Beer Review: 21st Amendment’s Fireside Chat

Name: Fireside Chat
Brewing Company: 21st Amendment Brewery
Location: San Francisco, CA
Style: Winter Ale
ABV: 7.9%

From the beer’s description on 21st Amendment’s Web site:

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.

I may have had a thing or two to say about Christmas / Winter beers. I’ve also mentioned the great “Craft Your Own 6 Pack” offering at Wegmans supermarkets. Conveniently, there’s a Wegman’s only a few miles from my house. So when I visited a couple of weeks ago in the hopes of grabbing six new beers to try, my goal was to find a few Winter/Christmas beers. Unfortunately, there weren’t many on the shelves of single brews I hadn’t had previously. The exception was this Winter Ale from ’s 21st Amendment in San Francisco, California.

Most Winter Ales are spiced up versions of Brown Ales and that’s pretty much what 21st Amendment has done with Fireside Chat. But that simplicity is what makes the beer such a nice drinking beer.

The beer pours a deep mahogany brown and is topped with a nice frothy head. A little spiciness wafts from the beer, giving a slight hint of what to expect, but nothing too overpowering. The first sip is full of comforting spices and malt. The more I kept drinking the beer, the more I was reminded of Christmas Cookies with all the spices working together.

It wasn’t until after I had the beer I realized exactly what Christmas Cookie the beer reminded me of: Pfeffernüsse, a German spice cookie popular at Christmas. My wife made some homemade Pfeffernüsse that were delicious and had a similar flavor profile to the Fireside Chat. I only added one can of the beer into my Craft-your-own, but this is a winter ale I can see myself picking up again. Well, considering the 7.9% ABV I’m not sure I’d throw back more than 2 or 3 in one sitting despite the relatively high alcohol level not making itself felt.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t remark on the packaging of the beer. Since the beer’s name is an homage to president FDR, the former president appears on the can in a lovely wrap-around image that covers the whole can.

Recommended, link to Untappd 4-star rating.

Badge Earned with this Beer:
Winter Wonderland (Level 10)

It’s cold outside – warm up with Winter beers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s