Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Barktoberfest | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
86
very good
83 Reviews
BarktoberfestBarktoberfest
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States | website

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierguy5 on 09-26-2004

BEER STATS
Reviews:
83
Ratings:
301
Avg:
3.81
pDev:
23.88%
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
67
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 301
Photo of Kleez
4.72/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this for the first time. Early on in the season. I am a big fan of thirsty dog but they were always over shadowed by Great Lakes. This beer however has exceptional taste and is smooth. Its definately an ACE in the Akron brewery's deck. Worth having and going back for seconds

 281 characters

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.7/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looks and smells precisely like Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest. Body is a bit light, but I cant knock it. Light orange with good carbonation and a lager head. The smell has loads of light grain with a good addition of caramel, but not too much. Spicy earthiness comes to mind, like ginger and nutmeg, but there's none in this beer. Great Lakes smells the same way.

Wow the taste is amazing. The balance of the slick sweetness and grainy earthiness is just amazing. Earthy grain really dominates, but what would be an awful aftertaste is cut off by a slick sweet caramel. I love it.

Feels light for the style, which is a great thing. I love how the grain and earthiness come on strong then fade into nothing behind waves and waves of sweet caramel malt.

Wow, Great Lakes lost a head to head lager battle. This is a first for me.

 826 characters

Photo of Amalak
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had out of a 12 ounce bottle.

A. Nice orangish/brown color, opaqueish, with a thick head a white lacing.

S. Bitter kind of pilsner scent.

T. Sensational. Burst of hop and followed by citrus. So flavorful. Leafy. Perfect oktoberfest.

On a separate note, the Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. has a VERY similar label to the Great Lakes Brewing Co. Not sure if they are affiliated, but I thought this was a GLBC beer when I got it.

 426 characters

Photo of creepinjeeper
4.58/5  rDev +20.2%
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.

 372 characters

Photo of B967ierhunter177
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a bold, clear amber with a thin head and lace that lasts. The aroma is of roasted malt, caramel, and bread crust. The flavor is complex with nuts, roasted malt, and toffee notes with a hint of honey in the background. The mouthfeel is medium and smooth. Thirsty Dog Barktoberfest is a very good brew, very drinkable and a good example of the style. Highly recommended.

 384 characters

Photo of McNealc31
4.48/5  rDev +17.6%

The pour is surprisingly cloudy. Roasted malt and a hint of orange in the aroma. Very tasty! Full body, a lot of butterscotch followed by a touch of citrus sweetness. Hops provide a dry and slightly bitter finish.

Really yummy. Immediately one of my favorite Oktoberfests

 273 characters

Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.48/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Really bright for such a medium copper-dark amber color. Substantial and consistent foam head, mousse top.

S: Grassy and wet hop presence. Roasted bittersweet chocolate

M: Very smooth. Silken. Moderate body. Superfine low-med carbonation. Could be cloying if not for toasted dry finish.

T: Has a sharp acidity, poignant, slightly citric and woodsy. Grassy wheat elements and darker malts. Deep sweetness, bready, very toasty, and rich. I think its a well-attenuated showcase of vienna malts. Sweetness is decidedly like malt-candy

 536 characters

Photo of CaptainHate
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I bought this as my contribution to a bunch of my buds who get together sporadically to listen to music and drink fine beer. There are over five local places which I frequent to fill up growlers and this at Whole Foods was easily the best value. I'm a big fan of Marzens and this had everything I was looking for. My fellow sots seemed to agree.

Great Lakes brewery has been regarded as the gold standard in local craft brews but Thirsty Dog has come a long way.

 463 characters

Photo of mcallister
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks like your average octoberfest. This one is slightly deeper in amber color with a dense half inch slightly off white head that fades into a sticky rings down to a thin topper.

Wonderful bready, cereal grain aromas. Caramel, and toffee with only a hint of earthy hop aromatics. A bit sweet in the aromatics.

Just a fantastic octoberfest in the flavor department. Bursnting with juicy melted caramel, and toffee. Butterscotch flavors very malty and cereal ridden. Full of fresh baked sweet breads with just enough hop to balance and keep things from being cloying. Thick, creamy, with good carbonation. Just delicious.

 623 characters

Photo of drzig
4.26/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Dark brown - great Marzen color
Smell - Not too strong, sweeter malt
Taste - a little sweet with a great flavor
Mouthfeel - Carbontated with subtle flavors that stand out (sweet malt and caramel)
Overall - Great beer that is easy to drink. Will remind you of Oktoberfest and the fall to come. I am a big fan of Marzens and this is up there toward the top.

 368 characters

Photo of Glanzman
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear, medium caramel color with a off-white, 1 finger head that quickly disapates and minimal lacing.

Smells of roasted malts and taste the same. It's an ok beer.

I couldn't buy a six pack of these bug a single to celebrate Oktoberfest.

 288 characters

Photo of BierFan
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Clear copper body and a head that goes from 2 inches to a thin film of foam in a minutes time. Lacing is fine for the lack of head. Smells a bit grassy with some bready caramel malt. Taste of biscuit, caramel, grassy hops, and an appropriate amount of bitterness in the finish.

Really great example of the style. I wish great craft lagers like this were a more common sight.

 426 characters

Photo of Morey
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with with no freshness date.

Poured a copper-orange color with one fingers worth of fluffy white head. Has now settled to a thin spotty lace. Nice clarity. Pretty impressive head retention too.

The aroma is pretty typical for the style. Good and malty with toasted grain and a hint of nuttiness.

Full flavored Oktoberfest here! Rounded and somewhat earthy malt flavor up front. There's some hop bitterness towards the middle too. Not much, but more-so than most within the style. Smooth finish with some nice lingering malt and hop character.

Medium bodied with a nice malty mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation.

A very good Oktoberfest overall. 2nd only to Great Lakes IMO.

Morey's Bottom Line: This was a bit of a surprise to me. I've had a good amount of Oktoberfest this Fall, and this is without a doubt one the best. Recommend.

 848 characters

Photo of Fitwitchik
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

Auburn colour with thin head. No lacing.

Malty light spicey scent with some sweetness

Taste is exceptional for a marzen. Great flavor!

Goes down with light carbonation and very smooth. A chuggable fall beer.

Overall delicious and will definitely buy again. Wished I had bought more than a single bottle...

 336 characters

Photo of DeFaz
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thirsty Dog can be hit or miss, but this one is a "hit" for sure. Some will be opposed to the sweet flavors, but keep in mind that this is a Marzen, and the malt needs to shine over the hops (and it does). What we got is really nice complexity, with bread, fruit and raisin flavors. The alcohol is expertly and dangerously concealed, and the mouthfeel is spot on, with medium carbonation and thickness and an impressively clean finish given the sweetness in the taste. There are a lot of Oktoberfest/Marzen beers out this time of year that don't impress. This is one of those beers that manages to be both well thought out and nicely executed.

 643 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Barktoberfest pours with a full-moon for a head, and a lacing that splatters the glass like a wet dog shaking off wet snow. It has a deep amber complexion, a slightly tarnished golden colour that's smeared into flashy coppered overtones. Looks like a filling, hefty lager.

Traditional Märzen (see: Hofbrau Oktoberfest) were stronger but only slightly deeper, more intricate variations from their standard Helles lagers recipes. Most modern craft breweries, especially those in the States, brew a different beer altogether; they are decidedly darker and richer, with a far appreciable toasty nuttiness and even suggestions of caramel.

This approach tends to produce, at least superficially, a more substantial beer. (It's similar to the case to be made between more austere Old World wines and their sweeter, more bombastic New World counterparts.) Thirsty Dog's version is certainly one of those thicker, broader examples - you can tell from the forwardly nougat-y, nutty aroma alone...

And if not that, certainly from the stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth maltiness. The flavour profile is layered - toasted bread crusts, spongy coffee cake, biscuits - and finishes with a fine dusting of maple fudge and a delicious honeyed, nutty note taken right from the Greek pastry playbook (think baklava or kataifi), tempered of course by a fairly heavy-handed hoppiness.

Thirsty Dog Barktoberfest is a howlin' good ale (it's as good as that pun is bad). It's ultra-rich maltiness and all its notions of walnut cake and nutty pastry that accompany it, are irresistible, especially when placed inside such a quaffable, easy-to-chug-back lager frame. After the iconic German brands, this is an obvious one to recommend. In fact, it's a new personal favourite.

 1,760 characters

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

 333 characters

Photo of hustlesworth
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- nice clear rusty amber w a creamy off white head leaving thick sheets of lace.

S- caramel malty sweet and a bit metallic. Some good noble hop aroma as well, slightly floral. There's also a fruitiness like raisins and nuts.

T- grainy and toasty, extra toasty, and very fresh considering it's brewed a few miles away. Can't beat that. Aside from the thick bold toasted flavor it's pretty close to my beloved traditional oktoberfests. Barley is balanced out by a clean subtle bitterness in a pleasant earthy finish.

MF- Not as thick and robust as other TD specialties, and that's a good thing. Medium bodied and crisp yet still substantial feeling due to the noticable quantity of malt. A bit of grainy feeling adds to that.

D- a pleasant suprise and not very Americanized, if hearty fresh grain could be considered so. The mf wins me over as it's not too heavy and not too light.

 888 characters

Photo of sixerofelixir
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Besides being the funniest name for a marzen, this one also has the best label. Hilarious.

On to the beer.. pours a pretty, light amber with carb-o-plenty. A thick head soon turns into a lacy ring, typical of this style. Smells phenomenal, yeasty and sweet and toasty. Taste starts with more of a bitter tip than other marzens, which I like, all the while balanced very well with toasted malt. Finishes bitter, and sorta sticky, but not too bad. Feel is nicely carbed and dense. Just a fine-drinking marzen, and a great representative of the style. Excellent.

 575 characters

Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Thick head on top of a crystal clear copper colored brew. Grassy, caramel and fresh herbs in the nose, very clean. Deep smoothness within a solid medium sized body. A whole lot of malt going on here; from bready to dried grass, hint of biscuit and a kiss of caramel ... all which meld well together. Nice uniform bite of hop bitterness is there to balance with some complimenting flavor in the semi-dry malty finish.

Spot on for style, very drinkable with a ton of malt flavor on the palate.

 535 characters

Photo of asabreed
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith 12 oz. nonic.

Appearance: A mildly copper color with some peach in there also, depending on the light, an off-white clinging to the top of the glass, some nice raindrop retention left behind.

Smell: A huge, unsurprising sense of malt, caramel, maple syrup, and mild chocolate, with very little hops to be found in the aroma, yet it maintains a nice balance, and it's certainly complex and varied in what's coming from the glass. And as it warms, some orange marmalade aromas creep in also.

Taste: Definitely more malty than anything, but unlike many of the style I've had lately, there's an emphasis on balance and complexity, and boldness also, as this seems like it could be a candidate for a pretty wild imperial version from Thirsty Dog. This is the beer you want to drink while it's raining and your watching the leaves fall in late September. An opening sense of caramel is pretty huge, followed by lingering, though not overbearing, maple syrup, along with some orange candy or marmalade or jam-type of flavors, and finishing with some chocolate. All of those flavors combine nicely, and though the hops aren't extremely assertive, they do enough to not make this too sweet, and probably linger in with the more fruit-like malt flavors floating around.

Mouthfeel: There's definitely deception from the color of the brew, as this is more medium-bodied, and one, tasting, I would expect to be much darker, but alas. Medium-bodied it is, and there's a nice sense of creamy carbonation. This is a deceptive sipper for all its attributes.

Drinkability: On point with GLBC as one of my favorite micro domestics. Tons of flavor for a deceptively lighter-colored brew, and a lot going on. Only picked up one bottle to sample, but I'll definitely be getting more if I can find it. A nice surprise here overall, and one I enjoyed every second of.

 1,887 characters

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

 1,382 characters

Photo of Franz4
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- clear golden color with a small head that faded quickly.

S- Toasted malts with a touch of brown sugar

T- follows the nose with toasted malts and a biscuity presence.

M- medium bodied with light carbonation

D- Very drinkable, probably one of the best American brewed Oktoberfests out there. If you're a fan of Oktoberfests this one should definitely be on your annual list.

 381 characters

Photo of BB1313
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear dark amber, nice fluffy white head which eventually fades, but leaves nice lacing and retention. Aromas are nice, but somewhat faint. I'm picking up a ton of malts, lots of caramel. The flavors are spot on. Not mind blowing, but very good for the style. There's a nice breadiness from the malts and grains. More caramel, which comes through more in the flavors than it does in the nose. The caramel gives this one a nice sweetness. I'm also picking up a hint of fig and butterscotch. This isn't really bitter or spicy. There's a subtle touch of cocoa. There's a touch of hops. Alcohol goes completely unnoticed. Mouthfeel is great. Extremely light and smooth. Very creamy. Perfect amount of carbonation. This is very easy drinking marzen.

This is an Oktoberfest beer that I look forward to each fall. Nice example of the style. It's similar to Great Lakes Oktoberfest, but somewhat lacks the complexity. This is worth checking out if you come across it.

 1,020 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Typical Oktoberfest you get a dark amber brown with a nice inch of creamy white colored head.

S - Smells very malt forward which I enjoy. Notes of bread and caramel are followed by toffee and small hints of Rum Raisin bread.

T - Damn this is tasty, much bigger than most I have sampled that seems to have Dopplebock tones to it an almost "rum soaked raisin bread" tone. Very hoppy and sweet malts make this one very balanced, caramel and toffee flavors abundant.

M - Medium bodied it does drink kind of heavy for a late summer eve.

Overall I welcome the style and they did a very good job representing it. If I could get it cheaper than 3 dollars a bottle (18 dollar sixer) I could enjoy it more. Damn Thirsty Dog is pricey here.

 737 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Barktoberfest from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe