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Fireside Chat - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Fireside ChatFireside Chat

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

785 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 785
Reviews: 280
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 18.31%
Wants: 20
Gots: 42 | 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:
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 added by: elgiacomo on 10-19-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 785 | Reviews: 280 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smakawhat
4/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

smakawhat, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.28/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

brewdlyhooked13, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of Billolick
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Billolick, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of tmcelvain
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

tmcelvain, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of OWSLEY069
3/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

OWSLEY069, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of pnwclimber
1.4/5  rDev -59.3%
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 ...

pnwclimber, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of oglmcdgl
4.15/5  rDev +20.6%
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.

oglmcdgl, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of Doomcifer
2.17/5  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...

Doomcifer, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of Daktyls
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Appears as a dark brown sitting on the table, but when held up to the light is a dark ruby color with a two finger head that dissipates slowly leaving a lot of lacing on the side of the glass.

S: There is definitely some spice in the nose, I can pick up cinnamon and a little bit of nutmeg and cloves. There is also a roasted malt character that goes along well with the rest of the nose.

T: The taste is similar to the nose, but no one taste is as present as they were in the nose, a little disappointing for sure. Definitely cinnamon and nutmeg up front but turns a somewhat bitter, somewhat sour taste on the finish. Interesting, but again, a little underwhelming.

M: Medium light body with very little carbonation, a little bit of a "funk" to it.

D: Good, not great, it was interesting to try but I'm not sure this is going on the "buy again next winter" list.

Daktyls, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of steve8robin
3.98/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looked interesting so I figured I'd try it out. 12oz can...

A: Super super dark ruby red with a 1 inch tan head that fades at a decent pace. Very good.

S: I get some spices upfront with some cinnamon and nutmeg blended in. Almost a pumpkin type scent. I get some candi sugars in the middle and some breadiness on the backend. Good.

T: I get some spices and nutmeg upfront quickly followed by cinnamon in the middle with some bready malt on the backend. Good.

M: Full bodied with a heavy carbonation. Kind of finishes a little dry. Decent.

D: Goes down good.

All in all, this is a good brew. A nice spiced ale. Good for a winter evening. Nice to try if you like a very heavy spiced brew.

steve8robin, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of burring
3.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've been in a winter warmer mood as of late. Figured I'd give 21st Amendment's style.

Appearance: a very dark brown. Not completely opaque but, as many people have already said, it holds the same color as cola. Actually, vertically, the sides are considerably less dark than the center when held up to light. Actually, a clunky amount of lacing was left.

Smell: cinnamon dominates with subtle hints of chocolate. I sense a very small malty aroma as well.

Taste: the first thing I thought of was its cocoa-like bitterness. There were malt flavours pinning it down but I could only think of the word "mediocre" while drinking it.

Mouthfeel: for not being a hop based ale, I could only think of the sharp cocoa bitterness.

Drinkability: the beer was enjoyable. I didn't hate it. I didn't love it. I'm not sure if I'd buy it again though.

burring, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of smcolw
3.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Large and rocky head. Leaves plenty of chunky lace. Brown color and clear.

There's a shocking sourness on the initial whiff. Behind that, there's a powdered cocoa.

The flavor is an improvement: there's a hazelnut element to the tongue. It has a mild peppery bite in the swallow. This is a surprisingly thin brew. There is a minor metallic presence in the taste, but overall it is true to the winter warmer style.

smcolw, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of DaveHS
3.73/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours cola brown with 1/3 of khaki head. Leaves moderate lacing.

S-Nutmeg, cinnamon,orange peel, coriander, white pepper.

T/M-Thin flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg, with a lightly roasted malt backbone. Just the slightest hint of earthy hops. Not quite as full bodied as I would expect given the style. Light to medium bodied, with moderate carbonation.

D-An average winter warmer.

DaveHS, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of tone77
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a very dark brown color with some amber hues and a 1/2 inch head. Smell is strong with spices, considerable nutmeg and cinnamon. Taste is a bit subdued compared with the smell. Hops up front, a strong spice presence. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

tone77, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of thain709
3.03/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pouring from the can the beer looks like Coca-cola as the body is brown in color with some ruby highlights...there is a tan head that stands about one finger...some retention, but better lacing

S - The nose is spicy but there is also a funk to it...it goes along the lines of roasted malt and Saison funk

T - Yup, the flavors are the same from the nose...more of that Saison funk...some roasted malt...the "spices" (cinnamon, nutmeg) that are said on the label are very light...there is a slight sourness that leads into a light bitterness at the end

M - Medium bodied...flat, funky, sour

D - I hesitated on picking this one up and now I'm wishing I didn't...I've tried a few 21st Amendment brews before and I have liked them...but this one just didn't do it for me...it tasted like a slightly roasted Saison

thain709, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of BigB415
2.48/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got one can as a free sample from work. Poured a dark red color into my small glass. I was excited to try this since I am a fan of their beers and I have been to their restaurant. Unfortunately for me this beer didn't hold up for me to their other beers such as watermelon wheat and their IPA. I'm not impressed with it. It's not something I would get again. It doesn't have much flavor so it falls flat and without flavor I wouldn't really call it a beer.

BigB415, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of muttyd
2.63/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Chestnut/mahogany body with a thick foamy tan head. Very dark without being pitch black. Nose is very spicy: somewhat musty with notes of cinnamon, ginger, and caramel. Flavor is of chocolate malt, caramel, Belgian spice, slightly funky/sour (similar to a dark saison a'la Fantome?), and moderately hoppy. Creamy full body with moderate carbonation. Slightly metallic. Not too crazy about this one, but not the worst beer I have ever had.

muttyd, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.65/5  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.

WVbeergeek, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of woodychandler
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This weekend was our community's annual Greek celebration at the local church and the food is to die for! It is on the other side of town from me, but near one of our better six-pack shops, so I decided to pop in for a look after dinner. Lo and behold, a new 21st Amendment CAN! You CAN bet that I could not get up to the counter fast enough.

From the CAN: Not much. Great graphics involving FDR and an elf, plus "Seasonal Release", "Winter Spiced Ale"; "45 IBUs".

My aggressive Crack & Pour again threatened to overflow the glass, but to no avail. I had a big, rocky two fingers of mocha-tan head with modest retention. Color was a deep, dark-brown with ruby highlights at the edges. Nose was big with cinnamon coupled with dark chocolate. I was reminded of MexiCAN hot chocolate with its infusion of spices. Mouthfeel was medium with cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate all intermingling on my tongue. Tasty. Finish lingered with a pleasant admixture of spice which overpowered the chocolate. I CAN't recommend putting this in a cooler, but maybe by the fireplace on Christmas Eve ... ?

woodychandler, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of BeerDawgs
4.55/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Dark brown with a little bit of head.

S - Smell some spices.

T - Really enjoyable. Warm malty flavor. Alcohol is not overwhelming. Caramel hints.

M - Excellent. Creamy, with light carbonation. Medium body.

D - I really enjoyed this beer. I could drink several of them and will be drinking it again.

BeerDawgs, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of ForrestWolf
2.7/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Picked up this sixer of cans at my favorite local beer store. EZ Liquors in Toms River NJ. Best carry-case and can design I've ever seen, just wish the beer inside was as pleasing...

appearance: pours a nice medium brown with a little bit of head.

smell: just a slight hint of spices and alcohol. Really had to bury my nose in it to get a sent.

taste: Very bland. Not much to go on here. Slight taste of bourbon maybe, with spices following. Metallic aftertaste.

mouthfeel: Uneventful. At almost 8% I would have liked to get a bit more of an alcohol warming sensation.

drinkability: wasn't a very exciting beer but it wasn't a drain pour.

ForrestWolf, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of WorldWideStout
3.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought a six-pack of this after I enjoyed it on tap at Churchkey.

A: Dark brown with a three or four-finger manila head that stays around until my first few sips.

S: Main smell is actually a bit citrusy, perhaps lemons. There is a bit of sourness tied in to that as well, and a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg.

T: Starts off with a slightly sour twang. Then there's a light malty, spiciness that comes into the background, but never really takes center stage; also a bit of vanilla. The lemon flavor comes out in the middle, as does some cinnamon. As the sourness dwindles at the end, a bit of roasted malts does come out, though it's pretty gentle.

M: Really lovely. Creamy with gentle carbonation throughout most of the sip.

D: Goes down pretty easy.

I guess I can understand why this beer didn't work for some people, but I find it fairly enjoyable. The sourness is mild and doesn't clash with the spices.

WorldWideStout, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of jampics2
2.53/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz can into a pint glass.

Fireside chat should make me cozy and confident, that is, if the branding is any indication. But it could all be a set-up to break some bad news, like when the president comes on the news with the pictures of his family on the mantle and tells us we're at war.

At least the first impression makes me excited to discover the beer's real message. Fireside chat sure looks good. It's an amber, chesnut and mahogany color with a beautiful white head. The head retention is fantastic without being too pillowy. There's some fantastic lace left behind.

The smell is OK too, but there's a hint that this chat may take a different direction. There's some mild toasted malt and lots of spices. Ginger, cinnamon, and brown sugar are there, making this festive and appropriate for the Winter Warmer style. Unfortunately, there's some sour note and the spices just aren't that prominent.

This beer tastes horrible. I feel like this "fireside chat" started out with some good news about the economy then let me know that an asteriod is on an imminent path towards Earth and we'll all be dead in 10 minutes. Seriously, 21st Amendment, I get you have some cool branding but your beers generally suck. Spend less time being all market-ey and get your products up to par. This joke of a beer starts out with some roasted malt and toasted nuts, then there's a weird flavor gap where the mediocre spices fall flat. A touch of ginger and cinnamon, then water and a weird sour and metallic note in the aftertaste. This is just poorly conceieved and horribly executed. If my neighbor brought this over as his first homebrew, I would say it was a decent first attempt. For a professional brewery to release this is unnaceptable. Get your contractors under control or, here's a novel idea, brew your beer yourself!

The aftertaste is sweet with some plastic and metal. The beer has medium to light body with creamy carbonation. It doesn't feel bad, but the lingering artificial tastes make me never want another sip. This is going down the drain. I bought this single for $1.49 and I won't take another Big Mac priced gamble on another 21st Amendment beer again. Seriously, who is buying this stuff? The black IPA sucked, the IPA has less flavor in the whole can than Avery or Oskar Blues have in one sip, and the watermelon beer tastes like corn. Stop the madness, you're doing a disservice to craft beer.

jampics2, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a deep mahogany color with red hues, dirty white head

S: Nose is spice, cocoa

T: Plenty of spice but had some cocoa on the end, hints at smoke

M: Ok, good carbonation, warm feel, spice, medium body

D: Not bad but probably not a warmer I would go back to in the future

barleywinefiend, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of AndrewNations
1.65/5  rDev -52%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into snifter

Appearance: bright brownish with a decent head

Smell: sweet, faint hints of hops and spice

Taste: somewhat sweet with excepted caramel and spiciness. a couple of things I can quite put my finger on. It almost taste infected with metallic and very faint vinegar notes. Just awful. I cant remember the last time I had a drain pour.

Feel: low to mid carbonation with a thin mouth feel.

Drinkability: Terrible. I'm convinced I had an infected batch. I really hope so as most of the previous stuff from 21st Amendment as been good.

AndrewNations, Nov 03, 2010
Fireside Chat from 21st Amendment Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 785 ratings.