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Fireside Chat - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Fireside ChatFireside Chat

Educational use only; do not reuse.

315 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 315
Hads: 1,067
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 20.36%
Wants: 36
Gots: 159 | 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: 315 | Hads: 1,067
Photo of Spikester
3.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Brown with a small white head and no lacing. Smell is minor spices gingerbread mostly. Taste is like a lightly spiced brown ale. Nice flavors and alcohol is well hidden. Not sure how the abv is so high in a beer with such a small flavor profile?
Mouthfeel is slick and lightly carbonated.
Overall a minor player in such a broad category. (338 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
3.62/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep chestnut color with a one finger tan head. Leaves light traces of lace and shows decent retention.

S: Faint, but I get some roasted malt, baking spices, molasses and gingerbread. You really have to work for it though.

T: Starts very nut brown ale-ish, with sweeter, nutty roasted malt tones upfront. Then some baking spices flare up and you're left with an aftertaste that is kind of like that bitter flavor you get when you try the cinnamon challenge. If you're into that kind of thing. (505 characters)

Photo of Botulizard
3.66/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the can into a goblet-type glass

A: Brown-red with a small coffee colored head that dissipates quickly, leaving a small amount of lacing.

S: Malty and spicy with fruity notes, like walking into a bakery around the holidays.

T: Lots of malt and spice, just like the nose, with a great balance of sweet and bitter.

M: Thick and hearty, just as you'd want a winter warmer.

O: Great beer, will definitely be drinking more of this (442 characters)

Photo of hopdabble
2.48/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

This is my first 21st amendment beer. I tend to like winter warmers - even cheesey ones like Harpoon. However - this is the first craft beer that I've ever thrown away... Cool packaging, though...

A - a translucent brown, thin head no lacing

S - not so perceptible - spicy mintesque. Yes, I invented that word - it had an almost but not quite minty smell. wintergreenm perhaps...

T - low-carbonation, thin... exactly as I would imagine an unsweetened rootbeer would be.

M - water-like

pretty color. Other than that, nothing nice about it, for me.... maybe a bad batch? still, at $11 a six pack, I'm not giving it another shot... (633 characters)

Photo of Givemebeer
3.61/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark ruby red with a beige head and good lacing

S: Spices in the forefront - cinnamon and apple pie. Maybe some dark fruit like figs

T: Not bad, but not great. A little roasty and bitter hiding the spices. Not too complex.

M: Creamy medium bodied and fairly drinkable considering the ABV. Pretty nice for the winter. (330 characters)

Photo of mpedara429
2.79/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured out a dark brown color that looked somewhat like root beer. Two fingers of light brown head with solid retention and lacing.

S: Mostly ginger and spice. Almost like a bubble gum smell too.

T: Heavy on the ginger… Also tasting citrus and dark malt. Quite the bitter bite. It tastes a lot like an alcoholic version of a San Pellegrino Chinotto.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: A little bit too bitter for my tastes. Also, depending on the person, the spice might be overbearing. Not really something I see myself going back to buy again. And for the record, I would much rather drink Chinotto over this. (627 characters)

Photo of jtw004
4.02/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance: A pretty dark brew with a slightly amber tone

Smell: Kind of a light smell, a somewhat unrecognizable smell

Taste: The beer at first glance gives you the smoothness and fullness you expect from any good dark brew but offers some exciting flavor from the spices

Mouthfeel: Not much carbonation about. Very very smooth.

Overall: A solid winter beer. (362 characters)

Photo of ksimons
3.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-a dark ruby with two fingers worth of creamy looking head

S-rich malt, cocoa, and light holiday spices

T-getting a bit more roasted malt in the taste, along with chocolate, toffee, and spices

M-medium body, good carbonation, slight dry roasted mouthfeel

Overall I think this beer is better than the average rating it's getting. Not spectacular, but still pretty decent (374 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.72/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a brandy snifter.

Dark, opaque, murky brown. Heavy lacing.
Stewed fruits, generic malts, hint of yeast.
Spicy, earthy, and lightly sour in a way that reminds me, not unpleasantly, of British beers. Some peculiar yeast? General over spiciness? I couldn't stay. I enjoy it, and the strength is apparent.
Mouthfeel is light, spicy, spritely, and heavy. Paradoxical and enjoyable.
A bit bittersweet for me, but still not a bad beer. Would have again. Recommended. (492 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.93/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

3rd Feb 2013: Rogue Pub on Union St, San Fransisco.

The chalkboard had been written in haste and my eyes are bad, so when I asked for the ZIA beer they looked at me a bit strange. ZIA looked a lot like 21A to me: anyway we got there in the end and I'm glad we did.

Dark brown body with a tan coloured head on my on-tap pint.

Christmas pudding of a beer: plums, damsons and rich spices filled the nose and mouth: I really enjoyed it. Full of flavour, warming and wintery in nature: a smoking jacket sort of beer. Impressed. (526 characters)

Photo of YardmanFTB
4.42/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite spiced winter beers and it comes from a place that doesn't even have a winter (San Francisco). It is a dark English-style ale spiced with cinnamon and other spices common in winter ales. I find it to be a great mix between a malty English Ale and a spiced American-style winter Ale. A great beer. (315 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.79/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours with one finger of light tan foam on top of a dark brown body with clear, amber highlights showing through.

S - Mint, nutmeg, cardamom, and dark cherries with a bready malt background.

T - Thick, brown malt up front with some brown sugar. More of the spice character comes out in the middle as notes of nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon come out. Finishes with more dark bread, spices, and a bit of caramel.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly dry finish.

D - Not bad, the spice aroma is still pungent even though this can has some age on it and it is a bit unique compared to many other spiced beers Ive tried. A fairly well handled example of a spiced beer. (691 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +19.8%
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. (569 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
3.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

We pop the tab and pour a brew of the deepest ruby red. It holds a two finger tall head of big, cakey, light brown bubbles on a rough pour. It leaves patterned lacing down the sides of the glass as it recedes at a slow pace. No haze is noted, but bulky sediment sits suspended about the foot of the glass. Carbonation appears light. The aroma is hugely robust, with sweet and biting cranberry, tart raspberry, candied cherries buttery caramel and coffee malts, burnt gingerbread, spicy booze, clove, lightly limey hops, and raw allspice. Our first impression is that the opening act is highly bittered, but it gives way to a smooth follow through, with cleanly stark components. As we sip, big metallics, soured coffee malts, raw cinnamon, lactics, and light leathers start things off. The peak comes with plenty of bitterness, drying coffee bean maltiness, earthy muskiness, and juicy, wet yeast. The finish washes with less bitterness, but the smoke and depth of caramel and coffee grain, more yeast, molasses sweetness, and spice of allspice, pumpkin, ginger, and pecan nuttiness. The aftertaste breathes of toffee sweetness, raw coffee malts, mild grapefruit and herbal hoppiness, strawberry fruitiness, raw leathers, charred smokiness, salts, white sugars, and distant booziness. The body is medium, and the carbonation is light to medium, but with hearty froth and cream on the front. The sip otherwise gives nice slurp, smack, and pop. Pucker adds to the astringent dryness as it clears away an initial coating. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks decently.

Overall, what we liked best about this beer was the true winteriness and warmth of the spice and depth of malts. While we do wish things had fleshed out a bit more fully through the flavoring, each component was nicely contributory to the final sip, adding nice depth and excitement throughout. The nose gave big fruity sweetness, and smelled a bit more like a bock, at times, than a warmer. Mouthfeel also ultimately added to the experience, helping to keep you happy with almost every sip. (2,066 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark copper color with a pretty nice off white head.

Aromas are of cider, ginger, and sugars.

Taste starts out with some cider flavors. Baked apple, slightly sweet, with some caramel notes. Finish is spicy. Mostly notice ginger, as well as nutmeg and cinnamon. Interesting beer, but pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth.

Overall, I like this. It might come off to some as being a bit heavy handed with the ginger and spices to some, but it works pretty well for me. (483 characters)

Photo of jco3rd
4.09/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic pint glass. Pours a dark color, like a porter. Nice fine head, which dissipates to a ring around the edges. Lots of suspended yeast, which detracts from the look in the glass.

Malty and rich gingerbread on the nose. Quite delightful.

Sweet malty flavor, balanced out by dark bitter roasted malt flavors with dark spice notes.

All in all enjoyable. However I feel it is slightly too bitter for the style. Still I will continue to purchase and enjoy this beer. (481 characters)

Photo of DMXLOX22
3.81/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single of this strange brew from a mixed six-pack at my local establishment. Let's see how it measures up.

Appearance: Pours a dark, almond-like, brown. Leaves behind moderate bubbles and an exceptional, frothy white head that takes it time to dissipate and the lacing it on par with most of the beers in this category.

Smell: Has some moderate, dark malts. Has an almost chocolate-like aroma, and it definitely comes into a positive aspect of this beer. It has a subtle tartness to it that actually draws me in more. I can see more indisputable things about this.

Taste: Has a upfront taste of slight fruits and calm, but thick malts. Noticed some lemon zest and cinnamon. Also I enjoyed a taste of brown sugar and slight amounts of vanilla. I thoroughly enjoyed the fine malts of dark roast, but the slight sweetness of spices. Goes together very well and is well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a nice, natural carbonation that makes for easy sipping.

Overall: Wasn't exactly thrilled going into this, but over time I did enjoy it as it went down. It brought some surprises to the plate, but there are in need of some improvements. Some of the spices added in were generic and not very different from the norm. Not to say this wasn't a good beer, as it was good for sipping, but nothing entirely too special. I would maybe try again if it were offered, but I guess I would recommend to a friend. Cheers! (1,431 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.3/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from can into a pint glass

Appearance - Pours a lightly hazed brown-mahogany color with a small one half finger cream colored head. The small head persists for some time to fade eventually leaving a lighter level of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is a mix of malty and spicy smells with notes of some sweetness within. The malty aromas are of a toasted malt with the spice being mainly of cinnamon and nutmeg. The sweet smells of caramel, fig, and plum mixed with a light boozy aroma, create a quite spiced fruitcake aroma overall

Taste – The taste begins of roasted malt and a very small amount of sweetness from plum and caramel. The caramel fades quite quickly from the taste, while tons of spice and a light boozy flavor come to the tongue. The spice flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg grow stronger to the end of the taste and are joined by an ever increasing rum like boozy taste. These flavors in the end leave a somewhat astringent rather dry boozy and spicy flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thinner side in terms of its creaminess and thickness with a carbonation level that is average to just above average. The thin body does a rather poor job at complimenting the roasted and boozy flavors, although on the plus side the thin body and higher carbonation level did prevent some of the more off flavors from really lingering on the tongue. So overall a moderate mouthfeel.

Overall – Not really one I would recommend. The flavors are a little too spicy and astringent with a feel that does not complement well the winter warmer category (although I guess the boozy taste does). (1,657 characters)

Photo of SHODriver
3.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: pours a deep brown with a slight reddish hue, call it mahogany. a finger of deep off white head sits atop and fades to a small mat after a decent time.
S: smells of spices, toffee and a little bit of plumb. very sweet on the nose
T: toffee up front, some spices like nutmeg and a hint of cinnamon, a bit of dark fruit, slight toastyness from the malt and some sugary sweetness. slight herbalness on the back end. aftertaste is hard to describe but it's like spice mixed with some hops and a bit more residual sugar
M: medium with active and slightly prickly carbonation, a little drying on the swallow
O: solid beer but the finish on the swallow really ruins it. glad I only got the one. overall it's not bad and if the aftertaste was cleaner and the flavors played better it would get higher marks. up until that point it was a solid B. (840 characters)

Photo of brewdude1982
4.4/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a 12 oz. can poured into a mug.

It pours a opaque black with no particles evident in the beer. It smells sweet like vanilla and maybe ginger or some other spice. I feel that it is nicely balanced and welcomed. I love the spices of this beer. It has a warming very pleasant taste of vanilla and then fades to the other spices as well as to the malts of this beer which are rich. I taste lots of sweet tastes which escape me but I definitely get vanilla. I like this beer and would order it again especially if on tap. (526 characters)

Photo of RJLarse
3.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I bought a couple cans of Fire3side Chat at Total Wine & More in Spokane. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a walnut brown color, translucent , with a foamy beige one finger head. The foam is fairly sticky and laces the side of the glass in a broad ring.

Smell is a darkly sweet aroma, with some dark fruit and rum notes. Dates, plums and a bit of a rum fruitcake aroma.

Taste is a lot like the smell, rich dark fruit flavors, a little spice and rum flavor. Just a touch of alcohol heat on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly cloying, with a heavy sweet aftertaste.

Overall a nice winter warmer. A little long on the sweet flavors. (649 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.74/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Poured into my Chimay chalice, this winter warmer poured a deep ruby brown color with an off-white, finger width head. Average retention, the resulting lace was spotty, with fair stick.

Smell - Really sweet, fruity smell, like dried pieces of stone fruit: peach, apricot and/or prune. Hints at bready malts.

Taste - Follows the nose, and then some. Big bread notes, complimented well by the strong fruit and spice character, a touch of bitter chocolate mid-taste and toward the back end, then finishes like burnt bread with a moderate amount of citrus bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full in body, with a fair amount of carbonation. Tingles the lips. Finishes somewhat on the dry side of things.

Overall - This is a nice winter warmer. I don't know that I could drink more than a can at a time, but it's certainly festive, and a beer I might turn to for a one-off night cap on a day like Christmas Eve. (921 characters)

Photo of ESeab
3.46/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into pint glass.

Amber/brown color with thin, lingering vanilla head

Smells malty and not too 'in your face' for a spiced beer. Hints of caramel and cinnamon.

Taste was smoother than I thought and the spices were not lingering at all. Nutmeg was noticeable.

Overall this was a good brew by 21st Amendment. I'm not a huge fan of Christmas ales but would drink this again, just wouldn't seek it out. The spice disguises any alcohol that would be detected. Give it a shot, good, not bad, not great. (515 characters)

Photo of atr2605
3.53/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a dark amber with an off white head that leaves a nice lace
S-cinnamon, brown sugar, cherries
T-caramelized sugar and spice meet with hop bitterness and a dry biscuit flavor in the finish
M-medium bodied
O-Not a bad beer, has decent flavor profile and appearance. Not a staple for my holiday season but might grab it once in awhile (339 characters)

Photo of GilGarp
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Canned 9-24-12.

Served cold into a goblet.

Fireside Chat is a hazy dark brown color with thin creamy head. Is settles quickly but leaves some lace behind.

Aroma is sweet and malty with honey and toffee elements.

Flavor is rich and spicy with lots of mulling spices like cinnamon and clove. It has a bit of vegetal flavor, which seems off.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall a pretty good winter warmer but too heavy on the spices for my tastes. (473 characters)

Fireside Chat from 21st Amendment Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 315 ratings.