Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Fireside Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
273 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 273 | Ratings: 366
Photo of Yetiman420
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An intriguing dark ale with a touch of smokiness.

One of the most appropriate label descriptions for a unique style.

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass. Brown with a red hue if held against the light. Thin foamy head that I wished hung around longer. Not lacing except for the very top of the glass.

Aroma appeared to be Belgian with a touch of smoke. Perhaps a slight chocolate presence. Halfway through I noticed a bit of sweetnes. All very subtle which makes this difficult. In any event, I found it to be very...well, intriguing.

Flavor was a clean finish with a touch of smokiness. I've now used "touch" three times. A very well-crafted beer. It went down very easy and I was constantly...intrigued.

 711 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label states "...DARK ALE WITH A TOUCH OF SMOKINESS" but the smokiness is all there. Upon pouring it I could smell it. As the hazy deep chestnut body rose and the frothy light tan head thickened, I could sense that it was more more peat-like than Beechwood smoked. Or is it? A closer whiff gave me a kind of in-between. Regardless, although it's more than a "touch", it's not overdone, and I tip my hat to their brewers for striking a balance that hits just hard enough to be distinctly noticeable, but doesn't knock you down.

The flavor is, of course, smoky as well, but it's very well supported by a soft, malt base of dark caramel and toast. It's doughy, and bready, and nutty as well - and I think the smoky side just surrounds that and brings it all into focus. It's like a combination between a Scotch ale and a Franconian rauchbier, and somehow that all works. It reminds me of the smell of a flannel shirt after a camping trip. It's woodsy, but also ashen. It's not quite as lively as a Beechwood smoked beer, however, as it doesn't quite have that 'sweet' note of the wood to it. Which brings me to bitterness in a round about way. It's malt and sweet upfront, but bridled by the smoke, and then a very firm but thin bitterness steps in. And in the finish it's drying with a bit of a raspy edge that's no doubt in part due to the smokiness, and at least in some part due to some grassy and gently piney hops.

Wow! It really takes me back to the woods! What an interesting and enjoyable beer. I wonder how it would be to enjoy one on a camping trip late at night in front of the campfire under the stars. (Interesting aside that's worth noting here, for many years some time ago I would make a trip to Weyerbacher, and then camp at Dingmans Ferry in the Delaware Water Gap nearby). Certainly worth trying, if not seeking out!

 1,840 characters

Photo of erosier
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a deep smokey red/brown color with a medium sized and medium bodied head that laces the glass somewhat on the way down.
S: Smells of deep roasted malts and a big smokey flavor.
T: Deep roasted malts, hints of caramelized malts, then a big smoked flavor that follows to the end and lingers a bit.
M: Very smooth and warming. Perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable. Big strong flavor and a nice feeling to it make it a really nice smoked beer.

 462 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at D's in Swissville, finally a good place to get local stuff for a low cost!

A - Holly carbonation! I got at least 1 1/2 inches of head. I expected pitch black but got a bountiful dark brown ale with amber tones. Pretty.

S - For some reason I expected to get more smoke on the nose but got some raisins, figs, slight caramel, and just a "touch of smokiness" as advertised.

T - mmm smokey. I got a nice rush of smoke like licking some freshly cooked ribs. A mild sweetness and dark fruit but surprisingly bitter finish with some hops or bitter roast. Interesting overall flavor.

M - Medium maybe could have used a bit more body but no complaints.

D - Wow I am glad I started with this beer since it was very good. I did go into it thinking it would be like a smoked ale or porter so maybe I wasn't blown away but I did enjoy the subtle smokeyness and overall flavor. Worth a try!

 900 characters

Photo of Lexluthor33
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark,reddish brown color with a swampy,head and lace.

The aroma of hops,smoke and roasted malts. Some mild fruit hints.

The taste is smoky with a roasted malt taste.

The feel is medium body,medium carbonation and a smooth finish.

Notes: I liked it and the only thing is that I find this more suitable for a cold night. I had it on a cold, air conditioned night.

 369 characters

Photo of Jayli
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear, dark red with a tannish half finger head. Decent head retention though not much lacing to speak of - some spotty wispy lacing. Nose is smokey, like the name indicates, more of a fireside smoke scent rather than BBQ, some roasted malts are present as well. Taste was smokey up front, roasted malts mixed in to blend nicely with the the smokey flavoring, some hops mixes in at the end blending nicely. Hop flavroring isn't overpowering. It's just the right blend to give a solid backing to the rest of the beer. Medium body, decent carbonation, bit creamy the tongue at first. This is a very nice brew! I'll be looking to pick up a few more in the near future!

 683 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Single finger head dissipates quickly, leaves a periphery of head. Brown with amber/reddish hues.

S: sweet malt with caramel and dark fruit/figs aromas.

T: More dark fruit and figs with mildly smokey finish.

M: The smokey finish makes this a smooth but thick beer. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is a very complete and fairly complex beer. The tastes at times can be conflicting but overall an excellent and drinkable beer.

 435 characters

Photo of Daniellobo
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice and gently smoked brew.

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Warm colored label with an illustration of flames framed within an oval. Glad to see a Weyerbacher bottle with a somewhat pleasing design. One line description and almost legible bottling and best by dates printed on the neck (122810, 042811). Shows 7.5% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Clear deep amber to amber brown pour, rich ecru creamy head, good retention, nice surface memory and some splashes of lacing.

S - Soft smoked nose, rather nice, fruity and sweet touch, with a yeasty hint that fades as the brew settles and the smoked sense prevails

T - Nice smoked sense, not too hefty but not shy at all, a bit meaty, malty undercurrent with a nice sweetness with a fruity touch under the caramel.

M - Medium body touching medium-full, soft carbonation with a hint a a warming finish.

O - Nice balanced overall, good smoked flow without pushing the brew.

Notes: About time I tried this offering from Weyerbacher and it feels rather worthy. I´ll be happy to revisit it next season.

 1,074 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a tasting of this at City Beverage in Winston-Salem Saturday, and I was sold. From just a couple sips, it struck me as a smoked beer that let the rest of the beer out to breathe, instead of smothering it all, the way I feel most smoked beers do. Bought a four pack, and I'm throwing one into a nice big glass about now.

This looks very nice, with a head of lightly tanned off-white sitting firm and creamy on top of a brown-meets-dark ruby color. Dibs and dabs of lace dot the glass. Entrancing, and a bit like a Belgian dubble in color maybe.

Aroma gives off waves of dark sweet fruits (fig, plum, raisin), carob, and toffee...the smoke lays down a bed underneath and let's the other stuff sing. Subtly. This is a very nice smelling beer, and the smoke does not overtake the other aspects of the aroma.

As with the aroma, smoke does not totally prevail in the flavor. The taste is similar to the smell--succulent dark fruits, carob, toffee--along with the essence of fresh sweet cream, earthy hops, nut husk and, yes, the smoke. And I love that the smoke merely highlights the other aspects of the beer, which is a malt-lovers kind of thing. If it weren't smoked this would probably fall somewhere between a big American brown and a strong Belgian ale. Slight mineral in the finish, along with grill-char, toffee and currant.

Probably a little thin for the flavors, and maybe even too prickly on the carbonation side. But it's got a nice slickness and a little bit of stick, and goes down well enough, but something just slightly beefier would have done the trick.

My problem with smoked beers, if I haven't already said so a million different ways, is that they are one-dimensional. Fireside Ale is not, and that's probably why it's my favorite smoked beer by a mile. Glad I discovered this, and this points to the power of beer tastings--I never would have picked it up otherwise.

 1,892 characters

Photo of nlmartin
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was served in an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: I like the appearance of this beer alot. The beer pours a clear mahogany coloration. The head is a thick creamed cola coloration. Very nice head retention noted. Rings of lacing remain on the glass.

Smell: This one hits my nose unexpectedly. The aroma of the beer is caramel and a cocoa ontop of a layer of smoked nuttyness, and hickory smoked bacon. Who put the bacon in my beer? I dont know and dont care. Bacon is good!...

Taste: I like the smokeyness of the beer as it strikes my palate. The sweet maltyness of caramel is backed by smoked nuttyness, tobacco, and cocoa. Very nice!

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a medium body. The carbonation works well with the beer. Very smooth over all. I have a weakness for smoked beers. This was a nice beer to pair with a cheese plate.

 851 characters

Photo of mcallister
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damn fine looking beer here. Deep rusty mahagony with a small tan head that fades quickly into a thin tight lace.

Hints of smokey malts, and a slight bacon meaty quality. Burnt caramel ad milk chocolate. Herbal qualities and grassy hints. Nice toffee and more bready malts.

Solid and very easy drinking. Shows nothing like 7.5% abv. Not overly complex but to the point and even sessionable. Light smokey malt showing hints of cured meats and salt. Light chocolatey flavors, thick dense almost pumperkninckel malts. Black truffel as well. Very good carbonation and great mouthfeel. Just a solid beer from top to bottom. A great job by weyerbacher.

 650 characters

Photo of thepeter
4.16/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown pour with little head and little lacing, still not a bad looking beer but nothing too pretty.
smells of smoke and cocoa with a hint of sweetness and some meat.
Tastes much of the same, roasted malt, smoked wood, ash, and cocoa, then some more wood in the pretty dry finish
Nice carbonation and smooth on the palate.
Overall, this is a very good beer if you like smoke, which I do, so sure I have bias but still would seek this out again. Great with pork or at a BBQ.

 477 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brown with a nice, rich tan head. Nice lacing sticks.

The smell is of roasted chestnuts, brown sugar, earthy hops, toffee, a touch of dark fruit and a background of Rauch-like smokiness. Pretty complex. Very inviting. "Different" in a nice way!

The taste is of roasted chestnuts, chocolate/ toffee, brown sugar - nice maltiness with herbal (towards tinny, though it doesn't quite reach that) and earthy. A soft smokiness rounds it out in the finish.

It has a full-side of medium body. Pretty silky/creamy. Mildly carbonated (another bubble or too wouldn't hurt, I suppose - though this works well, too).

A nice "fireside" drink. Aptly named. Alcohol is well-hidden. Smoky, but not too. Malty but balanced. This is a well-done, "unique" brew. Very enjoyable!

 767 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a dark copper color with a nice 1" head that lingers a bit. Some mild lacing paints the glass.

Smell: light smokiness, caramel, and a hint of nuts are detectable.

Taste: nice mild smokey malt base with some caramel, roasted nuts, red apples, and a moderate bitterness. Alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp from start to finish. Medium bodied beer. Aftertaste is long but light on the tastebuds as the smokiness lingers softly.

Drinkability: this was a very drinkable smoked beer since the smokiness was not overbearing and actually complimented the other flavors. Would be a great beer for a BBQ meal.

 635 characters

Photo of Teleweizen2
4.14/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes.

A - pours a deep chocolatey brown with ruby highlights and a bubbly light tan head of foam. About a fingers worth. Decent retention.

S - strong sweet caramel aromas. Some musky burnt wood smoke aroma as well. Some hints of licorice and raisins as well.

T - much sweeter than I expected. lots of caramel and chocolate. this sweetness is balanced by a lingering smokeyness. hints of licorice too.

M - medium full bodied, low on carb. quite smooth.

D - this is like a mix of an English brown and a Scotch wee heavy. heavy enough for winter but still easy enough to pair with some summer barbecue.

 610 characters

Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic a full rich brown with a nice formed 1/2 finger creamy-like off white head.Good balance in the nose not overly smoky,smoke infused with some sweet caramel and cherry-like fruitiness with a touch of iron.A mix of caramel and tofee sweetness hits up front with some of that cherry-like fruitiness,the smoke comes in the finish and compliments the sweetish flavors instead of overpowering them.A very nice smoked ale here,alot of nice flavor components.I could see myself drinking this on a cold day next to a roaring fire no doubt.

 549 characters

Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a nice addition to the box from randomdanger..

the beer pours forth, splashing into the glass and leaving a suitable head. i poured this one cold, a strange departure, especially for a darker beer. i know not why.

it does make me wish i'd lit a fire. I'd sit there with my feet up, a pipe in my mouth and a scotch back, laughing at how silly this world truly is.
Its smokiness is more background, adding nuance to a beer already with some nice caramel sweetness almost like a hint of coconut. As the beer warms to room temperature, the smokiness comes out to play a bit more.

I enjoyed this beer and its mild smokiness worked for me. It also went fantastic with the scallops

 677 characters

Photo of Minotaur
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this in bottle and it was underwhelming. I've since had it on tap and it was a much deeper and more flavorful ale. For a smoked ale it seemed flat and not pronounced enough in the named attributes of malt and smoke.

Amber - light brown in color with an active head. Just slightly hazy and that seems to settle/clear quickly.

The aroma is wheaty and malty with the distinct rauchbier barbecue scent but not in an unbearable or overwhelming fashion.

The taste is also that of a malty, grainy and sweet amber ale. It is thick and dense with layers of sweetness and a slightly citrus hops bitterness. But underneath all is the pervasive flavor of bacon-like smokiness that emanates through out the beer. It is nicely balanced by the sweet and slight flowery bitterness.

The mouthfeel is mellow and smooth especially on tap. It is satisfying and filling. Despite the unusual smokey wheat characteristic it becomes a very drinkable beer.

 942 characters

Photo of Proteus93
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: An intriguing reddish-gold colour with a nice forming creamy head, slightly off-white and rich. Good lacing... off to a pleasant start!

S: Seeing the touch of smoke on the bottle and the description of 'smoked beer' on here, I was expecting something a little more like a rauch... meaty or peat scents. This was not what I was expecting, and pleasantly so! Though I am a fan of smokiness, this uses it very modestly, with nice aromas of caramelized sugar and dark fruits paired with it.

T: Rather sweet and almost even tangy in some ways. Some honey-like qualities and a subtle smokiness to round it all out.

M + D: Just slightly chewy... it's a pretty smooth, medium body. Carbonation is a little light and does alright with the overall presentation, but I wouldn't mind if it were a little crisper, personally. Drinks remarkably easily considering the heavier alcohol content. I was pleasantly surprised by this brew and would happily go for it again.

 961 characters

Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Pours a medium chestnut brown with a slight reddish hue. Creamy white head with speckled lacing on the glass.

Slightly sweet caramel malt aroma with a nice smokiness. A bit of herbal hops is also detectable.

Mildly sweet caramel malt taste upfront leading into a pleasant, medium level of smokiness. Medium bitterness and light herbal hop flavor toward the finish as it ends slightly sweet as it began. Smoke taste lingers.

Quite a nice smoked beer offering. Gives a different experience than smoked porters or rauchbeers, maintaining a very nice balance between the flavors. Definitely recommended to others who love the smoked beers.

 652 characters

Photo of spointon
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A= This ale poured a hazed amber-brown color with a 1/2" light tan head. The head dropped fast but left a nice trail of thin lace down my glass.

S= The aroma was balanced and soft, with equal parts wood smoke, treacle, sweet malt, and earth. Very nice complexity.

T= Not as much smoke as was in the smell, but its there in the background. Malty sweetness and some fruitiness offset by an earthy hop dryness throughout. The finish brought out a bit more of the smoke and ended rather dry.

MF= Lighter side of medium bodied with a crisp mouthfeel.

D= An interesting beer that kept getting better the warmer it got. If I ever score another I will drink it at about 65 degrees.

 747 characters

Photo of DIM
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: This was a very dark brown, just a little light managed to shine through. It poured with a thin, short lived tan froth.

s: I've never smelled anything quite like this. Smoky, slighty nutty peats and a little toffee.

t: A light smokiness blankets some peaty toffee and an interesting nut flavor.

m: Maybe a little on the thin side with mildly fizzy carbonation.

d: An unique offering from Weyerbacher, good stuff.

 419 characters

Photo of gabrielsyme
4.11/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours medium brown with lingering white head. Not too much aroma, maybe just a hint of sweetness.

Taste is sweet, mostly raisins. The smoke is relatively subtle (a good thing in my book) and matches the roasted characteristics of the malt. Very smooth at 7.5%. The mouthfeel is creamy but not too heavy. This one really hit the spot today.

 355 characters

Photo of Martin2D
4.11/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brownish-black with a large tan head that retains quite well

S - Slight alcohol with roasted malts

T - Surprisingly fruity on the forefront with malt in the background with a hint of smoke/char on the finish.

M - Well carbonated, medium in body

D - Since the smoke isn't overwhelming, it simply adds an interesting note that makes this beer very unique and pretty drinkable. Good stuff from Weyerbacher here to stand out.

 434 characters

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very dark amber color with a large tan head that stayed throughout. It smells roasted and smoky. It tasted smoky and had flavos from something roasted unforntialy the flavor is a bit watered which is very dissapointing. This did make the beer easy to drink however. Overall a good beer that was almost great. I would buy again.

 346 characters

Fireside Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.77 out of 5 based on 366 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!