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 kaseydad
3.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was hesitant to take the plunge, but bad weather here....I needed a winter warmer.

Pours a murky brown colored ale with a decent sized beige foamy head. Major lacing.

A lot of dark fruits and spice in the nose. Plum, fig, prune, cinnamon and nutmeg round this out.

Taste is spicy on the buds with a big malt backbone and more spice on the finish. Cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg, light molasses and some coffee-like aspects here. Semi-bitter finish. A lot going on here trying to warm the tum-tum.

Overall this was pretty good. The 7.9% is very deceiving. Sitting around my fireplace I indeed had more than my fair share chatting about the here and now.....and even the past. Vault time.

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Photo of TastyFoodAndDrink
3.28/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pouring a deep chocolate brown, boarding on black, 21st Amendment Fireside Chat gives off an aroma of nutmeg, clove, and allspice. The somewhat coffee-gingerbread like smell is slightly bitter, but malty, with hints of molasses. As noses go, it isn’t that complex. It starts off sweet, but moves toward the the bitter side of the spectrum. Despite this, it’s balanced, and doesn’t overwhelm the palate with bitterness. The mouthfeel is amazingly balanced, and doesn’t actually feel as heavy as it looks. The flavors are of nutmeg, clove, smoke, espresso, and touch of fruitness. The malt is also strong, giving off flavors of burnt caramel, molasses, and burned sugars. The finish channels a lot of the espresso and earthiness, and finishes somewhat like dark chocolate on the palate.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.87/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from a growler in a snifter, this interesting winter ale pours a brownish red with a thin tan/off white head, and nice lacing. Nose of chocolate, cinnamon, sweet malts of brown sugar, toast, and some allspice. Flavors follow the nose with a brown sugar and cinnamon flavor hitting up front, and a light allspice flavor knocking on the back. Malt gives this spiced ale some good balance, although at times the cinnamon is a bit heavy handed. Nice mouth feel, very smooth yet coating with a light bitter aftertaste from spices. A solid winter ale. Improves greatly as it warms with other flavors coming through nicely...some orange and almost a gingerbread cookie like taste. Very interesting, bold, and different.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.37/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I live close by his Hyde Park estate so had to try.

A: Very clear dark amber, almost brown. 2 fingers of foam based head.

S: Good amount of chocolate and dusting of cinnamon, but metallic at first whiff.

M: Medium body, but light in feel. Not necessarily warming per se, and slight cloying .

T: Cinnamon dusted truffle, but not nearly as decadent. There's a roasted chocolate finish, burnt marshmallow. So, this beer kinda tastes like a s'more, which means, I'd actually like this more in the summer.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I got myself into trouble drinking pints of this at a pub, not knowing how strong it is on the alcohol, because it never shows it! A few of these and I was real loose, which is always fun. Dark brown it looks like a porter, but the roast on the grain is only medium, and there is very little bitterness. What bitterness is in here is balanced out by a brown sugary middle and a drying spicy finish that may include anise and clove. A darker take on the winter warmer, it's rich and satisfying in the feel, very full bodied and lightly carbonated. Surprised how drinkable it is, which is how I got wasted on it in the first place. I have liked all the beer I have had from these guys, cool they have wider distribution now. Not my favorite here, but is think it is underrated.

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Photo of Roguer
3.5/5  rDev +2%

Quick notes:

Beer looks good, very dark but somewhat clear. Nice full, chocolatey and fruity aroma.

Flavor is similar, with notes of chocolate, plums, prunes, and dry spices.

It doesn't all come together perfectly, though; the chocolate is just enough to tease; the sweetness is a little too overripe; the dry spices a little too clashing.

Ultimately, it's not a bad beer, but it's not one I'm likely going to reach for again.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.11/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

L - Clear dark brown modest short lived kaki head, that leaves thin rings of lace.
A - Some malt, some spice, the spice seems obligatory and out of place.
F - Similar to nose; balanced, muddy spices. Modest finish.
M - Medium body, light alcohol, properly carbonated, a bit of a slick texture.
O - This is an ok beer, but who is expecting, "ok" from a Winter Warmer? The muddyness and out of context spice diminishes the drinkability. If you order this beer, you will still enjoy your meal, but it would be nice if 21st Amendment cleans it up.

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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 udfan07
4/5  rDev +16.6%

You can really taste the chocolate and toffee taste. It definitely has some spiced notes while drinking it. Really enjoyed this brown ale and would have this again for sure

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Photo of logicalparadox
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

Nice. Malts provide just enough backbone, with a toasty, chocolate character that is nevertheless subdued. Hint of bubblegum and just maybe a hint of marshmallow. I bet this would be great fireside.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.59/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark mahogany color with 2+ fingers of head that fades down to a nice cap that leaves some good lacing

S: Malty with quite a bit of Christmas spices going. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice to name a few. Fairly straight forward

T: Follows the nose. Very malty with a mix of the Christmas spices thrown in. Alcohol adds a little kick. Finishes with lingering semi-bitter malt and spices

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: Could use a little sweetness, as the spices take over even with the big maltiness. Alcohol starts to interfere as it warms up as well. A good sipper as long as it doesn't warm up too much, which kind of detracts from that point. Interesting to say the least

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Photo of glass_house
3.49/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can poured into a snifter

Pours a deep dark brown with maroon accents when held to the light. One finger of loose off-white head quickly fizzles to a thin collar with minimal lacing. Aroma is dominated by ripe dark fruit, molasses, and spice. Raisins, figs, prunes, clove, and a bit of toffee present an intriguing blend.

Taste starts with more fruit. Sweet plum and concord grapeskin lead off, then yield to a warm spicy middle. The toffee comes out again with subtle chocolate notes before a dry finish alongside some burnt black coffee, which leaves a lingering mild bitterness. There seems to be an out-of-place cola sweetness throughout. Medium, slightly sticky body is complemented well by just enough firm carbonation to make it lively. Pretty smooth, given the abv.

Overall, probably not one I'll try again. Just feels like it starts to go in so many directions, but doesn't follow through on any of them. Does it want to be a doppelbock? Eisbock? Porter? Belgian strong dark? Not terrible by any means, just seems a little disjointed.

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Photo of dar482
3.56/5  rDev +3.8%

The beer comes in a reddish dark brown.

The aroma offers red cherries, candy sweetness, almost a Belgian quality of spiciness.

The flavor hits in the front of toasted malt and caramel sweetness towards a brown ale. The sweetness carries on through the mid palate, but then the beer dies down slightly aggressively to a strange aftertaste towards the spices, phenolic, or just abrasive.

The beer is decently better than the rating suggests.


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Photo of Shikitohno
4/5  rDev +16.6%

Certainly better than Harpoon's winter warmer, this one almost suffers from the opposite problem: not quite enough spices to it. It's there, but could use a little bit more oomph. Still, I prefer the more lightly spiced option.

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Photo of Antikythera
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%

This is a tasty, substantial brown ale for winter. It tastes distinctly... warm... but if I didn't know there were spices I might not notice them. Certainly can't identify them. A little too easy-drinking for something that's almost 8% abv. Nice to find something new that isn't overwhelmingly hoppy against style.

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Photo of Roser
3.5/5  rDev +2%

A- semi clear/opaque (dark but let a little light through). Dark Amber, mahogany brown. Big bubbly mocha head that lasted a good bit. Nice lacing.

S- clean, malty, spices and clove. Dark chocolate.

T- bitter, toasted malt, spicy (and sweet).

M- light body (surprisingly). Smooth and creamy. Very little carbonation.

O- so so/ok. After seeing and smelling, the taste and mouthfeel disappointed. Was expecting more. Not a bad beer, but nothing noteworthy.


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Photo of brongladest
3.5/5  rDev +2%

A: deep amber, transparent
S: malty, grainy, bit spicy
T: malty, spicy, a bit grainy, mild bitterness, lingering alcohol
MF: medium to big body, creamy
Overall: a,solid brew, i would quaf a few with pleasure

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Photo of dank203
3.79/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

really dark, almost pitch black with frothy, light brn head. aromas are slightly boozy, fig, raisin, coacoa, vanilla, cinnamon. taste of brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, coacoa, vanilla, fig, all blended with a kiss of black cherry. feel is solid, just enough carbonation and smoothness

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Photo of Kimchi270
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%

Poured out of a 12oz can into a pint glass. Fireside chat pours a dark molasses brown with a prominent off white head about two fingers I length. It leaves a light lacing with a head that dissipates quickly. Smell is an upfront sticky sweetness with a hard spice undertone. Heavy clove and nutmeg with a molasses finish. Taste is of upfront spice and molds into a nice sweetness, in the middle I'm picking up aged fruit, dried figs or currants with a light alcohol astringent at the end (not at all bad for a 7.9% beer). Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy with a mild carbonation that I feel really suits the style. Overall this is the first beer in the "winter warmer" category I have ever tried and I will be returning! A very smooth spiced beer that won't overpower.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.37/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: [4.5] Deep gorgeous red to brown color. It looks a lot like a craft root beer in the glass. Forms a 2 finger head when poured. The head is dense off white foam. The can lists the best by date 01/07/15) and the IBUs 45 and the ABV 7.9%(+1 for the trifecta!)

S: [3.00] The smell is sticky spiced candy.

T: [3.25] Not like other beers I have tried before. The spices are not overpowering but they do cover any traditional beer taste. This is like a beer with cider spices in it. I can't discern individual flavor notes.

M: [3.75] Decent body and carbonation. No sense of alcohol even at 7.9%

O: [3.50] This is a new variety and taste to me. It was not like any beer I have had. It is not bad - but it is not something I would seek out again. The nose was a tad weak and I couldn't pick out individual flavors. As the beer warms I feel like it is tasting more like a Scotch Ale with spices.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +38.5%

12 oz. can, 2014 edition poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, deep, dark, completely opaque, mahogany color with two full fingers of white head that dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Strong notes of toasted malt, dried stone fruit, winter spices such as clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, ginger, dark molasses and a touch of dark chocolate. Smells great!

Taste: Exactly like its aroma. Strong flavors of toasted malt, followed by strong flavors of dried stone fruit such as prunes, raisins, figs, apricots and dates, followed by candied sugar and Belgian yeast, and finally, some great flavors of spices such as clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel and ginger. Delicious!

Mouth feel: Medium to slightly chewy and pretty smooth, as there is very little in the way of carbonation. With an ABV of 7.9%, there is just a slight touch, a hint really, of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Wow! Another great beer from 21st Amendment!! Tons of malt, stone fruit and spices! Delicious!!

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly enjoyable brew consumed at Miller's Ale House with dinner. Had some shellac of sweetness, but also suggestions of marshmallow and spice, cocoa and vanilla. Mild fruits and caramel as well in the medium-light body. Mild carbonation and bitterness.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.26/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

When cooler weather comes calling, so does the flock to indoor convening- hovering around the fire for bar banter and cosmos riddling. And the San "by God" Francisco brewery makes a beer for such the occasion.

Fireside Chat opens with the common brown ale charm. Its dark chocolaty austere highlights its initial toffee, nutty and sweeter malt tones while aromas of butter pecan, walnut, chocolate and toast waft about.

Spicy introductions are made upon the middle palate as the creamy but semi-dry ale balances that malt sweetness with the supple spices of coffee and allspice- lead by cinnamon. Yet as delicate clove and nutmeg round out the beer's juicy malt center, its bigger-than-usual taste and effects take hold.

Drying alcohol and fleeting malt sweetness gives the ale a semi-sweet finish, creating crevices in taste that allow for the strong astringency from spice to balance the beer more so than hop additions. Those broad an woodsy hops are no match for the tannin-heavy unsettling that comes with those excessively boiled tea and spent coffee ground flavors.

While the ale simmers in the glass like coffee- there's a lot of promise in its taste. Allowing the spices to join the process in more post-fermentation usage would have retained the delicate oils from the spices and without leaching its brash tannin.

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Photo of BigBry
3.55/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

6 pack of cans, one more for the collection, picked up last time I was in California.
Dark brown color, tan head. Good looking mug full of beer. Sweet and a bit nutty aroma, plus some other spices.
Flavor has the same spice, cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg: but not as strong as some pumpkin ales.
Smooth and creamy, dry finish.
Enjoyable, especially in front of the crackling fire, for a winter warmer.

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Photo of watermelon
3.81/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can poured into a tulip glass. Date on the can says bottled on 10/08/13

A: Dark opaque brown body with 1.5 finger khaki head tons of lacing and great retention.

S: Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg. MAybes some other spices I cant make out. Its a pretty standard smell the style.

T: Follows the nose, along with some carmel and toasted flavors.

M: Mouthfeel is alright could be a bit thicker, theres a slight astringency on the finish. The booze is hidden well.

O: Im not super impressed buy it, but its fairly decent and above average for the price point, I'll probably get it again eventually.

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