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 tdm168
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - dark amber with a soft, short layer of off white head that has decent retention

S - sweet, baked apples; some caramel

T - baked apple, smoke, earthy woody

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

I'm not a big fan of this one. It comes across as a Dubbel with a huge smoky presence. The malt and smoke are at odds. There is little balance. I won't pick this up again.

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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!

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

12 ounces w/o freshness info to be had. On the darker side, under a rich khaki head that stays and leaves plenty of stranduli of lace. Mild smoke and toast on the nose. Plenty of dark malts, again moderate smoke, and drying hops. Thick feeling on the tongue, I suppose thats whats called "full bodied". I'm drinking this on a July nite and this one says loud and clear "winter time beer" anyway, enjoyable and quality offering, night capper of a beer or would pair well with rich foods. Not crazy about the style, so doubt I'd go for this one again.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle split by the generous other Matt, Huhzubendah.

Beer poured into a Duvel tulip. Beer is reddish brown with some haze and a decent head, although thin, of medium and small off white bubbles. Carbonation moderate to low, some lacing.

Aroma is sweet, almost a black patent aroma with a mild smoke to it.

The beer is medium to light in body and mildly smoky. I was expecting more smoke but being less is definitely not a bad thing, some smoke beers can go over board. Minimal maltiness at the front, almost no carbonation in the mouth and the midpalate is where the smoke comes in. The beer finishes at the end with a nice wetness and a cleanness. No aftertaste, I'd have it again.

At the time of this review, this beer is the #7 Top Smoke Ale.

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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.

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Photo of tempest
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single from Abe's Cold Beer. Pours a dark amber-brown with a tall head and lacing. The aroma is a mix roast caramel and smoke. The same notes continue in the flavor without much change. While this beer has a nice balance of smoke, ash, and malt, like many Weyerbacher beers (in my humble opinion) it lacks depth. Worth a try if you want a smoother smoke beer.

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Photo of WesWes
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a translucent brown color with a 1/4" tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a wonderful malt nose that boasts of crystal, roasted, and smoked malts. It's mildly smokey with a touch of sweetness in there. The taste is decent. It has a smooth crystal and roasted malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry with light smokiness. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. I thought this finished a bit thin for the amount of malt complexity. This isn't the greatest beer on the market, but it's a fine intoduction for someone looking to try a smoked beer.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this one.

Pours a nice brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy head, with some sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with some smoke notes. The taste is slighlty sweet, malty, nice touch of smoke. Medium body. Drinkable, I like this one.

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Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is sweet, caramel. Taste is good, malts, caramel, a bit of smoke, and a touch of sweetness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality brew.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled a recent tasting. I believe the beer was provided by thirdeye11.

The beer pours a clear brown color with a tan head. The aroma is alcohol, malt, toffee, dark fruit and a little smoke. The flavor is leather, tobacco and a hint of smoke. I didn't realize this was a smoked beer when trying it as the smoke was not near as prevalent as in most other smoked beers. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into glass from bottle.

Mahogony brown with an offwhite head and some lace.

Smells strongly of malt.

Tastes of scottish style malt. A bit of hop in there as well. Smoke on the back end but not as much as I anticipated. Still very fine, as I think more smoke would make the beer too one dimensional.

Mouthfeel is prickly, light carbonation.

Drinkability is solid. A beer to sip upon with each sip re-enforcing the malty goodness.

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Photo of plaid75
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at the Chip Shop, Brooklyn.

Poured a medium copper hue with a half finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a soft malts with a flowery hop.

The taste was very well balanced with a crisp malt and lively hop. No smoke detected however.

The mouhfeel was of moderate fullness.

Overall a tasty standard type ale.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Ithaca pint glass late at night without the fire going. I had this when it was 1st released and going in again.

Down south iced tea brown with some slight copper hints poking around. A whirlpool of bubbles within the liquid results in a semi dense dark beige foam that is rocky and tight looking. Thin pokadot spots of lace on the way down, nothing much.

Getting a nice peaty smoke mixed in with nuts and caramel. A slight chocolate that is so so light. A bit of graham cracker which is nice. Fireside ain't all that smoky in the nose which is A OK by me.

A well mixed smoked beer here that does not burn out the palate. I actually would not consider this a smoked beer. More like a kinda heavy brown with some peat and smoke. Roasted malts in the middle with some sweetness. I could not pick up the graham cracker, but there is a certain toastiness to this plus some small sugar sweets. Cant pick up the chocolate either, but some caramel will sufice.

I had a smoked beer once from Germany and it rocked my taste buds into submission, I could not get that taste out of my mouth. Fireside is on the opposite spectrum from that, the smoke integrates, rather than destroys. No bitterness, as hops aren't really in the taste. Medium bodied with a light and healthy carb.

Well, this is a good beer, good enough for a single bottle purchase every year at least. Im not a smoked beer guy but this one was not to bad. It's very drinkable, less than 8% and not to extreme(This coming from Weyerbacher?) fireside is one to cozy up to, I just wish it was winter when I was drinking it.

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

A chocolaty 'sticky toffee pudding' with bits of scarlet especially evident when held into the light. The colour is quite dark but spotlessly clear, it's obviously filtered. Its head is thick and comprised majorly of well defined bubbles that leave a crater like surface. Looks good!

The beer doesn't smell too aggressively smokey - certainly not to the same degree most German rauchbiers are anyhow. The smokiness more resembles singed wood rather than smoked meat (as is more common, I find). Even then, it smells more like wood being branded than kindling being burned at a campfire. Grainy malts are sensed to lay underneath.

True fans of the style may prescribe to a "the smokier the better" credo but I've come across examples where the sense of all things smoked and charred to oblivion was a little too intense for my liking; Fireside is not. I'm finding the smoke perfectly balanced (albeit a little light maybe for the purists) but just enough for my palate.

It tastes like a nice dunkel that was racked over the coals. I remember this brewery put out a very good dunkel, I wonder if it's the same recipe just smoked? Either way, crispy smoked bacon and sweet caramel-laden malts find harmony in one another. There's a touch of grainy bread, hickory and the suggestion that someone's been cleaning a barbecue.

Speaking of, this would pair wonderfully with anything made on such a thing. Grilled meats - smoky, roasty, chipotle hot or otherwise - would be complimented by this crisp, bitter beer that shares just enough of the same character and could provide the carbonation strong enough to scrub away and lift all that fat off the palate without washing away the flavour.

Even with the acquired taste, there are plenty of off-balance smoked beers that fail to be all that palatable. Although this doesn't have all the same character that a bold, confident, time-tested true German rauchbier would, it was certainly very palatable. And for many that's all that will be asked of the style.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

So this was originally released as 'Charlie' in their Brewer's Select Series. Not sure if the recipe was tweaked at all for the regular version, but the ABV and packaging is different from Charlie in the db. Bottle reads, "An intriguing dark ale with a touch of smokiness". 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark brown, cola like color with a creamy, thick off white head that has nice retention and leaves nice streaks of lacing.
S: A very nice, mild subdued smokey aroma with roasted malt and slight nuttiness.
T/M: Lighter side of medium bodied with a nice strong amount of carbonation. Like the aroma, this a very well balanced, smooth flavor with a mild smokey flavor throughout and in the finish but never overwhelming or out of balance with the rest of the beer. Very strong malt, roasted body with slight chocolatey flavor and a small hop presence in the finish. Very little alcohol presence and is very easy to drink. I like smoked beers and would actually prefer a slightly stronger smoke presence but overall this beer is very well done and enjoyable, happy to see this added to Weyerbacher's rotation

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

Fluffy cream colored head with excellent retention. Looks well carbonated. Not much lace. Fairly clear brown/dark amber color.

Aroma is malty with a touch of smokiness. Nothing too pronounced.

The smoke comes out much more forcefully in the taste but doesn't totally overwhelm the nicely bready malt base. Just enough for my tastes, but then I'm a fan of the smoked/rauch beers in general. Tastes like your fireplace, in a good way. Woody. Low bitterness.

Smooth, creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation and a modest finish that doesn't linger too long. Slight bitterness in the aftertaste with a touch of wood smoke as well.

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

Bought a 4 pack of this at Green's in Atlanta to check out. Quite interesting- the smoke is moderate, not too subtle but not too prominent either. Pours a nice copper color with a quite healthy head to start that settles to a thin ring. Nicely balanced aromas of woodsmoke, firm malt, and some earthy hops. The taste is similar, but the smoke definitely dominates the hops, although the firm malt still shines through. You do get some hops on the backend followed by some late sweetness and straw flavors. Fairly soft and smooth in the mouth, but the carbonation level is fine. Not bad at all, and the residual hops and sweetness interwine interestingly with the smoke. I'd like to try this on tap.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed on 9/7/2009 and poured into a snifter. The beer appears dark brown with an amber hue and a one finger off white head.

The nose is of bready malt with a bit of sugary sweetness. It's slightly nutty as well. Smoke character isn't overpowering but it's definitely noticeable and reminiscent of peat. Think of a smoked brown ale and you'll get an idea of how this smells.

The flavor opens up with bready, nutty, and caramel sweetness. Alcohol is noticeable from the start. There's a surprising low medium level of bitterness that I wasn't expecting. The peat-like smoke rounds out the flavor and makes the beer more interesting. The finish is sweet malt and smoke.

The beer is medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation and a full, creamy mouthfeel.

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

Pours a two finger cream head that faded slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Cloudy brown/amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Smokey caramel nose. Flavor is smokey sweetness with nice hop background. $2.00 for a 12oz bottle from Manchester Wine and Liquors Manchester, CT.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brown color with a light tan colored head that possesses excellent retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is sweet malt, caramel and just a touch of smokiness. Both the aroma and the smokiness are pretty mild. I was pretty disappointed in the aroma at first, but it definitely got better as the beer warmed.

T- The taste features a bit more smoked flavors than in the aroma, with a lot of malt and caramel flavors as well. A good amount of hops are integrated into the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Not the best smoked beer I've had, but this is one is pretty solid that is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of corby112
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark coppery chestnut brown color with dark ruby/mahogany edges when held to a light source and a two finger frothy yellowish head that slowly settles into a lasting cap. Streaks of soapy lacing are left behind.

Slightly smokey aroma with plenty of toasty malt and slight hop bitterness. Hints of chocolate, caramel and nut and subtle smoked beer characteristics. There's a bit of campfire, burnt toast, charcoal and smoke but nearly as much as I expected or prefer.

Chewy medium body that's on the fuller end of the spectrum with lots of toasted malt flavor and dry bitterness. Only slightly smokey with hints of burnt toast, nut, chocolate malt, caramel, nut and toffee. The smokiness is subtle and most noticeable up front and in the aftertaste. Just a touch of charcoal, smoke, campfire flavor and the beers has a more toasted malt profile than anything else. Pretty well balanced actually but not nearly smokey enough for my liking.

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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.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Cigar City pint glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a light brown color with a 1/4 inch light tan head that slips away to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small patch of surface foam. Below average lacing.

S- Clean maltiness with a hint of smoke in the back. Mildly astringent alcohol tone.

T- Smoked malts and an elusive hop bitterness. The label says there's a touch of smokiness but, if you're ultra-sensitive to it, you'll think otherwise. Goes down easy for a 7.5% ABV.

M- Not as thick as expected but still has substantial body. Medium carbonation.

O- I was worried I might not like this one since I'm so sensitive to smoke in beer, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Very drinkable considering the alcohol content. I would recommend it to someone who's having trouble getting into smoked beer because it really is quite subdued compared to others I've had.

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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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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From tasting notes. L: Pours brilliant dark amber to chestnut with a 1” cream colored head that dissipates to film. S: Light to moderate smoke on the nose with caramel and malt. T: The smoke approaches Schlenkerla levels and seasons sweet dark sugars, fruit, a little cola, a suggestion of anise and some bitterness in the aftertaste. F: Creamy, full bodied, medium carbonation. O: While a little sweet, fairly well balanced between the smoke and other flavors.

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