Schell's FireBrick | August Schell Brewing Company

231 Reviews
Schell's FireBrickSchell's FireBrick

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

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

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Reviews: 231 | Ratings: 478
Photo of jimmah120
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look is a dark red-amber color. Smell is roasted malts, with a hint of sweet stout-like malts. Taste is very beer-y. A lot of roasted grain notes, semi-harsh malts, hint of earthy hops. Feel is crisp and clean.

Didn't enjoy it the first time I tried it, this time though, it was very enjoyable.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark caramel, translucent. Nice off-white head.

Aroma: Average lager smell. Not getting much in the nose.

Taste: Pretty malty for how light it feels. Little bit of caramel right at the beginning but that quickly fades and is replaced with a skunky flavor. There is a slight bitterness in the aftertaste. Decently clean tasting.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation asserts itself on your tongue immediately, sort of waking up the palate. It's not quite refreshing, but there's nothing too bad to say about it.

Final Thoughts: The best thing about this beer was the lovely coloring it had in the glass. However, if you are looking for a more flavorful alternative to a macro lager for drinking on your porch as the sun sets, this beer would do the trick. It's nothing complex, but that makes for an easy drinking experience. Also a good transition beer for someone interested in craft beer but afraid of some of the darker or hoppier beers out there.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
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 TCMike
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Produce a nice white head, which lasted awhile. The beer color is an amber.
The aroma is of roasted malts, slight brown sugar, and biscuit.
The taste is the same with a slight hop presence.
Easy drinking. medium mouth-feel, and medium carbonation. Yum!

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Photo of DK_CPA
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured in glass similar to the picture used on schell's website.

A - Amber/tannish red. This is an amber lager after all so it gets a 4.0 for appearance

S - I can't smell great but its better than an average beer. Gives off a nice sweet sensation.

T - I can only say the taste is average. Almost a lack of a taste.

Assessment - This beer was once a snowstorm winter beer that august schell decided to make available all year round. I personally wouldn't sit and savor the beer, but could definitely throw a couple down in a short amount of time.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A darker copper and brown color, mild head, some lace. A mild aroma of very little, if you look for it, you can probably say you smell caramel, yeast, hops etc. . . but there really ain't much there.

Taste, parts of a red ale, more caramel, toffee, but its all pretty mild and nuanced, I could picture some old timers drinking this and wishing for something more bland, but saying it has some promise.

Very similar to SA Boston Lager. I get it if you're drinking this, you're not looking for massivity and complexity, and this beer delivers in that regard. There are no off flavors, its just a middle of the road beer with mild smooth malt additions, minimal hops and mild yeast.

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Photo of PorterPig
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A: garnet tinged amber, fine ivory head quickly dissipates

S: malt, sweetness, slightest hint of berries

T: bright malt character, biscuit, restrained hop bitterness. Clean finish.

M: on the light side, bordering on thin

Drinkable and pleasant.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This was a 22-oz pour. Was coppery brown, clear, with an inch of light foam that receded leaving no lacing. Smell is lightly toasted malt and a light sweetness. Taste is very malty, caramel, biscuit, slightly sweet, nutty, enough balance to keep the finish relatively clean. Too low carbonation, maybe a function of the tap.. 22 oz was too much, its better from a bottle.

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Photo of hardy008
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear dark amber color with a two finger off white foamy head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has sweet caramel malt, toasted bread, and hops. Very nice as always.

The taste has sweet caramel malt, toasted bread, and hops to provide bitterness for balance. If more lagers tasted like this, I would drink more lagers for sure.

Medium bodied with modest carbonation and a light sweet aftertaste. I could easily drink this beer all the time, and do have it pretty often. I was surprised to find out I had not reviewed this beer in a bottle yet. I thought this was as good a time as any to do so.

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Photo of OleJohnnieAle
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - Pours a dark amber color with about an finger of white foam and moderate carbonation. Left minimal lacing.

s - Very sweet for as dark as it looks. Nice malty aromoa.

t - Nice strong sweet malts as the aroma would suggest. Slight bit of toasted malts finish off/

m - Light to medium body with little carbonation. Pretty smooth and easy to drink.

O - Pretty good beer to come ou of a sampler pack. Not just a winter beer, I would enjoy this in the summer as well. Good sweet tasting but nice roasted flavor to balance out.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Infamous7100
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours deep nice looking amber. Clear with tinge of gold to it.
S: biscuity, malty. There is some honey as well. Interesting.
T: follows the nose at the front. Malty, bready and some sweet notes. This fades to slightly hoppy and bitter finish.
M: thicker than expected with medium carbonation. Slighty creamy maybe. It finishes crisp and dry.
O: nice beer. Simple, well rounded and flavorful. Easily could have a few of these.

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

Poured into Pilsner Glass

Appearance - Has a deep amber/red color, Small amount of carbonation present that stays around consistently; Finger length head that disappears fairly quick.

Smell - Has a distinct honey and toffee smell with a bready aroma to it

Taste - Sweet Honey/Toffee taste that turns into a bitter hoppy after taste

Mouthfeel - Little more carbonation then I'd like, but it's got a very crisp/fresh feel to it. Body is on the thicker side

Overall - I enjoyed it, it's one of those beers you could either sit down and drink or chug down after working outside on a hot summer day.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra from France 44. Thanks folks!

Best by stamped on bottle, Dec 5, 2011.

It pours a brownish amber with a 2 finger head of foam and leaves some lacing.

It smells kind of purfumey with notes of sweet malt and a flowery sort of bitterness.

The taste is nice. There are some good malty sweet notes with a hint of chococlate, some roast and grain, and a mild non descript bitterness.

On the low end of medium bodied with fairly light carbonation, the mouthfeel is decent and it's easy to drink. Not a bad little brew.

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Photo of jsisko01
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Says it's the 2010 Anniversary on the bottle. Date on the bottle says 4-16-11, so I'm not sure if this is the born-on date or expiration. Today is 9-30-11.

Appearance - Pours a very deep amber color, with a very small head.

Smell - Has a sweet, somewhat of a roasted nut character.

Taste - Roasted nut, malty, a small hint of honey and caramel, and some other spices probably. Has a mild bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with quite a bit of carbonation. It makes me burp a lot.

Overall - It's not a bad beer but not really my style.

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Photo of pBRale
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From tasting notes 9-17-11
Poured into a snifter

Appearance: Beautiful clear deep amber in color with a very tall pale tan head that settles moderately slowly to a dense (but thin) creamy head that leaves moderate lacing behind.

Smell: Some nice toasty malt smells along with some supporting hoppy and earthy aromas. Pleasing.

Taste: Bready malts followed by a nice hoppy bitterness and a fairly bitter finish. A hint of some sort of a stronger, earthy taste at the end as well.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light bodied with low to medium carbonation. The bitter finish is crisp and drying.

Overall: A very drinkable beer that is decent overall and could pair well with a variety of foods.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.79/5  rDev +3%
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 NWer
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.
Bronze red, clear. Minimal head, no lace.
Classified a Vienna Lager. I assumed it to be an American Red.
Balanced to the malt side, it is a good drinker.
Slightly cloying on the aftertaste knocks the mouthfeel down a peg. Overall, a good beer worthy of the style.

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Photo of DaCheesehead
2.83/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle: Aroma is sweet grainy malt, hay, toasted, very light malt backing poking through with a grassy note but way in the background. Appearance is a clear amber with a thick off white head that diminishes after a few minutes. Taste is nicely malty, slightly metallic, and a lot mellower than the aroma. Aftertaste has the more of the roasted, toasted an caramel note of the malts. OVerall, Decent to Average. Cheers!

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

Acquired via trade from cpolking so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light coppery brown color, with a short but dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains lager yeast, honey, caramelized malts, some fruit and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of caramel & honey followed by bready flavors of lager yeast and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, it’s a decent beer but there are others in the style that I would pick first.

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

Amber-bronze color with fairly nice clarity. One finger of cream colored head that quickly dissipated into a thin skim of bubbles, no lacing left behind.

Smells of lightly toasted bread with a light hop presence that leans hard into the Noble hop spectrum of gentle floral spice. Taste is much of the same but more malt forward. I can't find the citric elements that other BAs have talked about, but that's OK by me because I didn't want to experience them in this beer anyway. Unexpectedly dry malts for a Vienna lager. BUT....plenty of them, and I can tell they were careful in choosing the malts that they did so that they wouldn't clash with each other.

Extremely CLEAN finish with body on the thin side of medium heaviness. This beer hardly has any aftertaste at all...almost all of the flavor is carried exclusively inside the duration of the sip.

Easily sessionable.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Clear amber orange with a huge three and a half finger off white head with very good retention and lacing.

Smell: Strong toasted malty aroma with a decent amount of hops that smell like the Hallertau variety. Has a bready Pils like aroma.

Taste: Very malty and bready with sweet caramel and toffee malts followed by a decent amount of bitterness from earthy hops. Very good balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Very creamy and smooth.

Overall: A very solid lager from Schell's. Easy drinking and flavorful.

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Photo of GeezLynn
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Body is dark shade of bronze and accompanied by a substantial eggshell white head. Good retention.

S: Grainy adjuncts, lager yeast, and a bready/nutty maltyness.

T: Nice subtle sweetness, caramel and bready malt flavors, and a light noble hop bitterness on the finish.

M: Smooth, with a full body for style. Carbonation is medium to high, but well contained and not harsh.

Overall, a beer that is simple and easy drinking, yet flavorful. Would be nice to see a few more versions of this style done this well.

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Photo of youngleo
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured down the center of the glass that resulted in a big head. Head was offwhite in color. No lacing going on. Beer itself was cola colored. Light smelling. Just a slight sweet smell,light malt, and biscuits. Tasted light also. Had a slightly bitter aftertaste. Also notes of caramel and hops. I thought the carbonation was good. Felt good in the mouth. I enjoyed this beer. I think it would be a good session beer.

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Photo of burnheartsMKE
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a party beer. I could see this in the hands of a couple cool kids rocking-up to a house party with their own “good” beers.

Golden head with a nice top.

Cheap hop with a slight sun-struck skunk on the nose with a toasted slice of bread lingering in the background.
Carmel corn flavor gives way to a familiar metallic taste; retro beers. In my mouth it reminds me of a pimped-up Schlitz; cozy, unpretentious and just easy to to drink.

Not something to search for, but not to be turned away either.

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Photo of lwillitz
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle into Samuel Smith "Tulip" pint glass

A - 2 fingers of creamy off-white head over a transparent amber/orange body; moderate bubbles of carbonation rising

S - clean malty smell; grain; floral hops

T - toasted malts are the main feature here; malty and grainy; caramel; hint of flowery hops throughout leading into a crisp hoppy finish

M - medium carbonation; thick and creamy

O - Firebrick is an excellent lager. Great malt flavor, pleasant hoppy finish, and very refreshing. Certainly worth a try.

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Schell's FireBrick from August Schell Brewing Company
3.68 out of 5 based on 478 ratings.
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