Schell's FireBrick
August Schell Brewing Company

Schell's FireBrickSchell's FireBrick
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Vienna Lager
Ranked #23
Ranked #33,837
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
Reviews by FBarber:
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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More User Reviews:
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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Photo of Ri0
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured 12oz bottle into Pils glass.

A - Burnt amber color with visible carbonation and 2.5 finger white frothy head that left some splashy lacing on the glass.

S - Big toasted malt, bready notes, sweet fruity notes, and floral hops . Pleasant aroma for the style and well-balanced between the malty and hoppy notes.

T - Big bready notes, toasted malt, sweet fruity notes, and a kiss of floral hops.

M- Very smooth, medium body, soft carbonation, and dry.

O - An excellent Vienna lagers. Very well balanced, great aroma, and a very smooth, easy drinker.

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Photo of olmane
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

New review :

Gave this one another spin since I'm a little more experienced with beers now. The review below this one was posted in July of 2013.

Appearance : very thick head, three fingers tall and tightly knit. The body is a dirty honey color. Amber-ish. Beautiful character.

Aroma : toasted grain, amber, clean barley, faint tobacco.

Flavor : honey-infused amber and roasted flavors. Mild roast hop behind everything. Some nuttiness, caramel malts. Out of a glass is much better than the bottle. It's delicious.

Mouthfeel : Alive with carbonation, just enough to make the drink exciting. Finishes clean.

Overall : I like this beer and would even buy a six pack. Better than Boston Lager.


Night 3 of my birthday gift sampler pack. Tonight I will be reviewing firebrick in a 12 oz bottle.

Smell - toasted barley, bitter sour pilsner grains. Blueberry syrup. Spice.
Lots of character! I honestly get an image of "firebrick" in my head when I smell it.

Taste - Bitter and sour. "Eye-twitching" bitter. Really not used to the style. Can tell you off the cuff I am not a fan here. Some say this beer doesn't represent the style well. I can tell you if the rest of the Vienna's are like this, I'll never drink one again.

I'll try to be subjective though : grass, dirt, wine vinegar. Starting to sound like a Tide commercial. Some yeasty barley.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied yet thin. Carbonated zing.

Overall - Gross? I won't be trying this again. I'm sure this beer is great for its style (300 beer reviewers can't be wrong?), however it is definitely not one I'll be coming back for. A class "A" nominee for drain pour.

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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 Offa
3.22/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer struck me as rather bland, boring, and a tad rough, if basically ok. I can tell that it's a vienna, at least, since that is clear in the character, but it's about middle of the road for the style, and not nearly as good as some like Sprecher's.

Reddish brown, it has a thin, light tan head that quickly dissipates to a foamy ring. It leaes only a faint trace of lace at first, then nothing.

The aroma seems fairly sweet with malty grain and yeast, hints of molassess, whole wheat bread crust, and earthy leaves.

The taste is similar to the aroma,with grain, whole wheat, old dry leaves, and a hint of baked apples. However, it's all muted and muddled, has with an oddly light body, weak flavours that degrade, and a light grain aftertaste. It has only a little sweetness and bitterness, tending toward the former. It's ok, but not at all interesting.

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Photo of Ajmorriso1
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of jsprain1
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice red-brown. Head is a three fingers thick coarse bubbled white head. Lots of carbonation streams.
S- The smell is mild, but it is of toasted bread and roasted walnut.
T- Toast, a touch of caramel, a nice toffee flavor, and just a subtle earthyness.
M- A touch lighter than I'd like but spot on carbonation and a slightly dry finish.
O- I like it. One of August Schell's better efforts. Splendidly drinkable and plenty of flavor. Roughly on par in the style with Boston Lager.

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Photo of harty83
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of defunksta
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a deep, clear, amber color with a white head. SRM of 14. (3.75)

Aroma: Aromas of grassy, toffee, caramel, pine, and good amount of phenolic sharpie which is reminiscent of a touch of red fruit. (3.75)

Flavor: Light flavor. Some light caramel and faint bread. A touch of tart raisin and red fruit. Finishes clean and dry. (3.25)

Feel: Lighter bodied. Clean. Decent carbonation. Crisp enough, but allows the malts to come through without being too sweet. (3.50)

Overall: I was slightly disappointed with the flavor here. It's nice and clean, but the flavors are lacking. Some red fruit, but 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: 3.53)

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Copper color with two finger off-white head. Quickly fades away and leaves some moderate lacing.

S - Sweet malt aroma with a hint of some floral hops.

T - The malts do all the work on this one. Sweetness up front but also some biscuity taste. A little hop bitterness towards the end to provide some balance.

M/D - Above average carbonation gives a crisp feel. Medium bodied and very drinkable.

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Photo of jerryous
4.73/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my go-to dollar beers. A tasty, malty lager that pairs really well with vegetarian dishes.

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Photo of beereality
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of AdmiralOzone
3/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of KeefD
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice Minnesota beer - and there's not many to speak of!

This has to be one of my favorite varieties of August Schell's. The nose is sweet and malty with just a hint of hoppiness. It's got an all-malt flavor that a Vienna Style Lager should have. The mouthfeel is smooth and clean.

Pairs well with pretzels and fire roasted red pepper jack cheese.

Overall a great brew from New Ulm!

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Photo of Octoberist
3.31/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured on-tap. A rich copper almost amber in color with an off white head.

Smell: Lightly malty not a whole lot going on in the nose.

Taste: Malty, providing some caramel and roasted tones. Hop profile is scarce to none. Still not overly sweet. A nice malty brew, seems more like a brown ale than a Vienna Lager/

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and fairly smooth going down.

Drinkability: A good session beer here. Nothing extraordinary but still quite satisfying.

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Photo of CGA2
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of bsp77
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | 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. Nice Vienna overall, and this is what I compare all other Viennas to. SA Boston Lager is great as well, but not a true Vienna.

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Photo of enjambed
3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving type: bottle chilled to ~40F. poured into hefeweizen glass

Appearance: Well as the name suggests, it has a deep red color with maybe a bit of orange. A very conservative pour produces a half-finger sudsy white head that quickly goes down to lace. Lacing is moderate

Smell: sweet, lightly roasted and delicious malts. I could be wrong, but it reminds me a bit of red ale. Not much going on with hops.

Taste: I guess the best I can describe it is rich, flavorful lager. There’s some iron in the aftertaste, which reminds me of the water from the northern MN iron range. The first time I tried it the thought of bread came to mind. This wasn’t white bread, but hearty whole grain.

Mouthfeel: Moderate, it adds a good amount of heft to this lager and makes it really enjoyable.

Overall: Schell’s did a good job with this malt extravaganza. If you’re looking for something else from the hop-forward IPA’s that characterize craft beer, this is a good change of pace. FireBrick is a nice, very approachable beer to introduce to your non-BA friends.

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Photo of CHSLBrew
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A-Darker amber beer, crystal clear. Light tan head rose off the pour and sustained decently. Head retention was likely helped by the constant rising carbonation bubbles.

S-Toasty, spicy.

T-Toasted bread and cracker, spicy sweet hops complimenting the semi-sweet maltiness. Something of a charred toffee comes through in the malt profile. Finishes dry, clean, crisp, with an aftertaste of bread and spice.

M-Medium-high carbonation with a moderate body, giving this brew a pleasantly lighter feel.

D-I've got a history with this one (as with many/all of the other Schell's brews), which may influence my preference. Regardless, this brew is very drinkable. A lighter-feeling brew with an adequately-complex flavor and aroma profile.

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Photo of scinnh
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of homebrew311
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into pint glass. Clear golden appearance with white head, nice retention, minimal lace. The nose features some hop character up front and a touch of skunky character. Notes of bread and grain come through. Not sure if this has been skunked or if it is intentional. The taste is full flavored and is very malty. None of the skunk quality comes through on the taste. Decent balance, minimal hop character. The mouthfeel is light and refreshing with appropriate level of carbonation. Overall, this is a nice Vienna lager. I'm assuming the skunk character is unitentioal and is a result of the storage at the place I purchased the bottle. For that reason,, I am not factoring that into the smell score. It wasn't much of a detractor in the first place.

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Photo of Reddogelite
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Schell's FireBrick from August Schell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 517 ratings