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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 315
Photo of Hoptometrist
3.11/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from the bottle into a glass stein

A- Poured a clear amber color with a two finger soapy head

S- Big grassy and earthy notes, medicinal aroma, and a biscuit like quality.

T- Big earthy, grassy notes, finishes with a medicinal taste reminiscent of some dopplebocks I have had, and a little bit of nuttiness in the middle of the tongue. For a 6% ABV the alcohol comes through pretty strong in the aftertaste.

M- Pretty smooth up front with good carbonation, but finishes a little boozy especially for the style, a little bit of a burn

O- As far as Oktoberfest beers there are much better options. A little boozy for the style and the flavor is a little too earthy and medicinal. I wish more biscuit or nutty qualities were present in this beer.

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Photo of sdsurfer217
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Finger worth of white head that dissipates quickly. A pretty amber color, with not much carbonation coming off the bottom.

S: Floral notes, sweet biscuit aromas. Touch of citrus and caramel.

T: Biscuits shine through, very malty, with little hop finish. Little bit of toasted nuts.

M: This beer coats the mouth nicely, not too heavy or thin. Flavors linger, but not very much carbonation.

O: Good beer for this time of year. Style-wise, I was hoping more malts would shine through, it seems a little meek. I was looking forward to more caramel/toffee/toasted nuts flavor. Its pretty easy to drink and sessionable though.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Barking dogs occasionally bite, but laughing men hardly ever shoot."

--Konrad Lorenz

Blazing bonfire orange with amber borders and a wealth of carbonation that is sustaining barely one finger of skinned almond colored foam. The lid is creamy, though, and hangs around for a bit. Lace isn't abundant early, but comes through in the end with fat rings connected by thick sheets.

The aroma is classic for the style and includes no bells or whistles. That makes sense since most brewers stick with tradition in their Oktoberfests. Well-toasted and nutty grains are pleasing to the nose.

Barktoberfest Lager is just as solid on the taste buds. There's still plenty of countering bitterness left, despite the fact that this is an autumn seasonal and there were only 15 IBUs to start. Can that be accurate?

Flavors include lightly sugar-crusted toasted grains, baked nuts and a tea leaf bitterness that keeps the finish quasi-crisp and tight. Hop flavor is not lost in the mix either. This is surprisingly well-brewed beer in a style that struggles to float my boat on most occasions.

The mouthfeel has everything that it needs in terms of size and bubbles. Warming firms it up and smooths it out, although the carbonation still has plenty of energy. Well done.

Thirsty Dog Barktoberfest is yet another impressive offering from an Ohio brewery that tends to get lost in the mix. Great Lakes in clearly the class of the state, but these guys deliver the goods as well.

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
2.8/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter.

A - 1-finger off-white/ecru foamy head that becomes a thin film of lace across the surface rather quickly. Sunset orange and clear.

S - Lightly toasted malt with hints of caramel, lemon/lime citrus, and sour apple.

T - Malt, biscuit, honey and brown sugar, a little spiciness like a touch of cinnamon, bittering hops on the finish that linger and dominate the impression. I'd like to see more of the flavors and less of the bittering.

M - Smooth but fizzy. Reasonable carbonation. Decent body to start, but it gives up rather quickly. Consistently gets thinner from start to finish, ending with the hops cleaning off the palate.

D - Drier than expected for a Marzen style, and a bit hoppier on the finish, too. Wish it had more body. While there are better examples of this style, I could see enjoying a few pints of this if it were found on tap and not up against other craft Oktoberfests.

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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.

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

Standard Oktoberfest pour. Copper/amber is appearance with pearl white head. Loses points for lack of head and retention. Aroma full of malts... caramel, grains, toffee and actually a decent amount of coffee, which I found very unusual. Nice smell though. Taste follows the nose. Good amount of caramel malts, bready flavor, toffee and yes, the coffee flavor carries over. A little bit of grassy hops finishes out the beer.

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Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pokal a deep bronze with a half finger white head,the color was quite deep for the style.Aromas of caramel,sweet dough,and light splash of herbal/spicy hop,pretty standard palate with caramel and toasted grain the main components,light herb in the finish.Not a bad O-fest lager but pretty mainstream compared to alot of better ones out there.

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Photo of CHickman
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear dark amber in color with a foamy 2 finger beige head that lasted a while; OK lacing that slides down the glass fast.

Smells of syrup, sweet malt, caramel, herbs and light brown sugar; slight whiff of spices in the nose, which could be from the hops.

Tastes of syrup, sweet malt, caramel, herbs, light brown sugar, light citrus hops, molasses, toasted grains and cinnamon or light spices like pepper, allspice and/or yeast, and brown sugar; sweet overall with hints of brown sugar and nutmeg.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with a light, crisp body and an almost watery feel. Quite drinkable and easy to put down; a very good Octoberfest that is sweeter than most, but to me was a good aspect of this beer.

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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.

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

Short review for a short beer.

Pretty copper. Still. Nothing-head. Smells of toasty unidentifiable malts... maybe German, maybe not... almost a pumpkin note, buttery toasty-bread sweetgrain here, very small amount of bittering hop... taste follows... an easy, no-frills no surprises Ofest. Finish is lingering toasty malt (good), a little dry bitters and a hint of red apple esters. Mouthfeel is dry-crisp-fizzy and fine, is actually a lot drier than expected... interesting. Finish is much more fruity than it "should" be and reminds me, bizarrely, of Lost Abbey Lost & Found. Drinks okay. Would drink if this were local, but it's not German and seems like it uses an odd yeast. Worth a shot if you like the style.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an apple juice type color with no head to speak of. There was also no carbonation at all rising. Aroma was malty, slightly sour, with trace hints of wheat/grains. Taste was mellow, started off malty and grainy, just like it smelled, but not in a bad way. A bit of bitterness formed after lingering in the mouth. It felt good in the mouth, there was carbonation on the toungue despite none being evident in the beer, and it coated well. Good to drink, it was well balanced a fairly solid oktoberfest.

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Photo of rlshep
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: Pilsner malt dominates. Some sulfur.

Appearance: Medium white head. Dissipates quickly. Somewhere between copper and brass color. Minimal lacing.

Flavor: Strong toast notes with smooth maltiness. High bitterness for style. Spicy hops jump out at you in flavor but not aroma. Reading over some of the comments, a lot of people are saying caramely. I'm not getting that at all, I get all toasty bready notes.

Mouthfeel: Smooth medium mouthfeel. medium-low carbonation. Alcohol present, but in background. Bitterness leaves some harshness.

Overall: Decent beer. Bitterness is a little too high for this style. With all of the other good Oktoberfests on the market, it would be hard for me to choose this one.

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

Pours a crystal clear copper amber hue with a bright off white head, forms thick lacing around the glass as it dwindles. Aroma caramel malts, earthy/spicy hops will imbibe and report back sensations. A spicy hop background upfront caramel malts/nutty tones as well, this is solid maybe a touch of diacetyl (butter). Have no fear it doesn't hurt the flavor profile it's not offensive for me, but I'm not sensitive to that flavor. Only offense for me is overall sweetness it hits the super malty profile without hitting me with enough herbal spicy qualities to balance things out. Mouthfeel is creamy assertively carbonated, not thin not heavy or cloying. Drinkability overall is alright a bottle wasn't bad but this style is meant to be drank by the liter and this version doesn't justify that portion size.

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

A straightforward interpretation of the style. Caramel malt-forward, some moderate grain notes. Finish was a rather pungent quinine bitterness that was out of place in the style. I've noted others complaining of butterscotch notes, but my bottles have none, so perhaps a bit of quality control at the brewery? The label art with the dogs howling at the moon was an amusing touch.

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Photo of tempest
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Abe's Cold Beer. I wasn't sure what to expect, but this turned out to be a very tasty lager. It was a little too toasty for the style (though I won't short it for that) with smooth mellow bread and hint of caramel. The only knock is a mild touch of diacetyl in the aroma. Still, I'd be happy to have a stein full of this Oktoberfest any time.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-pours a transparent golden ornage color with a full creamy off white head.

S-the nose seems off, a fair bit of grain with slight toasted notes, caramel malts as well, however, there is some acetaldehyde giving it a sour green apple aroma.

T-the flavor is more of the same, the malts are good but the acetaldehyde gives it this off flavor. the grains, hints of toasted grain, and caramel seem to blend together and nothing really seperates as if it were meant to blend together.

M-medium body and syrupy with a lively finish and soft feel.

D-can't get over the off sour green apple, not a fan of that flavor and I don't think it should be there.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A safe and tasty Oktoberfest beer that exhibits the caramel-rich sweetness over malty elegance of traditional Marzens.

The pour brings a brilliantly clear copper/amber hue with solid head formation initially, but the retention fades quickly with low levels of lace or life left behind.

Aromas of lighly baked barley, medium caramel and grain dominates the nose, but with a backup note of true malt and tea-like herbs.

Dominant caramel and grainy-sweetness continue in flavor with lighter malt taste, mild breadiness, and light grassy hops. Bitterness keeps the beer from one-dimentional sweetness but is still a far cry from balance.

Creamy and sweet early, the beer retians its maltiness through the first half of the session but the sweetness and grain flavors wear on the palate later.

The heavy sweetness is never balanced with malt complexity or hop bitterness thus the sweetness causes early fatigue of the palate.

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Photo of Axic10
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a semi clear copper with a half finger of foam that settles down quickly.

Smell: Bready, biscuity malt, caramel. Very sweet smelling, but not overpowering.

Taste: The taste falls completely flat after the nose on this. Malty heavy, but it has a really earthy after taste which isn't horrible, but it doesn't work well here.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied

Drinkability: I'm torn on this beer, it smells really good but falls short on the taste. I have another bottle to try but I'm not sure if I'd get again or not.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber in color, with a small, frothy head. Doesn't stick around long, no lacing.

Smell is pleasant, with a lot of roasted malts, and caramel and sweetness.

Theres a bit of a hop bitterness at first, followed by caramel, malts, and a bit of breadyness.

Feel is velvety, slightly crisp, not too much on the carbonation, and upper-light in body.

Solid, drinkable festbier!

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Photo of bruachan
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

decent froth. good bubblage over light amber clearness

spicy noble hops with a decent background of munich malts

caramel. well-rounded raisiny/munich flavors. very nice herbal hop flavors. that's a simple but elegant beverage. quaffable and seemingly dependable. i detect an ever-so-slight fruitiness in the flavors. this is obviously odd for a lager, but i suppose some lager malts do contribute to fruitish elements

i've kept the mouthfeel score low because i reckon it's a touch on the supple side, but actually think this works out quite nicely

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Photo of hosehead83
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass. Clear copper in color, with a two-inch head of white foam.
Aroma-Subtle malt, caramel.
Taste-Sweet, toasted malt, caramel, and a nice little hop bite that comes up and provides a nice balance to the sweet malt.
Overall, not a bad take on the style, pleasant and drinkable.

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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.

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Barktoberfest from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 315 ratings.
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