Schell's FireBrick
August Schell Brewing Company

Schell's FireBrickSchell's FireBrick
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Vienna Lager
Ranked #26
Ranked #34,337
3.73 | pDev: 13.4%
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Schell's FireBrickSchell's FireBrick
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 248 | Ratings: 517 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of defunksta
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a deep, clear, amber color with a white head. SRM of 14. (4.00)

Aroma: Aromas of grassy caramel, toffee, pine, and mild amount of phenolic sharpie which is reminiscent of a touch of red fruit. But not much hops here. Don't be fooled. Or malts for that matter. Mostly earthy caramel. A cream sweetness. Smells very English. (3.25)

Flavor: Mild flavor. Some faint caramel and bread. Earthy. A touch of tart raisin and red fruit. Finishes clean and dry. Again a bit of English, but even less on the tongue than the nose. Malty and no hops. (3.25)

Feel: Lighter bodied. Clean. Decent carbonation. Crisp enough, but allows the malts to come through without being too sweet. (3.75)

Compared to Abita Amber 4/25/20: Pours an identical color with a stronger head. More caramel flavors. Less toast and wheat bread. A stronger carbonation. Similar sweetness.

Overall: A very mild beer. I was a little more than disappointed with the flavor here. It's nice and clean, but the flavors are lacking. Some English and German flavors. Reminds me of a milder German Bock. Very much lighter than evena Boston Lager though. I don't know if I could peg this as a Vienna off the top of my head. It's pretty good, but nothing great. (Final Rating: 3.40)

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defunksta from Illinois, Apr 25, 2020
Photo of marcobrau
3.19/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with plenty of foam that settles to a thin collar of bubbles. Smells of creamed corn and a hint of toffee. Straightforward barley malt flavor laced with a touch of toasted marshmallow sweetness. Balanced with just the tiniest hint of hop bitterness. Finishes a bit thin and sweet. Very drinkable despite the sweetness.

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marcobrau from Illinois, Sep 10, 2019
Photo of detgfrsh
3.89/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12oz bottle. Copper color with white head. Smells of roasted malts and caramel. Medium feel. Roasted malt and caramel with some floral hops on the finish. A very good Vienna lager.

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Photo of bbtkd
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Schell's Firebrick, 5% ABV. Pours pale red, with a one finger white head. Nose is bread and light fruit. Taste is bready roast malt with moderate bitterness. Decent mouthfeel, though light carbonation. Overall good.

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bbtkd from South Dakota, Jan 30, 2019
Photo of beergoot
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright, copper-colored body; thick, creamy head; sticky globs of frothy foam clinging to the glass inside. Respectable caramel malt aroma with a touch of ester fruitiness; faint toasted grain element. Fine malt-based flavor; a tad sweet with some mild nut-like character; fair hop bitterness. Medium-heavy body; crisp and warm on the palate.

A solid Vienna lager.

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beergoot from Colorado, Dec 09, 2018
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. Best by date stamped on bottle's neck is '030319'.
Pale amber colored beer, with a hint of red. One finger of off white head recedes to scattered islands and a ring. No real lacing left behind.
Aroma is slightly toasted malt and rich caramel. Slight fruity hops.
Taste is malty, with a caramel emphasis and a bit of nuttiness. Backed up by floral, spicy hops.
Medium mouth feel, and the touch is quite smooth. Okay carbonation.
Easy drinking lager with more aroma and taste than a macro lager.

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Photo of SB2017
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful color saves this otherwise mediocre beer. It smells slightly malty with a metallic note to it, but mostly like clean lager. The taste is unfortunately nondescript. Very hard to pull any notes out besides a mild sweet maltiness.

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SB2017 from Iowa, Nov 21, 2018
Photo of MNAle
4.16/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a footed pilsner glass. Abundant caramel aroma, slightly smoky. Excellent appearance as it is poured directly to the bottom of the glass, with the very tall head rising from the bottom to a 2 inch slightly off-white to tan thick and creamy head that lingers, receding quite slowly while leaving a thick lacing. Golden amber with plenty of small rising bubbles. The pilsner glass shows off this beer to excellent effect. Very flavorful, dominated by the caramel malts with smoky hints. Smooth and moderate (not thin at all) feel. Slightly bitter on the initial taste, moderating in the middle, leading to some bitterness in the aftertaste, but the malts remain throughout. (Based on some of the reviews, the hops were better represented than I was anticipating.) Well balanced. Recommended for those looking for a well-done American-brewed Vienna-style lager.

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MNAle from Minnesota, Aug 27, 2018
Photo of Martin194
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Look: Clear, rather light-looking amber with a fluffy, off-white head.

Smell: Warm malts, hops, bit of a roasty, smoky scent.

Taste: More of the smokiness, along with subtle, sort of earthy malts and hints of hops throughout. Leaves a kind of sourdough aftertaste.

Feel: Light body, pretty normal carbonation, leaves a dry but crisp mouthfeel.

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Photo of wl2bill
4.78/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Copper color with a tan head. Herbal hop smell, tannin also. Taste sweet smoky with a tannin finish. This is the measuring stick for all Vienna layers in my book.

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wl2bill from Wisconsin, May 30, 2018
Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very clear amber color. The head was slightly off white, frothy, 1 finger. The retention is average, and there's minimal lacing on the glass.
The nose has a slight smoke to the malty aroma.
Taste - This is where this beer shines. There's a slight smoke flavor, that lingers. I also get some sweetness in there as well. Not too much in the hop department.
Feel - decent. Not really watery, but not thick either.
Solid beer from Schell's. I do recommend this one. It is easy drinking with a great flavor.

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Photo of StephenM
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper appearance with thin head
Aroma mild sweet, grain, slight floral hop
Taste is sweet malt with caramel, ester, floral, balanced bitter hip flavor
Mouthfeel light, creamy, clean finish
Overall a smooth, very drinkable, refreshing lager with pleasing flavor

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Photo of dcotom
4.34/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a vintage Vasold Pilsener glass. There isn't much to complain about as far as appearance is concerned. The clear, deep-copper colored body rests beneath a thick, long-lasting eggshell-white head that leaves scads of lacing as it creeps down the side of the glass. Big aromas and flavors of caramel, dark bread, and spicy hops, with a bit of fruity tartness and a little alcohol heat coming through as the beer warms. Medium mouthfeel, on the silky side, with a peppery and spicy bitterness on the finish. Not getting the lack of love for this because it is one fine Vienna lager.

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dcotom from Iowa, Mar 23, 2018
Photo of FBarber
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber hued brown color. Mostly clear with lots of effervescence initially that gradually dies off. Two finger off-white head dissipates slowly and never completely. Thin complete layer of off-white foam remains on the beer along with lots of sticky white lacing. Very very nice looking beer.

Aroma has some roasted malt notes, bread, caramel, and a touch of biscuit.

Taste is very malt forward as you'd expect. Notes of caramel malt, dark fresh bread, with some slight sweetness in noted throughout through. Floral hops throughout are certainly present in the palate with a hint of bitterness on the finish.

Feel is medium to full bodied coating the mouth and lingering on the tongue. Moderate vibrant carbonation. Smooth finish.

Overall this is an outstanding Vienna lager - particularly for an American made one.

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FBarber from Illinois, Oct 28, 2017
Photo of Monsterbaitor
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper amber hue. Slight malty caramel smell. The Vienna Malt steals the show with a bit floral and bready biscuity flavor. The hops are subtle and overall this is well balanced. All schells beers seem to be very drinkable and this is no exception. Good example of an underrated style.

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Monsterbaitor from Minnesota, Aug 16, 2017
Photo of CraigP83
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark copper good head retention. Smell is sweet malt, slightly floral and bright. Taste is slightly metallic, good summer beer if you wanted something with a bit more body. Would also be great in the fall around a fire

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CraigP83 from Minnesota, Jun 24, 2016
Photo of AleMan66
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 12 oz. bottle into a clear wide-mouth beer glass. It pours an attractive amber red. The taste is an awesome mix of malt and subtle hops. Love it!

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AleMan66 from Minnesota, Jun 05, 2016
Photo of Squire
3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep amber gold color with good white cap and lacing.

Aroma of roast caramel malt and floral hops.

Taste is malt forward with emphasis on the roastier aspects of the malt. There is a definite undercurrent of roast flavor that while not bitter is on the darker end of the flavor spectrum. Hops are there more as a balancing offset to the malt fullness. No real apparent sweetness yet the brew isn't entirely dry.

Medium texture with balancing carbonation.

A well made, clean, refreshing Amber of the heavier sort.

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Squire from Mississippi, May 23, 2016
Photo of Bluegrass49
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Clear, dark amber color with a tan 2-finger head. I was really surprised at how smooth and refreshing this one tasted. Perfect combination of maltiness and hops. Can't wait to have another.

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Bluegrass49 from Minnesota, Mar 12, 2016
Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.46/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a shaker pint at ~40 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a lovely, bright, crystal-clear burnished copper, and forms about a finger or so of fluffy, vaguely off-white but just barely, head. Bubbles stream up continuously from the bottom. Lacing is insanely good, draping the sides of the glass in walls of tightly-packed bubbles with occasional holes and ridges.

Smell: Bread. Warm, dark, crusty bread, with honeyed biscuit, toffee, white pepper, and something floral.

Taste: The floral aroma is definitely present in the flavor, from start to finish, though not significantly enough to trigger my Wall-O-Hops-And-Nothing-Else response - which means for non-supertasters, it's probably just this side of "detectable". Rolling along beneath and around the florality comes the dark bread and biscuit, which taste like they want to be sweet (and likely would be for someone other than me). Toffee is present as well, around the edges, and there's some mild, faint tinge of raisin frolicking about in the distance. The aftertaste lingers as flowers and bread, like a blooming vase left on a kitchen table strewn with crumbs where a loaf was just devoured.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light in body with a good deal of sparkly carbonation, with no watery breakdown at any point during the drinking process.

Overall: That's a damned good Vienna lager - up there near Eliot Ness. I'll be tracking this down again.

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UrbanCaveman from Illinois, Mar 03, 2016
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.04/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Dark brown and burnt copper color, thin head, decent lace. Super faint nutty caramel, toffee thing going on.

Taste was roasted malt more than expected, but pulled off smoothly. A little heavier than a Vienna Lager, this one goes into Oktoberfest territory.

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Photo of maedhros09
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark copper-amber with about two fingers of off-white head that settles to a film with a smidge of lacing.
Smell: Caramelly bready, softly fruity (apples? pears?)
Taste: Taste mirrors the nose. Soft, round flavors. Lightly sweet and malty with a balancing herbal bitterness in the finish.
Feel: Light to medium body, moderate carbonation but smooth.

Overall: Firebrick must have been one of the first "craft" beers I tried when I came of age. I remember liking it then, and I like it now. It has a very nice round, aromatic maltiness that is lightly sweet but not cloying, and great balance in the finish. Compared to the Great Lakes Eliot Ness, which I also really like, I feel like the Schell's is a bit mellower in flavor with more bitterness in the finish. Consistent with its lower ABV (5% vs. 6.2%) it is more sessionable than the Eliot Ness.

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maedhros09 from Minnesota, Oct 21, 2015
Photo of ta_hagen
5/5  rDev +34%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best Vienna style beer out there for sure... Try it and tell me I'm wrong?... Go and get any other Vienna style beer and compare it to this one and see how it play's out... This Firebrick will beat any other beer on the market in it's class. It's just wonderful!... It's maltiness combined with a hint of hoppy taste that creates a mild-Best craft Vienna beer with a peppery spice, and some dark fruit notes to play with the heavy, toasted malt... Cheers for sure!

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ta_hagen from Minnesota, Oct 08, 2015
Photo of Evilyak
4.09/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sometimes you read the description from the brewer and wonder if they switched labels. this one's pretty spot on:

"an amber-red hue" - yup. sticky head and and clear, reddish-brown color. nothing remarkable here, but clearly defined.

"subtle maltiness combined with a hint of hoppy taste that creates a mild, pleasantly drinkable beer" - pretty much. smells clean and malty. tastes the same. nothing hanging around afterwards, no untoward or unusual flavors, just simple and easy to quaff.

i'd never think that i need to get some firebrick, but it's the kind of thing that you go back to every once in a while and think "that's a damn fine beer".

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Evilyak from Minnesota, Oct 01, 2015
Photo of Czequershuus
4.46/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a light brown with a moderate head. The aromas are straight up toasty malt. The flavor is more complex, bringing a peppery spice, and some dark fruit notes to play with the heavy, toasted malt. The mouthfeel is light ad refreshing. Overall this is a delicious beer, and excellent in style.

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Czequershuus from Minnesota, Sep 27, 2015
Schell's FireBrick from August Schell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 517 ratings