Fireside Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

very good
273 Reviews
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 Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 273 | Ratings: 367
Photo of BeerConnoiseur
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a amber color. A one finger, cream colored head with a thin lacing remaining on the sides of the glass.

S - A slight sweet smell and light smokiness.

T - A high caramel-vanilla malt taste with just a hint of smoke.The alcohol is well hidden.

M - This beer is somewhat thin with a good amount of carbonation.

D - A good fall or wintry beer. This is a one and done type beer. A beer I could see drinking after snowmobiling!! ;)

Overall - This is my first smoked-style beer. It's a well crafted and good a tasting beer. The smoke taste in the beer is a definite aquired taste.


 598 characters

Photo of Ego
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark ruby red hue, minimal head which retreats quickly, lacing is decent, some carbonation meandering up the glass. nothing bad, nothing impressive

meaty smoke underneath masking a tinge of alcohol, malty sweet tone upfront, the smoke lends some earthiness balancing out the sweet, the sweet tone reminds me of barleywine but a tad sweeter than most. good.

taste etc...
the carbonation makes this very smooth/drinkable, pretty basic ale, the smoke is not nearly assertive enough for me, especially since I have been enjoying German rauchbiers lately. The malt is good, some sweetness than a touch of dirty earth bitterness.

An ok ale with some interesting notes, not worth selling your daughter into white slavery.

 742 characters

Photo of klkatz
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Overall impression is this is a great winter ale...

The appearance is a reddish, blackish - but transparent, like a tinted windor... how'd they do that? It is carbonated well, like a crackling fire... pours a shallow off-white head

Smell is chocolaty... and nutty.

Taste - still nutty. crisp taste - not heavy as expected... hints of smokey, woody flavors - has the appeal of a coffee porter...

Mouthfeel is average.

Drinkability - great as a nightcap. After a meal, with friends, or even to eat with cake.... but don't skip the milk.

 540 characters

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.

 1,070 characters

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

 645 characters

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.

 675 characters

Photo of devinoconnor
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Weyerbacher is usually a pretty safe bet I've found, so when their Fireside Ale showed up on-tap I went for it.

Pours a nice dark ale color.

Smells smokey, a bit malty.

Taste is smooth yet rich.

Like the name says, it's perfect for sitting next to a fire. Enjoy.

 270 characters

Photo of Avagadro
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Burnt umber in color, with a creamy head of admirable retention, and clear, ruby colored highlights when held to the light.

S: The nose is a touch too mild for me. Only faint hints of smoke and bread make it out of the glass.

T: Imagine an English brown ale with a touch of smoked malt. This beer is bready, and a touch bland, with an unimpressive level of smoke that really leaves this beer lacking in the flavor department. Either the malt, or the smoke have to step up and take responsibility for giving this beer some flavor.

M: Medium body with slight fizz.

D: A decent brew, with an introductory level of smoke. Good for those who want to test the smoky waters, but wimpy for those of us who have already adjusted to it.

 733 characters

Photo of russwbeck
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Z Bar at the Deli in State College, PA

A: Deep brown pour with hints of red on the side. Decently sized white head that the bartender dumped and gave me more beer in place of. Kudos to her! But it's sort of difficult for me to judge the lacing or retention correctly.

S: The smell is roasty, but also sweet. Definitely a malty smell, but nothing special.

T: Roasted and smokey malts up front. The sweetness comes in the middle with a light maltiness at the end. Bit of a dry finish, but not much of an aftertaste.

MF: Decently light without much carbonation.

D: Very easy to drink, but I would have preferred less drinkable and more smokiness from this one.

 680 characters

Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a 4/pk at Wegmans in Warrington, PA
Purchase price was $7.49/4pk
Enjoyed in a DFH Signature Glass

A - Pours a deep reddish, amber color. A one finger, cream colored head upon initial pouring which fades to a light coating on the top of the beer. A thin lacing remains on the sides of the glass after drinking.

S - A slighly sweet smell but not much of the smokiness I was expecting, at least after the initial pouring. As it warms up, a faint scent of smoke does become evident.

T - A sweet vanilla-like, malty taste with a hint of smoke on the backside. The smoke is in no way overbearing, just a nice subtle taste. The alcohol is well hidden, barely detectable at all.

M - Although not super-thin, it is more on the watery side than the heavy side. A decent amount of carbonation lasts throughout the tasting.

D - A rather smooth beer that goes down pretty easy. A nice cold weather, put your feet up type of beer. Not a session beer, in my opinion. I could probably only drink one or two in a sitting.

Overall - This is my first beer from Weyerbacher and my first smoked-style beer. It's a decent tasting beer and overall is well crafted. I really have nothing to compare it with, taste wise, but it makes me curious to see what other smoked beers are out there.


 1,291 characters

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).

 879 characters

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

Pours an attractive brown color with oranage and amber highlights, cap of off-white to kahaki froth, moderate retention and lacing. Scent is milder than anticipated with a balanced blend of carmel malts and smoke with tuches of dark fruit, nuts, faint citrus and muddy earth. Taste mimics what the scent was dictating, balance of flavors with none really standing out, the smoke could be turned up more than just a notch as this is the lightest smoked profile i have had in the style. Medium bodied, smooth with some chunkyness. A decent beer, doesnt overdo anything, but the balance isnt prefered for this one.

 611 characters

Photo of grilli68
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer on draft at Jose Pistola's in Philly. Great beer and at 7.5% ABV, it definitely gets the job done. I am partial to dark ales so I picked this off the menu right off the bat. I have had some Weyerbacher before and wasn't too impressed but this I really liked. Recommended for sure.

 294 characters

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

This brew poured with a some amazing color. It poured a brownish-gold color with flares of red when held up to the light. The head of the brew was a light tan/beige color and 1 1/2 thick. It had some great retention and even more amazing lazing that was sticky and stuck on the glass, well after the brew was gone.

The aroma of this brew was a nice smokey flavor. Which is expected with a smoked beer. It is a very robust brew, with some great dried fruit aromas, such as figs and raisins. It also has a nice toasted, wheat smell, that is followed by a nice hops, that balances out the malts quite well. It smells very good.

The flavor of the brew began with a great smoke flavor. With a mild sweetness and dark fruits, the smoky malts and hops, balance this brew out very well. Its very unique, very tasty.

This brew has a great mouthful. It has a nice smokey drink at the front, but then it followed with a nice tingle that opens up the other flavors and gives this brew something thats kind of different.

This brew is a great drink. This was something different that really suprised me. It has a nice, creamy texture. I would love to see more brews of this style. Great brew by Weyerbacher.

 1,200 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a beer glass. A burgundy brown beer greeted me. It was diffiult to product any measurable foam head. Slighty less then a pinky's worth that fades rather quickly.
Rich malty aroma maybe some fruitiness and a sutle smokey scent.
Definitly intriguing malt character and the sutle smokiness only adds to the flavor.
A mild rauchbier.
medium mouthfeel with a dry finish.
A good smoke beer well worthy of another, but alas, I have not.

 441 characters

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.

 473 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at D's in Swissville, finally a good place to get local stuff for a low cost!

A - Holly carbonation! I got at least 1 1/2 inches of head. I expected pitch black but got a bountiful dark brown ale with amber tones. Pretty.

S - For some reason I expected to get more smoke on the nose but got some raisins, figs, slight caramel, and just a "touch of smokiness" as advertised.

T - mmm smokey. I got a nice rush of smoke like licking some freshly cooked ribs. A mild sweetness and dark fruit but surprisingly bitter finish with some hops or bitter roast. Interesting overall flavor.

M - Medium maybe could have used a bit more body but no complaints.

D - Wow I am glad I started with this beer since it was very good. I did go into it thinking it would be like a smoked ale or porter so maybe I wasn't blown away but I did enjoy the subtle smokeyness and overall flavor. Worth a try!

 900 characters

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

Poured this 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Its appearance was a nice rich auburn color with an amazing two finger head, which slowly dissipated with good lacing through the finish. The smell was a malty roastiness of caramel and with a hint of chocolate and remnants of smoked wood. The aromas parallel the weyerbacher winter ale, with the exception of a whiff of spiciness.

Taste was reminiscent of a mixture between smoked coffee and cherries (best way I can describe it). Additionally, there is a definitive spiciness to this brew that gives it a slight kick on that back end. This is one excellent winter beer that reminds me of wood burning fireplaces on an extremely cold night. This will definitely frequent my refrigerator every winter.

A definite must try for sure.

 779 characters

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

12 oz bottle at 45 degrees into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: It pours a Coca-Cola dark brown color with reddish hues and a two-finger tan head that is frothy with excellent retention and lacing.

S: Plums, smoked ham, caramel, and roasted nuts provide for an interesting nose.

T: Sweet caramel, roastiness, biscuit, sweet dark fruits, and a hint of smokiness.

M: It has a medium body with quite a bit of frothiness and a smooth finish.

D: The smoke is very well incorporated in this brew as it is a complement to the flavors instead of being the main feature.

 563 characters

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

Dark amber colored beer with a slowly fading head.Aroma is malty with a trace of smokiness.Taste is dark fruits,caramel malts and like the bottle says a hint of smokiness.Pretty smooth for a smoked beer.Overall a decent beer with a trace of ash on the back end.I would recommend and purchase again.

 298 characters

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.

 605 characters

Photo of morebeergood
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a four pack on sale to try it out. Poured into a stemmed beer glass. Body was brownish and blood red. Decent sized white head. Smell had a hint of smoke and dried fruit. Flavor reminded me of a Belgian dubbel. It had a lot of sweet candy taste to it, with a thick amount of malt and a sugary coating on the palate. Smoke was not as prevalent as I was hoping for. The abv was not noticeable until after number two, when I started to feel it. Drinkability was good because the flavor was not really overwhelming like other smoked beers. In comparison to other examples of the style, this one seemed somewhat tame. But the label says "just a touch" of smoke, so it's hard to be let down.

 694 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.39/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into my Darkness glass...Pours an ugly muddy medium brown, looks dirty. A light tan head with great lacing, ok retention...Smells like a smoked lager, light char, oak and smoke, smoke dominates without much else going on, like it though...Taste is average, smoke character abound but its slightly generic with a huge malt presence which is just out of place. Weird spice note is off as well...The feel is decent.

A good aroma but that's about it. Average.

 475 characters

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

Reviewed on 02/03/2010. 12 oz. bottle. The beer pours a clear burnt orange/brown with a small white head. The aroma is of light smoked meats, roasted malt, grainy malt. The flavor is more smoked with a sweet, meaty finish. This is a pretty good smoked beer.

 257 characters

Photo of DaveBlack
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown clean through, even at the edges. A relatively clear brew with maybe half an inch of light-tan head with good retention and a lot of lacing.

S: The malts on this beer are big, their aroma hit me as soon as i opened the bottle, and pouring it into a glass just opens them up even further. Along with the malts is a nice oaky/smoky aroma. Smells sweet and strong, perfect for a winter ale.

T: Tastes pretty much like it smells. Big malty flavor up front, giving way to a nice woody flavor and balancing hops. The taste of smoke lingers on the palate. The 7.5% ABV comes as a bit of a shock: it hides it very well. Very balanced, yet it seems to be missing something, causing it to taste a bit watery right after the malts fade away.

M: Moderate carbonation, medium bodied and slightly sticky.

D: Very easy to drink, the slight smokiness is nice. I paid $12 for a four-pack, which in my opinion, was not worth it. I would happily buy a six-pack at that price though. A very good seasonal, but not a stellar beer overall.

 1,037 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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