains a little roasted character as it warms up.

Body between light and medium, moderate carbonation. I've made my way through this bottle pretty easily.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle of this as part of our Canada Day beer swap.

A - Pours a hazy red colour with a brown hue, a thumb of head which slowly dissipated leaving no real lacing.

S - Chocolate, toffee and caramel malts. Definitely on the sweet side.

T - The toffee and caramel malts come through nicely off the top. Some bitter hops are noticeable on the finish.

M - A little on the syropy side, not enough carbonation for my liking. That being said, it still goes down quite smooth but does finish a little on the dry side.

D - I've overlooked this on several occasions when at the liquor store, but I am glad that I got an opportunity to try it. Pretty tasty red ale, and a solid offering from Pumphouse. Not mind blowing, but still a memorable ale.

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Photo of Seanstoppable
3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug resulted in a dark red with a decent amount of sticky head that stuck around for a bit and left lacing down the glass. Taste was somewhat smooth with some caramel and malt flavor. It also tasted.... a little bit flat? No date on the bottle, but it is a bit scruffy and has a "Canadian Brewery of the Year" label (Pump House won back in 2005) so maybe I got a bottle that had been kicking around for a while. Despite that it is still a good taste with some good drinkability.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic glass. Auburn or russet hue, orange to the light, and slightly opaque. Decent retention, a bit of patchy lacing.

The smell is sweet and bready, with caramel and perhaps some dark fruit.

The taste is certainly enjoyable; the sweetness isn't too overpowering, and the finish is slightly bitter. Gradually becomes more nutty as I work my way through it.

Thick, almost creamy mouthfeel, with decent levels of carbonation.

A solid brew, perhaps a bit too sweet for a session, but certainly flavorful. I wasn't blown away by it, but I'll certainly pick up a 6 pack again.

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Photo of Stonepot
3.57/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great dark red color with a creamy head. Drank it out of a big ass heavy glass mug with a thick handle. Made me feel manly and tough. I love that glass so much, it makes me feel indestructible, like Superman. If I drink too much then my arm gets sore. The beer is great too, but the glass was the hilight. I think I will name it, Elmer.

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Photo of JustinBathurst
3.57/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought it at the NLC.

Poured a nice, clear copper-brown. It had a thick tan head that remained much more than lace throughout the entire glass.

Aroma was ground coffee, caramel, freshly cut crisp apple, hops, and biscuits.

Mouthfeel was smooth with good carbonation.

Taste was roasted malt with a tad of tart cider. A little bit grainy. The finish is hoppy enough with a balanced tart-bitter aftertaste.

Nice and balanced. A good ale.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very nice amber with a thick, satisfying head of foam. Nice lacings all the way down. Clear with visible carbonation.

Subtle caramel notes on the nose.

Soft caramel sweetness up front. Surprising nuttiness through the middle with a bit of a roasted character. Finishes off with some light hopping and a nice crisp finish.

Mouthfeel is nice, perhaps a touch to heavy on the carbonation.

Close your eyes and this could be a brown ale, it's that heavy on the nut flavours. I'd like some more sweetness to this, but it is firmly in the American red category.

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Photo of bobsy
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This amber/red ale category is really a catch all that reminds me of the Quebecois fashion of naming beers after colours. While you can come across intense hop bombs, you can also fing malt-dominated brews, and the Pump House definitely leans toward the latter.

An attractive deep copper pour, with strong red tones, Fire Chief's Red Sports a finger of smooth light tan head, which coates the glass in lace and shows good retention. Its an encouraging start and already a vast improvement over their blueberry ale. The aroma contains caramel and milk chocolate with a slight soapiness in the rear. The taste is all malt up front with a slight hop bite in the finish. Caramel and chocolate dominate, with hints of toasted walnut, followed by a delicate citrus. The caramel and chocolate do make for a pleasant beer, and it almost feels like a traditional English brown ale. While no one element stands out, including its medium-light body and moderate carbonation, it is a pleasant drink, and certainly approachable.

The new brewer at Pump House really knows his stuff, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's made some tweaks to this recipe. Whether he has or not, its a solid brew.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark red/amber with a nice creamy white head.

Smells very nutty, sweet caramel malts and some butterscotch, very interesting!

Nutty upfront, some vanilla and caramel, very subtle hop background, mostly dominated by sweet malt, maybe a bit watery though...

Decent creamy mouthfeel, doesn't leave much of an aftertaste, but overall a decent red ale, probably wouldn't buy again.

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Photo of decimator
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Poured a slightly hazy copper with a 1cm tan head. Head reduced to ring sticking to the glass. Some lacing is produced.

S - Brown sugar, honey, some nuttiness, a hint of toasts and a hint of herbs.

T - A honey and caramel sweetness upfront, mild nuttiness, light toastiness and a mild bitter hop finish. The balance is as expected on the sweet side.

M - Good carbonation, some creaminess and a dry finish.

D - Quite drinkable. Definitely in the "drink only this all night long" category.

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Fire Chief's Red Ale from Pump House Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.