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Brick Waterloo Dark Lager | Brick Brewing Co.

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92 Reviews
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Brick Waterloo Dark LagerBrick Waterloo Dark Lager

Brewed by:
Brick Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by kbub6f on 08-02-2002

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Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 177
Photo of kjyost
2.52/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Can #1 from the LCBO OCB Discovery Pack #3... Let's see what there is to discover in Ontario's 'OFFICIAL' Craft Brews (I say this b/c there are a bunch of good Ontario breweries that are not listed as members in their documentation). The can is labeled 'Waterloo Brewing Co.', but this is the beer

The beer pours with an average head that disappears quite quickly, and leaves no lacing. The beer is dark, but almost brownish red, and has notes of bread and honey (or some sort of sweetness) on the nose. Peculiar.

Once tasted, I wonder what I am drinking as I get a very grainy flavor reminiscent of a clear lager with sweetness rolling across the palate finishing with a touch of bitter. I can't perceive any substantial malt, and the beer feels thin for a dark. The carbonation is low, but still somehow biting. I think it is time to finish the review as the more I drink, the more I contemplate the ratings I have given and the more they drop...

Once upon a time (when Fort Garry Dark was new and exciting) I would have liked this beer. There are many better beers than this one available to us now.

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Photo of eat
2.62/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Strange colour...dark-brown with blood-red where light shines through. It's really dark but clear at the same time. It looks like a glass of store-brand cola. A hard pour resulted in almost no head, what did appear fading to a thin ring around the glass. No lacing.

While the head is around it smells completely different then after it disappears. Head version: chicken salad, iron, astringent wheat, some roastyness. Weird smell. Glass of cola version: faint chocolaty malt. This is more like what the beer actually tastes like.

The taste is thankfully better than the look or smell would have you think, though only marginally. For a dark beer this is really lacking in flavour. It's not offensive, just quite thin tasting. Watered-down tastes of roasted malt and wheat with the faintest trace of molasses. Way too thin. Not particularly well-balanced, it's a little on the sweet side. No aftertaste, almost like you have to wonder if it was even in your mouth. It just disappears.

Oddly enough, there's actually something I like about the feel but I can't quite put my finger on it. It's thin-bodied and oddly carbonated, feeling artificial. Maybe there's nothing here to experience but the bubbles tickling my tongue and so I'm left to enjoy only that.

Yeah, this is drinkable but not a beer I'll ever be buying again. It goes down alright and tastes like a macro. Easy drinking but no reason to be drinking it other than if you didn't know any better. I bought this one because it called itself a craft beer on the can. Too bad it doesn't taste like it is.

Also, where does it say this is a dunkel? The can I have only says premium dark, nothing else.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.19/5  rDev +7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This has been sitting in my fridge for a while, I decided I should clear out some cans.

Appearance: Pours with a finger of head that did not retain at all, or lace. The body doesn't show much in the way of carbonation, but it is unsurprisingly dark with a very deep red when put to the light.

Smell: A sweet hazelnut and chocolate scent with a slight malt backing and maybe the barest hint of raspberry. I wouldn't say it's strong, but I wouldn't say it's subdued either. I'd go with 3.25 if I could, but it gives just barely enough for to go the rest of the distance.

Taste: Starts with a fairly weak malt that that turns sweeter, but held well in check by some nice dark roasting. It ends with a nutty chocolate taste, that which not rich isn't bad. A big lack of bitterness though, which while not unpleasant, isn't quite what I expect from a dark beer.

Mouthfeel: Serious issues in the carbonation department, as it doesn't do much to accent the flavors, and contributes to the lack of head. However it makes up for it by having a nice chocolaty and roasted malt aftertaste that doesn't linger and transitioning fairly well.

Drinkability: Medium bodied, so it does leave a bit to sit in the stomach. Decently refreshing enough and no gas issues due to the lack of carbonation. Certainly went down easy and quickly enough. Better then average, but nothing all that great.

Final Thoughts: Well, you certainly could do better, and you certainly could do worse. I'll be honest, I expected a bit more richness on this one because for a dunkel it's fairly tame. Still I wouldn't call it bad, by any means. I can see this being good with sheppard's pie. Worth picking a can, but don't go and buy a case.

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Photo of biggred1
2.54/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear dark amber with a slight creamy tan head that quickly fades. The smell is faint and malt heavy. The flavors also are tilted to the maltier side.. sweet maltiness with just the slightest suggestion of hops. Light bodied with seltzery carbonation, finishes a little too sweet. Cool looking bottle but the stuff inside just doesn't deliver much.

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Photo of mrmanning
2.7/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Scary? That's an odd commercial description. Body looks ok, but I am not getting much as far as aroma is concerned. Almost not there. Slightly malty if anything. Taste is of malt and slightly coffee and chocolate, but just barely. Smooth on the palate though, which is why I had 2. I also like the stubbies.

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Photo of ericj551
2.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Waterloo dark pours a clear brown/amber with a thin quickly fading head. The aroma is the best part of the beer, with some sweet caramel malt and nice herbal hops. The flavor just has a hint of the nice malty aroma, with not much else. There is just a slight hint of black/roasted, but it comes off as astringency more than anything else. The finish is thin, and somewhat clean.

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Photo of atomicbolt
3.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Now, I go to school in Waterloo, so I've drank gallons of this stuff. I can't explain it, since it's not exactly phenomenal, but somehow it just reminds me of the city, and I have a feeling that I'll always have that nostalgic connection to this beer. Anyways, the beer. It's definitely better on tap (creamier, deeper taste) but I've got a bottle in front of me, so that's what I'll be reviewing.

Dark, chestnut-brown colour, very deceptive once you've tasted it. (The beer advertises with a "don't be afraid of the dark" gimmick.) Thin, off-white head subsides quickly. Smells sweet, with some fruitiness as well as some burnt, chocolatey malty goodness, but not overwhelming.

Chocolatey sweetness to the taste, a tiny bit cloying, limited bitterness or hoppiness. A bit unbalanced, it needs a bit of hoppiness to grip it all together. Still, I enjoy the offbeat, sweet aftertaste. Definitely not what you'd expect from the dark colour. Thin, almost watery taste, but I don't necessarily think of it as a bad thing. It's an enjoyable, quaffable brew in my books, but maybe it's just that I've developed a soft spot for it. Try to get it on tap, it's worse in bottles and the worst out of cans.

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
2.8/5  rDev -6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-Pour a dark reddish brown, forming a small head that rapidly falls into a thin ring around the edges. No lacing.
S-Thick, sweet chocolate and caramel w/slightly roasted malt and no apparent hop presence. Smells cloying.
T-Flavors of light caramel and sweet chocolate and roasted malt. Light clean mineral and faint salt before finish.
M-Slightly cloying and on the sweet side w/residual sugar. Carbonation is modest and adequate, remaining through the midpalate but fading before the finish. Lack of rounded bitterness leaves it unbalanced. Finish is cleaner at lower temperatures, but the brew gets more cloying and heavier as it gets warmer.
D-Not impressive, but decent enough to finish.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
2.96/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked up at the Niagara Falls Beer Store. Poured out of the can a dark coca-cola color with some reddish hues that could be seen when held up to the light. Very thin head showed almost no retention and laced very poorly. Very sweet malt aromas. Flavors are a little too sweet as well, near cloying for me, sweet malt, roasted malt, caramel, a little coffee and also a little off. Sort funky, need more hops to level it. Finish lingers.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.55/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear above average brown color lager with a large foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of lightly sweet caramel malt. Taste is also dominated by lightly sweet malt note. Definitely too thin for the style with some average carbonation. Refreshing but a bit thin and lacing some flavour.

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Photo of shamus
2.93/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've had this on draft before and it was much better than this canned version. That's to be expected, but the discrepancy was too much to justify drinking this out of a can again. It seems to lack personality; no nose, little head and a timid flavour. It's really not awful and it does go down easy but it reminds me of a much watered-down Guinness. If you like a mild dark beer that's nice for porch drinking this could be your baby.

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Photo of Jason
2.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

473 mL can purchased at the Niagara Falls The Beer Store.

Thin lacing, the head is lacking big time. Very dark color with shades of chestnut glowing in the light. Very sweet aroma, smells of caramel and nutella ... cloying at that. Medium body, slick crispness with a bit of smoothness. Wet thin maltiness, vaguely toasted and very sweet. Very little hop character, small bitterness that has a problem to keep balance. Sweetness is borderline cloying, caramel and sugary ... almost like unfermented wort. Obviously sweet in the finish.

A tad boring and not very drinkable. Bland comes to mind.

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Photo of jackorain
1.76/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Ruby brown color, clear. Head fell to a simple lttle ring aronf the glass before the bartender ould even get it to me.

S-A light sweetmalt aroma, but almost no odor at all.

T-Sweet malt no detectable hop flavor and certainly no bitterness. Also has funkiness to it. Odd

M-extremely thin body, watery and fizzy

D-yeah, right

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Photo of drinkininthewood
2.69/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Been thinking about trying this for while and picked up a sixer from the lcbo.

Served from a 341 ml brown bottle into a pint glass.

A- dark cola in color with a red hue, small slightly tan head dimminishes quickly leaving a tiny layer of foam over the surface.

S- Smell is of burnt roasted malts, hops are scarce but noticed, aromas of coffee and some dark fruit. Alcohol is noticed.

T- Roasted malts up front with slight flavors of chocolate ,coffee, raisins, and a sour, faint hoppy finish.

M- soda-like carbonation is not enjoyable in this light bodied dark lager.

D- Sure why not.

Overall for a dark beer this fairly bland, a good introduction to the novice but not worth seeking out if your used to more complex darks. Its a hybrid. Worth a try,

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Photo of funkengruven
3.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 6 pack of this with a pig's head bottle opener. Hadn't had this one in a while so I decided to give it another shot.

This poured nicely into my pint glass with a head that lasted only a short while. Smell is of slightly roasted barley malt. The barley malt aroma makes the flavor of this brew with a slight nuttyness. Not too bad, Unfortunately however the beer was a little flat and could use a bit (more like a lot) of carbonation.

Even with the lack of carbonation, it still was not an unpleasant experience, this beer isn't that bad.

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.69/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Some rough calculations indicate that, in the past three years, I've drank approximately a metric ass-ton of Waterloo Dark. It's our standard keg-beer (necessitated in part by our close proximity to Brick), and I often find myself drinking it in pubs, and even picking up the occasional case. I can't explain this behaviour for the life of me because there are so many better beers readily available in this area. But there's something comforting and familiar about it.

Nevertheless, along with a recent rebranding - they gussied up the labels, cases and caps - fellow BA pootz mentioned a tweak of the recipe late last year. So I thought that I'd take a second look.

Waterloo Dark pours a nice cola brown, perhaps a bit more reddish than I recall, with a nice two fingers of off-white cap that has just a bit more staying power than it used to; the head does die down relatively quickly, to about a half-finger, but it stays pretty well constant at that level for the rest of the drink. Moderate lacing, but nothing to write home about.

The smell is interesting, but time has dulled my impressions, and I can't tell if I'm smelling the same thing as I did before. An interesting combination of lager-y cereal grain and darker, roasted malts. Just a hint of coffee, nuts, and chocolate, though in sparse supply. An interesting, almost berry-like scent that I've never detected before - tangy - I think they may have notched up the hopping in this brew a bit. All in all, similar, but perhaps slightly improved; you don't have to strain so hard for those sweet malty notes.

The taste remains relatively constant; you can certainly notice the added hops, but the malt dominates here. However, it seems like the quality of the malt has improved a bit - cocoa, coffee, and nuts abound (insofar as any flavour note 'abounds' in such a straightforward beer). Some lighter malt sits under the surface, giving it enough lager-y character to earn the style distinction. A bit bitter at first, it mellows and sweetens, though it ultimately finishes just a bit dry. Quite nice, and pretty tasty for such a simple, straightforward brew.

Mouthfeel is still average - I don't think Brick has ever been able to get their carbonation levels perfect, but I can't complain, as this isn't quite as bad as others for that. It certainly lacks the ultra-effervescent of macro beers. Drinkability, however, also remains high. The light-ish body make this a beer that's virtually designed for mass consumption. And yet it's just barely erudite enough to be appreciated by a beer nerd. It may just be nostalgia, but Waterloo Dark will probably always get my recommendation.

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Photo of cyrenaica
2.88/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I tried this beer on July 11, 2007 at Jack Astor's Restaurant (Front/York) in Toronto. The beer poured a dark reddish-brown into the glass with little head, and constant effervescence. What head there was...was gone in the blink of an eye. The aroma was weak with malt. The mouthfeel was thick and full-bodied. The taste was bland for a dark beer, some malt flavour, but not much else.

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Photo of Wintermute
3.51/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown with ruby notes when held up to the light. The light brown head lasted a few minutes and there was a little bit of lace on the glass.
Noticeable Pours a nice dark brown with ruby notes when held up to the light. The light brown head lasted a few minutes and there was a little bit of lace on the glass.
Noticeable lager smell. Some faint roasted malts. Slightest hint of sour fruitiness and some hops to go with it. Overall a very mild smell.
Again, very mild tasting. Not at all what one might expect from the colour, but then again, it’s a lager, not an ale. Somewhat sweet but not overly. Some mild roasted malts flavours. A little bit vinous if you look for it. You have to search for the hops too.
Light to medium body with moderate carbonation.
Overall this beer is quite mild and easy to drink. Looking at it I’d expect more punch from it. Easy beer to introduce macrobrew drinker to.

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Photo of BrewSomerville
2.85/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aromas (faint) of coffee and cocoa.

Looks dark brown to black. Poor head retention, no lace.

Taste was ok, nothing special though. I would expect more roasty flavours from it's appearance though. There are some malty sweet flavours, not much though. Little bit of roasted nut flavour.

Mouthfeel is ok. Carbonation could be less aggressive. Light bodied.

Overall, its ok. I'll probably drink it again, but I won't go hunt it down.

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Photo of MMansfield
2.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Offered by a friend.

Appearance: Pours a cola like body with a foamy tanned head. Retention is poor, nothing but a thin lace ring hangs around.

Aroma: Despite other reviews, I found this to be surprisingly hoppy. However, the malts were most dominiate. Small hints of coffee and an awful lot of alcohol.

Taste: Not overly poor when it comes to balance, hints of coffee and some alcohol. Moderate bitterness in the finish with a tad bit of nuts.

Mouthfeel: Astringent, but decently bodied. I felt it was over carbonated. Quaffable if you really felt like it.

Final Statement: If offered, drink up. It's not that bad of brew. I certainly will never buy more than a single of this, if ever. Another mediocre beer I've had from Brick.

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Photo of dherling
2.51/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a dark but clear color, like coca cola, but without a head. The nose smelled of old dust, a musty room, seltzer. The taste had maybe, at best, some mild malt notes to it. The mouthfeel was crisp, clean. A very drinkable beer, but why would you?

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Photo of biegaman
2.75/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Quite thin bodied for its style. Not very refreshing either. Checks out ok in some categories, but lacks just as much in the others. Flavours are in check, but this beer just doesnt have any features that impress. Weak malt bill, no dimension of roast or depth. Aroma almost non-existent. A good effort, but not something that will ever stand out.

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Photo of pootz
3.45/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Re evaluating this beer after hearing it was recently reformulated.

The pour produced a decent dark cola colored lager with a rocky-sticky 2 finger cap that lasts well and laces the glass.

Aromas are subtle: some cocoa and sweet bready tones light musty earthy yones.

Medium bodied, fair malt spine, silken mouthfeel, and a more rounded toasy malt character than before.

Up front the toasted dark Munich malts depart some cocoa sweetness that is quickly balanced by light pearl hop presence..mid palate there is more substance in the body with some dried fruit and nut notes and some light souring ...finish is clean and lightly drying with lingering bready aftertastes.

This transition seems to have given Waterloo dark some dunkel characteristics as the hops have been slightly attenuated and the malts beefed up...a pleasant change.

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Photo of ThirdCoast
4.36/5  rDev +46.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: A 341 mL bottle poured into a glass.

A: Dark dark dark dark, with a red tint if held to the light. Nice.

S: Hints of malts, chocolate, sweet, dark fruits.

T: Very smooth, chocolates, coffee, goes down smooth without an aftertaste.

M: Stings the tounge a bit, but goes down very nice with a nice aftertaste.

D: This is by far my favorite from Brick. This will allow the non dark beer drinkers to sample a dark beer, but still please the dark beer lovers alike.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
2.09/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a turbid dark brown with a quick fading head and a small amount of meandering lace. The aroma is overly sweet with a little grainyness and coarse hop leaf. The taste is cloyingly sweet with some nuttiness and herbal hops. Petrol like off flavors make it all the more unpleasant. The mouthfeel is slick and sugary. The finish is sweet and bland.

Not a very good beer. It really needs more body and malt and hop flavors. I keep thinking of poorly brewed extract homebrew when I drink this.

Note: I know this isnt a bad bottle, Ive had this beer several times before.

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Brick Waterloo Dark Lager from Brick Brewing Co.
2.98 out of 5 based on 177 ratings.
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