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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 273 | Ratings: 367
Photo of BeerResearcher
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz dark brown bottle. No freshness date.
Served in a nonic tumbler.
Pours a dark amber cola color with an overly enthusiastic beige head, with lots of lacing.
The smell is a unique mix of smoke, macerated berries, dried malt and resinous hops. A light whiff of rose petals and peat moss inch through.
The flavors follow the smell. The tastes are carried within the fizzy effervescence, bursting with flavors which tantalize and tease the taste bud spectrum.
Nice beer for a smoky BBQ!

 486 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a murky amber-brown color. The head is a half inch in height, and recedes slowly into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is of caramel, toffee, with a faint hint of smoke. The taste has a not of caramel and toffee with high residual sugars. There is almost no smoke in the taste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a thin texture, and moderate-high carbonation. Overall, this is a nice beer, but still somewhat lacking in character. In the absence of a stronger smoke presence I would at least like to see a more complex maltiness. This beer is just a little too straight forward for me.

 602 characters

Photo of FickleBeast
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark cloudy brown color with a finger of mocha foam. Aroma has a nice smokiness.

This beer has a nice body, with a nice hint of smoke flavor that is not overpowering. Sweetness is pretty low, with a dry, crisp finish.

Alcohol is very well hidden, not trace of 7.5% ABV here. Overall a very nice smoke beer.

 357 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 Contra
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

 983 characters

Photo of bum732
3.42/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

S: Some tart cherries up front, before some smoky roastiness, slight phenolics, some vanilla/oak.

L: Dark brown with reddish highlights, off white head that dissipates quickly. Ok lacing.

T: Sweet, beef jerky like smoky maltiness. Followed by a medium low earth bitterness. Some caramel follows with just a touch of roast dryness and wifts of smoke.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Quite dry, puckering finish. Smoke fairly pulled back, not much more than that. Aroma was quite pleasant.

 497 characters

Photo of Dotcubed
3.99/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Maybe one of my top five breweries.
I elected to try this over others for that reason.

Yet again I waited for the last one. The Sam Adams glass makes for a nice gradient of brown. Chestnut with a nice inch head. Creamy guiness like.

Not much smell there. Smells faintly English.

Toasty. Nutty as hell. And smooth. Dry. Carbon.

Better than I'd expected.
But not really a marathon beverage.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a stemmed pint glass)

A- The dense brown body has a slight hazy to it with a reddish hint that glows in the light. There is a thick light tan head that last for a good bit.

S- The aroma is very clean but with lots of sniffing the notes of dry toffee and malt come through with a soft herbal hop note in the finish. I don't get any smoke at all, and I actually check the bottle to see if this was really a smoke beer.

T- The soft woody brown malt flavor had some soft dry caramel malt hints and a nougat melanoidin quality, perhaps smoke? The finish has a light tartness with some pine hops that snap just a bit. As the beer warms there is a faint smoke note that lingers after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This is a nice brown ale but not a lot of depth and I couldn't find much smoke at all. The strongest flavor was the nougat quality.

 913 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 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 Homebrew35
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger light brown head, fairly creamy with mostly small bubbles. Body is medium brown clear body. Smells mostly of sweet medium toasted crystal malts, like an extra malty brown ale or even a dark Belgian, a touch of alcohol. If I did't know it I wouldn't have said it had a touch of smoke in it, I would have confused it for dark crystal malts. Tastes very Carmely and malty, nutty, some earthy hops, the smoke is somewhat noticeable and goes quite well with the brown and Carmel malts. Medium thin bodied, medium high carbing if which I'd like a bit less. There is a fair amount of earthy ashy lingering bitterness. Overall not bad but not great. I bought a four pack and don't plan on buying this again in the near future but maybe later on. $8.69 a four pack. This is a good entry beer into the smoked beer world.

 829 characters

Photo of sk8man121
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Allagash chalice.

A: Pours a deep crimson with brilliant ruby and apricot highlights. 3-finger caramel head with excellent retention leaves no lacing on the glass.

S: Raisin, fig and rose perfume are strong in the nose. Quite sweet, with just a hint of smoke and event some mints.

T: Campfire smoke immediately jumps out, with muted notes of wood, dark fruit and caramel. Juicy malts in the center. Sweet, but not overly so. Leaves a pleasant bitterness on the tongue.

M: Carbonation is rather low; would like a bit more. Smooth, chewy and like velvet on the tongue, however.

O: Given the smokiness and moderately-high ABV, this is a "one and done" for me. As far as smoked beers go, this is extremely drinkable compared to most of the others I've had. Picked this one up on a whim, and glad I did.

A very well-balanced, pleasantly smoky offering from Weyerbacher.

 901 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 Knapp85
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fireside Ale to some of my friends said that it taste like ash to them. I wasn't in the same boat I found it to be pretty good. The pour is like a rich looking brown ale with a tan colored head on it. The aromas are definitely smoke and some malts. The flavors are smokey but yeah have a good backbone of some dark malts. This was really good, I'm not a massive fan of smoked beers but this one was subtle enough that it remained drinkable. Good beer for the winter time.

 471 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Amber brown. Soft coating of khaki-colored head.

S - Very soft. Touch of malt. Light waft of smoke.

T - Delicious. Malt with a soft and well balanced cedar smoke. Fresh bread.

M - Medium body with a nice, tingly carbonation. Soft mouthfeel with a sweet finish.

O - Nice flavor. The smoke is clean and soft, not hammy or overpowering.

 341 characters

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.

 368 characters

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 scelesti
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour from 12 oz bottle into goblet

A - Deep amber with a thin quickly dissipating head

S - Dark malts, some medium caramel, a (small) hint of smoke, a bit of spiciness from the hops, a touch of licorice, and dark fruit (plum? fig?)

T - Robust maltiness, mixed with medium fruits, a bit of caramel, and a bit of smoke up front. Finishes with solid bittering from the hops, and a bit of smoke, which leads to a dry finish.

M - Medium body with an effervescent mouthfeel.

O - This is a good, well-crafted beer, that is well-balanced. It would great for sipping by the fireside on a cold winter evening. Or by the ceramic heater on a cold spring evening, in my case. But it doesn't have the smokiness that I was expecting, or hoping for, the wind-in-your-next-to-the-campfire smoke. Can I haz more smoke?

EDIT: The smoke is much more noticeable on the finish as it warms, and that's a good thing. Still, I wouldn't mind bumping up the smoke-o-meter a couple notches.

 970 characters

Photo of bsp77
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Medium brown that looks more mahogany in the light. Thin off-white head and almost no lacing.

Smell: English hops, cherry and other dark fruits. Fairly mild and only notice a hint of smoke.

Taste: Malt driven, with caramel, cherry, and dark fruits. There is a light layer of smokiness enveloping everything, but this is certainly more malty and sweet than smoky. Finishes with some light bitterness from the spicy English hops.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, semi-dry finish.

Overall: Mostly comes across as a mild dark English Ale. Needs more body, more smoke, more complexity, more something.

 681 characters

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 JRed
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear but dark red/brown in body topped by off-white head that leaves sugary lacing. Aroma of currants, dark fruit, spice, booze, pepper. In pursuit of balance: dark fruit, black cherries ride backseat to smoke and woodchips, hop bitterness at finish and slight echo of chocolate in the aftertaste. Medium-heavy body with light carbonation. Interesting and ambitious, good for sitting fireside but not many other places.

 422 characters

Photo of pdoran10
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark amber color into a New Belgium snifter. Half a finger of off white head that fades quickly.

Smell is some caramelized malt and a bit of cotton candy sweetness.

Taste is slightly more complex. Some roastyness singed toast flavor added to the sweet caramel malt. Finishes with a smoked malt profile that lingers a bit.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin with moderate carbonation.

Solidly drinkable and not all that heavy. Nice flavors, nothing spectacular, but an interesting brew.

 493 characters

Photo of prdstmnky
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Nice dark amber / mahogany body with 2 fingers of light tan head that hangs around for a while leaving lots of lacing.

Interesting nose - caramel malts and dark fruits, but not much (if any) smokiness. Certainly pick up some of the smoke on the tongue, as well as some roasted malts. Although this ale smelled fairly sweet, im really struggling to find it in the taste, which is puzzling. Medium bodied and light on the carbonation.

I really enjoy cooking with smoked beers, especially in marinades...although I dont see myself buying this one for consumption again, maybe it will make its way into a rib or steak recipe down the road.

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Photo of jera1350
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber in color with a short tan head that is extremely creamy and has some good retention and a bit of sticky lacing.

Almost a belgian dubbel smell to it. Dark fruit- plum, fig, raisin. Quite sweet smelling with belgian candi sugar and a hint of smoke. Very enticing.

Wow, completely different than what I was expecting from a smoked beer. There is just a hint of peaty smoke throughout the beer. Very, very light however. The rest of the flavor is kind of toffee sweet with a little fruitiness to it and a woody, bitter hop finish. Unique for sure.

The mouthfeel is great. Very creamy and frothy carbonation fills the mouth. Medium bodied with a dry finish.

Like I said before, not what I was expecting from a smoked beer as it is light. This is however quite drinkable and very unique no matter what style it fits under. Worth a try.

 839 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a reddish/amber color with an inch frothy off-white head. Lacing and head retention are both good. Aroma is dark bread, caramel malt and a bit of smoke and nuts. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but the smoked malt taste is a little stronger compared to the other flavors. Finish is smoky and a little bitter. Mouthfeel/body is medium with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is decent enough. Not a bad overall brew.

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