Labrador Lager
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

Labrador LagerLabrador Lager
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Lager - European / Dortmunder Export
Ranked #17
Ranked #36,217
3.74 | pDev: 15.51%
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States
Labrador LagerLabrador Lager
Notes: A traditional German lager brewed with all German grain and yeast.
Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 237 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Manta200
Manta200 from Kentucky

3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Single can from Party Town
Deep golden color with a thin white head.
Bready aroma and some sweet notes.
Light to medium body with a smooth mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation.
I like it!

Nov 19, 2021
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DrBeergood from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Amber. Clear. Lively.

S: Roasty toasty malts. Caramel candied sweetness.

T: It's really nice. The malts are well balanced and the hops let the roastiness shine. It's mellow and gives the real ingredients room to shine. There's no extract present--This is the real deal.

F: Crisp carbonation, wholesome roasty malts, and mild hops on the finish. It's heavy and sits at 6.0% ABV. A bit of a residual. Would pair well with food, tobacco, or another one.

O: Year round Octoberfest. It's German styled and quite passable, but the water is from Akron and not quite the same as Germany's. Rhinegeist's Cheetah is another German styled lager from Ohio. It's good, but not quite as righteous as Labrador Lager.

Mar 20, 2021
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BB1313 from Ohio

3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 4/9/19. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours golden with nice clarity and transparency with bubbles racing upwards; creamy eggshell white head that falls leaving nice retention and sticky lacing. The aromas have a nice amount of malts along with some crackers and fresh dough. Some fresh grass as well. The flavors basically follow the nose for the most part. More bread and crackers. Some caramel and toffee. More hints of fresh grass. Mild hints of citrus. Grains are there. Low bitterness. Solid malt backbone. Alcohol basically goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with moderate to active carbonation. It's slightly sharp, fluffy, smooth and easy to drink.

This is a nice lager. It's more or less what you would expect from the style. It's enjoyable stuff. I like it.

Aug 11, 2019
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Gajo74 from New York

3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color, visible carbonation and a modest head that retains well as a creamy film throughout.
In the nose there is initially a light apple like aroma. This is followed by a biscuity malt aroma that dominates throughout. A light trace of DMS towards the end is subtle and acceptable for style.
Well balanced taste with the sweetness of the pilsner malts shining through at first, bready, biscuity, and slightly nutty. Yeast flavors hint at apples. A modest noble hops presence adds a nice spice. The finish is on the sweet side, dry and with a mild lingering bitterness.
Medium bodied, moderately carbonated and smooth. Nicely balanced, malt forward but with a nice touch of spice.
Tasty and easy to drink. I would definitely have this again.

Jun 10, 2018
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Dmac99 from Ohio

2.7/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Big fan of Thirsty Dog, but this brew misses the mark for me. Not really a Lager in my view. Tastes like something was over-roasted. Not a Dortmunder style like the label says.

Jan 14, 2018
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YoungMtn52 from New York

3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked this up at my new Total Wine outlet that just opened where you can out mixed six packs....Good looking lager from Akron, Ohio (home of Lebron James) pours from the bottle with beautiful golden hue but the head dissipated a little too quickly...crisp and smooth, from a traditional German hops recipe. Worth a try!

Jan 04, 2018
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Lagerlivesmatter from West Virginia

4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer. Great example of the style. Horribly overpriced. Why would i pay 12 dollars for six of these when I can get six Dortmunder Gold for 8 and some change? Their prices have put me off trying their other offerings which I'm sure are great as well. Either way I wish them well, maybe one day they can get to a point of competitive pricing.

Rant aside, this is exceptional beer. Everything you would want from a Dort. Clean, big malt balanced perfectly by grassy hops. Despite the higher ABV i found this to be slightly "lighter" than Dortmunder Gold.

Oct 07, 2017
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mister_moose from Connecticut

4.55/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I like this a lot. It pours crystal clear golden amber, smells great of nothing but malt, half sweet but nowhere near too sweet, perfect finish, and never waivers. No off notes at all. 22 IBU on the label, but tastes like less. Plus a cute yellow Lab smiling at you. Great break from all the IPA I'm drinking.

Jul 23, 2017
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Brian_L-2056 from West Virginia

3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear yellow color with a thin bright head. Smells of straw, more pilsner like. Initial taste is very straw like with very little aftertaste. Light feeling brew, could see myself drinking several of these on a hot summer day after work . Glad I tried it.

May 26, 2017
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CTHomer from Connecticut

3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: crystal clear; medium gold in color; 1 finger ivory head that receded slowly to a very thin cap; nice lacing; a lot of bubbles rising;

S: grainy; a hint of DMS;

T: follows the nose; a little grassy as well; mildly bitter finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O: refreshing, but not especially enjoyable;

Oct 06, 2016
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

3.01/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

12 ounce bottle - $2.49 at Total Wine & More in Greenville, South Carolina.

Appearance: Dispensed a gold body displaying good clarity with about an inch of white suds.

Smell: A light touch of softly bready, cereal sweet maltiness. Even lighter in the hop department, just a faint bit of lemon and dried herb. Subdued yeasty vibe throughout.

Taste: Sweetish tasting cereal malts. Very modest hops expressing a little lemon and light florals. Near nil bitterness. A bit of sweetness remains on the somewhat languid finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-low carbonation.

Overall: Uninspired. Not so great in the flavor department, could use more crispness and it's overpriced to boot.

Apr 23, 2016
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Sabtos from Ohio

3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sparkling, slightly foggy gold with a minimal head, but the carbonation is constantly bubbling leaving a persistent and even building film blanket. When you tilt the glass, it will leave a full and solid thin wall of fluid pearl lace.

Smell is toast, grape and corn.

Crisp, slightly stinging semi-bitter herbal hops are joined by toasted cornbread and corn nut with a hint of chardonnay on the exhale. Having next to another solid lager in 2021, this is a touch sweeter with more caramel malt, but the side by side helped to highlight the quality in both.

A lightly frothy carbonation brings you to a paper dry finish.

The more I've had this over the years, the more I realize it's more solid than I first thought.

Dec 20, 2015
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dar482 from New York

3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a deep gold color.

The aroma offers grassy, bready malts, lager qualities.

The flavor follows with grassy hops, floral, onto a light bready malt in the middle, a hint of sweetness, onto a kind spicy bitterness. A balanced brew with restrained hops to distinguish from a pilsner.

Oct 11, 2015
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SaltofOH from Ohio

4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No date on the bottle! There's one negative mark. Threshold beer glass. Side by side review with Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold in the same glass. Bottle states 22 IBU, and 14 deg. Plato.

S: Generally beery. Some pilsner maltiness, faint noble hop aroma. Much more pronounced malt character on the nose than DG; DG has a bit more earthy hoppiness on the nose. Not really much of a smell, but what it has is perfectly to style.

A: First thing I note, after the absence of a bottle date, is a little sediment in the bottle - odd for a lager. Pours a slightly hazy solid gold, 1/4" white head fades to a little skim on the surface. Very nice lacing. Ample carbonation keeps that sediment swirling. There is very little head, but what is there retains to the very end. Really should be clear, and should have more head.

T: That is really good. Immediate malt complexity on arrival. Layers of malty, grainy, bready sweetness, a somewhat sour grain/white bread character. That is not to say it tastes like adjuncts - it does not; it is just marvelously complex light, sweet malt character. Kind of like a honey graham cracker, but lighter and less sweet. DG is WAY hoppier, and has less of that malt character. This is really well balanced; hops appear at the end and do their job of bittering, but never overpower or linger. A little malty sweetness lingers after.

M: Really fills the mouth with a mid-to-heavy weight, lots of carbonation (not at all excessive), and a little residual slickness. Perhaps slightly heavier than DG, and definitely slicker.

O: I was really impressed with this beer. The lack of a date, and the sediment put me off at first, but compared to my go-to DG, this really stacked up well. DG ended up tasting a lot like GL's Burning River, while Labrador tasted decidedly lager like - which is what I want in a golden lager. Clearly heavier and maltier, and less hoppy than a pilsner, but a great easy drinking craft lager. Perhaps the best pale lager in Ohio. From here on out, I will be going for this before DG when I want a local pale lager.

Sep 07, 2015
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damndirtyape from Ohio

3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle served in a pilsner glass. No date on the bottle.

Appearance: Dark clear tarnished brassy color. Lots of bubbles coming up through the beer. Thin white skin of foam and thin ring of foam noted. Some fine strands and islands of persistent lacing noted.

Smell: Very faint aroma - just a barest amount of bready malt and some herbal notes.

Taste: Malty - bready and buscuity, balanced with some noble hops, but not a lot. Sweeter than I was expecting. Full flavored malt profile.

Mouthfeel: Initial light carbonation opens up a bit on the tongue, leaving the finish a bit dry, with a tiny bit of stickiness on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: A bit sweeter than I was's possible my palate is changing lately and I'm wanting more noble hops in my lager. Okay, and I think it might be better with food as by itself I'm okay with it, but not a sipping and savoring beer nor something I would have again. Good, but not a great beer.

Aug 24, 2015
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utopiajane from New York

3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely golden yellow with a slight bit of chill haze and a scant head of white foam that fell pretty fast. Nose is bread that has been drizzled with a bit of honey. A light grass that is sweet and a vergence on nuttiness that I find a bit exciting. Nose is clean. Taste is beautiful. Rich malt that is not heavy just resilient and expansive. A drizzle of sweet honey and a a nutty quality that takes you by surprise. Tantalizing. The malt seems to be peaking in every possible way without becoming something it shouldn't be and so are the hops. The grass in this one is not perfunctory, not an afterthought. The grasses on this are as sweet and rich as the malt. They lend balance and the slightest bitter. It is as though they are some kind of exotic and verdant perfume in this drink. The malt is round yet crisp and dry. The body of the beer is medium and it too is crisp with carbonation. The finish is dry and leaves a bit of it's honey and nutty sweetness behind with those sweet grasses that seem to be billowing in the warmth of the summer sun.


Aug 10, 2014
Photo of Caveworm
Caveworm from Ohio

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

Labrador Lager from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company, my ifrst from this nearby brewer. Poured from the bottle into a glass, this brew's got a 1.5 finger thick, off-white head. Decent lacing for the medium amber body.

Smells like biscuit malt, maybe a slight bit of earthiness . Rich with grains.

Tastes like biscuits quite a bit, yes. The malt is on point here with being not too sweet, but not too bland. Clean finish from Labrador Lager from Thirsty Dog.

A very crisp and clean mouthfeel with this brew. This would be very capable of washing down any food greatly during a meal.

Overall, a very respectable 3.75 for Labrador Lager from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company. This was very refreshing and clean. I will buy this brew again!

Jun 27, 2014
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nicholas2121 from Ohio

4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Labrador Lager brewed by Thirsty Dog Brewing Company with an ABV of 6.0%. This brew pours out a dark amber color- almost brown- with a small, white head. This is a filtered brew you can see right though it. The smell of this brew is sweet with some grains. Reminds me of sweet brewed tea. Nothing bad about this brew so far.The taste is clean, sweet, smooth ,and refreshing. You pick up on sweetness of this brew. Labrador Lager is a real nice balanced brew. There is nothing overpowering in this brew. Mouthfeel is nice, smooth and sweet. Overall I'm giving this brew 5 out of 5. This is a great brew with a great taste. I will buy this brew again...

Jun 20, 2014
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barczar from Kentucky

3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant deep golden with a lingering, frothy, cream head.

Grain, sweet corn, and lightly toasted bread form the initial aroma. Earthy, slightly floral hops are subtle.

Flavor reveals more floral hop notes at the forefront, which rest on a grainy, lightly toasted, crackery malt backbone. There's a sour apple note at the base that is offputting. I have no idea how old this beer is, so hopefully it's an age thing.

Body and carbonation are moderate, with a crisp lager finish.

Very sessionable, basic, refreshing lager. The floral hop notes are nice, but that tangy acetaldehyde note kind of ruins it.

Apr 27, 2014
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superspak from North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly cloudy deep gold color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of cracker, biscuit, honey, pear, apple, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of bready malt, earthy hop, and yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of cracker, biscuit, honey, herbal, floral, light pepper, light pear/apple, and yeast earthiness. No bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of cracker, biscuit, honey, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and robustness of bready malt, earthy hop, and yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and lightly bready mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a good dortmunder style. Good balance and robustness of malt, hop, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A pleasantly enjoyable offering.

Apr 15, 2014
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.
Pours with good clarity and a large creamy head.
Set aside your preconceptions of lagers as fizzy yellow brews with little character. This is a creamy brew with a refined, if rather subtle, aroma and taste. Sure, it is neither rich nor bold, but very pleasing nonetheless. It is above average in all respects, but the perfectly carbonated, lively but soft mouthfeel may be its strongest point.

Feb 01, 2014
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biegaman from Canada (ON)

3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Labrador Lager is clearly a yellow lab, not a chocolate one. This golden beer has a good degree of radiance and shimmering highlights into the light. It's not entirely clear, however, and has a somewhat smeared complexion. Its head looks like it came out of a salt shaker.

The aroma bares strong resemblance to soda bread and corn bread; it has an 'oven-fresh' flavour. There's so much grain and breadiness that you'd think it was crafted by a baker, not a brewer. It uses German malt but tastes like it was made in a French cafe. It's like being in a bakery very early in the morning.

All that breadiness carries with it a natural hint of sweetness; it's subtle but it makes the beer that much more delicious. Besides, while Noble hops aren't exactly showed off, they've got enough presence to lend the mouthfeel a lightly grassy texture and a splash of lemon. Its apparent simplicity masks a high degree of skill and mastery of time-honed techniques.

Technically speaking, Dortmunder is an entirely different style from Pilsner. Still, I sometimes see these beers described as "pilsner-style lager". In truth, it is a little like splitting hairs when making the distinction between these two equally clean, quaffable, golden German lagers...

In fact, even some of the most renown beer writers have had difficulty pinning down exactly what distinguishes the style from other pale lagers. One thing we know for sure, Dortmunders originated in an industrial city - not an artsy one. It is a utilitarian beer by design, produced to deliver efficient, thorough refreshment - not contemplative sipping. Thirsty Dog gets it.

Dec 08, 2013
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screamking from Ohio

3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Pours golden straw, with a thin white head which disappears quickly. Seems very carbonated. Aroma has all the typical notes of a lager, light slightly sweet, and bready. The taste is very fruity at the tounge, which turns to a bready bitterness in the finish. This is middle of the road for me, I've had lagers that are better and worse. Overall I would like to see the bready malt kicked up a notch to balance the sweetness.

Aug 11, 2013
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general_staal from Ohio

4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: It poured a hazy dark yellow-orange with a 1/2"-3/4" head. There was some lacing.

S: There was very little distinct smell but what I did get was a wheat smell.

T: Excellent tasting beer with some wheat and some floral flavors.

M: Nice amount of carbonation on the tongue which gave it a very nice refreshing feel.

O: It is a very drinkable beer. It will serve you well on a hot day to cool off. It is definitely worth a drink if you can get your hands on it.

Jun 25, 2013
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thegodfather1076 from Ohio

4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: Very cool looking label in the traditional K-9 Thirsty Dog fashion with eye-catching graphics and font. I wonder if the Lab on the label belongs to the owner or an employee because his tag says Thirsty Dog Max and label states “”Max”-imum German Lager taste'. Very cool!! Label also gives a short description of the beer, ABV + IBU info, brewery info, and web info.

Appearance: Poured from its 12oz bottle into a 16oz English Pint. Poured out a very clear bright golden yellow color with a tightly packed 3 finger white foam head of a light density. Head retention was phenomenal at 4min 52 sec before fading to a thick coating and ring. Excellent Lacing.

Smell/Aroma: Smell is very grainy with yeasty bready sweetness along with a slight DMS corn flavor. Also a touch of caramel and hops can be detected. Excellent.

Flavor/Taste: Taste starts out with a very bready corn flavor that gives way to a nice toasted slightly caramel malt flavor that finishes with a slight hop bite with a bready aftertaste.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: Very crisp and smooth and on the light side of medium body. Above average carbonation contributes to the crispness. Extremely drinkable.

Overall/Comments: This was a very tasty well put together brew that goes down easy and wont fill you up. I really enjoyed this one!! Classified as a Dortmunder/Export Lager @ 6% ABV. Consumed 4/11/2013.

Apr 12, 2013
Labrador Lager from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 237 ratings