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Barking Squirrel Lager - Hop City Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Barking Squirrel LagerBarking Squirrel Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

124 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 124
Hads: 537
Avg: 3.46
pDev: 31.79%
Wants: 12
Gots: 92 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Barking Squirrel Lager Alström Bros
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Reviews: 124 | Hads: 537
Photo of DNew15
4.95/5  rDev +43.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As a middle-atlantic resident, when I ask for a lager I get a Yuengling, but I wish I got a Hop City Barking Squirrel instead (this is close to a sin for a guy who lives close to PHL!). Love the dark brown color and pleasant hint of caramel oders of this beer. A definite must have for any fan of lager. My favorite part of the beer is the smooth robust finish. This is a must add to the list for any beer drinker. I've never heard of Hop City before and now I look forward to the next beer release from them (at least one that reaches Delaware!).

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Photo of Tybo
4.87/5  rDev +40.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

When this beer is poured you notice the burnt amber color right away. The head on the beer has great retention that remains throughout the entire drinking time. The smell has a great smell of malt, hops and a hint of sweet. The taste is a little hoppy but nothing to overpowering. The malt flavor lets a fantastic smoothness to the beer with some chocolate hints that set this over the top. The beer finishes very clean and leaves you ready for another taste. I was very impressed with this lager. I had this beer on a trip to Toronto and am very excited to see it now available in US!

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Photo of Ipetitt
4.73/5  rDev +36.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Barking Squirrel is a great amber lager from Ontario. It has an awesome rich burnt orange/ amber color with an incredible head. The two row malt they use allows the beer to keep its perfect head throughout the entire beer which I can very much appreciate. It uses three of the four noble hops so I can appreciate that as well since it really amps up the flavor of the amber lager. It sits at 24 BU's so it has a nice little kick but goes down so nicely. It has a full mouth and it has a nice roasted aroma. The mouth has a nice roasted caramel flavor with a medium body and a bit of tartness. I loved this beer.

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Photo of robinson1056
4.68/5  rDev +35.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, this is a delicious pint. I love the caramel malts in this, and the European Hops give it a nice blend. The colour is rich and vibrant for an amber lager; it is very appealing to the eye. The taste gets better with each sip and the aftertase is quite nice.

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Photo of Mholyome
4.53/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed the taste of this amber lager. It was full and robust, and had a slight hop after-taste but nothing too overwhelming. I really love the Squirrel character, and have seen him altered to meet the needs of several establishments. That's a really classy niche to be in. I just love the colour, the aroma, and the unique squirrel icon. The can is a great substitute for draught!

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Photo of TBone2
4.45/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer on tap at the Green Turtle in Aberdeen, MD.

A complex amber lager with a roasted, caramel flavor and medium bitterness. A slight Hop aftertaste and medium body. A roasted type aroma kind of earthy. The head was very white and the color was copper/orange.

Great with the amzing burgers that were served!A sessionable craft with the coolest tap marker; a Squirrel holding a Hop Cone!

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Photo of Top_Jimmy
4.44/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - This beer pours a dark honey colour with a nice creamy head. Beautiful lacing remains .

Smell - A nice mild scent of Hops and malt nothing to overpowering.

Taste - Crisp with a nice amount of bitter, Mild to Medium hops makes this very enjoyable and not over the top.

Mouthfeel - The beer has a nice full bodied creamy mouthfeel and great carbonation.

Overall - A great beer, just the right amount of bitter hops as not to be over the top.

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Photo of DaveGold
4.42/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this beer to be a pleasant surprise...a larger with real legs.

I would typically recommend it to those seeking out a more flavorful beer that can stand on its own vs. accompanying food. Two cans in and I found I wasn't hungry!

Looking forward to seeing other brands from them.

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Photo of Scooby-Brew
4.38/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nicely balanced brew! It served as a great companion with meals comoposed of comfort foods (e.g. roast beef, barbeque pork, etc.), while also being easy to quaff on its own. I'd be curious to know how it earned its name, since I've yet to try it with any squirrel meat ;)

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Photo of phdoig
4.33/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great Malty interpretation of a amber lager. Really great beer for fall; competes well with 'Oktoberfest' craft beers. Easy drinking lager, with a great amber hue. Sesionability is high, demands more than one beer! Pair with roasted chicken and spicy stir fry.

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Photo of LDOBSON
4.32/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At first I questioned the appearance of can but after trying Barking Squirrel I enjoyed it as it was a beer that went down smooth. I find that some beers drink heavy and leave you feeling bloated, with Barking Squiirel I did not experience that. I found it to be similar to Creemore, another beer that I enjoy.

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Photo of SpeedwayGuy
4.3/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tried this beer while recently in Toronto. A good clear, burnt orange color with a creamy two-finger head and nice retention throughout. I sensed roasted malts, floral hops and a light citrus in the aroma. The taste was satisfying, a caramel sweetness in the malts and a nice hop finish with a medium to light bitterness. While I generally lean to beers with a stronger hop characteristic, they seemed to be in the right balance here.

Overall, a very good amber lager that I would buy again. Looking forward to its arrival in the US, anxious to try Barking squirrel with a big fat T-bone steak!

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Photo of TAMU99
4.27/5  rDev +23.4%
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.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.25/5  rDev +22.8%
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!

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Photo of Subliminal64
4.18/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great colour. A little darker then "normal" beers.

Lots of carbonation. Some want it, others don't.

Fairly strong taste, very hoppy. Although the smell is not as strong.

Has won multiple awards and it shows.

Well worth a look. Don't let the basic can art discourage you.



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Photo of NilocRellim
4.16/5  rDev +20.2%
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.

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Photo of pat61
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%

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.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +19.1%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.08/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

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Photo of JackSkerry
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Recent arrival at the local liquor store. Poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Sexy, dark colour. Neat, tight, frothy, foamy head. Nice, crisp malty lager with a nice subtle hoppy hint in the finish. Combination leads to a very drinkable lager. Would go excellent with a nice peppercorn-crusted steak.

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Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

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Photo of Foam
3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a couple single bottles from a six pack shop.
An ambery/orange/burnt sienna color when looked at through a clear glass.
Has been judged "Best standard lager(Americas)" lager by the "World Beer Awards" .
I would have to agree.
Best basic-lager i've tasted in years .
In a world where breweries are passing off aggressively-hopped(for a proper lager) lagers, this is what a lager should taste like, imo . More sweet/malt than bitter/hop .
Refreshing in the extreme .
I am fortunate to have found a local distributor that sells both 24-bottle cases as well as 24 six-teen ounce can cases. I'm going to pick up a case, asap !
Highly recommended for lager-heads and people that do not care for bitterly-hopped beers.

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Photo of bryehn
3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now available in cans! Poured into a pilsener glass.

Pours an amber-copper colour with lots of visible carbonation and a medium-sized, foamy tan coloured head that leaves some spotty lacing and settles as a collared film.

Smells of toasted caramel malts with a floral hop quality. Fresh grains, alcohol, raisin and tree nuts also come through.

The taste is crisp and mostly dry with a subtle nutty quality, a bread-like tone and a hint of chocolate. The finish is solidly bitter with a slight woody note.

The mouthfeel is creamy with a yeat-like quality on the tongue. Has a nice pop of carbonation even at the bottom of the glass. Dry aftertaste with a raisin-like fruity tone to it.

Interesting take on the style that has the nutty and fruity elements of a brown ale and a nice bitterness. Both drinkable and very satisfying. Will certainly revisit and seek out other beers from this brewery.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lightly hazy amber color with some wild activity. Creamy beige 2 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with strong legs.

Aromas and flavors of caramel, grains, nuts, citrus, floral and herbal spices. Nice butter and bread nose. Well balanced flavors between sweet toffee and sharp lemon. Slightly grassy and earthy.

Slick medium body with champagne like carbonation. Well intensified and moderately long finish, ending with a slightly bitter, while fresh, hoppy saaz with a sweet grassy feel.

Overall a solid craft with balanced, refreshing, and pleasant flavors that are accessible.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The squirrels are definitely barking at The CANQuest (TM) today. My neighbor had this as a single the other day and I am in a lager mood. CAN you dig it?

From the CAN: "Craft with attitude."; Welcome to HOP CITY, where we brew beer with equal parts flavor, complexity & sessionability. BARKING SQUIRREL LAGER is a 5% ABV, 24 IBU amber lager brewed with a blend of Hallertau Mittelfrueh & Saaz hops, perfectly balanced by [CAN]adian Pale 2 Row, Crystal & Munich malts. Mmmm.

The Crack & Glug was a pleasure, resulting in two-plus fingers of dense, foamy tawny head with excellent retention. Color was a deep coppery-amber with NE-plus quality clarity, enabling me to see through walls and into the neighbor's kitchen where the cat was asleep on the counter. Nose was heavy with a biscuit malt scent. Mouthfeel was full, especially for a lager and the biscuit taste continued on the tongue. Finish was semi-dry with a lingering taste of bread or biscuit well after the swallow. More lagers like this are needed!

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Barking Squirrel Lager from Hop City Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.