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Fireside Chat - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Fireside ChatFireside Chat

Educational use only; do not reuse.

328 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 328
Hads: 1,122
Avg: 3.41
pDev: 31.96%
Wants: 39
Gots: 183 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 328 | Hads: 1,122
Photo of hosehead83
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a twelve ounce can into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown in color, with reddish highlights, and a nice, two-inch head of tan foam.
Aroma-Nutmeg and cinnamon notes, faint spiciness.
Taste-A pronounced spiciness and a bit unbalanced-flavors sort of lumped together rather than blended. A subtle hop note in the finish.
Overall, a rather middle-of-the-road winter warmer that nevertheless fits easily into a winter coat pocket for assorted outdoor events.

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Photo of silentjay
2.89/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a muddy, dark brown with a huge, dense tan head that lasts a while and leaves chunks on the glass.

rather faint aroma of caramel, butterscotch, fruits, metal, butter, and alcohol.

not much in the flavor until the metallic character steps in after the swallow. what is there is a bit spicy (nutmeg, ginger) a bit sweet (dark caramel), and a bit fruity (plum, blackberry, fig). not really combined well, though.

medium bodied brew with a touch too much carbonation and a "chewing on tinfoil" quality from start to finish.

drinks ok. very average as far as winter brews go. would rather a "mass-produced" winter warmer at this point. the metallic character gives canned craft beers a bad rep, when many others don't suffer from that... its not the can just something a bit off in the beer.

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Photo of womencantsail
1.89/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

On-tap at 21A

A: The pour is almost black cherry in color with a creamy off-white head.

S: Smells like sour cherries and prunes with some metal, smoke, and cereal. There's a bit of a booze-soaked fruit cake thing going on a well.

T: Like the nose, lots of sour/spoiled fruit juices, particularly cherries, prunes, and raisins. A bit of an olive flavor as well as metal and cheerios. And just for good measure, some alcohol and brown sugar.

M: The body and carbonation is both medium.

D: Another loser from 21A. This was bad in just about every way.

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Photo of mountsnow1010
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Can poured into chimay goblet

A - brown with tan head. looks nice.
S - figs, prunes, plums...alcohol
T - dark fruits, sugar, sour bite, spices? can't really pick out anything
M - bubbly and smooth. not bad but a bit watery, not my favorite
D - very good considering alcohol content.

a bit disappointing. did not warm me at all!!

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Photo of Gmann
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep chestnut brown color with a tight, dense khaki colored head, which settles into a light cap with some sticky lacing. The aroma is of brown sugar and spices. The spices seem to be nutmeg and cinnamon, perhaps some ginger. I want to say I pick up some vanilla as well. The flavor starts off with a nice mellow chocolate flavor but is quickly overwhelmed with a strong lemon and tea like flavor. It has a sour berry thing going on and the spice that I picked up in the nose went in hiding. No artifical flavor which is a plus. The feel is creamy yet has quite active carbonation. The beer has a moderate body and is mostly sour throughout. The ABV is well hidden but doesn't need to be as high considering the body. It is not a bad beer but I dinged it a bit because of the style. I feel that it lacks on the malty richness for the style and is way too sour for the style. I will have no issues drinking the rest of the 6 pack.

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Photo of ElGordo
2.98/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pretty chestnut brown with a finger's worth of creamy tan head. Aroma of sweet dark and caramel malt, some notes of holiday spice, and a whiff of alcohol. Palate is malty up front with a touch of caramel sweetness. A bit of bittersweet chocolate and holiday spices come through before the swallow. Notes of clove, allspice, and/or nutmeg are present. Finish is clean, with just a touch of warmth from the alcohol. Body is a little thin for a beer of this strength.

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

Curious spiced winter ale, with a marked sour sense.

Presentation: 12 oz can. Design around a cartoonish illustration of FDR having the conversation by the fireside with an elf. Notes seasonal release. Has some batch numbers but lacks a clear freshness or canning date, shows IBUs (45) and Alc. by Vol. (7.9%) Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Ruby brown to deep brown pour. Rich creamy head, good retention and surface memory with some lacing.

S - Spiced nose, rather compact with an emerging sourness over a light hoppy dash.

T - The mother of sourness... Hefty fruity sourness, under a rounded spiced sense, malty and sour again, cinnamon and a dash of citrus tying it back to a particular spiced sourness, assertive.

M - Medium body with medium-low carbonation, fairly creamy under the spicy sense.

D - Hmm, it works relatively well if one embraces the spiced sourness but its intensity also hinders its drinkability a bit.

Notes: This can may suffer equally from bad marketing and hype. Quite attractive in the design, and with a typically rather likable profile as with the other 21st Amendment brews, it sure comes as a bit of a hefty sour surprise. If one is not warned about that profile, and then one does not like the spiced sourness it is bound to disappoint. Ultimately it is not that bad a brew, but being a bit clearer about the overall profile might help it quite a bit...

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Photo of Beejay
2.33/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Dark red when held up to the light. It pours a murky brown and the head on this is somewhat small. The head that is there is light tan, and required a fairly aggressive pour.

S: There is almost a wild yeast character in the aroma. Slightly tart and yeasty at first.

T: Slightly tart, and fairly metallic. The aftertaste is almost like how cat breath smells.

M: Medium thickness, high carbonation, and it leaves a bit of a funky aftertaste..

D: Not a big fan. Seems a bit out of place for me.

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Photo of BrewsUcanUse
1.36/5  rDev -60.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Was looking forward to this beer. Unfortunately it was sour sour and sour. Very disappointing. The spiciness was overwhelmed by the sour flavor. I could only taste a slight hint of it

I am afraid I got a bad batch. It was that bad. Unless it was meant to be a sour beer. Then they hit it dead on.

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Photo of Tifore
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a pint glass.

A - Pours a deep amber to mahogany in color. Lots of red and oranges. Develops a huge three finger head that is light white in color and pretty thick. Has a great lacing that holds to the sides of the glass as well.

S - Smells suprisingly light on the spice as compared to GLBC Christmas Ale or Wassail for examples. Spice is still there though, cinnamon and nutmeg mainly. Some fruity banana notes as well.

T - Taste is very much like smell. Spices come through and blend well with some hoppy-ness which leads to this semi weird bitterness at the end that doesn't really fit but kind of does.

M - Mouthfeel is very slick and oily. Lots of carbonation that attacks my tounge and leaves it tingling.

D - A highly drinkable beer. I could see having a few of these in a night and feeling great. I will definitely buy more this winter season.

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Photo of u2carew
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz can.
A)Pours with a big head. Frothy, creamy, and off-white. Dark mahogany body. Big bubble lacing.
S) Spices - cinnamon, nutmeg. Toasty notes.
T) Malty - toffee. Roasted grain notes. Hints of dark fruit, but very subtle. In the aftertaste a mellow caramel sweetness.
M) Crisp. Medium body, but a bit on the light side.
D) A decent winter warmer. Could be a bit heavier in body.

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Photo of ardeano
4.6/5  rDev +34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- straight from the can; I was at work and wasn't fast enough to get one of the snifters

S- crazy complex - fruity, malty and deep

T- like nothing like I've ever had; the taste follows the nose almost to a 'T', extremely rich with sweet dark plum and a bit of licorice - it's hard to explain other than it's a rich brew...

M- thinner than I was expecting (I was expecting a heavy liquid - don't know why) but rich nonetheless

D- your not going to sit down and finish a 4-pack off but a nice, rich end to a meal for sure... and if your not used to a rich, fruity beer I doubt your going to like this. If your a novice and interested in this beer I suggest finding a single can or find some friends to go in on a 4-pack.

Would think that a hot-out-of-the-oven chocolate brownie with hot chocolate sauce on it would be a perfect pairing for this...

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Photo of ccahoon22
2.66/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a thick 2 finger head. Dark reddish brown in color

S - Very light spice and some carbonation

T - Very carbonated but not much spice taste. I cant tell exactly what the flavor is I'm tasting. It's sweet with some bitterness. Not a great taste.

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Photo of Cylinsier
2.7/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5


Pours dark brownish, medium off-white head.

Smells of spiced brown sugar malts.

The taste is odd, a bit bitter at first and then very bland, almost nothing detectable. However, as it warms up, it has a sour note to it. Not sure what that's about. Otherwise, dark sugar malts.

Feels moderate, on the fuller side, with mild carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

The taste is off-putting. The other characteristics of the beer are good, but the sourness makes me wonder if I got a bad batch or something. Wouldn't try this again unless I knew for a fact I got a bad one.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a single can of this while I was in Minnesota. I'm digging the can artwork. Poured into globe.

A: the beer pours a deep chestnut/maroon with ruby highlights where the light barely passes through. A sparse tan/white head forms and leaves some splotchy lacing behind.

S: upon smelling this brew, you can immediately detect a considerable amount of spice. I get some cinnamon and nutmeg up front which pair with some significant fruity character. The fruits character is reminiscent of figs and dark cherry skins. The aroma reminds me of Monks Blood a bit. There is a lot going on, but I can't say the combo of spices is exactly my favorite to go with a beer.

T: the spices come through on the palate up front, again with notes of cinnamon along with anise and orange peel. By mid palate, the flavor is quite bitter, almost like there is some ginger root. The spices are very earthy and finish with a bit of tingling sensation. The spices do a good job of balancing the sweetness of the brew, but again, not the best flavor combo.

MF: high carbonation, medium to thick body, slightly syrupy texture

D: this beer is worth trying for the sake of being unique and interesting, but it is not something I could see myself seeking out or even drinking again. The end product seems to be over spiced and just doesn't translate to a great beer.

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Photo of Natural510
3.76/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz can, no dating. Strangely, this one was brewed in Minnesota.

Impressive look; rich near-black with red highlights. Delicious-looking, creamy head with quality lacing.

Malty, earthy scent with cookie spices and a hint of ginger.

Flavor is decidedly spiced, with cinnamon, clove, ginger and cedar bark. Mildly sweet with an earthiness and balance from creeping hop bite.

Full body makes for high drinkability.

This is a milder Christmas ale; a bit of a muted version of the Anchor version, still flavorful. Apparently I liked it better than most people here.

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Photo of mymrnngjckt
1.36/5  rDev -60.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured from the can into a standard shaker pint. Pours a murky golden brown. A slight smell of molases is present but not much else. Taste is non-existant. No flavor at all. A lot of carbonation but it takes away from the severe lack of any flavor. This is a downright undrinkable beer. Fail.

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Photo of mdaschaf
2.11/5  rDev -38.1%
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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Photo of smakawhat
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the can in to a pint glass of a great standing head with large bubbles that stay but slowly fall to just at the right time. Some minimal lace, but small bubble stickyness on a dark brown walnut color with tinges of red at the bottom with light through. Slightly opaque.

Smell, great spice of clove and also a cherry chewy fruit smell, very festive without being cloyingly sweet. Great aroma!

Taste, big body and giant fruit cherry component but not sweet, faint hop finish, coats your palate real well, jammy consistency.

Easy drinking, easily addictive, a great seasonal winter beer.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.31/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - pours a fine autumnal caramel/brown. A finger of light creamy mocha rests atop and makes some good swaths of lace on the glass.

Aroma - lightly bready and toasty, spicy shades of cola, anise, orange, along the lines of Anchor cmas ale.

Taste - starts off with a decent brown ale style maltiness. That slightly sourish, sweetish malt flavor of a brown, followed by some nice toasty grain, light spices like anise and maybe cardamom. Festive to a point, but not overly intense or exciting. A late drying smack of hops on the aftertaste. I think this is closer to a brown than a winter warmer. A little disappointed but it's good enough to keep.

Mouthfeel - good smoothness, medium carbonation, good body for the style.

Drinkability - a decent brew, props for the presidential can art. Doesn't have an elevated appeal for me like winter warmers generally do, but this is more of a spiced brown ale.

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Photo of Billolick
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of tmcelvain
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

L: Reddish Amber with a big, but quickly disapating foamy head.
S: Bready malts.
T: Lots of good flavor - just what I would expect from a spiced winter ale. Malt backbone with hints of cinnamon (maybe cardamon?) and allspice. Nice light hop bitterness on the finish. Could almost be an English Strong Dark IMO.
M: A bit flat - which seems just right for a spiced winter ale. A little bit thin feeling, which keeps this from excelling as a real winter beer. It has the flavor and the warming alcohol (though I can't find it in the taste at all) of a true winter beer, but lacks the body. Slightly sour aftertaste.
D: Not a real drinkable beer, though I would say that about most spiced ales - just too much going on too drink more than 1 or 2.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.01/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep amber to almost black in color, with a light tan head. In the aroma, sugary caramel, like standing in a candy shop. In the taste, roasty, quite sugary, and very candy like. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small hint of dry caramel in the aftertaste. A bit sugary and candy like, ok, but it could be too much after one.

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Photo of pnwclimber
1.46/5  rDev -57.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Wow, I didn't want my first review to be a bad one, but this is one of the worst beers I have ever had. At $9 a six pack it was a rip off. Tastes like metal or blood. Frail body.

I don't even want to spend any more time on this review it was so bad. Stay away ...

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4.16/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A can poured into a sa perfect pint.

A- a steady pour yields three epic fingers of light tan fluffy head that rises I good half an inch about the glass and holds for a nice bit. Head slowly settles leaving tons of chunky lace all around the glass and a thick foamed milk like ring. The body is a hazy deep chestnut brown with a bit of a red glow. Great looking brew.

S- opens up with clove studded oranges, nutmeg, a touch of cinnamon then rolls banana bread and some brown sugar.

T- fall spices at first with nutmeg, and cinnamon some cloves but to a lesser extent. Nice fruit component right behind the spices that bring a bit a granny smith apple and peaches to mind. Toasted bread and some caramel sweetness to round thing out.

M- a bit less then medium in body with a nice carb that starts off light and a bit creamy and finishes bright and a bit aggressive, it works well keeping the flavor from becoming to overbearing.

D- I really enjoyed this beer. I'm not usually a big fan of ww but this one brings something new to the style for me. Ill keep my eye out for it on draft.

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Fireside Chat from 21st Amendment Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 328 ratings.