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 Teleweizen2
4.14/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes.

A - pours a deep chocolatey brown with ruby highlights and a bubbly light tan head of foam. About a fingers worth. Decent retention.

S - strong sweet caramel aromas. Some musky burnt wood smoke aroma as well. Some hints of licorice and raisins as well.

T - much sweeter than I expected. lots of caramel and chocolate. this sweetness is balanced by a lingering smokeyness. hints of licorice too.

M - medium full bodied, low on carb. quite smooth.

D - this is like a mix of an English brown and a Scotch wee heavy. heavy enough for winter but still easy enough to pair with some summer barbecue.

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

A: Pours a dark burnt orange. Topped with a thin off white colored head of 1 finger.

S: Lighter then I was expecting. Some caramel and chocolate. The smoke is there but it's not in your face at all.

T: Again as with the nose the flavors are there but very faint. I was expecting a bigger bang of smokiness.

M: Just below medium bodied but a bit on the thin side. Very smooth finish with just enough carbonation.

Overall: A decent beer that with a stronger flavor profile could be a really great beer. This one just misses the mark IMO. Drinkable but bland.

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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.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Pours a beautiful brown/amber with a two finger creamy tan head that clings to the side of the glass.

S. Smells like the rauchbiers I've had: smoke with some dark caramel sweetness.

T. Lightly roasted malt flavors with some sweet caramel and some smokiness. Similar taste to a nut brown ale with that added smokiness.

M. Medium bodied with a brisk somewhat sharp carbonation.

D. This hit the spot tonight; good for an early fall evening - I only wish I was sitting by a campfire.

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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.

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

"Let me stand next to your fire." - Jimi Hendrix

Appropriate fire themed auburn color. Beige bubble tower head that had to calm down before I got the whole bottle in my glass. Good retention and lace.

Aroma is campfire smoke, damp wood earthyness, and toffee sweet. There's that fresh paint smell in there too which I also found in Heresy - Weyerbacher yeast byproduct?

Taste is light smoked intertwined with toffee and lightly charred fruit. Carbonation is fairly reserved which I like.

Certainly not a smoke bomb but certainly not balanced either. Neat idea.

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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 Metalmonk
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a tasting of this at City Beverage in Winston-Salem Saturday, and I was sold. From just a couple sips, it struck me as a smoked beer that let the rest of the beer out to breathe, instead of smothering it all, the way I feel most smoked beers do. Bought a four pack, and I'm throwing one into a nice big glass about now.

This looks very nice, with a head of lightly tanned off-white sitting firm and creamy on top of a brown-meets-dark ruby color. Dibs and dabs of lace dot the glass. Entrancing, and a bit like a Belgian dubble in color maybe.

Aroma gives off waves of dark sweet fruits (fig, plum, raisin), carob, and toffee...the smoke lays down a bed underneath and let's the other stuff sing. Subtly. This is a very nice smelling beer, and the smoke does not overtake the other aspects of the aroma.

As with the aroma, smoke does not totally prevail in the flavor. The taste is similar to the smell--succulent dark fruits, carob, toffee--along with the essence of fresh sweet cream, earthy hops, nut husk and, yes, the smoke. And I love that the smoke merely highlights the other aspects of the beer, which is a malt-lovers kind of thing. If it weren't smoked this would probably fall somewhere between a big American brown and a strong Belgian ale. Slight mineral in the finish, along with grill-char, toffee and currant.

Probably a little thin for the flavors, and maybe even too prickly on the carbonation side. But it's got a nice slickness and a little bit of stick, and goes down well enough, but something just slightly beefier would have done the trick.

My problem with smoked beers, if I haven't already said so a million different ways, is that they are one-dimensional. Fireside Ale is not, and that's probably why it's my favorite smoked beer by a mile. Glad I discovered this, and this points to the power of beer tastings--I never would have picked it up otherwise.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured at 45 degrees into pint glass with 1F of beige/tan head over a cloudy deep burgundy body. Solid lacing.

Aromas of molasses, deep rich fruits, rum-like alcohol, sweet spices, but without any obvious smoke - until it warmed a fair amount. Rich and inviting.

Flavors are somewhere between a Scotch Ale and a Belgian Dubbel - rich fruits up front, bitter orange peel hoppyness in the middle to back, and finishes with a good bite. Delicious, with a very light peat char, but may not have enough smoky quality for most people.

Pretty high on the carbonation for the flavors, but it does not get in the way or hold anything back. Decent smoothness.

High marks on drinkability for the style.

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

Pours a dark amber/copper with an average size whiteish head.
Aromas of smoke and wood thats substaintial but not too overpowering and a slight hints of nutty malt as well.
The taste is of mild smokiness with more of a woody character coming through; smooth/sweet nutty complex maltiness to compliment the smoke/wood.
Mouthfeel is fairly medium with a fair amount of carbonation makes this a beer a bit bigger tasting but is still enjoyable/sessionable
Overall this is a fairy drinkable beer for the style; quite low on the smokiness, but I appreciate that as smoke is my least favorite specialty malt. I could have 2 or 3 of these if it was all I had but would probably like to change it up after that.

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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.

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Photo of Beejay
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Deep red, clear, with a nice tan head.

S: Sweet, Maple syrup and molasses. Hints of ripe fruit.

T: Sweet, and malty with a nice smokiness rounding it out. Perhaps a little metallic something in there.

M: Medium in body with fairly high carbonation. Nice overall.

D: I can see why this is called fireside ale. This is something I would love to drink a few of while sitting around a camp fire. Tasty with a hint of smoke.

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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.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very dark amber color with a large tan head that stayed throughout. It smells roasted and smoky. It tasted smoky and had flavos from something roasted unforntialy the flavor is a bit watered which is very dissapointing. This did make the beer easy to drink however. Overall a good beer that was almost great. I would buy again.

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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.

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

If the appearance was scored on the colour alone I'd give this ruby-tinged brown beer top marking for achieving the colour I'd expect from a smoke beer. Sadly we need to factor in the sparse off-white head that has limited retention, even if it does put down a few lace spots. Mild smoke aroma, with a bready background and some caramel strikes me as balanced and not going off the deep end in the smoke department.

Obviously there's smoke in the flavour, so let's get that out of the way first. Its strong, but never overpowering, and seems fairly well integrated. The smoke compliments the malt base, which has strong dry grain notes and the odd hint of caramel. A light earth mineral quality rounds things off. Medium-light body could do with a touch more weight, but otherwise a very decent effort.

Not a beer that will set the world on fire, but far from a damp squib.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. A pearl colored head formed on top of the coppery amber body. The single finger of foam receded rather quickly, but left nice, sticky trails along the sides of the glass.

The nose has lots of roasted, caramel malts, toffee and a little smokiness...more mesquite than campfire.

The taste and nose are pretty similar. Starts off with a sweet caramel like flavor that fades into a slightly roasted malt finish. The smoke character is present throughout the drink, but very much in the background...not as dominant as others in this style.

Medium to light mouth feel...a little slick with moderate carbonation.

Overall, this is a pretty decent drinking beer. However, if you are looking for a smoke bomb, this is not it.

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

By iteself, this beer might have been only OK. But I had it with some blue cheese hamburgers made on a charcoal grill, and the combination was great. The beer has a caramel maltiness, with some lingering smokiness on the tail end, that really enhanced the flavor of the food. Not a very complex beer, but really good with grilled food.

A "no duh" note: make sure to let this beer warm up a little from refrigerator temperature, because at it's coldest it had really no flavor or smell going for it.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
2.51/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a dark stained wood brown that gives some red highlights when held to light. Eggshell white head with some lacing. Aroma is smokey, somewhat like a rauchbier, but there's some phenol and minty notes in there too. Tobacco in the nose as well.

Flavor is strange, and sadly it reminds me of chewing tobacco. Some meatiness to the smoke, but the smoke is more coal-y and ashy than delicious. The minty and spicy notes combine with the leafy tobacco flavors to make this near undrinkable, in my opinion.

Light mouthfeel, it might be a bit overcarbonated for some of these flavors. Ok drink, I just can't get past the ashy smoke paired with minty spiciness. I typically like Weyerbacher, but this one is a miss for me.

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

poured into a Spiegelau glass

A - ruby brown, minimal off white head, leaves a ring on top of beer and little lace

S - much less smoky than I thought it would be, less than Stone Smoked Porter, however thats about all I can really get on nose

T - roasted malt, smoked malt, some caramel, dry smoky aftertaste

M - medium bodied, medium carbonation

D - its no rauchbier, the smoke is about the only thing that sticks out but is not over the top either, would be good to cook some bbq with

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

Poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Nice brown color with a tint of copper coloring. Off white head, not much lacing upon drinking. Being a fan of "smokey" beverages I was really hoping for more smoke up front. Definitely need to let the beer warm up to increase the smoke. Still nowhere near the smoke levels of a true German Rauchbier. I would say this is more of a scotch ale. I really liked the beer once I lowered the smoke expectations however.

Medium mouthfeel with low/medium carbonation. Lots of toffee, caramel, and tobacco notes. Some sweetness is present throughout. Definitely will plan on drinking some of this around the fire pit.

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