Carnie Fire
COAST Brewing Company

Carnie FireCarnie Fire
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Red Ale - American Amber / Red
Ranked #11
Ranked #5,377
4.13 | pDev: 11.14%
COAST Brewing Company
South Carolina, United States
Carnie FireCarnie Fire
Notes: Heavy on hops with a slight caramel maltiness. Striking orange-red color. Big on Chinook Hops.
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 79 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of brentk56
brentk56 from North Carolina

4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a nice ecru head; quite a few strands of lace

Smell: Caramel malts along with citrusy hops, featuring tangerine, lemon and grapefruit aromatics

Taste: Caramel and toasted malt forward with a budding piney aspect; citrus flavors also build through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: While I typically avoid Amber Ales, I had a hunch that Coast would brew a good one and my guess was affirmed

Sep 05, 2016
Photo of tillmac62
tillmac62 from South Carolina

3.81/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

BOD 1/28/14. Pours a slightly cloudy amber with a nice dark ruby accent giving an orange/red appearance. Tremendous head with a thick lacing that lasts. Nice nose of citrus hops - grapefruit, mango, orange - with a touch of peach over a nice caramel sweetness. Medium bodied with a smooth texture. Slightly above normal carbonation level. Unfortunately, the taste is not as good as the nose. It is a citrus pine mix over a predominate bitterness of the same. The malt is there, but has more of an over toasted biscuit character that lacks the sweetness of the nose. The finish is smooth and leaves an aftertaste of tart grapefruit rind bitterness. In short, good but not great.

Mar 07, 2014
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jmarsh123 from Indiana

4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Courtesy of rbradley. Thanks!

Pours hazy orange almost red with a big cream colored head. Clumps of lacing all the way down the glass.

Aroma is bursting with fresh citrus hop aroma. Grapefruit, lemon and tangerine along with some pine resin as well. Toffee and freshly baked bread form the malt backbone.

Flavor is more of the same and wonderfully balanced. Those bright citrus qualities show up at the front before rounding into a chewy bready toffee. Finishes earthy and piney with a distinct bitterness.

Medium bodied with a little stickiness to it. Lowish carbonation amplifies that, although the hop onslaught prevents it from ever approaching sweet.

Fantastic red ale and one of the best I've had. Reminds me quite a bit of fresh Nugget Nectar or Zoe. Would love to do a side by side with all those as I think this may come out on top.

Feb 11, 2013
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One2Remeber from Florida

4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Friend brought down a growler filled this morning.

A: Medium amber color with an orangish hue. Slightly cloudy. Off-white solid head.

S: Great hoppy presence with a mild sweetness. Clean, pronounced.

T/M: Light, slightly spicy hops. Light caramel sweetness up front of a red ale. Turns to more of an amber ale with hint of prune flavor.

O: Full of flavor while having a light body. Easy drinking. Highly impressed with drinkability and flavors.

Feb 11, 2013
Photo of zac16125
zac16125 from South Carolina

4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a pint glass
Bottled on: 2/6/13 (the joys of drinking local)

A: Pours a slightly hazy, dark amber orange with 3 plus fingers width of light khaki colored head. Leaves lots of thick lacing.

S: Tons of great citrusy hop aromas, tangerines, lemon zest, grapefruit. These are accompanied by some resinous piney hop notes. Caramel and sweet bread notes provide a firm malt backbone. Awesome aroma.

T: Less of a hop bomb in the taste than on the nose. Lots of malt; caramel and roasted malts. Burnt toast. There is a good hop presence as well, but unlike the nose that exploded with citrus hop goodness, the hops on the taste are mostly piney hop bitterness. Big flavors for a low ABV beer.

M/D: Full bodied. Appropriate carbonation. Drinkabilitiy is good.

O: Overall, another tasty offering from COAST. Not my favorite Red Ale, but quite tasty and certainly worth a drink. Ill drink this again in the future, for sure. Recommend.

Feb 09, 2013
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Jamesthebrit from Michigan

4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Explosive head from a easy pour. Color is reddish dark amber. Very dark for an ale. Interesting color being not too red.

S: Hoppy. Malty. A bit light. Nothing special.

T: Hoppy! Malty! Nice! Something spicy in there... alcohol comes through a bit as well. I mean, certainly not unique but super big flavor notes! Bring the intensity of a high ABV beer but isn't....

M: Flavors are nice. Carbonation, while being way too much, is smooth on the palate.

Overall this is a great beer. The flavors here are super powerful compared to other beers I've drank... I've drunk? I've drunken? Anyway, a great beer. Nothing really special in terms of flavor notes but it really brings the power!

Dec 04, 2012
Photo of Ryan011235
Ryan011235 from Ohio

3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Allagas glass on 9/21/12

Bottled on 08 24 12

Darkened copper and rust colored with a touch of honey at the stem. It's cloudy to the point that I can't see through it. It poured a two finger head that receded slowly, leaving scattered webs of lace. Retention holds around 1/8th inch.

Aromas of dank pine and tropical citrus hops jump out of the glass and are trailed closely by a balance of caramel and toasted bread. Hints of biscuit dust. Notions of sugar cookies as it warms.

The flavors are similar to the aromas and progress in much the same fashion, though the taste has much more of a kick. Sticky pine tar bitterness leads of, accented by zesty citric tones. The malts are more toasty than sweet. Toasted bread, dry caramel and perhaps a hint of cocoa.

The actual body is on the thin side, but the overall feel is bumped to medium territory due to gripping hop resin and full, prickly carbonation. Hop resins linger a spell. The body thickens up a bit over time and with warmth.

Overall, Carnie Fire is really good, but not extraordinary. It has a good balance between hops and malt, giving a bit of a preference to the former. Worth a shot.

Oct 13, 2012
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GossageBrewery from Missouri

3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served this Red Ale on tap at the brewery, in a pint glass. Poured a hazy amber color, produced a nice off white head, excellent retention and it left a good amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma consisted of malted grain, caramel and piney hops. Medium in body, the foundation of this ale was toasted grain, caramel, and an unexpected pleasant piney hop finish. A higher hop profile then most red ales, this brew makes for a great session ale.

Oct 05, 2012
Photo of BlackBelt5112203
BlackBelt5112203 from Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass at fridge-cellar temperature.

L – Deep amber color with a 3-finger bubbly, frothy cream-colored head. Really nice retention and great lacing. A cap of cream-colored bubbles stays on the beer surface all the way down. Clear with a decent amount of bubbles.

S – Lots of stuff going on here. Bready, toasty, nutty, caramel malt and a resiny pine, grapefruit, and mango hop bouquet. Smells pretty hop forward for an amber ale, but there’s definitely a healthy dose of malt here, as well.

T – Follows the nose very well. Starts off sweet with caramel and bready malt as well as grapefruit and mango flavors. The toasty and nutty malt flavors come into play about mid-taste. Immediately after, spicy bitterness starts to build with pine, grapefruit, and mango notes. Bitterness and spice keeps building to a tremendous finish.

F – Medium-to-full-bodied with decent carbonation, a sticky, chewy, and creamy mouthfeel, and a very bitter, spicy, and dry finish. Hop spice and bitterness lingers very nicely.

O – This is a fantastic amber ale. It’s definitely on the hop-forward side, but there’s also certainly enough malt to back it up and call it an amber ale. The solid amount of malt is evidenced by the fuller-than-expected mouthfeel. It’s very surprising that this is only 5% ABV because it drinks and feels much bigger than it is. That’s not to say that it’s not as drinkable as other 5% beers. It just has so much more flavor and aroma than other beers of its strength. And yes, it’s very drinkable, too. This is a must try. Awesome job, COAST!

Sep 18, 2012
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Momar42 from Maryland

3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at House of Brews in Mt Pleasant, SC.

A - deep cloudy hazy amber. Moderate quickly disappearing head.

S - not strong but very amberish.

T - easy drinking for an amber. Nice tang and smooth. Not wowed by the style but good for what it is. Definitely a quality amber.

M - creamy and full for sure. But finishes clean.

O - really a solid amber. Can't help feel a bit meh for the style but if I had to drink amber it would be this or fresh NN. I would be hard pressed to choose NN over this Coast offering and that's saying something.

Jun 29, 2012
Photo of MacQ32
MacQ32 from South Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a beautiful slightly hazy deep amber color with sizable fluffly near white but slightly cream colored head, about 5 minutes later there's still ~ 1/2 inch remaining, lacing is excellent. Poured into a slightly oversized DFH signature glass. Looks amazing

S - Lots of rich caramel malts, fairly toasty and maybe even a little grainy. A nice piney presence mixes in with citric aromas. Mmmm

T - Lots of piney resinous flavors with a bit of a grapefruit/citrusy follow up. The sweet caramel holds its own after the initial bitter pallet rocking, still getting some of those grainy qualities.

M - Perfect. Medium bodied but very refreshing especially with the nice dry hop profile. Appropriate carbonation.

O - I had this once before and really wanted to enjoy it again but whoa, this is much better than I recall. A new go to for me! Near perfect

May 23, 2012
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us from South Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from growler into a Warsteiner mug. Poured red-orange with a one finger off-white head that remained throughout. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, and slight grapefruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, citrus, citrus hop, and grapefruit. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this brew was quite excellent. The hop character in this one was nothing short of amazing for a Red Ale. Flavor was very well balanced and had an excellent aroma that invited you in for more. An absolute must try for any hop fan or fan of the style.

Feb 02, 2011
Photo of jsanford
jsanford from Georgia

4.57/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler filled at the Lodge in Hilton Head, SC. Poured into my COAST pint glass.

A - Cloudy copper with a thin white head that dissipates quickly, leaving foamy little islands on the surface. Sticky lacing left on the glass. COAST always makes such pretty beers.
S - Pungent pine and grapefruit hops with a solid caramel malt backbone. Crisp and juicy.
T - More pungent pine resin and grapefruit dominate, again with a caramel backbone. Strong, pleasantly bitter finish, similar to the rind of a grapefruit.
M - Creamy with a medium body and crisp, sharp carbonation.
D - I'm amazed by how quickly my girlfriend an I killed this growler. Another great beer from COAST!

Jan 16, 2011
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mikesgroove from South Carolina

4.57/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

so thrilled to be able to have a growler of this. huge thanks to the cbs/gbx crew for getting this one done for me. served cold and polished of on christmas eve.

the pour is a nice medium amber with a light haze to it and a nice and small, compact head that just sits on top lightly thought out the session dropping a bit of lacing up and down the sides. aroma is nice and fresh, deep hops that are ripe with citrus goodness. sticky orange and pine give way to a buttery middle that coats the palate and leaves the tongue dry and sticky with a full feel but yet it still begs you to take another sip.really smooth and creamy with a flavor that seems to improve with each and every sip.

overall a very interesting beer, not really sure what style i would throw it into to, but wow. really digging this one.

Dec 26, 2010
Photo of welldigger888
welldigger888 from South Carolina

4.97/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured from growler into an irish pub pint glass.Very handsome brew, this elixer appears a hazy ruby copper hue with an off white and excellant lacing down glass.
I will say this is def a hop forward beer, grapefruit and reson reign supreme with some sweet carmel malts holding thier own.grapefruit piney resonous with some tropical fruit in the back drop. A strong malty backbone too, creamy breadiness of the artisean type.
This is carbonated spot on for my pallate, creamy smooth and a nice oily finish.
The abv here is making this a quality session beer that anyone would think is bigger than is. Loaded with wonderful flavs, these fine folk continue to put out the best beer in region I think. COAST RULES!!!

Dec 21, 2010
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craytonic from District of Columbia

4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kkipple for sharing!

Appearance: light amber-copper-caramel with a big head; good lacing

SMell: Grapefruit hops; caramel malt, sticky icky leaf

Taste: Caramel malts; grapefruit and pine hops. Lots more flavor than 5.00% should be.

Mouthfeel: creamy, full body

Drinkability; great sessionable hoppy beer. Great for the style, but not Boy King. I typically hate the style but liked this beer (although it is almost an IPA).

Dec 20, 2010
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cdizinno from South Carolina

4.82/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured into a pint glass from a growler purchased at Green's off Piney Grove in Columbia, SC.

A: Hazy deep amber-copper color. Nice light tan head with minimal lacing.

S: Piney, malty, and sitrus. Some underlying caramel.

T&M: Very smooth and tangy all the way through. Malty and caramel up front with a nice, semi-dry hoppy finish. Very well-balanced. Very unique taste.

Very drinkable beer. Another home run by the folks at Coast! This brew is THE BEST red ale I've had. Red ales are not my go to favorite beers, but I ususally enjoy them. I could drink this stuff regularly. Wow!

Dec 12, 2010
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PDXHops from South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured into a Duvel tulip. A ruddy caramel/amber body is topped with a generous cap of cream-colored and creamy foam. Nice retention and a ton of lacing.

Potent nose, chock full of pungent dry-hopped goodness. The sticky icky and a general leafiness take precedence over relatively mild citrus and pine notes.

Cannabis proves to be a prominent flavor as well, as does a powerful earthiness. Citrus and pine are relegated to background players, but aren't shy about showing themselves in brief flashes. A nice blend of malts- nutty, toasty and mildy sweet- make a more complex base than to expected from your run of the mill amber ale. Slow and sumptuous bitter finish is followed by an eventual drying out and lingering toasty and nutty malt.

Overall impression: Loads of multidimensional flavor packed into a 'sessionable' ABV. Another winning effort from COAST. Great stuff.

Dec 07, 2010
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BlackDogBrews from South Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into glass from a growler, courtesy of The Charleston Beer Exchange (thanks to Brandon for the stong recommendation), and enjoyed with my good buddy Travis. Cheers!

Pours a nice amber color with a creamy head and nice semi-sticky lacing follows you as you drink. Nose is full of hoppy goodness with some maltiness as well. Tastes fantastic! Full of hop bursts with some malt sweetness to balance it all out. Good creaminess in the mouthfeel, which is my favorite quality of a good red ale.

Another home run from COAST. Its like they blended a great IPA with a great red ale without sacrificing any of their characteristics. And at 5% abv, I could drink this one all night. I look forward to my return trip to Charleston for this one. Seek this one out as you will not be dissapointed.

Dec 05, 2010
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avalon07 from South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a growler to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a thick, cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A sweet, sharp smell of hops, malt, and something sugary.

T: Tasted of malt and caramel up front with a nice hoppy finish. This beer has a higher hops content than most red ales, but it's never overwhelming.

M: A solid amount of carbonation with a somewhat slick finish.

D: A solidly made, drinkable beer.

Dec 04, 2010
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modernartblues from Connecticut

4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Dark Copper-Amber, large head recedes to a thin white head as you drink. Lacing is not quite substantial, but is constant.

S: Hops. I'm told several hop varieties were used, but Chinook was the primary. Regardless, this a well hopped Red Ale. It kicks most Pale Ale's asses and even a couple IPAs in the nose category.

T: Dry and not as sweet as most red's. There is some hop bitterness, but its hardly puckering. This took all the best parts of a red ale and a pale ale and put them together.

M: Medium bodied, certainly not light, but not as creamy as some red's.

D: At 5% abv and the healthy dose of hops, I could drink this all night.

This is another superb beer for COAST. They can't seem to miss and at the abv level, I would dare another brewer to pack an equal amount of hop flavor.

Nov 25, 2010
Carnie Fire from COAST Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 79 ratings