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Barking Squirrel Lager - Hop City Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Barking Squirrel LagerBarking Squirrel Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

433 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 433
Reviews: 108
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 15.74%
Wants: 6
Gots: 51 | 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:
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

(Beer added by: Viggo on 11-16-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 433 | Reviews: 108 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.3/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Sammy, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.34/5  rDev -2.6%

Pours a clear dark orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, toast, and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, toast, and metallic flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable but nothing too memorable in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -12.5%

djrn2, Jul 12, 2013
Photo of metter98
3.39/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

metter98, May 04, 2014
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.53/5  rDev -26.2%
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.

Phyl21ca, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of kylehay2004
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

kylehay2004, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a nice looking clear amber color with a white head on top. Th lacing was impressive looking as well as the thin retention it had. The smell of the beer is grainy and sweet smelling with a bit of earth in there too. The taste of the beer is malty, with some musty flavors in the finish. The mouthfeel of the beer is medium bodied and had a soft carbonation. Overall it's a pretty good brew, not one I would seek out often but still a sessionable brew that could be enjoyed frequently.

Knapp85, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

emerge077, Jul 27, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

biboergosum, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of JAHMUR
2.75/5  rDev -19.8%

JAHMUR, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev +2%

nickfl, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of Slatetank
3.86/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I bought this as part of a mix-a-six from Giant in Linglestown PA, enjoyed chilled in a mug.

The color is deep copper bordering on bronze with good clarity and two fingers of thick tan head with avg sized bead and decent lacing. The aroma is very malty with bready munich type malt aromas with slight yeast ester and mild nutty element in the nose with light hop scents. The feel is great with semi-full body with moderate bitterness and medium carbonation with a mild diacetyl presence with somewhat dry finish with low sweetness and mild grainy texture.

This is a lager with pleasant malt flavors right off and nice blend of nuttiness with a toasted grain taste from the munich malt as described on the label. The malt tastes fresh, yet not overly sweet which is a good foundation for the subtle hop flavor which add to the mild yeast taste. The maltiness goes well with the hops which have a hint of herbal profile as the lager finishes semi-dry. Overall I really enjoyed this a very good lager with a nice balance of flavor which makes it more drinkable thany many of this style. I would not hesitate to buy this again even though I was on the fence about the first purchase.

Slatetank, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%

mendvicdog, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of beernads
2.5/5  rDev -27.1%

beernads, Aug 21, 2013
Photo of imperialking
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

imperialking, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev +2%

oriolesfan4, May 26, 2013
Photo of woodychandler
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
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!

woodychandler, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +31.2%

wrightst, Aug 10, 2014
Photo of DoubleJ
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've heard of a barking spider, but not a barking squirrel. Perhaps it's a Canadian thing, but if that were the case, why isn't the beaver being used instead? It comes from a 16 ounce can, and was used to wash down dinner. On to the beer:

Orange amber colored and topped with a thick two finger head that's rocky in texture. Its retention is good, and it whips some lacing around the glass. The aroma has toasted grain, a dash of caramel, a kiss of toffee, and a little mustiness.

A malt forward beer, this amber lager is like a lighter Oktoberfesbier. That Munich malt creates a sweet base and allows snaps of grass and zests of hops to stick to its base. It's a medium bodied beer with a modest spring of carbonation.

Solid as a rock. Considering that it is an import, I was surprised the pint was just $1.99.

DoubleJ, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of ejimhof
2.75/5  rDev -19.8%

ejimhof, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of BARFLYB
3.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 16oz CAN into a pint glass.

Barking Squirrel Lager looks the part with a mild shade of bronze with some light gold balanced within. The hed is off white and tight looking leaving minor cling. Smell is a typical lager, the malt is front and center, some grassy appeal, caramel and I don't get ANY hops, either way I classify this more as a lager than a red ale. 24IBU's is low IMO, so don't go looking for a hop fix although the CAN may fool you with the graphic on it. The taste is pure lager, with grain balancing out with caramel and crystal malt. I guess there is some hops used, but they aint reaching my tounge. Feel is in between light and medium, for 5%, I expected a lighter body. Not bitter at all while the carb is felt. This will be in the runnings if I need a quick lager fix from the CAN if Im hiking.

BARFLYB, Oct 25, 2012
Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, no bottle dating. Pours crystal clear amber/copper color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, brown bread, light nuttiness, plum, apple, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with well balanced dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and fruity yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, brown bread, light nuttiness, plum, apple, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Light amount of earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, brown bread, light nuttiness, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Good balance and robustness of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; with a nice crisp malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and slightly bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 5%. Overall this is a nice Vienna lager. All around good balance and robustness of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

superspak, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Hop City : Barking Squirrel Lager

Aroma of lager yeast, clean malt and hops. In the taste, light and refreshing. Bready with faint citrus. A bit more beef than a macro lager. Has some light hop bitterness and flavor, just enough to keep it interesting. A decent light beer option without being too light, bland or boring.

Stinkypuss, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of LXIXME
3.5/5  rDev +2%

LXIXME, Apr 06, 2013
Photo of biegaman
3.58/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at 99 Sudbury, in Toronto.

Barking Squirrel is coloured more like a fox; it is a relatively deep toned beer steeped in a heavy red-amber dye. Clarity and shine are both appreciated, despite the darker shade. Its foamy head looks like a toasted (if not torched) marshmallow.

Aroma and taste mirror one another, both driven by an abundant maltiness, the latter being kicked up by a strong carbonation. Toasted biscuits and lucid caramelization greet the palate upon entering the mouth, but they are both abruptly shown the door by a reserved bitterness. (Still, the toffee sweetness makes a reappearance in the finish.)

If you look at the ratings for amber lagers, you'll notice a direct correlation between how hoppy the beer is and how highly it's rated. Without meaning to endorse that trend, Barking Squirrel does fall squarely in the middle of both hoppiness and overall impression packs. While nil in the aroma or taste, bittering hops can at least be sensed...

And that's a welcomed feature for me. And it's also one of the things that set's this beer apart from, say, Rickard's Red or Sleeman Honey Brown, two beers which it resembles. The other distinguishing element is the total lack of adjunct and the pure, clean, unadulterated maltiness that registers as tasty and palpably (but judiciously) sweet.

I wouldn't go out of my way to find Barking Squirrel - or really any lager comparable to it - but I have to concede that if more commercial establishments (i.e., chain pubs or sports bars) offered this on-tap I'd likely order a lot more beer on my nights out. And I also bet that with a little more exposure, Barking Squirrel would teach and persuade mainstream drinkers to also be a little more discerning with their beer choices.

biegaman, Apr 13, 2011
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Barking Squirrel Lager from Hop City Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 433 ratings.