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 Sammy
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown beer, significantly smokey. Way above average mouthfeel, caramel though not sweet. Not the most tasty smoked beer, but fairly decent.Some chocolate malt. Have to be in the right mood to have this one, thought I was, maybe a bit high hoppy, and its a meal in itself.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear mahogany in color with a moderate amount of carbonation visible from the rising bubbles. It poured into a pint glass with a thin tan head that has good retention properties.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of smoky malts in the nose.
T: Flavors of roasted and smoked malts really stand out in the taste, which also has some notes of caramel. There are some hints of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer has good smoky aromas and flavors but neither of these are very overpowering so it would definitely serve as a good accompaniment to barbequed food.

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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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +18%
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 Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear medium amber color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of light smoked notes with nice caramel malt backbone. Taste is not as smoky as expected thought still clearly noticeable with great notes of of caramel malt. Body is about average for style with good carbonation. Good mix between solid malt backbone and smoky flavor though I still think more smoke flavor would have provided more enjoyment for me.

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beside a fire on Christmas night.

A - Poured out a murky, copper color with a one-finger, off-white head of foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of bacon and other smoked meats. Some caramel, too.

T - It tasted fairly smokey, but not overdone. Good roastiness with just a touch of sweet caramel.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a nice smoked beer. Another good brew from Weyerbacher.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown with a pretty good off-white head. The smell is pretty nice, especially for the smoked beer style. Nothing too overpowering, some nice smokiness mixed with some dark roasted malt. Taste is similar with a nice, smooth mouthfeel that's slightly creamy. Pretty drinkable overall, and especially for the style. Still, nothing I'd really want to have more than one or maybe two of.

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Photo of nickfl
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a small, white head of foam with poor retention and light lace. The body is amber-brown with decent clarity.

S - Peppery yeast with lightly smoked malt aromas. Some caramel and toasted malt.

T - Malty caramel and toffee up front with peppery yeast character. Moderate smoke character blends in the middle with the yeast character. Bacon like finish of brown sugar and smoke.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - This comes across almost as a smoked Belgian dubbel. The spicy yeast works well with the smoked malt but it doesn't get along so well with the caramel. It is a bit disjointed in the end, it might have the potential to improve with age.

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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.

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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!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. pint - $5.00 at Taco Mac in Canton, Georgia.

Appearance: Arrives a clear, chestnut-hued body topped with an inch and a half of fizzy, off-white head. Thin curtains of lace on the way down.

Smell: Light waft of smoked wood chips with a touch of fruitiness and a middling malt scent. Overall, it's not nearly as expressive in the nose as it is in the taste.

Taste: Seemly, mildly sweet malty mix of dark caramel, less roast, and even lesser chocolate powder wrapped in a restrained, clean, almost wholesome smoked wood flavor. Light earthy bitterness. Slight plum fruitiness throughout. Fireside does dry out considerably in the finish and leaves you with a lingering smoked-cocoa character.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Fairly nice! Remains quite drinkable while also delivering plenty of flavor, but not too much flavor, natch. We're talking fireside, not burn ward.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"There is no fireside like your own fireside."

--Irish proverb

Dark nut brown that becomes coppery orange when held up to my sunlit front window. At least half the pint glass was filled with peanut shell colored froth on the pour. The crown is nicely creamy and is beginning to lay down some wonderful looking lace.

Weyerbacher describes this brew as 'an intriguing dark ale with a touch of smokiness'. I'm not yet sure about the intriguing part, but the nose suggests that the rest is accurate. On second and third sniffs... more than a touch and less than a punch of smoke is present. A firm grasp maybe.

Fireside Ale is damn good beer. Getting the proportions of malt just right is the key, and it looks like the brewery has done exactly that. The dark maltiness of the base beer is easily appreciated and is perfectly complemented by the smoked malt. The 7.5% ABV was also a good choice since it lends big beer power without adding even a hint of noticeable alcohol.

Flavors include brown bread drizzled with melted caramel, toasted pecans, sweet wood smoke and more than a little cocoa powder. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if chocolate malt was used. Sweet and bitter are both present and are pretty evenly matched throughout the flavor arc.

Although the mouthfeel could be a fraction beefier, it's impressively whipped creamy. On second thought, thick and smoky beer tends to conjure up images of bacon grease. My sense is that the mouthfeel is as good as it is because of a dead solid perfect amount of carbonation.

Maybe I'm just excessively thirsty this morning, but this bottle of Fireside Ale disappeared in a flash. I love it when a brewery has the good sense to turn a well-received seasonal (Charlie) into a regular release. Thanks to prototypic for the bottles.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

decided to give the taste buds the final go round and cracked this one open as a night cap after a night cap. served in a pint glass and consumed on 11/19/2010.

the pour was a nice burnt amber color with a decent amount of clarity in it that was soon filled with carbonation bubbling to the top. nice head of off white caps it at around one inch. aroma is light campfire, roasted malts, hints of bark, caramel, light earthy hops. all nicely put together. very light feel, but it seemed to work in this case. clean flavor with a smooth after taste that again seemed to work quite nicely. clean smoked flavor, lots of earthiness with a light finish that had a touch of roasted oak on the tongue.

overall it was much more drinkable then most smoked beers i have had. really nicely done.

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Photo of billab914
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. It poured brown in color, with a bit of a deep red hue to it when the light hits it. It started with a big, fluffy, off-white head to it that slowly settled to a thin layer covering the beer. Some excellent lacing was left on the glass as I drank it as well.

The aroma shows some malty, caramel and brown sugar like flavors to it. I get a bit of a bitter, slightly roasted, coffee like flavor to it as well with just a tiny hint of smoke.

The taste starts with some sweeter malt and caramel like notes to it. Midway I get a little of a roasty bitterness coming through. In the finish I get just a hint of a dry, slightly burnt, smokiness.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being a bit below average. Drinkability was pretty good, I would have personally enjoyed a bit more smoke to it. The bottle did warn me though that it had just a touch of smoke to it, so it's hard to fault them for that. Overall a pretty drinkable and enjoyable beer that would be a good choice for a cold winter evening.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12oz brown bottle into a goblet chilled.

A - A dark tobacco brown w/ a rocky pale tan head of approximately 1 inch. The bead is fine and the ale has a shade of dark cherry with good clarity.

S - A fragrant fruit and wood w/ a high smokey odor of malt. Hints of raisin and bread with a meaty smoky edge

M - A med full bodied smooth and medium carbonated feel. The smoke in the texture is very well done w/out any attempt to overpower the malt. The finish is lightly bitter, roasty and leaves a subtle dry smoke touch on the tongue

T - The flavor of a smooth brown ale w/ a nice creamy and mild vanilla quality w/ a milk chocolate sweet tinge mixed w/ smoked wood crispness and mild yeasty fruit flavor. The currant flavor reoccurs but only a glimpse and a bit of pine hoppiness in the finish w/ mild smoke lingering and malt balance

D - Not your average smoked beer, it has a nice smoke aroma, but the taste is less smoky and the feel isn't overly dry. This is definitely one of the better smoke beers I have had and certainly deserves the rating of above average in my opinion

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Photo of smcolw
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Modest light beige head but it lasts. Leaves decent lace. Dark brown, but bright light shines through. Appears to be clear.

The smell is mostly dark crystal malts. No sugar smells--very dry. I don't detect a lot of smoke here.

As a general rule, I'm not a big fan of smoked beers, but I do like this one. The smoke element is present and subtle, lending to a interesting balance of the darker crystal and light hop. The beer is on the dry side but not in an astringent sort of way. Nice body that tips a little to the richer side. This is accented by the carbonation tipping to the low side. The aftertaste is a long lasting version of the flavor profile.

 657 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Fireside Ale pours a dark, copper/amber color with a very thin layer of off-white foam.

S: This thing smells like a campfire. A lot of smoke, some mild caramel sweetness, and maybe a bit of roasted malt.

T: An interesting combination of sweet caramel and smoke. The sweetness is the initial flavor sensation, but the smoke quickly takes over and dominates the rest of the sip. A slight bit of roasted malt flavor comes through on the finish.

M: The carbonation is medium and so is the body.

D: This is quite a smokey beer, but I suppose that's the point. I'm a bit unsure as to whether I really like it, but it's certainly an interesting style and beer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Pours a dark and semi-murky ruby brown with about a finer of ecru head that leaves nearly no real lacing behind. The smell holds notes of dark malts, plums, a kiss of smoke, and a strange sense of algae or kelp. The taste returns these dark malts and plums and increases that kiss of smoke to a decent but light amount. The body is nicely medium, slides smoothly across the tongue, and has only a light bit of carbonation, making for a quite drinkable brew indeed.

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

Transcribed from undated notes taken at Quips Pub.

It arrived with a finger of medium-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep-copper with NE-quality clarity. Nose was malty sweet underlain with a light smoky tang. Mouthfeel was medium with a light smokiness on the tongue with malty sweetness the predominant flavor in the mouth. I caught the smoke on the finish, but it still seemed pretty mild to my taste. Come on, you Easton boys, crank it up!

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

Hazy brown in color, with a few orange tinges when held to the light. The beer has a half inch of head that generates a fair amount of lacing. the aroma is of smoke and malt. This is not nearly as smoky as the Aecht Schlenkerla brews from Bamberg, but has a decent amount of smoke nonetheless. The flavor is straightforward, with a present but not overpowering smokiness, as well as a slightly sweet, toasted malt characteristic. The feel is medium bodied, with a good carbonation level. A very drinkable and enjoyable smoked beer. Though not my favorite of this ilk, I enjoy drinking this every so often.

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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 WVbeergeek
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a deep crimson blood burgundy deep brown with ruby higlights forms a large light khaki off white head hat billows up with a vigorous pour fine even lacing disperses as it dwindles down. Aromatics offer up a Christmas tree like pine note or at the very least like a new box of cigars with cedar inserts. Sweet and smokey I like it much like a well made barbeque sauce, doesn't just hit you with liquid smoke. Flavor has a touch of the smokey peated malt character with a mild tobacco leaf herbal note as well, not quite smoked meat levels but a hit all around for the subtle interplay of smoked malts, standard malts, and hops. Herbal hops and ashtrays oh joy! I kid, I kid, really it's a wonderful mix of flavors. Alchohol is well hidden and felt like the a smokey twist of meat and malts. Touch of chocolate and bland powdered sugar combine to form that incredible brw. Moutfheel is fulller boded but ehat a compelx style offered u on cask at the Faheads', nice spicy herbal and cedar prodcutions. Welcome home big mamam let's rent a couch and crash.

 1,059 characters

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

pours a pretty clear amber hued brown with a creme head. Nose is smoked, yes. Surprise. A bit one dimensional really. But it works. Flavor is kind of the same way. Smoked tones. Meat is in on the mix as well. Feel is decent on liquid. Carbonation is nice enough. It's a smoked beer. Yep.

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