Fireside Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Fireside AleFireside Ale
Very Good
367 Ratings
Fireside AleFireside Ale

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by yourefragile on 01-09-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 367 |  Reviews: 273
Photo of whallgren
5/5  rDev +33%

Photo of martymoat
4.65/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The aroma is of slight roasted and sweet malt notes. There is a smokiness thats not in your face but defiantly making sure you know that it is present. Also what i feel may be a earthy woody hop aroma at the end of the aroma that may or may not be trickery on part of the smokiness and smoked malt in the beer.

Pours a beautiful deep mahogany color with a thick head that dies down to a dusting.

The taste is very well balanced and smooth in the beginning, a good medium body up front and a malt backbone with some caramel and roasted notes that lead the way into a perfect balance of the smoked character in the middle that carries through to the end where you get a medium to light semi dry slightly sweet finish that does not overwhelm you like some other smoked style beers maybe being a little to heavy on smoke or other aspects of the beer. Their is little to know hop detection in the flavor and a very restrained amount of bitterness. This one for all that it is can very easily become a session beer it really is a perfect blend of everything in the beer and nothing is out of tune.

more of this should be made SOON!

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Photo of LauraAlberts
4.59/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden Amber with brownish hints

Smell: Plum, Generic Produce smell, Grapefruit, Dried Wheat, hint of smoke

Taste: A hint of smoke hits the palate and then seems to erupt into a conglomerate of flavors - dried fruit, honey, plum, raisin.

Mouthfeel: Wait on this one - it will really hit you a little late for a mouthfeel - soft tannins, wheaty - supple - thin

Drinkability: Drink this one all day long. It's a great session if you have the means. Not filling, or even over smoked. Very balanced and enjoyable. It will leave you feeling like you had a hit of someone's cigar. It's a smokers beer, or perfect for someone who just wants to feel warmed up.

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Photo of UfosBigRigsnBBQ
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of Gww1864
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of yelterdow
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I discovered this new four-pack in the cold case at ShopRite in Paramus... let's sample one now. Served in a tasting tulip at between fridge and cellar temperature with a chicken sandwich.

Appearance- Three full fingers of foam adorn the brilliant brownish-gold beer in this glass. The carbonation from the etching feeds the head continuously, and it is packed solid... thick and foamy, light beige in color.

Smell- The robust, smoky aroma combines with the familiar nose of Weyerbacher's yeast strain, and the bright hops balance the malts nicely. Terrific and very appetizing.

Taste- A beautiful display of all aspects of this beer in harmony... rich, smoky malts defer to fleeting hops, while the distinctive character of the house yeast adds its flavor. The swallow brings a very pleasant, and amazingly balanced summation of the beginning and middle... while leaving a lasting zap right at the back of the sides of the tongue. An absolute joy to drink.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Bright and prickly in the mouth at first, then quickly rolling and foaming into a lush texture that really does the flavors justice. A style that isn't brewed enough, this particular beer certainly surprised and impressed me.

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Photo of GTB
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of magnj
4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - Poured into a Weyerbacher Pint glass it produced a creamy 1 finger off white head. The color is a deep Mahogany, few bubbles.

s - Sweet, Malty, Smokey, Nutty...

t - Again, sweet and malty. I can taste the smoked ham as the description mentions, though that might be placebo. The 7.4% ABV is hidden well.

m - Pretty light, silky, not syrupy.

d - Tasty, not too filling, but a little potent, could be rough to session something this alcoholic.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I highly recommend this beer.

G – Duvel tulip. It’s good for this beer; it helps bring out the smokiness, while retaining the head.

A – Deep opaque chestnut brown in hue, with a tan head that subsides into bubbly lacing. It looks great.

S – It smells like smoked salmon on a pumpernickel bagel.

T – Smoke obscures most of the other flavor elements, but not in a bad way; underlying is a rich, dry, clean ale with mostly bitter hops, but a clean buttery sweetness on the finish. Excellent.

M – Medium-thin and velvety smooth.

D – Very drinkable, and immensely complementary to the right foods.

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Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear burnt orange color with a two fingered head that leaves plenty of lace

Smell: Brown bread, with hints of caramel and a delicate smokey character

Taste: Brown bread, on the opening, with the sweeter caramel and light fruit flavors arriving in the middle; the subtle smoke element becomes much more detectable after the swallow and complements the other flavors in a nicely balanced finish; rather peaty in the after-taste, as well

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: One of the best smoked beers I have encountered, as it holds the smoke in check to provide balance rather than to dominate

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Photo of cokes
4.42/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Burnt, but clear, cherrywood color with a low, durable rise of grayish tan suds.
There are some underlying brown sugar and hard toffee sweet nuances on the nose, but it primarily about the smoked wood and pork fat.
The sweetness ekes out a slightly larger foothold in the mouth. Brown sugar is foremost, but toffee, and cooked apples, and cotton candy, and Concord grapes all make their respective appearances. Now it's time for smoke. It comes through drier and woodier here in the mouth (or, in other words, there's not as much barbecued pork). In the relative absence of tangible hopping, this smoky dryness provides the necessary balance, and an aftertaste of burnt cedar.
It's pushing full-bodied, with a slow, trickling carbonation. Yet it doesn't drink particularly big. It's no sessioner, but it'd be quite easy to go through a few of these with some like-minded cuisine. It's not that hard to go through that many in absence of any food either.
All in all good stuff. The smoke stands up and sits down as necessary. Don't come here looking for "extreme" aside from the rareness of smoked beers. This has far more finesse than I expected.

 1,147 characters

Photo of TongoRad
4.4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fireside pours a translucent brown with copper-orange highlights, crystal clear in direct light, with a two finger long lasting head that leaves a nice coat of lacing in its wake.

Campfire smoke dominates the initial nose, though it is far from overwhelming and suggests an even hand at work. Allow the head to recede and a host of other aromas come out- dried violets are chief among them, and they show up with each swirl before giving way to toffee, nuts and currants. There is a magnificent tug of war between complexity and balance here. Each time the aromas resolve and the beer is undisturbed the smoke once again rises above it all.

The palate is full yet crisp, and each sip concludes with a solid whack of hop bitterness. Caramel maltiness leads the way while the beer is in the mouth, but the nuts and dried fruit are there as well. The smoke lies low until the finish, when it claims dominion and lingers, getting more prominent as time passes. Not a thing here is out of place or showy- this beer is so very well put together; the quenching bitterness and lingering smoke just begging for another large quaff, and after that another bottle. If there is 7.5% alcohol here you wouldn't know it until you've had three or four. And you probably should have that many, this baby's made for repeats, both in its construction and in its price ($8 for a four-pack is a bargain for a smoked beer of this quality).

I have returned to the store every week for the past month or so just to get more of this beer. I should have just gotten a case at the beginning. I will definitely be sorry when there are no more of these, but, as with all seasonals, there's always next year.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.36/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours a dark caramel amber color. A thick finger of light mocha foam, dense and sticky, leaving good lacing on the glass.

Aroma - moderately roasted malts, a touch of smoke at first, but after setup that is replaced by a light caramel smell.

Taste - good maltiness and smokiness here. Slightly sweet, counter-balanced by some light smoky char and a decent little hop bite. Roastiness increases a little on the swallow as the palate dries. Flavorful beer.

Mouthfeel - solid weight, decent crispness, right on.

Drinkability - an excellent beer, most enjoyable for cooler temps.

 592 characters

Photo of mmopt
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a local bar after having trying an excellent pumpkin ale at a tasting this past fall and being impressed with Weyerbacher.

This is a very good ale overall and I could easily drink a few of these. Pours a dark brown with slight head, very clean overall. I'm usually not a huge fan of smokey beers so the slight smokiness to this was a positive. Paired with a pepper jack burger and would highly recommend similar foods with it.

 439 characters

Photo of edchicma
4.31/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Exceptional chocolate with a great head and fantastic lacing. Smell is a rich malt with smoky undertones. Taste is smoky, peat-like with a very rich malt presence..definite hops too. Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth then finishes with distinct dry hop presence. For a higher abv, drinkability is good.

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Photo of bruachan
4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dark brew. nice head. brown color though not quite mahogany (no red)

the first aroma in the bouquet queue is smoke, though only to fractionally to the extent of a schlenkerla or a true rauchbier. mos def some roasty sweetness but i doesn't come through strongly--not really a surprise given the sluggish ascent of carbonation. some earthy hop

a robust brown ale, really. very rich in flavor, with warm caramels and even more obvious chicory and molasses. all this presented in a soft nuttiness. smoke is not a major contributor, unfortunately. certainly not enough to call it a rauchbier...i am curious as to how a beer can be considered a "smoked beer" if the smoke is only barely more prominent than the other characteristics. i don't call a highly hopped brown ale a "hop ale"...

the mouthfeel is good. solid but hardly sticky. it's a nice brown ale in the end (reminds me of one i made with rye): a little dry on the finish and rich up front. the smoke is nice but not enough. MORE SMOKE!

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From tasting notes. L: Pours brilliant dark amber to chestnut with a 1” cream colored head that dissipates to film. S: Light to moderate smoke on the nose with caramel and malt. T: The smoke approaches Schlenkerla levels and seasons sweet dark sugars, fruit, a little cola, a suggestion of anise and some bitterness in the aftertaste. F: Creamy, full bodied, medium carbonation. O: While a little sweet, fairly well balanced between the smoke and other flavors.

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Photo of Atlas1
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my buddy Adam in PA for sending this to me in our winter beer exchange.

Poured into a Belgian snifter, the Fireside appears a dark caramel brown color that turns shades of burnt orange when held up to light. A beautiful Autumnal beer. Too bad I'm not getting to it until Spring. The one-finger off-white head fades relatively quickly but leaves behind some lace. The nose is a nice mixture of fruit and smoke. Apples, pears, fig, strawberry, maybe even some distant banana, to go with some nice nutmeg spice and a faint smokiness. It's a subtle aroma, but then again, it would have been too easy to go overboard with something the brewers call "an intriguing dark ale with a touch of smokiness." Thankfully, they didn't. The taste is light and fruity up front, but soon gives way to a strong hop tartness and then a dense smoky flavor, and ends again with a hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side.

Man, this is a much more complex beast than I would have ever thought. Weyerbacher, in my opinion, has a tendency to overdo things a bit sometimes, and I sort of expected that from this beer as well. But this is different. It's much more subtle in delivery. Complex, yes, but not overtly so. Instead, it lingers around in the taste buds for a while and lets you catch up over time. As the beer warmed to room temp, this beer only got better. A fine brew from the folks at Weyerbacher for sure.

 1,420 characters

Photo of yourefragile
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

So this was originally released as 'Charlie' in their Brewer's Select Series. Not sure if the recipe was tweaked at all for the regular version, but the ABV and packaging is different from Charlie in the db. Bottle reads, "An intriguing dark ale with a touch of smokiness". 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark brown, cola like color with a creamy, thick off white head that has nice retention and leaves nice streaks of lacing.
S: A very nice, mild subdued smokey aroma with roasted malt and slight nuttiness.
T/M: Lighter side of medium bodied with a nice strong amount of carbonation. Like the aroma, this a very well balanced, smooth flavor with a mild smokey flavor throughout and in the finish but never overwhelming or out of balance with the rest of the beer. Very strong malt, roasted body with slight chocolatey flavor and a small hop presence in the finish. Very little alcohol presence and is very easy to drink. I like smoked beers and would actually prefer a slightly stronger smoke presence but overall this beer is very well done and enjoyable, happy to see this added to Weyerbacher's rotation

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Photo of Contra
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is like thick amber with minimal head that only exists around the outer rim of the glass. The aroma isn't too strong, but it has that sweet date/fig smell. Taste follows through on the aroma. Again, dates, figs, but with a smokey quality. VERY enjoyable. No negatives on either the taste or mouthfeel. It pours like a viscous syrup, but in a rather silky manner.

This beer strongly reminds me of Weyerbacher's Merry Monks/Insanity, but without the intensity that might put some people off. This beer is perfect for someone who likes the flavor of Blithering Idiot (or Barleywine in general), but can't deal with the heaviness or high alcohol content. Of course, this being Weyerbacher, the abv. is still a respectable 7.5%. Personally, I think it comes down to my mood. Fireside Ale strikes me as a fall beer, whereas Blithering Idiot is better suited for the winter. Either way, it's early August, and it doesn't really matter to me. Pretty amazing any time of the year.

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Photo of hopley
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of Bonko_the_sane
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of zaphodchak
4.24/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A finger of offwhite head and a hazy medium brown body. No lace.

Nose smoke and wood, bits of charred ash-- beech if I had to guess, but I can't say for sure. It doesn't hold back on the smoke, so points for that. Really quite nice.

Dang. This is way better than I would've guessed. Big smooth body, a slightly nutty brown with a bunch of smoke thrown in. And by thrown in, I mean decently well integrated, don't get me wrong. Aftertaste has some slightly acrid woody tang, doesn't linger too long and finishes dry enough. Not the best I've had, but hard to ask for more. This is a first impression at least, it kinda wears as you keep drinking it.

Body is smooth and pretty full, not very bright. Works well for the style.

I had low expectations for this beer, and it smashed them. Don't recall what I paid for it, but I'd definitely buy it again if I saw it on a shelf. I say this as a big rauch geek. Bamberg imports (and smoked malts in general) come at a premium price-- why not try a domestic?

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Photo of marcpal
4.24/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

4 pack picked up today at Wegman's. I believe it was a batch of Charlie that this has turned into a full run of. I believe I had a sample of it at the Easton site last year.

12oz bottled poured into Nugget Nectar pint glass.
Bottle Graphics: 7/10.

A: Fast developing and even faster fading tan head on top of a burnt wood colored body. Some lacing but it looks great in the glass.

S: Considerably sweeter than most smoked beers, almost like a sugary bbq sauce rather than the meaty bbq flavors. I would ask it to have a more roasted hickory, liquid smoke flavor but its unique by having this take on the smell. A fair amount of nutty caramel malts.

T: The flavor is far better, in my opinion, thn the aroma. It tasted like the picture on the bottle, it takes you to a pit of fire with toasted marshmallows. Awesome where the sweetness is just right, not what I first feared from the aroma.

This is one of those beers that you have to know a lot of love and effort went into. Their were not materials or adjuncts anywhere in the malt bill. One of the nicest parts is the flavor the hops bring to the party.

I have to say it is not on the level of Aecht smoked beers, but what is.

M: Nice and thick with a fair amount of carbonation. Tight aftertaste and soft landing in the finish.

D: I really love a good smoked beer and while this won't fool you into thinking your drinking the fine stuff from the other end of the pond, this is among the best I have had from the states. Very tasty, good effort and one that I am glad made it to the rotation.

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Photo of JaYsOuL
4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Its appearance was a nice rich auburn color with an amazing two finger head, which slowly dissipated with good lacing through the finish. The smell was a malty roastiness of caramel and with a hint of chocolate and remnants of smoked wood. The aromas parallel the weyerbacher winter ale, with the exception of a whiff of spiciness.

Taste was reminiscent of a mixture between smoked coffee and cherries (best way I can describe it). Additionally, there is a definitive spiciness to this brew that gives it a slight kick on that back end. This is one excellent winter beer that reminds me of wood burning fireplaces on an extremely cold night. This will definitely frequent my refrigerator every winter.

A definite must try for sure.

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Fireside Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 367 ratings