Fireside Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

very good
273 Reviews
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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.

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Reviews: 273 | Ratings: 367
Photo of darknova306
1.96/5  rDev -48%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

The beer is pretty dark with a decent, fizzy white head. The rest of the experience was very disappointing, unfortunately. The aroma reminded me, sigh... of Bud. Basically, it has that cheap, malt smell with some spicy hops. The best word to describe the aroma is thin.

The flavor here can only really be described as gross. The body is thin and lightly malty, with a touch of smokiness. The smoke and a touch of hops are all on the front of the tongue, then the back of the mouth is filled with kind of a cheap corn type flavor.

I tried this beer two different times, and coulndn't get more than two sips into either bottle.

The beer would be vastly improved by a much more robust malt backbone, or at the very least by more body to reduce how thin it tastes.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
2.51/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a dark stained wood brown that gives some red highlights when held to light. Eggshell white head with some lacing. Aroma is smokey, somewhat like a rauchbier, but there's some phenol and minty notes in there too. Tobacco in the nose as well.

Flavor is strange, and sadly it reminds me of chewing tobacco. Some meatiness to the smoke, but the smoke is more coal-y and ashy than delicious. The minty and spicy notes combine with the leafy tobacco flavors to make this near undrinkable, in my opinion.

Light mouthfeel, it might be a bit overcarbonated for some of these flavors. Ok drink, I just can't get past the ashy smoke paired with minty spiciness. I typically like Weyerbacher, but this one is a miss for me.

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Photo of GuruDel
2.53/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle split after an evening of great beers.

A: Pours a dark cola color with a small head.

S: not too much smoke here, but a touch and some sweetness.

T: total smoke bomb, didnt expect it based on the nose so was a bit shocked.

M: was fine, medium body with good carbonation

O: not really my style, not a fan of overly smokey beers. This one didnt do it for me.

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Photo of ZeroSignal
2.67/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

A - Pours an amber laced brown with a nice sized, toasted marshmallow colored head. Decent retention with a slippery lace.

S - Aroma is lightly malty with a hint of smoke...not a whole lot going on in the nose here

T&M - Initially feels a bit on the thin side until a bit of malt with a dose of smokiness hits. The nature of the smoke is hard to pick out, but I'm thinking peat smoked malt? There is some spicy hop bitterness here as well, along with a peppery taste that matches well with the smoke. This is a good amount of smoke for me, but true lovers of the style would probably be begging for more. Overall still feels a bit thin and a little one dimensional to me.

D - Easy enough to drink, and I wouldn't have any problem recommending this to someone who wants to dip their toe into the style (my first was Shiner Smokehaus...I'm still a little scarred).

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Photo of maddogruss
2.82/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a bottle fo thsi from the Cloverleaf Tavern.

A: Pours a dark amber body with a small head with pretty poor retention and very minimal lacing.

S: A kind of sweet malt smell with not much else.

T: A smoky, slightly bacon-like taste with some sweet, sugary malt aftertaste that did not goo too well together.

M: A fairly light-bodied mouthfeel with some slight overcarbonation. Nothing overly impressive.

D: A nice mouthfeel and taste combination made for a decent Smoked Beer, but nothing impressive. A little less carbonation and a little less on the "sugary" malts could have made for a better tasting and nicer drinking beer overall.

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Photo of Centennial
2.88/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours- 50/50 - coca cola mix with ginger ale color

Smell- slight smokeyness, but not real apparent. sour raspberry like with mild citrusy notes pulling through and picking up a slight carmel like aroma.

Taste- initial flavor is overcome by carbonation with a red ale like flavor profile pulling through in the end. Still looking to be smacked by some smokyness, but still not there. I guess this is why the label says "a touch" of smokiness.

Mouthfeel- Again, carbonation a little too high and alcohol like burn lingering after initial taste.

Overall- this is not one of my top 10 styles and I can say that this beer did not help to change my mind at all. Perhaps I will try this again on a cold winter night and have a different perspective, but being on the verge of spring this came through as below the mark.

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Photo of BostonHops
2.91/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a basic shaker pint.

pours a deep amber tone with some ruby highlights; yields a smallish head, less than a finger that demonstrates middling retention and leaves lacing in spots.

in the nose i get malt, smoke (though not as much as i was expecting), and a sweetness i can't quite place - nothing too spectacular. taste is ok, as it warms i pick out caramel and a nip of peat. smokey, though not as much as you'd expect from a smoked beer, and somewhat astringent. decent, creamy mouthfeel. overall it's not terrible by a long shot but it is disappointing. will not seek out a revisit.

disclaimer: 6 pack was on sale at the (albeit historically solid) liquor store, possibly calling freshness into question.

original review on: 07-25-2010 04:21:06

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Photo of ImusBeer
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11oz draft from my Taco Mac store.

Came to the table in a wine glass, a murky amber brown with a light tan head, very sparse. Carbonation was good since through the entire glass bubbles continued to rise from the bottom and sides of the glass.

The aroma was mostly of malt and lightly smoked oak. It had somewhat of a whiskey barrel taste with malty overtones along with some bitterness.

Mouthfeel was lightly bitter and was light on the tongue not syrupy at all. A good drinkable high gravity ale, but not really special or remarkable to me.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this beer into a pint glass, it has a rich brownish color body and no head or lace to it. The smell has a aroma of dark fruits and a little smokeyness to it. The taste is of like tart dark fruits with some sweetness to it. The smokeyness comes on the back of tongue, it isn't very strong but just there to let you know its there. The mouth feel is good and overall this is a ok beer. I would not buy this again.

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Photo of irishking1977
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark ruby, brown/black with moderate lacing. Reminds me of a stout or porter. I'm sure this one will be unique, at the least.

S: The first thing that invaded my olfactory senses was a burst of firewood mixed with bbq. Not overwhelming by any means, but definitely different.

T: Tastes like I'm drinking liquid bbq firewood mixed with a porter or stout. Smoky malt mixed with some wood qualities. I enjoy anything different, but this is more of an acquired taste. A few more of these and I might be able to find something I really enjoy about it.

M: Moderate carbonation and a smoked feel that could exhaust the palate. Not quite the same in terms of excessively hoppy brews, but still a bit in your face.

D: For the first attempt, this doesn't seem to me to be a brew that could initially be in consideration for a session. Repeat tries could change that since this is quite a unique brew.

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.07/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Paid $2.99 for a 12oz bottle from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. I poured into a small snifter to review. Not sure of the significance but the bottom of the bottle has what appears to be G 37 08 enscribed.

3/4 inch light beige head that is consistent of medium sized bubbles and is neither fizzy or frothy; somewhere right inbetween. Head slowly fades to nothing. Some lacing. Dark opaque raisin brown in color.

Smoky and malty yet still well balanced. Malts are sweet and lightly roasted. Hops present in balance yet are not very distinguishable. Slight hints of vanilla and molasses.

Even more smoky in the mouth. A bit much for my liking. Kind of reminds be of a combination of beef jerky and liquid smoke that I use when grilling steaks. Alcohol very well contained.

Medium body, medium finish. OK carbonation. Somewhat uneventful mouthfeel.

Not bad if you are looking for a beer that is quite smoky. I probably would not get this again but it has probably more to do with the style than the beer itself.

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Photo of jsanford
3.11/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark mahogany with a dense ivory head that settles to a thick cap, leaving behind streaky lacing. Sweet and malty aromas of baked bread, caramel, brown sugar, and just a touch of meaty smoke. Taste is similarly malt-forward, with notes of chocolate, caramel, toffee, and more mild smokiness. I'd definitely like to see the smoke amped up a bit, but not too bad overall. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a medium-full body and good carbonation. Pretty decent beer overall, but gimme more smoke!

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Photo of shanblur
3.12/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

No freshness date. Poured from 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Murky amber and brown color with a 2 finger head which leaves spotty lacing.

S - Smells of sweet malt, caramel and some spice.

T - Toffee and caramel malts and not much else.

M - Medium body with little carbonation.

I did not get any smokiness from the beer. Seems more of an average scotch ale.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.13/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

354th review on BA
bottle to tulip

Thanks to GuruDel for sharing this one at the end of the night.

App- This was exactly how a cold soda pours, just minus the bubble activity. A little bit of a dark brown with some highlights running through it. Decent head and a little bit of retention.

Smell- Sweet and smoky. Some crystal malt scents and a hint of spicy smoke. Faint all around. Didn't get much from this.

Taste- Smoky flavor comes in on the taste but doesn't really give off big flavors. The malts are there but with a semi toffee like pulled candy sweet and a little bread

Mouth- Medium bodied with a medium carbonation level. Pretty standard feel. Decent.

Drink- Not a fan of smoke beer it seems. This just didn't do it for me. Wasn't bad, don't want to say that just not for me. Flavors were okay just not for me.

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Photo of skullsplitter
3.16/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 16oz pint glass.

A - A nice caramel/ruby hue with a pretty decent soapy (slightly off white) head. The head disipated rather quickly but left a nice sticky lacing on the glass.

S - I was caught off guard by how light the smell was. Slightly smoky with a hint of Peat. Overall, there doesn't seems to be much going on in this category.

T - The taste was pretty malty with an ever so slight sweet caramel finish. The smokiness was there but very light. I was relieved that the smoked malts didn't overpower. Though, I would have expected a little more flavor wise.

M - Medium bodied with a light carbonation.

D - The beer was pretty drinkable. Though, if you are looking for a solid smoked beer then this would not be the first I recommend.

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.16/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a your basic pint glass.

pours a deep amber/ruby red tone with smallish head, some lacing. in the nose i get malt, smoke (though not as much as i was expecting), and a sweetness i can't quite place. imo nothing too spectacular. taste is ok, as it warmed i got some caramel and a peaty flavor. decent, creamy mouthfeel. not the worst beer but somewhat disappointing; i wouldn't be averse to another but wouldn't seek one out, either.

disclaimer: 6 pack was on sale at the (albeit historically solid) liquor store, possibly calling freshness into question.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Poured into a pint glass. More light tan head on this one than beer in the intial pour. The body is dark brown and very clear.

Right away smoke takes the front with this one. Reminds me of the smell of my clothes from right after a campfire. Toasty malts here with a yeasty aroma. A little bit of a metallic flavor on this one. The smokieness is pretty well done; being subtle with a woody flavor. Hints of brown sugar round his one out.

Light body on this with soft carbonation. Overall, not too bad here. It really does taste metalic to me. It's not to much but I just can't get past it.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.26/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle thanks to vwcraig. Looks like a typical brown ale, little to no head. The flavor is only slightly smoky which to me is a good thing and makes it easier to drink this beer since I amno fan of smoke flavors in beer. The aroma is devoid of smoke and is pretty much dark malts.

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Photo of Samp01
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark caramel hue with a nice tan lasting head. Aroma of dark smoked caramel malts, some cacao, needs a bit more smokiness. Taste is smoked toasted caramel malts with some sweet bitter cacao, some dark fruit. Palate is med to full body with an oily texture and moderate carbonation. Finish is smokey roasted malts with some bitter cacao and a dark fruity notes. Aroma and flavor seem a bit weak for the style. Overall a good easy drinking brew.

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Photo of alkemy
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark orange/chestnut brown color. Lots of sweet malts and caramel in the nose. Smoke is in the background...not as strong as I expected. Taste is more of the same. The smokiness fairly faint. I was expecting something more akin to a rauchbier, but this was much more subtle. Quite a bit of sweet malts in the taste as well. I'd rather this to be smokier, but that's just my opinion.

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Photo of mjsheehan08
3.29/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

---from notes

Great tastes of nut, caramel, and smoke in this beer. Flavor is big and complex, but I wasn't impressed with the aromatics and the feel, it felt a little watered down almost. I'm not sure how to describe it, but I know I left wanting a different texture to the beer.

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Photo of becktone
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes 6-20-09

Eye: This is a beautiful beer to look at. Brown in color with garnet highlights and exceptionally clear. Head could use some work but at least there is one, it retains a thick blanket that has a creamy tan look to it. Decent lacing.

Nose: Faint malty tones reach me before my nose is close to the glass, a pretty good omen, not great, but better than no aroma floating around. Deep bready malty aroma and faint chocolate and even some roasty aroma with some dark fruit are all here. Hard to get any I don't know if I can actually detect it or not, maybe its just cause I'm expecting it, but I do get some smokiness. Just a touch of it, as the bottle states. This has nothing on some of the Brewdog smoked beer, but then again I don't think that it is supposed to be an all out smoked beer, just hinting at it. Definitely an "intriguing dark ale."

Tongue: Smokiness is evident in the flavor. Kinda a dry woody smoke, just like you'd expect from a campfire. This is unique, different from other smoked beers, it doesn't have that great kind of smoked bacon flavor that I really love, instead I feel like this one prolly uses some kinda smoke extract, or at least a different method of attaining the smoke flavor than all the others I've had. The smoke here is more clear cut, and less exciting than that of others, the smoke flavor itself is less complex and interesting, but more bold and upfront and more recognizable. Dark fruits behind that, the smokiness is the dominant flavor here. I can also get the chocolate and some roastiness when I concentrate and remember to look for them. A pretty good beer all in all. I think that the smoke could be blended better and fit better with the beer.

Feel and Drinkability: Fairly light body with spritzy carbonation that helps to clease the smokey flavor from the palate. I don't know I think that this might be too carbonated, yes it cleans the palate for the next taste but it leaves it feeling a little too destroyed and torn up. It almost feels like the day after you burn your tongue, but all over the palate, especially the soft palate. This isn't a beer that can't be enjoyed, I mean I'm enjoying it, but there are others that I'll go back to before coming back to this one, I know that there is much better out there.

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Photo of Patrick999
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - I whipped the pour into my Ommegang chalice. Superficially, this appears rather dark, but held up to the light it shows the color of a solid brown ale. Head was present but thin, and settled to a few bubbles.

S - Less BBQ than I would have thought, there's some smoke, but mainly I just get some coffee malt, like a stout with some smoky overtones. A little lemon zest as it warms.

T - Whatever smokiness is missing from the aroma catches up quickly on the palate. It tastes like mesquite charcoal, as I suppose a beer named "Fireside" should. There is a tinge of raisin sweetness partly through, some bright acidity to finish. Hops are buried to some extent, but they seem to be of the citric variety. Tasty, but the particular smoke character here is kind of one-dimensional. I like smoked beers (and even some non-smoked) that actually suggest a taste of smoked meats. This doesn't do that; it's just straight-up campfire.

F - It leaves my mouth feeling very dry, and I always penalize beers that do this. Has a somewhat harsh feel in the mouth.

D - This needs food to make it sing. On its own, I find it a little tiresome. I really need to have some cheeses on hand to taste with my beers - I suspect many of my scores would be higher, including this one. Bleu cheese, I'm thinking. Oddly enough, for some reason I'm also thinking spaghetti and meatballs. The other bottles in the 4-pack will be saved for an appropriate pairing. For me, this one is for food only.

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Photo of HopDerek
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark amber brown color with 2 fingers of foamy light tan head. Good retention and some nice lacing wisps. Smells of caramel, spices, honey, earthy hops, and a touch of smoke. Tastes of toffee, honey, and caramel at first followed by some nuts and toasted malt, then some cocoa powder and a light touch of coffee. Finishes with some earthy hop bitterness and a hint of smoke. Medium to medium full in body with ok carbonation. Creamy and sweet, balanced with a nice touch of bitter, but could use a little more smokiness. Definitely could see drinking this by the fireplace if I had one. Not sure I'd drink it frequently, but it's a good every so often brew.

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Photo of ski271
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Zeno's in State College, PA. Very dark brown with a small, creamy, off-white, slowly diminishing head. Smell is of smokey charcoal with some light fruity hops present underneath. Taste-wise, LOTS of smoke up front, moderate toasted malt backbone, fruity hops on the finish. It has a medium-thick body, dry texture and moderate carbonation. I found the smokiness to too be quite large and rather overpowering, but that's to be expected of the style so I guess I can't hold that against it that much. Not a bad beer.

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Fireside Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.77 out of 5 based on 367 ratings.
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