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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 stevoj
2.7/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

This might be a hit with drinkers of macro lagers, but overall I find it bland and lightweight. Nice looking beer, rich amber color and fluffy/rocky head. Aroma is almost too faint to register and taste is very light malt. Might be a good summer time brew.

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Photo of josanguapo
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From Club del Gourmet of El Corte Ingles. In Ikea's pilsner glass. After dinner. An important body, specially for a lager, something unexpected. Very drinkable and sessionable. Taste and aroma are a bit dull, with some caramel sweetness in the taste.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

DATE TASTED: August 13, 2015 ... GLASSWARE: Sam Adams Boston lager... OCCASION: week seven at camp almost to an end... APPEARANCE: first, the head: thick, crunchy blanket of off-white retention that holds to a finger well after the pour; tracings are more like smears of clouds... dark amber body suggests a strong, substantial pint... for a lager, an appealing start... AROMA: thick malts that suggest syrup, nuts and bolder malt liquor of the 40 oz. variety ; the hops seem blanketed, as I do not detect the Saaz promised on the label; the Hallertau hints at rugged cone and varnish--an odd, challenging mix... PALATE: medium-bodied, smooth and warm at the throat; little to no action at the teeth; creamy throughout, which makes this almost match the allure of the appearance... TASTE: the muddled aroma proves true here, with some caramel and nut qualities to suggest a flavorful lager, and the hops do make a late appearance; not as robust as a Vienna can be, and the finish is a bit odd... OVERALL: thanks to Matt for the purchase this past week...my first Hop City offering is solid but uneven... drinkable, but not without the astringent, dry, band-aid ending...the second glass furthers the first in its dough and malt... I am hesitant to give this the blessing of another six-pack...

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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 Tcoops
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Really good beer to have if you want to just chill and have a few without getting too tipsy. It is smooth and a little sweet. I would recommend this to a friend.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.96/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Squirrels can get downright mean at times, man... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear copper-amber topped by a finger of cream-white foam. The nose comprises rye bread, mild greens (tending toward some decent dankness), and caramel. The taste holds notes of bread, very light candied orange peel, watered-down caramel, and a touch of walnut. There's a kind of kvass character kicking around here (the usual supermarket kind, not the overtly traditional kind, mind you). The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, while not bad, this beer really didn't do anything for me. The nuttiness seemed out of place, and the rest of the flavors never fully coalesce into any cohesive expression of anything.

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Photo of Bunman3
3.19/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This really does not do much for me. There are so many other lagers in this style that look, smell and taste much better. I find Barking Squirrel to be a bit thin, metallic, and off-putting. It's far from the worst beer I've tried, but it seems like it is trying too hard to be craft brew.

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Photo of kevinlater
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

473ml can into nonic pint. "A21512 10:58" printed on the bottom of the can. i'm guessing that has something to do with january. served to myself on april 8, 2015

a: transparent copper/burnt orange with three fingers of fluffy off-white head

s: sweet biscuity caramel, grains, raisins, with grassy, herbal, tea-like hops. slight metallic note

t: follows the nose, including the metallic note. tasty though. good bitterness at the end

m: light but not watery with medium carbonation. perfect for the style

o: an unspectacular but still solid amber lager

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Photo of PorterPro125
3.69/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type: 16 oz. Draught

Bought at The River Restaurant in Woodstock, New Brunswick.

A- Dark orange/copper pour with a 1 1/2 finger off-white head. Slight lacing on the glass.

S- Sweet caramel and malt upfront that is contrasted nicely with a soft hop bitterness. Hops are not overpowering and pretty minuscule compared to the lagery sweetness.

T- Malt, caramel, a bit of grassy notes and some soft, earth hops to finish off.

M- Medium Body and medium-high carbonation. Not overly aggressive but plenty of bubbles to go around.

O- Great lager to sip on while munching on a steak. Typical lager sweetness (without the corny notes of an adjunct) nicely balanced with a bit of hops. Extremely drinkable.

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Photo of SSS
3.67/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

S-Typical lager aroma, sweet and light
A-Dark orange, clear appearance with an off white head that lingers for a while
T-Sweet subtle flavour, clean and smooth. There is a corn type aftertaste that is apparent, and somewhat generic
M-Light to moderate carbonation which is really nice and add to the smoothness.
O-Very drinkable pub type brew. Nice on a hot day after cutting the lawn.

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Photo of BigBry
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft, tried while in Ottawa.
Pours clear, dark orange-brown with a thin, tan head. Foam settles to a floating cap, thin spider web of lace.
Smell is pretty average, malt grain, caramel.
Taste is much the same, toast grain, a bit of grassy, earthy hoppiness at the end.
This beer has an average level of carbonation, slightly crisp mouth feel, not too heavy, easy to drink.
Overall, this is a decent beer, slightly above average, drinkable.

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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 Logan12321
3.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Great look, pours nicely leaving a 1/4" head on the top for around a minute. Good smell, the taste doesn't really pop out until the end, there's a nic finish to it. Very easy to drink, refreshing, when served cold.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pours amber with tall, long-lasting, fluffy white head. Aroma is of grassy hops and caramel malt. Body is medium and crisp. Grassy hops and caramel malt nicely balanced on the palate. Finish is long and semi-dry. Nice session brew.

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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 BeerAdvocate
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

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%

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

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Photo of Samp01
3.22/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.34/5  rDev -3.5%

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.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
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


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Photo of BeerWatcher
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

On draft at Milestones. Pours a caramel colour with moderate white head leaving substantial lacing as drunk. Semi-opaque with visible carbonation. Aromas are of caramel malts, toffee and biscuits. Tastes are sweet caramel malts and some cereal. Hints of toffee. A decent beer from this Moosehead subsidiary.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

473 ml can poured into a tall pils glass.

A- I like the cartoonish can art. A normal pour created a 2-finger, khaki head. The body is a clean, copper with moderate-heavy carbonation. The head settles in at 1/4-finger and the lacing is abundant.

S- Very "beery." Doughy malts and lighter, spicy hops. Hints of caramel, especially after it warms a bit.

T- Caramel-like malts dominate at first. Hops are lightly spicy through the middle and the finish is doughy/bready. Maybe a little nutty and buttery with warmth.

M- Medium body with moderate carbonation. Lightest hop bite. Pretty good for the style and strength of this brew.

O- A nicely balanced amber lager. No frills, but nothing off-putting either. My wife returned to the cottage with this one from the LCBO. It was a nice surprise and didn't seem too expensive compared to the "domestics." I'd buy it again the next time through CAN.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at The Snooty Fox.
Pours a deep reddish amber color with a huge off white head that persists for a while. Aromas of bready pilsner malt with hints of caramel or burnt sugar. Rich bready maltiness with a fair bit of melanoid and spicy hop. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation. Nice malty rich lager, I enjoyed this.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Hop City Brewing Co's Barking Squirrel Lager last week for $1.69 at Boyne Country Provisions. I've never heard of this brewery before, but I thought I would give them a try and i figured I would start off with their Lager, so lets see how it goes. No visible Bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks nice, it goes well with the name, but the hop on the label makes me think this beer might be a little hoppy, it's eye catching. It poured a fairly clear amber color that took on more of a copper color when held to the light and it had a finger and a half worth of bubbly slightly off white head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left just a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This was a nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with the a slightly lower amount of medium sweetness followed by the malts being the first to show and they impart a grainy, toasted, caramel malt and very light sweet malt aromas with the toasted and caramel malts seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes some clean lager yeast aroma with a very slight nutty aroma with no hop presence. This beer had a nice aroma, but I was hoping there would be a little bit of hops.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a lower amount of medium sweetness and it's followed by the malts still being the first to show up and they impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma with no single aspect seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes some of that clean lager yeast followed by a very slight nutty flavor. On the finish there's no hop presence with no bitterness and it had a clean malty aftertaste. This was a nice tasting Lager, but I think a little hops would have provided some nice balance to this beer.

M- Smooth, clean, fairly crisp, on the very light side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. This beer had a pretty nice mouthfeel that worked well with it.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and a nice example of a Amber Lager, it had pretty much everything that I look for in the still, but I still wish it had just a little bit of hops to provide some balance to this beer. This beer had nice drinkability, it was smooth, clean, fairly crisp, not filling at all and the taste did a decent job at holding my attention, but I think I would start to get bored with it after a couple, but if I wasn't concerned with taste I'm sure I could drink more than a few of them. What I like the most about this beer was how true to style it was and the mouthfeel, to me those were the highlights of this beer. What I like the least about this beer was that there wasn't any hop flavors and aromas, I think a little hops would help this beer out a little and provide a little bit of balance to it. I might by this beer when looking for a nice Amber Lager, but it isn't something I just have to keep stocked in my fridge, but I do recommend it if you enjoy the style. All in all I thought this beer was nice, but there's a little room for improvement and I think with just a little work this could be a pretty tasty and memorable Amber Lager. This made for a decent first impression for Hop City and I'm interested in trying more of their beers. I think it's one of the better Amber Lagers I've had. Nice job guys, keep up the solid work.

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Photo of Phocion
2.79/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Notes from phone, May 18, 2014.

12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint. Amber body with a finger of off-white head leaving moderate lacing.

Aroma is toffee and caramel malts. Buttered biscuit and slightly roasted. Subtle grassy/floral noble hoppiness.

Lightly roasted caramel and grassy flavor. A bit of sourdough bread with a very dry finish.

Slick, oily, and thin mouthfeel, with fairly high carbonation.

Overall, this is a malt bomb with a slight hint of diacetyl. Bland. Sub-par mouthfeel. Very unimpressed.

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