Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

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Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #43
Ranked #23,830
3.84 | pDev: 11.98%
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States
Very Good
Reviews: 99 | Ratings: 339 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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CDBeerDisappear from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look: Medium brown color with a one finger head low retention, visible carbonation
Aroma: Caramel, biscuity malt, earthy herbal hops
Taste: Slightly sweet all the way through, a little acidic on the sides of the tongue
Flavor: Follows the nose: caramel malt with earthy and herbal hops.
Feel: Medium mouthfeel, slightly prickly carbonation,
Overall: Good beer, simple, drinkable, I would neither turn it down for put forth special effort to find it.

Sep 11, 2020
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DrBeergood from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Great look. Clear. Caramel in color. Toasted appearance. Vigorous nucleation. Web of lacing. Glossy surface.

S: Roasted malts over grassy hops with bite.

T: Candied caramel, it has the roasted sweet tang to it. It's one notch above crackery, and one notch below biscuity, and balanced by a moderate amount of hops. It's an approachable beverage. It could pass as a Dunkel Lager.

F: A touch buttery and medium weight.

O: I like the Thirsty Dog Brewing company. I trust them to use quality ingredients and methods.

Aug 22, 2020
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.34/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer marks the start of yet another (!) brewery horizontal as I work to eradicate the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody. I am thinking that these must have been part of a mixed-12 pack or a case at Country Garden Six Pack at one point & then they decided to single them out. No matter to me! I was happy to take one of each. I usually go lowest to highest in terms of ABV, but this first one is slightly out of turn due to the previous beer also being an Oktoberfest/Märzen. Please forgive my transgression!

From the Bottle: "Unleash the Flavor"; "Barktoberfest Lager"; "A traditional old world German Style Oktoberfest, a fall celebration since 1810.";"IBU's = 15, O.G. =16 P".

Having washed the stein from the last bier, I was ready to go. A Pop! of the cap, followed by a slow, gentle C-Line pour & I was off & running (often running). I briefly got just over a finger of fizzy, foamy, soapy, tawny head before it fell to wisps. No matter. It was actually more than I got in/from the previous one. Color was a Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity, although it was closer to 17. My point here is that it was deeper in shade than the previous one. Too many distinctions? Hmm. Nose was biscuity, but there was also a slight chocolatiness to it. It may not have fit for the style, but it sure made me think of Enrico's chocolate biscotti from Pixburgh's Strip District. Mmm. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, kind of dense on the tongue, but not big enough to call "thick" or "full". The taste was an odd mélange for the style, mashing up chocolate, caramel & biscuits. 8=O I liked it, especially since it really was not at all sweet, despite the flavors. That said, the Germans would probably cringe at this being considered an Oktoberfest/Märzen. It is imperative to remember to rate to Style & not to personal Taste, hence my scores. Moving along. Finish was semi-sweet, but bordering on semi-dry. I liked it, but it was not what I was expecting in/from the Style. YMMV.

Apr 24, 2020
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a fairly pretty golden orange color, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This smells interesting - there's the usual breadiness and slight sweetness, but there's also a distinct chocolate malt note, and some definite toffee.

There isn't a lot of hop character here - it's all maltiness. It's maybe a bit too sweet for the style, due to that aforementioned chocolate note. That aspect does give it uniqueness points, however. There's that nice melanoidin breadiness, lightly sweet, and a nice creamy flavor.

This is medium bodied, creamy, and very drinkable. It doesn't finish quite as crisply as you'd want.

I'm surprised by how well this one worked out. It's got a very unique malt flavor for the style.

Oct 03, 2019
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Sabtos from Ohio

3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Clear brown-amber with a thin, off-white ring.

Smell is brown toast, grass and corn.

This has nicely toasty, nutty malt flavors with semi-sweet corn and hints of grape and light wheat. Depth and complexity of flavor still leave room for plenty of easy drinking.

The round body has a light, crisp froth, finishing with a semi-dry tingle.

Sep 05, 2018
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lastmango from Pennsylvania

3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a copper color with a one finger white head that dissipated quickly to nothing. No lacing. Aroma was almost non-existent except for a peculiar mint overtone. As it warmed a bit a sweetness arose. The taste is hop forward with the malt taking a back seat. The flavor is a bit grassy. I am wondering if it is too cold. This brew is a bit thin and wet, with light carbonation. After comparing my experience with other reviews, I am disappointed. I was expecting more. It was not the freshness. Perhaps I am off today.

Aug 22, 2018
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dcotom from Iowa

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich, malty, sweet, this is one outstanding Maerzen. Pours a clear dark copper color, with a thin white head that settles rapidly without a trace. Aromas and flavors are unabashedly malt forward. Tons of dark bread and caramel, with notes of honey and herbal hops and a hint of molasses. Very sweet on the palate, with a mouthfeel that is on the silky side. Bitterness is quite low. Sweet finish that lingers on the tongue. I'd have preferred to drink this with some hearty food, such as a bratwurst or a greasy burger. As a stand-alone beer, it's better when cold.

Feb 07, 2018
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The_Beer_Guru from New York

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It pours a dark amber/red color with a very small white head. Smells of toasted malts and sweet caramel. Taste follows the smell. An easy drinking lager with a small malty backbone and a touch of sweetness to finish.

Sep 11, 2017
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KonigObHops from Ohio

4.31/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark copper color with a thin white head that disapated quickly.

The aroma was sweet and bready with a hint of toasted malt and a bit of nuttiness.

The initial taste is the toasted malt that picks up some happiness in the middle. It finishes with a smooth nutty aftertaste. The beer is so well balanced that the beginning and middle are not all that discernible from one another. The finish is what stands out the most though. The nuttiness blends exceptionally well with the toasted malt notes. There is a slight hint of alcohol at the end that has some nice sweetness as well.

The mouth feel is well-balanced and quite smooth.

Overall, this is a really good example of an Oktoberfest with some subtle deviations that really make this beer standout from others within the style while still maintaining its most important characteristics.

Aug 29, 2017
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davisrin from Ohio

3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice pour, a little head that lasts, pretty amber color. Fizzy on the tongue, with a balanced taste. I like the little bit of a bite in the aftertaste. Lighter and milder than I usually like in a beer, but overall a winner. I'll be drinking the rest of it with a meal, instead of after. And it does not seem like it has 6%ABV, so it might sneak up on you if you aren't drinking it with food.

Oct 22, 2016
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utopiajane from New York

3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours true amber, 9,10 on the srmn chart. Tan head of creamy foam that fell well. Clear and bright. 6% abv. Hops are sweet floral and spice. A bouquet on the nose. A little alcohol on the nose too. It smells sweet but tastes sharp. Malt is rich and has an earthy hearty scent. Rich and smooth. Drinks mellow and smooth with plenty of peppery spice to tickle from hops. Soft middle and richly malty. Hops stay herbal and grassy and in the background except for a nice brisk bitterness to finish it. A little warming from alcohol much like the vienna style lager. Crisp bubbles show you the browned crust on some bread at the end and a lasting hop bitter.

Oct 08, 2016
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Caveworm from Ohio

4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Barktoberfest | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this beer's head is two fingers thick, with lateral lacing, and an amber-fading-into-gold body.

Smells like plentiful malts and hearty grains.

I'm tasting those malts and grains, along with a nice mild sweetness.

The mouthfeel is medium with mild carbonation.

Overall, I'll choose to give Barktoberfest | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company a 4.5. This is different(in a good way) from most Märzens out there.

Oct 02, 2016
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nicholas2121 from Ohio

4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Barktoberfest brewed by Thirsty Dog Brewing Company, with an ABV of 6.00% This brew pours out a nice deep brunt amber color with a small white head. I really like the copper color of this brew. The smell of Barktoberfest is rich with roasted grians and malts. There is also a real nice inviting sweetness to the smell of this brew. You also pick up some minor hops in the smell. Now for the taste, it is rich and bold with flavors. You first pick up on the sweetness of roasted grians and malts. There is also a nice caramel sweetness in the taste of this brew. The end is a slight bitterness from the hops. There is a lot going on in Barktoberfest, not saying that is a bad thing. Now Barktoberfest has a super nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering about this brew. This is a real fine drinking brew. For me this is the type of brew that goes well with the season. The mouth feel of Barktoberfest, is rich, bold, clean , sweet, roasted, and refreshing.
This brew has a lot more going for it than others Oktoberfest brews on the market. This one is just so smooth and rich. It is really hard to pick up on the 6.00% ABV in this brew. Overall I'm giving Barktoberfest a 4.50 out of 5. I would buy this brew again. Thirsty Dog Brewing Company, did a real nice job with this Oktoberfest brew.

Sep 22, 2016
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damndirtyape from Ohio

3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

20oz on tap at Ray's Place, Kent OH. Served in a large shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Bright amber. Only a thin white head with no lacing noted.

Smell: At first, no aroma at all. As it warmed up, finally some toasted malt sweetness with a bit of a cake-like aroma to it.

Taste: Nice dose of noble hops which dominated at first. The malt isn't very notable until the beer fully warms up to room temperature. This is a beer that appears to have been designed for German-style serving temperatures. Once warmed up, it's on the sweet side for a Marzen, but it's more to style. When cold, it's more noble hops + a bit of toasted malt as an accent. Not a beer that hold up well over a wide temperature range.

Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation, sticky, but good thickness.

Overall / Drinkability: This beer by itself misses the mark a bit for the style. While much better fully warmed up, it's on the sweet side and it's best feature is that it pairs quite well with food. By itself, it is just okay. With food (in this case a Meatloaf Sandwich) then it becomes much better and compliments the food like you would expect a Marzen to do at a festival. So on the one hand I think this beer was crafted closer to the German spirit of a Marzen (serve warm with food for maximum effect), but, I've had better Marzens / Oktoberfest brews which stand all on their own at any temperature and with or without food. This one doesn't and one is enough. But with food, I'd gladly have it again.

Sep 14, 2016
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This nice fest pours a bright and clear orange color with a modest head of off white foam that settles to a thin ring, light layer, and light lacing. Nose of malt, malt, caramel malt, more malt, light bread, and light lager yeast. Flavors surpass the rather malt driven nose with caramel malts dancing about a light bread flavor on the middle and a subtle crisp hop snap on the back. Excellent mouth feel that cuts through the sweetness to keep it lively and in step with the hops. Balanced and delicious. Excellent for the style. A must for Oktoberfest. A pleasant surprise from a great brewer.


Nov 09, 2015
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jkrich from Florida

3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from an undated 12 oz. bottle: bright, deep-golden to copper hue with a foamy and sustained off-white head.

Very strong malt presence in the aroma; also very fresh

This is a very substantial Oktoberfest - the flavor is a complex malty and chewy profile with some teasing hops to keep it from becoming cloying.

Medium bodied with a sweet and clean mouthfeel, the carbonation kept each sip zesty.

Possibly my last Oktoberfest for the season, and a fine one too. The most complex yet quaffable Oktoberfest I enjoyed this year.

Nov 01, 2015
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear deep copper in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and faint amber highlights. The beer has a three finger tall foamy beige head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thin film surrounded by a very thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted and bready malts with a light to moderate amount of earthy hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted and bready malts with minimal amounts of toffee sweetness. That is followed by a moderate flavor of earthy hops which imparts minimal amounts of bitterness which fades away almost instantly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink as this one is very well balanced with malt and hops flavors/aromas without either really dominating the overall sweetness/bitterness. Enjoyable.

Sep 27, 2015
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SaltofOH from Ohio

4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle, no date. Threshold beer glass. Please Thirsty Dog, date your bottles.

S: smells generally lager-y; not really as much of the heavy Munich/pils malt that I would expect; not much noble hop either. Munich malt and noble hops come out a bit more as it warms, but never quite as pronounced as say, Paulaner or Great Lakes.

A: pours a bold, slightly hazy amber-orange, with 1 finger off-white head; retains a moderate skim; lacing is fair. Very actively carbonated. This is the second Thirsty Dog lager I've had lately that's hazy. They've both been great, but it's a little weird, frankly.

T: Drier arrival than I'd expect from an American-style Oktoberfest; turns to a more traditional caramel maltiness across the middle, then sets into full-on malt assault, but it's not nearly as malty as Great Lakes or Sam Adams Oktoberfests. The bare caramel malt swiftly transitions to that sweet Munich malt flavor with a hint of sourness right before turning in to a dry, clean bitterness with lingering caramel and noble hop notes. Finish is fairly short, and leaves the palate clean and refreshed.

M: For as carbonated as it appears, it does not show on the palate. Really perfect carbonation for the heavier style keeps it feeling light and refreshing on the palate. I'd say solidly mid-weight, with a touch of slickness that the hops rein in right at the end.

O: This is really interesting; it has the caramel color and flavor that you'd expect from American-style Oktoberfest beers, but manages to not get sweet or cloying in the least. In fact, dare I say this is as refreshing as the Sierra Nevada 2015 Oktoberfest, but with more toasty caramel and slightly less sweetness. Definitely six-pack worthy.

Sep 19, 2015
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metter98 from New York

3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is crystal clear light copper in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of toasted malts are present in the nose along with some hints of earthiness.
T: The taste follows the smell, having flavors of toasted malts and some slight hints of toffee. No bitterness is perceptible, but there are enough underlying hops to mask malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a good American representation of a German Oktoberfest style. While rather malty, it's still quite drinkable because the body isn't that heavy.

Serving type: bottle

Sep 11, 2015
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jp32 from Michigan

4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours transparent amber in color.

The nose is sweet, malty, and to put it simply- delicious.

Flavor definitely has a caramel malt backbone, followed by something hoppy and then buscuity. Very clean, crisp finish for this style. Absolutely perfectly carbonated (at least my bottle was).

Great octoberfest, try it while you can.

Aug 19, 2015
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creepinjeeper from Missouri

4.58/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Look: Rich amber to copperish appearance. Nice head that disapates to lacing on top and on the side of the glass.
Smell: Bready, biscuity, dark fruit inviting.
Taste: Strong malty backbone with sweetness. A kiss of hops.
Feel: Light carbonation with substatial body.
Overall: Easily the best oktoberfest/marzen brew I've had yet.

Jul 09, 2015
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StretchZep from Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My go to Oktoberfest!!! This is one of my look forward to every fall beers!!! Lots of malty caramel goodness!!! My experience is you can't go wrong with anything from Thirsty Dog!!!

May 10, 2015
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rangerred from Tennessee

3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nearly clear, dark brown with a one finger off-white head. Lacing is really lacking but head retention is better than average.

Aroma is full of sticky sweet caramel, almost candy-like, with some hints of wet grass. Touches of plum in there as well.

The flavor provides the same caramel candy notes but there is more of a roasty character. The hops are pretty muted but provided a bit of bitterness towards the finish. More dark fruit notes and light milk chocolate. Mouthfeel is a little stickier than I like but it works well here.

Overall, a very nice American take on the style and one of the better ones out there.

Dec 14, 2014
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superspak from Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into dimpled mug, 2014 release. Pours fairly hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toast, biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and light earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Minimal earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, biscuit, light nuttiness, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice robustness, balance, and complexity of dark/bready malt and light earthy hop flavors; with no cloying sweetness after the finish. Very clean malt flavors with minimal yeast esters present. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Oktoberfest style. All around great robustness, balance, and complexity of clean dark/bready malt and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Nov 16, 2014
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Gajo74 from New York

4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a solid and pleasant looking dark amber color that is true to style. Interestingly enough, it gets lighter towards the end. A minimal head quickly dissipates but does leave a thin ring of lacing.
Served cold, the aroma begins with a light caramel sweetness and with a strong emphasis on toasted bread. As it warms, some wonderful aromas begin to emerge. For example, the caramel sweetness becomes more pronounced, the malt aroma smells more creamy, and a hint of floral perfume makes its subtle presence known. Most impressively, the yeast brings out fruity esters in the way of banana. It truly evolves into a great nose.
In the mouth it feels clean and medium to light in body at first. In fact the body even feels a little bit thin, along with a gentle carbonation that doesn't have much bite. However, as with the aroma, flavors begin to unlock. The light caramelized malt texture becomes creamy, silky and sweeter. The malts, true to style, run the show, with a bready, toasted and ultra smooth quality. Not much by way of hops, just a tiny hint for gentle spice and balance.
I thought that this was a really good example of an Oktoberfest with a really nice malt profile.

Oct 25, 2014
Barktoberfest from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 339 ratings