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Barking Squirrel Lager - Hop City Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Barking Squirrel LagerBarking Squirrel Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

122 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 122
Hads: 526
Avg: 3.47
pDev: 31.7%
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
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Reviews: 122 | Hads: 526
Photo of patre_tim
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Copper filtered colour with a 4 finger slight brown colour foamy head. Good carbonation.

S: Malt, childrens’ aspirin, vitamin c orange flavoured tablet, some citrus hop.

T: Malt, dark Munich dunkel type malt, some slightly sour asprin or vitamin c tablet taste, then a yeasty pleasant aftertaste. Nicely balanced, a little weird but good.

M: Bready, slightly thick body, low to medium low carbonation.

O: Good, nice, dunno what els to say. Had better ambers (Gaelic ale) had worse ambers (Fat Tire). I will give this 7.9 out of 10. Would go well with all you’d have a regular lager with, but its got some darker stronger qualities that could stand up to some whole wheat multigrain breads.

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Photo of MarkoNm
3.74/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a nice amber, towards golden, color, topped with a decent slightly off-white head with decent retention.
There is a very nice malty aroma complemented by some nice caramel and biscuity smell.
The taste is pleasantly sweet at first, slightly roasted in the body, together with some caramel feel. Finishes with a nice bitterness.
Easily drinkable, smooth and very enjoyable.

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Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hop City Brewing Co. is located in Brampton, Ontario and launched its first beer, Barking Squirrel Lager in October 2009. Since then, the brewery has followed on with its Lawn Chair Classic Weiss, Happy Hour Premium Ale, and Mr. Huff Persuasion Pilsner. Apparently, Hop City Brewing is owned by St. John based Moosehead Breweries Limited.

On this occasion we decided to try their flagship Barking Squirrel Lager ("BSL") in a 473 ml can purchased from the LCBO, with a December 2011 production date. BSL was 5.0% alcohol by volume.

BSL poured a deep amber colour with about 1.5" of pale orange coloured head...an attractive looking beer. The head dissipated within a few minutes, resolving itself into a collar and thin film that left some modest spotting and lacing down the glass. Some small, slow rising bubbles were visible in the beer. Its aroma was fairly straightforward, hops and caramel malts. Given the brewer's name I was expecting something with a hop heavy taste, but was pleasantly surprised by the balance between the hop flavour and sweet caramel malts. A faint lemon taste was also detectable. BSL had a slightly bitter aftertaste that lingered for a few seconds after each mouthful, but nothing overpowering nor too long lasting. The carbonation was perhaps a bit on the conservative side contributing to a smooth mouth feel, and I would describe BSL as light to medium bodied. Overall, a solid, straightforward brew that is good enough that I'd like to sample Hop City's Lawn Chair Classic Weiss. At $2.65 per can, BSL represents decent value for money.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of papat444
3.34/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had this on tap at Jack Astor's.

Nice looking reddish amber body but no head, not sure if that's due to the pour or the beer itself. Caramel sweetness mixed with a strong malty nuttiness. Flavor isn't actually bad and a decent choice among BMC lagers.

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Photo of Noxious26
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Had this one at the Regina Festiv-Ale on Friday night. 4 oz sample.

Nice amber colour with a decent light beige/off white head.

Aroma is lightly malty with hints of floral/herbal hops.

Flavour is pretty straight forward. Well balanced between the malt and hops. Caramel and nutty malt with leafy, herbal hops.

Not a bad beer. Worth a try.

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Photo of MadCat
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Nice clear amber color, small white head, some lacing

Smell: Light hops with some nice malt character, and that cleanness offered by a lager yeast

Taste: Biscuity, malty, a little sweet, some hop bitterness. Hops were earthy and citrusy. Again, very clean taste of lager yeast is clear here.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, good carbonation

Overall: Not bad, but not exciting. I don't feel it lives up to the "Hop City" name of the brewery. That kind of makes you expect a little bit more hop character than this has. Otherwise, it is a good, but unexciting amber lager. Paired well with wings.

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Photo of DrJay
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Clear copper with a short, lasting beige cap of fine bubbles. Good head retention. Notes of toasted malt and caramel in the aroma, slight fruitiness, light hop aroma, sort of leafy with hints of earthiness and lemon. Clean flavour with mild bitterness up front that grew and lingered in the finish. Toasted malt and lemon/spicy hops, plus a bit of malt sweetness. Medium/light bodied, slight slickness to the texture, moderate carbonation, medium dry. Decent mouthfeel. Overall, a pretty solid beer that's balanced nicely.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. My first beer from Hop City Brewing Co., I got this oddity as part of a mixed six pack from the local beer store.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours just over a finger of soapy khaki froth for a head, on top of a semi-clear caramel amber colored body. Some thin strands of lace. Looks pretty nice.

S - Smell is of bready malt, smooth creamy caramel malt, and some dirty herbal earthiness from the hops. The crackery Munich malt is definitely apparent. Slightly vinous.

T - Taste follows the nose: dry bread, crackery Munich malt, caramel / amber malt, and earthy / herbal hops. Again, slightly vinous.

M - Feel is crisp, bready, and dry. Light bitterness and sticky green apple skin flavors lingering. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall, I'd say this was a nicely balanced surprise, and surely well enough for what it is. The ingredients used blend together harmoniously, and the quality of the ingredients used is definitely reflected in the taste. Looking forward to trying more from these guys.

Hop City Brewing Barking Squirrel Lager ---3.5/5

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Photo of TAMU99
4.27/5  rDev +23.1%
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 Subliminal64
4.18/5  rDev +20.5%
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 JMScowcroft
3.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hop City Brewing Co. - Barking Squirrel Lager, poured into a stein glass.

Look - Pours a clear deep amber with a massive soapy head. Tons of lacing.

Smell - Sweet and caramel malts in the face, hmm.. Not the kind of amber qualities I look for, to say the least, but it's not unbearably bad. Lager yeasts provide that familiar bite in the aroma here.

Taste - OK, at least there is a definite lager body here, not overly sweet but there is some cloying in the finish, most likely from the malts used.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, dry, and drinkable. No booziness. Light bodied. Low carbonation. Good job here.

Overall - Interesting style fusion, not sure how I feel bout it but it's nice to see more attempts at quality lagers striving for some differentiation in an ale-crowded market. I kinda sorta call BS on the hops.

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Photo of Finn
3.91/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer has a slight redish/amber tint to it, as expected, with strong carbonation and nicehead retention. Aroma is mostly of caramel malts, with a hint of sugar and a slight metallic note.
It's pretty smooth and tasty, with a fair amount of the crystal malts, and a slight bite of hops balancing it all out. Pretty drinkable. Not bad, and it's not what I usually expect out of a lager. I'd probably drink it again.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

473 ml can poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - A rich dark amber pour into the glass yields 1.5 fingers of head which quickly recedes.

Smell- Raisins and caramel are predominant, almost a fresh butter tart scent to it.

Taste- Pretty much like the smell except I also notice a heavy influence of walnuts or pecans. Definite nuttiness to it.

Mouthfeel- Quite a crisp mouthfeel to it, perhaps thinner feel that the scent and taste profile would otherwise indicate although that helps it avoid being a syrupy mess.

Overall - A very nice brew that I would repeat purchasing with some unique characteristics (especially in flavor) observed in very few other beers.

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Photo of da_beers
3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice amber/copper thats crystal clear. A finger of white, bubbly head, great lacing and minimal carbonation coming up. Appearance its best quality IMO.

S - Kind of small on the nose. Sweetness from the malts and a crispness that is equated nicely with being a lager.

T - Sweet malts and no hops. Quite crisp as per being a lager. Something of almost a honey sweetness at the end.

M - Very smooth and drinkable, light bodied. Low carbonation across the palate.

O - Decent lager. Drinkable and refreshing. A little sweet for a lager, but ok.

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Photo of shand
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Barking Squirrel is a tasty lager that reminds me a bit of a slightly hopped up Vienna style. It tastes good and is very drinkable. Not the best thing on the planet by a long shot, but tasty enough when the urge for a more malt-forward lager strikes.

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Photo of TerryW
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A pleasant enough beer from right up the middle. Pours rusty clear under a moderate head that gives way to a ring, only some early spotty lace.

Malty sweet nose, some caramel. Same to taste, balanced off by a nice hop bitterness. Simple across the board, easy to drink. Nothing remarkable or untoward. Possibly just a tad too sweet to drink a ton of.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.42/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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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.

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Photo of IdeaSpeeder
3.39/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - 473ml can poured into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance - Pours an amber-brown colour. There's a white head that disappears extremely quickly leaving behind a faint trail of white lacing. Beer is filtered.

Smell - Smells predominantly of caramel and toffee malts. Very sweet smelling. There is a very faint metallic smell, quite possibly from the can.

Taste - Just as the nose indicated, heavy caramel and toffee flavour. The brew is not as sweet as I expected. It lacks much of a hop-bitter kick. The finish indicates some very faint spice notes

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Nothing remarkable. Delightfully low carbonation for a lager. Lacks much of a satisfying finish, but leaves a pleasant lingering sweet taste on the tongue.

Overal - 3/5.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a crystal clear, dark amber with minimal head. Scent is strong with sweet malts containing notes of caramel, nuts, toast, cotton candy and some lemony hops. Taste also leaning towards the sweet side, some caramel, nuts, notes of maple syrup, light lemony and grassy hops. Medium bodied, under carbonated. Decent brew, a touch sweet.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

16oz pint can, single bought at the local grocery sto'.

look is brown/amber, smell is gingerbread and pine. taste is woody and nutty, with a solid amount of earth and pine hops. perfect amount of carbonation, light/medium feel.

overall tasty and easy drinking, but lacking in the hops so prominently displayed on the label.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Light amber colored lager body, clear and clean. Poured a nice head, sticky and tall.

S - A fresh and crisp lagered bouquet. Sweet aromas, subtle grains, honey. Wafts of fresh hops and sweet malty notes. Balanced and intriguing.

T - Definitely clean and crisp as I had hoped. Fresh, green, sweet hops. A bit of malt sweetness and dry bread hints. The hop profile is what shines through, with a good clean presentation. This is on the lighter side of flavor, but it is a drinking lager.

M - Light-medium bodied, properly carbonated, smooth. Definitely a session beer.

O - Really not bad at all, a drinkable lager. Pretty balanced, with the hops taking the stage. However, this is not a very hoppy beer, with 24 IBUs.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.87/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.08/5  rDev +17.6%
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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Barking Squirrel Lager from Hop City Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 122 ratings.