1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Schell's FireBrick - August Schell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Schell's FireBrickSchell's FireBrick

Educational use only; do not reuse.

418 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 418
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 22
Gots: 30 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Vienna Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-17-2002

FireBrick was introduced in 1999, and is named after the bricks that line Schell's old boilers. It is the culmination of an effort to bridge the gap between the "popular-tasting" beers and the heartier, hand-crafted ones.
FireBrick is a refreshing all-malt lager with an amber-red hue that reflects the feeling of the brewery itself.

It has been described by Ted Marti as having a "subtle maltiness combined with a hint of hoppy taste that creates a mild, pleasantly drinkable beer." It is made with four specialty malts, along with Vanguard, Chinook and Hallertau hops.
View: Beers (40) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 418 | Reviews: 218
Reviews by bcpriess:
Photo of bcpriess
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A Respectable Brew.

It had me at "this all malt lager." While this is not by any means a jaw droppingly awesome beer, it is a good, solid, beer that I could imagine wanting to drink from time to time. Schell's of New Ulm doesn't produce a favorite beer of mine, but I respect their work, and their commitment to lager styles, and for that alone they edge out Summit as the top Twin Cities brewery.

Although I am down on Schell's uber sweet bock, this is more of a light, malty, none too sweet brew. It seems like it might be the more forceful cousin of Grain Belt Nordeast, with a bit more of a char flavor.

A: Appearance is nothing special. This beer pours a deep amber, almost reddish color, with a thick beige large-bubbled head that rapidly dissipates. Par for the course.

S: Predominantly malt and yeast - not a generic odor - but not special either.

T: In addition to the malt and yeast (which you smell), there is an unexpected and interesting char flavor (I suppose the reason for the Firebrick name). This beer would be just the thing to drink with the pulled pork burrito at the BLB - although it is a fairly malty brew, there is no overpowering sweetness, and the char is exactly the kind of thing that would counterbalance a sweet meat. Paired correctly, this is a winner. As I mentioned before this feels like a more intense Nordeast - the key differences being that this is just slightly less sweet, and the presence of the char flavor.

M: Like many Schell's beers, a little on the dry side, but it doesn't leave any unwanted residues behind. An appropriate level of carbonation, maybe a little on the low side, but still somewhat crisp feeling.

D: Somewhat above average. This isn't an uber heavy drink that will leave you with a gutache if you approach it as a beer to drink for flavor. Would be refreshing as a hot weather beer. If you tried to down six of these, you would have a gutache, but then you wouldn't be reading BA either.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A style that I dont see enough and rarely find alot of quality in,poured into a stein a deep bronze color with a thinner slight off white head there was a slight chill haze to it.Nice aromas sweet caramel and toasted grain with a light leafy hoppiness a full aroma for sure,well rounded and food friendly flavors starting off with a big caramel buttery sweetness with an underlying firm toastiness with a small dose of spicey/herbal hop that lingers nicely in the finish.I think a very appetizing vienna lager its just good I cant find any real faults to it really.

Photo of Turbo
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light caramel colored beer has a 2-finger, sherbert head that falls fast t a thin layer. Nose is faint and like orange marmelade.

Woah sweetness! In keeping with the orange motife, this has a light tangerine tasting SWEET malt flavor. There is almost no discernable bitterness, just a kind of sugary sting that has more to do with carbonation.

Mouthfeel is mid bodied and highly carbonated.

An easy drinker, but it felt more like soda than beer. Honestly, I don't know how I feel about this one. I feel like the imbalance is kind of understandable, since the bittering/ hopping of these beers often feels like a forced issue. It is at least an interesting beer and I finished mine off pretty quick.

Photo of skybluewater
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber color, just a bit of lace. Smells malty sweet. Taste is of sweet malt, with a bit of toastyness. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy.

Pretty good brew here. I prefer Great Lake's Elliot Ness, but since that isn't available locally, I'll have to live with this one. Not that that's a bad thing...

Photo of kgeijer
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of NWer
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.
Bronze red, clear. Minimal head, no lace.
Classified a Vienna Lager. I assumed it to be an American Red.
Balanced to the malt side, it is a good drinker.
Slightly cloying on the aftertaste knocks the mouthfeel down a peg. Overall, a good beer worthy of the style.

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Photo of DaftPatrick
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Jason
4.27/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with no legible freshness date.

Appearance: Orangey tarnish copper hue with a bright clarity, thick froth forms and subsides to a dainty and creamy off white lace.

Smell: Sweet toasted malt aroma with a soft perfume-like hop twang to match, clean with a fresh grain smell.

Taste: Carbonation is at a moderate level, creamy slick mouth feel of malt within the firm medium body. Soft toasted malt flavours surround the taste buds and leave bursts of grain, bread and caramel. Melanoidian flavours of concentrated malt pops up in the middle, soft graininess is throughout. Hops are controlled with their bitterness and drop a light sharpness on the tongue. Bit of hop flavour is there but barely noticeable with suggestions of herb and flowers. The multi-leveled malt character shows each layer of complexity; breadiness, soft grain, caramel and toasted husk. On the sweet side, big malt residuals are left in the finish with undertones of toasted malt and a surprising long lasting hop finish also to make for a pleasant ending.

Notes: Very drinkable with big malt complexities. If you like sizeable malty lagers this will be a treat for you. Big enough to pair up with some schnitzel and kraut.

Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into a Pint glass bearing the logo of a competitive Minnesota brewery.

Appearance: Clear, light copper with fairly thin head and ligut lacing.

Smell: Toasted and caramel malts with a nice spicy noble hop counterbalance.

Taste: Fantastic toasted malt character, with notes of caramel and fruit. Finishes with a mild spicy bitterness.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation with a clean, medium body. Nice dry finish.

Drinkability: Refreshing beer that actually works for all seasons. Fantastic Vienna overall, and this is what I compare all other Viennas to. SA Boston Lager is great as well, but not a true Vienna.

Photo of deebo
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of NilocRellim
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of ryanocerus
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this beer was better than most beer advocates did. The appearance was hazy copper with a short lasting head. The aroma was big malt, then faint spicy hops. The flavor was spiced malt, with a hop presence that was appealing. The beer was smooth with a long lasting flavor. Pretty good, though I don't have much experience with this style.

Photo of MattyG85
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Clear amber orange with a huge three and a half finger off white head with very good retention and lacing.

Smell: Strong toasted malty aroma with a decent amount of hops that smell like the Hallertau variety. Has a bready Pils like aroma.

Taste: Very malty and bready with sweet caramel and toffee malts followed by a decent amount of bitterness from earthy hops. Very good balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Very creamy and smooth.

Overall: A very solid lager from Schell's. Easy drinking and flavorful.

Photo of Timmuh
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A darker copper and brown color, mild head, some lace. A mild aroma of very little, if you look for it, you can probably say you smell caramel, yeast, hops etc. . . but there really ain't much there.

Taste, parts of a red ale, more caramel, toffee, but its all pretty mild and nuanced, I could picture some old timers drinking this and wishing for something more bland, but saying it has some promise.

Very similar to SA Boston Lager. I get it if you're drinking this, you're not looking for massivity and complexity, and this beer delivers in that regard. There are no off flavors, its just a middle of the road beer with mild smooth malt additions, minimal hops and mild yeast.

Photo of ADR
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

One of the most drinkable of the malty beers. And I like that this style is still around. Its quite orange in color and pours with little head at all. There's a slight bready quality to the mid mouth impact, but the flavor is balanced and lessens evenly as its swallowed. I don't look for a lot of bite or chewy mouthfeel in Vienna Lagers, so I'm pretty happy with FireBrick.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Is an amber copper tone with a cream colored nice sized head leaving specks of lace as it dwindles down. Aroma: Slightly metallic with a roasted malt nut tone and an underlying hop bitterness they're very mild there is no fragrance jumping out at me. Taste: Taste is a clean sweeping amount of toasted caramel malts and bitter sweet tones, nicely balanced a little mild seems mass produced but still tasty overall. Rather uninteresting compared to some Vienna styles but this one beats out the Sam Adams lineup even though this one is lacking compared to Elliot Ness overall not a bad throwback. Mouthfeel: Thin highly carbonated not much texture to speak of. Drinkability: I could put down a few without being filled up, but I wouldn't really yearn for too many of these, they're not challenging my palate seems run of the mill and for the mill I don't run.

Photo of IchLiebeBierZu
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of sgttibbs
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

Appearance: soft crystal clear coppery color with a thin off-white head that lasts for a minute or so.

Smell: Nice light honey malt smell a good hoppy aroma

Taste: Very smooth balanced taste with that light malty taste and hoppy taste throughout the drink that makes my tongue say "Mmm Beer". The Vienna malt taste comes through at the end with just a bit of hops. It is very well layered.

Mouthfeel - Good crisp finish with no alcoholic warmth. Moderate carbonation which is good for this style

Drinkability: Not as sweet as most American versions. This is a great beer for sipping on a hot summer day. One of the better American versions of this style.

Thanks to tavernjef for shipping this to me.

Photo of richkrull
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of PacketHauler
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Photo of LXIXME
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Schell's FireBrick from August Schell Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 418 ratings.