A Wonderful One From Weyerbacher
A Review of Fireside Ale by Weyerbacher
Posted on 3/5/2012 by Brew's Your Daddy
When you review as many beers as we do here at BrewChief.com, eventually it ends up taking a lot for a beer to make you sit back in your chair and say ''Wow!''. Now don't get me wrong. I realize there are a lot of amazing beers out there, but stop for a second and try to think of how many beers you have gone through in your personal experiences to get to the handful of ''Wow!'' offerings that you hold dear. Well more often than not, we end up going through dozens of ''good'' or ''nice'' brews to find just one or two that we think are deliciously divine. One such offering that recently caused me to take a moments pause due to its awesomeness is the Fireside Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Company.

When poured, the Fireside Ale takes on a dark brown coloration that can best be described as mahogany when held up to a light source. Even on an aggressive pour into a snifter little head was achieved, and what did form dissipated rather quickly, leaving only spotty film on the surface. Before you can even think of getting your nose near the glass, the aromas are already spilling out. Very dark malts dominate the bouquet, with molasses and caramel coming through with minimal effort. Laying just beneath them is a layer of dark fruits that included figs, plums, and occasionally some fresh raisins. And then, as if it were trained by a ninja master, a smoky layer arises from the depths of the glass unexpectedly and hits you with a full on smoke assault. It comes off as slightly charred, and somehow spicy, and once it starts, it refuses to stop. This is by far one of the most complex smelling beers that I have gotten my hands on in quite some time.

When you take the first sip of it, you have a hard time not thinking of one of the most bizarre flavor combinations to have ever entered your brain. Initially, it comes across as smoky, fruity, bacon. I'll say that again. Smoky. Fruity. Bacon. And not in a bad way. The smoke is very forward in the flavor department, and it offers a delicious coating to all other flavors from start to finish. All of the malts are bold but not overpowering, with the molasses layer being the most forward as it carries a bit of charred sweetness. The dark fruits seem to blend together to provide a bit of a more distinct sweet layer, and just beneath it there is a distinct ''meaty'' flavor. While that may sound strange or disgusting to some, take my word for it when I say it it nothing short of delicious. It really does conjure up images of maple cured, smoked bacon. Once you move past it, there is a very welcome hops pinch on the tail end that cleans things up rather nicely.

The body of the Fireside Ale would fall into what most people would consider a medium range, with a little less than average amount of carbonation. The finish is clean and dry, which is surprising considering all of the bold and sweet flavors it contains. The aftertaste is a bit smoky and sweet, and continuously calls you back in for more.

Simply put, the Fireside Ale is one of those beers that makes you glad you are part of the better beer world. It is a highly entertaining offering with plenty of flavors, and an amazingly high level of drinkability considering how complex it is. Its name alone tells you exactly what kind of setting it would be perfect for. Find a fire, sit beside it, and sip away. I've always been a big fan of Weyerbacher Brewing Company, and this beer has only reassured me that they are worthy of the praise. I can easily recommend this offering to all drinkers, with just the slightest word of caution to those new to the game. There is a lot going on in the Fireside Ale, so you may need to slow down from your normal pace and really take your time with it in order to take in all of its goodness. Beers like this are few and far between, so slowing down to savor every sip is highly suggested.

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Fireside Ale by Weyerbacher
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