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Barktoberfest - Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

Not Rated.
BarktoberfestBarktoberfest

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

268 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 268
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.39%
Wants: 18
Gots: 51 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierguy5 on 09-26-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 268 | Reviews: 77
Photo of StretchZep
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It is an "okay" example of an Oktoberfest. Not my favorite by any means.

Photo of rangerred
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nearly clear, dark brown with a one finger off-white head. Lacing is really lacking but head retention is better than average.

Aroma is full of sticky sweet caramel, almost candy-like, with some hints of wet grass. Touches of plum in there as well.

The flavor provides the same caramel candy notes but there is more of a roasty character. The hops are pretty muted but provided a bit of bitterness towards the finish. More dark fruit notes and light milk chocolate. Mouthfeel is a little stickier than I like but it works well here.

Overall, a very nice American take on the style and one of the better ones out there.

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into dimpled mug, 2014 release. Pours fairly hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toast, biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and light earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Minimal earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, biscuit, light nuttiness, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice robustness, balance, and complexity of dark/bready malt and light earthy hop flavors; with no cloying sweetness after the finish. Very clean malt flavors with minimal yeast esters present. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Oktoberfest style. All around great robustness, balance, and complexity of clean dark/bready malt and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of biegaman
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Barktoberfest pours with a full-moon for a head, and a lacing that splatters the glass like a wet dog shaking off wet snow. It has a deep amber complexion, a slightly tarnished golden colour that's smeared into flashy coppered overtones. Looks like a filling, hefty lager.

Traditional Märzen (see: Hofbrau Oktoberfest) were stronger but only slightly deeper, more intricate variations from their standard Helles lagers recipes. Most modern craft breweries, especially those in the States, brew a different beer altogether; they are decidedly darker and richer, with a far appreciable toasty nuttiness and even suggestions of caramel.

This approach tends to produce, at least superficially, a more substantial beer. (It's similar to the case to be made between more austere Old World wines and their sweeter, more bombastic New World counterparts.) Thirsty Dog's version is certainly one of those thicker, broader examples - you can tell from the forwardly nougat-y, nutty aroma alone...

And if not that, certainly from the stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth maltiness. The flavour profile is layered - toasted bread crusts, spongy coffee cake, biscuits - and finishes with a fine dusting of maple fudge and a delicious honeyed, nutty note taken right from the Greek pastry playbook (think baklava or kataifi), tempered of course by a fairly heavy-handed hoppiness.

Thirsty Dog Barktoberfest is a howlin' good ale (it's as good as that pun is bad). It's ultra-rich maltiness and all its notions of walnut cake and nutty pastry that accompany it, are irresistible, especially when placed inside such a quaffable, easy-to-chug-back lager frame. After the iconic German brands, this is an obvious one to recommend. In fact, it's a new personal favourite.

Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.48/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Really bright for such a medium copper-dark amber color. Substantial and consistent foam head, mousse top.

S: Grassy and wet hop presence. Roasted bittersweet chocolate

M: Very smooth. Silken. Moderate body. Superfine low-med carbonation. Could be cloying if not for toasted dry finish.

T: Has a sharp acidity, poignant, slightly citric and woodsy. Grassy wheat elements and darker malts. Deep sweetness, bready, very toasty, and rich. I think its a well-attenuated showcase of vienna malts. Sweetness is decidedly like malt-candy

Photo of justintcoons
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance
Light amber with 1 finger of head that fizzles out quickly. Excellent clarity with soda-like carbonation.

Nose
Bread, caramel, toffee, and candy sugar.

Taste
Malty niceness. Bready malts, caramel, candy sugar and a touch of toffee. Light kiss of earthy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, smooth, crisp, and clean.

Overall
A decent Oktoberfest that doesn't necessarily stand out among the crowd.

Photo of bigdeuce
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep copper colored body with a nice two finger head. Light scents of whiskey, and a caramel biscuit. Solid malty goodness hits the palate with just enough hops to balance out the sweetness. Bursts of top notch crispy, caramel goodness. Very drinkable. Medium bodied but a heavy Oktoberfest than most versions today. True to the style. Deep and pretty rich. Great with spare ribs or barbequed anything. Nice and creamy and very smooth. It's a good one.

Photo of tillmac62
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear medium amber pour with a red hue. Very nice head and lacing that lingers. Very slight nose of sweet caramel malt. Light medium body and well carbonated. The flavor profile is laid back, as a marzen should be. It has a very nice balance of caramel malt sweetness and flavor with just a hint of hop bitterness. The carbonation yields a crisp finish identical to the flavor profile. Thirsty Dog is becoming one of my favorite breweries. Another outstanding offering that is true to style.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Orangish pour, no head formation. Light spacious rise of carbonation within an otherwise clean visible clarity. Prefer a bit more head character per style, this was otherwise flat.

S: Sweet caramel syrup, light fresh greenery in a soft delivery.

T: Flavor was again sweet and carmael syrupy, a bit thick and sweet as opposed to cleaner, lighter, german styles. Some flowery hops, a bit of spicy maple syrup, the hops are herbal, a bit more pronouced towards the end of the drink, and with some warming, sticky, resinous character.

M: Mouthful was sticky, syrupy, again a bit thicker then usual, a bit of weight and fullness, with a calming rate of carbonation.

O: Overall the body is a bit more robust then you may want in a typical octoberfest style, this is more of a heavier, robust, slower drinking, less volume version, not the traditional german old world style as its labels claim. Big sweetness and big syrupy body, some nobel hops, but not as pronouced, fairly reserved and could of been fresher. The abv% of 6.0 seems a bit higher then the norm, not unexpected from the heavy handed malt body. Still some toastiness, just a bigger, fuller american version, somewhat tasty by itself. I rated this per my expectations vs an true german style counterpart, some may like a fuller version in much less quantity to which i would say give it a try, not a bad tasting beer, just an offshoot american bastardization.

Photo of McNealc31
4.48/5  rDev +17.6%

The pour is surprisingly cloudy. Roasted malt and a hint of orange in the aroma. Very tasty! Full body, a lot of butterscotch followed by a touch of citrus sweetness. Hops provide a dry and slightly bitter finish.

Really yummy. Immediately one of my favorite Oktoberfests

Photo of CaptainHate
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I bought this as my contribution to a bunch of my buds who get together sporadically to listen to music and drink fine beer. There are over five local places which I frequent to fill up growlers and this at Whole Foods was easily the best value. I'm a big fan of Marzens and this had everything I was looking for. My fellow sots seemed to agree.

Great Lakes brewery has been regarded as the gold standard in local craft brews but Thirsty Dog has come a long way.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep copper color with a white head and a sheet of lacework. Aroma of caramelized malt and buttery toffee. In the flavor, toffee, caramel and a faint hint of butterscotch. Fairly bitter, earthy hops do a fine job of balancing this seasonal lager. Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Overall this is a very good American Oktoberfest.

Photo of DeFaz
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thirsty Dog can be hit or miss, but this one is a "hit" for sure. Some will be opposed to the sweet flavors, but keep in mind that this is a Marzen, and the malt needs to shine over the hops (and it does). What we got is really nice complexity, with bread, fruit and raisin flavors. The alcohol is expertly and dangerously concealed, and the mouthfeel is spot on, with medium carbonation and thickness and an impressively clean finish given the sweetness in the taste. There are a lot of Oktoberfest/Marzen beers out this time of year that don't impress. This is one of those beers that manages to be both well thought out and nicely executed.

Photo of jsisko01
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a dark amber/copper color with a half inch thick head that lingers for a couple minutes. Leaves a very nice lacing.

Smell - Very sweet and malty, with feint hints of caramel and other aromas.

Taste - VERY sweet with caramel and brown sugar being the dominant flavors. It's also very bready. The hops come through stronger in the finish giving it a slightly bitter and floral taste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall - I can honestly say this Oktoberfest is unique compared to all the others I've tried. It's a little too sweet in my opinion, but it's still delicious.

Photo of tastymug
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into 6oz pilsner tasting glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper with minimal head

Smell: Malty, sweet and earthy

Taste: Has a caramel, bready taste

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and creamy, smooth, crisp and carbonated.

Overall: I find this beer very drinkable – I’m preferential to sweet and malty beers and this one definitely hits the mark. Great for sitting around a campfire on a cool fall evening.

Photo of Fitwitchik
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

Auburn colour with thin head. No lacing.

Malty light spicey scent with some sweetness

Taste is exceptional for a marzen. Great flavor!

Goes down with light carbonation and very smooth. A chuggable fall beer.

Overall delicious and will definitely buy again. Wished I had bought more than a single bottle...

Photo of drzig
4.26/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Dark brown - great Marzen color
Smell - Not too strong, sweeter malt
Taste - a little sweet with a great flavor
Mouthfeel - Carbontated with subtle flavors that stand out (sweet malt and caramel)
Overall - Great beer that is easy to drink. Will remind you of Oktoberfest and the fall to come. I am a big fan of Marzens and this is up there toward the top.

Photo of wvsabbath
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark brown/tan with foamy 1 inch head and lots of lacing.

Smell - Caramel malts, brown sugars, molasses, some malty pale malt like funk. Nut, roasty, and bready.

Taste - Very sweet and malty, with a light hop bite. Very caramely with lots of brown sugars and mollasses. A smoked, nutty flavor also stands out at the finish.

MOuthfeel - The sweetness hits tounge and palate and coats it with brown sugars. The caramel nutty malts stand out also. The finish is sweet and smokey.

OVerall - One of the sweetest octoberfests ive ever had. Its easy to drink but i dont think id want to many of these. Its a little out of balance with the high sweet flavors, the fruits and spices get buried rather easy. Its worth a try but not a great example for what a marzen can be.

Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear orange amber color, small white puffy head.

S- Good smell. Sweet malt, caramel, bread.

T- Definitely sweet, almost cloyingly so. Caramelly, bready, with almost a brown sugary note.

M- almost sugary, but full, well carbonated

Overall- Nearly an interesting spin on the Marzen . The sweetness is almost a little overwhelming, but seems to be okay.

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.7/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looks and smells precisely like Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest. Body is a bit light, but I cant knock it. Light orange with good carbonation and a lager head. The smell has loads of light grain with a good addition of caramel, but not too much. Spicy earthiness comes to mind, like ginger and nutmeg, but there's none in this beer. Great Lakes smells the same way.

Wow the taste is amazing. The balance of the slick sweetness and grainy earthiness is just amazing. Earthy grain really dominates, but what would be an awful aftertaste is cut off by a slick sweet caramel. I love it.

Feels light for the style, which is a great thing. I love how the grain and earthiness come on strong then fade into nothing behind waves and waves of sweet caramel malt.

Wow, Great Lakes lost a head to head lager battle. This is a first for me.

Photo of BB1313
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear dark amber, nice fluffy white head which eventually fades, but leaves nice lacing and retention. Aromas are nice, but somewhat faint. I'm picking up a ton of malts, lots of caramel. The flavors are spot on. Not mind blowing, but very good for the style. There's a nice breadiness from the malts and grains. More caramel, which comes through more in the flavors than it does in the nose. The caramel gives this one a nice sweetness. I'm also picking up a hint of fig and butterscotch. This isn't really bitter or spicy. There's a subtle touch of cocoa. There's a touch of hops. Alcohol goes completely unnoticed. Mouthfeel is great. Extremely light and smooth. Very creamy. Perfect amount of carbonation. This is very easy drinking marzen.

This is an Oktoberfest beer that I look forward to each fall. Nice example of the style. It's similar to Great Lakes Oktoberfest, but somewhat lacks the complexity. This is worth checking out if you come across it.

Photo of SLeffler27
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours burnished copper and translucent with a slight, creamy, off-white head that quickly dissipates.

Predominantly grainy with caramel malts, some hay and honey-sweet tea. With warmth some orange comes out too.

Sweet, malty with light wheat bread flavors. Warmth brings out some hops and a mild lingering bitterness. There is also some caramelized sugar.

Oily with a medium body and ample carbonation, but not palate-cleansing. Alcohol is barely perceptible.

An everyday autumn beer to sit back and enjoy with friends and bratwurst.

Photo of B967ierhunter177
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a bold, clear amber with a thin head and lace that lasts. The aroma is of roasted malt, caramel, and bread crust. The flavor is complex with nuts, roasted malt, and toffee notes with a hint of honey in the background. The mouthfeel is medium and smooth. Thirsty Dog Barktoberfest is a very good brew, very drinkable and a good example of the style. Highly recommended.

Photo of asabreed
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith 12 oz. nonic.

Appearance: A mildly copper color with some peach in there also, depending on the light, an off-white clinging to the top of the glass, some nice raindrop retention left behind.

Smell: A huge, unsurprising sense of malt, caramel, maple syrup, and mild chocolate, with very little hops to be found in the aroma, yet it maintains a nice balance, and it's certainly complex and varied in what's coming from the glass. And as it warms, some orange marmalade aromas creep in also.

Taste: Definitely more malty than anything, but unlike many of the style I've had lately, there's an emphasis on balance and complexity, and boldness also, as this seems like it could be a candidate for a pretty wild imperial version from Thirsty Dog. This is the beer you want to drink while it's raining and your watching the leaves fall in late September. An opening sense of caramel is pretty huge, followed by lingering, though not overbearing, maple syrup, along with some orange candy or marmalade or jam-type of flavors, and finishing with some chocolate. All of those flavors combine nicely, and though the hops aren't extremely assertive, they do enough to not make this too sweet, and probably linger in with the more fruit-like malt flavors floating around.

Mouthfeel: There's definitely deception from the color of the brew, as this is more medium-bodied, and one, tasting, I would expect to be much darker, but alas. Medium-bodied it is, and there's a nice sense of creamy carbonation. This is a deceptive sipper for all its attributes.

Drinkability: On point with GLBC as one of my favorite micro domestics. Tons of flavor for a deceptively lighter-colored brew, and a lot going on. Only picked up one bottle to sample, but I'll definitely be getting more if I can find it. A nice surprise here overall, and one I enjoyed every second of.

Photo of beveritt
2.68/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a shaker pint glass. Label depicts an array of dogs, howling in a pumpkin patch with silhouettes of scary towers in the background. No clear freshness date.

Appearance: First off, there is a TON of visible sediment swirling around the bottom as I look at the label; that doesn't bode well for a supposedly aged lager. Pours with half a finger of light tan head that has the big bubble look of force carbonation. This falls away quickly, leaving just a few swirling islands of foam and no lacing. The beer itself is medium orange and clear (mainly because I left an ounce or so in the bottle).

Smell: A tart mix of sweet malt, herbaceous off aroma and a distinct metallic twang.

Taste: Strong, sweet caramel malt with hints of toffee. And that's about it. Just sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation. Body is good.

Drinkability: I love malt bombs and am a sucker for bocks, porters, stouts and usually Oktoberfests; but this one is just a sweet mess. Pass.

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Barktoberfest from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 268 ratings.