Barktoberfest | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

very good
88 Reviews

Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

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

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Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 314
Photo of jsisko01
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a dark amber/copper color with a half inch thick head that lingers for a couple minutes. Leaves a very nice lacing.

Smell - Very sweet and malty, with feint hints of caramel and other aromas.

Taste - VERY sweet with caramel and brown sugar being the dominant flavors. It's also very bready. The hops come through stronger in the finish giving it a slightly bitter and floral taste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall - I can honestly say this Oktoberfest is unique compared to all the others I've tried. It's a little too sweet in my opinion, but it's still delicious.

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Photo of tastymug
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into 6oz pilsner tasting glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper with minimal head

Smell: Malty, sweet and earthy

Taste: Has a caramel, bready taste

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and creamy, smooth, crisp and carbonated.

Overall: I find this beer very drinkable – I’m preferential to sweet and malty beers and this one definitely hits the mark. Great for sitting around a campfire on a cool fall evening.

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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...

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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.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark brown/tan with foamy 1 inch head and lots of lacing.

Smell - Caramel malts, brown sugars, molasses, some malty pale malt like funk. Nut, roasty, and bready.

Taste - Very sweet and malty, with a light hop bite. Very caramely with lots of brown sugars and mollasses. A smoked, nutty flavor also stands out at the finish.

MOuthfeel - The sweetness hits tounge and palate and coats it with brown sugars. The caramel nutty malts stand out also. The finish is sweet and smokey.

OVerall - One of the sweetest octoberfests ive ever had. Its easy to drink but i dont think id want to many of these. Its a little out of balance with the high sweet flavors, the fruits and spices get buried rather easy. Its worth a try but not a great example for what a marzen can be.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear orange amber color, small white puffy head.

S- Good smell. Sweet malt, caramel, bread.

T- Definitely sweet, almost cloyingly so. Caramelly, bready, with almost a brown sugary note.

M- almost sugary, but full, well carbonated

Overall- Nearly an interesting spin on the Marzen . The sweetness is almost a little overwhelming, but seems to be okay.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours burnished copper and translucent with a slight, creamy, off-white head that quickly dissipates.

Predominantly grainy with caramel malts, some hay and honey-sweet tea. With warmth some orange comes out too.

Sweet, malty with light wheat bread flavors. Warmth brings out some hops and a mild lingering bitterness. There is also some caramelized sugar.

Oily with a medium body and ample carbonation, but not palate-cleansing. Alcohol is barely perceptible.

An everyday autumn beer to sit back and enjoy with friends and bratwurst.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of beveritt
2.68/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a shaker pint glass. Label depicts an array of dogs, howling in a pumpkin patch with silhouettes of scary towers in the background. No clear freshness date.

Appearance: First off, there is a TON of visible sediment swirling around the bottom as I look at the label; that doesn't bode well for a supposedly aged lager. Pours with half a finger of light tan head that has the big bubble look of force carbonation. This falls away quickly, leaving just a few swirling islands of foam and no lacing. The beer itself is medium orange and clear (mainly because I left an ounce or so in the bottle).

Smell: A tart mix of sweet malt, herbaceous off aroma and a distinct metallic twang.

Taste: Strong, sweet caramel malt with hints of toffee. And that's about it. Just sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation. Body is good.

Drinkability: I love malt bombs and am a sucker for bocks, porters, stouts and usually Oktoberfests; but this one is just a sweet mess. Pass.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of Thirsty Dog's Barktoberfest last week for $1.79 at The Lager Mill. A friend of mine let me try a sip of this when we were playing disc golf last month and I thought it was pretty good so I bought a bottle so I could sit down and review it, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- This beer has a pretty good looking label, I like the Halloween theme. It poured a nice copper/orange color with one fingers worth of white head that quickly died down to a very thin ring that stayed till the end.

S- The aroma of this beer is pretty subtle. There is a nice malty aroma that is slightly toasted and has a medium amount of sweetness. I also pick up a little bit of nuttiness and no hops whatsoever.

T- There is more going on with the flavor then the aroma would lead you to believe. It starts off with some some nice lightly toasted malts that have a nice grainy flavor to them and have a light amount of sweetness. A little more toasted malts come out in the middle along with some of that nice nuttiness that I got in the aroma. The finish is really smooth with no hops or bitterness to be found and it had a nice subtle toasty nuttiness aftertaste.

M- Super smooth, on the light side of being medium bodied and a light amount of carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a damn good American version of a Marzen. This beer was all about the malts and had just the right amount of toast to it along with a nice nutty flavor. This beer was really drinkable, just how it should be, I would have no problem polishing off a six pack of this on a nice fall night, one of the most drinkable Marzens I have ever had, this beer doesn't last long in my glass. What I liked most about this beer was the flavor and the drinkability, it was all about the malts and they imparted a really good flavor that made me keep wanting to take another drink. What I liked least about this beer was the aroma and the carbonation, the aroma was a little weak and wasn't too interesting, and the carbonation would have better suited this beer if it was bumped up to medium. I am kinda bummed that I found out about this beer at the end of the Oktoberfest season, had I known about this beer earlier it would have been in my fridge for all of September and October, I will make sure not to forget about this beer next year. I highly recommend trying this beer when looking for a good Marzen, it's a great American version of what a Marzen is all about. This beer is up there with their Tripel as one of my favorite beer from Thirsty Dog, I have only tried three of their beers but so far I have been happy with every single one of them so there's no doubt that I will be trying more of their beers. Thirsty Dog did a great job at making a sessionable and tasty Marzen that I find to be better then Samuel Adams Oktoberfest, it takes a lot to knock that beer out of the top of my favorite Oktoberfests but this beer brought the heat and I enjoyed drinking every drop of it, this is my new favorite Marzen.

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Photo of 57md
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brownish orange with a half-finger of fizzy head. Smells malty with some subtle caramel. The initial taste is malty sweetness, but that is backed by a bitter hop finish. This beer has a good hearty flavor that should be enjoyed by a fire on crisp fall days.

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Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to beerhan for this guy.

Pours a fizzy almost 1 finger head that fades at a med pace, over mostly clear copper orange colored beer, with a bit of lacing.

Nose has some toasty reddish malts, a bit of caramel, some reddish copper malts, some light lager crisp like aromas, sweet malts, and a bit of floral hops. More American style marzen.

Taste comes malty as well, reddish copper malts, semi sweet malts and a bit toasty, sweet syrupy caramel flavors. Then some fruity lager flavors, a bit too fruity though. The syrupy malt flavors really take over, typical American Oktoberfest though. Some light earthy hops, but not a lot. Finishes semi sweet and a bit more bitter, caramel and syrupy malt flavors lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall not bad, typical American Oktoberfest with reddish caramel malts and syrupy flavors, a bit of a decent lager flavor and just a hint of hops that could use more of.

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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.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 10/18/11

Medium golden grown color. One thumb head dwindles quickly, leaving only a wisp behind. No retention or lace.

Aroma is balanced between malty and hoppy. Notes of earthy hops and a touch of grass, grainy bread, lightly buttered biscuit and a faint hint of honey or pollen. Dusting of yeast. Pleasant.

Tastes like I expected based on the nose. A smooth maltiness is accented by dry, earthy hops. Solid bread flavors with a touch of caramel sweetness. Hints of toasted grains. Almost has a metallic hop twang on the finish; almost. A bit nutty as it warms up.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Bready and earthy residuals.

Pretty good, solid Oktoberfest here. Easy to drink and gets better as it warms.

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Photo of dorianmarley
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a red-brown amber with a light head and lacing.

The smell is a mealy, sugary, wheaty malt. The smell is light.

The taste is chocolately, actually, with campfire smoke, brown sugar and malt, and plenty of harvest wheat that you would expect from an Oktoberfest.

The mouthfeel is very true to Oktoberfest with a good amount of carbonation and plenty of drinkability. This is slightly heavier than most Oktoberfests.

Overall, this is a novel take on Oktoberfest that is still true to style.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Dark amber/copper color, with a thin head that quickly dissipates.
S: Whole grain bread just pulled from the oven. Just full of rich malt.
T: Just like the nose- whole grain; reminds me quite a bit of the Garden of Eatin' whole grain chips. One-dimensional, but it does it so well it's hard to complain.
M: Medium bodied, pleasant.
O: Not very complex, but it's so tasty I'm not complaining at all. Great fall beer to drink watching a football game.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.27/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pint glass.

a - pours amber in color. hazy with some of the yeast still in suspension. no head, only a thin film and a few spots of lace.

s - toasted bread with an earthy hop profile and that distinctive saaz pungency.

t - a ton of carmel malt with notes of spice and a faint bitterness in the back. has a long, gooey, sweet finish. good, but could use a little more hops to balance it out.

m - heavier side of medium body, the right amount of carbonation and a slight mouth coating action.

o - pretty enjoyable, but kinda lacking for the style. if it weren't for the lager yeast, i'd say this is like drinking a carmel apple. not sure i would buy it again, but if you're looking for a malt bomb, don't pass this up.

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Photo of schwaeh
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours amber with a nice clarity. One finger dense white head that fades into a small foam cap. Moderate carbonation.

S: Smells nice and sweet. It has a nice doughy biscuit aroma. Lots of Munich malt with a touch of brown sugar. Somewhat hoppy for the style although its mostly all malt.

T: Just like the nose, this is full of biscuits, bread, and cereal grains. Nicely sweetened with brown sugar qualities and some caramel. It has a slight balance of earthy hops with the alcohol actually adding a bit to the flavor.

M: I can't call it thin but it isn't full bodied either. This goes down great, very refreshing.

O: I love this stuff. Thirsty Dog is really under the radar and its a shame. This is my first lager from them, if the others are this good I'll be all over them. I think this is right behind Berkshire for my favorite Marzen.

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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.

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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

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Photo of avalon07
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear texture. There was a half inch of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Very little lacing.

S: Malt was front and center in the smell, with hints of caramel as well.

T: Tasted of malt, caramel, and a little nuttiness in the finish. An OK flavor, but nothing I haven't seen before.

M: A good amount of carbonation, with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is one of those beers that's neither great nor offensively bad. It's solid, but not memorable.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a copper-pumpkin color, with a one-finger white head that reduces to a thin skim of foam.

Plenty of malt to start, hints of alcohol, and hints of grapes greet the nose. The fruitiness puzzles me; I've not smelled that in a Märzen before, but there it is. Perhaps it has to do with the yeast used?

Taste is malty and sweet, with the fruity aroma translating into a mild fructose-style taste in the brew. Grapes and pears, with a bit of sharp carbonation, finish this out.

Medium bodied with a mildly dry finish and a slightly sticky mouthfeel.

Hmmm. I've had this on tap before and thought it better than this. Too sweet for my tastes; I'd prefer the more tried-and-true Brooklyn I just finished reviewing (and dissing for its ordinariness) as a more classic example of the style.

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Barktoberfest from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 314 ratings.
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