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: 213
Photo of hustlesworth
4.69/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- clear dark golden amber, dense white head with lots of drippy lace. Settles to thick ring and a thin membrane of foam.

S- sweetly malty with some caramel undertones. Fruity apple, pear, orange, watermelon rind, peach, white grape. Very mice stuff goin on here.

T- aroma transitions nicely to the flavor with a perfect hop flavor and bitterness. White pepper, sandalwood, All the fruity and grain components are here as well with grapefruit and pine from the hops. Sweet bready maltiness fades gracefully into a crisp sprucey And spicy hop finish.

MF- somewhere between light and medium bodied, totally crisp and refreshing with very tight carbonation similar to champagne but without the pricklies. Dries out a little still with a sweetish grain feel.

Postnote: out of the bottle and at a later date it was a bit too sweet so maybe the batch was too sugary or I'm just a nitpicker. Still love the thirsty dogg. Woof.

D- I could definitely knock over a 1/6 barrel of this stuff in a couple days. A Great offering from the boys in akrowdy. It's an agreeable beer for the lighter beer drinkers with enough flavor and complexity to please the real beer drinkers.

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Photo of lbaker
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(a) Pours a light brown/caramel in color into pilsner. Perfect amount of carbonation and head, great lacing. (4/5)

(s) Something sweet in here. Cant put my finger on it but it smells like a flavored grain alcohol. Good amount of corn. (4/5)

(t) This is everything I want in a beer. Suprizing sweet but enought bite to bring you back. (5/5)

(m) A little flat, but enough carbonation to come through for the drinker. Sweet, but great bitter finish (4/5)

(d) I could drink pint after pint of this stuff. Great with food, great just by itself. Overall one of my favorite lagers, handsdown! (4.5/5)

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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 hunter7989
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Seidel.

A: This beer is a deep gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin ring around the glass.

S: The aroma is of lager yeast, light caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is bready with flavors of grain, lager yeast and a malt character. Then some malt and caramel sweetness comes in. I can pick up the taste of some fresh citrus fruits.

M: This beer is crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finishes very clean.

D: This beer goes down easily,and is not filling, and is refreshing. This beer is a decent milder beer to drink, and is light, and not as heavy as others in this style of beer.

Serving type: 12 Fl. oz. bottle

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

We seem to have a local rivalry going. Great Lakes in Cleveland is clearly a great craft brewery, with almost everything they make being top of the line. I had been enthusiastically consuming Thirsty Dog products for a couple years before I realized they too were local.

I was curious if this would be like the xmas ales were - where each company's products were similar. Would this be like Great Lakes flagship Dortmunder? As it turns out, no, it is different. It is more like a cross between a Great Lakes Dortmunder and Elliott Ness (2/3 dortmunder). The result is better than either. Thems strong words!

If you are not familiar with either of those, it is a full bodied beer of this style. Malty, with just the right hops. Nice finishing aroma. Nothing offensive, but hardly boring. I could drink these all day if they weren't so expensive (don't they know there is a recession going on).

This is a very crafty craft brew here. Distinguished looking, tasting. I just hope we can get this year-round. It would be nice is the night clubs I frequent around here would start selling it. Actually, that would be bad - I would drink too much.

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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 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 BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #42 (Jul 2010):

This has a glimmering golden color and a lacing that most beers would be jealous of. This beer has a malty nose and a hint of fruit and herbs from the hops. Smooth lagers with a clean medium body win us over ... this is one of those. It's malty, but mostly on the dry side. The hops are well rounded with a sizable bitterness and a drawn out, somewhat subtle flavor. This beer is bready and yeasty with some alcohol in the finish. A very impressive lager. It stands bigger and more complex than expected.

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Photo of BrewStoutMagic
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hey this is a golden hazy lager.It smells sweet and fruity,has a very nice aroma.Next up as far as taste is considered I wish would have bought a six pack instead of a single.O yeah taste really good with hints of bubblegum,fruity sweetness and not really too hopp driven.THis beer is a very smooth and refreshing brew. look foward to buying more.I couldn't tell the abv was 6.0, but its nice to know.

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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 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 VncentLIFE
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Spotted Dog in Carrboro, NC.

Pours a bright yellow color. Small white head. Decent carbonation.

Smell is very light. Hints of adjunct grains, and floral, grassy, herbal, earthy hops.

Taste is very light. The biggest difference is the hops. Its got a bit of light, sweet caramel malt. The underneath flavors of the herbal hops are fantastic. Hints of full cone grassy hops, and huge earthy presence. A crisp feeling keeps the sweetness in check.

One hell of a yellow lager that competes with GLBC Dortmunder Gold.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bold gold that is almost dark enough to be considered Sunkist orange. The creamy crown is midway between ivory and ecru in color. Its moonscape surface sinks slowly and splatters the glass with some pretty good looking lace in the end.

Since the nose is as much about malt as hops... and since it says 'Dortmunder' right there on the label... the above style should be changed. This puppy isn't pale enough or noble hoppy enough to be a German pilsener. Golden grains with a light toastedness combine with earthy hops that are only minimally grassy.

Thirsty Dog Labrador Lager is a very nice example of a dortmunder. As far as I can tell, it hits every one of its style marks smack dab in the middle. As in the nose, the malt (sweet) and hop (bitter) balance is pretty much perfect. Not only that, but each side of the dyad provides a significant amount of flavor. Generous ingredients is usually a good thing.

The malts are toasted and sugared biscuity, with a hint of earthy nuttiness that is probably due to a small percentage of Munich. The hops provide classic German flavor that, again, is short on grassiness. Tettnang and Hallertau are my guesses. 27 IBUs (website) or 22 IBUs (label) seems about right, which tells me that this bottle is pretty fresh.

The body/mouthfeel might be the highlight of this experience. The malt sugars provide size, the hops add an interesting edge, and the carbonation contributes the creamy expansiveness that only the best beers possess.

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold is the best dortmunder that has ever entered my glass. Labrador Lager isn't quite that good, but it's a surprisingly well-brewed version that I'll definitely look for again. This is a great all-rounder that is delicious solo and should accompany most foods with ridiculous ease.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really nice and tight looking as white head of maybe an inch and a half came up and settled down, fading slightly but holding its own. Light grains and bready malt notes really pulling through here. Some smattering of hops in there but again nothing really pushing that way, this was a well rounded, and very straight forward lager. As I take the first sip, crisp, clean flavor rolls across the taste buds. Really very well put together. Earthy, nice touches of grain and smooth, mellow caramel notes infiltrate as it warms. Light banana and clove maybe then coming through. I am very pleased here

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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 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 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 WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep golden body with an off white head, lacing is even speckled variety. Aroma has a bit of stale cardboard notes, minimal bright cereal tones with a touch of background hops. Flavor has sour apple, malt driven pale malts. Non cohesive there's no way this stuff is fresh. Ideally this is why the brewer should date his bottle, I would have never touched this knowingly old came from a reputable beer store in Ohio but this is evidently old stock pulled from a cooler at least. As I push on a nice cereal sweetness takes root a touch of soggy wet cardboard and stale herbal hops. I will retry this offering I heard it's on par with Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes, not in the current state sadly. Mouthfeel is light but not thin carbonation is ample even a bit much at times, will look for a fresh version possibly in the Burgh this time around. Now I see code on the bottom of the bottle it says 0056, if that's the 56th day of 2010 then I can see why I'm questioning freshness. Drinkability isn't bad, again I plan to revisit but there's aspects I'm frowning on here.

Update: Fresh variety pack sample of this beer increased freshness equates to increased enjoyment. Pours a bright golden hue with a slightly hazed body maybe a bit of yeast left unfiltered it's like a Dortmunder/kellerbier. Aromatics offer up a liquid bread combination of malts and floral hops, I'm a fan for sure. 6% abv well hidden for a golden lager, ample hops at 22 IBUs fits the style guidelines without any issues. I love the bright white flowing head, leaves even layered lines of speckled textured lacing. Each gulp takes you into a very refreshing crisp combination of rich layered biscuit malts, a bit of honey sweetness balanced with herbal grassy German hops, not too pungent or bitter but very fresh and balanced which is key in this style of lager. Mouthfeel overall is as pleasant as it gets, and as hot as it was working outside today the beer tastes that much better. Ample natural feeling carbonation crisp inviting finish makes you want to take the next sip that much faster. Overall a highly drinkable skillfully brewed, and meant to be enjoyed in number go seek some out if your in Ohio or some of the limited distribution of this brewery.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, golden amber with a pristine pillowy white head. Great retention for a lager. Looks like a happy doggie.

Aroma is grapefruit and floral noble hops. Light toast element to the malt profile. Taste is super clean and super smooth. Lightly toasted compliment to an otherwise biscuit malt and more floral/grassy hop.

One of the better "pale" lagers I've had.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pilsner glass

A- Poured a clear golden orange with high streaming carbonation. Had a three finger frothy head that left some droppy lacing.

S- Big floral notes, lemon, German hops and some spice

T- Floral, lemon zest, some indistinct fruitiness, German hops, barley, and some earthiness

M- Very crisp, finishes dry, a little oily on the front, and very refreshing

O- This beer tastes like if Anchor Steam and Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold had a baby. This is very nice Dortmunder style lager from Thirsty Dog, I actually prefer this one to Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold, a little more complex.

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Photo of fastsrt
4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft pour 22 ounces
A: golden, thin head with islands of lace
S: bready malts, earty tones.
T: caramel, hops
M: light body, thin, high carbanation that lifts the body
this one has a sweet malty finish
D: smooth drinking, lightly hoped tastes like a beer
that is lower in abv.

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Photo of DAllspaw
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into pint glass. Deep apricot with slight head.

Fresh baked bread is the first scent, a bit of fruit and yeast as well.

Taste is also bready, with some definite grains as well. Nice carbonation. The grains are prominent, probably typical for a lager which I just don't have that much, but this is a nice surprise, good substantive beer, pretty solid, would buy again.

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Photo of redzone3120
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours well with a nice cloudy amber color. The carbonation adds a nice head, about 1.5 fingers thick.

S - Reminds me more of an ale than a lager, has a nice hoppy aroma with a hint of sweetness, maybe lemon?

T - Good taste that is very well balanced.

M - Very smooth with good carbonation. Light aftertaste that finishes well.

D - Very drinkable and balanced, would go well with almost anything.

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Photo of BeerCon5
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with about one finger of fluffy white head.

The scent is of bready malt and some grains.

The taste is of bready malt and some yeast, notes of fruit are present.

Light bodied, crisp and smooth, moderate carbonation.

This was a nice refreshing lager, more flavor than expected from this style. I wouldn't mind having this again.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pilsner glass. Had a golden brown color and a mainly clear consistency. there was an inch of creamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A nice, sharp aroma of malt, caramel, and a little yeast.

T: Tasted of caramel, malt, and and some yeast. Very crisp and flavorful.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: A well made, drinkable beer.

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Labrador Lager from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 213 ratings.
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