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: 576
Photo of Jimmys
2.32/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

pint can into snifter. not exactly sure what the coding on the bottom of the can means...

A: clear amber hued body. slightly off-white head with great retention. lacing is good as well.

S: oxidized. very malty. the use of the crystal malt is obvious and very present.

T: sweet caramel dominates the body. the sugar is a bit astringent. and cloying. body is seriously lacking as i find it a bit watery.

M: moderate amount of fizz. light/medium-ish body.

D: i wouldnt hate to see some more hops here Hop City. i actually wish this beer wasnt this big as it is a bit hard to sip. boo, pass.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.53/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Can: Poured a clear golden lager with a medium size foamy head with OK retention and light lacing. Aroma of light adjunct notes and overly sweet malt is not the most interesting. Taste is also more adjunct base then I had anticipated with not much other characteristics showing off and not much hops presence. Definitely not one I will drink again though I seems to be off compared to previous ratings.

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Photo of Omnium
2.53/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours a lighter amber color, minimal head, goes away fast
S - Yeasty, some malt in there, not a lot goin on.
T - Tastes like a run of the mill beer, basic lager that has no real definition or outstanding qualities.
M - Lighter in feel, goes down easy.
O - Bleh, with a name like hop city you'd think they'd try to incorporate more hops into their beers, but thats quite the opposite. There's no real hop bite or flavors in here, tastes like minutely watered down Yuengling with less flavor. No thanks.

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Photo of hdofu
2.7/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I tried to like this one but it has some problems for me. Appearance is pale, Smell is sour. Taste starts out ok tasting like a typical lager.... but the more one drinks the more it has this inescapable nasty finish that builds. If it weren't for the finish I wouldn't mind the beer so much. but that kills it for me. Overall I have to say the squirrels bark is worse then it's bite.

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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 Phocion
2.79/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Notes from phone, May 18, 2014.

12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint. Amber body with a finger of off-white head leaving moderate lacing.

Aroma is toffee and caramel malts. Buttered biscuit and slightly roasted. Subtle grassy/floral noble hoppiness.

Lightly roasted caramel and grassy flavor. A bit of sourdough bread with a very dry finish.

Slick, oily, and thin mouthfeel, with fairly high carbonation.

Overall, this is a malt bomb with a slight hint of diacetyl. Bland. Sub-par mouthfeel. Very unimpressed.

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Photo of pootz
2.8/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap: Puts a clear amber lager in the glass with a 2 finger sticky cap...modest retention. Weak lacing.

Light malty aroma with some sweetness, non descript hopping with slight apple tones.

Taste has the malt dominate the front side with a blend of pale and caramel maltiness which then gets balanced off with some fruit and hop bittering. Clean sharp finish but caramel malt predominates killing any hope the hops had to dry out the finish.

Hard mineral mouth feel (hard water?) - malty caramel fruity character...all that's left to say is; "what is this"? If it is a lager or 'lale' there is so many tastes here out of place (fruity esters in lager?). If it's an amber lager it is passable but uninspired. It sure is not a bock or any style of standard lager I'm familiar with....possibly a weak steam beer or weak Creemore clone... Needs work.

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Photo of Caudalie
2.91/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured in a ridel red wine magnum glass.

A: Deep amber, with rapidly fainting head

S: Pretty strange, slightly mettalic, with roasted malts/caramel.

T: Light, fresh, with light malts characters. Well done, but with the mettalic feel on the finish.

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Photo of cbutova
2.92/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes last night. Random grab while in Philly.

A- Dark amber pour with a small fizzy white head. Retention of the cap is fairly poor and a tiny ring leaves just a few spots of lace. Ends up looking like a juice with just enough lace to save it from being abysmal.

S- Has a slight adjunct lager feel to it. I just think there isn't enough going on to really make it interesting besides a bit of lager yeast hints, light fruits and herbal hops.

T- A bit more satisfying here. Yeast bread, apple light fruits and buttery lager yeast. Some cracked grains and sweets from the malts. Hops are mostly herbal but spicy and grassy as well.

MF- Creamy light end body with a fair hop bitterness. Smooth moderate amount of carbonation.

Average lager with just enough hops and malts to keep it out of a very bad category of beers.

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Photo of kwjd
2.94/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Was at Duke of Kent in Toronto and I saw they had this beer so I decided to try it out. It was an amber-orange colour with a nice white head that stuck around. A little bit of lacing. No issues in the look department.

Everything else is where it fell apart. The smell was a little bit sweet, with the faintest hint of floral hops. Taste has the sweet malt without too much going for it. Pleasant, just not anything exciting. A bit too overcarbonated for my liking, which made me tired of drinking it by the end of the glass.

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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 slitherySOB
2.98/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Finally, a new beer. Though the 'attitude' said on the can is lacking in the beer itself.

Pours a copper/amber colour, with a huge amount of foam. No matter how delicately I poured, the foam kept coming. Don't know if it's the beer itself, or my pouring it incorrectly. After the beer settles, I'm left with close to a three finger foamy head that refused to die. Smell is.... Well, I've had blander. Toffee, caramel, bit of grass and citrus. Some roasted breads as well. Tastes a little more caramel than scent. Toffee is light. Some citrus tones, and a dry taste after swallow. Mouthfeel is a little thin. It doesn't feel watered down, but... weak. Overall, I'd say it makes a decent session beer.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.05/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – Served a medium golden colored brew with a one finger white fizzy head. The head faded very fast leaving only a small level of lacing.

Smell-The smell is rather clean and simple. It’s mainly of toasted malt and a small amount of caramel sweetness.

Taste –The taste begins with a smoother malty flavor mixed with a light amount of caramel malt sweetness. As the flavor moves on, the caramel fades some with a more bready flavor coming to the tongue. A light citrus hop flavor accompanies the breadiness. The hop starts out rather weak and gets slightly stronger as it advances to the end where a little bit of floral and hay-like hops joins the profile. Overall the flavors end up leaving a dry and lightly hopped bready flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel-The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side for a lager style of only 5 % abv, with a carbonation level that is rather low. The feel really doesn't suit the style very well as it doesn't make for an as refreshing and crisp brew as a more traditional lighter body and higher carbonation level do.

Overall- It is an OK brew, but this is one I wouldn't likely go to again as there are much better and/or cheaper out there.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.06/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear bronze color with a tiny whispy head that musters up just a bit of lace. The aroma is a light mix of toasty malts and some hop grass. A slight tartness is noticeable. Mostly caramel malts make up the taste. Some fruity notes and a very subdued hop presence round it out. The mothfeel is medium to light bodied. Sweetness and some tart (yeast?) flavors make up the shortlived finish.

Overall this is an OK amber lager. A bit anemic in the hop department and there's a slight off flavor.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.06/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Gave me two fingers of head that laced quite well but sadly didn't stick around for very long. Carbonation from the body looks a bit odd, like some bubbles are smaller then the others. Have almost a cherry oak colour to it.

Smell: Some grassy hops and a light caramel malt with a bit of a strange funk to it, almost like a sour fruit touch. Warming seems to bring the hops out more and more and minimize the other smells.

Taste: Not a lot really to say here, the hops make fair strong appearance in the background throughout the beer, which is fine save that I'd expect it more from a pale ale then a lager. Light caramel malt starts us out, as a nutty taste makes a brief appearance to be followed by a somewhat acidic note as the beer seems to give up and let the hops just ride it out. Does some good and some bad.

Mouthfeel: The prevalent hop note throughout the beer hurts it's transitioning. The carbonation is quite good, helping out the entire beer. The aftertaste is in a strange happy medium where I wouldn't want it gone, but it doesn't quite mesh with me as it currently stands.

Drinkability: It got down pretty fast, but it seems a bit too unrefined enough for an all night brew or an occasional drinker. It's not quite refreshing enough to be a summer drinker, but with a light meal this beer I think would excel.

Final Thoughts: It's alright, better then average but nothing to write home about. I guess if you were looking for a "Pale Lager" this would be a good example. I kinda like my amber lagers to be a bit more maltier like Creemore Springs.

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Photo of peensteen
3.06/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice deep gold colour with a little white head that lasted through the whole beer. The smell was nothing special slight hop sent with some malt aroma coming through. Quite refreshing and creamy though not great. Thin mouthfeel is very light but better than most mass marketed lagers. I would have this again but only if there wasn't anything else I would want.

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Photo of ronniebruner
3.07/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I really wanted to like this beer more than I actually did. This is a very ordinary lager beer. It has your typical light yellowish hue, extra carbonation, malty feel, and a great deal of foam and lace. This beer is average in every sense of the word. Buy a single can before you commit to a 4 pack or a case.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can to pint glass.

A - Translucent medium orange/amber colour with a huge amount of fluffy off-white head.

S - Bready malts with a crisp hop biterness and s light floral/earthy aroma.

T - Bready malts with a s light caramel sweetness up front. A slight crisp hop bitterness is present along with a slight earthy/herbal flavour.

M - Light body with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.11/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, no clear bottling date on label.

appears a clear light copper color with rusty orange highlights. off-white head, good head retention. earthy aroma. cracked corn, some mild grassy hops.
taste is just a bit of malt, grain. one note, not complex. thin to medium body, medium carbonation.

overall - an okay beer, but I probably wouldn't go out of my way to drink again.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.11/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not as hoppy in the can version as I remember previous draught pints. Pours a bright, clear amber with decent head and mouthfeel. Malt-forward aroma is mirrored in a taste that centres on caramelized malts. A fundamentally sweet beer with minimally dry backbone...

Compares favourably to Rickards Red, but certainly not something at the level of other pseudo-"micro" brews...

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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 cmq103
3.13/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into a Duvel Belgian Tulip glass revealed a darker rusty copper looking color, yielding an off white 1” head with a semi aggressive pour. The head reduced to a thin ring rather quickly. Respectable lacing for a lager.

Smell: Not much going on with the nose. A swirling of the glass gets me a lightly sweet caramel malt with a hint of bread and hay.

Taste: Very similar to the smell. A mild sweetness shoots across the tongue with a light caramel bready maltiness. Light on the hops, but surprisingly pleasant from start to finish. The lightly sweet malts surely dominate this beer. Any hint of hops decided to sit this one out.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is right on to allow the mild flavors to blend. An easy drinking crisp and clean light to moderate body lager.

Overall: Nothing really jumps out with this lager, but I did find it to be an easy drinking potential session beer. This is probably a step up from your generic lagers. With that said, I don’t see myself running out to grab another 6-pack of this. Dollar for dollar, Yuengling Lager has proven to be the staple in one of my three taps at the basement bar.

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Photo of Long813
3.15/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From: Pub Italia

G: Pint glass

A: Clear amber body presented with very little white head. Not much lacing or retention to speak of due to the pour.

S: Aromas were weak even in the bar setting. Hints of caramel and roasted malts.

T: Stronger than the aromas, but still leaves a lot to be imagined. Hints of roasted malts, caramel, some biscuit. Nothing is to strong, which makes this a great macro transition, but nothing else.

M: Light bodied, crisp and refreshing. Leaves a slight malty aftertaste.

D: I was expecting better. Not a bad beer, but it comes off as a macro beer focusing on 'drinkability' over flavour.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours pretty great, typical amber lager look with a 1/2 inch of head and surprising level of sticky lacing.

S - Smells clean with little lager skunk, hardly no hops, and a touch of caramel and toffee malt.

T - I really wanted to like this but the finish reminds me of a skunky pilsner. The beer overall is not bad with a decent level of sweetness and is smooth. I prefer Straub's amber lager.

M - Light to medium easy to finish.

Overall I didn't know what to expect with this. With so much hop reference it wasn't very hoppy and the flavor wasn't ground breaking. Not bad just a step up from your typical american amber lager.

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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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Barking Squirrel Lager from Hop City Brewing Co.
3.47 out of 5 based on 576 ratings.
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