Barking Squirrel Lager - Hop City Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Barking Squirrel LagerBarking Squirrel Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

515 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 515
Reviews: 133
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 15.36%
Wants: 11
Gots: 88 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hop City Brewing Co. visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Viggo on 11-16-2009

Barking Squirrel is a 5% ABV amber lager with a distinct rich burnt orange colour and subtle noble hop aroma. Its medium body, pleasant hop bitterness and caramel malt sweetness makes it smooth and drinkable with a slight hop aftertaste.

24 IBU
View: Beers (7) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 515 | Reviews: 133
Reviews by Beerlover:
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #71 (December 2012):

In the wide world of lagers most are of the same ilk, very refreshing to see lagers of another color. Barking Squirrel is an interesting beast, on one side it retains all of the true lager qualities but the other side shows some rawness but stays clean. Another factor that makes this a good thing is that the brand is owned by Moosehead Brewery which is independently own. Oh yeah, we almost forgot … tallboy cans rule.

STYLE: American Amber Lager
ABV: 5.0%
AVAILABILITY: Year-round

LOOK: Clear copper hue, head shows off

SMELL: Biscuity, husky, clean, spicy woody hop, leather, faint caramel

TASTE: Very biscuity, clean, moderate sized body, light hop character, dried grass, toasty, mildly citrus, walnuts, very dry finish

Photo of Skav
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice caramel hint, solid Amber

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Snooty Fox in Hamilton.

Poured a pale amber-golden hue. About a half inch of foamy white head, decent lacing and retention.

Nose is caramel, slightly off hops, malt.

Not bad, certainly drinkable. A decent blend of malt and caramel, with a fruity hop finish. Not exactly the flavor I was looking for, but it did alright. Thin, a touch watery, but with average carbonation to prevent the beer from feeling syrupy.

I could certainly have a few of these in an evening, although there wasn't much going for it that I haven't seen in other Ontario red lagers (Creemore, for example). Wasn't bad, but by the end I was enviously eyeing my brother's Hoegaarden bucket. Next time...

Photo of NilocRellim
4.16/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can, this beer is a very nice, rich, golden colour; slightly more amber/red in colour than a standard lager. Very light, refreshing, lager taste with a tad more hop taste (but not much) than most lagers. A little too carbonated than most beers, but a clean taste and a little bitter aftertaste.

Would I buy it again? Yes, and have numerous times.

Photo of pat61
4.15/5  rDev +20.3%

Nose: initially some graham cracker and hop spice joined by rich malt and grain aromas. Pours brilliant chestnut tinted dark amber to burnt umber under a 1” frothy off-white foam cap that produces clingy lace. A big malt palate hints of movie theater popcorn butter that is quickly replaced by malt and grain spiciness with traces of anise and a light tart touch. After a few sips the popcorn butter becomes more toffee-like. It drinks very creamy and satiating with medium carbonation.

Photo of BGDrock
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes:

Appearance: light amber, caramel colour; big thick head that lasts; clear

Aroma: minimal, some sweet fruit (orange); hint of caramel

Taste & Mouthfeel: smooth with slight creaminess, not usual crispness of a lager; mild carbonation which is surprising; clean taste with hint of a bitter finish, like citrus peel; some caramel again; not overly sweet, but could see it getting overwhelming after a few; flavour lingers

Overall: more complex than the average lager, but lacking some hop balance and as a result gets tired

Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473ml can, a new arrival in Alberta, and thanks to Sherbrooke (and the rep, mea culpa) for the sample. A suspicious-looking cartoon squirrel amusingly espies a rather large hop cone on the label, leading me to idly wonder at its fate is this particular offering.

This beer pours a clear, copper-amber colour, with three tumultuously foamy fingers of tight eggshell white head, which leaves a decent layered watermark of lace rings around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of crisp biscuity, grainy malt, a tad toasted, with a bit of nutty caramel, and zesty lemony, leafy, grassy hops. The taste is lightly roasted caramel and sourdough malt, more semi-sweet lemon, some oily nuttiness, a slight mineral/metallic undertone, and a sturdy grassy, hay-like hop bitterness.

The bubbles are even, supportive, and just plain nice (sorry, I'm in an increasingly good mood now), the body a decent medium weight, and smooth in the same vein. It finishes off-dry, the biscuity malt and lingering hops holding up their respective ends of the bargain.

Wow - one endearingly tasty amber lager - big toasty malts, and well balanced sassy pilsener-esque hops. This was a universal hit with the Sherbrooke staff earlier today, and it's clear why - this is a heady competitor to Creemore in the 'good craft lager not from Alberta' customer sweepstakes. Really, a damned fine tipple, in a style so under serviced by Canadian brewers lo these many years.

Photo of Sammy
3.26/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on-tap at Shauey's, near the airport. Served way too cold, but fresh, the brewers are former homebrewers with a sugardaddy grant from Moosewood, who will of course help to distribute them. The smell is mildly cheesy. Pours dark yellow, with an eighth inch of white foam and lace lines own my glass. Average mouthfeel(though above average carbonation), this is in the style of a helles lager, though not the best interprestation. Good drinkability.

Photo of hdofu
2.7/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I tried to like this one but it has some problems for me. Appearance is pale, Smell is sour. Taste starts out ok tasting like a typical lager.... but the more one drinks the more it has this inescapable nasty finish that builds. If it weren't for the finish I wouldn't mind the beer so much. but that kills it for me. Overall I have to say the squirrels bark is worse then it's bite.

Photo of morimech
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Attractive enough as is pours a clear amber with a steady two fingers of head that had good retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left down the glass.

Clean lager aroma that is a balance of pale malt and German hops. A little bready and cracker-like with spicy, peppery hops.

The flavor is also balanced and clean tasting. Not the most exciting beer but I guess it is not this beers purpose. Just a little more bready and caramel malt than a pilsner. Some hop flavor but I would of liked some more to excite the palate more. Could of used a little more bitterness as well. Finishes semi-sweet.

Body is on the lighter side but feels weighty enough for a 5% ABV lager. Is nicely carbonated. Lively without being harsh.

Good for what it is. A simple easy drinking beer. I would prefer Boston Lager being at the same price point. I see this comes in cans as well. Why did they send us bottles then? Seems like a stupid idea.

Photo of brettbito
3.87/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a quite refreshing lager. Very drinkable, hops were not overpowering.

Photo of TAMU99
4.27/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Wow! This is a great beer. Pours a rich amber-orange to a thick creamy foam. Scent is spice, autumn and hops. Taste is complex- citrus, spices, oranges, syrup or molasses...and more. Mouthfeel is just right and it leaves just the right amount of hoppy aftertaste. Overall a great beer worth more attention.

Photo of DaveBar
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at the LCBO for just under $3.00 for a 43ml can. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a healthy head that stays. Dark amber color

S- Very good. Nice malt.

T- Very good. Malt and yeast with caramel hints

M- Dry and crisp

O- Very good. Nice refreshing break.

Food Pairing

This wonderful little beer went well with... roast potatoes with bacon

Enjoy

Photo of tone77
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a light amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts and grains. Taste is also a bit on the mild side, some malts, lightly hopped, easy drinking. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a refreshing but somewhat bland beer.

Photo of Samp01
3.22/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a dark burnt orange amber with a medium lasting beige head. Aroma and Taste of toasted malt and grains, grass, yeast and fruity notes mild hops bitterness. A medium body with moderate carbonation on the palate. Finishes with a nice toasted malt grains flavor, fruity with mild bitterness, some nutty lingering flavors on the end. A fairly good tasting and refreshing brew.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.46/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Bengal tiger orange, moderate clarity with a quickly paced show of micro-effervesce. A 1+ finger oatmeal colored head had a bready texture and a good rate of retention. Sliding down leaves a thin coat of film lacing.

S: Faint fresh grains, soft, and nobel flowery hops. At 24ibus and a dark orange coloring from the speciality grains i expected a bit more hop aroma and grain detection.

T: Sweet upfront, toasty grains with a zesty soft citrus touch, but with some nobel flowery attributes. There is a soothing munich dry toastiness, the hops are more apparent, a touch of spiciness from the Saaz is very evident. The nobel hops and saaz are nicely paired, smoothly balanced, harmonious in transition while the munich and crystal add malt sweetness.

M: Fairly crisp, bubbly, creamy body, ideal smoothness and stis well with a nice pronounced graininess.

O: Overall, fairly toasty, sweet, easy to consume with a bonus of hops. Not your citrus bomb american amber, more reddog with a kick of hops red lager.

Photo of ChrisCage
4.25/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- This one pours a hazy dark amber/coppery color that appears to be finely carbonated at least at the bottom of the glass, before the bubbles rapidly start rising in an aggressive manner. The head starts out about a half finger thick before dissipating into a cloud like patch. Lacing is alright too, with a lot of foam clinging to the glass, before most of it slides back into the liquid itself. Good overall!

S- Very nice balance of aromas between sweet and bittering hops. Caramel/toffee is upfront, along with clean, yet distinct malt sweetness. The finish has some bitterness but it doesn't overpower.

T- Great tasting lager overall! Well balanced flavors that range between grainy barley, to toasted sweet caramel like malts, a touch of baking spice, and hints of buttery fresh bread, finishing with just the right amount of cleansing leafy, oily hop cone! I'm quite impressed with the richness of the flavors here!

M/O- This is an incredibly drinkable beer! Solid medium body and plenty of carbonation that while not palate scrubbing, is quite cleansing and allows the flavors to burst nicely on the palate. I could quite easily enjoy several of these brews throughout an evening....it's an ideal example of what a good amber lager should be and will seek this out in the future!

Photo of Stocean1
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a two finger fluffy head from a can with lots of lacing and decent retantion. Clear amber colour.

Smell is caramel malt with some nuttiness and hops.

Taste follows the nose with some pepper, biscuit and floral notes.

Mouthfeel is great, nice balance, some bitterness,creamy, medium body with lots of carbonation.

Overall, if this brew was not a faux craft I think it would receive better treatment in its reviews from us beer snobs.

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for this beer Jay!
Can is printed "F01212" whatever that means... hopefully not from January. Served in a large tapered mug.

Nicely bright amber color, huge head of foam that dwindles down to an ample skim, 5mm in width (metric, get it?). Lots of lacing all around the glass, great retention. For this style it looks great overall.

Earthy, nutty sweet malt character, touches of maple and ground nuts.

Clean taste, mild bittering hops and a distinctively nutty/bready specialty malt in there somewhere. Dry and crisp feel, nice light bitterness. Simple yet effective. Pretty much a flawless lager here, guess haters just gonna hate.

Photo of eddie_g
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My second review, and as with my first, bare with me. I don't reach for a lager when I want a good brew, but tonight when I asked the bartender for something different, he handed me this tall 16 ounce can. I poured the beer into my glass, and an average pour produced about two inches of thick white head. The color was a bit darker than an average lager and allowed less light through. The beer gives off a typical lager aroma - a metallic hoppy smell. The taste is what sets this drink apart. For a lager, I found the flavor sweet, starting with a toffee taste and migrating to a typical lager blend of malt and hops. That initial rush of sweet toffee really drew my attention, however. The body was also nice. I found the mouth feel to be a bit thicker than the average style - still light bit teetering on medium bodied. Overall, if I ever find myself with a hankering for a lager, this beer would absolutely do the trick. It doesn't rewrite the style. Rather, Barking Squirrel Lager serves as a nice edition in any lager lover's library.

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.53/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Can: Poured a clear golden lager with a medium size foamy head with OK retention and light lacing. Aroma of light adjunct notes and overly sweet malt is not the most interesting. Taste is also more adjunct base then I had anticipated with not much other characteristics showing off and not much hops presence. Definitely not one I will drink again though I seems to be off compared to previous ratings.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can to pint glass.

A - Translucent medium orange/amber colour with a huge amount of fluffy off-white head.

S - Bready malts with a crisp hop biterness and s light floral/earthy aroma.

T - Bready malts with a s light caramel sweetness up front. A slight crisp hop bitterness is present along with a slight earthy/herbal flavour.

M - Light body with moderate carbonation.

Photo of smakawhat
4.08/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real big fluffy white head with lots of staying power, big in size at about three fingers and not going anywhere. Collapses very slowly with pock marked peaks and valleys. Body is a very clear and bronze amber color, with little noticeable rising carbonation. What does show goes up really small and very slowly. Real nice looking.

Nose is clean, light malt caramel, a sense of slight sticky yeast. Quite nice and simple and pleasurable. Some light grass sharp hops just hide in the back.

Very light bodied caramel on the palate. Hits with a good malt backbone with a very light feel but not too wet. Hints of light brown sugar, and almost Marzen like appeal. A good brown bread toasty finish too, with just a little bit of mild hop bitterness that isn't very distinguishable.

It's not very complex, but it's stupid easy drinking, in fact VERY easy drinking. Quite enjoyable a good amber lager worth exploring again.

Photo of user785335
4.17/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Prefer ales, but this was a very nice lager. Very drinkable.

Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle at Artisan's Brewery & Italian Grill, Toms River, NJ

A: The beer is crystal clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of sweet malts are present in the nose—caramel malt extracts seem to stand out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the taste is mostly dominated by flavors of caramel malt extracts. No hops are perceptible, although there are enough hops to subdue most of the sweetness.
M: It feels just about medium-bodied and clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is rather easy to drink but doesn’t have much in the way of dominant flavors. It would pair well with food.

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Barking Squirrel Lager from Hop City Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 515 ratings.