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Fireside Chat - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Fireside ChatFireside Chat

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

1,056 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,056
Reviews: 325
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 17%
Wants: 34
Gots: 149 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.90% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: elgiacomo on 10-19-2010

Like FDR’s Depression-era radio addresses, which were like a kick in the butt and a hug at the same time, our Fireside Chat is a subtle twist on the traditional seasonal brew. We begin with a rich, dark, English-style ale and then we improvise with spices until we know we have a beer worth sharing with the nation.

Fireside Chat is our early winter seasonal brew available from October through December in six pack cans and on draft. Brewed like a classic, warming Strong Ale but with a subtle blend of hand-selected spices for just the right festive flair.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,056 | Reviews: 325
Reviews by ccrida:
Photo of ccrida
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draught at the Collins Pub, Fireside Chat is mahogany with a light tan head that leaves nice lace patterns.

Smell is malty, a touch sweet, with some spiciness, which gain dominance as it warms. Pretty standard winter warmer.

Taste is good, one of the better winter warmers I've had in a while. It's got a deep depth of malty goodness without being overly phenolic, very smooth in-spite of the sturdy ABV, and boasts enough spices to add color without dominating the palate (at first, they crept close to too much by the end). I like the chocolate note from the malt in particular, it cranks it up a notch beyond your average amber WW.

Mouthfeel is dry, spicy, medium bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good, this really worked for me as far as winter warmers go, which I'm normally not to fond of. I'm normally not a fan of spiced beers, but they were somewhat tempered here by the rich maltiness, although there was a bit of buildup in the back of the throat by the end of the pint. Smooth and strong are also big pluses in my book!

More User Reviews:
Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

21st Amendment Fireside Chat
12 oz. can, $1.99 @ Joe Canal's, Egg Harbor Twp., NJ

Appearance: Surprisingly clear, very deep mahogany brown body beneath a short head of creamy tan froth. The head drops readily to a standard collar along the sides of the glass. Lacing is made up of tiny spots, some larger drops, and the occasional stretch of craggy lace.

Smell: Dark caramel and spice - no surprise there. Cinnamon is clear. Perhaps nutmeg, maybe ginger... nice.

Taste: The spice is strong, but I don't think it's over-done. However, it does kind of build at the back of the throat unless you give it some time between sips. It's balanced within the dark, almost-burnt-sugar maltiness, and a surprisingly bitter back-bone. As it warms it becomes more chocolatey and round, softening the spice a bit more.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and gently zesty on the tongue.

Overall: Charming, festive, and warming.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.26/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

When cooler weather comes calling, so does the flock to indoor convening- hovering around the fire for bar banter and cosmos riddling. And the San "by God" Francisco brewery makes a beer for such the occasion.

Fireside Chat opens with the common brown ale charm. Its dark chocolaty austere highlights its initial toffee, nutty and sweeter malt tones while aromas of butter pecan, walnut, chocolate and toast waft about.

Spicy introductions are made upon the middle palate as the creamy but semi-dry ale balances that malt sweetness with the supple spices of coffee and allspice- lead by cinnamon. Yet as delicate clove and nutmeg round out the beer's juicy malt center, its bigger-than-usual taste and effects take hold.

Drying alcohol and fleeting malt sweetness gives the ale a semi-sweet finish, creating crevices in taste that allow for the strong astringency from spice to balance the beer more so than hop additions. Those broad an woodsy hops are no match for the tannin-heavy unsettling that comes with those excessively boiled tea and spent coffee ground flavors.

While the ale simmers in the glass like coffee- there's a lot of promise in its taste. Allowing the spices to join the process in more post-fermentation usage would have retained the delicate oils from the spices and without leaching its brash tannin.

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great artwork on the can.

A - Poured out a dark burgundy color with a one-finger, tan head of white foam. It left thin wisps of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of traditional Christmas spices - nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. A mild caramel malt aroma, too.

T - It tasted spicy - not hop spice but spices. Again, more nutmeg and cinnamon. A slight dried fruit flavor like figs and plums mixed with strong maltiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - I was glad to finally try a can from 21st and this was a pretty nice one. Loved the artwork and it was pretty tasty, too.

Photo of MaineBrewing
2.42/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Poured a dark brown mahogany body with slight red or ruby highlights. Head was just shy of 2 fingers and was very frothy, creamy texture against some larger bubbles. Left a few streaks of lacing, and always appeared lively.

S - Smell is very sweet and fruity at first with an immediate wallop of cinnamon and nutmeg, maybe some other things from the spice rack in there... very spiced smelling. The sweet fruity aroma is almost raisiny, with a thick bready malt note. Like some sort of overly sweet and rich holiday desert.

T - Taste follows the nose but is engulfed in an astringent finish that swallows it up like a black hole. Nothing can escape the astringency... accept the cinnamon and the sweetnes. So yes.. no real malt, hops, just a drying astringent holiday cookie that was overcooked. On top of that, somehow in the face of massive astringency, the sweetness is just immense... I think cloying is a harsh word and I try not to use it in my reviews without some restraint... but this... this is cloyingly sweet beer.

M - Thick, sweet but still astringent.

O - This was neither refreshing, nor could it possibly perpetuate any fireside chat. Maybe I should smoke a cigarette like the guy on the can to add some flavor. Sorry for the diatribe, I often find myself liking most of the new beers I try. This one would be a drain pour if I wasn't committed to writing this review based on a fully drunken beer to give it the benefit of the doubt that it gets better as it warms. It doesn't.

Photo of Crotalusrob
1.17/5  rDev -66.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Let me just start this semi-long winded review on how much I disliked this beer...I disliked it so much that I stopped what I was doing at 4 AM to come and write my first review on beer advocate. I’ve been reading reviews on this site for over a year now and I’m on it quite frequently, I’ve been meaning to start writing reviews for months now and well...Holy god damn shit this was the perfect inspiration. I by no means am an expert, and I fully understand that everyones palate is different, I’m sure there’s someone on this planet who can find something to like about this beer but they are probably a tad slow or dying of some kind of horrible disease that effects their senses...but I digress

A: Dark brown and red with a surprisingly deceiving head, I looked at it and said “wow that looks like a good beer”

S: Dark (dark wasn’t a smell until now) black coffee mixed with a small amount of 10-W30 engine oil, maybe an odd type of weird dried fruit scent in there some where, uhhh and alcohol and water scents as well

T: Dark (also a taste now as well), burnt, thick with coffee and weird dried fruit on occasion oil, lots of a bitter taste and a very strong presence of alcohol, some weird spices , very very harsh and unenjoyable, this should be called “fireside unnecessarily horrible yet intentional suicide”

M: Thick, chalky, harsh, rough...I keep taking a small sip of this after every section of this review and...god this is just really bad.

O: I’m extremely open minded when it comes to all beer, 99.9% of what I try that I’m not a fan of I can at least find something positive to say about it, and I usually end on an “I won’t buy it again but I’d drink it if it was offered to me” type of note. NOT fireside chat, I will never drink this shat again. It’s just not good, I’m not trying to be a jerk it is just a sincerely bad product.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I got myself into trouble drinking pints of this at a pub, not knowing how strong it is on the alcohol, because it never shows it! A few of these and I was real loose, which is always fun. Dark brown it looks like a porter, but the roast on the grain is only medium, and there is very little bitterness. What bitterness is in here is balanced out by a brown sugary middle and a drying spicy finish that may include anise and clove. A darker take on the winter warmer, it's rich and satisfying in the feel, very full bodied and lightly carbonated. Surprised how drinkable it is, which is how I got wasted on it in the first place. I have liked all the beer I have had from these guys, cool they have wider distribution now. Not my favorite here, but is think it is underrated.

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single finger head with poor retention but nice lace on a near clear deep amber red body. Aroma is very sweet and well represented with nutmeg, cherry, mint and cinnamon, all spice really. Flavors of the winter season with more nutmeg, gingerbread, nutmeg and hint of peppermint. Some caramel malt base as well. A lot thicker than expected, moderate carbonation and fairly oily coating the palate. Very interesting with this one managing to have many of the same flavors as others in the class but the overall flavors and body make it different and therefore memorable.

Photo of Doomcifer
2.19/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark amber/cherry color with decent head. Decent lacing. Immediate aroma of sourness, funk, and sweet candied malts. WTF? Definitely not what I expected. Smells like a Flemish Red/Sour Ale. Taste follows with brettomyces-like sourness and funk along with sweet malts, cherries, and bitter/tart/sour finish. Mouthfeel is semi dry, kind of thin. I really do not understand this beer at all and not sure what they were aiming for. I don't pick up any of the cinnamon and utmeg spice that they claim to have thrown in. I'm so confused...

Photo of Jason
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can

LOOK: Clear mahogany, lacing works for the duration.

SMELL: Burnt sugar, candied fruit, spice, alcohol, bread crust ... pretty much smells like a pissed off fruit cake.

TASTE: Smooth, creamy, toasty, carob powder, holiday spice, warming alcohol, ripe fruit, bready, molasses cookies.

Hey, if you are going for that spiced holiday ale you may as well go big or not go at all. 21st went big flailing away at the tastes buds, perhaps not liquid gold but it sure was fun to drink. Fun enough to have more than one as well.

Photo of Billolick
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce can, w/o any sort of freshness/canning date information.

Pours dark, murky amber, mocha head, moderate retention, thicker film and ample strands of lacing.

Holiday spicing in the nose.

Flavorful, spiced up creation, with notes of smoke, burnt malts, dark chocolate, then quite dry in the finish. Taste is all over the place and doesnt really come together all that well. On the thin side and lacking a solid finish. Another blah beer from 21st Amendment. Contract brewed in Minnesota. I'm getting the feeling this brand is all style and little substance. Nice looking gaphics on the can and packaging, fairly lame attempt at a craft brew in the can. It is warming, but this is a less then decent winter warmer/night capper.

Photo of tigg924
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: one inch head, clear, dark brown in color

Smell: cinnamon and nutmeg. This smells like a Christmas candle.

Taste: toasted malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and some sourness

Mouthfeel: medium-light bodied, medium/high carbonation, slightly bitter with spices

Drinkability: An average winter warmer. I could have a couple. The spices are there but are somewhat muted. I have had better from this brewery.

Photo of bsp77
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Rich, dark brown with thick, foamy tan white head.

Smell: Caramel, cherry, spicy & floral English hops and sweet gingerbread.

Taste: Semi-sweet caramel and roasted malts, with some cherry and spicy English hops. Ends very burnt and metallic.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, fairly light and thin body for almost 8%. Very dry finish, but that's not the greatest thing considering the circumstances of that finish.

Drinkability: The burnt metallic finish just kills this, and destroys any complexity. Not really sure where the spices are either, although I thought I smelled a little.

Photo of NilocRellim
3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the can.

This beer is a dark red/amber colour with a foamy head that didn't last long. The smell has a lot of spice to it, mostly cloves and cinnamon with a hint of nuttiness. The taste is in-line with the smell, lots of clove and spices, with a nutty aftertaste. A nice winter beer.

Would I buy it again? Yes.

Photo of kingcrowing
2.32/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz can poured into a Duvel tulip. Bonus points for my favorite president on the can!

Pours a nice really dark brown with a small dark brown head that fades fast. Nose is spicy and light and malty,

Taste is meh, not too much going on here, it's really disappointing and bland. This is 0/4 for 21st amendment.

Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass. Canned on 09/24/12.

Appearance: Pours a dark and hazy brown with some hints of ruby. Lots of rising bubbles and a big four finger light tan head with decent retention. Leaves a bunch of spotty lacing around the glass.

Smell: A malt and yeast driven aroma with a very big mix of spices. Toasted malts and a Belgian like yeast presence. Hints of banana, biscuit, cookie dough, gingerbread, toffee, caramel, and wheat grains. Big hints of spices including nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and pepper. Sweet brown sugar and molasses. Subtle hints of dark raisin, fig, dates, and prune. The spices really stand out. Interesting smell.

Taste: As spice driven and malty as it smells. Toasted malts with a taste of bananas, yeast, biscuit, gingerbread, grains, toffee, and caramel. Very big taste of spices including ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, clove, and a little pepper. Undertones of fruit including apple, dark fig, raisin, dates, and prune. Sweet kick from some candied sugar and molasses. A quite interesting combination. Its sort of like a Dunkelweizen mixed with a heavily spiced winter warmer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy and slick. Spicy and fairly smooth.

Overall: A pretty different take on a Winter Warmer. Very heavily spiced and a nice fruity malt mix. Pretty decent overall.

Photo of moundbz
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Kinda sweet and flat malt taste, tings the tongue.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown mahogany with ruby highlights when held toward the light, also forms a light tan head rising above my chalice. Fine even speckled lacing sticks to the glass. Aroma has a dark roasty cocoa accent with the dark roasted malts used, hints of subtle spices added as well a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg coated with honey glaze. Herbal/mild citrus hops in the background I see the beer actually clocks in at 45 IBUs, I wouldn't have estimated it being that high. Flavor has dark roasted malts cocoa rustic dark breadiness, herbal citric hops with spices running through. A nice tartness comes through the middle of it almost has some orange peel characteristics. Ample bitterness amongst the malts and spice additions, a nice complex canned ale perfect for the colder weather. Mouthfeel is medium bodied dry bitter finish from the spices and moderate hop dose, carbonation is moderate tickles the throat a good bit but also carries the spices across the palate nicely. Drinkability overall, I'm glad I grabbed a six of this for $9.99 it will last me throughout the winter months. A can here or there is what I would like to do, not much of a beer I want to sit and enjoy in number but it's nice if you're in the mood for this type of beer.

Photo of OStrungT
4.77/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark mohogany color with a thik, fluffy brown head. The head fades slowly, leaving a thick lace.

This beer has a pleasent, mild nutmeg aroma. I get a slight cinnimon aroma also. It has a mild, toffee like malty aroma as well.

This beer tastes like it smells. I like the mild, but noticable nutmeg flavor.

This beer is crisp, and refreshing. It leaves a spicy nutmeg like aftertaste. Carbonation is medium.

This beer might make a decent session beer. It is a little high in alcohol, and that is about the onl;y problem I see with it.

Overall: I liked this beer quite a bit. I am surprized it is rated so low. It is well balanced, with a nice flavor.

Photo of VeganBrewz
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a nice, deep, brown with slight tones of red capped by a respectable, thick cream colored head. Slight lacing.

Smell: Roasty, sweet, bready, alcoholic. Was expecting more of an aroma of spice from a "winter spiced ale" but if it's there, I'm not picking it up strongly enough to pick anything specific out.

Taste: Roasty & sweet, with alcohol and bready/yeasty tones on the back end. Still not getting much spice, which is a bummer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, slightly thin, with a definite (but not overwhelming) heat. Finishes slightly alcoholic, but doesn't leave you with that "sour mouth" feeling some beers tend to have.

Overall: I'm not all that familiar with winter warmers or english-style ales, but based on the descriptions I've read this one is pretty much to style. I do wish that there had been a more pronounced spice profile to this one, but all things considered it's not a bad brew at all. At 7.9 abv, a few pints will definetly fulfill the "warming" side of the equation!

Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis in Atlanta.

Pours a dark brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of muted toasted malts with large amounts of spices - nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice, with hints of brown sugar.

Tastes good. Toasted malt flavors are much more robust than in the aroma and kick things off. Spices join in shortly thereafter, mostly nutmeg and allspice. Midway through the sip the flavor sweetens a bit with the addition of slight brown sugar flavors. The spices then fade out, allowing toasted malt flavors to dry out a bit on the way to a lightly spiced and moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another.

Overall this is a winter warmer that's very close to being over the top but it stops just short. A robust and well done beer that's worth a shot.

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

St: 12oz can poured into a pint glass. Can lists ABV and COD.

A: Very dark chestnut brown with a dingy off-white slightly brown head. The head is fluffy, rocky, and a half-a-finger high; the retention is very good. Though the beer is dark, it is a clearer beer rather than cloudy. It also leaves decent lacing.

S: Clear nutmeg and cinnamon join with roasted malt. There is also a bit of dark fruit (raisins).

T: Lots of roasted malt and slight burnt coffee. Some nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon show on the back end along with alcohol and some hop bitterness.

M: Medium and smooth.

O: This beer has a great look and a nice aroma, but the taste does not deliver everything one expects. The alcohol and bitterness, though meant to balance, actually takes away from the beer as a whole. I also think the beer could be a bit heavier. There is nice roasted malt and burnt edges, but the holiday spices get a little lost in the background.

Photo of Brenden
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes are from last night.

This beer pours a thick, dark brown. At first a big head forms from a very active cascade effect and leaves small patches of lacing at the very top of the glass as it recedes. Retention is fair, and it eventually leaves a pretty thick ring of head for the rest of the way, dropping behind some lace in thin patches.
The nose is an interesting one to try to pick through. Cinnamon definitely seems to be in there with some nutmeg under a strong malt base. I think the fairly strong hops presence is what makes the aromas underneath a little more difficult to ascertain. I don't know if it's added or an aspect of the malts, but there's a bit of chocolate here as well.
The taste follows suit, with everything mingling nicely at first,but I think the hops actually throw things off a bit in the flavor. I would think that for this to be great, it would need to be a more lightly-hopped brown ale or porter, something more along those lines. For this particular beer, the IBUs are a bit high and don't mingle as nicely as I'd like. There's a touch of sourness that comes through here too, but working through a mouthful I can get beyond it to appreciate a decent complexity and an otherwise good flavor.
Each sip starts off fairly thick and gets a bit spritzy. Carbonation is moderate and the body is medium.
I can appreciate this, but I'd move on before too long. It's a respectable offering from 21st, but for now I'll stick with their hoppier styles.

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +36.9%

12 oz. can, 2014 edition poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, deep, dark, completely opaque, mahogany color with two full fingers of white head that dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Strong notes of toasted malt, dried stone fruit, winter spices such as clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, ginger, dark molasses and a touch of dark chocolate. Smells great!

Taste: Exactly like its aroma. Strong flavors of toasted malt, followed by strong flavors of dried stone fruit such as prunes, raisins, figs, apricots and dates, followed by candied sugar and Belgian yeast, and finally, some great flavors of spices such as clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel and ginger. Delicious!

Mouth feel: Medium to slightly chewy and pretty smooth, as there is very little in the way of carbonation. With an ABV of 7.9%, there is just a slight touch, a hint really, of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Wow! Another great beer from 21st Amendment!! Tons of malt, stone fruit and spices! Delicious!!

Photo of mdaschaf
2.11/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Can poured into an Evolution pint glass

A: Pours a dark brown with some carbonation bubbles being released. Small head formed but faded fast leaving a layer of foam on top. Nice lacing down the side.

S: Has a spicy smell, get some cinnamon and ginger. Also some brown sugar and some toasted biscuit aroma.

T: Started off ok with a spiced/roasted flavor. The middle has no taste whatsoever, it basically disappears. The finish has a coffee/metallic taste and is sour. Extremely off putting.

M/D: Medium bodied with good carbonation. Overall everything is good about this beer except the taste, which is the most important thing. A real big letdown, was hoping for much more but will probably not have this again.

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Fireside Chat from 21st Amendment Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 1,056 ratings.