Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Schell's FireBrick | August Schell Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
83
good
231 Reviews
Schell's FireBrickSchell's FireBrick
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
schellsbrewery.com

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-17-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
231
Ratings:
476
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
19.57%
 
 
Wants:
28
Gots:
54
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 231 | Ratings: 476
Photo of mattcrill
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours clear brick red (who'd a thunk!). It has a quickly disappating tan head. No lacings to speak of down the glass.

Smell: Definitely toward the sweet end. Maybe honey and malt. Almost a perfume-like sweetness associated with it.

Taste: A little bitey. Spices like cloves and pepper come to mind. It carries sweetness from the malt throughout the sip with a bitter, almost tea-like finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and slick.

Drinkability and overall: Pretty good. It was an interesting brew for me and my first crack at a vienna lager. Not sure I'll re-visit anytime soon but one more to add to the memory banks.

 640 characters

Photo of ManekiNeko
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear, burnished copper color topped by a small offwhite head. A small cap of foam was retained and the head clung to the sides of the glass, but left no lacing.

Smell: Decently strong, but not overpowering, aromas of caramel and nutty malts. Hints of some sort of noble hops.

Taste: It's all about the malts here. Caramelly sweet with a good balance of nutty earthiness. A bit of slightly discordant hoppiness on the finish. Just a bit too strong for the delicate nature of what's going on here.

Mouthfeel: Lightly medium bodied and rather crisp.

Drinkability: A decent, clean drinking lager that I'd probably get if it were local. Seems like an ideal brat beer to me. I snagged this while on a layover in the MPLS airport hoping for a rauchbier (faint hope), but wasn't displeased with what I got.

 872 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 fluid ounce brown glass bottle. A black color coordinated crown cap, neck and obverse label are just like that in the BA Database. The main label has a picture of hot fired bricks and is described as an ‘All Malt Vienna Style Lager’. Yellow dot matrix numbers 04034 & 00044682 are visible on the neck. No strength is listed.

Appearance: Copper colored body is pellucid and sits in perfect eye candy balance underneath the large dirty white creamy head that forms above it. Average levels of dissolved carbonation fail to prevent the complete dissolution of the nice looking head after time.

Nose: Toasted malts with some nice warming light roasted chestnut character. It has a rather sweet odor that has a caramel

Taste: A lovely balance of malts and hops, which revolve in and around, up and down, back and forth, yet always benefiting from the Vienna Malts and a counter-balancing light Hop presence. Enjoyable smacking finish that is very moorish, just like the beer itself.

Mouthfeel: Doesn’t have as much carbonation as the previous August Schell beers that I have tried, but it still has enough to lend a creamy feel in the mouth. The solid toasty malt and light bitter hop flavors mingle well with the creamy feel from the body and make for a very enjoyable mouthfeel indeed.

Drinkability: This is one of those beers that would be a regular in my fridge if I lived in an area where it was readily available. Enough taste to be satisfying yet not overboard to be overwhelming after a few bottles. A solid drinking every day Lager that gets a thumbs up from me.

Overall: Smoooth, the one word that perfectly describes this Vienna Style Lager. This is a very easy going, easy drinking Lager.

More props to the BadMonk for shipping this Lager West!

 1,792 characters

Photo of marc77
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear ruddy copper hue. Frenetic carbonation supports a tall, steadfast, cream white head that yields frothy lace. Understated toasty Vienna malt with a medium caramel fringe dominates the aroma. Subdued herbal hops and a trace metallic twang are secondary. Lacks the intangible melanoidin presence of a prototypical Vienna, but is clean and well rounded, albeit tame, aromawise. In flavor, prevalent in malt backbone is a stately toffee and caramel sweetened light toast impression. Malt sweetness does not become cloying, due to both the functional hopping and ample attenuation. Becomes slightly savory as it warms, with lightly buttery, slightly salty biscuit hints arising. Moderate in body, with a suitably dextrinous, but brisk mouthfeel conducive to easy quaffing. Hop bitterness augments over time, thus drying the overall flavor profile agreeable. Finishes immaculately clean, with a combination of herbal Hallertauer and simple maltose sweetness fleeting quickly. A well crafted, albeit prosaic Vienna. Perhaps it was brewed with domestic malts? Regardless Firebrick is well rounded and superbly drinkable. Thanks to Mr. FMonk for the delivery!

 1,163 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly clouded orange with just a hint of amber and of red. One of the most orange beers that I've seen. The head is small, dark cream to light tan in color and doesn't last all that long. Almost no lace. The nose is primarily toasted caramel malty with a decent amount of spicy hops.

The flavor follows the nose. Still lightly toasted malty, still spicy-earthy hoppy. The finish is short, dry, acidic and modestly metallic. The body is medium-thin (not bad) and the mouthfeel is fizzy (bad).

FireBrick could stand to have a great deal more complexity, but it's still a decent, drinkable Vienna Lager.

 609 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice malt and balance with carbonation. Nice copper head. Drinkable, good example of type as not too sweet. 139-years of brewing experience contributes to quality. Fresh. Session brew.

Hat off to the Minni Minister of beer, feloniousmonk for the sample.

 256 characters

Photo of Tballz420
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a copper colored brew, with a small cream-white head to top it off. The scent is all malts. That is true of the taste too. Completly dominated by malts, hops are very small and tough to notice. The bottle claims its an all malt brew and i would agree. Pretty good beer.

 282 characters

Photo of jwilli7122
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky caramel orange with an all-around average off-white head.

Smells floral, a little bit grainy...not real loud.

Taste is pleasant. medium bodied with decent malt character. a little bit bready but barely. a little spicy hop zing in the back but nothing major. decent.

 285 characters

Photo of cokes
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

24 carats that reflects an orangish sheen. Plenty of white foam on top.
Toasty caramel nose with twiggy hops. Light, but effective.
Begins more malty than I'd haved guessed. Laden with nose-promised toast and caramel. But while in the scents were somewhat faint, the flavor is not. Very caramel, and very (though less) toasty. Just a touch grainy as well. Solidly built. Hopping adds exclaimation marks of grassy, mostly via lightly bitter, dried leaves. While this certainly leans in the malt direction, the hopping is notable on its own.
Medium bodied.
Soild just about sums this up. No "wows" to be had. Well, except in the sense that "wow, I can't believe I just downed 8 of those".
Well done.

 704 characters

Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Listed here as a Marzen/Oktoberfest, but the bottle states it is a Vienna, and which I think better fits the flavor profile. As such, a very good example of the style (which a lot of folks only know from Dos Equis). Sweet malt flavors take center stage, as they should. Some light fruit flavors, which blossomed as the beer warmed up a bit. Drinking this too cold is really missing its personality. Great session candidate. Thanks to tavernjef for a chance to sample this beer.

 477 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark red orange color with two fingers of white head. Smells of citrus, vanilla, and malt. Nice balance of malt and hops, with a moderate amount of carbonation. Finishes very clean. Maybe a little too sweet, however. Tasty and refreshing, a good year-round beer.

 262 characters

Photo of frank4sail
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sweet malty nose with a slight hint of vanilla. Dark peach color to the carbonated look. Decent white head on the pour mellows to a white sheen. Nutty rich malt taste dominates the tongue. Lively carbonation on the tongue followed by some smooth malt and a dry tongue. Solid and well rounded. A malty one...

 307 characters

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a nice looking amber

Smell: fairly plain smelling

Taste:Very sweet to the tongue. Goes down the throat very watered down though. Not much taste left on the palate after drinking. It says "All Malt", but I don't pick up a heavy taste.

Mouthfeel: Not too impressive, but not terrible.

Drinkability: I cannot help but think about drinking Grainbelt Premium and for those of you who have not had one, it is not a good association.

Overall: I wont be stocking my shelves with the stuff!

 514 characters

Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour is a translucent copper color with a minimal head that is semi-creamy in texture and a light tan color as it evaporates, the lace forms a fine sheet upon the glass. Nose is crisp and clean and malt sweet as is the start with the top light to moderate in feel. Finish is austere in its acidity; the hops are pleasant in their spicy presence, desert dry aftertaste and a nice drinking beer that would hit the spot on a hot Arizona afternoon.

 448 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

 870 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Firebrick pours out a clear coppery reddish color with a one finger high head of yellowy puffy loose foam that sits for a good time eventually diminishing to a solid skim on top always present and leaves tons of spotty clear lace and small sheets.

Smell is faint but present of sweetish malts, fresh and crisp, a touch of musty grain and a nice yeasty sweet bread dough quality.

Taste is more of the same with favorable but short sweetness of malts, toasty and breadish, some grainy unevenness when cold but goes away as it warms. It finishes soft and lightly drying with a bit of a yeasty bitter sweet grab that lingers nicely.

Easy and simple with close to medium body in feel with a quick creamy start and gaining some bolder qualities as it reaches the midway point and through to the clean crispy lightly dry finish. Quite a nice little brew, the finish is my favorite, and once it warms a bit is very nice and very drinkable. One of the better Schell's brews IMO.

 978 characters

Photo of BeerAngel
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear copper color with a massive but thin off-white head with a million tiny bubbles racing to join the fluff. The smells of malted earthy grain and very light hops are seeping from the head. The taste repeats with the earthy grain with a lightly sweetened background a very faint hops. This light-bodied brew drinks down very easy with a watery-like characteristic and finishes just barely dry and an astringent taste. Not bad, but not great either. Rather weak in the flavor department, but still goes down nicely in this Texas heat. Thanks to budgood1. Cheers!

 580 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A frothy off-white head holds well over a slightly hazy and deep-amber body with a reddish cast. Some nice lacing adds to the appearance, although it doesn't stick to the glass for very long. The aroma displays a clean, gently sweet and mildly toasted malt that's quite welcoming. The body combines a firm maltiness with a gently crisp carbonation for a smooth and lightly creamy mouthfeel. The flavor delivers the rich Munich/Vienna maltiness that the nose promises; well-balanced by a firm bitterness. It's clean and fresh with the malt dominating the bitterness and just a touch of hop flavor at the tail end. It ends with a surge of sweetish, toasty malt followed by drying bitterness in a long and enjoyable finish. It's not complex; nor is it supposed to be. It's quaffability we're looking for here! Very nicely done and quite enjoyable. This beer appears to contain all of the aspects of a brilliant Vienna-style lager and I'd highly recommend it as a perfect companion to grilled and barbecued foods during the summer season.

 1,034 characters

Photo of Sixpack595
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really liked this one. The copper orange color and decent white head made for a nice appearance. The aroma was fine with malt, hops, and citrus. The taste is very well balanced, the sweetness of the malt held in check by by the light hopping that it finishes with. Medium to light bodies, I found this to be a very drinkable beer. You won't get tired of it.

 359 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is a clear orangey, head is a thick, fluffy white. Aroma is sweet and fresh, with touches of citrus,sea air, and a whiff of caramel, maybe. Palate is smooooth, with a trifly, tumbling texture for the tongue to play over. Very tasty, and sweet, and the malt's really pulling it's weight.
Very rich and satisfying, and not as thin in body like others of a similar style. If I can name names, I'd be happy if this one was the default beer everywhere on earth, like Samuel Adams is. It has a firmer body, and is malty, hoppy, malty, hoppy, a beautiful tango, back and forth, the two keeping pace with one another and surprise and delight the palate.
Again, a great lager. "All malt Vienna Style Lager" What, are they sneaking something else into their other beers? Do I have to keep an eye on those guys in New Ulm?
Nonetheless, Firebrick's a winner.

 857 characters

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured an orange/copper color. Initial smell is primarily malt--the rich malt smell jumps our nicely. The initial taste and mouthfeel are of roasted caramel, the feel of toast/baked bread is left on the palate, very nice indeed. This is a very smooth, easy drinking beer, a great offering from Schell.

Notes. Picked this up as a single, very drinkable brew.

 360 characters

Photo of proc
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

While not a powerhouse, flavor-wise, this is a decent version of a vienna-style lager. It pours out to a reddish-brown in the glass with light aroma of malt. Taste is that of malt with a light caramel and toffee also present. Not as flavorful as Sam Adams offering and not as good as the Great Lakes Brewing version. However, it is a good beer and worthy of drinking on occasion.

 379 characters

Photo of ryanocerus
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

 352 characters

Photo of BeerBuilder
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a very light, refreshing session beer. It has an amber color with an off-white head. There is just a slight maltiness to the aroma and taste. The hop presence was really unnoticable. I find it odd that this beer just took a bronze metal at the GABF for the American-Style Amber Lager when August Schell sells it as a Vienna-Style Lager. I do find that it fits more into the style of American-Style Amber Lager than a Vienna-Style Lager.

 449 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice copper/orange hue with a minimal beige head that recedes to an edging in mere seconds. Lace is negligible. There's some slight maltiness on the nose. Body seems lighter than it should be, mabye medium at best. There are some slight toasted characteristics. Also some slight nutty tones. Hop contributions are minimal. Better than average, but not great.

 365 characters

Schell's FireBrick from August Schell Brewing Company
3.68 out of 5 based on 476 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe