Fireside Chat | 21st Amendment Brewery

351 Reviews
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Fireside ChatFireside Chat

Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery
California, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.90%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Like FDR’s Depression-era radio addresses, which were like a kick in the butt and a hug at the same time, our Fireside Chat is a subtle twist on the traditional seasonal brew. We begin with a rich, dark, English-style ale and then we improvise with spices until we know we have a beer worth sharing with the nation.

Fireside Chat is our early winter seasonal brew available from October through December in six pack cans and on draft. Brewed like a classic, warming Strong Ale but with a subtle blend of hand-selected spices for just the right festive flair.

Added by elgiacomo on 10-19-2010

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Reviews: 351 | Ratings: 1,271
Photo of Crotalusrob
1.17/5  rDev -65.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Let me just start this semi-long winded review on how much I disliked this beer...I disliked it so much that I stopped what I was doing at 4 AM to come and write my first review on beer advocate. I’ve been reading reviews on this site for over a year now and I’m on it quite frequently, I’ve been meaning to start writing reviews for months now and well...Holy god damn shit this was the perfect inspiration. I by no means am an expert, and I fully understand that everyones palate is different, I’m sure there’s someone on this planet who can find something to like about this beer but they are probably a tad slow or dying of some kind of horrible disease that effects their senses...but I digress

A: Dark brown and red with a surprisingly deceiving head, I looked at it and said “wow that looks like a good beer”

S: Dark (dark wasn’t a smell until now) black coffee mixed with a small amount of 10-W30 engine oil, maybe an odd type of weird dried fruit scent in there some where, uhhh and alcohol and water scents as well

T: Dark (also a taste now as well), burnt, thick with coffee and weird dried fruit on occasion oil, lots of a bitter taste and a very strong presence of alcohol, some weird spices , very very harsh and unenjoyable, this should be called “fireside unnecessarily horrible yet intentional suicide”

M: Thick, chalky, harsh, rough...I keep taking a small sip of this after every section of this review and...god this is just really bad.

O: I’m extremely open minded when it comes to all beer, 99.9% of what I try that I’m not a fan of I can at least find something positive to say about it, and I usually end on an “I won’t buy it again but I’d drink it if it was offered to me” type of note. NOT fireside chat, I will never drink this shat again. It’s just not good, I’m not trying to be a jerk it is just a sincerely bad product.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
1.36/5  rDev -60.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Lord knows I enjoy a fireplace and some witty banter. Opaque oxblood to black. Thin tan top that is quick to collar.

I get steamed veggies at first whiff...uh oh. The veggies blend with some Belgian-y winter spices and maybe molasses? I once brewed a terrible molasses beer that had horrid Fireside sour note so maybe it's my own projection. No real malt or hop character at all. Just a boatload of nastiness.

Thin body. Odd fruit flavor, kinda like slightly sour diet cola.

I just finished a 16 mile run and plopped myself in front of the TV to enjoy my long run reward beer. That I chose this beer is a huge letdown. I demand justice! Or at least a better beer.

This was a drainpour.

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Photo of BrewsUcanUse
1.36/5  rDev -60.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Was looking forward to this beer. Unfortunately it was sour sour and sour. Very disappointing. The spiciness was overwhelmed by the sour flavor. I could only taste a slight hint of it

I am afraid I got a bad batch. It was that bad. Unless it was meant to be a sour beer. Then they hit it dead on.

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Photo of mymrnngjckt
1.36/5  rDev -60.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured from the can into a standard shaker pint. Pours a murky golden brown. A slight smell of molases is present but not much else. Taste is non-existant. No flavor at all. A lot of carbonation but it takes away from the severe lack of any flavor. This is a downright undrinkable beer. Fail.

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Photo of pnwclimber
1.46/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Wow, I didn't want my first review to be a bad one, but this is one of the worst beers I have ever had. At $9 a six pack it was a rip off. Tastes like metal or blood. Frail body.

I don't even want to spend any more time on this review it was so bad. Stay away ...

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Photo of ZAP
1.47/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I think somebody found some old Jeremiah James recipes laying around the Cold Spring brewery and decided to use it for this 21st amendment beer which is contract brewed at Cold Spring.

This has that same vinegar, spoiled eggs flavor and aroma of those classic Jeremiah James beers...the spicing on this one masks it a little and the body isn't bad...medium full...but overall this is one of the worst winter spice beers I have ever had.


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Photo of hardy008
1.51/5  rDev -56%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Pour a brown color with a light tan head with fair retention and not much lacing. Smells like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, roasted malt, and some hops. The roasted malt does not go well with the other aromas.

The taste is much like the aroma, and the roasted malt and the cinnamon, cloves, and ginger do not work well together. This is a mess to be honest.

Medium bodied, decent carbonation. The aftertaste has a confused mixture of spices and dark roasted malt which do not work together. Whoever thought beer this was a good idea was sadly mistaken. Thankfully I picked this can up as a single, so I never have to try it again.

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Photo of AndrewNations
1.7/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into snifter

Appearance: bright brownish with a decent head

Smell: sweet, faint hints of hops and spice

Taste: somewhat sweet with excepted caramel and spiciness. a couple of things I can quite put my finger on. It almost taste infected with metallic and very faint vinegar notes. Just awful. I cant remember the last time I had a drain pour.

Feel: low to mid carbonation with a thin mouth feel.

Drinkability: Terrible. I'm convinced I had an infected batch. I really hope so as most of the previous stuff from 21st Amendment as been good.

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Photo of corby112
1.76/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a very dark ruby color that's pretty much brown with mahogany edges and a two finger light beige head that slowly settles into lasting ring. Streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Very spicy aroma with lots of dark fruit and slightly roasted malts. Potpourri like with flower petals, cinnamon, brown sugar and clove. The spices really overpower the aroma in an unpleasant way but underneath there is some dark fruit and others berries.

Medium bodied with a harsh, overly aggressive spice presence that lingers over the sweeter notes into a acrid, bone dry finish. Lots of potpourri spice with bark, cinnamon, pepper, ginger and clove which creates an unpleasant dry flavor that dominates. Underneath there us some sweet malt and dark fruit along with a syrupy, medicinal character. This beer is overly spice but also cloyingly sweet. Just all over the place and a bit if a mess.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
1.83/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Fireside Chat pours a dark brown with an off white head. In the nose, spices (nutmeg) and a sweet toffee maltyness. Malty, quite spicy with some vegetal/pumpkin notes. Also a weird sourness that detracts from the flavor. Is this infected? If I was told this was a poorly made pumpkin ale, I'd believe it. Falls pretty much flat on the palate, low carbonation on a medium to heavy body. The flavors just clash to me I found this one to be kind of a mess. Nice try, but missed the mark for me. Couldn't finish a pint, and I was thirsty. Fail.

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Photo of jbriggs7036
1.84/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Here's $1.79 wasted. And I wanted it to be good. I love the brewery and the Prez on the thing but good lord there's nothing that can save this beer. MAybe i was decieved by the Winter Wamer label and wanted more bock-ish spiceyness to it. Just bad

A- Pretty brew
T- Off the bat it smells like a Wild ale thats soured.
T- A mess of sour apple and sour pear with too much sweetness and bitter wood...I wouldn't spray this at my dog in fear it would hurt too much.
M-Pungent and sour...bitter/sharp, and the the good cheese sharp, but the sunny delight sharp.
D- Can't make it through 6 sips.

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Photo of womencantsail
1.89/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

On-tap at 21A

A: The pour is almost black cherry in color with a creamy off-white head.

S: Smells like sour cherries and prunes with some metal, smoke, and cereal. There's a bit of a booze-soaked fruit cake thing going on a well.

T: Like the nose, lots of sour/spoiled fruit juices, particularly cherries, prunes, and raisins. A bit of an olive flavor as well as metal and cheerios. And just for good measure, some alcohol and brown sugar.

M: The body and carbonation is both medium.

D: Another loser from 21A. This was bad in just about every way.

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Photo of Eldalonde
1.91/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a dark brown with a full tan head. Head retention is good leaving some nice lacing behind. Has kind of an odd aroma for this style of beer. Gives a lemon and grass aroma with some undiscernable spices. A strange metallic flavor comes through, some undiscernable spices, and an off bitter flavor.

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Photo of DmanGTR
1.95/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Thanks to BJ for this! Been wanting to try it for a while.

Poured very deep maroon/mahogany brown with a long lasting beige head that left amoeboid patches of lace in my Duvel tulip. Diminished and kept as a thin cap. No sediment or haziness. Very interesting aroma. I get a prominent oud bruin/Flanders red type of aroma with a light touch of caramel overlaid with cherries and vinous character. This is enhanced by figs, prunes, and holiday-spiced chocolate. Very interesting and it makes to anticipate the first sip...

Which is utterly and despicably nasty. Oh my god wtf happened here? The initial vinous character gets instantly muted by something that tastes like old bologna, aluminum/iron/copper shavings, malt vinegar, and astringent tea boiled for a number of weeks. I have a few hypotheses:

Someone was eating a bologna sandwich while brewing this beer and dropped it in and in light of this, wanted to experiment with the bologna. He then dumped the rest of the package in and while doing so, accidentally dropped a number of pennies and rusted spoons into the kettle. Then, they overboiled the spices and hence the astringent character.

Someone puked into the yeast. All the good yeast died, but then a few mutated ones survived and thrived in the puke. These yeasts proliferated and was added to the wort and thus yielded the awfulness.

Someone sabotaged the beer in the bright tank. They made a concoction of rusted metal parts from the junkyard, added some herbs and cinnamon, and boiled it down to a thick syrup, blended it with vinegar, then added it just prior to canning.

The mouthfeel is thin, dry, and astringent, although the carbonation isn't overdone. However, I can't drink this. At all. I therefore sacrifice this beer to my sink.

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Photo of jera1350
1.95/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Pours into a snifter a dark ruby brown color with a thick creamy tan head on top. Nice retention and awesome patches of lacing.

Potpourri aerosol smell. Very strong and floral with some artificial spice notes. Smells very fake.

Tastes much like it smells. Fake potpourri room freshening spray with a strong metallic presence as well. A bitter and sharp lingering aftertaste of what only reminds me of a room freshener.

A medium body with plenty of soft carbonation. Really pretty nice feeling.

I can count on one hand how many drainpours I've ever had and this one is going to get added to that. There is nothing natural about the nose or the taste here. Avoid this beer at all costs unless you like drinking aerosol cans of room freshening spray.

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Photo of twloco
2/5  rDev -41.7%

like all their beers, outsourced "brewed" in Cold Springs, MN.
This tastes like toilet water through the bathroom potpourri of the season.
I guess it's ok from a place that usually makes FourLoco and energy drinks.
It's just not really a "beer" anymore that Stroh's is. It's a product. Contact them! you can have your own brew made there! they do if for many!

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.03/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a snifter on 2/26/11

Dark; rusty brown color with some ruby highlights. 1/4th inch head didn't last very long. Wispy retention and some drippy lace.

Ginger and nips of cinnamon are light compared to a mish-mash of dark fruits, earthy notions and some tea-like aromas. Hints of clove. Sort of medicinal. After it warms it more closely resembles spiced bread.

Wow, the spectrum of "bad" is all over the place even after one sip. Ripe and medicinal dark fruits are immediately followed by an unpleasant tartness. Modest hops in the middle. The latter half is dry with some meager spicing. More medicinal flavors on the finish; also tea leaves, tree bark, dirt and pepperings of crushed aspirin.

A shade more than medium body, though it has an extremely coating feel - yuck. Carbonation seems reasonably low. The finish dry and bitter (and is compounded by the coating feel).

This isn't enjoyable at all. Though the tartness subsides, the medicinal bitterness picks up the slack. Though it could be worse, I drain-poured half of it regardless. The feel really kills this one.

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Photo of KevinFed
2.04/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Weak offering. Drank the first one out of the can, the first sip was shockingly bad. The spices (aroma & taste) overwhelm all the taste of the beer. 2nd can into a pint glass, mellowed the spice, but still terrible. Great color, good head, but could not get 2 beers down. Save your $10.

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Photo of mralphabet
2.07/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz can poured into Pint Glass

A: Golden brown in color, nice fluffy tan head about a fingers worth. Head settles to a nice thin layer with wonderful lacing all the way down the glass... Wonderful looking beer.

S: Wild mix of malt, spice, caramel and yeast. Interesting ..

T: From the smell to taste is a big step down.... it is extremely tart and strangely sour, with a very light sweetness mid way through, with a warming alcohol burn. Wow this to me is just bad....

M: Medium bodied and very carbonated, yet dry.

D: Looks great, smells pretty good and un-drinkable!!! Just cannot get anything other than the look and smell out of this one. Sorry 21st Amendment, another bad one.

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Photo of mdaschaf
2.11/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Can poured into an Evolution pint glass

A: Pours a dark brown with some carbonation bubbles being released. Small head formed but faded fast leaving a layer of foam on top. Nice lacing down the side.

S: Has a spicy smell, get some cinnamon and ginger. Also some brown sugar and some toasted biscuit aroma.

T: Started off ok with a spiced/roasted flavor. The middle has no taste whatsoever, it basically disappears. The finish has a coffee/metallic taste and is sour. Extremely off putting.

M/D: Medium bodied with good carbonation. Overall everything is good about this beer except the taste, which is the most important thing. A real big letdown, was hoping for much more but will probably not have this again.

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Photo of RossCain
2.11/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz can into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep mahogany color with a tall, tan head of foam. Looks a little sudsy in the glass. Not unattractive but nothing really to note.

S: Very one-dimensional nose with an assertive scent of burnt gingerbread cookies. Upon further inspection, the brew has a slight waft of funky infection in the background (for a can?). Not exactly enticing...

T: Hmm, not much great to say about this one. Very aggressive notes of cinnamon and nutmeg dominate the forefront of the taste profile. The flavor awkwardly stumbles into a rather charred melange of overly roasted malts with a displeasing bitter, metallic tinge lingering in the finish. Unbalanced to say the least.

M: If this beer had one redeeming quality, it would be the smoother mouthfeel. However, hope is dashed out when you get to the astringent aftertaste coupled with the poorly masked alcohol content. I say "poorly masked" because the assertive spices offer some cover but by no means blend enough with the other flavors of the beer to make for a pleasurable experience.

O: I hate to say it but avoid this beer at all costs. I've enjoyed offerings from 21st Amendment but I cannot fathom who passed putting this one out. Well, now I need to find something to do with the other 5 of the pack...

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Photo of BB1313
2.14/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This was my first holiday spiced ale from a can, should be interesting. Pours a nice dark brown, similar to the color of cola, with slight hints of auburn. Smells alright, but the spices are very faint. Wow, I don't like the taste of this one. It's very bitter and unbalanced; a big mess IMO. Once again the spices take a backseat. The mouthfeel is pretty thin. It finishes pretty dry. Drinkability isn't good due to the bitterness and thin mouthfeel; finishes very dry.

Not impressed w/ this beer at all. There are too many other great holiday/spiced ales out there to enjoy. I wouldn't recommend this one at all.

One bright note, the drawing on the can is very well done and appropriate.. too bad that doesn't count for anything.

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Photo of portia99
2.14/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz can poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours a deep mahogany ruby/brown color with no head. A thin tan/off-white collar that leaves a wisp of lacing behind sticks to the edge of the glass.

S - Did a bit of a double take...for a second, I thought I poured a shot of Jaegermeister in my glass. A weird array of aromas with root beer, funky tartness, earthy/dirtlike smells, salted meat, and a conglomeration of spices and other aromas I can't or don't dare try to identify.

T - This is...hard to describe!?! Cola, root beer, sweetness, a dirty and earthy base level flavor with an off-tasting sour remnant. Spices are everywhere and take on a flavor reminiscient of a kitchen sink approach to spices. Nothing stands out as clearly definable...just ends up as a muddled up mix of flavors that doesn't really work for me.

M - Medium body with a huge soda-like fizzyness that seems a bit too much. Weird dirt/earthy flavor and a noticeable sourness linger into the aftertaste. The fizzy carbonation lingers too, sorta like breathing in from a CO2 cylinder.

D - Wow...this one just doesn't work for me. I am a big fan of 21st Ammendment's brewpub and its beers (typically). This one though, I just don't get. Glad I only bought a single instead of the six pack. Not sure why, but this isn't being poured down the drain, but it is a struggle to finish it.

0 for 2 tonight...not sure I have anything left in the fridge that can totally ruin this night of beer...

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Photo of Briken
2.15/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Ruby cola color with big brown fluffy head with great retention. Chocolate, cola, molasses and herbal aromas. Salty chocolate and guarana, birch, juniper and other herbs/spices. Astringent bitter linger with light sweetness. Thin feel with moderate-high carbonation.

No matter what I could not get agood taste out of this. The only thing that helped a little was allowing it to warm further. Still, flavors were muddy when not overshadowed by an overwhelming astringency.

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Photo of cyraxx
2.17/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Beautiful dark mahogany color with a light tan head gets me excited to try this beer. The smell is fairly subdued with mostly cinnamon with some background malt. The taste is dominated by a metallic flavor that lingers with lactic sourness. Not good at all. I'm assuming that this is infected, so I would try another one next year. However, right now, I certainly don't want another.

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Fireside Chat from 21st Amendment Brewery
3.43 out of 5 based on 1,271 ratings.
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