Fireside Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

very good
367 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 367 |  Reviews: 273
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.

 832 characters

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.

 755 characters

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.

 578 characters

Photo of Varkias41
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of Njstoutlover23
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of nrs207
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of ejimhof
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of MikeWard
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

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.

 619 characters

Photo of blange3
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of MarkNNJ
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of jbaker67
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

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.

 285 characters

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.

 451 characters

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.

 382 characters

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.

 281 characters

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.

 2,307 characters

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.

 1,478 characters

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.

 671 characters

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.

 524 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm a big fan of the smokiness taste in beers so I bought this single for about 1.75.

Pours a mahogany color with a small head and some minor lacing. Smell is very sweet and candy like, a hint of smokiness. Nice full body to it, again the sweetness comes through, a very very light smoke taste. Has almost a brown ale feel to it with about a 1/16 oz of a smoke in there. I wish the smoke had more of a flavor in here as it is basically just an above average brown ale. Decent beer, but so far Z lager or Jinx are the best for smoked flavors.

 542 characters

Photo of rembrant
3.36/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very NOT as expected. I recently...somewhat by accident...bout a Belgian style ale. I expected dark fruit flavors and some yeasty stuff...instead I got a bit of that and a finish kind of like licking my work gloves...old aluminum pots,old pennies,scrap wood,dirt....not stuff I enjoyed.

THIS...I expected a Brown ale with smokiness...and it was dark fruits and yeasty stuff (without the scrap metal and other junk),and the "smoke" I had to really stretch my taste buds to find. Odd. Were it called a semi-Belgian for guys who did not LIKE Belgian...good job. As is...rather strange stuff and not what I had in mind.

Looks----VERY pretty though an aggressive pour will fill the glass with foam. Being careful,I later got a 2 finger with density,a LOT of lacing.
Color is a beautiful deep red-brown with density. A Pretty pour.

Aroma...Yeasty and all sorts of dark fruit,raisin-prune-dry peaches and apricots...a fermented trail mix. No "pine/Spuce hops or typical roasty Caramel/coffee/Brown Sugar.

Taste....taste is same as arome, fruity and yeasty. There's a slight bit of smoke but the yeasty taste tends to hide it

Mouth....okay...nothing seems too thick or thin. Not too thrilled with the aftertaste but it is okay.

Drinkable? Well...if I was into Belgian as a style, this might be a session beer. It hints at the Belgian approach while not being in any way too odd...reminds me of Unnibroue Raftman....a semi Belgian that a guy like me can deal with but a guy who loves Belgian ales probably sees as " Beginner Belgian".

The odd thing...nowhere was there a hint this was a "Sort of" Belgian ale. The SUGGESTION was....some SMOKE and...there was hardly any,or the "yeasty" thing totally buried it.

I may revisit this...or not. If they called it "Almost Belgian" it's good at that. As a "smoky Fireside Ale"...pretty lame

Note...This totaled up a B...and some of that was off LOOKING great. I found it...confusing. It's not is INTERESTING, and yet something just don't work for me.

SOME of you will like this one. I wish I spent my $ on an Edmund Fitzgerald

---looking at other reviews, maybe this varies batch to batch. A few reviews noticed the Belgian/fruity/yeasty thing...and not much smoke. Some seemed to find a more typical maltyness and a good deal of smoke.

I LOVE my Dark Horse Fore...and even was fascinated by Shiner Smokehaus, where they did Mesquite smoked HOPS...BEAUTIFULLY....and wasted that on a nondescript Lager.

This? Smoke? Minimal hints of smoke. I DO BBQ. I Know smokes...Laurel, Mesquite, Oak, Beech, Madrone, Peat....this is a tad bit of whatever.

 2,599 characters

Photo of Stigs
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, served in a standard pint glass

A - pours with a finger of loose, fluffy very light tan colored foam. the beer is lightly cloudy, very dark amber in color. lightly sticky lacing left behind in the glass.

S - crisp, lightly toasted grains...some sweetened biscuit as well. more sweetness as candi sugar, some bubble gum. barely detecting any smokiness...maybe near the end as tobacco, smoked meat.

T - begins with a flash of slightly toasted and burnt malts and nuts...smoke really comes through here as meaty and ashy. some caramel and nuts add sweetness.

M - extremely light body...very watery and barely holds up the rather potent and growing smokey flavors.

D - interesting beer here...smoky to a certain degree though lacks the required body to really make it enjoyable. a nice changeup, though hard to get through even a 12oz bottle by yourself.

 869 characters

Photo of beermanbrian
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown/copper with some red tinges. Off white head, dots of lace. Caramel malt smell, light smokiness. Caramel malt taste, some nuts, little bitterness finishes with light smoke. Little thin in the mouth. Overall somewhat of a letdown. Just didn't spark my interest.

 265 characters

Photo of Tilley4
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to fbm115 for the chance to try this one...

Poured into a Perfect Pint...

Pours a surprisingly clear light brown with this thick fluffy creamy head that lasts forever and laces terrifically... Quite a nice looking brew...

Sweet maltiness, almost smells like a doppelbock... There's a slight smokiness here but it isn't as pronounced as in lots of others.. Its there but its not the main characteristic.. There's a toffee aspect here as well along with perhaps some vanilla...

Very sweet maltiness rolls onto the palate bringing with it a subtle smokiness that reminds me of a campfire as the name would suggest... The beer finishs rather dry with a lingering aspect of the smokiness... There's an aftertaste here that goes weird or something, perhaps the smokiness....

Overall, a pretty good representation of the style. I can get what I think is the best smoked porter out there on a regular basis in Sue so this has some stiff competition but its a good beer...

 977 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.