Barking Squirrel Lager | Hop City Brewing Co.

133 Reviews
Barking Squirrel LagerBarking Squirrel Lager

Brewed by:
Hop City Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Amber / Red Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Barking Squirrel is a 5% ABV amber lager with a distinct rich burnt orange colour and subtle noble hop aroma. Its medium body, pleasant hop bitterness and caramel malt sweetness makes it smooth and drinkable with a slight hop aftertaste.

24 IBU

Added by Viggo on 11-16-2009

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Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 577
Photo of Hackattack
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this on tap at a local bar and grill not too long ago, but I still remember experiencing a pleasant surprise since it was so good. Pours a dark orange color with medium head and carbonation, Malty sweet taste with hints of cocoa, coffee and toffee. Great blend of flavors. I recommend trying this unless you are a lover of only hop loaded brews

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Photo of reddfoot
3.82/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful copper colour, nice head. Smells great. Has a some bite to it at first, then it really mellows out at the end and gives off a really watery aftertaste. Overall an above average beer, definitely sessionable.

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Photo of portwood
3.12/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Smell: caramel, nuts, light citrus, toffee.
Taste: creamy carbonation, sweet, caramel, slight hop bitterness.
Finish: sweet bread, nutty.
(no date on can)

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.92/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap 5/24/2016 at Kelsey’s Roadhouse in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains lager yeast, caramelized malts, fruit and some hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of lager yeast and a hearty malt character. Then some sweet flavors of caramel and fruit come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
3.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Taste: sweet caramel malty notes, more bready than hop to this lager.
bold malt grain aroma. Copper and clear in appearance.
Delicate ringed lace. Medium?lite body. Easy drinking and mellow.
24 IBUs

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Photo of Noelan
3.79/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Purchased from my local LCBO in a "tall can" (473ml) poured into a pint.

Look: Attractive deep red with one finger of foam that fades within 45 seconds. Love the color of this beer.

Smell: hops, grains and caramel. After-smell has a slight metallic element. actually smells exactly like spark house by lake of bays, another Ontario brewer. 4.0

Taste: Malt, caramel and maple. Delicious, but still prefer spark house. 3.75

Feel: Perfectly carbonated for red lager. Medium bodied. Will have to try this again during BBQ season and probably update my review. 3.5'

Overall: 3.75 : This beer is an excellent example of Canadian micro-brewing. All elements of this beer complement each other.

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Photo of cosmin
3.94/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

LIke the name suggests, this no ordinary lager. At 24 IBUs it definitely has a bite to it which for some like myself is pleasantly surprising. This is the perfect patio beer. Light, refreshing, sessionable and a ver sexy looking beer.

Hop City has done it again! Probably my favourite craft brewery in the area (southern Ontario). Give this one a try next time you're on the patio or at the pub. You won't be disappointed!

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Photo of beersareonme
3.29/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A great amber lager. I bit of a hoppy bite (not in the IPA region mind you) but a really nice enjoyable pint. I've found for whatever reason that it is significantly better off a tap than from a can. Yes I know now that everyone is yelling at me "Of course!! It's always like that!!". Get a grip people. We know it is. I'm just pointing out that I noticed a HUGE difference from tap vs can. A lot of brews you really can't tell the difference.

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Photo of Timothy_Scott_Goeft
3.96/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

For me it is a little darker than amber vienna style lagers standard, its head is small and fits in like the rest of the styling.5 ABV 24IBU light dry crisp corn like sweetness and very small hoppy bittering at the end the aroma smells not of the hops but of the malts that gone in.has a slight spice no doubt from the Saaz hops. Not to mention i personally like it as a very easy session beer that has some flavours.

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Photo of stevoj
2.7/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

This might be a hit with drinkers of macro lagers, but overall I find it bland and lightweight. Nice looking beer, rich amber color and fluffy/rocky head. Aroma is almost too faint to register and taste is very light malt. Might be a good summer time brew.

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Photo of josanguapo
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From Club del Gourmet of El Corte Ingles. In Ikea's pilsner glass. After dinner. An important body, specially for a lager, something unexpected. Very drinkable and sessionable. Taste and aroma are a bit dull, with some caramel sweetness in the taste.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

DATE TASTED: August 13, 2015 ... GLASSWARE: Sam Adams Boston lager... OCCASION: week seven at camp almost to an end... APPEARANCE: first, the head: thick, crunchy blanket of off-white retention that holds to a finger well after the pour; tracings are more like smears of clouds... dark amber body suggests a strong, substantial pint... for a lager, an appealing start... AROMA: thick malts that suggest syrup, nuts and bolder malt liquor of the 40 oz. variety ; the hops seem blanketed, as I do not detect the Saaz promised on the label; the Hallertau hints at rugged cone and varnish--an odd, challenging mix... PALATE: medium-bodied, smooth and warm at the throat; little to no action at the teeth; creamy throughout, which makes this almost match the allure of the appearance... TASTE: the muddled aroma proves true here, with some caramel and nut qualities to suggest a flavorful lager, and the hops do make a late appearance; not as robust as a Vienna can be, and the finish is a bit odd... OVERALL: thanks to Matt for the purchase this past first Hop City offering is solid but uneven... drinkable, but not without the astringent, dry, band-aid ending...the second glass furthers the first in its dough and malt... I am hesitant to give this the blessing of another six-pack...

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.97/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lightly hazy amber color with some wild activity. Creamy beige 2 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with strong legs.

Aromas and flavors of caramel, grains, nuts, citrus, floral and herbal spices. Nice butter and bread nose. Well balanced flavors between sweet toffee and sharp lemon. Slightly grassy and earthy.

Slick medium body with champagne like carbonation. Well intensified and moderately long finish, ending with a slightly bitter, while fresh, hoppy saaz with a sweet grassy feel.

Overall a solid craft with balanced, refreshing, and pleasant flavors that are accessible.

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Photo of Tcoops
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Really good beer to have if you want to just chill and have a few without getting too tipsy. It is smooth and a little sweet. I would recommend this to a friend.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.96/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Squirrels can get downright mean at times, man... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear copper-amber topped by a finger of cream-white foam. The nose comprises rye bread, mild greens (tending toward some decent dankness), and caramel. The taste holds notes of bread, very light candied orange peel, watered-down caramel, and a touch of walnut. There's a kind of kvass character kicking around here (the usual supermarket kind, not the overtly traditional kind, mind you). The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, while not bad, this beer really didn't do anything for me. The nuttiness seemed out of place, and the rest of the flavors never fully coalesce into any cohesive expression of anything.

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Photo of Bunman3
3.19/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This really does not do much for me. There are so many other lagers in this style that look, smell and taste much better. I find Barking Squirrel to be a bit thin, metallic, and off-putting. It's far from the worst beer I've tried, but it seems like it is trying too hard to be craft brew.

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Photo of kevinlater
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

473ml can into nonic pint. "A21512 10:58" printed on the bottom of the can. i'm guessing that has something to do with january. served to myself on april 8, 2015

a: transparent copper/burnt orange with three fingers of fluffy off-white head

s: sweet biscuity caramel, grains, raisins, with grassy, herbal, tea-like hops. slight metallic note

t: follows the nose, including the metallic note. tasty though. good bitterness at the end

m: light but not watery with medium carbonation. perfect for the style

o: an unspectacular but still solid amber lager

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Photo of PorterPro125
3.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type: 16 oz. Draught

Bought at The River Restaurant in Woodstock, New Brunswick.

A- Dark orange/copper pour with a 1 1/2 finger off-white head. Slight lacing on the glass.

S- Sweet caramel and malt upfront that is contrasted nicely with a soft hop bitterness. Hops are not overpowering and pretty minuscule compared to the lagery sweetness.

T- Malt, caramel, a bit of grassy notes and some soft, earth hops to finish off.

M- Medium Body and medium-high carbonation. Not overly aggressive but plenty of bubbles to go around.

O- Great lager to sip on while munching on a steak. Typical lager sweetness (without the corny notes of an adjunct) nicely balanced with a bit of hops. Extremely drinkable.

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Photo of SSS
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

S-Typical lager aroma, sweet and light
A-Dark orange, clear appearance with an off white head that lingers for a while
T-Sweet subtle flavour, clean and smooth. There is a corn type aftertaste that is apparent, and somewhat generic
M-Light to moderate carbonation which is really nice and add to the smoothness.
O-Very drinkable pub type brew. Nice on a hot day after cutting the lawn.

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Photo of BigBry
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft, tried while in Ottawa.
Pours clear, dark orange-brown with a thin, tan head. Foam settles to a floating cap, thin spider web of lace.
Smell is pretty average, malt grain, caramel.
Taste is much the same, toast grain, a bit of grassy, earthy hoppiness at the end.
This beer has an average level of carbonation, slightly crisp mouth feel, not too heavy, easy to drink.
Overall, this is a decent beer, slightly above average, drinkable.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.25/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- This one pours a hazy dark amber/coppery color that appears to be finely carbonated at least at the bottom of the glass, before the bubbles rapidly start rising in an aggressive manner. The head starts out about a half finger thick before dissipating into a cloud like patch. Lacing is alright too, with a lot of foam clinging to the glass, before most of it slides back into the liquid itself. Good overall!

S- Very nice balance of aromas between sweet and bittering hops. Caramel/toffee is upfront, along with clean, yet distinct malt sweetness. The finish has some bitterness but it doesn't overpower.

T- Great tasting lager overall! Well balanced flavors that range between grainy barley, to toasted sweet caramel like malts, a touch of baking spice, and hints of buttery fresh bread, finishing with just the right amount of cleansing leafy, oily hop cone! I'm quite impressed with the richness of the flavors here!

M/O- This is an incredibly drinkable beer! Solid medium body and plenty of carbonation that while not palate scrubbing, is quite cleansing and allows the flavors to burst nicely on the palate. I could quite easily enjoy several of these brews throughout an's an ideal example of what a good amber lager should be and will seek this out in the future!

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Photo of Logan12321
3.72/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Great look, pours nicely leaving a 1/4" head on the top for around a minute. Good smell, the taste doesn't really pop out until the end, there's a nic finish to it. Very easy to drink, refreshing, when served cold.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pours amber with tall, long-lasting, fluffy white head. Aroma is of grassy hops and caramel malt. Body is medium and crisp. Grassy hops and caramel malt nicely balanced on the palate. Finish is long and semi-dry. Nice session brew.

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Photo of pat61
4.15/5  rDev +19.6%

Nose: initially some graham cracker and hop spice joined by rich malt and grain aromas. Pours brilliant chestnut tinted dark amber to burnt umber under a 1” frothy off-white foam cap that produces clingy lace. A big malt palate hints of movie theater popcorn butter that is quickly replaced by malt and grain spiciness with traces of anise and a light tart touch. After a few sips the popcorn butter becomes more toffee-like. It drinks very creamy and satiating with medium carbonation.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #71 (December 2012):

In the wide world of lagers most are of the same ilk, very refreshing to see lagers of another color. Barking Squirrel is an interesting beast, on one side it retains all of the true lager qualities but the other side shows some rawness but stays clean. Another factor that makes this a good thing is that the brand is owned by Moosehead Brewery which is independently own. Oh yeah, we almost forgot … tallboy cans rule.

STYLE: American Amber Lager
ABV: 5.0%

LOOK: Clear copper hue, head shows off

SMELL: Biscuity, husky, clean, spicy woody hop, leather, faint caramel

TASTE: Very biscuity, clean, moderate sized body, light hop character, dried grass, toasty, mildly citrus, walnuts, very dry finish

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Barking Squirrel Lager from Hop City Brewing Co.
3.47 out of 5 based on 577 ratings.
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