Labrador Lager | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

69 Reviews
Labrador LagerLabrador Lager

Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

Style: Dortmunder / Export Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Traditional German Lager brewed with all German grain & yeast. Very drinkable.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 12-28-2008

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Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 214
Photo of HamdenHector
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
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;

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.01/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

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Photo of dar482
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.99/5  rDev +7.3%
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.


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Photo of Caveworm
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
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!

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
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...

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Photo of barczar
3.52/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of superspak
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
3.69/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of screamking
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of general_staal
4.13/5  rDev +11%
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.

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Photo of thegodfather1076
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

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Photo of metter98
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear deep yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that faded away, leaving only a bit of bubbles on the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of fruity yeast in the nose-apple juice stands out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of apple juice and notes of biscuity malts. There are some slight hints of grassy hops and bitterness towards the finish: these become a bit stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
O: This beer seems to be a bit heavier compared to other beers in the style but it is still very easy to drink.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a little dash of haze and a moderate effervescence. Head pours a thin layer of frothy white foam which doesn't stick around too long. Not too bad.

Smell: sweetish malt with a little hint of noble hops and a clean finish. A bit low in intensity, but it's nice enough.

Taste: pretty rich flavor here, considering the mild aroma. The sweet malt has a rather floral tinge to it; I'm thinking this is yeast-born and not from the otherwise pretty normal noble hops. There's a hint of graininess and a light but acceptable bitterness at the end. A decent Dort!

Mouthfeel: medium body with a light carbonation and a moderate creaminess. Not enough effervescence in my opinion, but the body is nice; almost like a bock.

Overall: a good beer, it's a bit fruity and floral for the style. It feels like it's approaching a bock in many ways (body & sweetness), but overall it's a tasty and drinkable brew.

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Photo of searsclone
4.26/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle into a globe glass. copper colored, clear with floaters. off white head with lacing starting from the head dissipating.

smell is malt, brown sugar, chocolate, caramel and perfume

taste is hops, pine, malts, cinnamon, dark chocolate, caramel, and spice

mouthfeel is crisp, yet creamy and chewy. leaves a syrupy coating on the tongue

one of the best lagers I have had, and it were available locally, I would make it one of my go to beers.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
Served in a Cleveland Browns pilsner glass

A - It has a golden body with three inches of white head that clings to the sides of the glass. I have never seen so many co2 bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass.

S - I got a snoot full of caramel malt.

T - It has a lot of caramel malt and a bready taste.

M - Surprisingly full for as light as it looks.

O - The only other beer of this style I have had in Great Lakes Dortmunder. This has a different taste to it. Reminds me more of a British style. I am pleasantly surprised by how good it is.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a two inch cap that leaves a few shards behind

Smell: Bready, with a fruity, slightly lemony hue

Taste: Bready, up front, with the faint lemony hop flavors adding some balance to the sweet cracker malt; finishes a bit more to the sweet side than I thought it would

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with crisp carbonation

Overall: A decent enough Dortmunder, though I would like to see a bit more hop balance

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Photo of horshack7
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very golden with light copper hues. The head is a solid two fingers in height.

Aroma: Rather bready and yeasty. Twinges of citrus hop but it's much more towards the floral end of it. Subtle alcohol notes in the end.

Taste: Wow bread in a bottle and a tasty meal as well with a yeasty touch. Malts are bready with a good dry finish. Hops are more floral than citrus.
Did I mention this is quite bready because it is. From the mouthfeel side fairly smooth with a toffee texture.

Notes: Dam this is tasty an amazing meal in a bottle and very drinkable. Cheers.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

6% ABV, 27 IBU's, OG=14 P per the bottle. Brewed with all german grain and yeast.

Pours out to a sparkingly clear deep golden, forming a tall creamy yellow tinged white head with excellent retention and solid lacing. Moderate carbonation, ~2.5 carbs. The aroma is great...nice bready biscuity malt, a clean ferment, some delicate floral hops. Mouthfeel is excellent...nice chewy body, crisp and clean with a very smooth finish. The taste is excellent as well...munich and pils malt in wonderful balance with the hops. Mild bitterness, freshly baked bread crust.

Overall, this is just a beautiful example of the dortmunder lager. One of the best I've had. Well balanced, true to style. If you like them a little drier and hoppier, get Great Lakes BC.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a clear gold color with about a half inch off-white head that stayed around a little while. There's a small amount of lacing. The brew smells like bready and sweet malt, and some light grassy hops. It tastes like bready and sweet malt. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit creamy with a moderate amount of carbonation. It goes down easy enough. This certainly isn't one of the better Dortmunder Lagers I've had. It's not a bad beer by any means, but there's nothing about this that would make me want to buy it again.

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Photo of TuffNut87
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lager is one of my favorite styles and this is a good one. Some craft brews are just overpowering. Golden color, yeasty nose and a thin head. Nicely hopped and a slightly sweet finish. I enjoyed it as much or more as other Ohio craft lagers. Enjoyable by itself and washing down some nachos as I watch hockey.

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Photo of DerekP
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pseudo opaque amber with an egg white head. Sticky lacing. Looks good.

Smell: toasty sweet in the nose. Honey, caramel, maybe a splinter of diacetyl, floral moments, and flashes of bitter-sweet fruit tones.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Light, sweet and a touch bitter up front. Honey-like sweetness. Fairly balanced with malts just barely weighing in heavier. Delicate. A peppermint spice hops flavor sits quietly in the middle, almost unannounced. Honey is king of this brew.

Notes: A bit too sweet for my current interest in drier German-style lagers. I was hoping for a little more bittering hops.

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Labrador Lager from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 214 ratings.
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