Barktoberfest - Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

268 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 268
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.39%
Wants: 19
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
Reviews by kkipple:
Photo of kkipple
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Short review for a short beer.

Pretty copper. Still. Nothing-head. Smells of toasty unidentifiable malts... maybe German, maybe not... almost a pumpkin note, buttery toasty-bread sweetgrain here, very small amount of bittering hop... taste follows... an easy, no-frills no surprises Ofest. Finish is lingering toasty malt (good), a little dry bitters and a hint of red apple esters. Mouthfeel is dry-crisp-fizzy and fine, is actually a lot drier than expected... interesting. Finish is much more fruity than it "should" be and reminds me, bizarrely, of Lost Abbey Lost & Found. Drinks okay. Would drink if this were local, but it's not German and seems like it uses an odd yeast. Worth a shot if you like the style.

More User Reviews:
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 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 oberon
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pokal a deep bronze with a half finger white head,the color was quite deep for the style.Aromas of caramel,sweet dough,and light splash of herbal/spicy hop,pretty standard palate with caramel and toasted grain the main components,light herb in the finish.Not a bad O-fest lager but pretty mainstream compared to alot of better ones out there.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
2.8/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter.

A - 1-finger off-white/ecru foamy head that becomes a thin film of lace across the surface rather quickly. Sunset orange and clear.

S - Lightly toasted malt with hints of caramel, lemon/lime citrus, and sour apple.

T - Malt, biscuit, honey and brown sugar, a little spiciness like a touch of cinnamon, bittering hops on the finish that linger and dominate the impression. I'd like to see more of the flavors and less of the bittering.

M - Smooth but fizzy. Reasonable carbonation. Decent body to start, but it gives up rather quickly. Consistently gets thinner from start to finish, ending with the hops cleaning off the palate.

D - Drier than expected for a Marzen style, and a bit hoppier on the finish, too. Wish it had more body. While there are better examples of this style, I could see enjoying a few pints of this if it were found on tap and not up against other craft Oktoberfests.

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

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Thick head on top of a crystal clear copper colored brew. Grassy, caramel and fresh herbs in the nose, very clean. Deep smoothness within a solid medium sized body. A whole lot of malt going on here; from bready to dried grass, hint of biscuit and a kiss of caramel ... all which meld well together. Nice uniform bite of hop bitterness is there to balance with some complimenting flavor in the semi-dry malty finish.

Spot on for style, very drinkable with a ton of malt flavor on the palate.

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

Pours a crystal clear copper amber hue with a bright off white head, forms thick lacing around the glass as it dwindles. Aroma caramel malts, earthy/spicy hops will imbibe and report back sensations. A spicy hop background upfront caramel malts/nutty tones as well, this is solid maybe a touch of diacetyl (butter). Have no fear it doesn't hurt the flavor profile it's not offensive for me, but I'm not sensitive to that flavor. Only offense for me is overall sweetness it hits the super malty profile without hitting me with enough herbal spicy qualities to balance things out. Mouthfeel is creamy assertively carbonated, not thin not heavy or cloying. Drinkability overall is alright a bottle wasn't bad but this style is meant to be drank by the liter and this version doesn't justify that portion size.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thirsty Dog- Oktoberfest

On tap at Isaac Newton's- Newtown, PA

A- Light clear orange with a small light lacing head.
S- Caramel/ grain malt. Light peppery hop aroma as well.
T- Light and sweet caramel malt dominates with a touch of peppery hop in the end.
M- Slightly watery and sweet. Mild dryness in the end.

Overall- An easy pint to throw back here. Flavorful but a bit light around the edges. A novice Marzen.

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 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 tempest
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Abe's Cold Beer. I wasn't sure what to expect, but this turned out to be a very tasty lager. It was a little too toasty for the style (though I won't short it for that) with smooth mellow bread and hint of caramel. The only knock is a mild touch of diacetyl in the aroma. Still, I'd be happy to have a stein full of this Oktoberfest any time.

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.

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Clear copper body and a head that goes from 2 inches to a thin film of foam in a minutes time. Lacing is fine for the lack of head. Smells a bit grassy with some bready caramel malt. Taste of biscuit, caramel, grassy hops, and an appropriate amount of bitterness in the finish.

Really great example of the style. I wish great craft lagers like this were a more common sight.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber in color, with a small, frothy head. Doesn't stick around long, no lacing.

Smell is pleasant, with a lot of roasted malts, and caramel and sweetness.

Theres a bit of a hop bitterness at first, followed by caramel, malts, and a bit of breadyness.

Feel is velvety, slightly crisp, not too much on the carbonation, and upper-light in body.

Solid, drinkable festbier!

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 mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A holdover from the fall if you will, it has been sitting in the back of the fridge and as I have promised my wife I would clean all this out, I am almost done, down to 15 in the kitchen I think, it is a small miracle for sure. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/20/2010.

Nice dark amber in color as I pour it into the glass. Orange highlights are all over this one as the clarity lets you see the copious amounts of carbonation still coming up to the surface here. A very classic look for fall as it starts to take on a pumpkin color itself with a small white cap of foam that quickly dissipates but leaves a nice touch of lacing in its wake.

Aroma is caramel malts all the way. Light tones of candied sugar, a touch of light spice as well. Really interesting but again as it warms it starts to lose a touch of its luster. Warming caramel and malted grains are all over the profile from the first sip. Nice balance here as there are touches of bittering hops that add a decent amount to it. Clean and crisp flavor, though a little slick work here and the overall profile is that of a classic marzen with a nice hoppy twist. Caramel and bready flavors linger on the tongue longest, but there is a touch of some light hops that due slice through.

Overall a solid example of the style. Not the best ever but very, very serviceable. I would have no issue at all with trying this one again any day, simply very drinkable.

Photo of Bierguy5
2.86/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an amber/copper clear liquid with a white foamy head. The head disappeared rather quickly leaving some lace on the glass. Immediately I noticed a fruity smell. Should this be possible in an Oktoberfest lager? Taste is rather carmely followed by a fruitiness. Very little hop flavor or bitterness. Medium body and low carbonation. Overall, I am not sure about the fruitiness in this beer. It is not bad, but does not seem to fit the style. It also seems to cut back on the drinkability. Overall, not bad, but does not seem to fit. There are several others rthat are better.

Photo of Amalak
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had out of a 12 ounce bottle.

A. Nice orangish/brown color, opaqueish, with a thick head a white lacing.

S. Bitter kind of pilsner scent.

T. Sensational. Burst of hop and followed by citrus. So flavorful. Leafy. Perfect oktoberfest.

On a separate note, the Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. has a VERY similar label to the Great Lakes Brewing Co. Not sure if they are affiliated, but I thought this was a GLBC beer when I got it.

Photo of Brent
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A straightforward interpretation of the style. Caramel malt-forward, some moderate grain notes. Finish was a rather pungent quinine bitterness that was out of place in the style. I've noted others complaining of butterscotch notes, but my bottles have none, so perhaps a bit of quality control at the brewery? The label art with the dogs howling at the moon was an amusing touch.

Photo of mountdew1
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an apple juice type color with no head to speak of. There was also no carbonation at all rising. Aroma was malty, slightly sour, with trace hints of wheat/grains. Taste was mellow, started off malty and grainy, just like it smelled, but not in a bad way. A bit of bitterness formed after lingering in the mouth. It felt good in the mouth, there was carbonation on the toungue despite none being evident in the beer, and it coated well. Good to drink, it was well balanced a fairly solid oktoberfest.

Photo of Axic10
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a semi clear copper with a half finger of foam that settles down quickly.

Smell: Bready, biscuity malt, caramel. Very sweet smelling, but not overpowering.

Taste: The taste falls completely flat after the nose on this. Malty heavy, but it has a really earthy after taste which isn't horrible, but it doesn't work well here.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied

Drinkability: I'm torn on this beer, it smells really good but falls short on the taste. I have another bottle to try but I'm not sure if I'd get again or not.

Photo of StoutHunter
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of Thirsty Dog's Barktoberfest last week for $1.79 at The Lager Mill. A friend of mine let me try a sip of this when we were playing disc golf last month and I thought it was pretty good so I bought a bottle so I could sit down and review it, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- This beer has a pretty good looking label, I like the Halloween theme. It poured a nice copper/orange color with one fingers worth of white head that quickly died down to a very thin ring that stayed till the end.

S- The aroma of this beer is pretty subtle. There is a nice malty aroma that is slightly toasted and has a medium amount of sweetness. I also pick up a little bit of nuttiness and no hops whatsoever.

T- There is more going on with the flavor then the aroma would lead you to believe. It starts off with some some nice lightly toasted malts that have a nice grainy flavor to them and have a light amount of sweetness. A little more toasted malts come out in the middle along with some of that nice nuttiness that I got in the aroma. The finish is really smooth with no hops or bitterness to be found and it had a nice subtle toasty nuttiness aftertaste.

M- Super smooth, on the light side of being medium bodied and a light amount of carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a damn good American version of a Marzen. This beer was all about the malts and had just the right amount of toast to it along with a nice nutty flavor. This beer was really drinkable, just how it should be, I would have no problem polishing off a six pack of this on a nice fall night, one of the most drinkable Marzens I have ever had, this beer doesn't last long in my glass. What I liked most about this beer was the flavor and the drinkability, it was all about the malts and they imparted a really good flavor that made me keep wanting to take another drink. What I liked least about this beer was the aroma and the carbonation, the aroma was a little weak and wasn't too interesting, and the carbonation would have better suited this beer if it was bumped up to medium. I am kinda bummed that I found out about this beer at the end of the Oktoberfest season, had I known about this beer earlier it would have been in my fridge for all of September and October, I will make sure not to forget about this beer next year. I highly recommend trying this beer when looking for a good Marzen, it's a great American version of what a Marzen is all about. This beer is up there with their Tripel as one of my favorite beer from Thirsty Dog, I have only tried three of their beers but so far I have been happy with every single one of them so there's no doubt that I will be trying more of their beers. Thirsty Dog did a great job at making a sessionable and tasty Marzen that I find to be better then Samuel Adams Oktoberfest, it takes a lot to knock that beer out of the top of my favorite Oktoberfests but this beer brought the heat and I enjoyed drinking every drop of it, this is my new favorite Marzen.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Typical Oktoberfest you get a dark amber brown with a nice inch of creamy white colored head.

S - Smells very malt forward which I enjoy. Notes of bread and caramel are followed by toffee and small hints of Rum Raisin bread.

T - Damn this is tasty, much bigger than most I have sampled that seems to have Dopplebock tones to it an almost "rum soaked raisin bread" tone. Very hoppy and sweet malts make this one very balanced, caramel and toffee flavors abundant.

M - Medium bodied it does drink kind of heavy for a late summer eve.

Overall I welcome the style and they did a very good job representing it. If I could get it cheaper than 3 dollars a bottle (18 dollar sixer) I could enjoy it more. Damn Thirsty Dog is pricey here.

Photo of CHickman
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear dark amber in color with a foamy 2 finger beige head that lasted a while; OK lacing that slides down the glass fast.

Smells of syrup, sweet malt, caramel, herbs and light brown sugar; slight whiff of spices in the nose, which could be from the hops.

Tastes of syrup, sweet malt, caramel, herbs, light brown sugar, light citrus hops, molasses, toasted grains and cinnamon or light spices like pepper, allspice and/or yeast, and brown sugar; sweet overall with hints of brown sugar and nutmeg.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with a light, crisp body and an almost watery feel. Quite drinkable and easy to put down; a very good Octoberfest that is sweeter than most, but to me was a good aspect of this beer.

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