Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Barktoberfest | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

very good
84 Reviews
For Trade:

Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States | website

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierguy5 on 09-26-2004

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 301
Photo of Brutaltruth
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This nice fest pours a bright and clear orange color with a modest head of off white foam that settles to a thin ring, light layer, and light lacing. Nose of malt, malt, caramel malt, more malt, light bread, and light lager yeast. Flavors surpass the rather malt driven nose with caramel malts dancing about a light bread flavor on the middle and a subtle crisp hop snap on the back. Excellent mouth feel that cuts through the sweetness to keep it lively and in step with the hops. Balanced and delicious. Excellent for the style. A must for Oktoberfest. A pleasant surprise from a great brewer.


 655 characters

Photo of jkrich
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from an undated 12 oz. bottle: bright, deep-golden to copper hue with a foamy and sustained off-white head.

Very strong malt presence in the aroma; also very fresh

This is a very substantial Oktoberfest - the flavor is a complex malty and chewy profile with some teasing hops to keep it from becoming cloying.

Medium bodied with a sweet and clean mouthfeel, the carbonation kept each sip zesty.

Possibly my last Oktoberfest for the season, and a fine one too. The most complex yet quaffable Oktoberfest I enjoyed this year.

 537 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear deep copper in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and faint amber highlights. The beer has a three finger tall foamy beige head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thin film surrounded by a very thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted and bready malts with a light to moderate amount of earthy hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted and bready malts with minimal amounts of toffee sweetness. That is followed by a moderate flavor of earthy hops which imparts minimal amounts of bitterness which fades away almost instantly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink as this one is very well balanced with malt and hops flavors/aromas without either really dominating the overall sweetness/bitterness. Enjoyable.

 1,006 characters

Photo of SaltofOH
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle, no date. Threshold beer glass. Please Thirsty Dog, date your bottles.

S: smells generally lager-y; not really as much of the heavy Munich/pils malt that I would expect; not much noble hop either. Munich malt and noble hops come out a bit more as it warms, but never quite as pronounced as say, Paulaner or Great Lakes.

A: pours a bold, slightly hazy amber-orange, with 1 finger off-white head; retains a moderate skim; lacing is fair. Very actively carbonated. This is the second Thirsty Dog lager I've had lately that's hazy. They've both been great, but it's a little weird, frankly.

T: Drier arrival than I'd expect from an American-style Oktoberfest; turns to a more traditional caramel maltiness across the middle, then sets into full-on malt assault, but it's not nearly as malty as Great Lakes or Sam Adams Oktoberfests. The bare caramel malt swiftly transitions to that sweet Munich malt flavor with a hint of sourness right before turning in to a dry, clean bitterness with lingering caramel and noble hop notes. Finish is fairly short, and leaves the palate clean and refreshed.

M: For as carbonated as it appears, it does not show on the palate. Really perfect carbonation for the heavier style keeps it feeling light and refreshing on the palate. I'd say solidly mid-weight, with a touch of slickness that the hops rein in right at the end.

O: This is really interesting; it has the caramel color and flavor that you'd expect from American-style Oktoberfest beers, but manages to not get sweet or cloying in the least. In fact, dare I say this is as refreshing as the Sierra Nevada 2015 Oktoberfest, but with more toasty caramel and slightly less sweetness. Definitely six-pack worthy.

 1,722 characters

Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is crystal clear light copper in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of toasted malts are present in the nose along with some hints of earthiness.
T: The taste follows the smell, having flavors of toasted malts and some slight hints of toffee. No bitterness is perceptible, but there are enough underlying hops to mask malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a good American representation of a German Oktoberfest style. While rather malty, it's still quite drinkable because the body isn't that heavy.

Serving type: bottle

 809 characters

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours transparent amber in color.

The nose is sweet, malty, and to put it simply- delicious.

Flavor definitely has a caramel malt backbone, followed by something hoppy and then buscuity. Very clean, crisp finish for this style. Absolutely perfectly carbonated (at least my bottle was).

Great octoberfest, try it while you can.

 333 characters

Photo of creepinjeeper
4.58/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Look: Rich amber to copperish appearance. Nice head that disapates to lacing on top and on the side of the glass.
Smell: Bready, biscuity, dark fruit inviting.
Taste: Strong malty backbone with sweetness. A kiss of hops.
Feel: Light carbonation with substatial body.
Overall: Easily the best oktoberfest/marzen brew I've had yet.

 372 characters

Photo of rangerred
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

 662 characters

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

 1,382 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

 1,760 characters

Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.48/5  rDev +18.2%
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

 536 characters

Photo of Glanzman
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear, medium caramel color with a off-white, 1 finger head that quickly disapates and minimal lacing.

Smells of roasted malts and taste the same. It's an ok beer.

I couldn't buy a six pack of these bug a single to celebrate Oktoberfest.

 288 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

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

Bread, caramel, toffee, and candy sugar.

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

Medium bodied, smooth, crisp, and clean.

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

 456 characters

Photo of bigdeuce
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

 460 characters

Photo of tillmac62
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

 491 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

 1,428 characters

Photo of McNealc31
4.48/5  rDev +18.2%

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

 273 characters

Photo of CaptainHate
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

 463 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 347 characters

Photo of DeFaz
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

 643 characters

Photo of jsisko01
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

 615 characters

Photo of tastymug
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

 438 characters

Photo of Fitwitchik
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
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...

 336 characters

Photo of drzig
4.26/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

 368 characters

Photo of wvsabbath
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

 803 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Barktoberfest from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.