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 Sammy
3.26/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on-tap at Shauey's, near the airport. Served way too cold, but fresh, the brewers are former homebrewers with a sugardaddy grant from Moosewood, who will of course help to distribute them. The smell is mildly cheesy. Pours dark yellow, with an eighth inch of white foam and lace lines own my glass. Average mouthfeel(though above average carbonation), this is in the style of a helles lager, though not the best interprestation. Good drinkability.

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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 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 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 cratez
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draught at The Black Shire in London, Ontario. Tap handle is a piece of work, with a squirrel chomping on a hop cone above the Hop City banner. Everything from the coasters to the intricate, branded glassware suggests that a lot of money has gone into this beer (à la Moosehead). Let's see if it lives up to the hype.

Taps a reddish amber orange with brown hues and a solid cap of frothy, cream-coloured head. Big globs of lacing on the glass. Smell is floral, grassy hops, fresh cereal grains, and bready malt. Taste is grainy, sweet caramel malt, husky wheat flavours, and a subtle hop bitterness. Tiny citric bite. Hops are probably Tettnang or Saaz, or both. More bread and cereal flavours in the aftertaste, very lager-like. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with a lightly parched finish. For an amber/vienna, this is comparable to Creemore and Sam Adams but not as well-hopped as Brooklyn Lager. While Barking Squirrel isn't ground breaking, it's still a respectable drinker. A good start for this brewer.

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Photo of bobsy
3.51/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank around four pints of this at the launch party. Good times!

Pours a radiant amber with nice orange highlights and a large creamy white head. Decent retention, and nice streaks of lace round out an excellent appearance. Things stumble a little at the aroma, which strikes me as this beer's weakest point, as it seems a little muddled and muted to me. Toasted malts dominate, with caramel coming a close second, while evident floral hopping adds a bit of complexity. Unfortunately there's also the fleeting hint of metal, and I don't think the separate elements gel as well as they could.

Thankfully things are back on track with the flavour, which emphasises the toasted malts and supports them with an underlying biscuit and light caramel base. Floral hopping provides a mild, but pleasing, bite in the finish. Yes, there could be more bitterness, but I think that would detract from the sessionability of this beer. Pretty decent all round flavour. I can't remember who mentioned it, but I agree that its a little like St. Andre's Vienna Lager, with slightly less malt and slightly more hops. The medium carbonation and body is par for the style and made this very drinkable. Those pints went down too easy!

Its obvious that a lot of marketing money has been thrown at this brewery, and it will be interesting to see how aggressively they pursue the craft market. It will also be interesting to see how our local microbreweries will respond if these guys start to eat into the craft lager market. It would be neat to see some of them branch out into different styles and try to differentiate themselves more. Hop City is quasi-independent of Moosehead, just as Creemore are of Molson, and I can see a lot of parallels between the flagship brands. Both are clean easy drinking lagers that would be acceptable to craft and non-craft drinkers alike. Does this mean I'll start drinking Barking Squirrel all the time? No, I'll stick with the fuller-flavoured offerings I prefer, but this will be an excellent choice when the selection is sparse, as it gives the usual macro suspects a whuppin'.

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

On tap @ The Snooty Fox

Pours a clear and deep rusty orange with a two finger cream coloured head that retains nicely and leaves some nice, sticky lace.

Sweet smell of toasted malts, biscuit, light citrus and a nice dose of floral hops. Nothing overly complex but still left me eager to taste it.

Toasted malts, caramel and biscuit are followed by a quick dash of citrus and a good floral hop finish to balance it all out.

Medium bodied, smooth and nicely balanced. Like Viggo said, a bit more hops would be appreciated, but nonetheless a tasty beer.

Being an affiliate of Moosehead Brewery, I was surprised at how good this beer was. I could see this being pretty close to Creemore for me and wouldn't mind switching the two up every once in awhile. Overall, nothing spectacular, but sure worth a try.

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Photo of Viggo
3.51/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mooseheads foray into the craft beer market. "Craft beer with attitude." Poochy is here. On tap at Volo.

Pours a clear amber, orange highlights, thick white head forms, slowly settles to a thin ring, some lacing on the glass, looks nice.

Smell is solid, very malty, some biscuit, light floral, caramel sweetness, toast, not as clean as most lagers, and I'm not sure if they were going for a vienna or not.

Taste is similar, solid malty base, biscuit and some toast, lightly bready, some floral hopping, simple but nicely made, balanced finish, I would dig a some more hopping.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. A pretty decent entry into the craft market for Moosehead. Could be more "craft" but I was relatively happy with the quality of this one.

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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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