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especially the Canadian kind...

Brewery List

Brick Brewing Company

 

The Brick Brewing Company Limited ("Brick") was established in 1984, and produces, markets and distributes premium beer under the Waterloo brand name, and value beer under the Laker, Red Cap, Formosa and Red Baron brands. It also produces various beer products under the PC® trademark on behalf of Loblaws. The Brick's products are sold primarily in Ontario through The Beer Store, the LCBO and the Brick's own retail store. Its brewing facilities are located in Waterloo and Formosa, Ontario.

On this occasion we sampled Brick's new seasonal beer, Waterloo Premium Whiskey Amber ("WPMA"), in a 473 ml can purchased from the LCBO. The date code on the can read H19112 which I'm assuming translates into a production date of August 19, 2011. WPWA was 6.8% alcohol by volume.

WPMA poured a slightly hazy golden/amber colour, with about 1.5" of short lived head that dissipated into a foamy collar and film, leaving some minor spotting and lacing down the glass. Its aroma was primarily of caramel malts and whiskey, with a moderate hop presence...quite sweet on balance. The flavour began with toasted caramel malts and sweet whiskey, and just when the combination of the two threatened to become overly sweet, a mild hop bitterness kicks in to restore a good balance. WPMA finishes with a slightly bitter aftertaste, but nothing so strong or long lived as to be unpleasant. The beer is medium bodied and has just enough carbonation to give it a crisp mouthfeel. In summary, a good effort from Brick Brewing in our first sampling of one of its products. Looking forward to trying some of their other beers, though I suspect that this was the cream of the crop.

Rating 7.92/10.0

For our second beer by Brick Brewing, we selected Waterloo Dark Premium Lager ("Dark") in a 473 ml can from the LCBO. The bottom rim of the can shows a production date of December 6, 2011 and Dark is 5.0% alcohol by volume. One oddity...the can says to visit waterloodark.ca for customer enquiries, but that address doesn't seem to exist.

An aggressive pour produced 1/2" of fizzy tan coloured head that burnt itself out within 1 minute, leaving a tiny collar of foam around the glass and no spotting or lacing. The beer's colour was dark brown, revealing ruby highlights when backlit. Dark's aroma was quite mild, with dark, sweets malts and molasses dominating the brew. Its taste essentially followed the aroma...sweet, dark malts and molasses with just a hint of hop bitterness at the finish. I found this beer to be surprisingly light bodied and refreshing for a dark beer...if you prefer dark beers to light this would make a nice summer beer for you. Mouthfeel was a bit on the thin side, but consistent with what I think Brick was trying to accomplish with this brew, and the beer had a suitable level of carbonation. At $2.25 per can Dark is reasonably priced, and I would buy this over a macro brew every time. Its relatively poor head retention cost it a few points in our rating though.

Rating 7.25/10.0

Saturday Samplings at the Brick

Though not a brewery tour, the Brick Brewing Co. Limited offers regular Saturday afternoon tasting sessions in its Red Baron Lounge. The Red Baron Lounge is located right on the brewery premises at 181 King Street South in Waterloo, Ontario.

Tastings start at noon every Saturday and go until 3:00 p.m. To join in, just walk into the Retail Store at the back of the building and ask for details. The Brewery advises that you try to arrive early, as the room has a tendency to fill to capacity quickly! $5 gets you decent size samples of 6 different Brick Beers. During Bucky's visit these included their Red Cap Ale, Amber Ale, Waterloo Dark, Red Baron Lime, Traditional IPA, and Red Baron Blonde Lager. My personal favourite was the Amber Ale, and I enjoyed all of the samples with the exception of the Red Baron Lime..this one tasted too much like the Shandies my grandmother used to drink, which were essentially 50% lager and 50% 7Up. Way too sweet for me, but lime beers are all the rage at the moment. Feel free to share with your beertender what you liked about the beers, and even what you didn't like...and you always have the option of picking up some of your favourites in the Retail Store on your way out. Overall, this is a decent way to spend a couple of hours with friends on a Saturday afternoon.

 A couple of hints from Bucky though, to maximize your enjoyment of the experience:

  1. Sit as far away from the Men's Room as possible. This is situated too close to the actual bar, and few things can spoil the flavour and aroma of beer like a fellow bar patron "dropping a deuce" in the Men's Room and then leaving the door open to share the aftermath with anyone sitting inside a 10 metre radius. To this individual (aka "the Poopetrator") Bucky says "more fibre in your diet buddy...and less chili."
  2. Do not sit too close to the bar itself, since the volume of traffic is high, and as a corollary to point #1, few things spoil the flavour and aroma of a good beer like a bar patron who stinks of stale cigarette smoke.

With these two points in mind, learn from Bucky's experience and enjoy your visit!

 
Beer Name Rating
Waterloo Premium Whiskey Amber 7.92
Waterloo Dark Premium Lager 7.25

 

 

 

 

 

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