Labrador Lager | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

70 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 213
Photo of jkrich
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date: the lager poured a clear, very deep golden to almost amber with a nice, foamy slightly off-white sustained head. This one is about as deep golden as Great Lakes Dortmunder gold.

The disappointment with this beer is the smell. When I removed the cap from the bottle, I could detect no aroma at all. After pouring into a stein, I did detect some perfumy aromas but little else.

This is right on style: heavier than a helles with an emphasis on malt. Overall, a hefty lager with just enough hop to balance the sweetness. There is a little grainy flavor as well. The lager remains refreshing as it warms in the glass.

This lager has a heavier body than most dortmunder style lagers with a slightly thick and sweet mouthfeel. The carbonation is very restrained for a lager.

The malt profile and refreshing flavor is ideal for a hot summer day. I could enjoy this one any time of the year. It is good to see more breweries producing this style.

 980 characters

Photo of Josephkeene
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle.

Pours clear light orange, with small head. Lacing stays throughout. Reminds me of a IPA.

Smell is common for the style, very similar to Great Lakes Brewery's offering.

Taste is of Malt and a little hops. I really love this taste.

In the end i love the style and love the beer its great for a light offering. And even better for a lager. I recommend trying this for a great lighter microbrew.

 417 characters

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.

 364 characters

Photo of atsprings
3.12/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a Boston Lager glass pours a crisp, very bubbly orange with a decent eggshell head that diminishes to a thin layer and leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is crisp sweet malts with a Worther's Original like caramel scent to it. The taste is an overabundance of sweet malts, not quite cloying, but almost. The beer is medium bodied with decent carbonation, but the sweetness gets in the way. This is one that smell's WAY better than it tastes, not anything I would have again.

 495 characters

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.

 408 characters

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

 742 characters

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)

 597 characters

Photo of nrbw23
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a crystal, clear gold color with a thin white head. Head leaves some good lacing.

S- Grainy and bready malts with just a touch of hops in there.

T- Better than I expected. A super crisp bready malt with a good balance of floral hops. Nothing crazy here and just seemed right on.

M- Light in body and high carbonation.

D- Super easy to drink and refreshing.

 371 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on 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 hearty malt character. Then some malt and caramel sweetness comes in. The hops presence is decent and provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a decent milder beer to drink for a while, but there are other beers in the style that I would pick first.

 790 characters

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.

 277 characters

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

A: The name fits, pours a nice golden yellow, like the Yellow lab on the front. A this white head sticks around for a short amount of time.

S: Malt and a sweet caramel.

T: It has a nutty, sweet, malt flavor. A bitter bite at the end.

M: Very crisp, but also a little creamy with nice carbonation.

D: Good. Can drink a bunch of these, low ABV, enjoyable taste.

 363 characters

Photo of sixerofelixir
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, deep golden hue with a smallish off-white head. Smell is all sweet malts. First taste is like the smell - bready and sugary - but has a subtle toastiness, almost nutty, with a nice dash of hops for the bitter finish. Great feel, excellent combination of flavors without being over-the-top. I would gladly drink more than a few of these.

 350 characters

Photo of tempest
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single from Abe's Cold Beer. Pours a clear gold amber with a short white head that leaves a bit of lacing. The malt is disappointingly plain with a mild bready cake taste and aroma. The hops do a little better and bring both floral citrus and a little grassy herb forward and long into the aftertaste. Smooth and drinkable, but unremarkable aside from some pleasant hop character.

 392 characters

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.

 1,789 characters

Photo of donteatpoop
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not entirely translucent, a pale amber/gold. Foamy white head is shortly lived.

Due in part to the shortly lived head, the scent on this beer is pretty vague. Some spiced malt hits the noce.

Spices, malt, and a dry bitter hop hit the moth.

The yeast might be a little heavy on this, which would explain the bready taste and the fog.

Goes down smooth enough.

Definately not my favorite Dortmundner. I've only tried three so far, but the other two I've had blow this one away. (Great Lakes and Two Brothers)

 512 characters

Photo of smcolw
2.95/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear, light golden color. Moderate head that settles to a single layer of bubbles. Low lace, spotty.

Dry, raw grain aroma. Possibly some light colored crystal. Low, low hop.

Highly carbonated, giving it a crisp mouthfeel. I thought I had smelled the telltale signs of adjuncts. Here, I think the taste confirms it. Overall, a very dry beer. There's some bittering hop flavor in the aftertaste.

 396 characters

Photo of adamette
2.99/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Live review. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Murphy's Irish Red pint glass. Bottle purchased as a single at Heinen's in Willoughby Hills, Ohio a few weeks ago for $1.50.

A Basic lager body with a bit more yellow color but a nice creamy head on top of that. 3.5

S Kind of a distant, very basic lager smell. 2.0

T Awfully basic lager taste of barley malt, very little if any hops. Dissapointing really. 3.0

M Thin to moderate. 3.0

D Good but this is not my favorite style. 4.0

Notes: The second less than stellar beer out of Thirsty Dog (had their Barktoberfest recently). These were the first two Thirsty Dog beers that did not really impress me. I found there Cerebrus 10 and Siberian Night to be exemplary.

 717 characters

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.

 1,144 characters

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.

 1,171 characters

Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am not the biggest Thirsty Dog fan, but they make some pretty solid beers, especially their Imperial Stout. The bottle claims this is a Dortmunder Lager, not a German Pilsener. Here is my review:

A: Pours a crystal clear golden straw color. Nice white head that leaves light lacing on the glass. There is a massive amount of carbonation and tiny bubbles coming up from the bottom.

S: Smells a lot like a Pilsener. Smewhat grainy with a bready malt aroma. Hops are also noticeable.

T: Tastes a lot like a Pilsener as well. Nice bready malt and grain flavor with a very crisp and light floral hop taste. Nothing overpowering, but a very pleasant taste overall.

M: Light bodied and very crisp. Refreshing and drinks very smoothly.

D: Very easy drinkablility. Drinks like water actually. Probably could kill a six pack in one night.

Overall, a very solid offering from Thirsty Dog. Its not in the same league as something like Dortmunder Gold, but drinks very well and is worth the checking out. Recommended.

 1,016 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Labrador Lager from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 213 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.