Dark Lager
Waterloo Brewing

Dark LagerDark Lager
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European Dark Lager
Ranked #124
Ranked #48,119
3.11 | pDev: 18.33%
Waterloo Brewing
Ontario, Canada
Dark LagerDark Lager
Notes: Looks dark, tastes light. It's Ontario's favourite dark lager. A dark beer that is slowly brewed with Canadian grown malted barley, specialty coloured malts, imported hops and pure cultured brewers yeast.

Dark lagers are enjoyed all year long, and they're not as filling as ales. Waterloo Dark will cut some of the heaviness in sauce-based meat dishes. Waterloo Dark is an equally perfect beer to go with appetizers suitable for watching sports games, or used as an actual ingredient when preparing a meal.

Experience what this great dark "light tasting" lager has to offer and why it has won multiple awards at the World Cup of Beer, Canadian Brewing Awards, Ontario Brewing Awards and the Monde Selection International Institute For Quality Selections.
Reviews: 103 | Ratings: 202 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of eberesford
2.97/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown colour with a thinnish head and slight reddish tints. Aroma: Thinish aroma with hints of caramel and chocolate. Taste: not particularly distinctive hints of toffee, chocolate, some coffee.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.97/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

My local, in-person trader @tone77 was on a recent excursion into CANada & he brought back a number of CANadian CANned beers for me for inclusion in The CANQuest (tm)! I ran through a LOT of them on CANada Day & now, I am returning to polish off the remainder.

From the CAN: "Ontario's First Craft Brewer"; "Premium Beer"; "Since its first appearance on our award-winning Dark Lager, the mysterious wild boar has represented the stubborn pride we take in brewing our beer. Homegrown, handcrafted and without compromise. Pour the boar!"; "Four Simple Ingredients".

I Crack!ed open the vent only to hear an angry boar snorting at me from within! Ooh, I do so love a ChAlleNge. I beCAN a slow, gentle C-Line Glug so as not to rile it any more than it already was, but it still came charging up at me. I watched in rapt fascination as it performed a pseudo-cascade that settled into just over two fingers of dense, rocky, foamy, light-tan head with very good retention. Color was Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity & cola highlights. Nose had a lightly smoky chocolatiness. I have been all over the map with these dark Lagers today so I was quite curious to have a taste. Mouthfeel was unexpectedly big, full & creamy! In a Lager!?! Wow. The taste was decidedly different from the others today. Here, it was like chocolate-enrobed caramel, like a liquefied $100 Grand CANdy bar, sans the crispy rice. Remember, just four simple ingredients! Man, this was a really nice surprise. I am not big on CANdy in my advancing age, but I have an increasing sense of nostalgia as a result. This really took me back to my childhood! I think that this would have been better on a cool, crisp Autumn afternoon as opposed to in the oppressive heat of the Summer, but I didn't know any better. Finish was in that Twilight Zone between semi-sweet & semi-dry. Very nice. YMMV.

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Photo of tone77
3.64/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a very dark brown color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of bready malts, some honey. Taste is bready malts, hints of smoke and coffee. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall, is a bit unusual for the style, but a solid beer nonetheless.

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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce can into lager glass, canned on 5/29/2018. Pours crystal clear deep ruby red, light copper/brown color with a 1 finger dense and rocky light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread dough, toasted biscuit, and nuts; with lighter notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, pepper, herbal, grass, and roast/toasted earthiness. A bit of fruity aromas, but not overwhelming. Nice and pleasant aromas with dark/bready/light roasted malts, and light earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, brown bread dough, toasted biscuit, and nuts; with lighter notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, pepper, herbal, grass, and roast/toasted earthiness. Mild herbal, grassy, spicy, roasted bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread dough, toasted biscuit, nuts, light chocolate, herbal, grass, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malts, and light earthy hop flavors; with a solid malt/bitterness balance, and no cloying flavors after the finish. Perfectly clean on lager flavors, with no fruity/yeasty notes present. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering bitterness. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/grainy, and slightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 5%. Overall this is a very nice Euro dark lager. All around nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malts, and light earthy hop flavors; very smooth and pretty refreshing to drink with the mildly bitter/drying finish. Very flavorful for the ABV. Very clean and nicely rich malt complexity, with mild earthy hop presence/balance. A very enjoyable offering, and well made style example.

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Photo of rapayn01
3.94/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed from a standard 473 ml Canadian tall boy can. The BA header says Brick Brewing Co., but the can says simply Waterloo Brewing. Apparently, the latter is a craft division of the former. In any case, I found the beer to have a nice roasted malt flavor. For those that appreciate it, the beer started with a deep foam head that lasted a good while. Dark lager = Dunkel, right?

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Photo of ewpass
3.33/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Waterloo Fall 2018. Dark brown with medium head. Very light, basic malt nose. Light sweet malt body with a slight sour element on finish. Not crisp at all, very little carbonation. Only fair.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.26/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I am not convinced by this Dark Lager's commercial description.
Nor am I convinced by the average BA rating that this is merely OK

This Dark actually Looks above average; nice foam stuck around longer than I expected. Smells probably are average (lacking any distinction other than dark and roasted malts.) Tastes are sweet mostly, but balanced with just enough hops coming in at mid-palate to carry through to an even finish... albeit a thin one. I would like to be more enthusiastic, but I am not.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.56/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5


Can to hotel water glass.

LOOK: dark walnut brown. Medium beige head. Ok retention.

AROMA: touch of mineral like a schwarzbier, also wood, honey, oats.

TASTE: cola, malt, hint of wood. A minor chemical taste.

FEEL: mostly flat. Medium body.

Not bad, but a few flaws in key places drag it down.


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Photo of MichaelGennings
4.01/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

473ml can, 5% alc. Brewed by Brick Brewing Company/Waterloo Brewing Ltd., Waterloo, Ontario.

Dark Lager with a thick caramel coloured head that dissipates quickly.

The aroma is a faint brown sugar, combined with roasted barley malt.

The taste is toasted malt, brown bread, a hint of coffee, and brown sugar. I don't mean it's sweet, just that brown sugar flavour is present.

The beer is light to medium bodied but smooth, and the finish is dry.

I like this beer. It's a well-done dark Lager, I'm surprised it doesn't rank better on Beer Advocate.

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Photo of jamesd345
3.69/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Interesting balance between a dark beer and a light taste. Little to no head and a strange carbonation were turnoffs for me but it is a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of ChrisCage
2.71/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- This one pours a nice dark brown color with a head that is pretty much non existent....instead, it is a fizzy thin layer that only covers a portion of the liquid and then disappears rather quickly unfortunately. The liquid is clear and with red hues, along with being quite clear. Carbonation seems to be thin and the lacing is pretty much devoid of life....not a great looking lager.

S- Smells like a super weak, metallic porter.....with dried unmalted grains, grassy, dusty and perhaps with some adjunct like boiled corn. Positive notes on the nostrils include weak chocolatey notes. Overall musty......

T- This doesn't do much for me personally.....while it does contain some sweetness, caramel/toffee flavors and chocolate, it is very weak and underwhelming. Grassy, dry and somewhat bittering on the finish, this just is a little too clean for me....I suspect some rice/corn was used in the boil.

M/O- This is light bodied, well carbonated (which is fine for this style) and is highly drinkable.....put it this way.....it is very much like a slightly bolder version of a macro lager. I would probably try it again but I most definitely will not be seeking it out on purpose ever again.....above average swill.

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Photo of jp32
2.76/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours black in color. Not much head retention. It smells slightly roasted with notes of hard well water and dirty dishwater. The flavor is mild, and easy drinking, but it tastes as much like an american macro lager as it does any kind of decent dark lager. Maybe a cross between the two styles is the most accurate way to put it.

I can't say this is a great beer, it's not. However, it is easy on the palate, and quite drinkable. It definitely could use more flavor. It's still better than most macros out there, but not by much.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.25/5  rDev +36.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Brick Waterloo Dark Lager brewed by Brick Brewing Co. This Euro Dark Larger has an ABV of 5.00% The lager pours out of a 16 oz can into a pint beer glass. The color is a nice dark brown color with a nice light brown head. This brew has the look of cola, not saying that is a bad thing. I really like the color of this brew. The smell of Brick Waterloo Dark Lager is rich with roasted grains and malts. You also pick up a nice amount of hops in the smell of this brew. Brick Waterloo Dark Lager is a real inviting brew. Now for the taste it is bold but smooth with flavors. There is a lot going in this brew. First you pick up on some nice roasted malts and grains. Then a hit of hops at the end . Brick Waterloo Dark Lager has a real nice clean balance to it. There is nothing overpowering about this brew. Just a note the head to this brew stays around and there is also a nice amount of lacing on the glass. The mouthfeel of Brick Waterloo Dark Lager is Rich, Bold, Clean ,Smooth and refreshing. Overall I'm giving Brick Waterloo Dark Lager a 4.25 out of 5 . Brick Brewing Co., Did a nice job with this one. I would buy this brew again. This dark brew would go good on any occasion.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
2.81/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Enjoyed from the 12oz bottle. This dark lager pours a dark, yet clear mahogany brown with a nice head of off white foam that settles to a thick ring, thin layer, and decent lacing. Nose of sweet malts and moderate grain notes, little else. Flavors follow the nose lightly cloying sweet caramel notes on all sides followed by a light grain bill on the back. Smooth and moderately crisp with a sweet aftertaste. Would be decent after mowing the lawn, but the sweetness is a bit much and I like sweet brews.

Not much else to see here. Move along.

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Photo of chinchill
3.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle.
Nice smooth feel, judge right amount of soft carbonation, and good looking, with a large pillowy head.
The aroma is only acceptable but the flavor is fine.
Good dark lager.

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Photo of taters21
3.49/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: pours a dark amber (think yuengling black and tan) with a 3 finger head that slowly settles to about a finger and a half
Smell: Malt forward, grain, roasted chocolate
Taste: Surprisingly light, malty, roasty, grassy finish
Mouthfeel: Thin
Overall: Interesting, but not exceptional

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Photo of joesi
3.65/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was much nicer than I was expecting. People seem like they may have a prejudice against this beer— that, or I guess my taste preference might just be more unique/broad.

For what it is (which I'll get to), it's very good in my opinion, although obviously not everyone likes what it is.
This is a sweet tasting (not necessarily added sugar or anything, but a sweet vibe), malty beer, with a bit of roasted flavor as well. The hops are very minor in this beer. Not particularly noticeable neither at the start nor lingering afterwards. Some people may not like that, but I certainly like it.

The carbonation consistency is average, and carbonation level is medium high in my opinion. It looks similar to many stouts that aren't using nitro; very dark with average beige head.

Highly recommended to anyone that likes very malty beers and/or sweet-FLAVOR beers and who don't like much hops in their beer. If you like lots of hops and/or don't like lots of malt, stay far away from this. I bought some of these on clearance for just under 2$ per 473 can, and will buy more if I can get them cheap. Great value for Canadians (best I've had for under 50¢/100ml)

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Photo of DaveBar
3.26/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Purchased at the LCBO for $2.20 for a 473ml can. Served at 7deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a tiny white head that is gone in 1min. Very dark brown. Filtered clear

S- Not much here at all. Was expecting something but got next to nothing.

T- Not too good. Has some roasted body but not much else. Some nuts and malt

M- Dry and tart.

O- Not a very good beer. I rated it high and still not a good rating. Will not buy again. Thank goodness I can try beers 473ml to 500ml one at a time as I would be upset if I bought a case of 24 bottles.

Food Pairing

This beer pairs well with...... Potato chips, just to get it down LOL


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Photo of patre_tim
3.29/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: A: Dark brown with a ruby tinge, little carbonation, clear filtered, 2 fingers of slightly tan head

S: Skunk, sourdough, offal, cheesy.

T: Bready, then a slightly clean linen but one that’s slightly cheesy, a yeasty clean slightly dough finish. Much cleaner than the scent.

M: Medium body, medium low fine bubbled almost foamy carbonation.

O: A little cheesy on the nose, flavor is not too bad and mouth feel is fine. Not too bad overall.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
2.73/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Picked one tallboy can up from the LCBO and served cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - Dark chestnut brown color, poured 2 fingers of tan head that dissipated quite quickly. Just dark enough that the bubbly nature of the beer can't be seen.

Smell - Smells dark, but some light grassy notes and slightly metallic. Not much else there.

Taste - Pretty much like the nose, not a lot there but nothing off putting. General "beer" taste.

Mouthfeel - Highly carbonated and medium bodied, but because of the lack of significant flavor doesn't give it any of the rich creamy feeling that other beers in the style may have.

Overall - Unremarkable, not likely to be purchased again. Would rather have something else.

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Photo of The-Jolly-Imbiber
3.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 473 mL can into a conical pint glass.

3-finger head (in this narrower glass) shows significant carbonation in this beer.
Very dark red-brown appearance, as the name tells. Head settled to half a finger
in about a minute or two.

Nice smell. Some breadiness, some bitter sweetness. Hints of some other fresh
scent that I can't quite name.

First sip has a nice taste, though with a slightly metallic finish. This blood-like
taste went away after a few more sips. Taste is a little roasty, turning into bitter
fruitiness. Almost coffee-like notes in the finish.

As hinted by the tall head, the mouth can feel a fair amount of carbonation.

Overall, a nice beer. As far as dark goes, I prefer porters, but this is very
acceptable. I'd order it if I went to a bar or restaurant that had it.

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Photo of LXIXME
2.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A smallish light brown head settles into a nice lacing above a clear dark red wine to amber colored beer.

Very thin nose, maybe a little dark roasted malts in the aroma.

A very light taste of dark roasted caramel malts, kind of reminds me of a watered down Amber Bock but in a good way almost. When one thinks of something watered down they almost always got to it getting a more negative taste, but this might work in this beers advantage given the situation.

A very light almost dryish aftertaste on this light to medium bodied beer.

This is another beer that to me would appeal to people that are trying to get away from the typical Bud Light type beer. This to me could be considered a gateway beer for future Rogue and Stone drinkers.

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Photo of Watershed
3.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 473mL can into a pint glass. Held to the light, this looks pretty much exactly like Coke, with a slightly foamy lace of head instead of bubbles. It's appealing looking, actually -- pretty much exactly what a dunkel should look like. (I'd classify this as a dunkel rather than the "Euro Dark Lager" it's labelled as, because I'm pretty sure that's what they're attempting.) The smell isn't particularly impressive -- wet malts and brown sugar -- and these flavours continue in the taste, with the occasional odd sour note, which I think must be a yeast thing. Despite being pretty nondescript taste-wise, this does improve in the creamy mouthfeel, light chocolate with the slightest linger of herbal hops. (But there's that odd sour note again, too...).

I buy a can of this once every couple months because I like dunkels and it's one of the two widely available in Ontario (the other being the markedly superior King Dark Lager). So the fact that I'm even drinking this stuff is more a testament to the neglect of this underrated style than evidence of any real fondness for it. Still, until I can get the King more readily, or until another local craft brewery starts making a dunkel, I'll keep drinking this once in a while.

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Photo of Olek4374
3.3/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

My store had a sale on the Waterloo Brewing Sample Pack, which offers two cans each of this, IPA and Amber. It was a great deal, and I've never had anything from this brewery, so I decided to give it a go.

It pours, as expected, very dark brown to the point of being black. I'm picking up some faint red wine aromas fro m the beer, although the smell itself is very mild for such a dark beer.

The taste was not what I was expecting from a can that said DARK on it; it tastes like a well made lager with some more heavy malty flavours, and a very clean finish. The body was quite light, it felt as if I was drinking a can of Canadian or something - it's just light and very bubbly without much flavour to it. Is it better than Canadian/Kokanee and the like? Yes. However, the flavour doesn't quite match the colour that the beer has.

These beers are tricky to find in Alberta, so I'm likely not going to search out this particular one out. Overall, it's okay; it is very drinkable, has no harsh aftertaste, and the nice dark colour can make it seem like you're drinking fancy beer if your friends are having Canadian. Still, i wouldn't have minded a little more caramel or vanilla flavour, and a heavier body.

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Photo of MasterSki
2.76/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Can from my father-in-law. Served in a pils glass.

A - A finger-plus of lightly tanned foam settles to a thin partial cap and collar and negligible lace. Transparent chestnut brown, with copious bubbles adhering to the sides of the glass and racing throughout the body.

S - Roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, a bit of corn. Gets worse as it warms, with a sharp metallic note in the periphery.

T - Taste is corn sweetness mixed with light toffee and nut notes, grain, and perhaps a hint of cocoa. Somewhat cloying and under-attenuated but largely devoid of off-flavors.

M - Harsh, aggressive carbonation, with a watery medium-light body. Finish is mostly clean, with a bit of roast to it.

D - Not terrible, but not very good either. I think I made it through 6oz before I gave up and moved on to something better. More flavorful than the fizzy yellow beer that is so popular in Ontario, but only marginally so. Would do in a pinch over Labatt or something, but not something I'd buy again.

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Dark Lager from Waterloo Brewing
Beer rating: 73 out of 100 with 202 ratings